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Everything posted by JustAndy

  1. I am understanding correctly that this is the first batch you are using backset with? 29 brix is high, even if you think 7 brix of that is unfermentable the density of the wash is very high and the yeast might be experiencing too much osmotic stress. If you have been using backset for several generations, it's also possible that you have accumulated yeast-toxic levels of salts/minerals etc.
  2. Not sure what a wine cap is, if you are looking for something to apply screw-top style closures to bottles look for an ROPP (roll-on pilfer proof) machine. If you are looking for a bottle cap similar to what's used for beer look for a crown capper
  3. My understanding is that wineries can only use spirit from the same fruit type as the beverage being fortified. As they are not allowed to brew beer, they can't use grain neutral to fortify anything. If their license lets them make fermented cane sugar soda (which I understand it does) they could use cane neutral? Should probably ask the ttb agent. FallIng Rock, perhpas the GNS is grape neutral spirit? https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=970a668ad1fa42555e7331f81c0e366d&node=27: "The proprietor of a bonded wine premises may withdraw and receive spirits without payment of tax from the bonded premises of a distilled spirits plant for uses as are authorized in this part. Wine spirits produced in the United States may be added to natural wine on bonded wine premises if both the wine and the spirits are produced from the same kind of fruit. In the case of natural still wine or natural still hard cider, wine spirits may be added in any State only to wine produced by fermentation on bonded wine premises located within the same State. If wine has been ameliorated, wine spirits may be added (whether or not wine spirits were previously added) only if the wine contains not more than 14 percent of alcohol by volume derived from fermentation. Spirits other than wine spirits may be received, stored and used on bonded wine premises only for the production of nonbeverage wine and nonbeverage wine products. Wooden storage tanks used for the addition of spirits may be used for the baking of wine."
  4. Sorry, I misunderstood your question. That's news to me if true, no place I've ever worked had them. If we did have them, they would be pretty useless for measuring the abv of our bourbon, rye, or fruit mashes.
  5. You need a full set to test the strength of your spirits off the still, at barreling strength, and bottling strength. If you produce liqueurs or lower strength spirits you probably need 0-20, 20-40, 40-60 etc. Accurately measuring and recording the proof is important to the government, as the tolerances for error are 10x smaller in spirits than beer, and the tax rate per unit of alcohol is probably 15x higher for spirits.
  6. http://barrelsandracks.fishcreative.com/barrels/ might be able to help you. You aren't likely to find any 300 or 500 liter bourbon barrels, if you do they will be wine casks that someone finished bourbon in.
  7. With a 50-100 gal still, labor cost is likely a much more significant factor than mashing efficiency or distillation yields. If you are doing it yourself (and probably not taking a paycheck or salary), make sure to factor the theoretical labor cost into the product or you will paint yourself into a corner of never getting to pay your self (or someone else).
  8. Preheating your wash can help and and agitator as well. Using a beta glucanese is very helpful for 100% rye. But you are likely in for a life of suffering.
  9. I believe Different potato varieties have different amounts of geosmin, so it could be related to the type of potato. some Japanese shochu producers peel the potato to reduce earthiness. Also, apparently potatoes can have tca issues http://journal.ashspublications.org/content/132/1/112.full
  10. I'm not certain many others do make it work, unless there are significant tax incentives in your state/country for working from local materials.
  11. I was informed that in California, distilleries can produce spirit for wineries and if those spirits (brandy and pomace brandy) are produced from the winery's grapes the spirits can be sold by the winery under their tasting license. Does anyone have experience with this? Can you point me to the state laws related to it? One place I distill is a small Oregon brandy distillery, and it would be a lot of fun for us if something similar could get passed in Oregon. I am hopeful that seeing a framework operating someplace else might give us a starting point.
  12. If you are new to the world of fittings, it can be helpful to go to a Brick and mortar store like Davidson Winery Supply in McMinnville to get oriented on what is out there and what it's called.
  13. http://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/tc15hb34.htm
  14. I've worked 3 places that have been audited/inspected by TTB, and they have never looked at/asked for fill level documentation or records. Which doesn't mean you shouldn't keep track, but with the error bars for proofing being 10x tighter that seemed to be a bigger concern. As long as you were diligent in tracking all the alcohol in and out and could prove you've paid all the taxes required, they didn't seem as concerned with 'gotcha'ing us on forms or technicalities. Your mileage may vary.
  15. I wont use boiled linseed oil, it contains metallic drying agents which I would worry about leaching into the barrel? What is your evaporative loss? Likely easier to move the barrel to a less dry/hot locations than to seal a full barrel. French oak typically has coarser grain than American oak which means higher evaporation, part of the reason most French oak spirit barrels are 350-400L.
  16. You really can't rely on pictures of what other people are doing, I've visited probably 75 craft distilleries and only seen maybe 10 that were near to compliant with their MAQs.
  17. Do these have any valves / fittings or are they just barrels with the heads off?
  18. Cultus, my numbers with stripping runs look quite different than yours. In a simple pot still (meaning no intentional reflux) we'd collect closer to a 1/3 of the original vol at closer to 35%. 3 Stripping runs + spirit run feints = full still volume for 2nd distillation. 70% of total PG as hearts yield is ballpark as well. On our hybrid 4 plate still if we did a stripping run we get about 1/4 the original volume the original volume at about 40%.
  19. The issue with the local fire marshal not caring if your non-compliant is that fire marshals and inspectors change. In our municipal area there are around 6 distilleries that opened 6+ years ago and up until 3 years ago no one had any serious issues with their inspector or city officials. A new person comes in with a bee in their bonnet about enforcing the code and things the previous inspector had no problem with are now giant issues which have led to 3 facilities having to essentially shut down and move out of town and everyone else having to invest serious time, money, and energy to stay operating.
  20. We use malic acid to acidify high pH fruit mashes and also whiskey mash when we don't have backset. In wine and cider, MLF is typically started at the end of primary fermentation when brix readings near zero. With the general instability of most whiskey and non-grape fruit mashes, I think you would have other problems if you were waiting for bacteria to convert the malic acid you added into lactic. It would make more sense to add the lactic acid yourself at the acidifying stage. I couldn't say for whiskey, but MLF is thought to have an impact on brandy distillate quality (something my experience with distilling wine and cider generally supports).
  21. We've carbon treated gns, works well and is simple. I disagree with Rogers statement that GNS doesn't have heads and tails components, there is a pretty big range of quality and flavor to different varieties and sources of neutral spirit. Having redistilled GNS in a vodka still many times, there are clearly heads hearts and tails to it by flavor and aroma. Similarly, you can something akin to a heads fraction from redistilling GNS in a non-vodka still but it's not a practical way to remove the problem components.
  22. You'll also want to taste out alternative suppliers in your development stage so you are able to make substitutions when your preferred supplier runs out and tells you there will be 3 months before its restocked...
  23. We've gotten totes with a non NPT thread, this is the banjo part number that fits them TA283QD. Then from that you can get a cam lock to TC fitting if need be. http://www.banjocorp.com/products/ibc-tank-accessories/accessories/buttress/ta283qd The NPT equivalent is part 200a https://www.amazon.com/Banjo-200A-Polypropylene-Fitting-Adapter/dp/B001GLUNFE
  24. I wouldn't worry about it infecting your whiskey storage barrels. It's very possible depending on the type of equipment you have to get a persistent brett contamination of fermenters and etc but it would depend on your process whether that's a problem for you. We have some plastic fermenters that I'm certain harbor brett from some wine we worked with, but the 7 days that whisky ferments reside in them doesn't seem to be long enough to get much activity from it.
  25. I also think there will be a big rash of closures, and pretty soon. The distilling industry has spent the last 200 years going through boom and bust cycles, I'm not sure why that would change.