Silk City Distillers

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  1. Omega CNI16D53-EI Proportional control PID (With Ethernet for remote control/logging), RTD in the dephlegmator itself (through the wall). Using a Johnson 4-20ma proportional actuator with a 3 way ball valve to provide dephlegmator flow control. We use a reservoir, and the dephlegmator is on it's own loop, so the water either passes through the deplegmator or bypasses back to the tank (easier than dealing with pump control or pressure bypass). We are using a Grundfos Alpha circulator valve - it uses a ridiculously small amount of power, about 5 or 6 watts. The dephleg loop only runs about 4-5 gallons a minute. Nice thing is the PID compensates for the reservoir temperature as it heats up through the run. We can adjust the dephleg to any temp we need on demand, and I think that the run-to-run repeatability is solid. Makes it very easy to do things like run heads compression, slowly back off to take off fores/heads, adjust the hearts proof, and then compress tails if necessary. The only upgrade pending is to swap to a much faster acting proportional valve. Went with PID as it was easier to control on the fly than something like a PLC - especially considering the cost of an HMI. To go through all that trouble and the PLC would really just be "simulating" a PID? We use the same exact setup for product condenser temp control.
  2. No but we used NSF sinks to be sure that they wouldn't have an issue.
  3. 2 pound of grain per gallon total volume is a reasonable estimate.
  4. In the distillery proper. Local municipal code has a number of health department mandated sanitary codes that apply to any food handling establishment, including manufacturing. There were a number of other requirements I didn't list. Separate handwash sink (in the manufacturing area) and a mop sink as well. The 3 basin would have been a real problem, as it's required to be air gapped into a floor sink - but we were already tearing up the concrete to lay down trench drains anyhow. Really thought, would be hard to imagine how to operate without them. FDA would certainly have something to say if they walked into a facility without these things. I thought the grease trap was excessive, not the sink, god knows I spend half the day cleaning.
  5. We see a significant cost differential between local unmalted rye and buying malted rye from a supplier, unmalted is near 3x less expensive per bushel. If you are adding it to the cereal mash - I don't think it makes sense to use malted, given the higher price. Also, I don't see how you gain any productivity benefit if you are using any other malt (wheat, barley) on the way down. Also worth noting, if you aren't using enzymes, adding rye to corn on the way up makes it even more difficult to work with.
  6. A 500 gallon still for a gin distillery running gns? Maybe 2? I'm not sure that's small batch, that's cornering the entire North American gin market.
  7. 3 Basin Sink with Grease Trap. We got them to concede on the grease trap, but we still installed the 3 basin sink.
  8. Not sure how you would do this mechanically, as something like a Danfoss AVTA would open the supply, but then you would flood your glycol system with water. We have a surface mount RTD temp sensor on our parrot to measure distillate temp, connected to a Watlow limit controller. The limit controller just screams and blinks today, but originally we were going to wire it into our steam control to cut steam to the boiler. You could use it to switch two solenoids to switch the PC to muni water feed, and then drain down to your flood drains, etc. We figured it was easiest to just shut down the still on a distillate high-temp (vapor) situation.
  9. Local authorities are going to have more to say than us, but.. When talking to my electrical contractor about classified environments and being "explosion proof" - he made a point to me that made so much sense, I was embarassed to not have thought of it. Easiest way to manage electrical classification in an area? Remove all the electric, deal with only essentials, not optionals. A window or skylight is cheaper than approved lighting. Pneumatics will be cheaper than electrics. The floor drain might represent a problem, since if you have major spillage, it may feed into the sanitary sewer. It might be a liability and not a benefit.
  10. The little RODI has a separate set of carbon block filters, but we've got a 2 cubic foot carbon tank with a hot swap spare.
  11. Your prices are really good, btw.
  12. Yeah our local water commission stores finished water in open air reservoirs, so its ozonated and chlorinated/chloraminated a second time on exit. As a result, the level will swing throughout the year, and swing based on if they are drawing from a reservoir and which one. Problem is, you really never know.
  13. We run UV plus the Carbon to try to eliminate chloramines as much as possible without having to use meta. We run a tight sediment filter - 5 micron - before the UV just to ensure maximum effectiveness. As soon as we see any change on the test strip, we change carbon tanks. We are on muni - but we do pick up some sediment and particulate. We are in a pretty urbanized area outside of NYC - so VOC and other contaminant is always on our mind. Chalk it up to being obsessive more than anything else.
  14. What I really want to see is a cost effective nanofiltration system for mashing water. Something that removes all of the nasties but keeps the salt and ion concentrations relatively similar to source water. And something that can do it without me using 1500 gallons of water to make 500. Today, mash water is just sediment, big uv and big carbon.
  15. I'm not sure I understand the difference between a low-end and a high-end system, as either system is only going to be as good as the cartridges and membranes you run. A high-end system that hasn't seen a filter change in 14 months is going to be significantly worse than a cheap eBay system. Likewise, re-filter that high end unit with cheap filters and membranes, and it's exactly the same thing. Maybe the finish on the cartridge housings is a little bit nicer, but really, the unit is nothing but a housing for filter cartridges. I use a small 5 stage - basically a hot rodded residential system with a few more stages. A prefilter, two carbons, RO, and then a mixed bed DI stage. I use a Dow Filmtec 75gpd membrane. My water has never tested over 0 TDS, despite my source water being as high as 300 or so during the winter (when they are dumping salt everywhere). As I understand it, many of these very high GPD commercial units actually see lower rejection rates, and lower product water quality than what you might get from a high quality residential setup. Realistically, adding a tank like @Mulderbri uses gives you plenty of RO water, on tap. So even with lower GPD numbers, you can still pull off the gallons you need when you need them. If you need 300 gallons of product dilution water every day, you probably aren't worrying about the cost of a RO setup anyway, so it's moot.