Silk City Distillers

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  1. What he said. And it's not just a pure function of diameter, area, and vapor speed. The type of column will also have an impact. For example, dual-flow perforated plates are going to have a very different set of operating conditions than bubble caps, which will be different from a packed column. Not only that, but each of these subtypes of column are going to have numerous variations that impact operating parameters, for example, the % open area on a dual flow tray, or the type of packing in the packed column. Not to mention that theory will only get you into the ballpark, from there it's based on practical operating experience, as the real world is kind of stubborn in the fact that it doesn't always adhere to theory. I always thought this was a pretty approachable read: http://kolmetz.com/pdf/EDG/ENGINEERING DESIGN GUIDELINES - distillation column - Rev 04 web.pdf
  2. Racked my brain the other day about how I could have possibly overfilled by 17ml, or had such a significant proofing error (on a smaller bottling run). Checked bottle weights - spot on. Dumped bottles to check proof, spot on. Nothing wrong. Counted the cases over and over, checked the bottles. Checked the hydrometer. Nothing wrong. Turned out a full case ended up stacked on a pallet of empties, and the total count was 6 bottles short. Racked my brains for a day until my brother comes over and asks why a full case was sitting on top of a pallet of empties. Hallelujah, all of the sudden the math works, all is right in the world. Any chance you over counted by 1 case, or a case of empties made it over to the full pallet side? Just throwing it out there. Everything PeteB and Meerkat say still applies. Dump the graduated cylinder - get a small scale with reasonable accuracy to check bottle fill. I have a small 5kg scale with good sub-gram accuracy.
  3. Someone mentioned this (very inexpensive) unit to me: http://www.homebrewing.org/Horizontal-Thermocapsular_p_1882.html Anyone have any experience? Looks similar to the one @kleclerc77 posted.
  4. My point was more around the fact that 5.1pg a bushel with an 80% product yield seems implausibly high. I'm not ashamed to say I couldn't even remotely hit these numbers.
  5. Fully loaded, not just grain price - yeast, enzyme, energy, etc. At least enough loading to compare to buying neutral. Closer to $6-7 out here in Jersey, but that's milled and bagged.
  6. @Roger - 5.1pg per bushel and an 80% product yield (on a PG basis) on top of that? You make me want to cry. That's the equivalent of, what, 450 bottles of vodka from 1000 pounds of grain? Cost of the alcohol alone would be about 50 cents a bottle using corn, that's 2-4x cheaper than GNS.
  7. Any improvement is likely to be minor. We are talking 60-65w/sq.in. for a standard watt density element, and 50w/sq.in. for an ultra low watt density element. Is there any real difference at those levels? Comparatively, a steam jacket is probably running around 10w/sq.in. Perhaps if you ran ULWD elements at 120v and used 4 undervolt elements for each element being used today. You would cut watt density by 4x - but at the expense of having to weld a load of fittings.
  8. Other than this being, generally, a very bad idea. You can attempt to use enzymes like glucanases and hemicellulases to help break down glucans and cellulase - this will make your beer more liquid, less sticky, less viscous. Ensure you are reaching a final gravity of 1 or below, so that you have absolutely no residual sugar left. Use an agitator and heat up very, very slow. In-wash elements are a big problem, because the surface temperatures are very high - you can scorch very easily. And like you note, once you scorch, you ruin the distillate as it's nearly impossible to remove the burnt/smoke flavors.
  9. Something like a Sussman ES-12 you mean? http://sussmanboilers.com/es-packaged-electric-steam-boilers-specifications Keep in mind that the electrical equivalent of 15 horsepower is somewhere around 150kw.
  10. Datasheet for that pump says cast iron casing.
  11. If you know specifically what you need, it's hard to beat surplus on eBay for traps and various steam line fittings - valves, strainers, etc. We picked up a few nice Spirax Sarco traps at a price that was small fraction of our plumbers cost. Condensate pumps and tanks not so much, shipping would be costly.
  12. Wire mesh works great if you trade efficiency for ease of separation. If you keep your corn coarse and roller mill your malt, it's much easier to separate after distillation, especially when it's near boiling.
  13. My swipe was directed at everyone, a general statement on the fact that what we believe is a differentiated brand story is actually some kind of prerequisite industry conformity. Even the commercial spirits business sees this, and brands are embracing insulting their own brand stories. Dos Equis "Most Interesting Man in the World" for example, or John Jameson jumping into rough seas to rescue a barrel that had gone overboard. If it's all nonsense anyway, then just take the nonsense to the next level, and it becomes more interesting than reality. Take it as you will, but it was a response to @MDH.
  14. Craft distilleries not nearly as creative as Brooklyn. Youve got like 4 main stories. First Distillery (insert something here) since prohibition - except your not. My pappy was a moonshiner or related to Al Capone - so was everyone else's. Secret recipe found hidden in a safe or wall of a building - was probably thrown away for good reason. Local and sustainable - except distilling is only slightly less ecofriendly than a superfund site.
  15. I would imagine they would check like this: https://www.ttb.gov/ssd/pdf/tm516.pdf TTB fill is assumed to be at 60F, note the fill determination procedure in the link, the TTB will correct volume for temperature before determining fill accuracy. All decent glass manufacturers will design their bottles with the appropriate fill variation levels and headspace to account for typical temperature variations without massive fill level problems. Ask your glass manufacturer for the bottle drawings and they will typically fill levels and many times variation levels. You don't need to do anything special when selecting glass, unless you are using glass that was manufactured for some other liquid.