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Silk City Distillers

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  1. Aeration

    @Tom Lenerz posed an interesting question - are you folks even measuring DO before you add oxygen? Or, after? How do you even know this is a problem needing to be solved?
  2. Aeration

    Second vote for just splash filling.
  3. Location close to residential area: How hard is it to get approved?

    I would imagine your local government would be more concerned about 50 feet than the TTB would, especially if the residential properties exist on separate legal parcels of land. The TTB would have absolutely nothing to say about sprinklers. We are on the edge of an industrial zone, backing a residential street (houses are across the street from the rear of the property) and directly adjacent to a residential home. There might be 5 or 6 residential properties that are in the 50 foot radius from the edge of the property.
  4. Pulsing Still

    Very cold condenser feed water amplifies the situation that @PeteB mentioned.
  5. Fermenting pineapple juice

    Wonder if some of these not-typically-fermented fruits can be processed in a different manner. First - steam distillation of the fruit pulp to extract the volatile flavor components - or solvent extraction with ethanol/vacuum distillation. Second - fermentation of the remaining fruit pulp and a second distillation to yield alcohol. Combine. In my own trials, it almost seems like the fermentation process "blows-off" a lot of the characteristic volatile of the fruit, especially the more delicate aromas. Pineapple aroma is significantly more complex than ethyl butyrate. In fact, there are many more butyric acid esters that create the pineapple aroma, Ethyl Butyrate alone is at best, "similar to pineapple". Problem is, I suspect most of these will stack up in the heads. Post-fermentation, you have a significant number of negative volatiles that make it impossible to remove the esters you want. So why not strip them off first?
  6. Fermentation stops @ 50%

    I mention because I got hit with that once too - there was some water main break and after it was repaired they really went crazy with the chlorine. I didn't notice it mashing, but filling up a coffee pot. Was so bad I couldn't even make the coffee, that was a bad day.
  7. Baudoinia compniacensis (black fungus)

    The key is to accept their concern as valid, and communicate this, but show how it would not apply given your scale. To wholesale dismiss a concern as not real, that's asking for a problem. Find the ethanol loss estimates of the big rickhouses where this is a problem, and compare that to what your annual production is. People are smart, they'll see the amount of ethanol loss to create a problem is orders of magnitude greater than is being discussed.
  8. Baudoinia compniacensis (black fungus)

    Average gas station would probably spill more E85 fuel than you would lose distillate in a year. If it's not a problem around gas stations, I fail to see why it would be a problem at your facility. The amount of ethanol lost to evaporation in the massive rickhouses is probably more than you will sell as product in a year.
  9. Odin on Gin

    Distilling citrus separately is very interesting if you've never done it before. I think it gives you much more flexibility to be creative, the flavor profiles you can get with cuts are really interesting. The many terpenes in citrus are very different, and these can be fractionally distilled. For fresh botanicals, vacuum distillation is vastly superior, especially if you are blending these in separately. Cucumber and Jalepeno distilled at low temps is amazing. Although to vacuum distill some vegetables, there is an additional important step required, critical, which I'll not say. You'll know what you need to do when you try it. Don't try Kale, it's an awful sulfur bomb.
  10. Odin on Gin

    @Odin - Careful you are giving away the good stuff, now it will be very easy for everyone to make good gin. It's hard to mess up with Tony's formula, the end result, like you say, is a nearly always perfectly good gin. This applies equally for vapor infusion, I can confirm that. There are variations on that, notably coriander at anywhere between x/2 to x/10 - depending on your like or dislike of it. Fresh citrus peel and vegetable introductions like cucumber, these don't fit neatly into the formula above. Though dried and bitter citrus peel will. Florals usually in the x/100 camp, lest you end up with a perfumy gin. Mixing maceration and vapor distillation - macerated juniper will carry a higher weight than simply it's gram weight (or you need less than the vapor distilled gram weight would imply).
  11. Fermentation stops @ 50%

    Slight tweak - bring your wash to a boil after conversion, and ferment in your mash-tun. It should be relatively sterile from the boil (or near boil). This will eliminate any unnecessary contact with potential infection sources. But, I still think that there is some external issue at play here.
  12. Fermentation stops @ 50%

    What's your water situation like? Normally, it wouldn't come up, but in this case, you've appeared to exhaust every option. I suspect that infection is secondary here, it's not the primary issue. It's opportunistic infection because the yeast are not fermenting quick enough. You changed the yeast, the fermentation stock, the nutrients. So what else, but the water? The fact that you are going 3 days to get to 50% attenuation is the key here. Infections aren't going to impact that unless we're talking about low nutrient sugar washes. An all grain wash isn't going to stall at the halfway point due to infection. An easy way to rule out microbiological impact from your water is to boil your wash after conversion. Yeah, I know it's a headache. But what do you have to lose? At the same time, you might want to send your water out for testing. Something like fungicide, high iron, high temporary chlorine might cause major issues for yeast, causing them to stall and be out-competed by opportunistic microbes. I mean, I purposely infect batches with high loads of lactobacillus with zero issues achieving final gravities below 1.000 and no impact to fermentation time. Yeast still have nearly zero issues competing. Talking about dumping in 5 gallon starters of bacteria here, not just allowing some bacteria to settle in from the air. I don't buy it, the infection is a symptom, not the cause.
  13. Gin Fragrance

    Angelica and Bergamot (in higher quantities) are used as well. Bergamot is especially interesting, because citrus aromas tend to be fleeting, but bergamot can act as a fixative (other citrus do not). It's likely the reason that Bergamot is used in lieu of other citrus in many aromatic products. Think Earl Grey Tea.
  14. Gin Fragrance

    Fixatives
  15. Agave

    Ironically, White Labs recommends 71B, which according to the Scott Labs piece, has one of the worst fructose utilizations... https://www.whitelabs.com/sites/default/files/Tequila_Trifol_chart.pdf
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