Silk City Distillers

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  1. Split column that isn't returning reflux from the final column to the top of the preceding column will have lower distillation efficiency than an equivalent single column.
  2. Common SA/V Ratios - From John Jeffery's Thesis - Aging of Whiskey Spirits in Barrels of Non-traditional Volumes Traditionally, this is analyzed as a function of surface area to volume, not weight to volume. 2g - 280 cm2/l 3g - 246 cm2/l 5g - 198 cm2/l 10g - 163 cm2/l 53g - 90cm2/l
  3. Not to hijack - since it's roughly related - Michael - the Graver cartridges - the AM style - will these fit a standard filter housing like you might find on a RO setup, or are your poly housings different?
  4. Depends on liquid volume being processed and the expected particulate load. For 5, 1, or .5 micron at bottling time - you aren't talking about a high solids load, especially if you filtered well in processing (barrel char, etc). You might not necessarily need a deep stack of filters - something that a high volume of liquid with a high particulate load would (filtering yeast out of beer, for example). Really though, you should work closely with the manufacturer to provide you a recommended setup, it's a big upfront investment and you are going to want assurances it's sized and spec'ed appropriately. We aren't a big operation, and our batch sizes are small enough that I doubt they would barely even wet the filter pads in a big plate and frame, the losses would be astronomical.
  5. You talking wooden kettle pot still?
  6. I've been refused trademarks for sillier reasons. Latest one, a bottled water has a (not even remotely) similar trademark. Really, it shares one word out of three, and it's not even the most distinctive word. Hot Rod? Don't even bother unless you have a good lawyer.
  7. What's the basis for this? Even 30%, once even slightly warmed (45c/113f) will flash and even sustain fire. There might be plenty of other reasons for doing it, but IMHO - the 30% is safe meme is an internet myth.
  8. Assuming you don't have filtration equipment, coffee filters and cheesecloth in a strainer, just ladle in a little bit at a time and let it slowly drip through. Depending on the level of fines, you may need to repeat this a few times. That said, that's awfully dark, and large char easily settles. It seems like a significant amount of very fine particulate carbon.
  9. Regarding Pedio, many of the new wave sour beer producers (and some old wave lambics), are purposely using P. Damnosis in mixed fermentations with very good results. Heck, White Labs even sells homebrew sized vials of the kinds of bugs we would have shrieked in horror to find before (including P. Damnosis). Now, I agree, there are big differences between beer and distillate, but those sour and mixed fermentation folks sure seem to be turning what used to be plain ol' common sense on it's head.
  10. They don't have much usable capacity. We're talking like 3-6-9kw of power with a steam bath unit (~10,000-30,000 btu). You probably have a workable capacity of 10-30 gallons or so, maybe not even that. You hit a point where they are nearly as expensive as boilers, or in some cases they are just traditional steam boilers. For example, the 18kw Mr Steam is a relabeled Sussman electric boiler, that require all the fit and finish of a traditional boiler, and is just as expensive. For a very small steam injection setup, it might work, but you would need to find a workaround for the safety shutdown timers - otherwise you'll need to manually reset and restart the unit a few times every hour. Most small units aren't designed for any kind of continuous commercial use - doesn't mean they wouldn't work - but I wonder how long a cheap unit would realistically last. Be safe, a boiler is a boiler.
  11. What's the difference?
  12. Just to be clear, the probability weighted forecast isn't about yielding an accurate forecast number, it's about testing the business model against various scenarios to understand how it will react to those, both optimistic and pessimistic. From a methodology perspective, it's the exact opposite of trying to build a single accurate forecast. It's acknowledging that you aren't in a position to build a single highly confident forecast, so instead you build a set of different forecasts, and assign a probability to those, for example, I'm 30% confident in the pessimistic forecast, 60% confident in the baseline forecast, and 10% confident in the optimistic forecast. We then plug those in, and see how those impact the model. Then, you can start to test the model - ok - what happens if we push the pessimistic to 40% and baseline to 50%? Or, what if we increase the volume on the optimistic scenario. Or, you can start to look at it from another perspective, such as what are the minimum monthly sales volumes necessary to break-even? Or, at what point can I actually draw a salary, have enough cash to make a subsequent investment, what level of sales do I need to be able to afford a certain level of inventory build, etc.
  13. Why not just assume zero for the first two years, and understand how that impacts your business model? Then model some realistic and optimistic cases on top of that, and build out a probability-weighted average? Nobody has a crystal ball. It was useful for me to build out an Excel model that took into account startup costs, in addition to fixed and variable operating costs, which took in various sales scenarios and calculated P&L, etc, etc accordingly. The probability weighted average, along with a dynamic spreadsheet, allows you to start playing to various scenarios (including hugely pessimistic ones). This way, you can adjust your planning accordingly to account for various scenarios. So while we hope the optimistic forecast plays out, we can at least have some confidence that the pessimistic forecast won't result in short-term failure.
  14. We are putting bridge-mounted agitators on the tops of our 550g Custom Metalcraft fermenters for a similar exact reason. Still is half the size of the fermenter, so we run two batches per. The issue is that batch one is grain heavy, and getting the fermenter homogeneous is impossible with a paddle. I imagine it would help significantly during cooldown as well. Nothing too fancy, 3/4hp motors with inline gear reductions. Will machine a coupling and just use a long shaft down to the bottom with a simplistic impeller. It doesn't need much. It doesn't need to run for the length of the ferment, just start it before the pump over.
  15. Ordered from Custom Ink a few times and have been happy with it. Not the cheapest, but they have a nice selection of very high quality t-shirts. I did a run using the American Apparel T's (USA Made) - and I must have washed mine a hundred times already. The Next Level shirts were really nice as well. If you are looking for cheap giveaway swag shirts - definitely not your place. Been meaning to order hats from Brewery Branding, but really wish I could just order 50 and not a gross.