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Silk City Distillers

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  1. Carbon Filtering Redux...

    I think this was already implied by the other comments, but, you shouldn't need 2" piping on the feed or output. I would imagine 3/8 to 1/2 ID tubing would be more than sufficient. It's the difference between what looks like $200-300 in triclamp spool and fittings and $20 in tubing. Oh, and you need submicron filtration after the carbon.
  2. Schizosaccharomyces pombe

    Talk to Matsunosuke Higuchi at Higuchu Matsunosuke Shoten. http://www.higuchi-m.co.jp/ He was very helpful - his export pricing very good.
  3. spirit scales

    Scale tanks have all sorts of problems, it's not a panacea. They regularly drift, meaning the displayed weight is not accurate. If you have visions of putting 1000 lbs in a tank, and coming back in two weeks and seeing an accurate weight, sorry. Impossible to re-zero without dumping contents, unless the tank has an integral lift to unweight the load cells (I've seen this). Permanent hose and wiring connections on the tank become problematic as they throw off your tare and calibrations, they may need to be disconnected for weighing and zeroing. For a while I thought about fabricating and selling universal flat bottom tank scales. For example, for standard Letina, Marchiso, etc wine tanks. 4 legs, stainless frame, integral load cells, integral level, and a lip to keep tanks centered.
  4. spirit scales

    101 gallons and up need a permanent measuring device. All of the CFR references to scale tanks refer to tanks on scale beams or load cells. Not tanks sitting on scales. But really, a 200 gallon Letina tank sitting on a floor platform sounds pretty permanent to me. We gave a 400 liter tank sitting on a 1000lb base.
  5. spirit scales

    Speaking of Ebay. If anyone is anywhere near Puerto Rico - This is an unbelievable deal: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mettler-Toledo-2888-1000-lbs-DECKMATE-all-Stainless-Portable-Scale-/262926057121?hash=item3d379d3ea1:g:5lwAAOSwDmBY5ksZ Mettler Class III Indicator, stainless/sanitary deck base, 1000 pounds 0.2lb accuracy, explosion proof/battery powered. You'll probably be dead before you break it. This is a $5,000 scale.
  6. spirit scales

    Can you tell I like scales yet? Every distillery should have 3 scales. Yes, get out your pocket book, you should have 3 scales: Scale #1 - Sized for the maximum amount of spirit you deal with in Production. Scale #2 - Sized for the maximum amount of spirit you produce in Processing. Scale #3 - Sized to check weight a filled bottle for verifying filling accuracy in Bottling. If you deal with similar weights on a day to day basis in Production and Processing, than the same scale would suffice. But if you are working with totes of GNS in Processing (needing a max capacity of at least 2000lb), and producing 50 pounds of distillate at a time out of your still, you probably want two different scales. What is a good accuracy when dealing with a tote is not a good accuracy when trying to proof 50 pounds of distillate. If you deal with small volumes in production and processing (under 10 wine gallons), keep in mind 19.186 above, this will all but GUARANTEE you need three scales, since you will not find a high capacity scale with enough divisions to accurate read to the hundredth place. Generally, this kind of scale is going to be under 100 pounds maximum capacity. The third scale is for checking your bottle fill accuracy, and it is going to need to be accurate to the gram. We use a 2kg x 1g scale which works perfectly for us (750ml is our largest bottle, and the glass is a little bit over 900 grams), but you are going to need to know your bottle glass weight and volume to determine if 2kg is sufficient or not. You weigh a bottle, tare it, fill it, then check against the table. Allowable fill variation is pretty wide, so 1g accuracy is enough. You can find inexpensive high quality scales for this, and it is significantly easier than attempting to verify bottle fill volumetrically. You can find my bottle verification check weight chart here for 375 and 750ml:
  7. spirit scales

    Generally, legally I mean, Legal-for-Trade is typically determined by your State Division of Weights and Measures. Usually, just having an NTEP scale in place doesn't automatically mean you are Legal-for-Trade - this usually requires state level registration and regular inspection. How many distilleries are registering their scales with their State, and having state inspectors come out to provide a Weights and Measures seal on a regular basis? The CFR we are talking about are all Federal requirements, Legal-for-Trade is a State requirement. Not to mention, the rules for Legal-for-Trade will differ, sometimes SIGNIFICANTLY from state to state.
  8. spirit scales

    Call up one of the suggestions above, buy a NTEP scale - not because you need NTEP, but because you want the quality associated with it, and the confidence of knowing you can trust it. If you can spring for it, go 1000lb x 0.2lb - as it will give you a little bit more accuracy when working with smaller volumes. Just keep in mind 19.186 - which means you can't weigh 10 wine gallons or less on the 1000lb x 0.2lb (or 0.5lb) scale. §19.186 Package scales. Proprietors must ensure that scales used to weigh packages are tested at least every 6 months and whenever they are adjusted or repaired. However, if a scale is not used during a 6-month period, it is only necessary to test the scale prior to its next use. Scales used to weigh packages that hold 10 wine gallons or less must indicate weight in ounces or hundredths of a pound. And keep in mind the definition of package: Package. A cask or barrel or similar wooden container, or a drum or similar metal container.
  9. spirit scales

    Slippery slope. More information than anyone probably wants or cares about. I like weighing and can't fathom doing anything other by weight. Spirits by volume? You are wasting your time and are highly inaccurate. The scale probably doesn't need to be NTEP, but it should be. Non-NTEP scales generally can't be calibrated, and the TTB wants your measuring equipment calibrated. Given this is used for tax determination, it could be arguable that this is a value exchange and NTEP should apply. Dunbar probably has a good handle on this. NTEP scales are typically higher quality than non-NTEP scales. It doesn't mean a non-NTEP scale isn't good, it can be better than an NTEP scale, but generally, NTEP is there for a reason. Generally you don't make a junk NTEP scale, but lots of people make junk non-NTEP scales. Non-NTEP scales are typically sold based on readability - the display accuracy, the number of digits on the scale display. However, you need to realize that showing more numbers on the display doesn't mean the scale is accurate to the digit of the display. This is a massive misconception. Just because the display shows it, don't mean it's so. You could make a 1000 pound scale with a display that reads 999.99 - but it doesn't mean that the scale is accurate to 0.01 pounds. In fact, you have no idea at all if the scale is accurate to that level, because there are no rules to mandate that it is. The numbers after the decimal point could be complete nonsense. You think it's highly accurate because it shows more numbers, but that ain't the case. That's where NTEP comes in. Among other things, NTEP defines the number of "DIVISIONS" that the scale is capable of accurately resolving. Legal for Trade means that the the display accuracy is equal to the accuracy that is defined by the division in one of these classes. NTEP also means that the scale is independently verified to read accurately across a range of voltages, temperatures, and other operating conditions. NTEP CLASS I - 100,000 Divisions and UP (Precision Laboratory Use) NTEP CLASS II - 10,000 to 100,000 Divisions (Lab Use, Precious Metals, etc) NTEP CLASS III - 1,000 to 10,000 Divisions (Commercial legal for trade) Accuracy/Readability = Maximum weight / Divisions So, you can have an NTEP Class 3 scale, 1,000 pounds, with 1,000 divisions. The display should read 0000 (1000/1000 = 1). Nothing after the decimal point. You would assume it is accurate to the pound only. You can also have an NTEP Class 3 scale, 1,000 pounds, with 10,000 divisions. The display should read 0000.0, and the scale will increment in .1 pound steps. 0000.1, 0000.2, 0000.3. You would assume that it is accurate to a tenth of a pound. So what's the difference? The 10,000 division NTEP scale is going to be more expensive than the 1,000 division NTEP scale. What makes scales more expensive than others? Not the total weight capacity, no no no. It's the divisions. The more divisions a scale can accurately measure, the more complex the circuity, the higher tech the load cells, the tighter the manufacturing tolerances, the more substantial the frame needs to be, and the more expensive the scale. That all said, the scale used for a specific operation needs to be suitable for that operation. Lets say you are proofing 50 pounds of 120proof spirit to 80 proof for bottling, that's going to be 28.154 pounds of water for a total final blend volume of 78.154 pounds. If you have a 5000 pound NTEP pallet scale with a 1 pound accuracy, your display weight of 78 pounds is everything from 77.5 pounds to 78.4 pounds. So you add water until your display reads 78 pounds. In proof terms, it means you are anywhere from 79.7 proof to 80.4 proof, you'll have no idea unless you gauge again. If you read 80.4 - you'll need to slowly keep adding water and gauging, over and over, in little steps. A waste of time. If you read 79.7 proof. Sorry to hear it, hope you have more spirit on hand to raise the proof, which you'll need to do slowly, re-mixing and gauging every time. Now, if you had a 150 pound scale with an accuracy of 0.05lb (NTEP Class III - 3000 Divisions, actually LESS ACCURATE THAN THE 5000lb Scale). You would add water to 78.15 pounds. If proof terms, you are going to be better than 79.95 to 80.05. Do you gauge again? Of course you do. But you'll be dead on, no fiddling around with trying to add an unmeasurable amount of water or spirit (proofing by trial and error). I just hope someone bothers to get this far and at least got some bit of useless trivia knowledge out of this. That said, EVERYTHING BY WEIGHT, NO OTHER WEIGH ... err WAY.
  10. Mile High vs. Hillbilly

    Modular is a nice way to learn. You can start with pot still distillation - arguable the easiest. Then move on to trays, where now you add the complexity of operating the reflux. I wouldn't ever recommend perf plates for a beginner over bubble caps. Cap trays are much more forgiving and have a wider effective operating range.
  11. Mile High vs. Hillbilly

    Stilldragon - everyone else just copies them. You do realize this is illegal, right? And your screen name appears to be your real name...
  12. Bar top Corking maching

    Ok, I'm sold. Next purchase on my list. Given the ER deductible on our insurance is $1500, seems cheap enough.
  13. Converting Tote to Stripping Still

    VWR 1109 low temperature lab chiller, glycol at 50%, I need to use a gear pump at that temperature.
  14. Converting Tote to Stripping Still

    I'm working on a post about the vac setup that'll go up on SD first.
  15. Converting Tote to Stripping Still

    Vacuum is fun. i have a gin still that runs the product condenser at -20f. I can easily distill at room temperature with no heat input at all to the boiler.
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