Silk City Distillers

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Everything posted by Silk City Distillers

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. @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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Datasheet for that pump says cast iron casing.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Something like this useful for anyone? 750ml_Bottle_Check_Weight.pdf 375ml_Bottle_Check_Weight.pdf
  16. Ah ha, now I see it, so obvious when you finally see it. You know stuff like this drives me batty, so I've been trying to get your number all morning. Turns out, 712.321g = 713.15g (they are the same numbers)... once you realize I'm doing the math the way the TTB expects (in air), and you are doing it OIML/internationally (in vacuum). 712.321g (in air) = 713.15g (in vacuum) Where is @meerkat when you need him.
  17. Pete, Show your math... ------------------------ TTB Gauging Manual - Table 5 showing the weight per wine gallon at 60f https://www.ttb.gov/foia/Gauging_Manual_Tables/Table_5.pdf Grams Per Liter = Wine Gallons Per Pound * Grams per Pound / Liters per Gallon Grams Per Liter = Wine Gallons Per Pound * 453.59237 / 3.785412 80 Proof Grams per Liter = 7.92614 * 453.59237 / 3.785412 80 Proof Grams per Liter = 949.761 80 Proof Grams per 750ml = 712.321 Realistically, you probably don't have an accurate balance to the nth significant digit, so 712 grams.
  18. Same section in the CFR: In no case will the quantity contained in a bottle vary from the quantity stated on the label or bottle by more than plus or minus: (1) 1.5 percent for bottles 1.0 liter and above; (2) 2.0 percent for bottles 999 mL through 376 mL; (3) 3.0 percent for bottles 375 mL through 101 mL; or (4) 4.5 percent for bottles 100 mL and below. So for 750ml, it is +-15ml, and for 375ml, it is +-11.25ml. But, keep in mind: There must be approximately the same number of overfills and underfills for each lot bottled.
  19. RKI PS-2 and Honeywell E3Point are nice packaged solutions. You can sometimes find new E3Point units on eBay for incredibly affordable prices.
  20. Careful, you have flexibility in fill variance on a bottle by bottle basis, BUT - this does NOT apply to a batch basis: § 19.356 Alcohol content and fill. (a)General. At representative intervals during bottling operations, a proprietor must examine and test bottled spirits to determine whether the alcohol content and quantity (fill) of those spirits agree with what is stated on the label or the bottle. and: (b)Variations in fill. Quantity (fill) must be kept as close to 100 percent fill as the equipment and bottles in use will permit. There must be approximately the same number of overfills and underfills for each lot bottled.
  21. Incredible. You would have thought the level of QC in a commercial producer would be very rigorous.
  22. If this is something you are being mandated or requested to provide by your local authorities, how you approach this may be very different than if you are adding this out of your own volition for safety (which should be applauded). If it's because of AHJ - the device specifications and installation requirements will need to be spec'ed by your engineers/architects. If you are doing this for yourself, that opens up a number of very cost effective options.
  23. Weigh your filled bottles, this is true for volumetric and level filling. We keep a set of bottles off to the side that have their gram weights written them, because bottle weight can vary significantly. Fill, weigh, adjust, repeat. For example, 750ml of 80 proof weighs 712 grams. Once you move to weight, the temperature no longer matters. If you want to push to be very accurate, you can even do a check weight midway through your run, or if you feel that the fill level isn't quite right through the run (you will notice). But, absolutely, every time you start.
  24. Spent grain is tasty food for everything, insects, animals, bacteria, mold, fungus, etc. Consider that spent grain handling would probably benefit from the same sanitation and handling techniques as pre-distillation materials. Putting spent grain into a dirty container (one that held moldy grain) is going to cause spoilage to happen much faster, the warmer the faster. All that said, our farmer drives his bucket loader up to his pickup and dumps all the drums into the bucket. How we wants to handle it is his prerogative, but we really don't want to be responsible for making an animal sick, so we'll take the extra care.
  25. Winter is much more forgiving, especially if you can keep your spent grains cold, frozen even. Summer is brutal, shelf life is awful. Realistically? 3 days, beyond that you push it. We schedule grain pickups based on our distillation schedule. We store spent grains in 25-30g snap top drums. We do this because it makes it easy to trade drums and grain with our farmer, and most people can handle a 30g grain drum without much struggle. One 530g batch is 9-10 drums depending on the grain and grind. Once the warm weather comes around, we actually sanitize our drums and tops, and once we fill them, we don't open them back up. I think this extends shelf-life a bit. Also, we dewater near boiling - so the grain coming off is probably 180f and above. Going into sanitized drums within a few minutes. With more production volume, we're going to switch to Rubbermaid commercial garbage cans, because they are larger, easier to handle (with handles), and you can nest them together.