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Skaalvenn

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Everything posted by Skaalvenn

  1. xpress fill reviews xf460hp

    We purchased the regular XF460 approximately 16 months ago and we like it. The only thing we don't like is that all 4 bottles have to be filled at the exact same time which leads to a few moments of rapid paced movement of removing and replacing bottles and then waiting about 25 seconds for the fill to be completed. This can be a benefit though as it may give you time to cork and band the bottles while you wait. We have needed minor service that was able to be resolved by a brief phone call. It's not a complaint, it's a compliment as they picked up the phone and the person answering knew the machines inside and out. Fills are very accurate. We are thinking of buying a second unit so that we can fill bottles quicker.
  2. Still agitator

    I like the idea of the Teflon "rope" packing that my brawn mixer has. If it starts leaking (after 2.5 years it has not) I can tighten the bolts slightly to squeeze the Teflon more. If and when the Teflon wears out and needs replacing I can't see it costing more than $10-20. My mixer from MXD had a seal that went out and allowed a small amount of vapor into the gearbox which then caused the bearings in the gearbox to fail. MXD refused to warranty their equipment even though before the warranty ended I notified them and said it was making noise. The local brawn rep/engineer spent a lot more time taking measurements and ensuring that I had the exact mixer I needed. They also provided me with the critical speeds to avoid (where the natural vibration/harmonics will tear any shaft driven prop to shreds). MXD basically said "what size tank? What kind of fitting? Ok here's a mixer". I had no previous knowledge of critical speeds and there is the possibility that I was unknowingly running inside those ranges which would have caused premature failure, but I'll never know because I was never given any real specs. Food for thought. There's plenty of people who just want to quickly sell you something and move on to their next customer. The broken agitator shut down any grain-on distilling for over a month, I'll never take the cheaper route on something like that ever again.
  3. Industry news/research websites/magazines?

    Similar topic. What is everyone using for finding used distillery, brewery, and winery equipment?
  4. Still agitator

    I have a Brawn mixer on my still and it's been a great piece of equipment. Avoid MXD/MixersDirect.
  5. Small Scale Grain Liquid Separation

    Ahh I forgot about corn doing that. Thanks. Edited my post.
  6. Small Scale Grain Liquid Separation

    EDIT: DISREGARD MY POST. DOES NOT WORK FOR CORN You'll want more of a brewery style mash tun with a false bottom. Your best bet is to separate the grain before fermentation. http://www.bubbasbarrels.com/kettles/55-gallon-mash-tun EDIT: DISREGARD MY POST. DOES NOT WORK FOR CORN
  7. Grain-in pump

    Interested in CIP as well. Have a 1.5" centrifugal that I've had zero problems pumping wheat mashes with, but it's a pain to use for CIP as any vortexing in a source tank causes the pump to air lock.
  8. T top corks

    Paulson is great. Good people to work with, and I maybe have 1 defective cork in 50,000 units. We reject bottles fairly regularly, we reject the occasional labels, we reject the occasional shrink sleeves, but the corks? Basically never.
  9. Label Design

    I would highly recommend going to a creative agency for your label design. It's typically not cheap however, your label is the #1 thing that will get a random customer to buy your bottle over someone else's. If everything else in your business plan is done well, the money spent will pay for itself many many times over. We used Shinebox Creative in Minneapolis http://shinebox.com/ (our branding will be the first thing you see. Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with then in any way, we're just a customer they get to have a lot of fun with). Take a look at a couple big brand bottles and take note of the similarities. Beyond that, read the regulation on label. It's very basic, but there's some do's and don'ts that you want to be sure you get right.
  10. How to get a response from TTB?

    I found that you have to call them as soon as they open. I've had them call me back same day, and also a couple weeks later.
  11. need help with posting

    Moderator does it to prevent spam. What are you selling?
  12. Just building away in Iowa

    That looks real nice! What kind of GPM throughput on one that big?
  13. Federal Excise Tax and my thoughts

    100% of our tax savings is allocated towards equipment and employees.
  14. Finished Product Storage and Exemption

    I don't do open fermentation because fruit flies are a complete pain, but many, many distilleries do it and it is almost "the standard", and just like in every other part of the food industry there will be the occasional insect that makes it's way in there. However, that insect and the dust will not make it through distillation, and your final product coming off the parrot is basically sterilized (which is better than sanitized) by heat and alcohol. Once distilled I would keep your spirits in closed top containers because at that point you're dealing with concentrated alcohol and it's now your final product and susceptible to contamination. It sounds like you just need to sit down with your locals and simply educate them on the industry and alleviate their fears. I mean heck, a sour mash whiskey is exactly that. Mash that has "spoiled" and has become infected with bacteria. Sour mash whiskey is not any more harmful than regular whiskey due to the process of distillation. As for the barrel exception. I didn't dig through them, but you should find something here: https://www.google.com/search?q=distillery+barrel+exemption+fire+site:adiforums.com&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi8rZ7t-MXXAhXn34MKHXqgDEIQrQIINygEMAA&biw=1600&bih=791
  15. Finished Product Storage and Exemption

    1 - I have never heard of this. Sounds like some old prohibition era thinking. 2 - I believe barrels and bottles are exempt. You should be able to search the forum and find a thread or two on that. 3 - In MN my non-UL listed electrical panel needed to be inspected and "certified" by an engineer. 4 - M occupancy? I could see the part of the distillery that performs merchant operations being classified as M, but the part of the distillery that manufactures wouldn't be a merchant operation. Is this your municipality or your architect deciding this?
  16. ITEM IS SOLD Used, in great condition. Small crack in lid, but completely usable unless you plan on leaving it outside in the rain. New they are $529 + shipping https://www.bulkcontainerexpress.com/p/574532CF.html Selling for $350 + shipping from zip 55428. (or make a reasonable offer)
  17. Wanted: used bottle filler and labeller

    I'll probably have a Primera 362 labeler for sale within a couple weeks.
  18. Best place to get an agitator???

    I'm sorry but I can't help out much more. I had the owner/engineer of a Brawn supplier come take a look at my tank, the application and he did all the science for me. I have no clue what the numbers are other than what is stamped on the machine and what the bottom line of the invoice said.
  19. Best place to get an agitator???

    If you are looking to agitate inside your still you will have to spend some money. I made the mistake of going on the cheap and getting a mixer from Mixers Direct for my still. I think it cost about $3,500 for the still mixer. The mixer broke down within a year as it's construction was poor and the seals went out. In retrospect it was basically a motor, a gear drive and a simple flange/seal--a very poor and dangerous design as there's no air gap between the still and the mixer itself. I then bought a mixer from Braun, I think it cost about $6,000 and has been rock solid and has been used almost 7 days a week for the past year and a half. Every single part of the mixer is a large improvement from what MXD sold me. If you're just looking to agitate a 55g drum for mash, find a used lightnin (that's how the company spells it) mixer on ebay.
  20. Leaking still agitator shaft seal

    These mixers don't use packed teflon packing for the seal?
  21. Alcohol monitor - CO2 monitor

    I probably use 3 gallons of total solution for 3x 350 gallon tanks. It's been a couple years Since I bought it, but I just took a complete guess for the CFM of the pump. It doesn't take a whole lot of power to pump away some fermentation gasses.
  22. Alcohol monitor - CO2 monitor

    Its a custom job. Tank is sealed and has an inlet for each fermenter which extend under the sanitizer, and one outlet for the pump at the top of the tank which puts the tank and fermenters under a slight vacuum. I change the sanitizer out every month or so. It blows out the roof vent which is about 14' above. Fermenter>sanitizer>pump>outside
  23. Alcohol monitor - CO2 monitor

    We use a bucket filled with sanitizer and a little antifoam, and then pump all the co2 to the outside. We run it through the air lock bucket first to clean and dehumidify the air so it doesn't cause gross buildup in the ventilation system. It's nice to not have the place reeking of fermentation 24/7.
  24. Marchisio tanks

    I've got a flat bottom 90 gallon tank with a similar drain design and I absolutely regret purchasing it. I've been meaning to have a bottom drain installed but I keep forgetting, only to remember every time I want to drain it, rinse it or wash it. It sounds easy, but it takes extra time and you have to be careful not to damage the tank or the fittings every time you tilt it. There's nothing quite like purchasing a piece of equipment that requires you to put in more effort and time to do the same amount of work.
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