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MichaelAtTCW

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Everything posted by MichaelAtTCW

  1. WARNING: Oak Wood Barrel Co.

    I went to the address listed on their website. Here's what I found: There were no businesses here except for Ralph's Courthouse Classic Hot Dogs. Ralph would not sell me a barrel—although I offered him a very good price. He just has hot dogs. I would go back to Ralph for hot dogs, but I would think twice about buying barrels from a company that does business from Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa.
  2. WARNING: Oak Wood Barrel Co.

    The address listed on the dirtcheapbarrels.com website is 570-598 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. That's our hometown! I'll stop by there tomorrow on my lunch break and let folks know what I find.
  3. passivating stainless

    We use a TIG brush here at TCW for cleaning and passivating TIG welds. Ours is the Capital Weld Cleaner. It works great for us. It's very quick and effective, but unless you're doing a ton of cleaning/passivating it sounds like what Streven proposes would be more simple.
  4. Distillery Pump, FIP vs. AOD

    I would switch it around just a little bit and say that flexible impeller pumps are better equipped to deal with solids. In particular they are better at moving large solids in suspension. Most AODD pumps have a manufacturer's specification outlining exactly how large of a particle they can accept without clogging. The larger the pump, the larger the solids it can accept. Typically, air diaphragm pumps are capable of passing solids in suspension no larger than 1/8 the size of the opening. So, if it's a 1" opening, the largest particle it can take is 1/8". A 2" opening may be able to pass solids up to .25", etc. Flexible impeller pumps can usually pass solids in suspension about 1/3 the size of the inlet, so quite a bit larger. They are, however, subject to the limitations that Tom mentioned, i.e. no high heat above 180 °F and no dry-running. Bear in mind that the 34 CFM requirement is only if you want to run the pump full-out at 43 GPM. You can run it at a slower speed and use less CFM. The math gets trickier, though, and you need to refer the pump curve. For example, you can run the SimpleSpirits 43 with 20 CFM @ 30 psi and still get about 27 GPM. You can run it with 10 CFM @ 30 psi and get about 17 GPM. Generally speaking, the larger the pump, the more efficiently it will use whatever air it has available. In terms of simplicity the Jabsco wins hands down. The head can be rebuilt in less than 10 minutes including a coffee break and there are only four parts: the impeller, the o-rings, the stationary seal and the mechanical seal. The impeller is the only one you'll likely need to touch in the first five years. With TLC and a spare impeller on the shelf they'll last you decades. We've seen it! AODD pumps are not simple. They usually take a few hours to rebuild the wet and dry sides and are more sensitive to over or under-torquing. but they are the best value if you're moving high proof. The pulsations can be an issue, but we've found that adding a pulse smoother tames pulsations significantly.
  5. Proofing barrel and bottle filling

    We sell a lot of fillers to distilleries, so my experience comes from aggregate information. Others on here can (and I hope will) share their own individual experiences. Most commercial semi-automatic fillers are fed in one of two ways: By gravity as you describe, where the final product is in a tank that is above the level of the filler's reservoir. By a pump turned on and off by a level control. The Mori Filler we sell can be fed either way. I would say about 80% of the Mori Fillers we sell are built with a level control/pump. The remaining are fed by gravity. Usually people opt for the gravity version for one reason and one reason only: cost. Unless you designed your facility to use gravity to your advantage, it is much more convenient to leave your tank on the ground. The other benefit to using a pump to feed the filler is that you can run a final filter pass in-line just prior to bottling. You can't do that with gravity. As far as the safety issues you ask about, most of the Mori Fillers we sell to distilleries use a completely air-driven level control and pump system that does not require electricity.
  6. Triclamp accesories

    This is good advice. I've seen a lot of people get tripped up by referring to tri clamp sizes incorrectly (e.g. referring to the size of the ferrule as the tri clamp size – calling a 2" tri clamp fitting 2.5") Attached is a good reference. It's a printable sheet that (as long as your paper/printer are set up correctly) prints true-to-size, so you can hold up a tri clamp fitting to get the size you need to order. Just put a big "X" over the 1" Maxi. They're not commonly used in stainless steel, as the sheet indicates. gvc_doc_00004(1).pdf
  7. Pumps for High Proof Alcohol

    Rust, eh? What kind of pump was it? What material was it made from? We sell a line of groundable AODD pumps specifically for distilleries: SimpleSpirits Pumps. These are air diaphragm pumps, so they require the use of an air compressor to function. The very rough rule of thumb with air diaphragm pumps is that you want your compressor to be capable of generating your desired flow rate in GPM x .75. So, if you want to pump 50 GPM, you need an air compressor capable of generating about 38 CFM at your desired PSI. Alternatively you can get electric pumps with XP-rated components like this, but these get pricey very quickly.
  8. FIP Pumps

    We've sold Jabsco FIPs since the 70s. They're workhorses, and reliable as hell. I love seeing a 30 year old pump come in that just needs a new impeller and o-rings to work good as new. Closest to the one you're looking for is our SQN 50, though it's 5 HP as opposed to 3 HP. We've sold a few Jabscos with XP-rated motors and drives. The XP components get pricey fast, though, and can add a 2-3x factor to the price depending on how many "trimmings" you need. This one had a continuously purged cast iron drive enclosure. I think it was for High West Distillery.
  9. Bottling Equipment

    Someone recently described it as looking like the filler Darth Vader would use. Not sure if that's a downside?
  10. Plate and Frame Filter Sizing

    Well… we do sell cartridge housings and the filters. From pretty basic/cheap housings where you can set them up in series, to cart-mounted 2x30" housings that can filter in series or parallel, to a full 2 x 30" system with integrated air diaphragm pump, like the one pictured right. I don't know much about the Shelco housings you link to. I do know that the style they sell isn't as popular in the beverage industry. It looks like the kind where the filter seal is dependent on how tightly you close the housing. That's pretty common for cheaper filtration setups, but in the beverage industry housings that have twist and lock bases are more common, as they tend to be more reliable. That said, we do sell the same style as the ones you link to for the cost-conscious. It's the polypropylene housing Silk City Distillers references above, also known as an Ametek housing As far as filters, we sell Graver filters. Ther cartridge filters are great – priced well and made in the USA. As I said, we sell a lot of them to distilleries. The number of filters you use and their micron rating depends on what you're trying to remove – large particles (floaties), sub-optical particles (haze), invisible particles (yeast, spoilage bacteria), or some combination of all of the above. Give us a call if you want to talk it over: 707-963-9681
  11. Plate and Frame Filter Sizing

    Not to respond to a thread hijack, but yes they will. Without seeing the housing I can't say that with 100% certainty, but AM is a pretty common end cap configuration with plastic housings like you find in water filters, etc.
  12. Plate and Frame Filter Sizing

    Are you looking at a 40 x 40, a 20 x 20, or…? Also, SCD is right. A lot of product gets left behind in sheet filters. Depending on how much you're processing at a time, you might consider cartridge filters. We sell a lot of these to distillers, who like them because relatively little product gets left behind, and you can even blow the remainder through with inert gas to get every last drop, if you want.
  13. Mori filler with wide mouth bottles (mason jars)

    Wow, interesting! Those are some beefy washers as well. I definitely won't tell people that the Mori Filler is for mason jars, but it looks like it can be done, albeit not perfectly. My hat's off to you. That is some fine MacGyvering.
  14. Polyethylene hose

    A few ways to find out if a hose has plasticizers in it: Talk to the hose manufacturer, or read their spec sheet, if available. Talk to the company distributing the hose. So, in this case head down to the Home Depot and ask one of the orange aprons. Have it analyzed by a laboratory. Not a way to test for plasticizers, but for other adverse effects: soak it for a week or two in vodka. We don't sell a PE hose for distillery use. Regular old PE will likely stiffen and craze after prolonged exposure to Ethanol.
  15. Cleaning Mori filler?

    The whole kit with the manifolds, caps, hose, and connectors to run in-line to the Mori Filler's pump would run $395 for a Six-Spout Mori, $365 for a Four-Spout Mori. For the first few guinea pigs volunteers willing to use and provide feedback we'd do an early-adopter 20%-off discount. Just send me a message here on the forums, or at michael@tcwequipment.com
  16. Cleaning Mori filler?

    In spite of better judgment, perhaps, we went ahead and prototyped up a Clean In-Place system for the Mori Filler. It actually came out pretty well, if I do say so myself! Here's a normal, no-frills Six-Spout Mori Filler: Now we'll attach the first half of the clean in place system to the right-hand nozzles: As you can see, it's basically a stainless steel manifold that locks the nozzles open. While the nozzles are locked open, liquid flows freely. Now let's attach the other half: The two halves clamp together. Now all the nozzles are locked open, so liquid can flow freely through them. As you can see, both ends have standard tri clamp ferrule connections. One end will be closed off with an end cap or valve until you're ready to drain the cleaning solution. The other end will connect directly to the inlet of the Mori Filler's pump that feeds the reservoir. When you're done filling and ready to clean, you can just disconnect your supply tank, connect to the clean in-place system, and add some cleaning product to your reservoir. It will keep recycling the cleaning product through the system for as long as you want. Pretty neat!
  17. Bottle Labeler with label serialization

    Hey CaptnKB, Our Ferrinox labelers have a built-in printing option. The least expensive Ferrinox labeler is the EKO-10, which sounds like it would work fine for your application. We've had these out in the field since the 90s, both for individual users, and for contract/mobile bottlers. They're built like tanks. Let me know if you want a quote. It'd be helpful to see the label, and where you'd like to have the info printed.
  18. Cleaning Mori filler?

    What Tom describes is pretty spot-on. There's a saying in breweries: "Making beer is 90% cleaning and 10% paperwork." About the only shortcut is to hire somebody to clean equipment for you and make sure you train them well. Still, the ease of cleaning vs. other gravity fillers is one of the things our customers like about the Mori Filler. Unscrew the nozzles, disassemble them, rinse, and soak them in your desired cleaning solution. Meanwhile, rinse out the reservoir, and clean. Repeat as necessary. You should cycle cleaning solution through the pump too. We've thought about doing a "dummy bottle" CIP system where you put cleaning/rinsing solution into the reservoir, and then hook the dummy bottles up to the nozzles to open them up. A pump would recirculate the rinsing/cleaning solution through the reservoir, the nozzles, and the dummy bottles. You could walk away and leave it to run for a while. That'd get you most of the way there, but you'd probably still have to spend some time with brushes. My main concern is that such a system would likely be cost-prohibitive for most users, and therefore it's not likely we'd sell many.
  19. Mori filler with wide mouth bottles (mason jars)

    No problem. I'm curious to know if it will work, myself. I will try to talk the shop into mocking up a prototype. It'd be a neat add-on feature. I know a lot of distilleries like to use mason jars.
  20. Mori filler with wide mouth bottles (mason jars)

    I may have talked to you about this already via e-mail. If not, here's what I told someone else who had the same question: The main problem with trying to fill a mason jar with a gravity filler is that the filler needs to create a seal against the jar's mouth in order to work properly. The opening of a normal liquor bottles seals against the nozzle cone on the nozzle shaft. Mason jars, however, have a very wide mouth opening. You'd need to jury-rig your own nozzle cone to create a seal. I found that a size 13 rubber stopper like this might actually do the trick. It could seal against the mouth of a normal mason jar with a 2.75" opening. So you would just need to take off the standard red nozzle cone, drill a hole in the center of the #13 rubber stopper to let it fit around the shaft of the nozzle, and start filling. You might need to add something like a large stainless steel washer for extra support to prevent the stopper from bending upwards. See the attached very rough sketch. All this said, we've never tried it before, so I can't say for sure if it will work or not. The Mori Filler is definitely not designed out-of-the box for mason jars, though with some ingenuity you may be able to get it to work.
  21. Looking for an inexpensive bottle washer

    Glad it's worked well for you! What you're describing regarding disassembly is pretty easy to achieve, I think. Just loosen the rinser body's height adjustment knob (see the attached picture) and pull the body up and out. You'll have to disconnect the the hoses, of course, but they're all push-connect for easy-on/easy-off. Still, adding a tri clamp drain at the bottom of the keg is actually a really great idea, and something I'll talk to the shop about doing on future units. If you ever have some downtime with it, please send the keg part back to us and we'll add the port free of charge.
  22. Mori filler help

    Don't worry, you're definitely not the first
  23. Looking for an inexpensive bottle washer

    No worries
  24. Looking for an inexpensive bottle washer

    Equivalent? Eh, I don't think so. I designed the MiniMax myself with an eye toward Keeping the costs low, but not sacrificing on quality of parts Ensuring everything would have excellent compatibility with high-proof spirits Be easy to clean and disassemble Be ergonomic and adjustable for long bottling sessions Use intrinsically safe or explosion-proof parts on the pneumatic version I'm sure you can make a cheap bottle rinser that runs in a closed loop, but it won't be equivalent to ours.
  25. Transfer Pump (small) 4 GPM

    I talked to our Flojet rep about this a while back. The older data sheet did have that warning. It's been removed from more recent versions, such as the one here. As I understand it, the reason the warning was included in the first place is because a long time ago a customer tried to use a small Flojet electric impeller pump to transfer boat fuel. It didn't end well. From that point on they included the boilerplate warnings on all their pump sheets. There are still old data sheets floating around on the internet, of course. The new ones simply give warnings that it must be used in compliance with ATEX directives, as well as outlining how those directives apply to a number of flammable fluids.
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