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Everything posted by PeteB

  1. I am now burning my heads under my still. I have a dual nozzle waste oil burner running on waste fryer oil. There is a 2 way valve on one of the nozzles. When there are heads to burn I switch one of the nozzles to the heads tank. Heads are from an alembic pot still and are in mid 70%abv. The flame can be a little erratic if burning heads only but with the other nozzle on waste oil it runs very well.
  2. At a quick glance definitely not enough fermenters unless you are planning to be part time.
  3. Aeration

    I splash fill my fermenters, occasionally use a drill for aerating and breaking up lumps of dry yeast. The drill with propeller just under the surface looks as if it does a great job. At my Son's brewpub he has an inline oxygen inducer just after the heat exchanger, bottled oxygen enters a venturi. Brewery fermenters often have oxygenating stones fitted, dual purpose fermenter/brite tanks use the same stone for oxygenating then carbonating.
  4. Has anyone on this forum had experience fermenting and distilling pineapple juice? I have been offered 600 litres of frozen juice Any ideas for the best use for it? Cheers Pete
  5. Pumps

    If you want something easy and cheap try a submersible "dirty water pump" https://www.edisons.com.au/1500w-submersible-dirty-water-pump-prd-m5/?___store=default&gclid=CjwKCAjw3f3NBRBPEiwAiiHxGBAChsEZVbvRciGKc9L01ymM4IHOoWTL6clBuBn9UdZvDUpR8OHZExoC8AoQAvD_BwE I use one to pump very thick mash. Wash and dry ASAP or the bearings won't last long, but they are very cheap and work brilliantly. They will empty a 55 gal drum in less than 10 seconds.
  6. Fermentation stops @ 50%

    I remember someone posting about a similar sudden 50% yield loss quite a few years ago. I finally tracked it down. His conclusion was "I finely contacted the local Farm Administration to check out the quality of the last batch of corn I got in. Per bushel weight was moderately low which in turn made available starches LOW. We brought in a different strain of corn and thing got back to normal." Denver Distiller, you were a contributor You should be able to find the thread here
  7. Fermenting pineapple juice

    Sorry to followers of this thread. I forgot to report back on outcome. I fermented the pineapple juice with added cider yeast so ended up with a pineapple wine. Double pot distilled it which removed most of the pineapple flavor. Back flavored and reduced ABV to 18% with more pineapple juice then added a little sugar. Final product 100 bottles (500 mL each) of a delicious pineapple liqueur. Just a fun experiment never to be repeated, unless someone gives me more bulk juice.
  8. Pulsing Still

    Is the spirit outlet open to the air or submerged as in a parrot? If open then it is possible for cold air to get sucked into the condenser if the still slows for a moment. If the condenser is short the cold air gets into the still and cools the vapor in there causing a slight negative pressure which sucks more cold air in. Then as that air heats up it rushes out again, when the air has finished expanding the output stops for a moment and more cold air gets drawn in. Huffing. If that is what is happening then a submerged outlet will stop it.
  9. Direct Fire Heat Up Problem

    The insulation was there for several years before it "vanished in a puff of smoke" I wasn't next to it when it went up. Could smell hot plastic and went to investigate. In hindsight I am surprised it survived for so long. I possibly had the burner turned up a litter higher and the flame licked up the side of the still and caught the plastic foil on fire.
  10. Direct Fire Heat Up Problem

    I assume the bottom is not insulated and the flame touches the single layer of copper. For safety reasons I am concerned about the wooden cladding with direct flame heating. I had my direct fired still wrapped with a foil like insulation. I was planning to eventually wrap with fibreglass insulation then clad with wood. Years went by then suddenly the "foil" went up in flames. It was just shiny plastic. No harm done because there was nothing flammable near by but it could have burnt the distillery down. I have definitely decided against wood cladding.
  11. Direct Fire Heat Up Problem

    In Australia propane and natural gas need different sized nozzles, maybe you have oversized ones.
  12. Ethanol Water Contraction and Dilution

    The answer for this blend does clearly show shrinkage, but it is not the most common type of diluting done in a distillery. More often the question would be: How much water do I need to add to bring the proof down to 80? Meerkat could you show these calculations please. As Tom said above use mass not volume for your measurements then you don't have to do temperature calculations. I have done TTB calculations in the past and sometimes it is easier to understand and calculate if it it done in volume at 60f, but at the end convert back to mass for actual measurement.
  13. Ethanol Water Contraction and Dilution

    TTB tables do account for shrinkage, but there is not a table that shows if you add a certain amount of water to a certain proof, there is your answer. That is where the maths comes in. I have only used TTB tables for mental stimulation, and it has been some time. (I am Aussie so I don't use them) I suggest you post a theoretical blend that you are trying to achieve and someone will post the math of how it is done. If no-one posts then I will re-learn and post the method for you Pete
  14. Ethanol Water Contraction and Dilution

    Download TTB tables, they are free, then a bit of high-school math and you will have the correct answer. The actual formula is a monster and I don't have it, except in the background of Alcodens program
  15. Anti-Foam Alternatives

    For anti-foam in my still I use pure soap. I know it is pure because a neighbour makes it for me from only olive oil and sodium hydroxide (lye) "Pure soap" in our local supermarkets has quite a list of additives. despite doing rye ferments I don't have fermenter foam problems except occasionally with 100% malted barley. I have tried soap on a couple of barley ferments and it appears to work, but I have not tested enough to be certain. But I am sure pure soap would be an acceptable organic.
  16. IBC totes as fermenters

    I currently have 7 running as fermenters. I have enlarged the hole in the top to make them easier to clean. Draining the last solids/liquids is the main inconvenience.
  17. Bourbon/American Whiskey

    CERTIFIED; Would you be able to purchase grain from a local Washington farmer and get him to (certify) sign the receipt to say he grew it? or do you need to pay some middle person to "certify" that it was grown in Washington?
  18. Cleaning Copper Still

    I suggest copper wool scrubbers for copper parts would be much better than steel wool if you really need to go that hard. Steel wool will probably leave traces of steel that will turn to rust Stainless scrubbers if the column parts are stainless
  19. Barrel Aged Gin

    Every time I see you US distillers trying to satisfy your label requirements I am glad I am an Aussie. I have a desktop printer and rolls of my generic labels. Whenever I make a new product I run off a few labels with the name of the product and a description. As long as the information on the label is truthful, has bottle size, ABV and number of "standard drinks" then all is good. (The main down-side to being an Aussie distiller is the rip-off excise tax we pay.)
  20. Inert Gas Bottle Flush

    Just recently I finished the last nip of whisky from an almost empty bottle that had sat with cap on for about 4 years, Delicious, very soft on the palate, possibly even better than when it was first opened. Wines are quite different, most don't like oxygen, partly because of the much lower alcohol.
  21. "Greenest" distillery?

    Dominic Roscrow who writes for Whisky Magazine and Malt Advocate, visited my distillery earlier this week. He passed a comment that I have the only biodiesel powered still in the world. Does anyone know of another one? That got me thinking, do I have the "greenest" distillery in existence? Any comments would be appreciated. 95 % of my energy comes from BIOFUEL made from WASTE fryer oil that I collect from a roadhouse next to my farm (renewable energy) and (minimal freight "food miles") The other 5% energy is Hydro electricity (renewable) I grow and harvest the grain within half a Km of my distillery (minimal freight) I grow ryecorn, which unlike most other grains, requires very little fertiliser or irrigation.(avoiding contamination of waterways) No insecticides or fungicides are used on the rye. (no chemical contamination) I use minimum tillage and trash retention. (sustainable farming)(locking up carbon in soil) Tractor and truck fuel is biodiesel from fryer. Spent mash is fed to my livestock (minimal freight) (nutrient recycling) I malt my own grain and use it "green". This saves a lot of energy because of no kilning.(reduced carbon emissions) All cooling water is recycled or used for irrigation.(don't waste precious water) All distillery water is captured on my farm. No government infrastructure.(no chemical additives, minimal pumping energy) Waste heat capture and reuse is gradually being improved. Except for my still and my tractor, most of my equipment is second hand. I believe it is generally accepted that most older second hand equipment has had its manufacturing carbon footprint already written off. (small carbon footprint) My distillery is in an abandoned horse stable that needed very little modification.(small carbon footprint for construction)
  22. "Greenest" distillery?

    smouldering but you would be better off running wood burner at high temperature burn and making wood gas in separate device
  23. "Greenest" distillery?

    The gases coming off burning wood do contain some flammable gases but if the wood is being burnt reasonably efficiently it would not contain a high enough percentage of flammable gases to run a gasoline engine. I am assuming it would be possible to concentrate those gases but the cost of doing so would not be cost effective.
  24. Different Use For Reverse Osmosis Filter

    Permeate usually around 5.7%abv I double (alembic) distill to about 68% (136 pr) then cut to 60% and barrel age, or to 40% as a clear spirit. Late heart/tails cut brings across a lot more grape notes
  25. "Greenest" distillery?

    Ask any baby boomers who remember their school chemistry lessons. I clearly remember trying to untangle the different chemical reactions of wood gas, water gas and producer gas, coal gas etc. They all seem to be lumped together now as syngas.