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Everything posted by PeteB

  1. I think I have finally found the ultimate method of removing solids from my rye mash. Ran a test batch through a belt press at a local winery. Took about 1 hour for 1,000 litres. Usually takes up to 2 days with conventional lauter screen. Solids very dry so my alcohol yield should increase.
  2. As bluefish says, use weight. For your calculation the only volume you should put into alcodens is 750 mL and the only temperature is 60 f (assuming you are TTB) Also, do not bother measuring the temperature of your bulk spirit. With mass that is irrelevant, and it has confused you because you have put that 73.54 f into Alcodens to calculate the 1072 bottles. 1674.8 lbs should have filled only 1066 bottles at 60 f. You have actually filled 14 more bottles than you should. What you have done is filled the bottles with 750 mL of spirit at 73.54 f instead of at 60 f. There will be less than 750 mL in the bottle which is part of the reason you ended up with extra bottles. Also, throw away that measuring cylinder. For one thing it is calibrated at 20c not 60f. (was the 80 proof you measured at 20 c? ) Parallel sided glass cylinders are not sensitive enough to read to fractions of a mL unless they are very skinny. Even so, I still can't see how your measuring cylinder was 11 mL out. Don't do your volume checks with a measuring cylinder, use weight. 750 mL of 80 proof at standard temperature (US) 60f weighs 712.34g. (in air for TTB calculations only) An easy way I use is to stack say 10 cases of empty bottles with caps on your scale. Fill them all then re-weigh. If they are cases of 6 X 750 mL then the lot should weigh 60 X 712.34 = 47.74 Kg (94.226 lbs) more than when they were empty
  3. I don't understand why it has taken so long for this type of unit to become commercialized. Mike, I did ask you a couple of years ago on this forum if this type of unit was available. I don't think I worded my question properly because your reply was not as I expected. Chillers usually take the heat from warm liquid or air to cool it down then just waste that heat by dumping it into the outside air or underground. Other "heat pumps" take the heat from the air or ground and heat water such as in a domestic hot water cylinder, or heat your home. The air or ground is cooled but not put to use. Finally it appears as if manufacturers are building heat pumps that will do 2 useful jobs at the same time so in effect it halves your energy cost, although you do need a larger unit. In a distillery these units could produce cold condenser water and hot mashing water at the same time, for very little extra running cost above chilling only. = (almost) free hot water.
  4. I am trying to help out a friend here. I believe that potato vodka should have a slight hint of potato earthiness but there is too much. Anyone had experience with where this might be able to be reduced? Cooking, enzymes, ferment temperature, pH, spirit cuts??? Thanks Pete
  5. You appear to be saying that the stillage left in the pot has an ABV of 10% !! I doubt that is what you mean.
  6. Cestrin, I had a look at the video on your website.Great promotion for you. Are you using 100% malted rye? You said in video that you cook the rye to 190 F If the grain is 100% malted then that is way too hot and it will destroy most of the natural enzymes and you get low yielding sticky wort that burns. If you are using unmalted rye as well then OK to cook that first then cool before adding malted rye. (ps. couldn't' help noticing your rum label says "hand crafted GRAIN to bottle"
  7. Thanks Stumpy. I assume you mean filtering your production water and removing the bacteria that produce the geosim ie. Actinobacteria or is it an RO filter that pulls out almost everything?
  8. Is the vent pipe connected directly to the steel combustion chamber? If so, that is where most of your heat is going. The air opening is way too big allowing too much cold air in. I am not an expert on propane but I use waste oil and diesel burners and they are meant to run at very slight negative air pressure at the flame for maximum efficiency. At slight negative there is enough oxygen but not surplus draft to carry away your valuable heat.
  9. It turned out to be the hoses I was syphoning with. I had been using them for whisky spirit and it appears as if oils from the new-make has deposited on the inside of the hose. High proof neutral stripped it off into the 4 bottles I was cutting. Probably would not have caused an issue if I had done a much larger batch as the oil would have been diluted. When I used the hose with the cheaper neutral there was no oil left in the hose so no issue.
  10. I am not into vodka production at all, but my Son has just opened the doors to his brewpub T-Bone Brewing Co and he wanted a few bottles. I had 2 samples of an Australian (big commercial distillery) neutral grape spirit, one called Premium and another more expensive Ultra-premium so I diluted the Ultra to 40% with carbon filtered rain water and it went very cloudy. Left it overnight to see what would happen but no clearer. Thought it might have saponified because of rapid dilution so tried slow dilution, same cloudy result. Added more neutral and the cloudiness dissolved at roughly 60%abv. Typical louching. Tried the cheaper Premium and no louching Anyone heard of this happening with neutral?
  11. I get a very similar oil with rye. Does anyone else see that with rye??? Unlike most others I get very little foaming with my rye and I have often suspected it is because of the natural oil in my rye variety.
  12. An observation, where do you get 99% alcohol from? 95.6% is as high as can be distilled at atmospheric pressure. I would have thought at 99% there would be no free water and no rusting. Many big industrial continuous stills are built from steel and I assume they don't rust. You should be able to carbon filter the rust from your "ruined product", but I am no expert on carbon filtering.
  13. There are always exceptions to the rule. I have had some short term employees with University degrees in subjects I thought would have been useful but they were useless, almost a hazard. They lacked life skills and could not think outside the box. But on average there is no doubt a well educated person doing a reasonably technical job will be better than a person with little education.
  14. Even though I have never met you I say your answer "NO" to your own question is incorrect. Your masters degrees may not have given you any direct knowledge of running a distillery but I would be certain that your brain was taught to think and problem solve, that is obvious from your contributions to this forum.
  15. I have just tried out Meerkat's liqueur blending calculator. Typical me, I tried to use it without reading Help. Quickly gave up. There are so many options. About 10 minutes reading and I had most of it figured out. Making up a pineapple liqueur from distilled pineapple ferment + fresh pineapple juice + sugar Ran the calculator to make a test amount of 150 mL of 20%ABV for tasting. Sat a beaker on scales and tared off. Added the calculated amount of juice, tared off and added the spirit, tared off and added the sugar. Taste panel said slightly too sweet and too higher abv. Another couple of test samples then calculated another 150 mL taster at 18%ABV and less sugar. Taste panel approved Re-calculated using amount of available pineapple spirit. All blending done on scales, don't have to worry about temperatures, so easy . Also ran a few dummy calculations to see how much juice - sugar -water - spirit I would need to add to a batch if I wanted to re-adjust the ABV or sugar load, easy Tomorrow I will run some through the lab still to determine exact ABV. Whatever it is I will write that on the labels, (or I could calculate how much spirit or water to add to bring it to 18%) I suspect it won't be exactly 18% because the weak link in the calculation is the sugar load in the juice. I used a refractometer which could be slightly obscured by other "stuff" in the juice. You deserve a medal Meerkat
  17. You found the reason. Sorry but I forgot your (US) masses are measured "in air" The "in air" inaccuracy is within TTB allowances per single bottle but maybe too large for long term accuracy. I got my numbers from AlcoDens by Meerkat Just needed to click "TTB (in air)" instead of my usual "OIML (in vacuum)"
  18. 750 mL 80 proof at 60F weighs 713.15 g (60 F is standard temperature for USA, most of the world 20c is the standard) 713.15 g of 80 proof at 75F has a volume of 754.4 mL so they will appear overfull, which is BigRed's concern. ie calibrate filler by weight.
  19. I can't see how money can be made from 50 mL bottles. Price needs to be too high. I occasionally do a few just for promotion. I am sure I make a loss on them.
  20. I calibrate 1 bottle by weight. Then to get a very accurate average fill as required I put about 6 cases of empty bottles plus caps on my sales. Note the tare and start filling. At the end of each filled case I check the calculated weight against the actual. If numbers are close then keep filling and checking until 6 cases filled. Can easily get to within a fraction of a gram per bottle. I use Enolmatic vacuum filler.
  21. I have a mini filling head for my Enolmatic, works very well. For manual filling of only a few bottles use a small diameter syphon hose (eg, ethanol safe type silicon). As the bottle gets almost full lift the bottle and the flow will slow to make final level easy to stop at. Either close the flow off by squeezing hose with pliers or keep lifting bottle until flow stops. With the lifting technique you can reverse syphon an overfill back into your holding tank. Have a long enough hose so there is a loop well down past your bottle then air cannot get into the hose and lose the syphon.
  22. I don't think I explained myself properly. I don't like the straight through Liebig condensers especially if they are short. Some uncondensed vapor can get through without being condensed especially if heat turned up too much at start of boil. Whereas the Graham condenser with the spiral vapor path is much longer and also if it is at about an angle of 45 deg. some liquid forms at the bottom of the curves and prevents any loss of vapor.
  23. The difficulty is measuring an exact volume. The measuring container needs to be calibrated at a specific temperature eg 60f or 20c then you need to have the liquid at that exact temperature. When mixing water and alcohol and possibly sugar, there is an exothermic reaction, the mixture heats up. For the accuracy that TTB requires, a parallel sided, calibrated glass measuring cylinder at standard temperature is no where near accurate enough. Cheap calibrated electronic scales in the correct range are much more accurate, and now meerkat has come up with an easy to use calculator.
  24. Be careful of cheaper condensers on the glass lab stills. I originally had a graham condenser, it has spiral path that when on an angle has liquid at the bottom of the spirals that prevents vapor escaping without condensing. It got broken and was replaced with a straight through Liebig condenser. I don't think this is condensing all the vapor as I am getting lower than expected readings.