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Tom Lenerz

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Everything posted by Tom Lenerz

  1. Who's pumping mash with an AODD pump?

    Yeah we were using the high heat impeller. We only used it a handful of times before switching to a lobe pump, but we were having issues with the impeller sticking when trying to switch directions.
  2. Who's pumping mash with an AODD pump?

    I agree 100% that there is not a perfect mash pump. It was one thing I went back and forth on a lot. Right now we are running 2 lobe pumps for mash. The original pump we got did not handle high heat and high use very well. We have since delegated that pump for moving finished mash or wine into stills, and replaced it with a Jabsco from TCW. Previously we used a US-FIP to move wine and cool mash, but not for the cook process. I liked it a lot for that, but we had issues when we used it in high heat. Alas, it was taken back to the winery side of our business when I added the Jabsco. To me, the three biggest advantages of both a FIP or Lobe versus an AODD are ability to reverse directions, VFD and remote control (wired or wireless) and the noise/pulsing issues. I have not seen a FIP head at a reasonable enough price that made me think you could do your own cart for significantly less than the US-FIP brand cart.
  3. I've heard of wineries playing with dry ice for cold soaking whole fruit before crush. Chills the fruit and protects the fruit with CO2 before fermentation starts. Cold soaking pre-fermentation though is typically done primarily for color extraction. http://www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/5337
  4. Electric Stripping Still?

    You will save more money if you put in a boiler and run NG, because electric will cost much more per run.
  5. At what point is a pot still too big?

    The smallest Vendome continuous still will run 3 to 5 gallons per minute. This means, when strictly talking about speed, it will do at least 1000 gallons in 6 hours, which would be faster than a 1000 gallon pot. In addition, the continuous stills, at least last I checked, are actually more affordable than their larger pot stills (750, 1000, etc).
  6. DSP Site Access Requirements?

    What size of a distillery are you looking at operating, and what kind of products are you planning on making? It sounds like a nightmare for getting trucks in to load/unload, customers back to buy your product, getting trash/recycling, spent mash off-site. Not to mention the cost of running electricity back that far, is three-phase available?
  7. spirit scales

    CFR has scale requirements pretty spelled out. https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=f722e5eefe1b4eee15f709476f2159d8&node=pt27.1.19&rgn=div5#se27.1.19_1183
  8. Osha requirements

  9. Wine cap style crimper

    Is this what you are looking for? https://store.tcwequipment.com/products/tecnomax-due-tsp-2002-semiautomatic-capper
  10. Mash tun/Boil Kettle Design

    For us we see about 5 gallons of water added (in the form of steam), per 10 degrees we need to heat for 500 gallons finished volume. We subtract the added water to compensate to keep volume consistent. The formula I was given is something like this: (Total finished volume * 8.34 * target SG) * (Target temp - Start Temp)/1000 = Pounds of steam. Pounds of steam/8.34 ~ gallons of water added in the form of steam. Real life example: here are some numbers for a typical cook. 380 gallons at 100F heated to 185F, with the corn adding malt and rye or wheat on the way down nets us a total of 500 gallons of total volume +/- 10 gallons. We typically double cook into one fermentor, so we shoot slightly lower on water on the first cook, and then add the difference to the second. If the water we started with is 130F, we would do 15 more gallons of water to compensate for less steam added.
  11. fermentation

    That's interesting. I have never tried using a wine yeast because of what a wine yeast supplier had told us in regards to maltose. Silk City, are you using any enzymes?
  12. fermentation

    EC-1118 is a wine yeast, and while a work horse of a wine yeast, wine yeasts typically don't/can't ferment maltose and maltotriose (sugars commonly produced by alpha & beta amylase in the brewing process). I'm personally surprised it got down to 1.024. I see 3 options: 1) pitch a lot of healthy active yeast, perhaps a fresh slurry from a near by brewery? 2) if you can let it settle or cold crash it, then rack it you could get most of the EC-1118 out, and then pitch a brewers or distillers strain to mop up the last of the fermentables. 3) you could just distill it and not use EC-1118 again
  13. Grain Storage Climate Control

    Ideally you want cool and dry. Meal moths and other bugs like warm and humid, so if you don't climate control you will just have to stay on top of controlling the population and cycling inventory fast. This is less of an issue if you are dealing with 50 pound bags then bulk bins or sacks.
  14. Distillery Pump, FIP vs. AOD

    Flex impeller pumps are nice because they self prime (so do AOD) but you can switch directions as well. The various brands of flex impeller pumps we have used can handle the solids to a pretty reasonable extent. Also compressed air is loud, expensive to operate (cost to power compressor vs direct electric cost), and you have the surging issues. The only real downside I see with flex impellers is high heat, both their resistance to it, but also the fact that they expand and can get stuck when trying to switch directions or start from a stop. We have a Jabsco RPD (lobe style, doesn't self prime) pump from TCW we use because we use it a lot in high heat applications. If I didn't need it for moving my cooking mash through the heat exchanger we would probably use a flex impeller. We use an AOD for spirit work.
  15. Mash tun/Boil Kettle Design

    We went the same route. We have a local fab shop do all of our stainless work, from a few feet of pipe up to 7000 gallon tanks. We decided on direct steam injection over a jacket and it lowered the price a little bit. We have some Venturi style nozzles, they are loud, but not too loud, good and fast heat up. We went back and forth on direct inject versus jacket, and settled on direct inject. It works fine, but in hindsight the steam jacket probably would have been nicer. We have to deal with occasionally plugged nozzles, food grade boiler treatment chemicals (we use steam for sanitation of equipment and swelling barrels so we needed this anyway) plus the cleaning of the manifold. We had the fab shop put in 'pegs' around the bottom designed to hold some U channels that can hold wedgwire screens if we choose to go that route, but I think it will be kind of tricky with the direct steam heat to use them. Whether or not is worth it is up to you and what you are going to make. We haven't even thought about having the screens built yet. But if you want to do lautering I'd definitely recommend a steam jacket over DSI. We insulated the mash cooker, it's nice to have in case someone leans on it, and it holds heat really well, but you can get away without it. We do an external exchanger for cooling so we can use it for other things, but a built in jacket for cooling would be nice. Per the agitator i want to say ours is 3 HP on a 500 gallon, our fab shop had it quoted by a supplier for the application. If I had to do it over I think I'd drop the side man-way, insulation and lauter pegs, and go with steam jacket over DSI, plus a cooling jacket. That being said, what we have works amazingly well, we will do 2 cooks in 7 hours tomorrow including setup and tear down, and I don't think jackets would give me that speed.
  16. Looking for suggestions on separating grain after mashing

    After distillation makes a lot of sense because it is waste, so the efficiency of the process doesn't matter, but before fermentation or distillation seems like an awful time. I'm surprised nobody has talked about mash filters (see http://www.meura.com/products-and-services/brewhouse/mash-filtration.htm) as they are actually designed for this application, but they sure are awfully expensive.
  17. Importing Stills

  18. Importing Stills

    http://beverage-master.com/article/when-fda-takes-control-what-alcohol-beverage-companies-need-to-know-about-the-fda/ "In addition to registration, breweries, distilleries, wineries, and other alcohol beverage facilities are subject to FDA inspections. On the domestic level, inspections are usually conducted by state agencies. While this rule is not new either, pre-FSMA alcohol beverage facility inspections were not very common. However, this number is growing what with inspection frequency mandates established by FSMA. Shortly after FSMA’s regulations were implemented, Wine Spectator reported that roughly 261 U.S. wineries were inspected in fiscal year 2011-12 in comparison to 132 in 2009-10. Although FDA inspections may be new to a brewery, distillery, or winery, an establishment that is alert, well managed, and informed should not fear an inspection. During inspection, alcohol beverage facilities are held to current Good Manufacturing Practices (“GMPs”), which are found in 21 CFR Part 110." The key line here is 'usually conducted by state agencies', so the level of inspection will vary from state to state. FDA sets the rules for things like GRAS, three-bay sinks, acceptable materials, etc... Which is then usually enforced by your local health inspector.
  19. Importing Stills

    I could definitely be wrong, but my guess is you are looking at 8419.40.0040. DSPs are regulated by both the TTB and FDA, because they are a food and beverage processing plant. I would imagine other would be for things like fuel ethanol or chemical processing.
  20. Making Business Sense of Gin (from grain)

    SCD: How much are you paying for corn where you are at? Commodity price of corn is $3.75 a bushel around here, I'm getting a number close to 15 cents a bottle with pure corn. (1000 pounds = 17.9 bushels, $67.13 for 450 = $.149). Cestrin: There are simply too many variables to just say "do this and you can be profitable". My first comment is to illustrate just that. I once had an operations manager for a large distillery tell me that by far our greatest cost would be grain. Which for us, it isn't even near the top. It is all about scale, labor, cost of grains, cost of botanicals, utility rates, capacity utilization, and that is just about COGS. Your finished goods price is going to have to be influenced by the market, and obviously the less you charge the more you sell to some extent. Major variables include, but are not limited to, raw material costs (varying based of equipment available, production efficiency and location), utilities (gas vs. propane vs. electric and location), labor (still size, skill level and location), packaging costs, market pricing (branding and you guessed it... location).
  21. Quality Control and Recall Plans

  22. Yeah, but they are literal life savers. The codes exist to protect you, your staff and your customers.
  23. Bottle Filling Calibration

    Silk City has answered the legal requirements here from CFR 19.356 - must be done in 'representative intervals during bottling operations'. We do one about every hour. The results need to be logged via the requirements in CFR 19.600.
  24. Direct Fire Heat Up Problem

    Yeah, mixers can be useful to bring cooler liquid down to the bottom. Bigger the delta T, the better the heat transfer and efficiency. We used to run direct fire, without agitation and it was slow. At least in the brandy world, it is believed that the high heat and copper contact in a slow warm up contributes positively to flavor. Not sure if that is the same for rum or not. We switched to direct steam coils, still no agitation on that still and warm-up is faster, but still slow, agitation would help with that, but it is fast enough, and the flavor profile seems unaffected. We used to pre-heat our wine for the still to 120 to shorten warm-up. Might be an option for you if you have an insulated tank, drain the still through a coil in an insulated tank (or use another heat exchanger of your choice) to save the heat for the next day. My understanding is LP is typically much more expensive than NG, (although I'm sure that varies depending on location), so that could be another reason to try to save/reclaim heat.
  25. Reporting for filling barrels

    See CFR and look at regs for package, as TTB defines package as follows. "- Package. A cask or barrel or similar wooden container, or a drum or similar metal container." Examples of relevant regs, 19.324, 19.476, 19.484, 19.485, the list goes on and on and on. https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=f722e5eefe1b4eee15f709476f2159d8&node=pt27.1.19&rgn=div5#se27.1.19_1484