Tom Lenerz

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Everything posted by Tom Lenerz

  1. Since California isn't exactly cold, I would imagine sometimes your air could be as hot, or potentially hotter than the water you are trying to chill. These types of chillers do exist, and are often used in colder climates during the winter to offset demand, however you would need a very very large one if you have a smaller delta T. I would consider other ways to use the existing BTUs for other activities requiring heating, like warming water for your cooks or for the never ending cleaning. Buffer tanks work well to even out the demand on the chiller if you aren't running 24 hours a day.
  2. The issue is one gallon of 100 proof liquor plus one gallon of water, with or without sugar does not equal two gallons.
  3. Are you using a hydrometer to do this? If so, this check the gauging manual in reference to dissolved solids, and this sweet, sweet video series.
  4. There are some more issues here too, like how the still is setup, hybrid vs pure pot, how clean your cuts are, etc... Our real world numbers, we run a 30 gallon beer (30 gallons of volume per bushel) so our mash varies from 7.5% for rye to 9% for bourbon. We do 500 gallons a day on a hybrid, single pass, and we see between 3.8 to 4.5 pg/bushel of hearts. So 16.66 bushels per day, results in 63 to 75 PGs, or a barrel and change a day. Running pure pot double distilled, we see about 70% of the mash PGs make it to hearts.
  5. We have an AODD Yamada NDP-25 and our still came with a small EXP Jabsco flex-impeller hard piped in. No complaints on either.
  6. Pretty much three ways to move liquid, gravity if you have it, pump if you don't, and bucket and funnel. We have a few situations we let gravity do the work. Most of it is pumping. Collect the last in the hoses or tank in a bucket and dump. Just a bucket and funnel would work, but you are wasting your time, pumps aren't that expensive. I can't imagine operating a distillery without a spirit pump.
  7. If a brush and PBW work for the tanks, fill a bucket or tank with PBW solution and try pumping one of these. We run the ball through our flex impeller pumps, but have not tried with our lobe pump.
  8. Shane, thanks for sharing all the reasoning here!
  9. Technically under the FSMA here in the states we have the same, but there is a blanket exemption for breweries and distilleries. This exemption was called into question a few years ago, but ultimately industry won for now, it could become an issue again in the future though.
  10. I would rethink the concept personally. Simply put distilling exists as way to store and minimize transport cost of raw material. In France, they used to have mobile stills that would go from vineyard to vineyard, bring the still to the fruit not the fruit to the still. Not saying you can't do what you want to do, but it hardly seems worth it, regardless of the 'concept'. If it is a high traffic area and you want people to see your cool still, get an ugly stripping still at the other facility and just truck low wines. That's what Buffalo Trace does with the Bowman Distillery. Everything about moving the mash and having two facilities will only increase your cost and lower your margin, and provides zero value add to customers in the process.
  11. Curious as to why if you have near unlimited space nearby the whole operation isn't there? Nearby being a very interpretive term, pipeline close?
  12. I don't necessarily disagree with 3d0g here, but I do want to point out a few things. Craft beer was up 13% by volume sure, but they were up 15% by number of breweries, so that means they were making less beer per brewery than the year before. If you are getting your data from here ( you will also notice that regional breweries were up 26% versus the smaller pubs (10%) and micros (20%). Which means more of the volume from big players. So while I don't believe a bubble to the point of falling flat is going to happen in either industry, there is definitely crowding as more players get in the game. The argument about shelf space is true as well, just remember though that owner kicked some other beers slot out to make space for a beer he knew he could sell. We are seeing this everywhere with taplines and coolers with beer, and I've witnessed it with spirits as well.
  13. The main reason for a centralized cooker, is to remove extra and expensive apparatus from fermentors, IE, heat source, agitation and any grain handling that fills it. That being said, if the only thing extra is hot water you are minimizing that. The idea would be getting the grain to it, one flex auger to fill a cooker is cheaper than a system that could move grain to each fermentor.
  14. Keep in mind you have to pay attention to the shipping laws for both your state and the state you are mailing the sample too.
  15. Custom Metalcraft for the tank, the head/condenser looks like it could be from Vendome. Vendome does sell the Custom Metalcraft tanks too. Corsair is also pretty open about things, you could probably call them and ask too.
  16. We have done it both ways without any noticeable difference. I could be wrong, but I believe the reasoning is it doesn't make a difference, so why spend the btus and time to heat the rye or wheat if you don't need too. On the small scale I don't know how much of either one could save. Completely contradictory to the article, I read the other day that large Scottish grain whiskey distilleries process wheat at much higher temps than necessary simply because they can, and if they switch to corn because of a change in commodity prices, they don't need to redo their processes. They also can't use enzymes.
  17. You could put a normally closed valve that requires power before the control steam valve, you set up a Johnson style controller that sends power to the valve, opening it, if your condenser water is at an acceptable temp (heat mode, and you set your max allowable). If the water is good temp and you have electricity at your facility it allows steam to your still. If either of those conditions are met, it loses power and springs back closed. Shutting off the boiler is an issue because there could be a lot of steam in your system still, continuing to heat.
  18. AS Silk City said, if you are running glycol in your system you won't want to 'cross the streams' so to speak as you will be diluting the glycol, which can be added back, but is expensive. Perhaps you place a plate exchanger that is on a thermostatic valve to temper your inlet water to your setpoint. Chill loop on one side, city water on the other. The glycol side always runs through, but if it gets over your setpoint, it is chilled again with city water. Another thought, is you could pipe it like we have with our mash cooler. We run a tube and shell with a pair of three way valves. Set both valves in position 'A' and we run well water through the cooler, to be preheated for our next cook, stored in a insulated tank. Once we collect what we need, we switch to Position 'B' which closes the loop, but adds a plate exchanger which is on our chiller loop. We turn on the loop pump and it recirculates the well water between the two exchangers. This way our mash cooler only ever sees potable water, but we can use our chiller loop or well water to chill the cook. You could set something like this up with a thermostatic valve to temper the inlet temperature, but the loop pump would need a bypass. You could also put a manual override on it so you can preheat city water if you need it, and not use the chiller system at all.
  19. You answered your own question here. Vodka is defined as neutral. Having a hotter ferment will create more congeners, congeners you have to get out of your vodka. To make life easier, I would recommend a different fermentation temperature or a different yeast that produces less congeners at high ferm temps.
  20. I know you are unhappy with your spreadsheets, and from talking to people and looking at this post, a lot of other people are as well. However, I'm going to stand here and defend spreadsheets. I have written multiple spreadsheets not only for daily reporting and all the TTB logs, but also for budgetary, production scheduling and sales projections, and while they aren't perfect, I wouldn't describe them as clunky either. People always praise software for it's ability to spit out reports or information as needed. Which spreadsheets are capable of as well. It takes me minutes to do all of my end of month paperwork with this spreadsheet, and I have additional information that I have decided is relevant stored on the report. My raw material spreadsheet will turn a case number into bushels, barrels, blocks of yeast, days of still time, and in minutes I can rearrange our production schedule to drop a products numbers and increase another to make sure we are operating at capacity. I'm not sure how good your Excel-fu is and perhaps your spreadsheets are already great, but not good enough, then in that case ignore me. But I'd like to defend the poor old spreadsheet, and say if you are willing to, there is no reason you can't build spreadsheets custom tailored to your business for a fraction of the cost of buying software. To me this is the key, I know software is getting better and more customizable everyday, but nothing beats the flexibility (and price) of a spreadsheet. I'm no spreadsheet expert by any means, but I have found that armed with a whiteboard and list of what I want to accomplish, I can design what I need in a few hours. I also feel by building the spreadsheet, it helps me understand the logistics of whatever the spreadsheet accomplishes. For example, building my TTB record keeping spreadsheets using the CFR as a guideline helped me become intimately aware of their details, which was important for me as I had no experience with regulations before.
  21. They aren't? Whoops...
  22. It isn't necessarily industry standard, but you could consider filling barrels over a containment pit, to capture leaks or overfills. Other stuff worth looking at is Intrinsically Safe scales and load cells, EXP lighting and other electronics around spirits holding tanks and in use for barrel filling. Also appropriately rated forklift and pump. Check out the DISCUS fire safety manual for details on what is recommended for industry 'best practices'.
  23. You could do your man-way system, and a baffle setup on each side to great a multi pass system that is easy to clean and easy to unplug... Details: far 'u' side has a single vertical divider, product side has horizontal divider and a vertical divider on top. This would be a 4 pass. In top left, flips on left side on the opposite, returns to product side flips on bottom, flips on right side opposite, out top right. Open man ways to 'floss' each tube with a pipe cleaner on a string/stick for thourough cleaning.
  24. We use a shell and tube system picked out by our thermo engineer to meet process requirements (500 gallons from 212 to ~150 in 30 minutes with 400 gallons of well water preheated to at least 110 for the next cook. Followed by a 150 to Ferm temp drop in less than an hour done with the chiller) Our shell and tube utilizes 1 inch in and outs for product flow, but the tubes are even smaller 3/4 or maybe 1/2 inch. Shell and tube are generally more efficient than the tube and tube you are describing or jackets for cooling. However they are more difficult to clean and there is the potential to plug. Since we had our cooker fabricated we weighed the cost of adding a jacket to the tank to the cost and flexibility of an external exchanger. While the exchanger cost more than the jacket, we know it works for our process and we have the option for using it for other purposes too. However if I had a mash cooker with a jacket installed I would weigh the labor costs of utilizing the jacket (hrs per cook needed to cool) to that of a properly sized exchanger purchased in addition. If you can save an hour with the exchanger great, but how many cooks does it take to pay for itself and do you use it for anything else? Per the tube and tube you are talking about, my understanding is, the outside tube you want as tight to the inner as possible to maximize exchange rate, narrower inner tubes and increased length increase surface area, increasing but exchange. Tube in tube is typically more expensive and larger than the equivalent shell and tube, but they are easier to clean.
  25. I don't have a Mori, but the few places I have worked have done basically the same procedure to varying extents. Rinse, hot clean, rinse and drain to sit. Sanitize before use comes from the wine/beer world, flush the system with gns at the bottling proof of your spirit to rinse out the water as to not affect proof. Drain gns, then filll to bottle. At the brewery I worked at we ran cases through the machine with out caps in to flush cleaner through the system. Here our rotary has a cleaning tray that catches cleaning solution from the heads and runs it to the drain. Not sure what the mori looks like, but the above modified to the machine specifics should work.