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Tom Lenerz

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Everything posted by Tom Lenerz

  1. Mash Tun Cooling: Part Deux

    As this is an external exchanger we pump CIP solution through the tubes when we clean the pump and hoses. It has a low point drain, and we do lots of rinsing. Not as easy to clean or as sanitary as a tube in tube, but still gets clean. We haven't torn the head baffle off yet to inspect the tubes, as the replacement gasket is kind of expensive if we need to replace it, but are planning on putting that on a regular preventative.
  2. Mash Tun Cooling: Part Deux

    Our's is setup to flow in and out on one side, and has 6 tubes in a U-shape. The plate is designed on the inside to have liquid flow in 3 of the tubes, down the U and back out to the bottom, where it is closed and the liquid flows back through the other 3 tubes towards the dead end and then back out the top next to the inlet. So the liquid does 4 passes of the coolant before exiting the exchanger: 1 on the top down to the dead end, back on the bottom to the front, back on the bottom to the dead end and then finally out the top on the other side.
  3. Mash Tun Cooling: Part Deux

    We only do grain-in and it works pretty well. We have it on the wall next to our mash cooker, and recirculate with a pump through it back into the cooker to do our drops to malt temp and then to fermentation temp. We switch from recirculating to the fermentor we are going to when our outlet temp is where we want it. We go through the tubes, and use potable water on the shell side. We have it plumbed so we can reclaim the hottest water for the next cook, or close the potable loop and run it through a plate chiller connected to our chiller system. It isn't perfect as it can be difficult to clean, or become plugged if you are really thick. However we had it sized by our mechanical contractor and it does the times we wanted just about perfect. Its about 10 or 12 feet long, 1 foot across. It is a 4 pass with 3 3/4 inch tubes. We do 500 gallon cooks, from 185ish to 145ish in 20 or so minutes, from malt to fermentation 45 minutes to 1 hr 15 mins depending on set temp. We run a 30 gallon beer (1bushel/per 30 gallons) with almost no issues.
  4. Mash Tun Cooling: Part Deux

    Have you priced an external shell and tube? I love the flexibility of ours.
  5. MRO Inventory Management

    I've been interested in trying to centralize and standardize MRO and incorporate a comprehensive preventive maintenance schedule, so I'd love to hear more about what you learn and do. How many employees do you have using items from MRO? Do you have a preventative schedule?
  6. 750ml mason jars with lids

    I could be wrong, but I think he is suggesting you fill it to 750 ml and label it as such. Since the TTB has a pretty tight fill tolerance filling it that full would be illegal.
  7. Alcohol monitor - CO2 monitor

    At the brewery I worked at we had ozone, so typically the first bucket was just ozonated water. If it is going to pull a vacuum, it is going to be right away. It is just a precaution to prevent tap water from getting sucked into the wort. Once fermentation starts the blow-off will dirty the water and we often replaced it during fermentation if it was really rigorous. Replacemewnt buckets had just regular water, because at that point it won't pull a vacuum, at least with the SOPs we ran there. Most distilleries don't operate with 'air-locks' or blow-off tubes and it is much more common to have an open system like open-top ferementors. Are you planning on passively venting (opening windows) or running an exhaust system (fan to blow or suck the air across the building)? In addition to exhaust fans, our AC system monitors the level of CO2 and increases the amount of outside air appropriately.
  8. Alcohol monitor - CO2 monitor

    I could see OSHA wanted distilleries to monitor CO2 and ETOH levels in the air to ensure safe conditions. We monitor both for safety. Yeah, this is a common method for breweries. Never heard of using soap, often it is done with sanitizer in case the tank pulls a vacuum and sucks it in.
  9. Wiring Control Box

    Did you put a heatsink on that SSR?
  10. Farm Distillery Floor-plan Feedback Request

    You need to keep a certain number of inches/feet clear in front of the panel in case of a fire or other emergency. This is an OSHA, fire code and electrical code thing. https://www.compliance.gov/sites/default/files/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/fastfacts_electricalpanelaccess.pdf I'd also recommend keeping it some place dry.
  11. Water Handling Process and Tanks

    You could probably get by with just one 'cold liquor tank' and one 'hot liquor tank'. If you do a steam jacketed hot liquor tank, you can return your condenser water, as well as any water used to chill your mashes to it, and then heat there, without the need to use a tankless heater. This water can be used for CIP and your next cook, and you can pump it much faster than you would if you were going through a tankless heat exchanger. Plus you could maybe even get rid of the need for a water heater other than for hand washing. If you want to you could plumb it so the condenser water goes to the HLT or manually change a valve to divert to another holding tank, or the 'cold liquor tank', in the event you don't think you will need the hot, or it is coming back to cold to be useful for heating. I think you could probably get away with plastic for this. If you want to cool it down over night you will want to keep the cool stuff. You could probably automate it with a temp controller and a solenoid.
  12. Farm Distillery Floor-plan Feedback Request

    A few things, I'm not sure where you are located, but do you need to send your plans to the city/county/state for approval? If so you do not look ADA compliant in particular with regards to your bathrooms, also it seems like a lot of toilets/urinals for the space. Secondly, most state health inspectors are going to require a 3-bay sink, not just a two bay. Fire code wise, your electrical panel probably doesn't have proper access. You also probably don't have enough space set aside for mechanical. Two fermentors to feed two stills doesn't seem to be a good match. With 20 foot ceilings, I would try to use space over the retail room for storage, and perhaps an office. TTB will most likely want a separate door to your production space, not to mention just for fire escapes.
  13. Aeration

    This book: https://www.amazon.com/Yeast-Practical-Fermentation-Brewing-Elements/dp/0937381969 has lots of info about oxygen levels, vitality and lots more. Easy read, lots of good info to have on hand for referencing. You could also speak with your yeast supplier about recommended levels, and maybe borrow a DO meter from a local brewery or winery.
  14. Aeration

    Are you measuring your DO?
  15. Aeration

    We are splash filling into the top. We've had no yeast problems for with our bourbon and rye mashes.
  16. Fermenter chilling

    You can go with something like a Johnson Controls A419, plus a solenoid valve. Here is a pretty much complete setup https://www.ssbrewtech.com/products/ftss-pro-modular-temp-control as an example. There are other controllers available for remote monitoring, logging and alerts. If using a 2 way valve in each tank you would want to have a bypass somewhere on the loop so your pump doesn't dead head.
  17. At what point is a pot still too big?

    Not Scottish, but Japanese, Nikka does one http://www.nikka.com/eng/products/grain/coffeymalt.html. The SWA might have rules requiring pots for single malt, but I'm not sure. Kentucky producers consider a doubler a 'second distillation' because it is condensed and re-distilled in the doubler or 'pot still' but this is also done in a continuous manner, not batch.
  18. Using wine as a component of a distilled spirit specialty

    Per making a vermouth at a DSP vs BW, I'd point out that it is in the eyes of the TTB, a wine. See Title 27, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Part 4, Subpart C Standards of Identity for Wine §4.21 The standards of identity. (g) Class 7; aperitif wine. (1) Aperitif wine is wine having an alcoholic content of not less than 15 percent by volume, compounded from grape wine containing added brandy or alcohol, flavored with herbs and other natural aromatic flavoring materials, with or without the addition of caramel for coloring purposes, and possessing the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to aperitif wine and shall be so designated unless designated as “vermouth” under paragraph (g)(2) of this section. (2) Vermouth is a type of aperitif wine compounded from grape wine, having the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to vermouth, and shall be so designated. So to make vermouth you have to do it at a BW, you could probably make a vermouth in a DSP, but the question is how does it get labeled. Not to mention, the higher tax rates, and the tighter regs for proofing. Per using vermouth in a DSS, the TTB does have several recognized cocktails (Manhattan/Martini) that include vermouth.
  19. Ethanol Water Contraction and Dilution

    Do it by weight, and do it with TTB table 4. https://www.ttb.gov/foia/Gauging_Manual_Tables/Table_4.pdf
  20. IBC totes as fermenters

    We don't use totes, but we have a few non-jacketed tanks. Last week we did 500 gallons of bourbon mash, knocked out about 72 degrees, and pitched. Fermentation finished before temperature got high enough to kill off our yeast. Room was between 74 and 80 all week. If you are going to do a lot of fermenting in non-jacketed tanks, you could get a coil like suggested, or they make drop in plates, or even an external heat-exchanger. Just monitor temps on active fermentations for the first 48 hours and drop in the cooling source or run through an exchanger as needed. This would be much more efficient than trying to air-cool the tanks by controlling the temperature.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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).