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Tom Lenerz

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Everything posted by Tom Lenerz

  1. Tom Lenerz

    Barrel Filling and Recording

    I believe it is acceptable to do a beginning and ending gauge of the tank, and just divide the PGs evenly over the lot. (EG: 5000 pounds of liquid in the tank to start, filled 12 barrels, 200 pounds left, 400 pounds per barrel.) But I'm not 100% certain. We fill each barrel on a scale, and fill them all to the same weight. So some have more head space than others, but the liquid amount is the same.
  2. Tom Lenerz

    proofing spirits proofed with sugars

    Read the gauging manual. https://www.ttb.gov/foia/gauging_manual_toc.shtml
  3. Tom Lenerz

    Question About Spirit Definition Legalities

    Adding to hedgebird's comments, all Distilled Spirits Specialty will require formula approval before applying for labels. This sounds kind of minor, but I'm sure it will add to the list of things that makes the hobby less enjoyable.
  4. Tom Lenerz

    2 Used Chillers

    We have two chillers for sale. One Trane 20 HP and one McQuay 25 HP. Both chillers were in excellent working condition when they were decommissioned, we just upgraded to one central chiller. Units are sold as-is. Buyer is responsible for pick-up or arranging shipping. Located 30 minutes north of Madison, WI. Both units are set to run at around 38 to 40 degrees. Trane - $8,000 McQuay - $6,000
  5. Tom Lenerz

    2 Used Chillers

    Unfortunately I don't have a lot of information other than what is in the pictures, they were purchased before my time. I can tell you that we were using them for wine fermentation, and together they handled all of our fermentation and crash cooling of over 200,000 gallons of wine in September and October every year. We never ran into chilling capacity issues and we did not operate them with a buffer tank.
  6. Tom Lenerz

    Blending/ Proofing tank

    Consider a jacket and insulation if you will cold stabilize or chill filter. Consider air-driven agitator for mixing. I'd minimize things on the side to clean, especially with a 2000 liter, you can easily enter the top if you need to scrub. Do it by weight, it makes things so much easier. CIP should knock out any flavors of gin on stainless, you might want to look at having separate gaskets for herbal and non-herbal spirits though.
  7. Tom Lenerz


    See video part 3. https://www.ttb.gov/spirits/proofing.shtml Also, read the gauging manual https://www.ttb.gov/foia/gauging_manual_toc.shtml.
  8. Tom Lenerz

    Barrel Filling Cane

    We used to use a scaled pallet jack to do pairs of barrels on the rack. Now we have a flush with the floor, floor scale we use now. If that isn't an option you can usually find ramps for floor scales too, so you can pallet jack the barrels and rack up on to it. As Huffy2K suggests a gantry crane might be a good option, or an appropriately sized straddle stacker.
  9. Tom Lenerz

    Eye Wash Stations

    It is at least recommended if not required by OSHA if you have an electric forklift, https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/pit/forklift/electric.html. I'm not sure what other instances require one, but we have one in our still house and one by our forklift charging area, both with the shower. We placed it in the still house in case of an issue with cleaning chemical or being splashed by hot stillage.
  10. Tom Lenerz

    Benefits of Tube in Jacket Condensers?

    All of the above is true, however many traditionalists will argue, particularly with Cognac, that a tube-in-bath or worm-tub type condenser leads to a slower step down in temperature (top of the bath is hotter than the bottom of the bath) and that the temperature of the distillate coming off the still will affect the flavor of the product. I believe, although am not certain, it is standard practice to watch both the temperature of the finished distillate and the proof, and it is easier to control that temperature with a worm-tub. We have both worm-tubs and a tube-in-shell. We use the worm-tub stills for brandy and mostly make American whiskey on the tube-in-shell, albeit not the only reason we use the stills for those products.
  11. Tom Lenerz

    TTB Certified hydrometer

  12. Tom Lenerz

    Canned Cocktails?

    If it is a liqueur then yeah, otherwise it is DSS, like Silk mentioned.
  13. Tom Lenerz

    Canned Cocktails?

    We don’t do it, but yeah it CAN be done. 12 oz cans (355 ml) are an acceptable fill size for spirits. Other sizes are not outside of the typical spirits fills. So if you want to do something smaller you would have to find a specialty can. Keep in mind most mobile lines have minimums, not massive ones, but the one I checked on was 10 beer barrels or 310 gallons.
  14. Tom Lenerz

    Bottle Filler questions

    Variance of fill with a level filler is going to be impacted by the quality of your glass. Glass produced by a discount manufacturer is more likely to have higher variance in fill volumes than that of a higher quality producer. At least that has been my experience. The TTB does have a pretty wide allowable variance in fill volumes, and you need to test and record those tests every bottling. They want to see an approximately equal number of over and under fills. However the quality of a level filler may also affect the consistency of visual fill level. Our rotary monoblock has a 16 head filler, but every bottle is ran through the same leveler after being filled. This minimizes the variance of the visual fill levels, and our glass quality has shown us very consistent fill volumes when the fill levels are the same.
  15. Tom Lenerz

    Aging Options.

    Are you planning on shipping from the US? If you are, you could try getting a hold of a European cooper that might bulk import American oak.
  16. Tom Lenerz

    Difficulty with COLA Label Approval

    Since it’s flavored you are probably DSS, so you’d have to go with something like Marc Brandy with X Flavor.
  17. Tom Lenerz

    Possible Mash Infection, Need Help

    Yeah SCD has it covered here. Lots of unfermentables with that mash protocol and lots of love for bacteria.
  18. Tom Lenerz


    To define 'stored at', the general accepted definition would be 'put into storage at'. The documentation for depositing into the storage account would contain both proof gallons and proof at entry. If the proof climbed while in aging and you reported the proof gallons stayed the same or increased the TTB would likely suspect foul play. If the proof increases and proof gallons removed from storage is less than what is entered, the TTB will accept this proof climb as a natural part of the aging process. There are numerous examples of overproof cask-strength whiskeys in the US. Not to mention almost all dump/batch records for most of the Kentucky distillers would show this proof climb for every withdrawal from storage for the last 50 or so years. Since the TTB audits the large distilleries producing these whiskeys every 3 years I think they would have issued clarification if they had an issue with it.
  19. Tom Lenerz


    As long as it is entered into a barrel below the 125 proof it is still good. The TTB allows for natural proof climbing as part of maturation.
  20. Tom Lenerz


    The model I looked at, budgetary number if I remember correctly was around $70k.
  21. Tom Lenerz

    White Whiskey

    Yes, read the CFR... https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=3e62d2aa84281f69f653de44f5e52f81&mc=true&n=sp27.1.5.c&r=SUBPART&ty=HTML#se27.1.5_122 If you don't meet the requirements for corn whiskey below, then you have to meet the requirements of some other whiskey. Likely you will want to use 'whiskey distilled from..." (ii) “Corn whisky” is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 80 percent corn grain, and if stored in oak containers stored at not more than 125° proof in used or uncharred new oak containers and not subjected in any manner to treatment with charred wood; and also includes mixtures of such whisky. (2) “Whisky distilled from bourbon (rye, wheat, malt, or rye malt) mash” is whisky produced in the United States at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively, and stored in used oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type. Whisky conforming to the standard of identity for corn whisky must be designated corn whisky. You will notice it says stored in used oak containers, no minimum age is stated, but age statements are required for less than 4 years of age on all whiskeys. And before you say 'it says container, not barrel', an oak container is a barrel.
  22. Tom Lenerz

    White Whiskey

    It’s not, read the CFR.
  23. Tom Lenerz


    When I discussed this method with a Meura rep they mentioned that the whole conversion process needs to be done before starting to filter otherwise we would get wet spots or essentially a “stuck mash”. Since we do a shorter cook and malt rest and allow conversion to continue in the fermentor we decided not to go that route. Not to mention the price...
  24. Tom Lenerz

    ACSA Convention

    I will be attending, this will be my 3rd ACSA Convention. I've found them worth the price. Like others mentioned, a tradeshow only pass might be a good option. A lot of conferences do the dinner as an separate ticket or offer a 1 day pass for those who want to attend just one or two of the seminars and the tradeshow.
  25. Tom Lenerz

    spirit scales

    We went with IS or intrinsically safe, I’m not aware of explosion proof scales being available. IS standards for scales and load cells are appropriate for classified areas. We had the low voltage power come out to a non-classified area with seal offs, and then a standard AC adapter for power to the scale.