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Tom Lenerz

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Everything posted by Tom Lenerz

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. TTB Certified hydrometer

  5. Canned Cocktails?

    If it is a liqueur then yeah, otherwise it is DSS, like Silk mentioned.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Possible Mash Infection, Need Help

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

    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.

    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.

    The model I looked at, budgetary number if I remember correctly was around $70k.
  14. 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.
  15. White Whiskey

    It’s not, read the CFR.

    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...
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Explosion venting

    If you hit the LEL you will already know you have a problem as the discomfort from vapor in the air will make it painful to breath. We have our alarm set to 1% which you should still be able to notice, but earlier detection and notification is always best.
  20. Inexpensive Pump for Hot Water/Backset

    Seems like a good job for a centrifugal pump, I'm assuming you are referring to just liquid backset.
  21. Topping off barrels

    That is how I've always interpreted it.
  22. Topping off barrels

    I'm glad we are on the same page. I wasn't trying to argue for Blue Star's position, just reiterate that that it was the point of debate. Per finishing, here is an example COLA of a finished whiskey. https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicDisplaySearchBasic&ttbid=11046001000153 If you look at the bottle it just kind of looks like it is Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, but if you look at the COLA you can see it is indeed a whiskey specialty and requires a formula. Which is a type and class I am not familiar with and cannot find the specifics of. I'm not sure if age statements are even allowed for a specialty. I am more in line with this view point, the barrel remains in it's 'new' state until it is emptied or in the event the barrel has some spirit added.
  23. Pikesville Rye Closures (t-tops)

    Most likely Amorim Cork. They supply most of the ultra-premium cork for spirits and wine worldwide.
  24. Topping off barrels

    I take no offense, and I too did not mean to offend. I am just trying to illustrate while often used interchangeably in our industry, maturating and aging are different as one has a legal definition. Below is how the TTB defines age, 5.11. Age. The period during which, after distillation and before bottling, distilled spirits have been stored in oak containers. “Age” for bourbon whisky, rye whisky, wheat whisky, malt whisky, or rye malt whisky, and straight whiskies other than straight corn whisky, means the period the whisky has been stored in charred new oak containers. It is the definition of age with regards to these types of whiskey and new cooperage that are specifically being debated. Blue Star had argued that expanding the bourbon in the barrel with water was the same as putting bourbon into a barrel that has already been used because the water is now causing the bourbon to cover used barrel. Hence, ending the aging process (not maturation) in the eyes of the TTB per this definition. This is the central point that is being debated in this thread.
  25. Topping off barrels

    I think you might be conflating aging with maturing. Legally and practically speaking, aging is time spent in the barrel, so yes the 23 year old spirit is more aged. Is it more mature? That is up for debate. The question here is strictly how does the TTB define aging in regards to this one specific practice. With brandy and rum there is no concern, because there definition of age is not tied to type of cooperage, simply time in any cooperage. Bourbon and Rye and other Straight whiskies require time in new cooperage, and any sort of finishing or process that takes them out of new cooperage changes their type and class from Straight Bourbon or Rye to something else. It appears the TTB did answer one question - does adding water to a barrel in storage change the spirit from Straight whiskey to something else? The answer was it "does not require formula". They did not clearly answer the question - does adding water to a barrel in storage stop the clock on aging? My guess is not, because that would be consistent with brandy and rum, but that doesn't mean that's the how they will enforce the regulations.