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rtshfd last won the day on June 7 2016

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  1. Sankey Beer keg with internal low density heating elements and 2" copper pipe pot head with leibig/worm condenser. boom. 15G batch test still. Do grain in/hot maceration with caution. Scorching galore.
  2. A few constants I've used, and confirmed: You yield 11% of your kettle volume in finished whiskey. This is double pot stilling with minimal reflux. A column with proper deph control will yield you about 16-17% kettle volume in finished whiskey in one run. Assuming 9-10% distillers beer. variability to the above comes from your actual ferment ABV. For every 100 G of still volume you can expect (roughly) around 500 bottles of white dog/unaged at 80 proof per week (5 days). This is assuming you're running a single run through column. I've found this to be spot on. To predict finished whiskey bottles at 80 proof take the above bottles-per-run and account for 10% loss the first year then 3% annually beyond that. This varies depending on climate. Those 500 bottles per 100 G kettle volume look like 410 bottles in 4 years. To change any of those numbers (like bottle proof) use the equation [concentration 1][volume 1] = [concentration 2][volume 2]. So those 410 aged bottles at 100 proof would be: [80p][410btls] = [100p][x] which is: 328btls of 4 year old whiskey at 100 proof per 100 G of still volume. If you have a 450G still, divide by 100 and multiply by the 328 btls we figured out above and you can produce 1476 bottles of 4 year old whiskey per week...which you can sell in 4 years. The equation i used does NOT account for volume loss when you blend water with ethanol. It is significant, and it will cause these numbers to be lower. Tons of variables to account for. ROUGH numbers we're working with here. As your example of a 450G still you're looking at ~72 proof gallons per run. You would produce around 2200 bottles at 80 proof per week on a 5 day single run schedule. We average about 58 proof gallons per 53G barrel so you're looking at 6.8 barrels per week if you batch 5 runs then barrel at 115. 120 puts you at 5.7 barrels per week (roughly). In terms of stripping runs, 20% of kettle volume is about what we yield pretty consistently. We kill it at a TP of below 15 at the parrot. Not worth my time beyond that.
  3. **These are no longer available** We have an extra pallet of All American Containers Moonshine Bottles - 750ml. 80x 12 bottle cases for a total of 960 bottles. I would like to move the whole pallet at once so anyone interested in that will get priority before splitting. Asking $1.25 per bottle (25% off wholesale). $1,200 for the whole pallet of 960 bottles. Purchaser is responsible for shipping from 14472 zip. **Addendum** I can throw in (for free) what we have in black synthetic toppers to anyone wanting a full pallet purchase.
  4. I'm seeking a continuous supply of New York sourced GNS. We are required to use at least 75% of all inputs sourced from NY under our license. Willing to buy on contract, a la carte, or barter. Anyone with any leads/input/willingness to work with us please let me know! We have a ravenous on going demand. -HFD
  5. Is anyone able to give me a reference to a source for roman wormwood? It seems to be difficult to find in bulk. Thank you!
  6. We installed 2 floorsweeping vents that flank our still with ceiling vents plumbed into the same explosion proof exhaust fan above the system. We don't run the still without the negative pressure from the venting turned on. Frankly we never turn it off. Pressure relief valves are a critical safety device and I can't imagine a still running without one. Where the industry has fallen into trouble was with equipment producers using relief valves that were rated for high pressure systems. This, in effect, made the valves just for show to pass regulations. The welds and joints in most stills wont last past 40 psi, so a relief valve higher than that is pointless. I believe this is the main contributing factor to the Silver Trail explosion last year. They had packing that clogged the vapor line and thus pressurized their kettle and the relief valve was rated at something obscene like 150 psi. Most typical stills should never have system pressures much higher than the solution's vapor pressure which is minute in the scheme of a pressure system. Everyone should check their stills for relief valves (both pressure and vacuum).
  7. A hand held explosive gas leak detector that works with ethanol would be an even better option. We purchased one from grangier for $100-200. Periodic safety checks are a must.
  8. Thanks for the help. We're definitely not boiling over. I'm running as slow as I possibly can and still getting specks of herbs and color in the distillate. However, we were able to achieve some success by running slower without the agitator but my fear is that we will run into scorching at some point. Our system is a 300G artisan still run like a pot still for the absinthe runs. We were collecting at less than 5-6 G an hour which is excruciatingly slow for a 300G charge. I believe I'm learning that absinthe is a labor of patience.Whatever we have to do to make the best stuff!
  9. Anyone here that makes absinthes or gins with in-kettle macerations: how do you contain the herbs and prevent them from flying down stream into your condenser causing all sorts of flavor and coloring problems? I'm using light botanicals like wormwood that's finely chopped and it's getting all up in my condenser. I've heard of using sacks, but the botanical bill on an absinthe is huge. Just pitch the bags in? Do you tie them off to prevent them from sitting on the steam jacket and scorching? I've always vapor infused so in kettle technique is new to me.
  10. I've heard, read and seen different methods for coloring absinthe. The two I'm debating is heating a (small) portion of distillate with herbs till color leeches, or doing a cold maceration over a longer period of time then filtering. Does anyone have any input on the differences between the two approaches? My main concern is color retention. I'd understand and expect the feuille morte color degradation, I'm more talking about color fading over time on an intensity scale, not so much green vs dead leaf color.
  11. Eureka! We finally passed the COLAs. I was able to elevate the review to a manager and had them talk with formulation about the requirements for the SoC. It appears COLA agents often times take the suggested SoC from the formula approval as gospel and require it to be exact when it doesn't have to be. I was able to modify the SoC to drop the artificially colored and replace it with a list of herbs we used. This is far more amicable on our end for obvious reasons.
  12. I've found that escalating within the COLA team and going through the formulation team sometimes helps. The formulation agents seem to have a better idea on what is required for each spirit type and what the TTBs stance is on certain nuances, "barreled" gin being one of them. If you get a formulation agent's stamp of approval put in the "notes to agent" section of you cola app to contact the formulation department to clarify. I have an absinthe that is flavored with herbs after the distillation and they're trying to make me say artificially colored. We can all imagine what that will do to our marketing/brand perception.
  13. I don't see why not. It's fundamentally a grain concentrate no? It's probably super expensive though.
  14. We get upwards of a 16% yield from kettle volume if we recycle feints and run once through a 4 plate column. The yield progressively improves to a plateau as the feints recycling program remains consistent. The example at the end of my last post was a low end figure if just starting to recycle. With an 8% mash? Upwards of 15 pg per 100G kettle size? Just about. Super rough numbers. Heads at about 3% kettle size. that's highly dependant on product, distiller and system. I cut by taste only and recycle ad nauseum. Tails should be 6-10% maybe? Once again taste is what's matters and highly dependant on the setup. Way too many variables are involved to be definitive but a rough idea is what I'm going for here.
  15. You should be able to get about 11% of your kettle volume per run in finished whiskey. So from a 100 G still you should yield about 11 proof gallons of hearts. This is all super rough numbers. You're saying you have a possible 6.5 gallons of 100% ethanol (6.5% abv of 100 G kettle). In proof gallons thats 13 proof gallons. This is your theoretical ceiling at 100% efficiency (at 6.5% abv). Impossible to achieve, but a good number to know. You're saying you are actually achieving 3.5 Gallons. Is this 100% ethanol? What proof? Is this proof gallons? Best case scenario, If you're considering this 100% ethanol, you're looking at 7 proof gallons of total alcohol yield of a possible 13. That's a problem. I agree. Your final gravity is way too high. You're probably having a conversion issue during the mashing process, or fermentation issue. Are you using exogenic enzymes? Are you using nutrient for your yeast? What type of yeast? Is it temperature controlled? Whats the pH at pitch? Whats the temp at pitch? There's a lot of variables but these questions should help guide your research. If you get that FG down to below 1.005 you're now talking about 8-8.5% abv. An abv between 8 and 10 is ideal for the separation of ethanol from water. Water is a greedy molecule and will try to grab onto any polarity if finds. If you have more ethanol in solution (higher abv) you have more alcohol to water molecules and the alcohol can vaporize easier. This increases yield per unit of abv. That is to say you get more hearts per 1% alcohol the higher you go. Don't start chucking more starch in the mash, however, because once you go over about 10% abv you're going to increase your fermentation time exponentially. Another note, refractometers read dissolved solids, but they're thrown off as the abv climbs. Alcohol refracts light differently than water. We are dry (below 1.005 sg) at around a 7-8 brix refractometer reading. That's about 1.025 gravity on the refractometer. If you convert for the alcohol (The calculator here is the top result in google) you can then calculate your FG, then your attenuation based off your SG. Basically you should yield around 11 proof gallons of hearts. Thats about an 85% yield of hearts from your theoretical TOTAL alcohol at 6.5% abv. That yield will change (increase) based on the efficiency of your reflux, and still. I would suspect in perfect conditions, at 8% abv, with feints recycling you're looking at 13-14 proof gallons yield for your setup on the low end.