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  2. So basically me, and every other craft distiller I know, have been successfully fooling ourselves for years now..
  3. You are of course assuming you know the direction the shaft rotates
  4. That may be true where you live, but where I live you can start a distillery for $250,000.00 including the building and property and produce enough to make a good living. You can rent a decent 3 bedroom 2 bath house here for $500.00 per month and you can buy 100 acres of beautiful wooded property, with pasture for $150,000.00 It's like paradise for people like me. Castle state, stand your ground state, carry concealed with, no permit, no building permits required, no building inspections or inspectors to deal with, great Boar, Turkey and Whitetail hunting, trophy trout stream 2 miles away, and best of all, no needles and human feces on the side walks and parks, like a western city I just visited.
  5. Interesting the blades and their angled direction where the product is lifted upwards. The majority of blades from what I see appear to force the product downwards
  6. Silk you mention various micron sizes. What efficiency are these.... Nominal ?? <99%
  7. I agree, if you are a good distiller or even a great distiller it won't matter if you don't have a head for business.
  8. Today
  9. Halewood Wines & Spirits, the UK's largest independent alcohol producer, works with iStill! https://istillblog.com/2019/04/25/halewood-from-liverpool/ Regards, Odin.
  10. You didn't get all of the carbon out. Submicron carbon will make the spirit look cloudy. 1 micron is not sufficient to remove small carbon fines. We use powdered activated carbon for decolorization, and it requires filtration down to .2 or even .1 micron to regain a bright, sparkling, clear appearance. Rinsing carbon is critical to remove sub-micron fines, which are very, very difficult to filter. It will never settle out, so don't bother. If all you have are 1 micron filters, you can try filtering with brand new filters, at a very slow flow rate. However, the better fix is to filter again with smaller pore filters (.2 or .1 micron).
  11. Yesterday
  12. Great topic and comments... Not where I live... not by a long-shot. Start a craft brewery for $1MM. Start a craft distillery for $3MM. Anything less and you are fooling yourself, IMO. Agree with this. But a problem is that there are too few craft distilleries and too many are not really that interested in or willing to do the work to collaborate and push the legislation forward. There is strength in numbers and strength in money. The craft distilling industry is struggling with both and hence falling behind. I would expand on this a bit. I think being a good distiller is not that difficult for many people to learn. Not all, but many. You have to have a multi-discipline, problem-solving type brain and personality, and great interest to learn and get better at a craft. How have to have a passion for producing great things. I think being a great distiller is an order of magnitude more difficult and takes almost a life-time to accomplish. But I think the market is such that most consumers don't even know the difference between a great spirit and a good spirit. Do you know how many people I know that tell me Fireball is their favorite whiskey!? I agree that you will fail if you don't become a good distiller. And when we say distiller, that means distillery operator. You need to be good at all the process steps to get a final product that is good... better than average preferably. But I think there are many people out there with the stuff required to become a good distiller. And then the rest is business. And there is where the real challenges are, IMO. If you don't have a business brain, experience, contacts, etc... it is going to be very, very difficult to have a sustainable and successful craft distillery business... unless you get lucky creating some product that sells itself. The actual business target is to grow a brand or brands. The world is filled full of people that loaded up on expensive shiny things to do something they had a passion for but that never amounted to much business success... because the business acumen/talent was not there. I think if you are passionate on the making side and not the business side, you better have a partner that fills the gaps. If you suck at making things, then get real in your plans to hire a professional distiller and find something else to do in the business. Trust me, there will be plenty to pick from.
  13. That is an interesting question. I recently had a conversation with someone about this... does vodka have a taste? Certainly there must be some variation give the number of vodka products on the shelf. We know that 80% of what we describe as taste is actually olfactory sensory input. I can certainly identify my finished lower-proof make of different raw material. But I can identify our GNS. I can identify our grain neutral spirits over bourbon and rye make, and rum make. But if real vodka, I am blending a neutral spirit (95% pure ethanol) with water. So the question is does a neutral spirit have a discernible flavor (smell). And I would say it does... I can identify it in a blind test. But back to the questions posted above... I cannot really "taste" a material difference between a neutral grain spirit and any neutral spirit made from another substrate like cane products. The difference is so subtle that the testing is easily corrupted by external influence. And then there is the water used to proof down the neutral spirit to become 80 proof vodka. Yes, water can have a taste. So, I would say that vodka has a distinct taste and so does a neutral spirit, but there is no material difference in taste between vodka or neutral spirit made from different raw materials. I know some people will disagree... and I do admit to different mouthfeel, etc for vodka from different substrate. But vodka flavor differentiation should be almost 100% water and other factors other than any difference in the base neutral spirit used. My guess is that these other "neutral cane" products are not really neutral but high-proof make that retains character of the base raw cane material. If you were to add true neutral spirits to something that was distilled at a lower proof, I think it would taste more like vodka. Maybe the use of "vodka" here is a replacement for a true neutral (95% ethanol) spirit.
  14. Did you rinse the filter first? Did you rinse the carbon?
  15. Good Evening, We ran our Ethanol through our carbon, for some reason there was a lot of carbon dust, so the final product was dark. We decided t filter this through 1micron 20" filters x 4 , we got most of the darkness if not all out of it. However now its slightly cloudy . Would anyone shed some light as to why this would of happened? And how to correct it.
  16. I still don’t understand what is “added vodka flavor”
  17. This is sort of where I came from... I had harboured the concept of a distillery since the late 90's. When it became possible to build my own, I went for it. Coming up to a year later, I am in no danger of going out of business and I can barely keep up with the demand. This summer will be extremely busy and I'll be working flat out until Christmas. I do not use the term 'master', I think it sounds a bit stuffy and I have found the clients don't care. I don't have partners or investors, I started with a lot less than a million and the only company debt is a line of credit that ebbs and flows. The equipment and building are paid for. Even if I went out of business today, the increased value of my real estate with the rezoning, and distillery building, far exceeds the money I originally invested. I like the business a lot - and a lot more than the TV business. It helps for sure if you have prior business experience. People say running a distillery is complex and it is - but - nothing compared to the TV biz where we come from. So, for us, the transition has been relatively straightforward. What we didn't expect, is that we're actively competing with much larger distillers than we planned for or even considered. That's keeping us on our toes. In fact, back in the TV biz a decade ago, the same OP sentiments often went around. But, look at the business today! It's huge and growing. The same with the coffee business. So, I think there is plenty of room for growth and yes, some will fail - I'm watching one slowly imploding from a comfortable distance. As the industry continues to de-regulate, the boom and bust cycle will become more apparent. As in the TV biz, smaller companies will grow and consolidate into medium companies which in turn, will be swallowed by big companies. Hopefully, someone will want to buy me one day!
  18. Naven, I'll get a pic of the inside tomorrow morning after we dump today's mash and before we re-fill for tomorrow's stripping run. The whiskey head is attached to the pot with a 6" tri clamp and with a 3" tri clamp connection to the lyne arm.
  19. I was referencing shitty distillers, not repackagers.
  20. I have owned successful businesses for over 40 years in several different industries. I have never seen a truly dishonest person succeed in the end and I have seen a bunch of them try. Dishonesty and business do not mix. If you cheat people the word gets out, your business fails. I have seen it time after time after time. A low life piece of shit cheat who rips off their customers and suppliers as a matter of course may make money in the short run but not in the long run. Corson is a prime example. I can't think of any business person who screwed people who was successful in the end. If they screw me or anyone I know, I do my best to personally put them out of business. There may be a few that slip through the cracks, as there are always outliers in any situation, but I have never seen one that did. A great distiller produces great spirits. A good distiller produces good or okay spirits. A distiller that is less than a good distiller produces shit spirits. As far as shit spirits produced by someone who is not a good distiller, if I buy a bottle of craft spirits that taste like methanol and fusel oils, I will never buy that spirit again and I will tell everyone about it. No matter how great the marketing, very few are going to come back and buy something called craft that is produced by someone who produces shitty tasting spirits. The same goes for food. If you go to a restaurant for breakfast and your hash browns sit in a pool of grease and your eggs are runny and the gravy taste like a soured iron skillet, you are not going to go back no matter how great their advertising and marketing are. As far as marketing goes. You do not necessarily need to be great at marketing if you produce a great product. The product can market itself. I did not pay for a single ad for the first 3 years that I owned ADE and I sold millions of dollars worth of equipment, but then again I started the business with zero monetary investment from anyone.
  21. The same convention is used in South Africa. There is very little grain-derived potable alcohol available here. It is all grape or sugar cane based. What we call cane spirit here is really a neutral rum. Locally vodka is made from the same cane-based neutral spirit. Each bottler has their own "magic" that converts cane to vodka, most of it involving treatment with activated carbon. I don't know how much of it is hype and how much is valid technology. Some very well-known international vodka brands are made in South Africa from cane spirit. If you want to make a very smooth vodka, you must start with a very smooth cane spirit. In my experience it is difficult to remove harshness from a spirit by any method other than distillation.
  22. IMO pull all that packing out of the column. It’ll speed up your runs considerably. Then dilute your low wines (stripped product) with CLEAN PURE water to 30% and run it thru again fast. Maybe pull off at 80-85%. NO CUTS Then dilute again with clean water to 30% and do a final run and pull off at 90%+ (temp corrected) or whatever your column tells you it’ll do with a reasonable take-off. this should get you some pretty clean stuff and speed up your runs if you don’t like the product after a run then run it again or carbon filter something i also do (maybe it works maybe it don’t) is clean/rinse my column after a beer stripping run and before a spirit run I’ve only got 11 plates just now and I can get 95% at 4-5l per hour from a 4” makes a decent vodka with one stripping run and one spirit run it does take some work tho and I am adding 5 more plates ASAP if ya ain’t got the plates then run it more times!! 😎
  23. Witherspoon Distillery is seeking an experienced Distiller to support all aspects of whiskey production. Responsibilities range the entire spirit production process, from grain selection to packaging. The ideal candidate should possess the following profile: Experience operating whiskey brewhouse: grain mill, mash tun, corn cooker, heat exchangers Experience operating a cellarhouse to produce optimum and consistent fermentations Experience running hybrid column/pot stills and making distillate cuts Experience blending, proofing and filtering distillates Knowledge of barrel aging best practices and rickhouse management Understanding of quality controls, assurance measures for beverage packaging and quality control certification Experience with warehousing operations, including forklift operating experience Ability to troubleshoot and resolve mechanical and process problems throughout the production process Organized with a meticulous attention to detail Skilled multi-tasker with ability to manage multiple moving parts simultaneously Understanding of raw material procurement and inventory management best practices Main responsibilities: Run day to day production operations as a member of our Distiller production team in alignment with state and federal regulatory requirements and industry best practices Maintain state and federal regulatory reporting for production operations components Assist with production process improvements to achieve higher efficiencies and cost savings Meet Quality Controls and improve Quality Assurance measures through TQM best practices Assist with Research and Development initiatives Manage raw material procurement to ensure material continuity and lower procurement cost Qualifications: 2+ years professional distilling experience Strong problem solving skills Be able to lift up-to 60 lb. on a consistent basis and stand for extended periods Work from heights and in confined spaces, with variable temperatures up to 100F+ Ability to work multiple shifts as needed for production scheduling, to include second shift as well as occasional weekends What Witherspoon Distillery can offer you: An opportunity to work in a fun and fast-growing team within the Texas whiskey scene Fantastic career development potential, paid time off and available benefits Please send resumes to: info@witherspoondistillery.com
  24. Sorry for such a simple question when you say saturated. Do you mean leave what ever is in it after you drain it? we started with 430litres drained it, got a net amount of 410 so still 20litres in the Colums. so we should leave this and get the Benidorm in the next run?
  25. In this industry great branding and marketing can (and often does) compensate for sub par product. And on the flip side the best product in sub par branding will often fail.
  26. Last week
  27. So where are you in West Michigan? I happen to be visiting that part of the state today.
  28. I would recommend leaving it saturated with vodka at proof you were filtering.
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