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  2. captnKB

    DIY defoamers

    putting to much heat to your still will cause an excess of foaming with many types of wash. Old school still men were well known for the their ability to put just the right amount of heat to the still (direct fire) to not have it foam, but still have a decent run time. Have you tried reducing your heat input?
  3. cool setup. What kind of yield are you getting per bushel from this?
  4. There are various reasons For distillery success or failure vs the average business type (restaurants included ) such as: Many Small Craft distilleries are secondary to an individual's source of income. Small operations that are run primarily by families who are employed at other jobs, and they are working due to the passion of their endeavor. This type of operation can usually survive as a hobby that may break even. alternatively Retirement / heritage distillery where an individual has left their primary job or business and has a million or more to invest in a new field. They can float through the first few years while their decent local product matures long enough to be palatable. If collocated as a ditillery-pub with decent food, it can be a good model. alternatively Either of the above can also be operate as fake distilleries, where they re-bottle and rebubble bulk products, giving them a better chance to survive by charging True Craft prices with minimal input expense. ( There is no other industry that has a national infrastructure set up to supply fake craft to business that then attempt to dupe customers). alternatively Group funded operations that have sufficent backup cash to run without fear of making payroll. Again these can be run true or fake, or a hybrid of both which is quite popular wherein they rebottle bulk with the "premise" that at some point they will produce their own. Because distilleries come in so many shapes, sizes and models, and are governed by so many different state laws, you really need to drill down to find the reasons for success or failure of any given brand. None of this by the way touches on the plethora of fake "Big Liquor" craft offerings which are sucking up shelf space with the same old products they have been making for 50 years. prost
  5. Today
  6. There is a beautiful thesis published by Victoria Green a few years back that looked at Bundaberg in Australia, it contains a wealth of fantastic information, and touches on the topic of bulk molasses storage quite a bit. This is absolutely a must-read paper. http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:36385/SOURCE02?view=true
  7. jazznblues

    DIY defoamers

    Yesterday mashed 100% rye malt. Foam was a great problem. Although I added a 4x dose of commercial defoaming agent I got wort flowing out of mash tun/fermenter approximately in 15 minutes after yeast addition. By that time my defoaming agent run out - all remains were already in the wort. So, I used olive oil - 50-70 ml per 60L of wort. In the morning everything was ok. Now the question is - should I add more commercial defoaming agent or should I add more olive oil? Or both?
  8. Yesterday
  9. Release valve/plugs. Keep it stored cool.
  10. @Rickdiculous if you need a hand converting it over to steam, shoot me a message id love to help ya out as ive done this on a few bain maries
  11. Hi Abeja, Welcome to the forum, its a long fun and challenging road to getting a distillery started and going. If you need any specific help feel free to reach out to me anytime
  12. I think there's plenty of room for more distilleries. Those who make a good product and find a good niche will do well. Others may do well flooding the market through distribution. Those that don't know how to manage their growth and plan ahead will probably fail, but that's par for the course with any business. And then there will always be those distilleries that do everything right but still fail anyway. I do sort of cringe when I hear someone refer to themselves as a 'master distiller'. To me that's an honorific that you earn only from your peers after a lifetime of work and a portfolio of products that are great by consensus.
  13. Check with Andrew Koenig at Koenig Distillery- he has a nice little unit over there that is pretty close to what you describe.
  14. EarlPins, 80% of restaurants fail within the 1st 5 years. It appears that the failure rate among distilleries is a great deal lower than that. Does anyone have an idea what it is? Also, I've seen more than one distiller who has been in business for a year produce superior products than some others, who have been in business far longer. Some people learn a great deal faster than others. Some never learn. Personally, I think that there is room for thousands more small distilleries in the US.
  15. Well alot went into that. My company has not open yet, and I can attest to the over saturation in the local ABC stores with local brands. Some of the local distillerys that I have visited have shown me the version you see happening, and others it is more obvious that they have tried to bring a more unique product, sometimes unsuccessfully to market. I have always wanted to be a small business owner, I have floated many ideas over many years and growing up prior to the internet age I took a cautious approach to several business ideas due to the accelerated pace of change. The idea of a distillery came up in Jan of 2018. As with each prior business I thought about starting I vetted several reasons not to do it. The only two that gave me pause was the amount of small distillerys opening up, and the ABC laws of the state. I am by no means a master distiller, maybe a novice 8 gallon distiller in the back yard on a good day. I do have someone who is part owner that brings alot of experience to the distilling side. I also have some creative ideas (with Rum at least). I also have been very lucky to know some very skillful people that will help open and run the business. While I am not planning on making millions I am planning on being able to leave my current job after a year or two and make this my living. I think this industry is similar to the craft breweries in the early 2000s. Many will do well and many will fail, but each year the big dogs will lose a very small amount of market share to the little guys. I also think as with any business that someone starts, that if you do not enjoy the work and bring something unique then it can be more of a struggle to survive. I find it amusing that several of the distillerys that we have visited where started by commercial real estate agents. I also can say that my appreciation for local gin, rum and wiskey has improved. Regards Matt
  16. Not everyone who has opened a distillery in the past decade is making substandard, sourced product.
  17. @Silk City Distillers, @Tom Lenerz, @JustAndy: thanks for your responses, I'll take the mash up to a higher temperature the next time I'm on a rye cycle.
  18. Happy Easter to you all! https://istillblog.com/2019/04/21/another-easter-joke/ Regards, Odin.
  19. We're mostly talking about cereal mashes of unmalted grains here - rye, corn, etc. There is no enzyme to denature, causing non-fermentable sugars. Malt and Enzymes are added after the cereal mash has been cooled to temperatures (and pH adjusted) to convert all the gelatinized starch to fermentable sugars. Using something like Glucoamylase, the potential for non-fermentable sugar is just about nil. When we're talking about cereal mashes, realize that unmalted grain generally requires higher gelatinization temperatures than unmalted grain - and be careful referring to brewing literature that doesn't specify, often times they are mainly referring to malted grain, or even pre-gelatinized adjunct. Also realize, the higher the temperature, the faster the gelatinization process. There are large commercial distilleries that use pressure cookers, or inline jet cookers, to heat the mash far above 212F (boiling point) - which results in near instantaneous gelatinization of starch.
  20. Last week
  21. Thanks. We currently store it in 275 gallon totes. We buy a truckload at a time currently so we would be going through it at the same speed. The totes are kept closed and so far we haven't had any major problems. I'm a bit worried to have it all in one tank in case it does get active. Having never run into the problem before, I'm not certain how to plan for it. How does one plan for that?
  22. I know this thread is about how iStill is doing, so sorry for digressing. And not so sorry at the same time. Here I am: a dad that is tremendously proud of his daughter. https://istillblog.com/2019/04/20/all-work-and-no-play-makes-odin-a-dull-man/ Regards, Odin.
  23. Molasses can become active during storage, so this is something you have to plan for.
  24. Surf City Still Works is the first distillery to operate in Huntington Beach. We have a clear vision of where we are headed and what our values are, and we are looking for a new team member who is just as excited as we are about our future. We treat everyone with respect and work continuously to cultivate a work environment where we can all grow and thrive together. Since we are a Craft Distillery and do not operate a kitchen at our current location, we are limited to serving 1.5oz per person unless it is a private event by CA law. We will be building out a kitchen in our new location which will lift the 1.5oz limit. Our team is a cohesive and supportive group who has an aligned focus on our future & vision. We have been fortunate enough to be the first to distill and bring craft spirits to Huntington Beach, and we aim to continue educating those in the greater Orange County area about the craft spirits industry. We believe a rising tide lifts all boats so we have cultivated a positive and supportive relationship with surrounding distilleries, who would otherwise be called our "competition". The successful candidate will be someone who is excited about our growth, has values that are aligned with ours, has an interest in the craft cocktail culture, and is willing to learn the skills required to prepare and make the cocktails on our menu. The successful candidate will also have strong guest service skills and previous experience as a bartender and/or bar back. The role you will be applying for will impact our operations greatly. You will assist our head bartender in a way that allows the cocktail making process to flow smoothly and efficiently. In the meantime, we will train you on how to make our cocktails and the culture behind the craft cocktail world so that you will be fully prepared to handle shifts on your own. Our customers come in with the expectation that their cocktail(s) will be spectacularly made and Instagram-worthy (kind of kidding on the IG part, but not really...). The skills we will teach you will allow you to meet their expectations every time, and then some. Responsibilities: - Assisting the head bartender in prepping, garnishing, clearing, cleaning, etc. - Delivering cocktails to guests - Closing out guests in a timely fashion (we use Square, which is really easy to use) - Knowledge of our cocktail menu to better assist the head bartender - Help with opening & closing tasks as needed Requirements: - Great people skills - Upbeat personality - Open availability - At least 1 year prior experience as a bartender - Knowledge of craft spirits & experience in creating craft cocktails a plus Potential Roles this position could lead to: - Head Bartender - Mixologist - Tasting Room Manager - Distilling Assistant - Warehouse Manager Please respond to info@surfcitystillworks.com with you resume and a brief note about how you see yourself in this position. Cheers!
  25. I am looking at replacing my tote farm of molasses storage with one or two stationary tanks with hard plumbing to the mash tanks. Anyone have experience with that? Do I need to worry about molasses infections or foaming? I have read about treating molasses stored in tanks with products to kill off bacteria. Not sure if that is necessary or not. Any other design criteria to think about for a molasses tank that holds about a truckload of molasses? Gotta make sure the floor can take it of course. Any links to info on the subject would be appreciated.
  26. Smaller scale distilleries are popping up everywhere. More than often, many owners have little to no experience distilling prior to opening their business. Why are you following the trend? Are you after fame, are you after the money? Will you make money? When similar brands pop up over and over again, what are the consumers going to think? Cool, generic name/logo, campfire, outsourced spirits..whatever. What is the point? Will your brand really stand out, or are you just flooding an already saturated market? WIll these poorly made spirits sell for long? Does anyone take time to do things right these days? Oh wait, right is subjective..right? What's that you say? You went to an 8 hour distilling course, and to the ADI conference this year, opened a distillery and now you are a master distiller? Anyways..The same story is repeating itself with many new distilleries. What is happening to the industry? What do you as an owner/distiller/investor/consumer/contributor think about the current direction of the distilling industry and its future? Will the small distilleries prevail, or wash away into the sunset? Is there still purity out there? I saw McDonald's starting using the word 'Craft' in their marketing now. Count me in for a craft sandwich, and a pour, excuse me, 'dram' of whatever you got.
  27. How much rye did you use and was it malted or unmalted? If you used unmalted rye, it's likely you got very little fermentable sugar from the grain unless it was very finely milled. The temperatures you quoted are related to the enzymatic conversion of starch to sugar, but first the starch made available for conversion, basically to be broken apart from the very sturdy way the grain has stored it. With malt, the malting process has already begin this transformation but with raw grain some combination of physical disruption (milling), heat, hydration, acid, and enyzmes is necessary.
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