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#1 Steve F

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 08:04 PM

I'm noticing that besides the ADI Conference, which looks great, but is too long, pricey, and geographically inconvenient (I'm on the East Coast) for me at this stage, there are a number of events and courses offered through the major still manufacturers, such as the Bavarian Breweries Distilleries event in AZ, the Carl Distilleries event in Michigan, the Kothe workshop in Chicago. Does anybody have an opinion for a beginner about who they think puts on an event, or offers a course, that provides solid, all-around information for a start-up distillery - e.g., techniques, equipment advice, production calculations, etc.?

#2 virtuoso

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 09:08 PM

Virtuoso Distillers is going to be offering an intense 1 day distilling workshop. We will discuss the history and theory and chemistry of distilling, and demonstrate the actual process of distilling going from unground grain to glass with all the steps in-between. all of the demonstrations will be live while there will be some power point visuals you will be able to see all the processes take place in real time . We will discuss Government regs, enzymes and malt. you will see the mash batch being created and deal with adjusting ph, we will do a distillation this will be happening concurrently so will see all the steps. You will see the bottle and labeling process. Some of the inhformantion you will get can be used diectley in developing a business plan Our starting time will be 9:00am and go till everything is finished which should be around 4:30 or could be longer. The class size will be a maximum of 15 people. The charge is $160.00. we'll have a dononuts and coffe for starts and pizza for lunch. We are not sure at this time which Sat in Sept, 2011 we will be holding the class but we wanted those interested to have a heads-up about the class, we will probably have a final date at the end of April.
Virtuoso Distillers
4211 grape rd.
Mishawaka IN 46545(next to South Bend Indiana
18Vodka.com
Email Steve@18vodka.com

#3 Viking

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 09:32 PM

I'm noticing that besides the ADI Conference, which looks great, but is too long, pricey, and geographically inconvenient (I'm on the East Coast) for me at this stage, there are a number of events and courses offered through the major still manufacturers, such as the Bavarian Breweries Distilleries event in AZ, the Carl Distilleries event in Michigan, the Kothe workshop in Chicago. Does anybody have an opinion for a beginner about who they think puts on an event, or offers a course, that provides solid, all-around information for a start-up distillery - e.g., techniques, equipment advice, production calculations, etc.?

Please consider attending the Artisan Craft Distilling week long workshop in Moses Lake, WA.
the program is targeted to those who want a lot of information in one week. We call it Your First Big Step to the Next Big Thing. Lunches are included. We have had folks from NY VT Puerto Rico register for our workshops. www.artisancraftdistilling.spruz.com is the website to see the schedule and trainer bios. Cheers, Allan

#4 hawk

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 11:25 PM

I'm noticing that besides the ADI Conference, which looks great, but is too long, pricey, and geographically inconvenient (I'm on the East Coast) for me at this stage, there are a number of events and courses offered through the major still manufacturers, such as the Bavarian Breweries Distilleries event in AZ, the Carl Distilleries event in Michigan, the Kothe workshop in Chicago. Does anybody have an opinion for a beginner about who they think puts on an event, or offers a course, that provides solid, all-around information for a start-up distillery - e.g., techniques, equipment advice, production calculations, etc.?


I took the two-day version offered in the Northwest by two Carl reps and a Michigan State prof. I called home the first afternoon to report that my brain was full. It was fast but high quality. I have heard the same thing about the Kothe and Bavarian courses in various places. Given how packed the two days were, I wonder if a beginner could get enough out of a one-day course. I was tempted by the one-week course across the state, but couldn't spare the time to be away from home that long.

Hawk

#5 mitchabate

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 08:48 AM

Distillery School at Downslope Distilling in Centennial, Colorado
Distilling classes will be held on May 21-22, 2011 and June 18-19, 2011
The two day classes will start at 9:00 AM MST and will cover: Distilling Vodka, Rum and Whiskey, Mashing, Gauging, Blending, Water Quality, Spirit Ageing and other topics you wish to discuss.
To register: please email: MITCH@DOWNSLOPEDISTILLING.COM
Once registered we will ask you to send a check for $250 to:
Downslope Distilling, Inc. , 6770 South Dawson Cr., Ste. 400, Centennial, CO 80112
Or call 303-693-4300 to charge by phone
Please visit our website at www.downslopedistilling.com for course outline
We plan on having classes every month during 2011

#6 MarkR

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 11:57 AM

I'm noticing that besides the ADI Conference, which looks great, but is too long, pricey, and geographically inconvenient (I'm on the East Coast) for me at this stage, there are a number of events and courses offered through the major still manufacturers, such as the Bavarian Breweries Distilleries event in AZ, the Carl Distilleries event in Michigan, the Kothe workshop in Chicago. Does anybody have an opinion for a beginner about who they think puts on an event, or offers a course, that provides solid, all-around information for a start-up distillery - e.g., techniques, equipment advice, production calculations, etc.?



I have attended both the 2day Distilling 101 class offered by Bavarian-Holstein at the Double Diamond Distillery in Kingman AZ and the 4day class offered by Kothe at the KOVAL Distillery in Chicago, and found both to be very helpful to me and apparently of great value to others who were attending. If you want to get a quick overview of the business with a look at how a pretty high end start-up is set up for a very reasonable cost, try the classes by Holstein. The Kothe session is better for gaining a broad knowledge of how to actually start up your own distillery, also at a very reasonable cost. I have also spoken with Allan who is running the upcoming session in Moses Lake WA and the content of their class as well as their intent to give folks a good introduction to the business. Any of these sessions will give you a pretty good understanding of basic techniques for fermentation and distillation of vodka, whiskey and some fruit based spirits, teach you some of the basics of equipment design and operation and in the Holstein and Kothe cases push their own stills, and if you ask the right questions will give you information on production numbers although probably not in a direct manner as too many variables are in play to address those numbers in a general manner.

I found both sessions that I attended to be lacking in education people in the process of actually starting up your own artisan distillery. While the laws for such businesses vary by state, the planning and execution of this type of project are fairly complex, and it has become obvious that a lot of folks are jumping into trying to build their own distillery without understanding how. Sure, they can mash a couple hundred pounds of flour, toss in some yeast and ferment it, and distill it with reasonable success to make a bunch of vodka. Trouble is, how do they get to where those steps are really possible, who are they going to sell it to, how much vodka can they make in a month, how much can they pay themselves, and where did they get the $500,000 to start the ball rolling are questions that are not yet being addressed in these classes.

I am working with a couple of the folks who are presenting these classes to translate my experience in managing complex projects over the past 15 years into an addition to their sessions that might be called "Reality and Planning in Craft Distilling". Developing Excel spread sheets to show start-up and production costs as well as returns, analyzing why you want to open a craft distillery and what your goals are for that business, typical pitfalls encountered in finding a location, working with local governmental agencies like fire and sewer departments are some of the topics to be included. For now I am providing consulting services for folks planning on opening a small distillery, but I think offering such information in one of these group sessions will be helpful, particularly to those folks who are early in their planning process, hopefully before they spend a lot of money.

#7 Beauport Bob

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 12:44 PM

Steve F., ADI Conference!! You can meet all these workshope facilitators there. I do not think 3-5 days is too long for what you would have access to. If the expense is a concern,as Mark relates, you are going to invest a lot in this so a relativly few dollars up front is wise. Especially the ADI conference. And even if it convinces you do or do not want to pursue this.
You will get your "Buck sixty's" worth with Steve at Virtuoso. These workshops are what they are. We hosted Bavarian's here in Gloucester twice. They work hard and care what for what is done at these workshops, as I'm confident all the others do also. But it is a platform for you to be exposed to segments of the Industry. Much to the newbies fustration and as I'm sure all the established distillers will agree, this is not fast food, McDonalds University type training. You'll notice Viking calls theirs "Your First Big Step to the Next Big Thing". First Big Step and that is a week long.
Visit Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, heck, come up and visit us. My son will be in NYC for the next 10 weeks, for a cup of good coffee he may meet and talk openly with you.
Cheers,

#8 Red

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:37 PM

Thank for the info about classes.

Does any one have any reviews of the class in MN (http://www.distillingclass.com/). Have heard anything about it on here and trying to decide betweent that course and the Kothe course. Any impressions of either would be much appreicated.




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