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  1. 1 point
    I believe Journeyman's rye is a high wheat rye. Or at least it was.
  2. 1 point
    My daughter is 21 and with a firm eye on running me off the premises as soon as possible!
  3. 1 point
    We also do a wheated rye, but at only 13% wheat, it's not exactly a high wheat rye. We love the slight softness that wheat adds to our bourbon and rye.
  4. 1 point
    We've done it, it's good. Gives a bit more mouthfeel and sweetness to it. I prefer our 100% Rye, but I liked the wheated rye over the corned Rye and barley malt Rye we've done.
  5. 1 point
    I believe you need to be dead be considered a master distiller. A posthumously awarded title, one determined by industry peers and not by self-aggrandisement. If you put it on your business card two days after opening a distillery, it is really just a code-word for douchebag.
  6. 1 point
    I'll add something here. You need to make sure that the gauge record records the kind of barrel into which you place the spirits. If you examine what is required in the storage record, you will find that you must keep tank records and package records. If you examine the information that the package record must include, you will find, much to my surprise, I'll add, that it does not include the type of barrel in which the spirits were stored. In general, you must keep records of the receipt into and activities in the storage account (19.590). Focusing on barrels, you record spirits received into the account in barrels, filled into barrels from a tank, and transferred from one barrel to another, and the addition of oak chips, if any. You must keep package summary records (19.591). A package summary record is a separate records of each kind of spirit – separated too by domestic and imported and VI or Puerto Rican origins - in packages that show the spirits deposited in, withdrawn from, and in the storage account. The regulations then require that they be arranged in a certain order. For domestic spirits, that is alphabetically by State and by the plant number and name of the producer or warehouseman. For most of you, that is easy probably easily enough done with a sortable spreadsheet or database, or not a problem because you only get spirits from one or two sources. But I mention it to show what is required, but also what is not. The package summary records must show the date of the transaction, the number of packages and proof gallons covered by the summary record,and any gains or shortages disclosed by inventory or when an account is closed (19.591) and the balance on the summary records (remember this is for each type of spirit) in the account at the end of the month. These are the figures that feed into the report of storage operations you send to TTB each month. As an aside, you are not required to inventory spirits that are in packages, so the shortage on inventory would be the loss of a package. You will record losses when you empty the packages, something the regulations seem to omit. You must also” consolidate” the records at the end of each month, “, to show, for all types of containers (barrels, totes, tanks, etc.) and kinds of spirits, the total proof gallons received in, withdrawn from and remaining in the storage account. That’s it. Well, you may say, it seems that is certainly more than enough. But where is the requirement that you show whether the barrel in which you have stored spirits produced from a corn mash are being stored in new charred, used, new uncharred, or used oak, or stainless steel or plastic totes? Oops, follow these requirements to the letter, and you cannot prove, from these records alone, to the inquisitive TTB, that the product you are labeling bourbon was stored in new charred oak, or that the product you are labeling corn whiskey was not. In fact, you can’t even show that it touched oak, so you can’t even prove its whiskey. That is where the gauge record comes in, because the gauge record, and as far as I have found, only the gauge record requires that you show the type of package into which you place the spirits. You must prepare a serial numbered (the serial number is important for tracking purposes) package gauge record (19.619) when you enter spirits for deposit into the storage account, package spirits from a tank in the storage account, The gauge record must include, for each package, among other things, “Cooperage identification (``C'' for charred, ``REC'' for recharred, ``P'' for plain, ``PAR'' for paraffined, ``G'' for glued, or ``R'' for reused, and ``PS'' if a barrel has been steamed or water soaked before filling). And, because you also must show “the identity of the related transaction form or record, and its serial number – if it has one – your records show that the the bouyrbon was stored in new charred oak. There you have the only required record, again, as far as I can determine, that is going to show that. Further, because the gauge record is going to show the proof of the spirits, it will also show that the bourbon was stored, as required by the standard of identity (5.22) at 125 prof or less. I’ll add another aside, when you gauge packages you must do so by weight (19.619). Finally, although it cannot be used to trace spirits through the system, if you transfers spirits from one package to another, you must give the package the same package identificaitohn number as the original, but must also affix, to the head of the new package, a sign or label “in the following form: The spirits in this ------------ [kind of cooperage: barrel or drum], package identification No. --------, were transferred from a ---- -------- [kind of cooperage: barrel or drum], on -------------- [Date], -------------- [Proprietor].” (19.468). Strangely, as far as I can determine, when you first put the spirits into a package, this information is not required. You need only assign a package identification number (19.485), which does not include any indication of the type of cooperage. I’ve not found an explanation for this. Out of curiosity, I'd be interested in knowing if this sort of compendium, of the various sections, into one place, is of interest to those of you who operate distilled spirits plants? Would it be useful, for example, to have, in one place, a description of all of the information you need to know if you are bottling bourbon, making bitters, using wine as a flavoring agent, etc? Does it answer a need? And would you pay for that, say, in the form of an online tutorial, from which you could pick, like items off a menu,. as need? Would, for example, a discussion of vodka be worth $30, one of bourbon $40, and TTB's stance on GRAS,, something else? Would an all access option be attractive? It would be a chore to do that. It would take a lot of time. And like textbooks, it would have a specialized audience - even narrower than a text book - and so could not be published as a book for $50.00. The ROI on my time would not be there. This answer, for example, took me a couple of hours to compile in useable, I hope, form. I did it because I think it is important information. But I've got a life, both commercial and personal. If you have an opinion on this, I'd like to hear it by PM, to keep the forum free of liter. Thanks.
  7. 1 point
    Honestly unless you have come up with some incredible speciality spirit, and are realitvely new, you would be better off to just enter any of the myriad of "Pay to Play" HoneyBooBoo competitions out there. It seems like most people who play that game enter contests far away from their actual location, so it adds more drama to the purchased medals. Also make sure it has an official sounding name like "The Elon Musk Intergalactic Bourbon Challenge" We have a Quasi-illery near us that actually entered and won a bunch of medals in a "competition" for several different unreleased aged whiskeys that were still halfway through their way to being straight (+/- 16 months). A rye, bourbon, corn, etc. must have been awesome ! Playing Devils advocate, wouldn't that mean that the actual spirit you eventually release is different than the one you purchased the medal for, making said fake award even less valid ? But people seem to buy it, so follow the sheep. ps: They also were victorious with their 100% NGS vodka and gin. prost
  8. 1 point
    I am sure it made for good television.
  9. 1 point
    It's definitely not absinthe; absinthe must be distilled. It doesn't taste anything at all like absinthe, which isn't that bitter. Absinthe's primary flavor should be anise, not bitter wormwood. What you have there are wormwood bitters. Pelinkovac, malört, and bäsk are examples of wormwood bitters from Central and Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Absinthe may still be obscure to the general populace, but there is a lot of accurate information available to those care enough to look. I suggest doing a bit of research before trying to bring a product to market as absinthe. You'll find literally everything you need to know over at the Wormwood Society, especially in the historic articles section.
  10. 1 point
    To sum this thread up: If you are a brewer, winery or distillery you need to do the following to be craft. Grow your own trees Cut them down yourself Make your own barrels Buy raw land Zone raw land into farm Turn raw land into farm Plow, plant, and harvest seeds by hand Mill them grains by hand with a mortar and pestle Mash them in a butter churn Ferment them using your own harvested and selected yeast. Build your equipment yourself using steel and copper from your own environmentally friendly mines and steel factorys. Distill them using only power from solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal systems which you built yourself from parts sourced only from other craft renewable energy manufacturers. Use proofing water which you made yourself from only naturally occurring hydrogen and oxygen. Again, sourced from equipment you made yourself. Blow your own glass using silica which you also mined and refined yourself Each label must be hand painted on the bottle by nobody else other than the distiller themself Each cork must be made from your own cork farm, and it must be completely renewable The tamper seal must be made from biodegradable materials which, you guessed it, is also made completely on site. You must self distribute using a bicycle with no more than 10 speeds/gears (>10 speeds makes you a corporate pig) and sell only to mom-and-pop stores. You must be on site for each bottle that is sold by the select liquor stores so that you can explain to each customer how you are completely transparent. When that customer has died of boredom from your story (because they just wanted to buy a bottle of vodka) you must be a paul bearer in their funeral to show that you are comitted to a lifelong relationship with every customer. If you stray from any of the above bullets then YOU ARE NOT CRAFT and are basically lying to your customers and a complete scam artist who is only out there to deceive customers and make a buck.
  11. 1 point
    That is a very generous interpretation based on my experience and those of other distilleries I have spoken with. Lies about how long the still would take to complete were the tip of the iceberg for most cases that I have looked into.
  12. 1 point
    Do a forum search and you will find a lot of negative reviews on this forum..... they seem like great people when Ive met them at the expo but from what I've read they seem over stretched and way behind on lead times and they haven't corrected their estimated time frames..... Good luck!
  13. 1 point
    Bloom is caused by repetitive condensation formation and evaporation on the inside of the bottles. Generally this happens on a daily basis when the climate is cold at night and warm during the day and there is moisture in the air. It usually takes 3-6 months of this happening before the white crystallization becomes apparent. If bottles must be stored for longer than 3-6 months, then they should always be stored in a temperature or humidity controlled warehouse. Generally either temperature or humidity control will work. Both are not necessary.
  14. 0 points
    Introduction Over the last decade I have had the opportunity to help dozens and dozens of craft distillers with developing and designing their gins. I want to use this thread to help lay out some of the basic guidelines I learned, that make the production of great gin quite easy and straight forward. Over the coming days (and depending on comments and my time in the factory) or weeks, I want to get most of the information (if not all) that we give on our gin making courses across. Now, gin making has a wide set of variables. And a lot of people adhere to certain approaches. If ever you feel my approaches or opinions to be contrary to yours, let's turn this thread into a discussion, not a battle ground. I for one will not. Just sharing info, not trying to convince anyone. Use the info or not. It's here (or it will be) and I will share it so you can use it. A few things on gin. Basically, let's dive into procedures, herbs bills, distillation techniques. But I want to start with a general outline on taste. Just to make or introduce a starting point. When I make whiskey, I find the late heads, smearing into hearts, to be fruity. Front of mouth oriented. You taste them first and you taste them on your lips and the front of your tongue. The body, the grain, comes over after that. Hearts. Middle mouth feeling. Early tails, that smear into the last portion of hearts, have a nutty, root-like taste (if you give them time to develop) and are tasted at the back of your mouth towards the throat. Now, in my experience, the same holds true for a gin: it's the fruity bits that come over first, then the body, then the root-like, nutty flavors. So if you want to make a floral gin ... don't add root-like, nutty things to your gin recipe. And cut a bit earlier. If you want a full-bodied gin that lingers in your mouth and can be consumed neat ... do add those nutty, root-like components. And cut a bit later, since these tastes come over during the last part of the run. Okay, that was the introductionary post. More on herbs bills and aging gin and procedures in future posts! Regards, Odin.
  15. 0 points
    Hey Patrick, Youngest distiller in craft distilling? Maybe not. I just hired a guy to by my assistant distillery and he's 24 too. I guess it depends when your birthday is. I'm one of the owners/distiller at Hye Rum about an hour north of San Antonio. You should stop by sometime, or heck, maybe I'll come to SA. Cheers, James
  16. 0 points
    welcome drone keep up the hard work . there are some very successful people on this forum from vendors , manufacturers , distillers , and flavor creators lots of talented minds to bounce ideas off . good luck to you . Paul thats good forward thinking, age doesn't mean shit , the only thing age proves is that you didn't die yet . mgl the apprenticeship program sure must be different where you live here in 5 years if you work hard you can have your journeyman electrician and your red seal ticket . i dont think any trade here takes 12 years . not saying there isnt people out there that it took them 12 years , but ...well ya know . tim
  17. 0 points
    This has nothing to do with the young girl who is head distiller in SD, but it should be considered that some people are much more adept at certain things and learn them much faster than others. If I have a fabricator that has 3 years experience but does a much better job all around, than another fabricator that has 20 years experience, I am certainly going to pay the the one who does the better job more and I will advance them faster. I had a 23 year old that I advanced to supervisor in one of my former businesses, which placed him in charge of 4 people that were all older than him and 2 of them had a great deal more experience. One of the older more experienced guys got mad and quiet, but the kid did an outstanding job as supervisor for years after that. He still works for me. As far as ability to do a job, I never completely judge anyone by age and experience. I judge them more by what they can do and by their leadership abilities.
  18. 0 points
    Personally, I don't think there is such a thing as "legal moonshine" once you go legal it is no longer moonshine. It can be used as a marketing gimmick, but it ain't really moonshine! Just my 2 cents from where I come from.
  19. 0 points
    I have actually been playing (on try 2 now) with using "sweet" rice and the "chinese" yeast balls that are used for traditional rice wine. The wine made on the first test batch was rather high in alcohol for me (12%) and this one is still doing its thing. Its a very slow process this way at about a month.... But I would be trying it with some other types of yeast in the future. In my case I cooked the rice as you would to eat it - crushed the rice balls and added them into the cooked rice. Then--- wait... As time goes by the rice converts into a liquid as it breaks down and it does it pretty completely. Of course I am talking uber small batch testing. I have no idea what will happen if I expand that. Thought you might be interested. Scott
  20. 0 points
    Owner considering all offers as well as owner financing! In this idyllic and growing Central Washington agricultural town, this artisan distillery creates a variety of products which include, whiskey, moonshine, gin, vodka, grappa, ouzo and many brandies and liqueurs. These premium quality products are made by hand using locally grown fruits and grains. While creating unique recipes, they are making spirits of exceptional quality and still capturing the essence of the fruits and grains. This distillery holds a craft distillery and a distiller/rectifier license in Washington.Craft distilleries in Washington state are growing strong. Washington state passed a bill in 2008 creating the Artisan Distillery license, which is for distillers who are producing 150,000 gallons or less of its own spirits per calendar year. At least half of the raw materials used in the production must be grown in Washington. It allows a craft distillery to contract and sell distilled spirits to holders of distillery licenses, manufacturer’s licenses and grower’s licenses. Consumers are growing more interested in this niche industry. Liquor is recession proof and it is profitable. Now is your chance to get in and ride the distillery growth wave. Besides the distillery and tasting room in Washington, the owner has invested in a second location in Oregon in order to focus on growth and expansion. There is extensive inventory, equipment and recipes including a recently purchased copper pot still. Owner is considering all offers as well as offering financing. Act now! Alek 509 280-9734
  21. 0 points
    Find some used barrels, age it for one day. It'll still be clear and you can legally call it whiskey (whiskey made from a bourbon mash).
  22. 0 points
    Good morning, Some of your assumptions are a little off, but in general the approach you're thinking of taking has some merit in this industry. This approach is "Start a Brand, make sure it actually sells and makes money, and THEN build out a distillery to continue operations once I'm cash positive". On the whole, this approach has just about the same ratio of success/failure as any new business, but does have a lower CAPEX expenditure and thereby a smaller amount of money to potentially lose. However, the big issue is the sales. If you're intending to keep your day job, this model might take off some of the production work, but here are the things that will still occupy your time: Processing and Bottling operations: You'll be dumping, proofing barrels for bottling. Running a bottling line. Following all the CFR guidelines for Proof and Fill Checks, record keeping etc. You'll still have to have a DSP: Even if you're not distilling, in order to store barrels, fill and label bottles, etc, you'll still have to get a DSP and follow all of the record keeping and just day-to-day work of running a DSP...even one without a mash/ferment/still operation. Sales: 50% of your time should be spent on sales....as if you're FTE. So...keep your day job, run a non-distilling DSP, and set aside 20 hours a week to call on accounts to buy your products. Please don't read this as pooping in your punchbowl. I want you to open and make a lot of booze and join our community of distillers. You just may want to revisit some of your core assumptions. Quick new mantra....."You're opening a marketing company that happens to make hooch". Or mantra 2, "Concentrate on selling the 2nd bottle, selling the first is easy". Good Luck, McKee
  23. 0 points
    The first thing I want to lay out is that in no way, shape or form do I consider myself a know it all. But due to some recent postings on this forum, and just people who have approached me in my local area about opening a distillery, I figure I'll do us all a favor and throw down some info based on my experiences over the past few years. Take them for what they are. If you disagree, feel free to post. If you want to open your own distillery, this is what I suggest. In my case, I don't come from money and didn't have the opportunity/ability to get a bunch of well-endowed folks to throw down a shipload of cash. I got a bank loan and used my personal funds that I had set aside during my time in the military. I won't go very far into how much I had, but the total allowed me to do some work on our site to set it up (those figures will obviously vary based on your individual circumstances), get some bargain equipment (total was about 20K) and then make it all work with almost daily trips to LOWE's (not being paid by them) over several months. So, if you have 500,000 dollars or more and don't need to start seeing a return for quite a while, then more power to you. But if you're on a limited budget and enjoy working 18 hour days, here's what I did: ***IMPORTANT STARTING NOTE: In 2007 (when I started to work on our business plan) there were very few options out there as far as educational opportunities for those interested in smaller scale distilling aside from books, the internet, and visiting working operations. However, there are now many, many options ranging from 1 or 2-day courses that may cost a few hundred dollars all the way up to full blown internships that are in the thousands. Case in point, I personally hold a 1-day workshop a few times a year (Camp Distillery, info on our website at www.mbrdistillery.com, and we fill up several weeks in advance). We specifically do this to help those seriously thinking about getting into the business that don't have a full week to spend on a course. I don't do it for the money, I do it because I literally have individuals wanting to stop by and meet with me on the matter at least every 2 weeks and I just honestly don't have time to entertain that many people for free. I can obviously vouch for our course that I teach, as I have had nothing but positive responses on the quality of instruction from those that have attended. Before you do get knee deep in a business plan, look into AT LEAST a one or two day workshop and attend it. The few hundred dollars you'll spend will save you either 1. At least tens of thousands of dollars in avoided mistakes or 2. You'll learn that getting into this business may not be for you BEFORE you start spending too much time and money. The longer I'm in this business, the more I honestly believe that there's really nothing quite like it, even beer and wine are usually very different from the spirits business both on the production and marketing sides. Plus, the amount of regulation and taxes we, as small-scale operations, pay is like the NFL compared to college or high school football. 1. Make yourself a REALISTIC business plan, then make several alternates in case you can't do it the way you want. I had plans A, B and C. I ended up going with plan C due to lack of funding. If you don't know accounting, teach yourself or find someone that can produce good financials for you if you're going to present things to either the bank or investors (or even just yourself). However, even if you have someone else produce them, you or they need to be able to explain them in detail if you're going to ask anyone for cash. Those two items (business plan and financials) are your foundation. You need to live and breath them and know them left, right, up and down. Working on those were pretty much my only hobby while I still had a day job, I spent the better part of 18 months on mine and it paid off because my numbers were almost dead on, and that was quite impressive when the bank or investors were trying to take me seriously about the business. 2. Start researching the art of distilling. Get books, go on sites, talk to other distillers, but don't expect to learn how to distill by reading. If getting hands on experience means visiting several distilleries, see below. Go to TTB.GOV and start reading, the regs are there. You can't know the regs well enough. I'm not lying when I say that I go on that site probably once a week or more to lookup info or just to go over things to ensure that they're fresh in my mind. When you get licensed and you produce a product, you are swearing under law that you are making that specific product according to the federal (and your state) regs. Your state may have some additional regs (mine does) that add to the federal regs, look them up as well. In essence, you are getting into a socialized business. It doesn't matter how much money you make (even if it isn't enough to keep the lights on), if you sell product, you pay the man. In most cases you have to "ask" the fed govt for permission to do certain things and, even if they're wrong, they're right. You can argue with them all you want, but you could be heading down a slippery slope to do so. IMHO, the only way that I would ever challenge the feds is if they were TRULY mistaken about something and (hopefully) I really won't upset anyone. In most businesses you don't have to ask the govt permission to make a product a certain way, to increase your production amount, or to change the setup of your facilities. In this business you do. 3. Go visit SEVERAL distilleries in different states. When you do so, call ahead and make an appointment to meet with the actual distiller and/or manager. Take into account my initial statement about time with regards to those individuals. If they're busy, just take note of their setup during your visit. But, in general, get in and get out and realize that they're not there to be your personal consultant for 2 hours or more. In total, I toured about 20 craft distilleries prior to making the first move to get ours going. Different states have different licensing requirements and different distilleries will have different techniques. During those visits I also met several people that I can call (or they can call me) if I have a question about something. I won't mention some of the guys that have helped me out and probably will still call (maybe they don't want the publicity cause I'm sure they're as busy as me), but they have helped make our business to some degree (FYI, I still owe most of them a free bottle or two and a whole lot of appreciation). I would also add that it helps to go talk to folks that aren't across the street (and preferably are a state or two away) because common sense will tell you that they won't really see you as a direct threat to their business. I'm not saying not to tour any nearby locations, but I didn't spend too much time questioning them about too many things because they may see me as direct competition, particularly for their local distribution business. My biggest trip included a tour of 9 craft distilleries, lasted 5 days, was several thousand miles of driving, went from KY to NY and cost me a grand total of 500 dollars in gas, budget hotels, and food (pack an ice chest to really save). That being said, I do have a Honda Civic that gets 40 mpg on the highway. Also, there are the distilling workshops and the ADI conferences, but I still recommend you hit as many small-scale craft distilleries as possible to broaden your understanding of the business and to get as many points of view as possible. Even if you go to a workshop with several distillers there, it's not the same as seeing them at their location with their equipment and in full business mode. The small-scale distilling industry isn't near as well-developed as the wine-making or brewing business, you'll see some very interesting things at different operations. 4. Get your site (and if you don't know yet, YOU CAN'T HAVE A FEDERALLY LICENSED DISTILLERY AT YOUR HOUSE without a property subdivision of some sort, this ain't a winery or brewery kids, the law is gonna tax you and tax you again, they don't want you makin stuff in your basement), refer to CFR Title 27, Part 19, Subpart F, 19.131. And, just for some fun, go lookup the federal tax rate on spirits compared to wine and beer, it's about three times as much, and that's not even taking into account that small-scale wineries & brewers pay a fraction of that 1/3. Now, back to the whole distilling at home thing, you can subdivide property, put up a fence, or tell the feds that you have a "force field" separating the "house" from the "distillery" to get around that. But, BOTTOM LINE, you MUST GET FEDERAL APPROVAL FROM THE TTB, go talk to them because they only give that appproval on a case by case basis and don't expect them to snap to and give you an answer overnight. Furthermore, you have to deal with local zoning first and foremost because the feds WILL ask you about that. For all planning, I recommend you start locally, then go state-level, then federal. The feds EXPECT that you are in complete compliance with all local and state regs and will ask you about it when they interview you. Bare in mind that your location is one of your biggest factors that will allow your business to be successful. First thing is that the environment (city vs. country) will make a huge difference in the local requirements that can add tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars difference to your startup cost. Second, state (and even local) laws will determine if you can sell your products from your gift shop/tasting room. You make up to three times the profit when you sell a bottle from your gift shop vs. to a distributor. Finally, if you are off the beaten path, how many folks will venture to come and see you? All of those factors are important to consider for your location, so setting up shop in one state that may allow tastings and product sale out of your facility vs. another state where you can only sell t-shirts can make the difference between needing to sell 500 cases or 2500 cases your first year. 5. Once you have a place that you can legally set up and is zoned appropriately and the townsfolk won't come at you with pitchforks and torches, set it up for distilling. What does that mean? Well, either you can hire a consultant (there are many out there) or you can do it yourself. We have started with some pretty bare bones stuff and when we are able to move along, we'll buy (or make) the "nice" equipment. Cost is up to you on all of this, but you are going to need at least SOME money, more power to you if you can make your own equipment. 6. Once your equipment is in place and your site is ready, send in your federal paperwork (the feds require that your equipment is in place prior to licensing). Again, if you have money, you can hire someone to do this part for you. The paperwork itself isn't rocket surgery. But, if you mess it up, it very likely can slow things down. For example, I had something on our permit changed, it took 3 months to add two words on our already existing permit. Plan for a 3-6 month wait, hope for less of course. I can't tell you about your state requirements, that's up to you to figure out cause each state does it their own way. 7. Once you're licensed, make some hooch and sell it (probably to a distributor, or the state if you're in a "control state"), and start beating feet to get it on shelves. If you're not a natural or can't play the part of salesman/diplomat, find someone who can do a good job for you. Even if you can start up your operation on a very, very slim budget, you're going to need a few bucks for this part. I would plan for at least six months of not selling jack through distributors. These distributors manage many, many products and you are just one piece of their usually very large pie. You're going to have to make an effort to build a quality relationship with these guys and work around their schedules. Anything that seems like it should be easy with them WILL NOT BE. If you happen to be setting up on a location that will garner loads of tourist traffic, that's always a plus. But, even then, you're going to have do some sort of marketing (may not cost you a bunch of money, but some of it will) to get the word out that "there's a local distill'ry here" (so come and visit so we can keep the lights on). During this entire process you also need to keep your lights on at home on. In my case I have a wife that kept her day job for our first 4 years of business, so we were able to support ourselves with her income alone until the business could afford to pay us. When you start producing product, you need enough cash to run your business and your home expenses for six months or more. Basic business expenses will include but are not limited to the following: lease/rent, insurance, utilities, payroll (if applicable), raw material costs (grain, molasses/sugar, yeast/nutrients, packaging, etc.), MARKETING (everything from signs and ads to travel brochures for nearby locations), EXCISE TAXES for product that you sell, items for your gift shop (if you have one), and some buffer for the honorable Mr. Murphy (he WILL pay you a visit at least once in your first few months, so be ready to throw some cash down for when he comes). A very realistic rule of thumb is to take your budget and cut it in half. Use half for your facility and equipment, then the other half for your initial production costs and unappropriated costs. But I'd say that advice is still marginal at best. Finally, another important thing to think about is your workforce. I was the only full-time employee for our operation for our first 2 years. I served as distiller, bottler, tasting bartender, cashier, tour guide, sales rep (on the road to stores/on premises accts), accountant, handyman, groundskeeper, and whatever else needs to get done. Until we were able to begin hiring full-time employees, we had friends and family help us out with many different things. I'm sure that this experience is somewhat normal for many small businesses, but it seemed to take a while before we were able to truly afford standard employees. Again, this is just my experience, but that's something to think about. NOTE: This forum has a wealth of information, so do other forums when it comes to techniques (homedistiller.org). I recommend that you read through it and others extensively prior to posting and, when you post, attack a single issue at a time. Don't ask something like, "How do you distill???" or "how do I start a distillery?" Look through the postings, get Bill's book (not being paid for that either), and any other references prior to posting. But, bottom line, be specific when you post so people don't have to write a book IF they do decide to respond. If you don't get much feedback, bank on the fact that you asked a question that already has an answer on the forum. If you really, really don't know anything about distilling or setting up a distillery, refer to steps 1-3. But, just because you can make a product, does not mean you can run a business that profits from that product. I know quite a few folks who can do some good things that they could turn into a business, but they don't want to or can't start a new business for whatever reason. Even when I was the only employee, I spent 75% of my work time NOT MAKING HOOCH. In most cases you are going to have to work at it to make some cash. But, know this, no matter what, the feds (and your state) WILL PROFIT IMMEDIATELY, but that does not mean that you will. From idea to an actual working distillery making hooch, my timeline lasted about 3 years. We're now beginning our 5th year in business and we have 6 full-time employees (including myself), and 6 part-time employees. I still drive a Honda Civic, but I work for MB Roland (consequently that's my wife's maiden name ). Good luck and I hope this serves as a good reference and starting point for those who need guidance on this topic.
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    Just to let everyone know we have some really exciting things going on in research and development. We have a new line of stills that will be coming out February 1st 2018 These can be fired with indirect heat from electricity, firewood, natural gas, heating oil, diesel fuel, burnt motor oil and almost any other thing that is combustible. These stills operate under vacuum, so that distillation takes place at around 130 F. Since distillation takes place at such a low temp and there are no ignition sources within the class one division two environment around the still these will undoubtedly be the safest beverage ethanol stills out there. Including the heating systems these stills will have a better price point than almost all of our competitors stills of the same capacities. I think that these stills will be the biggest change in commonly used still design in the last 50 years. We also have a new line of stills for washes without solids such as rum and barley washes. The price point is unbelievable. the 200 gallon complete still with 4 plate copper and stainless, bubble plate column and 33,000 watt electric heating system with controller is less than $10,000.00 These are for sale now. I will post some pics in a few days.
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    If you add the rye later, after you cooked the corn, it may help you cool your mash from (cooking) corn temperatures down faster ... Regards, Odin.