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  1. 5 points
    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.
  2. 2 points
    You should use Organic ingredients since they produce a far superior spirit.
  3. 1 point
    Call Paul at Affordable Distilling Equipment. They are terrific to work with. He's 'SouthernHighlander' just above this post.
  4. 1 point
    This is the issue. It's not water (although that needs fixing, too). it's not sanitation. Your customers simply aren't liquifying the corn. It's why the hydrometer isn't dropping to zero. If you're making a bourbon, if you drop a hydrometer ranged 12-0 Plato in the "finished" fermenter and the hydrometer doesn't sink to the bottom of the fermenter after all those enzymes you added...something is wrong. The starch in corn/barley/rye is surrounded by a cell wall made up of proteins, lignins, beta glucans etc. in varying amounts. You need to dissolve the cell walls with heat (gelatinization) before you get to the starch. What you're looking at is a lactobacillus pellicle. All that lactobacillus comes in with the malt, which is rife with lactobacillus. The 90F fermentation you're citing eggs it on. As for the "Super sour, astringent, skunky, medicinal, and also metallic flavor in distillate especially at higher proofs. Sometimes the skunk works it’s way out once we settle into a lower proof, sometimes it stays through the whole run" Here your customer is describing acrolein...also known by industrial vodka producers as "the peppers". Essentially the lactic acid bacteria is metabolizing glycerol in the mash, which yields acrolein in the distillate. Warning: If the level gets to high...they might have to evacuate the shop. Acrolein is a strong irritant that was actually used as an irritant gas in World War I. So your customers need to fix this, pronto.....and, of course, not distill mash that looks like the one pictured. Tell them to add their corn at the higher temperatures listed FIRST to liquify the cell walls, and work their way backwards to the lower temperatures and THEN add the enzymes to saccharify the starch. They are mashing backwards, essentially. Their fermentations are filled with starch, which the lactobacillus is more than happy to consume because the yeast can't eat that starch and therefore isn't competing with the lactobacillus...which is why the infection is happening so fast. If they need to know the gelatinization temperatures of corn, rye, barley....Google. Silk City....good advice, and I like your Bourbon Labels.....
  5. 1 point
    Av, you may be able to increase the efficiency of the distilling system by using colder water/glycol, the opposite is true of the chiller itself- by operating it at a colder supply temp, you get less and less btu/hr (tons) capacity. This is because of the thermodynamics, which is why you need more than twice the HP on a chiller to make ice for an ice rink where the output glycol is about 15F. Typically, about the maximum tons output per HP input is around 55F for a refrigeration compressor. Running with glycol mix to to make 28F supply glycol for brewery applications you are around half the tons output per HP input. It's a trade off, but only go as cold as you need to to save the KW on your electric bill. This is why I offer ambient outdoor glycol cooler for winter operations up North, when it's below freezing outdoors, you can make a lot of cold water for your CW reservoir.
  6. 1 point
    Bit late, but I'll throw in my 2 cents (disclaimer, I have not read every post on this thread, so apologies if I am repeating others). As Silk City pointed out, your water and mashing protocol are likely both causing problems, which are having a knock-on effect on your fermentations. - You should definitely be remineralizing water. - You need to completely revamp your mashing protocol. Not sure what enzymes you are using, but they are not working because you need to gelatinize your starch (corn has a high gelatinization temp) before they can do their job. If you have a bit of good malt and a good protocol, you shouldn't need any exogenous enzymes or nutrients at all. I would expect your current mash to have very poor conversion. You can confirm this with a simple iodine starch test (should also be evident by just tasting it). Your mash pH is on the high side, but not necessarily problematic on its own. - There is likely lactic acid bacteria in your ferments, but that is not usually a bad thing, and it's not what's causing that pellicle. Your ferments are a very inhospitable environment for most bad bacteria due to the acidity, alcohol and minimal O2. Microbial problems are more likely fungal, not bacterial. That pellicle also does not look bacterial or like kahm yeast. It looks like textbook Brettanomyces, which is a different genus of yeast (standard distillers, brewers and bakers yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae, including Red Star DADY). This would be consistent with your mashing problems, as many strains of Brett are capable of producing amylase enzymes, allowing them to use some of the longer chain saccharides left from the poor mash that S cerevisiae cannot use. Depending on the strain(s) and conditions, Brett is capable of producing some lovely flavors, but also some terrible ones. I would also recommend lowering your starting fermentation temp, not letting it get up to 90F, and possibly aerating it a bit, but more data on it would be useful. If you are still having issues after correcting your water and mash problems and really want to dial in on the faults, I would take gravity, pH and temperature readings every 8 hours, also noting the aroma, flavor, appearance and vigor of the fermentation each time.
  7. 1 point
    While it certainly seems like the main issue has been identified, another possible problem could also be caused by using RO water. If they have an RO system anything like mine, it probably runs pretty slow. Are they by any chance making RO water in advance of mashing, and then letting it sit untreated for any period of time? If so this could provide extra time for bacteria to grow in the water prior to mashing. At my distillery we remove the chlorine/chloramine about a day prior to mashing and store this in a tank. As I am concerned about bacteria growth in the time between de-clorinating and mashing, we run all the mash water through a UV light immediately as it enters the mash tun. This is a fairly cheap and simple upgrade with the only maintenance being a change of bulb once a year. They might also want to grab a bacteria test kit, and check the RO water they are making to confirm its not letting bacteria through either because it is not installed properly or needs new filters, etc. Just a few more thoughts to pass on to these folks!
  8. 1 point
    Grinding your grain, particularly a great deal of it, in the same room you ferment has the potential to cause problems. It's not necessarily something that you could easily mitigate just by a cleaning regime as all that fine particulate gets airborne. It doesn't mean it has anything to do with the problem at hand even if they're doing that (which they may not be). But if he's working with his customer to take a hard look at their operation, it's just a good idea to be as comprehensive as possible. I would think that would be fairly obvious, but what do I know.
  9. 1 point
    A lot of great information here. I learned some new and helpful things here myself. Looks like it's been zeroed in on as the problem, but I didn't see it mentioned anywhere whether they're grinding their grain in the same room they ferment. I'd advise doing that in a separate room or outside if possible. Worth considering in addition to everything else.
  10. 1 point
    Um, I don't recommend he adds backset from those past fermentations...
  11. 1 point
    A quick recipe for building mashing water from scratch (RO), if the water is so bad that it can't be used untreated. Per 100 gallons: 20 teaspoons Gypsum 20 teaspoons Calcium Chloride 20 teaspoons Epsom Salt 20 teaspoons Baking Soda In addition to the mineral additions, he should try using 5-10% liquid backset/stillage to help boost mineral and nutrient content.
  12. 1 point
    Ok, lots of work to do here. That is not "Kahm" yeast, it's a fairly typical pellicle. It would be impossible to identify the specific microbes from the pellicle alone, but given the mash protocol, there are a good number of potential candidates. Achieving that kind of pellicle in 5 days, or 1-2 days after the cap drops, is fairly impressive, that's a substantial bacterial load. Congratulations. Here goes. 1. You can not mash with RO water, unless you add necessary minerals back to the water. This is the source of the yeast stress I mentioned. Yeast will not be able to effectively reproduce in a wash made with only RO water, as it's missing a number of crucial minerals. I suspect this fermentation is taking a long time, in addition to stalling, due to the yeast ultimately dying out and failing to reproduce effectively. In addition, the lack of calcium ions are going to significantly reduce the efficacy of the enzymes. Need to fix the source water. As a test, you can try using 50% RO and 50% tap water to reduce whatever the offending issue is, until a better water treatment solution can be found (carbon treatment, nano/ultrafiltration) or adding back minerals (building water from scratch can be very costly in the long-run). 2. Related to the RO issue. If he is hydrating the active dry yeast with RO water, he is likely killing a good amount of yeast cells in the process due to the osmotic shock before even pitching. Alone this wouldn't be a massive problem, but in conjunction with #1 it's making it worse. 3. The mash protocol sucks (sorry, it does), I'm not sure who trained him on that approach, or if he developed it himself, but it's suboptimal. We don't know the total grist used to hit 19 brix. If it's around 500lbs (per 265g batch), it might be ok. I'm not going to dwell here except to say that the way the mash is being done, it will create lots of unfermentable dextrins, which are loved by non-yeast bacteria as food (like brett), and will likely result in what looks like a stuck fermentation. 4. Everything above tells me that bacteria are out-competing the yeast here. The yeast and the bacteria are standing on the starting line of a race, and before the race starts, someone goes up to the yeast and beats the hell out of him with a baseball bat. The starter then proceeds to throw tacks all over the lane the yeast is running in, wishes the bacteria good luck, and then starts the race. 5. Proof of this is the fact that adding 1g per gallon of Fermaid K improves the situation. While I wouldn't call this overdose, in an all grain mash this amount should be entirely unnecessary. So adding the Fermaid K is fixing some of the issues caused by the RO water. It's adding back some of the missing minerals, it's also giving a slight boost to the yeast. We're talking about 2 pounds per 1000 gallon mash here, that's quite a bit. Given the fermentation stalling, and limited yeast reproduction, I'm going to hold my ground here and say that at distillation time, we have an abundance of nitrogen left in the wash that is causing a problem. Once the RO issue is corrected, he can likely dial back the Fermaid K additions substantially. I would suggest continuing to use it, at about 1/4 the current dose rate, as "insurance" until the mash and fermentation protocol is dialed in well. 6. Don't ferment at 90 degrees. The poor yeast. This is causing major yeast stress. This is going to result in a massive amount of heads, and combined with the already high stress environment, create a very sulfury wash. You don't make good whiskey at 90f. Until he can resolve the other issues, I would recommend keeping the fermentation in the low 80s. 7. Drop the pH at the time of pitching to closer to 5.2 using acid. The increased acidity will help the yeast outcompete the bacteria. 5.8 is a very happy place for bacteria. Once these things are taken care of, I would suspect the "bleeding heads through hearts" issue to go away - this is a direct result of acid production by the bacteria. Also the skunkiness will be eliminated as well, this is the direct result of yeast stress. Yield should likely improve substantially, and reduction of the nitrogen will result in reduction of any of the remaining off flavors. Get the mash protocol straightened out too, it's an inefficient use of grain and enzyme.
  13. 1 point
    Awkward... Are they taking gravity readings during the fermentation? That will give them a more definitive answer if the fermentation is working while closed, and if there are any sugars left, instead of just observing bubbles from an airlock, which it sounds like may be the case. Thanks for all the replies, if find I learn a ton from these trouble shooting posts, even if the answer isn't the solution of the specific problem.
  14. 1 point
    I have an ethanol plant background so my statement may not apply, please take with a grain of salt: There were times when our mash would turn a darker color after distillation, and the resulting DDGS and syrup product would be much darker as well. This was due to fermentation not finishing and sending a high sugar load through distillation/evaporation. Is it possible these ferms are not fully finishing and the sugar is caramelizing? I do not remember there being any off odor when this occurred. As far as top open/closed: Any chance the yeast are entering the budding phase with the introduction of oxygen? We would use an air sparger to introduce oxygen during yeast propegation, the fermenters were sealed and very quickly turned anaerobic. We typically had little to no ethanol in the yeast prop, we didn't make ethanol until the fermenter. That being said, I can not really believe just opening a top of a vessel compares at all to using an air sparger. Open top fermentation produces ethanol all the time....so I really do not have a good guess...just a wild one......... Adam
  15. 1 point
    Try making some malt whiskey, which is normally done off-grain (from a wash). You can also try making a wash from malt rye, but as pointed out by someone else, you will get more suspended solids. In either case, key might be allow trub or lees with solids including yeast to settle out, and remove, before transferring to the pot for distillation. Otherwise, I recommend working out with Southernhighlander to see if he can provide an affordable jacketed pot that could be swapped for what you have now.
  16. 1 point
    Something to keep in mind, just generally, not specifically about the label posted above. Just because someone managed to get a label through approval doesn't mean it's the label is correct, following regulations, is not misleading, etc. It also doesn't mean that what a distiller put in the bottle, matches what the label expected to be put in the bottle. There are plenty of misleading labels that don't follow regulations.
  17. 1 point
    I believe the folks at TCW make one but dont know the model number
  18. 1 point
    I use a Race Labeler for Nashville bottles, really like it. Mine is the RLTC-SP version. google race labeler
  19. 1 point
    I use mostly 15-gallon barrels but have filled as little as 5-gallons in a barrel. The head space has proven not to be any problem at all.....
  20. 1 point
    I wouldn't sweat it. 4.5 gallons isn't all that much head space, we see that liquid level in the barrel about a year after filling. We also have some half-filled barrels, in my experience the extra head space helps move the spirit along but also increases the angel share a bit. All the half-full ones are where I can see them in case they develop leaks as I've heard that can happen but haven't seen much evidence of it.
  21. 1 point
    Dumped, as in dumped the barrel and packaged...sorry. haha.
  22. 1 point
    The other factor to consider - what proof are you planning to bottle at? If you are planning to bottle at 90, for example, you might lose enough alcohol going in at 92 to put you under your bottling target.
  23. 1 point
    I have a Primera 550. It works great.
  24. 1 point
    Pete B, I was making an assumption when I said it could be sparged. I have never tried it so I am not certain. My grandfather never sparged it. He ground the malted corn with his big hand cranked grinder. My grandfather raised registered Black Angus Cattle. The old style that were short, stocky and wide with pretty heads and turned up noses. You don't see them in the states much these days as the Angus breed in the states is typically bigger boned now with a larger carcass size. Anyway, here is how he would malt his corn. He would malt several hundred lbs at a time. He would only use 2 varieties of white corn. Hickory Cane or Hickory King. These were the only 2 varieties of corn that he thought were "fit to make his likker". He said yellow corn would not malt properly and that these 2 varieties of white corn would produce the best likker. Most of the rest of the men of Southern Appalachia of his time, felt the same way. In fact it's my understanding that those were the varieties that were originally used by Jack Danials and that they changed to yellow dent later to save money. Our animals were fed those varieties and those 2 varieties were also used to make corn meal all over Southern Appalachia. Where I grew up we only ate corn bread made from white corn meal with no sugar added. So to malt we would dig out most of the fresh manure in the side shed of our barn. We would take wet burlap feed bags and put 3 layers down over the manure that was left in the side shed. We heated water and the corn kernals were soaked twice. We would spread a 1" thick layer of the big white kernels and cover with a layer of warm wet burlap. It seams like there was more than one layer and we covered it with a couple of layers of wet burlap, then we would pile on the manure covering everything very well with the manure. The manure would build up heat as it broke down. The heat would sprout the corn extra fast and it would never mold. I don't really know why it didn't mold. My grandfather would check it and in a few days we would uncover the corn and it would all be sprouted. We would use burlap feed bags to rub the sprouts off an then my grandfather would grind it into a course meal. He would put it in his fermenters It seams like we dried it in the barn loft a few times but I'm not sure that we always did it that way. I was pretty young at the time. he had a 400 gallon copper turnip head still built into the side of a hill in a shed. It was single wall copper. He fermented using wooden fermenters that were in the ground. I remember cleaning them with lye or lime. They had to be cleaned after each fermentation. I think they were built out ofwhite oak boards. Maybe the ly helped to counteract the tannic acid in the wood. I'm not sure. He never added any sugar. Besides the malted corn he added his own strain of yeast. If he was making his " Charter Whiskey" he would add backset (dunder) and some kind of white powder that he said would keep the bitterness out. It smelled something like raw potato but I don't know what it was or how he replenished it. If the whiskey was going in the aging barrel, he always used dunder to sour his mash. If it was going to be sold as a white whiskey he would never add dunder. He would add a mucky looking stuff to the fermentation from a wooden bucket. It smelled like butter. it would give his white whiskey a buttery corn on the cob flavor. The turnip head on his still was almost 1/3 of the size of the pot. He put the mash in the still solids and all when fermentation was complete. The still was fired with propane but years before he had fired it with wood. The still was all copper. The still was rocked up with an arch under it so it never scorched the mash, however the mash had to b stirred until just before it started to boil then he would put the head on and attach the line arm.
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
    We occasionally use Wesmar's D-Foam. I don't use the stuff unless I think it's absolutely necessary. Whereas the anti-foaming agent does a great job of keeping the foam down, the side effect is that the proteins, which cause the foaming, coagulate into ropy strands which get tangled on the coils; this makes the wash still much more difficult to clean.
  27. 1 point
    As real distillers, let's at least try to all get along when we are talking about process. There's plenty of time to argue with the bartenders For the corn issue, we have tried dewatering / lautering a variety of ways. One of the things that gets lost in the translation when talking about if you can or not can do it, is the actual yield and additional cost. We have tried everything from shaker table concept, to screens over barrels, to our real screen bottom commercial mash tun, to slits in the bottom of copper pipes in bulk milk tanks. They all "work" to some degree, but the one constant is that unlike for example a barley which allows you to sparge down through, the corn has a tendency to "back up" the sparge water, and then slowly drain through. You essentially re-float the sugars in solution, where it then re-adheres to the protiens (ground husk). It's like taking a bath in dirty water. You never really get clean. The example given above by Still Holler makes the point. His laborious process is yielding roughly 22 proof gallons for 350# of lautered corn. The TTB and USDA expect between 5-5.1 proof gallons per bushel (56#) which means that if he did not lauter, he could expect 31.25 proof gallons from that 350# +/-. We encountered those same form of horrible numbers, which is why we stopped doing it. In the end it's not really about if it can or can't be done, it's about what the cost will be if you chose to do it. As for Paul at AFD i believe he, like Joe Dehner has always tried to take the "long view" to suggest equipment that fits a real production facility and process, vs the hobby shop set up. Prost.
  28. 1 point
    Berglund, We have the best quality and price in the industry in my opinion. Our customers think so too (click on the link below to see what our customers have to say about our equipment ). We have Standard series 150 gallon stills starting at $5,783.00 , $10,052.00 complete with the heating system. We also have 200 and even 300 gallon single wall and Baine Marie Stills. We have steam stills as large as 2,500 gallon. Our stills are in over 240 distilleries nation wide and in many other distilleries around the world Give us a call 417-778-6100 and or email us Paul@distillery-equipment.com for a qoute and a copy of our huge reference list. Please see the pic of our single walled 150 gallon below. We also have them in Baine Marie.
  29. 1 point
    Not sure of the quality but "affordable distilling" on eBay has an electric one (150g) for $14.5k.
  30. 1 point
    Exactly, Paul,,,no floor traffic for vendors!
  31. 1 point
    This just popped up from a local place today:
  32. 1 point
    Mr @Dehner Distillery, I would agree that "things are just as clear as mud as far as what happens behind the scenes in this industry". Deliberately so. Fortunately we live in an age where information is free and travels at the speed of light, so there is no reason for it to remain thus. To be clear, MicroShiner exists to protect the interests of that portion of consumers, admittedly small, who are looking to invest their dollar in a new paradigm, and to promote those micro-distillers who are committed to providing that value proposition. The issue at hand, as I see it, is that every distiller has "different target customers, different areas to sell into"; however, in a significant number of cases, this is neither the practice nor the narrative. It has been said here that 99.9% of consumers do not care, so I would challenge everyone to share the narrative that has been put forth in this thread with their next customer and see where that leads. Anyone whose narrative matches the value proposition they are offering would have nothing to lose in doing so. By your own admission and math, there are not ~2000 micro-distilleries operating in the USA. There are many fewer than that. A rectifier is not a distillery, whether it be craft or not. At some point, words matter. I try to be careful and specific with mine. At the risk of being unpopular, I will say this, which was the point of my original post. There is a group of us who realize that our current production, distribution, and consumption behaviors are not economically or ecologically sustainable. Within that group there is a cohort who believe that craft (i.e. micro-scale production using intermediate technologies) will be instrumental in developing a sustainable and resilient economic system. This is what drew me to what you all were doing: distributing the production capacity of a critical fixed and use value asset across the landscape. In fact, market forces to create that distributed model are what, along with oil prices, are driving the growth of craft, not consumer preference. Because distillation, more so than wine and beer, is a capital intensive activity that adds significant value to the feedstock (i.e. real value of output in food/fuel/medicine is orders of magnitude greater than the cost of production), to have that capacity both centralized and monopolized is of negative benefit to both the individual and society at large. So I was excited by what you all were doing, that is, until I learned about this business of NGS. I am a pragmatist, so I say this: there is nothing wrong with NGS or bulk spirits, within context. Properly applied, their production is highly efficient and their marginal cost nearly zero (although there is a point of diminishing returns when you are talking about hauling water). So in that light, I am all for them; they should be used wherever it makes real economic sense. However, what has been made perfectly clear in this thread is that the real use value of craft is being subsumed by those who are marketing sourced spirits under its guise. The result of this is that capital that should be flowing into actual craft production is instead being siphoned off as profit. This is where I have a problem, because I feel very strongly, as does a not insignificant portion of your base (i.e. those critical early adopters, or 1000 true fans), that buying craft rather than commodity is a critical step in building a truly resilient economy. I understand markets, and I am aware that the average person doesn't know enough to care where their spirits come from, or the implications therein. But I also understand the law of diffusion, and that it only takes adoption by 2.5% of the population to create a shift. It is interesting to note that Apple only makes up ~12% of market, but ask anyone to name a computer brand and half of them will say Apple. Likewise, ask someone to name a craft vodka, and they will likely say Tito's. Lastly, @MGL - I did not say do it all yourself. What I said was, source from other producers who share your scale, ethic, and values. That will drive capital into more distributed capacity and allow you to align the entirety of your brand with your craft value proposition. For those who have read through to this point and given my thoughts genuine consideration, I thank you for your time and effort. We are currently working on a peer reviewed and hosted blockchain solution for micro accreditation and mobile tools for validation. I'd love to hear your opinion and feedback.
  33. 1 point
    To that question, the answer is no. Nefarious people are going to do nefarious things. There will always be risk. Whether it's someone stealing a recipe or someone imitating it there will always be a risk that someone has something almost exactly like yours. You can though check out the background of the company/people and contact any customers they have. And honestly the harder part of the business is not the product, it's marketing and getting people to buy your product. There's plenty of rebubblers that don't care about the product and only care about selling. Just because a couple of your buddies like what you make doesn't mean you'll be a success and just because they hate it doesn't mean you'll fail either.
  34. 1 point
  35. 1 point
    I'm upset to hear that ADI forum moderators have been caving to pressure from Corson and deleting reviews. I hope they now realize that by doing that they are exposing small startup distillers to being swindled out of their money. The only information I could find on them was on the ADI forums and what little I did find was positive. Now I know that's because the negative reviews are being scrubbed but at the time I assumed it meant their operation was legitimate. I was 95% of the way to buying a Corson still. I visited their facility and was just about to write them a $30,000 check for down payment. By a stroke of luck, literally a day before I was going to mail them a check, I found a distiller who was in a battle with them (their story is uncannily similar to everyone else's on here) and I ended the deal with Corson. Fortunately the only money I lost was the cost of my flight and hotel. I went on to buy from Still Dragon in August. My still is already in transit which actually puts it ahead of schedule. I can't say anything about their quality yet but I will say that Jeff's customer service has been top notch. Even after I had already paid him.
  36. 1 point
    And that folks, is why you buy Alcodens.
  37. 1 point
    ReadeHud, your math is correct. There are two reasons why the mass you have calculated for 750 ml is different from the values calculated by PeteB and Silk City earlier. The first reason is that the values calculated by Pete and Silk were for 750 ml at 60°F but you are working at 20°C. 20°C is a bit hotter than 60°F and the spirit expands and for the same volume you have less mass. The second reason is that although 80 Proof is equal to 40 Vol% at 60°F it is not the same as 40 Vol% at 20°C. Alcohol and water have different rates of thermal expansion and as the spirit is warmed from 60°F to 20°C the alcohol portion expands (very slightly) more than the water. This changes the volumetric ratio between the alcohol and the water. 80 Proof is equal to 40.07 ABV at 20°C, so when you buy equal volumes of spirit at 40 ABV from US and European suppliers you actually get a bit more alcohol from your US supplier. A large part of the confusion between weights and masses in air and in vacuum is our loose use of the terms weight and mass. We use the terms weight and mass interchangeably, but they are really two entirely different physical quantities. Weight is actually a force, and is related to mass by Newton's second law ( F = m x a ). The most common way to determine mass is to actually measure the weight (i.e. force of gravitational attraction to the earth measured on a balance or scale) and then infer the mass from the second law. Of course we don't actually do the math every time and the "a" term is built into the calibration of the scale and we simply read out the result as a mass in pounds or kilograms. The mass of an object is not affected by the presence of surrounding air, water or other fluid. Nor is it affected by the force of gravity. But weight is obviously affected by both. Using gravity to measure weight and inferring the mass is not the only way to measure mass. When astronauts spend extended periods in space it is very important for them to know how their mass is changing (for health reasons) but because they are weightless in space a normal scale will not work. They measure their "inertial mass", which is actually the same as the "gravitational mass". If all this is not sufficiently confusing, try using the Canadian alcohol tables which measure ABV using the "in vacuum" density value, and then use the "in air" density value to determine the volume of the spirit.
  38. 1 point
    Jeff, Under a given set of conditions, there is an optimum cooking temperature and time to obtain the best quality of distillate and the best alcohol yield. I believe the question you have is about cooking small grains at high temperatures. There are a lot of ways to prepare grains for fermentation, but the simple goal of cooking is to gelatinize the starch granules, to make them available for hydrolysis by enzymes to convert to fermentable sugars but the complicated goal is to efficiently obtain proper gelatinization of starch, properly free up amino acids the yeast require, convert to fermentable sugars, reduce contamination and obtain a flavor extraction from the grains. The infusion mashing process we use, (simply cooking small grains at lower & proper temperatures), here at Wilderness Trail is designed around maximizing flavor first, energy second and time third. You do not have to boil your grains up to 210F and you certainly do not want to cook any of your small grains (wheat, rye, barley, malted barley, etc) in that range, again you can but it will not be the highest quality distillate you can obtain in the end if you do that. You can cook corn to 210F and it doesn't do much more than waste energy cooking it that high, part of the high heat is to sterilize the grains of bacteria and you take care of that around 190F and you only need to cook corn around 190F-185F for proper gelatinization, we cook our corn at 190F, it saves energy from going higher, we convert all of the available sugars and sterilize our grains, that is why you do it. For wheat the actual gelatinization range is 136F-146F but we start adding our wheat around 155-160F. For Rye the actual range is 135F-158F and we add and cook our Rye no higher than 160F for good reasons. Our Malted barley never goes in higher than 145F to preserve the enzymatic activity and to keep the grains intact. Think of it this way, gelatinization is like popping popcorn under water, its a dramatic change in the grains composition.. and throw in some smaller ductile grains like wheat or rye and you blow them apart under the same conditions as well as a lot of protein you don't want to break down. The reasons you do not cook grains beyond their proper gelatinization range is more about flavor than yield because if it is too rigorous, thermal decomposition of grain components will cause objectionable popcorn phenolic odors, yield is more impacted by poor grains, under cooking, poor conversion and yeast conditions. By using the infusion mashing process for small grains, you keep the branched chain amino acids and proteins in place with the grains that the yeast will use to properly make a flavorful result. If you boil your small grains, you are creating unbranched chain amino acids, degrading proteins and frankly blowing apart the flavor you are trying to extract. Small grains also get scorched very easy and there are Maillard effects that create all kinds of new chemicals from the high heat of small grains you don't want, plus why would you, the process doesn't require it. The yeast take these unbranched chain and Maillard effect's and turns them into higher alcohols (fusels) and other chemicals that alter the flavor and result of the beer & distillate. In short summary for our whiskeys, we cook our corn to 190F and hold that for 40 minutes, we cool to 160F by adding some water additions of the overall mashbill and add our wheat or Rye and hold that for 30 minutes, we add more water additions to get to 145F which is when we add our Malted Barley which rest for 30 minutes. We add the rest of our water additions for our ferm set and the chiller takes it down to 90F. We send that to our fermenters, which are set to hold at 85F for three day beer and 78F for 4-5 day beer. By shortening the initial cook of the total water, your initial cook is thicker, for us that is around 18 beer gallons and that allows you to use less energy to heat up the initial cook and reserve the rest of the water for cooling capacity as well as when you add your grains you are also using that to help cool your mash down. For example I mentioned we add our wheat at 160F but after the grains are added the temperature drops to around 150F+ and rest out to a little above 145F. We primarily make a wheated Bourbon but we also make a Rye Whiskey, which again even though the Rye will be the majority of grains, we still cook our smaller amount of Corn up to 190F and then cool it down to 160F before adding the majority of the mashbill of Rye. Infusion mashing is scientifically proven to offer a more flavorful distillate and smoother distillate, mainly for the reasons listed above. Shane Baker Co-Founder, Master Distiller Wilderness Trail Distillery
  39. 1 point
    I dont think there's anyone better than Martin Brungard. See section 4 of this: https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge Does it make much of a difference?? I honestly don't know. I started this practice over a decade ago when brewing beer and have just kept it going. It's so inexpensive and it certainly can't hurt.
  40. 1 point
    I'm throwing money at the screen - are you getting it?
  41. 1 point
    Be very careful of 'wild' junipers, there are about 20 cultivars that I am aware off. Only 1 is suitable for Gin, and that is Juniperus communis subsp. communis var. communis (known as the European cultivar). From what I know, the US grows mainly Juniperus communis subsp. communis var. depressa. Although almost identical, I know that the main UK Gin distilleries will not accept the var. depressa berries, as they state they are too astringent. I import only var. communis from Scotland and Italy. I know a couple of US Distilleries are using var. depressa with excellent results, so the UK experience may be unfounded, they pioneered the stuff (please note I did not say invent). Ironically, Junipers for Gin should not be used fresh, the general rule is they need to be 'aged' for at least 6 month, preferably in wood. We used old oak wine barrels with the head knocked out and turned into a lid, an airtight seal is not required, in fact opening them up once a month helps to stop them sweating. If picking your own, make sure they have started to shrivel on the tree first, to reduce the water content and helps prevent spoilage mold in storage. Fresh junipers (you know they are too fresh when they macerate up with a green/blue rather than yellow tinge, impart an astringent/green/leaf sap quality to the Gin. Aging appears to allow this compound to break down into less volatile chemicals. Juniper Berries if picked fresh and stored correctly, will age and maintain their Gin quality for up to 2 years. Junipers sold for dairy, cooking & food use, the opposite applies, the fresher the better. The rest.. I would be very surprised if you could not get the coriander seed in the US locally, as well as the lemon and sweet orange peel. Bitter orange peel is only available from Spain. The nutmeg, mace, cloves, white/pink pepper and cardamom are only grown in the tropics, mainly India and Sri Lanka. As you need so little of these, again you should be able to source them locally (take a trip to Little India in any major city, these are all very common ingredients in Indian cuisine) The rare ones like bitter almonds, Cubeb berries, Grains of paradise, sea mint, etc are almost impossible to get reliably, and I challenge anyone to identify their benefit in a good gin, they are more an issue of tradition, rather than essentials. Always buy whole, never powder or ground, and crush your own.
  42. 0 points
    I used to have a very similar set up and the scorch is 110% a result of the electric coil. When people ask me about small sale distilling, I always recommend using a grain out procedure when the heating source is either an electric coil or direct fire burner. I even spent hours building a custom agitator for my 100L electric still and was still left with a scorching flavour. Only with a jacketed pot can you achieve non-scorched grain in distillation. Hope this helps, Cheers.
  43. 0 points
    Are you running full power once at temp and are you agitating continuously ??
  44. 0 points
    http://www.iscbarrels.com/2018/01/30/oxygenation-part-1/ "To add further complication, the effects of these variables are not static throughout the aging process. As the barrel ages, the wood becomes increasingly more saturated with alcohol. As this happens, the rate at which the oxygen can permeate through the wood changes. The diffusion of oxygen in air is multitudes greater than that of its diffusion through water. This suggests that as the barrel becomes more saturated over time, the rate at which oxygen transfers through the wood slowly decreases. Furthermore, the diffusion coefficient of oxygen in ethanol differs from that of water which would suggest that entry proof has an effect as well."
  45. 0 points
    Sounds to me like they're used.
  46. 0 points
    The way it was explained to me: There is a DIN port near the still dump valve, designed to connect via hose to the inline port on the CIP pump. So you could mix your chemicals in the still body and recirc out the bottom DIN port using the CIP pump. I would be wary of doing it that way as it seems like a good way to clog up the spray balls in the column with solids, and those spray balls are solid and not attached with a cotter pin so it seems like a nightmare to clean them if they get clogged. You can also screw off the sightglass on the condenser water collection tank and add your chemicals there.
  47. 0 points
    Joe - Sadly you completely misinterpret the data. While it could certainly be argued that 99.9% of your customers (those buying bulk spirits from you) do not care where their bulk products comes from, that is not the same as 99.9% of end customers "not-caring" about where the products originated. For example 80% of people who go anywhere on vacation bring home some form of Geographically branded merchandise. In the old days it was snow globes of the statue of liberty and T-Shirts, now it's more typically craft beer, wine or spirits. The wine industry is very strict about viticulture, fortification origin, etc and the beer industry is all local, but unfortunately Big Alcohol has embraced laws that obfuscate the actual origin of spirits to the detriment of the true craft / local centric culture. You even appear to veil the actual origin of some of the bulk products you sell on this very site, I would assume as an attempt to even further push the false narrative that what people don't know, won't hurt them. A self serving and self fulfilling prophesy that goes something like " If I dump enough cheap Bio-Ethanol on the system by pretending that it's ok with the end consumer, eventually every distiller in the country will have to stop making their own alcohol, because they will not be able to compete with the price points and margins of fake craft products ". I completely reject your assertion that 99.9% of "end customers" are either too dumb, cheap, or non-caring, to pay a premium for a hand crafted product. In fact that's not even the argument of the fake craft distillers who buy bulk products which they pretend are their own craft spirits. That actual hidden argument goes something like, " if the end customer is actually so stupid that fake distillers can dupe them into paying more, regardless of where the spirits actually comes from, then it should be considered "craft industry standard". This obvious because otherwise all " fake craft distillers" selling NGS Vodka, Gin and flavored liqueurs would be pricing their products the same as can be found on the bottom shelf of any inner city liquor store. Or better than that, at $1.20 +/- cheaper that "Barton'esq" Vodka, because "fake craft" distillers have the FIT reduction that large producers don't. But they don't do that. Why ? Because as long as they can, the fake craft distillers will charge the absolute maximum possible for the products they spend pennies on, provided that the customer doesn't find out. The success of craft spirits, craft beer and farm wine, is dependent on our ability to actually charge enough to offset the higher cost of production to make those goods in-house. All of that is contingent upon the trust that the customer places in our industry to not deceive them. We spend a lot of time and energy educating our customers about the process of making our spirits, and we hear time and again how they hear exactly the same things from another local "distiller". The only difference is that on the back of their bottles in really fine print it say "100% NGS". We, and I use that collectively for all real distillers, unwittingly support the fake distillery industry, and we need to figure out how to fix that. I am sorry that your attempt at running a true craft distillery failed, even thought literally hundreds of us are thriving. and I appreciate the concept of you as a distiller selling your bulk products into the base of the 3 tiered system and to manufacturers who do not pretend to be actual distillers. That market place is very price sensitive, and your products obviously fit that bill. At the same time, try not to destroy the industry that we chose to operate in, by pushing the false narrative that end customers are too stupid or too cheap to care about their purchase decision. What's on your label ?
  48. 0 points
    We purchased equipmet made by the Zhejiang Dafeng Light Machinery Co., LTD and the Wenzhou First Branch Light Indrustrial Machinery Co, LTD. Don't know who made what.
  49. 0 points
    Joe - Luv ya, and it was me that made the comment to which you refer,. I find your business logic completely wrong. I feel your advocation of minimizing the value of craft is an absurd and destructive model. You seem to have no problem selling into the craft market so that pretend craft distillers can charge exhorbinate prices for your commodity products, and you claim that because some fake distillers do this, that everone should, or at the very least everyone is complicit in the scam. Let me make this perfectly clear : NO, every craft distiller does not buy your or anyone else's cheap bulk commodity spirits and pass it off with some nuance of marketing trickery as thier own. In fact your entire business model and the model of bulk commodity spirits producers desperately need a significant portion of real craft distillers to NOT buy your products, so the fake distilleries that you sell to in bulk can continue to dupe their customers into thinking they are buying real craft, for which they pay a higher price. if the craft brewing industry had followed the model you support ( buy the majority of their beer from a few suppliers and flavor it, but pretend the made it) the only brands would be Budwiser and Coors. Fortunately that industry was full of hard working creative entrepreneurs willing to put in the work to give their customers and local communities real craft made products and the customers don't mind paying extra for it. So please don't paint this industry with your myopic personal profit view. It's bad enough that companies dump commodity product on the market making it harder for actual distilers to remain price competitve without economy of scale, but to at the same time say that we are all fakes is blatantly offensive.
  50. 0 points
    To The Top... Just wanna make sure this topic stays at the forefront. I don't like being lied to.