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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/16/2018 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    The TTB is accepting public comments regarding changing the CFRs until March 26, 2019. The proposal is incredibly lengthy: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-11-26/pdf/2018-24446.pdf Here is the TTBs summary, with links: NEW RULEMAKING IS THE NEXT STEP IN OUR LABELING PROGRAM MODERNIZATION We are pleased to announce the publication of a rulemaking document (Notice No. 176) in the Federal Register of Monday, November 26, 2018, in which we propose to update, simplify, and clarify the labeling and advertising regulations for wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. This rulemaking is the latest phase of our multi-year effort to Facilitate Commerce through a Modern Labeling Program Focused on Service and Market Compliance, one of the five strategic goals outlined in our current Strategic Plan. In recent years, we have made significant improvements to modernize our labeling program and reduce approval times for labels and formulas by employing a range of strategies, including: Eliminating the need to obtain formula approval in certain instances; Expanding the list of changes that can be made to approved labels without getting a new Certificate of Label Approval (COLA); Updating COLAs Online and Formulas Online to better meet user needs and expectations; Increasing guidance about label and formula requirements by improving content on TTB.gov and offering webinars; and Adding staff to improve overall service levels. When finalized, the updated labeling and advertising regulations will facilitate industry compliance by simplifying and clarifying regulatory standards, incorporating guidance documents and other current policies into the regulations, and reducing regulatory burden on industry members where possible. We encourage public comments on the regulatory amendments proposed in the rulemaking document (Notice No. 176), particularly from affected industry members. In addition, we welcome suggestions for other changes to these regulations not specifically proposed in the rulemaking. We are accepting comments through March 26, 2019. Please see the notice for instructions on how to submit a comment.
  2. 1 point
    Richard, Weird Weird way to look at things. Imagine if you paid them $120,000.00 of your life savings and they never delivered your equipment. How would you feel about that?
  3. 1 point
    Contact Paul at Affordable Distilling Equipment. They will build you a simple controller at a good price. However, not sure about a temp-controlled switch... that is getting into semi-automated controls which is another can of worms, IMO. However, maybe these guys can help... http://distillerycontrols.com/
  4. 1 point
    This thread has been open for over a day and the only response is by the one who posted originally. I need to scream this in capitals: GO TO THE POST AND WADE THROUGH THIS DOCUMENT IF YOU THINK ISSUES LIKE A STANDARD OF IDENTITY FOR WHITE OR UNAGED WHISKEY IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO WARRANT YOUR ATTENTION. This is a major revision. I confess I have not read it -I've just glanced. But that glance convinces me that it is worthy of the boldfaced, italicized, underlined and blown up font I chose for the above statement. You can make a difference. This is a notice of proposed rulemaking and it asks for comments. I intend to make mine and you should intend to make yours. If you belong to a state association, get them involved. Submit comments by the association and by the individual members. Make your voice heard. It is going to matter for years. I will try to summarize the main provisions, like "white whiskey" or a change to the standard for vodka, and post some comments here in a few days. But in the meantime, take the time to look at the provisions related to part 5- they start at page 60593. I may regret this, but if you have concerns, send me a personal message and as long as I am not buried, once I have had time to read the document, I'll try to respond. "
  5. 1 point
    At first, we used 2x2 per page Avery label stock. I think you're right - it was a Word template that Avery supplied. These made large labels that were fine for 6-pack and larger boxes. Later, we decided to switch to a smaller label (due to expense) with the carton barcode and a few other things noted, like the batch number, etc. IIRC, those were 3x10 per page. We felt that because the boxes were being thrown away by the retailer, the design of the boxes was not significant. We were below the scale of an end-cap display. Even then, white boxes would have been okay in my opinion. 8"x10" label pages in the above.
  6. 1 point
    Web sight for filter bag. http://www.albaxinc.com/products/filtration-products/sludge-disposal-bags
  7. 1 point
    That's your first bottom plate that's flooding. The sight glass below that (first sight glass at the bottom of the column) does not have a plate behind it. Next time you do a run call us again and Mike will see if he can help balance the columns better so that the bottom plate in the 2nd column does not flood. However, as long as the flooding does not go higher it's not an issue that will keep you from running or maintaining the proof that you want.
  8. 1 point
    If you are in Illinois, I suggest you join the Illinois Craft Distillers Association. You might want to do that even as a regional cooperage, or associate member in any case. And I would be happy to give you some feedback, just visit our distillery. We are very small, and I don't know how much you intend as a small amount to put toward start up, but even a very small distillery will require 100s of K dollars, especially in Illinois. Good luck!
  9. 1 point
    we use blackstrap and we heat to 200F, dilute, mix, and settle/clarify while covered and cooling, then rack and pitch 24 hours later. Here are samples taken right after thorough mixing and set for 24 hours... The one on the left had the molasses heated to 200 before adding water, the one on the right was only heated to 160, and you can see the growth, which takes the pH to 3.0 in days, kills the yeast, and causes a green distillate
  10. 1 point
    A quick update on this topic, I finished another test this time with a silicon gasket and got same result although less cloudy than the other tests (see photo) I started another round of tests by washing all previously tested gaskets (nitrile, viton) and adding some fresh GNS in a small jar for a week, we'll see how it goes. Also, a new test this time with a neoprene gasket.
  11. 0 points
    Sadly, requiring a minimum age before whiskeys could be sold in in the US would not alleviate the deceitful practice by those intent on scamming the system. Especially If the TTB continues to approve COLA's based on taking the applicants "word for it" with no threat of actual or preceved enforcement. Some DSP's will just lie about that age, vs what they are doing now, tacitly lieing by merely omitting an age statement. Dirtbags, will be dirtbags. Fees are never going to happen, and they probably shouldn't . The Big Brands and DISCUS would never allow it, and they cant help but love the turmoil in the "Craft" industry. More customers for big brands ! Not a day went by this summer in our tasting room where we didn't hear some permutation of "we are coming in here with really low expectations, because we just have had such God awful "craft spirits" up the road. Its not really that hard to make even halfway tolerably whiskey. There are just so many "my great gandpappys secret recipes" out there. But when it tastes bad because it is really young, but the customer thinks it is old and mellowed, the whole field takes a hit. Our Craft Industry can't afford too many of those fake aged whiskey experiences, before we lose credibility. Most of the scammers just try to run out the clock. They hope that once they are in biz for 4 years, their barrels dumps will get lost in the shuffle, and no one will even bother trying to pin them down. Right now the TTB should put out an amendment cancelling all NAS COLA's issued to any DSP than has been licensed for less than 4 years. This entire issue could go away overnight at virtually no expense.
  12. 0 points
    Really happy I got to see and taste that operation when you guys were using these. Love to have one for brandy production, but direct fire would send my fire marshal over the top.
  13. 0 points
    We are building our new facility and have two 1000L Direct Fire Hoga Copper pot Stills for sale. Each still comes with a firebox, burner, mixer and related electronics along with the still and condenser units. The stills are a match set with the orientation of the manway door mirrored. Purchaser is responsible for shipping this equipment. Price is $19k per still package. Please contact me at michael@sonomadistillingcompany.com with questions or interest regarding the stills. Cheers,
  14. 0 points
    I was hoping you would volunteer. I think you're best candidate for this. Stephen - please take him up on this offer.
  15. 0 points
    Stephen you are always welcome to come down if you want to put it into practice. We have Pombe, we know funk. The double retort should be up and running in a few weeks.
  16. 0 points
    The short of it: The biggest thing that the BiR does vs CGMS is that the BiR gives you a magnified experience of your spirit and not just an ingredients list. I've been following Stephen's work for several years, much like I assume other have also. Based on that this is my take on this without owning it: The BiR magnifies the organoleptic qualities of your spirit. I think that if you produce the same spirit repeatedly you could use it to notice drift. You could also use it to magnify differences if you were to change variables in your protocols - raw materials (vendors?), yeast, fermentation time/temp, cuts. I think to best realize what the BiR can do is for you to work with a craft distiller to setup experiments where you do minor changes to variables and record the results. Right now it's too amorphous and too many people don't understand what it can do since no one other than you has done anything with it significantly since Arroyo. First up - brew the same wash with 5-6 different yeasts and everything else stays the same. Can you tell the difference in the final spirit? Can you tell the difference in the BiR output? Is it easier to tell the difference?
  17. 0 points
    This is really really great info guys. I have been selling lab distillation equipment and other distillation equipment to another industry for a few years now and this is just what I've been looking for lately. On a different note and I probably should not put it here, but did you guys know that there is someone making Vodka from CO2? That's right he has developed a process for turning pollution (CO2) into ethanol using electricity. His wash has 20% ethanol in it. It takes a 26 plate column to fraction out the nasties but the spirit is clean, pure and extremely neutral. He just received his approval from the TTB. It took him 3 years to get it, mainly because they were so skeptical about the formula and deriving ethanol from CO2. Pretty amazing huh?
  18. 0 points
    A good morning to y'all! We are starting another one of our 4-day workshops in a little over an hour here in Amsterdam. A total of 13 participants from - literally - all over the globe. Today, the students will be trained in my Holy Trinity of Distillation model that helps them make correct cuts and decide on correct taste profiles for their drinks. After that they'll all make brandy on the iStill Mini and practice both distilling and the noble art of cuts making. After that it will be my turn to talk about still design and what column, design, etc. helps you make what drink. After that, at the end of the day, we'll visit the Gouda cheese museum for some off-topic education and fun. After that its dinner & dutch gin tastings. And that is just the first day! I'll inform you on the second day tomorrow. Regards, Odin.
  19. 0 points
    Thanks for thinking about this @indyspirits. This seems worthwhile, but is something that I've struggled with because I didn't know exactly how the still works relative to others (in terms of theoretical plates and all that...). I've used a lot of other fractioning stills over the years, but none with such power. The birectifier went extinct because other proprietary designs like "spinning band" could do it better, but those are startlingly expensive and only owned by pharma and petro-chemical companies so the birectifier becomes relevant again because it is affordable. For some reason, many distillers say why "wouldn't I just use GCMS?" The first answer is of course price and the second is interpreting the data. Distillers distill, they don't absorb (chromatography), so sorting congeners with intense reflux by distillation is eventually far easier to interpret and put the information to use. It is all about being actionable. GCMS also has a lot of blind spots and the Caribbean distillers bemoan that it misses a lot in rum. They want to do more old school organoleptic sensory analysis with tasting panels. A yeast company I talked to mentioned they relied on GCMS but wanted an "olfactometry" mask for their unit because they knew they were missing important things. I guess you wear the mask, smell the output stream, and then click a button to mark novel character you smell. The big takeaway is that expensive state of the art methods aren't exactly winning and there is a lot of merit in the clever ideas of the 1940's. They're relatively cheap and effective, but somehow got mostly banished from the text books. When I found the design, I didn't know it would work. I simply thought at least one should exist because it was historical. It looked wacky and counter intuitive. I was very skeptical of an air cooled dephlegmator. I had also done similar fractioning on other stills. I was blown away by the early results. Only by experiencing the fractions did I realize how much better it was at sorting congeners than other designs. Each fraction is well delineated so you can turn around and make big decisions with the information. Each time I operated it, I started to appreciate a little bit more about the design. A big one is control. You have to collect all your fractions at the same pace (throughput) or they won't be comparable. The design allows you do this with one variable, just the energy input (which I found a great controller to simplify), so the wacky air cooled dephlegmator started to make sense. Other designs that rely on water cooled dephlegmators don't do it so easily. When it is easy and consistent, you can delegate it to the interns... (I'm my own intern :). Other things started to make sense such as why you always put in 100 ml of absolute alcohol and how this number pushes everything to the right places. When you distill at the azeotrope, there is just a few milliliters of absolute alcohol left when you hit the 5th fraction and somehow that brief zone grabs all the high value congners and isolates them. Experiencing fraction 5 can be so absolutely wild. So the big difference between other designs is superior congener sorting power and then ease of consistent operation so faithful comparisons can be made. It is hard to appreciate these points without experiencing it. Performance is at a level you can confidently make decisions based on what you experience. The fractions are easy to interpret by smell and taste. Most small scale distillers, even with science backgrounds, don't want labs. They don't want "wet chemistry" and they don't want GCMS, but they still have to solve problems and figure things out. The birectifier allows that. You just sort stuff and cut stuff up then smell it and compare it to a role model. It is very much the way of our five year old selves. Sort, cut, smell. Sadly, it is homework. Dave Pickerell said, "For some reason I can close my eyes and see molecules running around in a still, and I know where they’re going and why." This the goal, right? But we're only going to learn little bits of it at a time until we get there. I think the birectifier method is one of the purest ways of getting there. Smell things, put a face to name, and know where they are, when, and how they relate to quality.
  20. 0 points
    Most glass always has some kind of particles in it. (dust, bits of cardboard, dirt, residue from the manufacturing process. I use GNS to rinse the bottles at the same proof as the spirit we are bottling. The removes all of the above TCW equipment makes some great affordable, semi auto rinsers.
  21. 0 points
    I designed it myself with 5 main things in mind. 1 to make whisky 2 cheap 3 easy to build 4 energy efficient 5 throughput of about 2,000 litres in 8 hours. I had some help from meerkat with calculating number of plates, and have spent a bit of time talking to Dehner. It runs on waste fryer oil, doesn't need any cooling water, in fact at the end of the day I have well over 1,000 litres of hot water at about 90 deg C To date I have not run it for full 8 hours. Still playing with correct pump to control feed rate.
  22. 0 points
    Hey Loren, we're looking forward to tasting the whiskey we get out of your barrels! All the best to you as you embark on your distilling adventure!
  23. 0 points
    Hi Everyone - I’m new here so I wanted to quickly introduce myself. I live and work in NYC (in advertising), but spend a lot of time in the Catskill Mountains where I have the space to potentially pursue distilling in the future. I’m not ready to quit my day job just yet, but I’m joining the ADI community as a way to start exploring the world of craft distilling and see if it’s something that I want to seriously pursue down the road. I’ll be doing a lot of reading and listening at first, as many of the questions I want to ask have already been answered somewhere in the forum. It's clear that there's a wealth of knowledge and experience here. I appreciate your patience as I do venture into different topics within the forum, and look forward to interacting with many of you on this site, at a conference, or at your local distillery. —JS
  24. 0 points
    Instead of slow distillation, for the last few years I've been advocating for something I call guided traditional practices. It is something I see in the fine wine industry and something that is part of many spirits category's history such as Bourbon. Bourbon went from practical distillers who weren't formally trained and knew little science but often produced excellent products to scientific concerns that relentlessly pursued efficiency to bland commodity ends and then back upwards to guided traditional practices with Maker's Mark and Wild Turkey when they got their own production (tequila is in the violent throws of this). If you read through the oral histories of the California wine producers that won at the Judgment of Paris, you'll understand that fine wine was born in the lab. All the winners like Mike Grgich and Warren Winierski were the lab guys from their previous wineries. They were not exactly scientists and were sitting in on night classes at UC Davis, but they weren't matriculated students studying to produce wine by the silo. Right now near no small producer operates a full on distillery lab and my big pursuit is creating a pragmatic one and sharing it. The absolute foundation of the lab is turning out to be Rafael Arroyo's birectifier lab still. The beauty of the birectifier is how much can be done with only organoleptic technique. It really respects slow ambitions, but you can stack chemical analysis on top as you get more sophisticated. Fine wine makers do tons of lab work, but its simple and pragmatic. They aren't all in on GCMS, it just doesn't help. One of the things the new distilling industry needs to confront is that "fermentation is the climax in the manufacture of rum". This is an Arroyo quote from Circular 106 which applies well to any spirit category. Distillers need to get over the fetish of the still and learn that they are really fermentation chemists. This impacts labeling to some degree. I don't want to see anything labelled pot distilled if it didn't have a fermentation worthy of slow and steady pot distillation. I also don't want to have to see spirits like rum have to live up to the Bourbon template. A lot of the labeling ideas proposed don't make any sense and a lot of them become irrelevant if there is a public intellectual behind the helm like most cult fine wineries. Publicly explain yourself, and if the juice is good, you can do mostly whatever you want. One thing not often acknowledged is how terrible many of the practical distillers were and that many often couldn't ferment to dryness. The IRS actually became the lead consultant educating producers because it was easier to keep the books when you guaranteed everyone fermented to dryness. Grain in matched ethanol out. The revenuer didn't have to become a detective with a flashlight wondering whether a ferment was botched or if ethanol was stolen. There is very little traditional knowledge on building spirits to age until Arroyo comes around. Arroyo ultimately attributed his success in tackling it to the birectifier. Eight fraction Micko distillation makes readily apparent the factors that contribute to maturation time. Slowly by analyzing spirits over time you can build trajectories. I don't think anyone's career is long enough to build intuition for these maturation trajectories without sitting down and doing frequent analysis and deconstruction of role models. The more role models you deconstruct, the faster you can build mastery. Our next step with the birectifier is automating it so a distiller can run it twice a day. This makes it practical to pre-screen your ferment with micro distillation and then grade it A,B,C,D which will correspond to the distillation proof it deserves and the cutting regimen. Cognac was known for micro distillation pre-screening before large producers switched to inline spectroscopy. The A,B,C,D pre-screened framework means a distiller could start taking risks and slowing down ferments to gain quality. Faults would be caught (fraction 6,7,8 of the birectifier) and distillation changed to accommodate it. One big benefit of an analysis framework is adding confidence in delegating tasks and there will also be more confidence in tackling new products like a rum producer taking on an apple brandy. A lot more could be said, but the foundation of slowness or guided traditional practices is practical analysis.
  25. 0 points
    Let he who has an ear hear what the spirit has to say.