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  1. 3 points
    We have a forklift. Cant imagine life with out it. We move barrels with it. And smoke cigarettes at the same time, and run with scissors.
  2. 1 point
    I know Paul @Southernhighlander makes them. I have not seen one in action, but ive heard his are solid.
  3. 1 point
    This is an interesting thread to which I will bring a dose of oh god the boredom of regulation. You make a production gauge. When you do so you have to designate the product. Assume the production methods used meet the production procedures (19.77) you have on file for for bourbon, corn whiskey, and whiskey distilled from bourbon mash and also meet the the grain/proof standards (80% or more corn at not more than 160) for each. Once produced, you must immediately make a production gauge (19.304). The rules for production gauges state, "Spirits in each receiving tank will be gauged before any reduction in proof and both before and after each removal of spirits." (19.289). I read this to say that you can can have more than one removal of spirits ("each removal") from a receiving tank - or more than one receiving tank ("each receiving tank"). So, let's assume, in either case, three gauges, each of which is deemed a separate production gauge (19.304). I see nothing that prohibits you from entering two of those to the storage account, where you put them into a stainless tank and cut them to 125 or less - this must be done after the production gauge (19.289), designating the first "bourbon designate" and the second "whiskey distilled from bourbon mash designate" (19.305). Then, you transfer (19.324) the first to new charred and the second to used oak as "bourbon" and "whiskey distilled from bourbon mash," respectively, and proceed through a nanosecond or more to create age. The spirits in the third gauge go directly to processing, where you bottle them as unaged corn whiskey. I see nothing in the regulations that prohibit that and 19.304, 305, .324 and .289 seem to authorize it. At the least, it would be an interesting challenge to a TTB investigator or auditor who sought to challenge what you did. I think they would lose the argument that you violated any provision of the regulations. The caveat is that your records would have to include the gauge record (19.618 and 19.619) for each of the three production gauges, showing the quantity and designation in each case, and create the trail that would establish that the products are eligible for the designations you give them. Note that I have not mentioned a formula once, although someone's comment above that you have to have a formula for bourbon is correct, not to show what you did to it, but to show that you did nothing to it that would change the class and type under the special rules that apply to bourbon and not to other American type whiskeys. Now, the above discussions about the methods and procedures you use to create the spirits are a lot more interesting, but wasn't the original question :-).
  4. 1 point
    The hardest part for us has been making realistic financial assumptions. I am a PhD in finance...but man...finding sales data for micro-distillers is non-existent. So we have had to back into all kinds of SWAGS (super wild ass guesses). I mean everything drives off your assumed production levels which will be driven by demand.
  5. 0 points
    Yes, this is basically my current strategy. Although, late at night my mind is prone to wander...
  6. 0 points
    Those little Flojet quad pumps actually come with a warning not to use them with any products that have a flash point below 100 °F. Here's a link to the documentation. An old Flojet rep told me people used to try and use those electric quad pumps for moving marine fuel. It didn't end well for someone, and now they plaster warnings all over the documentation to prevent anyone from trying to use it to move flammable liquids. The pump you're looking for is the Flojet G70, which can be grounded, and is rated for use with more volatile substances when used as directed in the documentation. As far as sizing the air compressor, these pumps don't take much to run. With air diaphragm pumps the most important factor to sizing the compressor is the CFM (cubic feet/minute) of air the compressor is capable of generating. The G70 only requires about 3 CFM. A cheap compressor like the kind you can pick up at your local tool store for $100-$200 is capable of this. Sometimes people even use tanks of compressed gas. The compressor will almost certainly be much, much louder than the pump itself.
  7. 0 points
    You are correct that the 'G' stands for grain. If made with something else (must, cane, etc.) they are merely neutral spirits.
  8. 0 points
    Actually scotch can't be called scotch or sold as scotch until it is at least 3 years old. So the NAS under 3 years isn't applicable. This unlike US Whiskey wherein it can be brought to market and sold as "Whiskey" at any time under 4 years old, provided it has an age statement. Of course the reality is the US "Craft Market" is flooded with under 4 year old whiskey being sold with NAS because the TTB is not enforcing complaints against blatant offenders. Note to self: if you have had your DSP for under 4 years, you should use the age statement on your Whiskey. If not because you are afraid of being caught and fined by the TTB, at least because otherwise you are acting like a Sleezebag.
  9. 0 points
    We crush using corona mill that we motorized with an el cheapo HF electric drill. It effectively "rolls and smooshes" them as you would if you pinched them between your fingers. Gap between plates is about 3/16" Highly reproducible. Astringency comes from the pip which never (that we've seen) is split / ground. Here's a handful I just did.
  10. 0 points
    The tasting room and/or retail are for sales of liquors of any sort, may not be on DSP premises. So you need not include, or mention them, in your description of the new arrangement. TTB does require that you show the location on the diagram if they are adjacent to DSP premises. In my opinion, ten feet away is not adjacent. It is as good as a mile If the area on which they are now located is not currently included in the DSP premises, and you want to change the area for use as bonded premises, then you must amend the descriptions and diagrams of the DSP premises and bonded premises. You do that by filing an amendment. If, when you qualified, you simply omitted mention of the fact that a portion of what you described as DSP premises was going to be used as tasting room, then you need not amend the application as long as it accurately describes the boundaries of the DSP under the new configuration, that is, there is no change in the boundaries of the bonded or any general premises you may have. Now, you mention that the current area is "marked off." That makes me squirm a bit, because TTB has recently opened a can or worms. By policy, TTB has required floor to ceiling separation between the tasting and or retail area and the DSP. If you have only a line on the floor, you are in an "ooops"position. I know that is the case with some DSPs. I've seen them. If the area is separated by bless than floor to ceiling partitions, you still have an ooops problem. TTB has recently compounded the problem.. When you amend the application, it now requires that you affirm that you know that the division between the tasting/retail space must be a floor to ceiling wall (partition would be the better word given the way the regulation is written, but wall is the word TTB chose). When you affirm that, you are record as knowing that the line or less floor to ceiling partition is not acceptable as separation. When you know something is wrong and do not attempt to correct it, violations become willful. If you only have an eight-foot high ceiling, that may not be a problem. Build the wall and get Mexico to pay for it. But if it is a 40 foot ceiling, whoa!. Things are not so simple. Mexico is apt to refuse to pay for that sort of partition. That an eight foot partition in a space with 40 foot ceilings will be as effective as a 40 foot partition does not matter. TTB's mantra is floor to ceiling and they have made that apparent in the affirmation they now require. Do I see a few hands going up in the air? When I asked about this, informally, because I sought not to cause a splash with ripples that could capsize, I got the answer that the NRC would not change the language of affirmation. They have dug in their heels.. I now that this is going to cause problems for someone sometime. I recommend that associations, not individuals, approach TTB about this to see if we can convince them that the floor to ceiling requirement is unnecessary, as long as there is a partition of sufficient height to prevent inadvertent movement of spirits onto and off the bonded premises. So I'm hijacking this post to say if some association wants to do that, I'm on board, pro bono as it were, to figure out how best to frame the approach to TTB. That's pro bono unless the organization is charging someone to make the approach. In that case, I want my share of the charge. But I prefer to do it for nothing, in return for the opportunity you guys give me to make a living consulting.
  11. 0 points
    I'll say the same thing to everyone I talk to about starting a distillery. The still and the act of distilling the two least important parts of the whole enterprise. Hell, washing the toilets is more important than the still. Not saying you are in this camp, but there are tons of people who fantasize about distilling and stills, where they should be fantasizing about scrubbing floor drains, because that's where the real joy of distilling lies. Drain grates so clean you can lick sweet mash right off them. You can know everything you need to know about how good the head distiller is by their floor drains.
  12. 0 points
    Distribution is always a challenge. Small, medium, or large can be good or bad. Keep in mind that whatever the distributor, their primary job is distribution, not marketing. Marketing is your job, and sales is a responsibility you share with your distributor, effectively. You did not say what was wrong with your small distributor, but sometimes problems can include slow or late payments, inability to keep enough stock on hand, and inability to efficiently make deliveries. A medium or larger distributor may address these issues. Your concerns about production levels with a big distributor are warranted.
  13. 0 points
    Being made from 100% Malted Barley is the point. It's so that when you label something as "Single Malt" it actually is that. It's so that the customer knows what they are getting and is able to more easily compare similar products. It doesn't limit innovation, it limits misleading labels. You can make any kind of spirit you want.
  14. 0 points
    Kegged craft cocktails originated on my blog about ten years ago. Crappy margaritas on the gun existed, but no one had done anything with quality ingredients. I continuously learned more and updated a lot of the ideas. One of the big ones is reflux de-aeration to remove oxygen and the idea that you can un-couple enzymatic bittering of citrus from citrus oxidation. I ended up with formulations bottled in champagne magnums for more than 12 months. Reflux de-aeration is a really old imprecise term, but it basically uses the rule of partial pressures to show that dissolves co2 in a liquid can force oxygen out of solution. You can prototype formulate products with pre-bittered citrus (non-oxidized) to predict how they will evolve, but the hole thing is really just a tease. When you get to large scale products sold at wholesale margins, the ideas just aren't that viable. You cannot purchase bulk citrus juice properly processed to my knowledge. For prototyping and work for my restaurant's inhouse sales I developed a Champagne bottle manifold, a manifold style keg to champagne bottle version and then two different very affordable full enclosure systems. One is for small bottles and one is for larger sizes. They use quick disconnects and can be operated in an array of multiple units. The counter pressure designs allow the hitting dissolved gas levels well past 7g/l which is coca cola to 9g/l which is prosecco and beyond where true Champagne is sometimes 12g/l of dissolved gas. These last two products were designed for far flung resorts that needed tools to bottle carbonated products in whatever bottles they could get their hands on because they could not purchase idealized new bottles. I've shipped the tools around the world, from pro formulators to eco hotels and from Michelin starred wine programs to the top bar programs internationally. Adding to the ideas was the concept that you can measure dissolved gas with a kitchen scale so you can rapidly create progressive series for tasting panels. This makes carbonation more independent of the pressure/temp methodology and easier to make comparisons. You can work in reverse with the concept and start analyzing competitors and role models for patterns that may dictate what equipment you need. Weigh things, then de-gas, then measure liquid volume. Another formulation idea to consider is the notion of delle units for stability. Many products will want to be at the minimum of alcohol content for stability. Professor delle's concept states that units of sugar can trade for units of alcohol in contributing to stability and best bets exist. This goes further and dissolved CO2 can also participate. This is used in some really smart products on the market, but formal best bets are not known. For distillers, I recommend people start producing products for their tasting room which becomes a great focus group. A lot can be viable for those retail prices and you can learn a ton of skill sets to scale up. Weddings and general catering can be a not insignificant market. You may be working with distillates, but consider your shelf life to be that of fragile beer with a drink by date. Many formulation ideas are for bomb shelter products. A lot can be learned there, but it is not craft. Dream to make something you're truly proud of. The market is flooded with junk. People are getting paid, but I cannot imagine anyone is truly proud of some of the new carbonated canned cocktail products. Too many compromises get made when fruit juice is forced into the bomb shelter. My personal bunker has nothing but whiskey and rum.
  15. 0 points
    Blue Label Digital Printing is awesome. Pleasure to work with.
  16. 0 points
    Hi Sudzie. I just stumbled across this by accident. I wonder if the differences you are seeing are due to a longer optimal steeping time of the corn grist that will allow for more complete hydrolization of starches, thereby making for a more rapid early ferment? Assuming that there are still viable enzymes in the finished mash, which there should be if you're using exogenous enzymes, there is a continuation of the saccharification process during fermentation. Over the course of four days this would even out between the two processes, but perhaps you're "front-loading" more available sugars in scenario "B". Your enzyme manufacturer should have a chart of ideal pH & temp that "B" process may be more aligned with than "A". Just a thought.
  17. 0 points
    Question, when we do a cook, (lets call it "A") and bring our water to 190 and add our corn to start our cook and then drop temp, yada, yada, yada, finish around 1.060 we get a nice dry grain cap about 2 " thick and you dont see anything going on at all and will finish in 4 days with the cap dropping and end SG usually .998 yield is great. No problems. Been doing it this way for 5 years. Or, (lets call this one "B") we bring our water to 100 and then add our corn and continue raising the temp to 190 cook for the same time the rest of the cook is the same Yada, yada, yada, finish around 1.060 we get a wet creamy, very active bubbling for the 4 days a wet cap will come and go, finishes at .998 pretty much the same yield and flavor. So what i'm in search for info is what is actually happening with the grains during the cook???? cant figure it out. both great flavor, good yield, etc. "B" is a little shorter time. side note we use enzymes and do a sour mash, all added at the same time, temp, quantity between the two its winter here in Maine and l have some time to play around with things and just love learning more.......
  18. 0 points
    Our flag-ship product is our straight rye and we use a high percentage of wheat. We just bottled batch #4 yesterday that was in barrels for 29 months. Obviously I am very biased, but I could not be much happier with the end product. Lots of spicy rye bite, but still nice and smooth. Batch #5 will probably be just under 3 years, and I am already looking forward to that being ready! Our first barrel of bonded whiskey will hit the 4 year mark in September and we may bottle that for the holidays, or decide to wait another year and let it hit 5! Cant believe how fast time goes by.
  19. 0 points
    Separation is a huge pain with anything but malted barley. We do grain in and give our whole stillage to a local farmer. Using a steam jacketed still with a strong agitator
  20. 0 points
    My two cents open for every ones interpretation, are we not, weighing, gauging and paying tax on the spirit not the water? Is the water aging or the spirit? If the spirit does not leave the barrel is it still new? or used? I still have not seen a decisive answer substantiated by the cfr/ttb. Matt
  21. 0 points
    Glucoamylase is more effective at saccharification than the beta amylase in malt. It’s common for the amylases in malt to create nonfermentable dextrins. Glucoamylase can reduce these dextrins to fermentable sugars - thus giving you a higher yield when combined. its also common to use high temp fungal amylases during cereal mashing, where regular malt amylases would be quickly denatured by the high temps. Use them alone with unmalted grains, or together with malt, there are good reasons in both cases.
  22. 0 points
    Sales projections are going to be nothing but a shot in the dark. I have seen distilleries open after 5 years of planing and spending millions of dollars with less than 50 cases of sales per month after a year and distilleries opening in less than a year of planning under 60k and selling a hundred cases after the first 6 months. Not saying its a crap shoot but there is a lot more that goes into a successful distillery than a well written business plan and a bunch of money. Plan yes but don't let the business plan hold you back.
  23. 0 points
    If you are interested in gin, you may enjoy this thread: As for gin making and using gns, a simple potstill is just awesome. Regards, Odin.
  24. 0 points
    Are you using a calibrated hydrometer that only reads in the 190 range? On the cheap 0-200 hydrometers it looked like we were at 188ish, but with the precision hydrometer we're at 190.# The parrot fills from the bottom and the flow rate also makes the distillate appear to be at a lower proof, but in a cylinder and correcting for temp we're hitting what we need. We've got 20 plates and strip first.
  25. 0 points
    I am with Wright Labels in Thomasville, NC. We have been in the printing industry for over 50 years and printing wine and spirit labels for over 15 years. We have digital and flexo presses. No minimums. We are happy to help anyone in the industry with branding, design, labels, point of purchase materials, rack cards, posters and banners. I would be happy to give references for the distillers we work with. The ADI Conference was fantastic for us and we appreciate those of you who have come to us! Cheers! Carol Phillips 336-906-9097 cell 800-678-9019 ext. 3214 www.wrightlabels.com
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