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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/10/2018 in Posts

  1. 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.
  2. 1 point
    ours are fixed and work well
  3. 1 point
    Hi Thatch! Paul, Mike and Meerkat have been absolutely incredible help! I have to say, I ran my still for the 1st time successfully using both columns today with their help! I owe them the world! They 1000% deserve the Championship trophy! Thank you SO SO much guys!!
  4. 1 point
    I've been following this thread. If Paul, Mike and Meerkat actually solve the problem for Jen they get my championship trophy. GREAT effort guys!
  5. 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!
  6. 1 point
    The liquid flow to the trays can only come from the dephlegs. With moderate heat on the still pot, open the water to the condenser and second dephleg. I would close the water to the 1st dephleg and get the trays in the second column loaded first. The aim is to get the 2nd column on total reflux to start with, but have water open to the condenser in case the vapor load is too much for the 2nd dephleg. At this stage the 1st column and dephleg is just a pipe to get the vapor to the 2nd column. Once you see that you have the trays in the second column loaded and bubbling then you can bring the 1st column on line. Open the water to the 1st dephleg a bit to start the liquid flow to the trays in column 1, and maybe a bit more heat to the still, and get the trays in this column loaded. If this causes the trays in the second column to run dry you have too much water on the 1st dephleg (or not enough heat in the still). Run the unit like this on total reflux with all the trays loaded for a while to get a feel for what is happening, and then you can gradually decrease the cooling water flow to the dephlegs so that some product goes over to the main condenser. Its hard to summarize all this in a few words. I am sure that a chat with Mike will give you a chance to ask the questions that are difficult here.
  7. 1 point
  8. 1 point
    Whatever size boiler you think you need, double it. You'll save yourself a lot head scratching later on.
  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. 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,
  11. 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.
  12. 0 points
    Copy that! I'll see if we can work on some content to clear up some of the general parts of TTB reporting and add in details about the proofing process. Thanks for the great feedback!
  13. 0 points
    We have been using the $450ps2 monitor. Our setup is the same as VSAKS. I am and the fire marshall is happy with the monitor wired to an alarm and explosion proof fan with static free ducting.
  14. 0 points
    We have been using the $450 PS 2 model for the last one year. Had the manufacturer set the alarms at 10% and 20% LEL of ethanol. Each alert light/alarm also turns on a relay, so you can hook up a fan to turn on automatically. We got the 115V version and our exhaust vent fan is connected to the relay to turn on automatically at 10%.
  15. 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.
  16. 0 points
    It would have been better in this situation if it were plumbed the other way that I described, however we can make it work this way. When you are running the coolant flow to the dephlegmator on column one, it should be turned down very very low and the dephlegmator on column 2 should have a higher coolant flow and a lower head temp than column 1. As far as loading the plates and everything it is best if my head distiller walks you through it on the phone. His name is Mike. If you call my number during business hours I will put you on the phone with him and he will walk you through everything and get you lined out. I won't charge you anything for that. If you want to increase the plate functionality from 3 plates to 6 plates on column 1 I can help you with that. The only thing that I ask is that you sign a non disclosure agreement. I certainly don't want Hawke to learn my secrets. Please email me for a copy of the non disclosure agreement. paul@distillery-equipment.com
  17. 0 points
    Those are aquatherm pipes for the glycol cooling system. They aren't insulated yet so for now they are exposed.
  18. 0 points
    I get asked this a lot and I thought this to be a good start, or at least I wish I had this direction when I was starting in brandy production. https://blog.dropbit.io/2018/11/06/the-7-secrets-to-producing-quality-brandy/
  19. 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!
  20. 0 points
    Thanks, I appreciate the additional information. I am very into the science of this, since I am a Ph.D. physicist that in my science career actually studied the flocculation both theoretically and experimentally (although that was for simpler polymeric materials, not whiskey per se). Yes, phenomenologically, it is as you described, although fundamentally the mechanism matters to meet the definition of either, not just the appearance. Flocculation (also agglomeration, depending on appearance) is the coming together in solution of (usually) oligomers or polymers so that they form concentrated masses that effectively drop out of solution. In fact, they may still be solvated, but the agglomerations (flocculate) become visible: the clouds or flakes we observe. Since generally the flocc is formed from oligomers or larger molecules, a clean fresh distillate will not produce these since larger molecules don't come across in the distillate, except maybe deep into the tails. I don't see it in my white spirits, and why I expressed my surprise at your seeing it. Can I ask another question: when you proof down, are you using distilled or RO water? White precipitate is also formed in spirits if mineral salts are in the water added for proofing, and these will precipitate organic-salt complexes in fresh distillate after some time. This is not the same as flocc, since it is creation of an insoluble organic salt by the addition of the minerals to the solution containing the trace organics. This is what @Jedd Haas was alluding to earlier in the thread.
  21. 0 points
    The corollary is, "Count on your distributor telling you they will be a brand ambassador for you and help move product"
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 0 points
    Mike, I understand your problem. If this China company is a broker, you may have problems. We are in the business for 20 years supplying custom glass bottles from China. Your best protection is to have the China company submit a quality report before shipping and paying the final balance. We use a third party quality inspection company named Asia Inspection. They send a quality inspector to the factory in your behalf to inspect the bottles. See attached quality report they submit before anything ships from China.750ml headframe O-cn3-1101310_1rev.pdf . I would like the opportunity to quote this bottle for you. Below is ur offering. Thank you for the opportunity to work on your custom glass bottle. I am confident we can produce the quality glass you require, in time and within budget. The offering is as follows: Also, you are only 6 weeks from a reorder and do not need to worry about a distributor having your bottle in inventory. Why buy a stock bottle when you can have your very own custom bottle? We offer custom design glass bottles. We decorate using Embossing, Spray Painting, Acid Etch Frosting, Silk Screen Printing, and Multi Color Decaling. Making your own custom bottle allows you to emboss your company name, logo, or design into the glass. PRELIMINARY PRICE QUOTE Order Quantity = 10,000 pieces fitting a 20 foot container Mold Cost = $2,000 750ml Bottle Price = $0.80 Ex-works our China factory (you can arrange the transport if you like) DDU Transport Price to your warehouse via ocean shipment = 0.40 ($4,000 total) Total Price = 1.20 DDU delivered to your 44077 warehouse SCHEDULE IS 12 WEEKS 1 week = bottle drawing 3 weeks = unit mold and sample the bottle 3 weeks = production molds and schedule production 1 weeks = run production 4 weeks = ocean ship to the USA THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS 1- Provide the ship to address, quantity, bottle shape, capacity, neck finish and decoration details 2- We provide a price quote. 3- If the price quote is acceptable, issue a PO 4- We make the engineering drawing for your approval 5- When the engineering drawing is approved, we make the mold and sample the bottle 7- When the bottle samples are approved, we schedule and run production 8- Bottles are packed into corrugated master cartons with internal dividers, palletized, strapped, and stretch wrapped 9- A MIL105e quality inspection is performed before anything ships We are all about making good things happen. Given the chance, I will deliver the quality glass bottles you require. I want this order. Send me the details of your custom bottle. Please call me to discuss Robert K. Miller T561.818.8977 750ml headframe O-cn3-1101310_1rev.pdf
  25. 0 points
    Let he who has an ear hear what the spirit has to say.
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