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  1. 9 points
    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
  2. 6 points
    While much of what Joseph says is, and always was, true (operating capital management, marketing 101), I don't buy the bubble argument for one second. People have been saying the same thing about craft brewing for 20 years. It's still growing in volume nearly 13% year on year. Spirits are just getting started. Millennials re-wrote the markets for craft beer and wine, and they're about to do the same for spirits. They don't have the age statement bias of their parents. They're not afraid of trying new things (would you or I have ever tried a cinnamon whiskey - bleah!) They also crave experiences. So, putting capital into your location and tasting room may be FAR wiser than into name-brand copper in your stillhouse. There's also the international markets that are clamoring to experience US craft spirits. Know what an ounce of Stranahan's goes for in NL? 25€ The tired old shelf space argument never ceases to crack me up. Do you honestly mean to tell me your local liquor store had 10-12 beer coolers back in the 80s? Liquor stores are in the business of selling booze. If there's a market, THEY'LL MAKE SPACE. There's this absurdly tiny liquor store on my way home from work. Not even 500 sq ft. They are incredibly convenient though. I stopped in looking for my go-to beer (Trumer Pils) about a year ago. Of course they didn't carry it. I just mentioned to the owner that I was looking for Trumer. He said "I'll have it here next Tuesday". Now he didn't know me from Adam, but you know what? He somehow made space. Trumer Pils is always there and I pick up a six every week. 250 types of brown spirits? LOL. Have a look at the wine isle and imagine yourself in THAT market. Oh, and they're thriving. Sure, there will be some craft distillery closures. The days of "if I make it, they will come" are over. For every closure though, there will be 2+ more opening. And some of those will actually have a clue about marketing. FFS, High West just cashed out for $160M, selling whiskey they didn't even make!
  3. 5 points
    Good idea bull, I'll post a few. I'll preface the pics with a very brief backstory behind our brand. Being located in Washington, PA, we're at the center of many of the events of the Whiskey Rebellion (I could hit the restored home and now national historic site of David Bradford, the leader of the rebellion, with a 9 iron from my front door). We went with a very colonial theme in our tasting room including a colonial fireplace back bar, the portrait of Alexander Hamilton (hanging upside down) above the fireplace, 1790's themed lighting fixtures, tables we made out of reclaimed barn wood and a separate dining room for private tastings and events.
  4. 4 points
  5. 4 points
    The presentation I put together on continuous column distillation is focused on a comparison of the efficiency of batch distillation versus continuous distillation. The discussion on the science of single pass continuous distillation (finished spirits) including the separation of heads / hearts / tails is a much deeper discussion that my ppt only briefly touches on. The file is to big to upload here if any one would like to see it send me an email Distillerynow@gmail.com and Ill send you the presentation
  6. 3 points
    The issue about turning elements on sequentially over time is in reference to a demand meter. Depending on your service, once you hit your "maximum daily demand" which I believe is over a 15 minute period, you will thereafter be charged that "demand" every day for the rest of your operational life. However your cost per KW will be lower, billed on top of that flat demand charge. As for remote start up, perhaps you could run a feed back loop program to your iPad that is lying beside you in bed, that also activates a remote wire clipped to your nuts. Then when your still starts at the distillery you will simutaneosly gets zapped in the nuts to force you to get up to protect your investment. All of course at a lower cost per KWH.
  7. 3 points
    Aging White Gin I think there are two topics here. First, the making, diluting, and bottling of gin, does that require any aging? Secondly, there is a big move towards barrel aged gin. I will start with the first question first ... and I will leave "barrel aged gin" for another post. White gin requires aging. Not much, but you can't just dilute it and bottle it and sell it. Well, you can, but you won't create the best tasting gin that way. A gin that's bottled right after it's been diluted to bottling strength has two issues: 1. It tickles on the tongue; 2. Taste is not integrated. The tickling of the tongue is a very good indication that a gin is not yet aged out. The tickling is caused by alcohol sucking water up water. Since alcohol is highly hydrofile or hygroscopic, that makes sense ... if you didn't give your gin enough time after diluting it to bottling strength. If you add water to your gin to bring it down from (for example) 70% to 45%, a process starts that I call "the marriage between water and alcohol". It is not an instant process. It is not a gentle process either. It is a process where some of the water gets dissolved into the alcohol. A process that creates heat (some), slightly lowers the total volume (total volume is lower than the volume of the original alcohol and water), and raises the proof a bit. All because water dissolves - over time - in alcohol. So here's the first trick in letting your gin age out: dilute it, then give it like five weeks for the marriage to take place. After this period, when you taste the gin, the tickle on your tongue is gone. The five week period also helps the different oils and tastes settle out. Please try it. Make your gin, dilute it, fill one bottle, open the cap on that bottle like every day, and taste is: - On day one (not coherent, tickly, is this the gin I wanted to make?); - After three days (nice, its moving in a good direction, wow, this is different shit!); - After five weeks (when you'll have reached your final taste profile). This test will teach you that you will achieve around 2/3rds of the final taste profile already after the first three days. It will also teach you that giving it more time really pays of. I know that waiting for five weeks can be a pain. You need more time to market, and you need more storage space. But in the end, if you want to make the best product, there is no escaping it. There are, however, a few tricks you can use to speed up the process. Here they are: 1. Use an ultrasonic cleaner (50 Watt per liter minimum and at 40 kHz) and give your gin like three ten minute treatments. It won't skip the five week rest period completely, but it will get you closer sooner. The process of especially water marrying to alcohol is sped up. And if you look in your ultrasonic cleaner, while doing it, you'll see for yourself that this process is not a gentle one: the liquids turn grey during the first part of the ultrasonification. 2. Use corks instead of caps on your bottles. A cork may allow for slight air movements in and out. If you allow for that, the process of water dissolving into alcohol can take place in the bottle. But if you have a hard capped bottle, the process of water dissolving in alcohol cannot take place, because its a process that shrinks total volume. A relative vacuum developing in the air pocket would prevent the water to dissolve properly. So ... with hard capped gin bottles, you may want to skip the white gin aging process a bit with ultrasonic treatments, or not and you wait five weeks before you bottle. The good news is: it will improve your drink hugely. And the fun thing is that if you did the tests I proposed, you'll recognize other gins as having had the appropriate amount of aging or not. Aging white gin is not completely straight forward in the sense that five weeks will do it. Time and again, I learn that the vapor speeds and how deep we go towards tails / the end part of the run influence the aging curve. See the first post on that please. The concise? If you run your rig harder (higher vapor speeds) more aging is needed. If you run longer, more aging is needed. If you run your rig slower and cut a bit earlier, for a more floral gin, the marriage may just take as much as only three weeks to take place. Next post in this thread will be about barrel aging gin. After that? Lets dive into herbs bills! Regards, Odin.
  8. 3 points
    First, he said he does not have the capital for that software, and I understand where he came from... I am not sure I agree with using the costly software for small folks starting out, a couple hundred dollars a month is great if it does everything and you have ten thousand a month coming in, but they don't do everything, they can't... You still have to do all the measuring, all the data entry, and you have to do it their way, they just do math and database recording... sure they fill out the reports, but in my opinion, you really need to do the reports yourself for at least a little bit, your name is still on them!... Oh, and from what I hear, don't try to go back and correct a mistake you found you made in one of those programs... worse than trying to correct something in your Retail POS system... I spend maybe an hour a week filling out basic daily log forms I created in excel for each kind of tracked activity: received fermentables, fermentations, transfers, stripping runs, whiskey runs, neutral runs, botanical runs, dilution, gauging and bottling runs, barreling and entry to storage, and removal from bond... In the beginning, it was well more than an hour, but you get good at it... those forms have no math, they are simple daily records that I print out a bunch of each type and keep in the distillery area, I do something on the list above, I fill it out by hand... (it is also a great thing to show people on tours to show the detail of records you keep to appease the government and why they should buy a bottle of something that is truly 'hand crafted!) Monthly, tonight, actually, I will take all those daily record sheets in my binder and last month's forms, and tally up totals.... I will go through my distillation records and total up any 'finished spirits' and open the 5110.40 "production", I will go through it and triple check everything.. I will go through my dilution, gauging, and bottling records and my 'removed from bond records and tally them up and I will fill out 5110.28 "processing".. I didn't fill any new barrels this month, so my 5110.10 'Storage' will have the same values that I ended with last month... I literally spent more time typing this than I probably will doing the reports tonight.... I have looked at putting my data into one of the lower cost systems like distillitrak. I probably will go with them eventually, but the startup is too time intensive at the moment, as the setup of vendors, every container, every ingredient, etc... are one thing, but every time you turn around to do something different, you have to go add this or that to your ingredients or vendors or items or whatever before proceeding, it really seems to hurt the artistic workflow of a small shop.... you should do it in excel sheets of your own making for a year or so, specifically so you know what the software you will likely eventually purchase is doing... The biggest reason I will eventually get a system is for more than 10 products and products at multiple proofs, that is where spreadsheets fail and a database shines... but even then, it will do things the operator does not understand, especially if the operator does not have an intimate understanding of how the daily records and monthly TTB forms relate to each other... OK, I spent an hour and a half writing this... time to do reports..
  9. 2 points
    You have asked a question that I have thought about writing a book to answer. Having started a few small businesses in my life, this has proven to be the most complex. There are endless details and problems to solve, and there is a very small community available to help (although most in the community are very generous in giving advice, etc.). Investor capture work is worth a chapter of two. Start very early in your business plan process and you will spend a lot of time with little results... but those results are generally more valuable as initial capital is the hardest to come by. However, it will also be more costly capital as you will need to give away more ownership to attract the investor at that point (all you have are ideas on paper without any proof you can actually execute on a plan). There are three types of investors: 1 - those that know you and like you and want to help you. 2 - Those that want to play a role in the business. 3 - Those that will only invest based on anticipated probability of a certain level of ROI. #1 should be your first target early. One idea there is to come up with an offering but include a convertible shareholder note vehicle. Let's say Uncle Joe likes you and wants to help. He has a bit of savings he isn't afraid of losing, and more that he would invest if he has some security behind it. One idea is to have Uncle Joe buy-in with some, and then maybe does a convertible note for some of the equipment where he holds title to the equipment. The payments for the equipment can be deferred, but interests accumulates. At some date in the future the principle and interest would be payable to Joe, or he can chose to convert some or all of it to shares in the business. If the business is not doing well, then Joe can take his equipment and sell it to at least partially recover his losses. However if the business is doing well, it can secure a loan to pay off what Joe is owned, and use the equipment for collateral, or Joe can convert all or some of what he is owed into ownership shares. #2 is a partner. Be careful. It is like getting married without the benefit of sleeping together. #3 is the hard one. Be careful here too. Read about Balcones. Better to push this off into the future when you are open and have some proof of concept that you can pour and sell. Note that if you are not an attorney, and you will have investors, you will need to hire an attorney. I will not tell you how much I have spent on attorneys because it makes me cry. The sequencing of steps will look like a mess, and there are many irreconcilable conflicts that you just have to deal with. For example, my building official wanted county health department sign off before he issued the C of O and the county health department wanted the C of O before they would do any inspection. You just have to negotiate your way to some successful conclusion. You will need an address and floor-plan and list of equipment before you can get TTB approval and state approval. I know of one distillery where the owner leased a very small facility to store all his equipment and supplies he was going to use for his final address, and used that smaller address to get his TTB and state approval for his DSP, and then did some DSP-to-DSP transfers of spirit in barrels that aged in this small warehouse space while he worked on finding and building his final space. He submitted and was approved for the changes, and when he finally opened he had 4-year old whiskey to sell on day one. Very smart! That was not me. The very first thing you need is a fully fleshed out business plan. This is very important as it contains all the big picture thinking that answers a lot of the questions for what steps are needed and in what sequence. You need to put a number of hours into just sitting down and thinking and writing it down. You need to think about how big of an operation and how much you think you can sell, and capture all the money in and money out flows in projected financial reports. I have a 6-year cash flow spreadsheet backed by all the assumptions about costs of good sold and sales that updates everything when I make a change. That way I can play with the assumptions as I develop a better confidence and understanding in how the business will operate. Frankly, you should never talk to any investor without having done this first. I will open this next month. It has been over 4 years since I first sat down to start writing the plan, and three years since I started paying for things related to this business. I will have my first sales revenue in July 2019. My last bit of advice.... making beer is a lot easier and quicker.
  10. 2 points
    I bought five 1,000 gallon fermenters and a 1,000 gallon mash cooker from Corson Distilling. I've known them for the better part of 2 years now, since my first conversations with them, having equipment built, and using the equipment for about a year. I previously posted a review, which was taken down by the forum moderators at Corson's request. After my review, I received calls from several people who have had negative experiences with Corson, from receiving defective equipment late to putting down large payments and receiving nothing at all. Several of those people shared that they are filing lawsuits against Corson. Though Corson threatened me with legal action after my first review, there is nothing illegal about sharing my experience in a factual and dispassionate way. And I feel obligated to share my experience to help other distillers avoid the same difficulties. Thanks to ADI's changed forum rules, I hope that this review will remain available for people to see. 1. Delivery Delays Our equipment was delivered late, after much work on my part to encourage its completion. Well into the process I went to Boise in person because their communication made me worried they weren't making progress, to find they were essentially beginning work as I arrived. We ended up receiving the equipment several months after the delivery window, and only with an immense amount of followup on my part to ensure they got it done. 2. Design and Build Quality When we received the equipment, by and large the quality appeared to be good. There were a fair number of missing or incorrect parts, but they were very good about sending out replacements. Once we got the equipment on line, we found that there to be some design flaws on the mash/lauter tun. It was missing a sparge arm, the removable false bottom didn't fit in the tank, and actually broke during the first run, and the design of the rakes, motor and gearbox was inadequately powered to rake even a very small grain bed. The propellers for grain-in mashes also weren't able to keep the contents of the tank moving. Josh Corson and one of their technicians came out and fixed the false bottom, shored up the motor mounts, installed a sparge arm, and did some other minor fixes. After that, over numerous months, we worked with them to get a new gearbox, and to try and get a stronger motor. They did send some parts, but after a year of followup the lautering setup still doesn't work, and I ended up having to modify the propellers myself to get the agitator to work for grain-in mashes. There have been a few problems with the fermenters as well. First, though the design specifications were supposed to have 30% true headspace on top of a 1,000 gallon volume, they do not. Additionally, one of the fermenters developed a jacket leak. It turns out that when the tanks were originally built, Corson did not spot weld about 25% of the dimples on the cooling dimple jackets. So at the specified operating pressure of 15psi, the tanks have blown numerous spot welds, and developed a couple of leaks that we've identified so far. 3. Customer Service The biggest stress for me of this whole experience has been Corson's customer service. They respond to reasonable concerns and questions with anger, insults, and blaming the customer. The best way I can describe the experience is as gaslighting - they've made me feel crazy. We've gone through numerous account managers, who seem to leave as quickly as they come. But all along the way I've been blamed and belittled and made to feel insane for just asking them to build the equipment to specification and fulfill the warranty. When I presented the leaking jacket problem to them a couple months ago, they said I was free to send the tank back to them at my expense, and they would decide whether or not they would cover it under warranty. That of course would be much more expensive than just having it fixed on site. At that point I decided to post my review of them on the forum, after which they threatened me with a lawsuit and said they would no longer be honoring my warranty. I've subsequently fixed the leaking jacket and the propellers myself. In summary, I cannot recommend Corson Distilling. They did produce equipment for us, which we use every day, and I was initially pleased to be able to partner with a small American startup manufacturer. And they certainly made a good faith effort at the beginning to follow through and make things right. But the design issues, and most importantly the customer service, have made the experience overall a very negative one. I would welcome other people who have worked with them to share their experiences, positive or negative. Thanks, Joel Vikre Duluth Minnesota
  11. 2 points
    Totally don't understand. If you are clogging a straight-through HX, it means your pump can't build sufficient pressure to pump against the back pressure of the tubing. There are zero occlusions in a straight-through flow path to cause any kind of blockage, build up, or otherwise. So how on earth does a more restrictive setup result in less chance of clogging? Especially one that now includes obvious inclusions. You'd face significantly more head pressure with a 4 tube design, because it's more restrictive to flow. Your maximum solids size now becomes the inner diameter of the smaller tube. If I bought a 4 tube design and one tube clogged, so that I needed to break it down to clean it, I'd ask for my money back, because that's garbage design.
  12. 2 points
    The Slow Distillation Movement Hubert Germain-Robin Being an aficionado of the Slow Food Movement since the beginning, I would like to add another antidote to the tyranny of the fast food industry and the frenzied pace of modern culture. Slow Distillation By using ancestral methods of distillation, when time was not such a pressing issue, one would conduct the distillation at a slow pace to be able to separate with precision the different components, to make clean cuts and to respect the temperature during the gathering of the distillates. With today’s hurried approach, many of these parameters are undervalued or even ignored by craft distillers. For centuries, distillers passed down to successive generations the nuances of creating flavors from the materials available. These artisans created good spirits before thermometers were invented, not understanding the molecular difference between methanol and ethanol or even knowing the names and vapor temperatures of any of the compounds they were separating. Distillers must listen to a spirit coming off the still in order to understand how much time in the barrel it will take for flavors to blossom and come to full beauty. Little thought or teaching is currently given to the understanding of how to ferment and distill a spirit when one intends to age it for 4, 12, or even 20 years. The rapidly made products often seen today have a limited appeal to consumers who pay attention to what they are drinking. This commodity approach to spirits production may produce a few small fortunes, but will no doubt produce many more inferior products that will need the presence of a bartender to bring to full flavor. Slow Maturation: By learning from the experience of generations of cellar masters, one realizes that time and patience are factors you cannot fully control, except by having proper levels of humidity and temperature in your cellar. Forcing the aging process by raising temperatures and using smaller barrels (which are usually made of wood of lesser quality) to obtain faster extraction often results in harsh and excessive tannins, which will take many years for the spirit to digest. Balance and harmony are reached by knowing the pace of transformations occurring in the barrels through the periods of oxidation and of rest. This is necessary and elementary to have a quality product. In the modern distillery age, the distiller is more likely to be flooded with information about saturating their spirit quickly with wood extract to make it marketable than they are presented with information about how to slowly nurture barrels into producing a supple, round, full flavor from the depth of years. Consequently, today’s distiller is more likely to toss their precious water of life into barrels and forget about it for two years, or for six years, and with little regard to maintaining proper maturation conditions, whatever the recipe, like a cake baking in the oven for whatever amount of time. By making abstraction of, or simply ignoring, either slow distillation or slow maturation, these craftsmen limit themselves in creating true artisan products. The consequences are not always obvious in the short term but appear later, resulting in regrets and disappointments. Remember: In this long journey, you cannot go back in time; you have to live with your decisions—good or bad. Can a rum or whiskey, after being stored in a barrel for only a year, truly be called mature or aged when, at the same time, a brandy, Cognac, Calvados or Scotch (and many other spirits) have to rest at least 2.5 years in oak (which is still quite young) to get the due appellation? I urge the distiller to slow down, take a mindful approach and join in the sharing of small details that, when combined together, have the effect of creating a spirit that can be savored. At the beginning of this revolution—which will go on for years, decades and centuries—the foundation can be laid so that craft will become the designation of quality. Rules should be put in place—by the craft distilling industry itself—to establish control over the declaration and on the labels for the consumer’s good. The Europeans have put a strict system in place that could be used as an example to make designations fair for everyone. Such a system will also serve to elevate quality, and reinforce appellations and sub-appellations, that will be created in the near future. For more information, email: Hubert Germain-Robin hubertgermainrobin@gmail.com Nancy Fraley nancylfraley@yahoo.com Andrew Faulkner drew@distilling.com
  13. 2 points
    Well fellas, I figured out the problem and wanted to run a batch successfully before posting on here. After checking everything suggested... I rechecked my enzymes and have apparently been using beta-glucanase as my beta-amylase since the last order (when the problem started). I usually order a high-temp alpha, beta, and beta glucanase. I apparently ordered 2 beta glucanase containers and never second guessed it. I put them in the usual places in the cooler and have been grabbing them like usual, not looking at the actual containers. I was even placing the beta glucanase in the cup labeled betaamylase...a small oversight, but an incredibly frustrating and expense learning lesson. I'm glad that the problem is easily solved...but incredibly disappointed in my oversight. I've successfully fermented 2 batches since realizing the issue, all ferment fully and taste great. I appreciate everyone's suggestions and help along the way. Best.
  14. 2 points
    And that folks, is why you buy Alcodens.
  15. 2 points
    None of the above. Silk is right, testing before permitting is a felony. Assuming you know that, I'd take a serious look at this: https://www.distillery-equipment.com/45 gallon Still.htm Jacketted, modular, and can add an agitator...
  16. 2 points
    Your 1674.8 lbs of 80 proof will give you 804.1 liters at 73.54°F. AlcoDens and the TTB Tables agree on this. But because 750 ml at 60°F grows to 754 ml at 73.54°F you should expect to get 804.1/0.754 = 1066 bottles. This agrees with PeteB’s mass based calculation. The underfill is 4 ml per bottle so you could expect to have 1066 x 4 / 750 = 5.7 extra bottles. The fact that you had 14 too many means that we still need to find where the extra 8 bottles came from. I agree that your scale is unlikely to be the source of error, but keep it in mind to check once you have eliminated all other possible reasons. If your proofing was out and the 1674.8 lbs actually gave you 810.0 liters ( = 1080 x 0.750) instead of the calculated 804.1 then your density at 73.54°F was 7.8262 lb/WG and this would correspond to a proof of 88.2. It is unlikely that you could be this far out. Another possibility for error would be if your bottling temperature was not the 73.54°F in your storage tank. But the temperature would need to be in the region of 90°F to explain the difference. This should be easy to check. As PeteB has said, it would be better to do your quantity checks during the run based on mass rather than volume. If you have an accurate lab scale you could also use it to calibrate your measuring cylinder. Use AlcoDens to calculate the expected weight of 0 proof (i.e. water) when your cylinder is full, and fill it with RO or well filtered water. If you have a bottling machine that uses a fixed head (pressure) and adjustable timer to control the fill quantity then you can set it to give a target weight rather than volume. The weight filled will vary with the temperature of the spirit and if you make a note of the time required and the temperature each time you adjust it you will soon be able to draw up a calibration curve to speed up the job.
  17. 2 points
    Matt Hofmann speaks about Brand & Product Identity.
  18. 2 points
    Most books on distilled spirits are worthless, except for the technical references, which tend to be heavily theoretical textbook or journal articles. Some of the best stuff has bubbled up from the hobby community. Crozdog's gin manual is a good start if you are interested in vapor distilling - https://www.stilldragon.org/uploads/manuals/StillDragon.The.Gin.Basket.Operation.Manual.v1.1.20140116.pdf Odin's post and video from the other day was very good as well. I'd wager a guess that both of these are better technical guides than any published book. Although I really do like The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart (this is a lay book).
  19. 2 points
    Whiskey Systems, Dehner's thoughts.... My personal thought is it is way over priced. I was going to put this on there post but I went out on my own. Being the super awesome nice guy I am. We move ALOT of volume, and I still can't see spending $350 a month on a program like that. Heck that could buy me a nice new truck, or equipment around the distillery, or a NICE NEW TRUCK. Thats one thing I love about the country we are in.... Competition! On there blog or website they claim to have 50 people signed up, great. Thats $17,500 per month, or $210,000 a year. Seems like a great gig. Seems like I am in the wrong part of the business. Create a program and sit back and watch cat videos on You-Tube while drinking a chocolate milk straight from the container. WERE DO I SIGN UP? I have a bother in-law thats a computer programer TD Bank, And I am thinking of asking him about creating a better, but very similar functioning program. Even if I was half price thats still $105,000 a year, plus think how much more people I could sign up because of the cheaper price. And get this...... 1 month free trial......maybe even 2....... WoW... Mind equals BLOWN!! Here is another crazy idea.... It called a pen and paper and about 25-30 a month... BOOM Done... Set up a good system up, and stick to it.. I really am just dumb founded why it cost so much money. Kinda like when people &!tch about the price of gas while holding a $7 coffee. To each there own but .........Thats my rant...... Now I am not looking to have a typing contest on here because I do have a very BIG KEY STROKE, but just venting and sound boarding the idea of a distillery program competition. Take care: Dehner out.
  20. 2 points
    I'm sorry James, your calcs. are wrong for immersion heaters Alex, using immersion heaters directly in the mash 44kW will get the 1000 liter still up to operating temp in a little over 2hrs. 44kW at 240vac 3 phase only draws 106 amps. 88kW would bring it up to temp in a little over 1hr and it would only draw 106amps at 480vac 3phase. 44kW single phase 230vac will bring it up to operating temp in a little over 2 hrs and it will draw 191 amps, so all of these are do able. We have built electric heating systems for several stills over 200 gallons. The price for the heating system and programmable digital controller is way way less than 1/2 the price of a low pressure steam boiler. The service to my business here is a 800 amp 230vac single phase service and I built a 60hp rotory phase converter to convert 100 amps to 240vac 3 phase for my 3 phase welder. We run mostly single phase welders and equipment. Alex, let me know what voltage and phase that you have available and the capacity in amps of your service and I will let you know if an electrical heating system is doable. Our heating systems and programmable digital controllers are built using all UL listed parts. The enclosures are NEMA4x listed and we can supply explosion proof enclosures if needed. We can build heating systems and controllers in all voltages 208vac to 600vac in single phase and 3 phase. I also sell natural gas and propane fired Rite low pressure steam boilers, so if you need a steam boiler let me know and I will send you a quote. 1000 BTUS of boiler output is needed for each gallon of mash to get you to your operating temp in 1 hr. James is correct that a 15hp boiler is what you need.
  21. 2 points
    Alcohol vapor is not heavier than air when it is hot...otherwise your still wouldn't work. Which is why it might be a good idea to have good ventilation above your stills in case of a leak and make sure the exhaust fans are brushless i.e. explosion proof.
  22. 1 point
    This is a great discussion, really provides excellent overview of pros/cons and underlying process of a vacuum distillation for spirit production! Kudos to @Silk City Distillers and @Southernhighlander for taking the time to do so...
  23. 1 point
    check out the folks at High Proof Creative. They do fantastic original marketing work
  24. 1 point
  25. 1 point
    Yeah @Aux Arc answered for me. If you are just starting to get into a rhythm and don't have a regular production schedule, using backset/stillage in your mash is a little bit of a challenge, since you need to keep it around. The spent wash from the pot, after distillation - separated from the spent grain. You shouldn't need pH stabilizer, adjust using your acid of choice along with the backset. Question 3 - Anything malted goes in on the way down, at 150-152f. These grains will easily gel at those temperatures, and that temp range will preserve enzyme function. Glad to see you worked through the challenges, keep truckin.
  26. 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.
  27. 1 point
    Have the same setup. Generally use the large valve during heat up, and close it down, just using the small valve during a spirit run.
  28. 1 point
    First off Paul is correct. he did not make the condenser, and that was where the problem was. That and operator error. The pot is fine. As far as the modifications I made, I put some copper scrubbers in the reducer cone above the condenser to work as a pre-condenser of sorts. violentblue also recommended I make a copper coil or spring and insert it into the tubes of the condenser to elongate the vapor path, and I suppose create some turbulence. I would guess You are not having the same problem if removing the vent solved it though.
  29. 1 point
    You bother to check the dates on this thread? Ima check back in four years see if your opportunity is available.
  30. 1 point
    Well we ordered our 400 gallon distilling system from Corson Distilling over a year ago... and to no ones surprise... no still. Due to legal proceedings taking place I cannot comment in detail. But if you have already ordered from them... get a lawyer now. If you haven't ordered yet and are considering going with Corson, make sure to read the ADI comments and re-read them so that you are up to speed on what to expect (or not expect). Unfortunately, ADI had taken down the comments about Corson when we were doing our research. Feel free to email me for information. I will share the facts of what we have experienced. I am also including the link below to an article in the Idaho Statesman which really sheds light on the business practices and dangers associated with the products if you haven't been convinced by the comments posted in ADI. Donna@HollowSpirits.com http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/business/article187541748.html
  31. 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.....
  32. 1 point
    distillers seeking investors in the US will want to pay attention to SEC rules and EDGAR - one link here below for exemptions on Form D to allow various types of investors. In some cases, you disclose financials, in other cases not. as with most government rules, there are penalties for non-compliance, and yes, even if making mistakes and not being informed. https://www.sec.gov/info/smallbus/cfformd.htm As the B-school joke goes, your smallest investors will take the largest amount of your time. experienced and accredited investors know the rules and will leave you alone. Best is finding accredited investors with industry knowledge and management advisory input to help. Keeping them all informed is helpful in any case, and they'll be your advocates about "their distillery." On the British Columbia side, permits are now 4-6 months waiting time. No new "liquor primary" licenses (in case anyone wanted to think about just selling craft spirits, and not being a mfg) until 2022. The craft advantage of exemption from provincial excise tax is a superior opportunity; disadvantage is that it tapers off as you production increases. And not making rum, that's a downside too - fewer pirate themed products :-) If your BC firm is properly configured to attract investors, they can benefit from significant tax deduction in the year they make the investment. That does not exist in the USA. What does exist for US investors is on the backside of an investment, and US-based distillers seeking investors might want to read up on 1244 stock status in case there is a need. (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/section-1244-stock.asp). In all cases, YMMV, and none of the above is advice or necessarily complete, just observations obtained in our process. Defer to the reader which parts are relevant for your experience and needs. Cheers!
  33. 1 point
    You might want to talk to Odin at iStill on his products. They seem to meet your needs. Unfortunately his stills jump from 500 to 2000 liters. https://www.istill.eu/ sales@istillmail.com
  34. 1 point
  35. 1 point
    Hi George, Caught your thread mentioning you are seeking a still manufacturer for your equipment. Specific Mechanical Systems, based out of Victoria, BC has manufactured custom distilling systems for about 4 years. We manufacture the systems completely in Victoria, using copper imported from Germany. North American quality and service, nothing but the best! Please visit our website: www.specificmechanical.com, or send me an email for additional information. vaughan@specific.net. I will be happy to have a chat about your distilling plans and work up a quote that suits your distilling requirements! Cheers! Vaughan Distilling Systems.pdf
  36. 1 point
    Something like this useful for anyone? 750ml_Bottle_Check_Weight.pdf 375ml_Bottle_Check_Weight.pdf
  37. 1 point
    My name is Adam Szymkow, and I’ve been reading the ADI forum on a daily basis since 2013. It is a great resource for craft distillers and I intend to give back to the community by contributing my knowledge learned over the past few years with fellow distillers. I was using a different login in the past, but now that I’m getting closer to launching my vodka, I thought it would be more appropriate to reflect my brand name in my communications. My distillery is located in the Niagara Region of Canada and it is called Polonée Distillery Inc., www.polonee.com to reflect my Polish heritage (I immigrated to Canada from Poland at a young age). The first product that I intend to launch this fall of 2016 is called Kannuk vodka. You can follow the progress of Kannuk vodka launch on the following social media platforms: https://www.facebook.com/kannukvodka/ https://twitter.com/kannukvodka I recently got involved with GENIO Distilling Equipment as their Canadian and Western US representative: https://g-still.com/ https://www.facebook.com/GENIO-Distilling-Equipment-1035102423271362/ I’ve been using their 50L still since early 2014 and have really enjoyed using it for my recipe development. Please feel free to reach out to me by PM or email ca@g-still.com if you’re in my area and would like to visit my distillery and/or if you are interested in learning more about GENIO Distilling Equipment. Na zdrowie! (Cheers in Polish) Adam
  38. 1 point
    Congrats! I saw the write ups in the Erie & Pgh papers. I hope you get through the paperwork quickly. I have family in Erie so next time we're up we'll stop by.
  39. 1 point
    Tangential to your topic - Read about Six Sigma or Lean manufacturing. It's about eliminating waste in your processes. Two heavy hitters: Lean's "TIM WOODS" - https://www.isixsigma.com/dictionary/8-wastes-of-lean/ Lean's 5S - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5S_(methodology) The idea is to reduce the amount of time you're doing things that don't make you money. An example - if you use a specific tool all the time put it in a place that's easy to get to it instead of mixing it in with a drawer full of other things. (5s) That reduces the time you're looking for it. Fastcap has some great videos showing real examples:
  40. 1 point
    You have to register every label/COLA you plan to sell with TN, BUT you only have to pay per brand. Example: You sell three types of gin, you have to submit and approve each label but only pay one for the one gin brand per year.
  41. 1 point
    Sharpe Mixer, excellent condition. air powered for absolutely safe operation. turns a 2000 liter tank over in 60 seconds. 66" shaft with dual propellers. asking $600. (paid $1800). call 646-286-2690 or email info@valentinedistilling.com
  42. 1 point
    Greenfield-the "formula" is needed once fermentation has started as the ethanol makes for a false reading. So you need to find an on-line calculator that figures this for you. They will have an assumed "wort correction factor" that you can change, usually. I use a wort correction factor of 1, and I start stripping a 20 brix ferment at about 5 brix on the refractometer. If you punch that in to the calculator, I showed a potential of somewhere between 10-11% and at 5 on the refractometer I'm pretty well finished out. Yields also will verify. Google- abv post fermentation - and some calculators will come up. Make sure you know what your stating brix was. Or strain some out like captn says and use hydrometer. I find it much easier to just take an eye dropper sample as opposed to straining it out, cause I'm fairly fine grind. Many ways to skin the cat though.
  43. 1 point
    DHDunbar has flushed out the skeleton I presented, admirably. My only comment is that the difference between "distilled by" and "produced by" may not be understood by much of the public, but it is by those in the business (mixologist, etc.), and it is the criteria the ADI uses to determine if you can register your product as "Certified Craft Spirit". Now, whether that is noticed by the public is another matter.
  44. 1 point
    Your best bet is to use a certified scale and measure weights instead of volume. 500 pounds of 95% ethanol is always 500 pounds of 95% ethanol. 100 gallons of 95% ethanol is not always 100 gallons of 95% ethanol.
  45. 1 point
    My understanding based on spending a little time doing research for private barrel sales, is that if it leaves your bonded area it must be bottled in an approved container size (1.75 liter being the largest size option available) , or be transferred to another bonded facility in whatever sized container you want.
  46. 1 point
    OK, assuming you are cleaning your SS still properly, you should not be seeing any carry over of copper salts from a redistillation in the SS after stripping in the copper still. I would test that green stuff to determine what it is. What kind of gaskets do you have in the vapor path in the SS still?
  47. 1 point
    Well, at least the color matches your name. Some copper salts are green (just ask Lady Liberty). My first guess would be Cu4SO4(OH)6. Given that its coming through to your distillate, it's probably forming in the condenser. What kind of system are you running? I would recommend doing a through clean of your system and seeing if the problem persists, as the most likely cause is a build-up in your condenser. Could have been caused by a puking run that wasn't fully cleaned. Could also be that you are not fully draining the condenser at the end of the run and the last bit of distillate is sitting in it oxidizing away between runs, leaving plenty of colorful goodies for the next run.
  48. 1 point
    Dick and Kristian, do the machines you suggested from St. Pats and Midwest supply only work on full PVC capsule (like on wine bottles) or do they also work with PVC bands that are just a tube with no top enclosing the top of the closure? They both seem to be marketed to people using wine capsules, so it wasn't clear to me... Thanks
  49. 1 point
    Had anyone used the the take-a-label 3100r?? We have a square/round bottle and need a stamp style applicator.
  50. 1 point
    Yep, there are wooden fermenters. I can help you find them....send an email. IMHO, there's very little worry of contamination if you clean your tanks properly, use viable yeast, and give the yeast the proper environment....just as you said. That is, unless you want little buggies to add character to your distillate. In either case, open fermenters are a fine choice. Contamination is only an issue if you're repitching your yeast. From what I'm told, not many distilleries are repitching. If you're not repitching and you have new, healthy yeast and a good environment, your chances of a meaningful infection are close to zero. The fermentation is simply too fast...and unlike beer, you're vaporizing what you have fermented.
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