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  1. 1 point
    I've never heard of them but there are new people getting into the equipment business all of the time now.
  2. 1 point
    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.
  3. 1 point
    In that case we should all send them our comments concerning the ongoing use of smaller barrels. I am going to email them now. I suggest that everyone else does the same.
  4. 1 point
    What is a BARREL? Below is the reference for the TTB asking for comment on proposed rule changes for the definition of "barrel", etc. (see very bottom of post) Anyone in the beverage industry has an open invitation to steer the TTB's definition and subsequent enforcement of rules impacting our businesses. Anyone using barrels in their business should (must?) be commenting on this proposed rule. These rules effect the definition of grain, barrel (and allowed sizes), proof, oak container, and aging. Anyone using a barrel smaller than 50-53 gallons should (must) be commenting on this proposed rule. Anyone trying to get to market faster by using barrels smaller than 53G to preform experiments or uses in steer the profile of their products by dosing with "over-oaked" or non-oak species should be commenting on this rule making. If your want to use barrels composed on non-oak species in the heads, interleaved staves of non-oak with oak staves or any non-standard aging system such as the "Squarrell" which uses a stainless steel frame with replaceable oak or other species panels. This non-round solution allows significant cost reduction and reduced impact on harvesting of oak and square/rectangular increased storage density. The TTB is as bound by tradition as any of our institutions. It was created to provide guidance for how our industry is allowed to grow and change with the hindsight of tradition as a reference. If the constraints of the TTB rules seem limited and restricted and in fact are slowing innovation and growth, this is the time to speak up. Notice No. 176: Modernization of the Labeling and Advertising Regulations for Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages 1. Subpart A—General Provisions Proposed subpart A includes several sections that have general applicability to part 5, including a revised definitions section, a section that defines the territorial extent of the regulations, sections that set forth to whom and to which products the regulations in part 5 apply, a section that identifies other regulations that relate to part 5, and sections addressing administrative items such as forms and delegations of the Administrator. Proposed § 5.1, which provides definitions of terms used in part 5, has some changes from the regulatory text that appears in current § 5.10. In addition to the proposed amendments discussed above in section II B of this document, TTB proposes to modify the definition of “age” to simplify it and to make clear that spirits are only aged when stored in or with oak. The wood contact creates chemical changes in the spirits, which is the aging process. Thus, for example, spirits stored in oak barrels lined with paraffin are not “aged.” Additionally, TTB proposes to add a definition of “American proof,” which cross references the definition of “proof.” The term “American proof” is used in some circumstances to clarify that the proof listed on a certificate should be calculated using the standards in the part 5 regulations, not under another country's standards. TTB proposes to amend the definition of “distilled spirits” to codify its longstanding position that products containing less than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume are not regulated as “distilled spirits” under the FAA Act. TTB also proposes to add a definition of “grain,” which would define the term to include cereal grains as well as the seeds of the pseudocereal grains: amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa. TTB has received a number of applications for labels for products using pseudocereals, and TTB also notes that the FDA has proposed draft guidance allowing the seeds of pseudocereals to be identified as “whole grains” on labels (see 71 FR 8597, February 17, 2006). Finally, TTB proposes to define the term “oak barrel,” which is used with regard to the storage of certain bulk spirits. TTB and its predecessor agencies have traditionally considered a “new oak container,” as used in the current regulations, to refer to a standard whiskey barrel of approximately 50 gallons capacity. Accordingly, TTB proposes to define an oak barrel as a “cylindrical oak drum of approximately 50 gallons capacity used to age bulk spirits.” However, TTB seeks comment on whether smaller barrels or non-cylindrical shaped barrels should be acceptable for storing distilled spirits where the standard of identity requires storage in oak barrels.
  5. 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. "
  6. 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.
  7. 0 points
    Just posted a comment to not restrict the type, size or shape of a barrel.
  8. 0 points
    If you bottle in a 750ml charred oak bottle, does it continue to age on the shelf ? That would great for the fake NAS operators, as at some point their labels might actually become legal. It's nice that the TTB has all of these regs, but if they aren't actually enforcing any of them, they are really nothing but a competitive disadvantage burden on distillers who actually follow the rules.
  9. 0 points
    This seems to be the issue a lot of people are focusing on this week: The 50-gallon requirement would not only stifle a lot of people who have had a lot of whiskey in other size and shape barrels for years, it also stifles creativity. Instead of narrowing the definition of barrel, TTB should be opening up the definition to include more types of barrels -- toasted instead of charred, oak from other continents, larger and smaller sizes. Barrels are a way that distillers define flavor and the more the definition of an oak barrel is restricted, the less creativity we will see in this highly inventive aspect of flavor creation.
  10. 0 points
    That is likely, but since it was sold as baine marie it may only be good for 6 psi steam like some of my baine marie stills are. If it is only good for 6psi then 14 psi may bust a seam. I would only run what the manufacturer recommends. Typically that would be 14.7 psi max, but you never know. Better safe than sorry. There probably is some leeway. We test my stills that operate at 6 PSI at 18 psi and our 14.7 psi stills are hydrotested at 44 psi. Of course the requirement is that they be tested at 2x the rated pressure, so if the Kothe is only good for 6psi it may blow at 14 psi. If you need a section VIII pressure relief valve for the jacket we have them in the correct lbs of steam per hr for your still jacket. The law requires the section VIII safety valve. We have them in 7 psi and 15 psi. Also and this is extremely important, make sure that you have a vacuum relief valve on the jacket or it may implode on you when it cools. If you need a vacuum relief valve we have them as well, in the correct size. I had a customer a few years ago that decided that his mash tun did not need the vacuum relief valve that I supplied for his inner pot and he imploded his 600 gallon mash tun. The wall was 1/4" thick 304 stainless. My safety manual says that the inner pot of my mash tuns must be vented when they are in operation and if not vented the manway must be open. He closed the manway but did not latch it, then started the crash cooling. Vacuum sucked the manway tight on the gasket then a little while later wahoo.
  11. 0 points
    I will give them the benefit of a doubt here (as I tend to be overly optimistic anyhow). They themselves haven't enforced that a barrel is anything to this point yet other than wood. We've been able to label products as bourbon/whiskey/etc in much smaller than 50g casks. I think & hope they are asking the industry as a whole to help answer this question - what defines the characteristics of a barrel. I'm not totally blind that the larger industry players and related industries would like to establish that the barrels need to be new/charred/ASB size to reduce competition. So it behooves us to get our voices, and our industry organizations, heard.
  12. 0 points
    We use HTA, glucoam, and beta anti-gummy-shit from specialty enzyme who I think have changed their name. They're out of Chico, CA I thik. I have a theory that there are only about two actual producers and other just resell. Shrug.
  13. 0 points
    Novozymes : Breckenridge Technologies
  14. 0 points
    The higher you go above your fill level, the lower the temperature, relatively, because of the higher alcohol content in that zone. One of the differences between a suspended basket and boiling is also time under heat. Heat up can be quite long, dramatically increasing the time under heat until vapor makes it way to the column. Co-distillation of botanicals may reveal botanicals that are limiters as far as where cuts can be made. Traditional gin botanicals likely all have a lot in common as far as volatile aroma that would influence cutting decisions. If you add odd botanicals that require a unique cutting routine, you may need to produce the gin from at least two distillates which is doable, but increases production complexity and introduces consistency issues. I've developed a birectifier protocol so you can systematically learn where in the distillation run each botanical's characteristics are volatile and where a limitation may appear. Fractions can be faithfully compared across botanicals. This kind of homework can add a lot of insight before you scale up and start investing a lot of money per batch.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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,
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 0 points
    Let he who has an ear hear what the spirit has to say.
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