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bluefish_dist

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  1. Wow, I was buying for about $2/lb if I remember correctly from carbon Activated Corporation. They sold it in 55 lb bags.
  2. Not sure if it’s the best, but it worked well, 8-30 coconut carbon.
  3. I always filtered at 50% for just that reason. I usually only got a 1-2% drop during filtration and I started with wet carbon and flushed with water. 5% seems like too much of a drop. Start high so it can drop without getting you out of spec on bottled proof.
  4. From last June. Still good for planning if you are making from wash/wort Posted May 2, 2018 How much you can sell and how much you can make are two very different questions. Can't help on the how much can you sell. To answer the how much to make I will post what I think are some good estimates. Not perfect, but they will help you plan. Note I have posted this before. Start with how much you need to make (gross). Figure you can get $100/gallon for bottled product ($20/bottle) Maybe more, maybe less, but this is a rough estimate. So divide gross sales by 100, that is how many gallons you have to make. So roughly every $100k is 1000 gallons. Divide by 50 to get per week. That's 20 gallons or 100 bottles per week to sell $100k. Distillation is about a 10:1 reduction, so 20 gallons bottled is about 200 gallons of wash/wort into the still. To determine still size, decide how often to run the still. Once per week is a 200 gallon still, twice per week is 100. For fermenter, figure a two week turn. Some are faster, some slower, so that doubles the still volume. In rough numbers 400 gallons of fermentation, 200 gallon still run weekly gets you $100k/year gross.  I think this shows why you need a pretty big setup to make any money. also look at your fire code. If you don't have sprinklers you can only have 120 gallons in a control area. That isn't much barrel storage. It goes to 240 gallons with sprinklers.
  5. Calcium carbonate, not chloride. The calcium carbonate is a slight base and it will raise the ph if added by itself. I found if you add it in equal parts by volume with citric acid, it becomes a buffer. The cc dissolves in acid and by adding both I think it creates a liquid with more dissolved calcium than you would get by just adding cc as powder. You can add cc as a solid, shells, eggshells and it will dissolve slowly and in my experience won’t correct a ph crash as it’s too slow to react. You can also buy it as a powder which reacts quickly and can be added at any time during the fermentation. The trick is knowing how much to add. I would add 1/2 to 1 cup at a time to 110 gallons if it was a sugar based wash with little buffering. Less for grain based fermentations.
  6. I would not worry about the ending gravity all that much. Try a higher starting gravity instead. I easily had rm ferment at 1.10 with molasses based washes. I found rm with molasses or sugar to be one of the easiest fermentations to run and had great yields.
  7. With a 100% molasses fermentation I would not add much for nutrients. There should be plenty there from the molasses. In my experience you could start a lot higher on your sg. I was routinely starting around 1.10 and finishing about 1.02. With all molasses I would guess you could be 1.11-1.12 easily. I always did a step addition of nutrients, pitch and 24 hours in. Usually took about 7-10 days to finish even at 90 deg. I never had ph go up, always a drop. Usually with rm I would start at 5.2-5.3 and be down to 4.5 in 24 hours. Then it would drop more over time and I would adjust with calcium when I got under 4. Note that some molasses has a decent amount of calcium and won’t need as much adjustment. I added a small amount of citric acid and calcium carbonate in equal parts by volume to adjust ph at the beginning. The amount was determined by how much calcium was in the molasses. Ie more adjustment as I ran a higher % of sugar.
  8. The only way to legally allow aging at home would be to bottle at cask strength as a dss since it’s white and then sell the bottles. That way taxes are paid and it’s been sold in a bottle. The new owner of the bottles would be free to put them back in a barrel for aging. It could be a fun project, but I am not sure you could build a business around it as I think volume would be too low.
  9. Yes, that is acceptable. You will have to have a fanciful name, ie “joes special shine” or something not a type of spirit. You will have to have a distilled from xxxx on the front as well to show what was used to make it. Ours was made from corn and sugarcane. Check the Bam for exact wording.
  10. I tried that, more plates, less reflux. I found that it removed more flavor and didn’t change output very much if at all. I did come to the conclusion that I preferred it when I matched the desired output abv with a column setup that easily produced it instead of detuning or running slow to increase efficiency. For flavorful barrel aged product, 2 plates and a low abv, whites run with a higher abv and more plates for a cleaner spirit.
  11. A taller column is needed as stated above. I ran a 6” vodka column and was able to make vodka with 1 plate and 8’ of packing. I used ss scrubbies, 7 or 8 per layer, don’t remember which. That was over a 30 gallon still. It made for a long day, I can’t imagine how long that would take for 100 gallons of low wines. As you need more height I would consider going 8” or even 10” for faster runs as well.
  12. First get it out of your head that temperature corresponds to cuts. It may or may not, depends on how you run. Temperature is proportional to alcohol content and nothing else. There is also a pressure component, but it is a small effect, but don’t overlook it if what you are doing is high precision. The boiler temperature gives you an idea of how much alcohol is in the boiler. The highest temperature the boiler will reach is the boiling point of water at your elevation. For me that was about 200 deg. The temperature will start lower depending on the % of alcohol and then raise during the run as the alcohol is depleted. Once it approaches the bp of water you know most of the alcohol is gone. The wash % will impact the starting bp, more alcohol, lower temp. the column temperature is directly proportional to the abv of the vapor. Stilldragon offers an electric parrot which also compensates for pressure. I like knowing temperature as it quickly gave me an idea of how the column was functioning. When running something like vodka the temperature will be the same during all of the run as you need to maintain a high abv. Thus there is no change that would indicate a cut, except maybe at the end when the temperature jumps. For a 2,3,4 plate column, If you run the same thing every time with enough experience you may learn where to make cuts based on the temperature. Change a variable and it will be different. I found that I could estimate where to make cuts simply based on volume. Knowing the total volume I knew where the cuts were likely to be simply based on the % of the run. I still checked them by taste.
  13. Yes. The “barrel” exemption is only in one code, not both. When you take both codes into consideration the barreled quantities count toward you maq’s.
  14. We had a 75-80% bottle conversion rate per group. Paid tasting ~100% conversion. Those that didn’t taste were simply stopping in for a bottle. The bigger question is how much traffic can you get to the tasting room. I found Groupon was a good driver to the tasting room and we had about a 60% conversion of purchases.
  15. I don’t think that a 500 gal is required to start, but I would not start with anything less than a 120 and if I was going to do it again it would be steam and at least 300 gal. The reality is that larger equipment doesn’t take more to run in manpower or time. It is simply a difference in initial cost. Pm me if you want to chat.
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