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bluefish_dist last won the day on November 8 2018

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. We just closed our doors and sold off most of our equipment. We were too small. We had two years of production under our belt with great growth, but looking at the numbers we had to get a lot bigger to cover fixed costs and made a decent profit. If we owned our own property we probably could have reduced our fixed costs to allow our size to work, but we didn’t. I think my numbers previously posted are good for calculating size and gross sales. You need to realize the down time needed for cleaning and other things. For us, we couldn’t discharge at over 110 or 120f, so we had to either cool the stillage while dumping or wait a day or two between runs. It also takes time to empty and clean the still, I don’t think expecting to run a still daily is reasonable for very long. Far better to go bigger and run less often. I would want to run 1x per week is possible. Especially if it’s only one or two people running the place. Just too many other things to do.
  9. I am interested in the 110s. Can you send me a pic? Also, do you know rough dimensionsand weight so I can figure shipping? If it is easiest just text a pic to 636-698-8648



  10. 300 gallon went to a new home today. Still have the 110’s and 85’s.
  11. bluefish_dist

    first time rum

    Sugar washes which include rum without a lot of molasses tend to crash on ph. That can make them stop early. You really need to watch ph and keep it above 4 ish. Add calcium carbonate or other bases to increase ph. Rum should easily go from 1.10 to 1.02 ish in 10-14 days with proper nutrients and ph control and 85-90 deg temps.
  12. Barrel qty is included in maq calculations. For a single control area without sprinklers, the limit is 120 gallons, 240 with sprinklers. I think you can have up to 5 control areas. This means you either have to have a h area for storage or store outside and then you can be up to 1000 gallons without spill containment if using 53 gallon barrels or so my fire marshal says.
  13. Tank is 42” in diameter and about 7 ft tall in the stand.
  14. I used stanpack ink. They don’t do glass, but do work with several glass suppliers making regular deliveries. Excellent customer service.
  15. I will probably be around for a while. It’s been a fun ride. Learned a lot and now I could really do a business plan for a new distillery.
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