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Everything posted by bluefish_dist

  1. bluefish_dist

    Whiskey Hypothetical

    I don't think you can do it all in one batch as that would be changing types which would require a formula. You could do it with one mash bill and different runs, i.e. This one is corn whiskey, this one is bourbon. A local distiller does that. Same mash bill for two different products. If you define it up front as a type and don't change it, no formula is required.
  2. bluefish_dist

    Whiskey Hypothetical

    Corn whiskey is unique in that it is the only whiskey not required to be aged. If it is aged it has to be in uncharred barrels, so if it's corn whiskey, toasted barrels, bourbon, new charred barrel. Clear as mud?
  3. bluefish_dist

    Lessons in Barrel Aging

    I would also try some Gibbs barrels if you want a little slower extraction.
  4. bluefish_dist

    GNS Cost and Availability

    Do whatever you want, but be honest with the customer. I can't stand "distillers" who do everything they can to obscure who or where the product is actually made. If you redistill GNS and sell it as vodka, say that's what you do. Say why it makes a better vodka than simply bottling GNS. If you just bottle GNS, say that's what you do, don't call it hand crafted when you buy a tanker truck at a time. Don't have a huge still that isn't hooked up and say you make awesome vodka. You don't make anything, you are simply a bottling plant. One distiller who makes a good gin said this on using GNS, do you expect a painter to stretch his own canvas to paint on? The GNS is simply the canvas to which I paint using botanicals. I think he has a valid point, but if I make a gin it will be from my own base spirit because that what I want to do
  5. bluefish_dist

    GNS Cost and Availability

    For gin I agree, use GNS if you want. we toured beefeater in London and they don't make the base spirit. They bring in GNS although they have big plate stills to clean up the spirit of needed. It also seems that in England most gin distillers have a rectifiers license and can only redistill vs a manufacturer license to make spirits. Very different than the us.
  6. bluefish_dist

    Adjusting Proof for Temperature

    Actually hoochware uses the ttb tables to do the conversion. It can be downloaded as an app for the conversion part or used within the tracking software.
  7. bluefish_dist

    Record keeping software help

    I think all the software works similarly. Enter all your actions and it does the reports. That isn't hard, it just takes discipline to keep up.
  8. bluefish_dist

    Record keeping software help

    Hoochware is the least expensive option. I have been on it for a couple of years and it does the job, plus it's getting better all the time. Really makes record keeping easy.
  9. bluefish_dist

    Lessons in Barrel Aging

    Also look at different suppliers. For us we found some barrels offer quicker extraction than others. Depending on how you do cuts and how long you want to age this can be good or bad. Second use is also much slower for extraction. Gibbs brothers seem to be slower on the extraction and may be better suited than barrel mill barrels if you need more time for maturation.
  10. I am sure someone will come along with the actual spec, but I believe you have to have a physical separation between the two. So you would need some sort of wall and door to make them separate spaces. With that said I have been in facilities that have no separation.
  11. bluefish_dist

    Filtering Through Limestone

    Am I wrong that RO removes the minerals and if they are present is RO treated water they are added after RO? That's why it's useful for brewing and distilling. You can remove everything and then build the water you want.
  12. bluefish_dist

    T Top (Bartop) issue

    I have heard of people having an issue and fixing it with a shrink sleeve. We do a top strip and shrink sleeve, no issues. I did heat some bottles one time for hot apple pie and the corks eventually popped out, but it took a lot of heat. They shot out, not eased out. We use Paulson T tops.
  13. bluefish_dist

    Is owning a separate bar prohibited?

    Colorado, not allowed. You can only own one tier of the three tier. Some licenses have privileges of other tiers, i.e. A manufacturer can sell direct or through distribution, but you can't have ownership in a distributor or retailer.
  14. bluefish_dist

    WTB one 10-30 gallon used barrel

    I have a couple once used 15's. One had a coffee and chocolate Porter, the other a corn whiskey.
  15. bluefish_dist

    Simple, Cheap Temperature Probe and Readout

    I have used small panel mount remote thermometers I bought from Cole pharmer. Run about $20. Not perfect as you need access to the back of them as they are battery powered and the switches are on the back. But cheap and accurate.
  16. For my vodka I strip in the 120 (~100gal) and then a spirit in a 35 gallon. i figure about 3:1 for a strip/finish. I only do that because of height limits in my space. I would need a split column to run vodka on the 120 gallon still. Works ok. Also think about selling in distribution. As posted elsewhere retailers want 30 points and so do wholesalers. That means you might only get $10-$12 per bottle I would start with income needed and size backwards. You should have enough information to get close. Also start thinking of barrel costs and time required to make product to fill them since that is next years sales.
  17. Way too small. There are so many more costs that I think you will find that to be profitable for production will take more than you think. In addition to rent there is insurance, then add any cost for software (accounting and/or ttb), then add a phone/internet and ? That will easily add another $1k per month. So now you need $3k per month just to cover overhead. If your material costs run 30% and a $35 sell price (very high IMHO). That's 125 bottles per month to cover costs. Which is 25 gallons or 250 gal of fermentation, that's 10 runs per month of 26 gallon still as a single run. More of a strip and finish Figure it on a more reasonable $100/gallon sale price and the math is tougher, 43 gal per month or 430 gallons of fermentation. That is 17 runs per month just to cover costs. Now at 2 years in and running 120gal still, I wish I had started at 300+ gallons. It takes no more work to make 300 gal vs 26, just the cost up front.
  18. bluefish_dist

    New DSP :) Software Recommendations?

    We have been using hoochware for about 2 years now. Does a decent job of tracking what I need. Talking to Shawn this week, they are working on a major upgrade. Sounded like they would be adding some good features.
  19. bluefish_dist

    Seeking recommendations for Best Stills

    Not to be skeptical, but that's a lot of volume for starting out. With that type of volume I would expect a dedicated continuous column as its about 1200 gallons of wort a week. It would probably pay for having a second still in energy savings alone.
  20. bluefish_dist

    Potential Odors and Their Influence on Neighbors

    Your bigger issue will probably be having an f1 occupancy or even h under another retail space. If it stay f1 and to not have any classified areas, you will need lots of ventilation which should eliminate any odor issues. For me the time in the process with the most odor is mashing and fermenting. It does depend on the fermentation as some have a lot more aroma. If you pipe your fermenters outside which you will probably want to do anyway to eliminate the chance of suffocation from a co2 buildup, odor won't be an issue. Barrels are the other source of traditional aroma in a distillery. I have found it takes a lot to really get that whiskey smell in the air.
  21. bluefish_dist


    Lallemand makes a TQ yeast which works as well. I have not tried it, but there is a guy on home distillery who is doing dunder and adding it back to make a more robust flavor.
  22. bluefish_dist

    How to determine outputs/ still size

    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.
  23. bluefish_dist

    Question About Spirit Definition Legalities

    Yes, once you have your dsp you can start submitting formulas for approval. Then once you have a formula approval you apply for the cola (label) approval. All done online.
  24. bluefish_dist

    Packing and Plates

    I ran a 4" packed over plates for quite a while. From my testing packing is more efficient than plates. I simply ran one plate to see what was going on in the column. If space limited, fewer plates and more packed for the same height will give more equivalent plates.
  25. bluefish_dist

    Question About Spirit Definition Legalities

    Distilled spirits specialty are usually labeled with a fanciful name and a statement spirits distilled from X on the front label. Not a big deal, but you do have to get formula approval first. Last time I did one, formula approval was less than 2 weeks, but it has taken up to 2 months to get one approved.