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bluestar last won the day on October 11

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About bluestar

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  • Birthday 09/11/1956

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    Chicagoland & Southwest Michigan

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  1. I think the best we could hope for this year would be a one or two year extension.
  2. Actually, the biggest outcome of this case potentially from follow on cases, beyond expanding Granholm clearly to spirits, will be preventing states from giving privileges to in-state distilleries without also making the same privileges available to comparable out-of-state distilleries. For example, if you create a license that allows a distillery producing from a farm in your state to self-distribute, but don't allow a farm distillery from out-of-state to obtain an equivalent license, that might be found unconstitutional if challenged as an extension of the reasoning of this decision.
  3. Are you in fact producing 100% Neutral Spirits Distilled from Whey, and then using that to make a "London Dry"? IE, a redistilled gin made from 100% neutral spirits? In other words, are you distilling the whey ferment to higher than 95% ethanol?
  4. Sorry, is doesn't matter what the COLA people know, you are responsible to make sure you meet the requirements for a label for a spirit that does NOT require a formula. For example, the COLA people don't know if you age your whiskey for more than 4 years, but if you submit a label with no age statement for the whiskey, it will be approved, even though there is no place for you to indicate on the COLA that you aged less than 4 years. They ASSUME you will have done so, and won't know unless they audit you. The SAME is true for gin, whatever the rules actually are. If you make a compound gin and bottle it and label it with a label that says it is a distilled gin, they don't know, UNLESS you submit a formula that says so, and tie it to the COLA. But I do agree, that a statement on the label saying "100% Neutral Spirits Distilled from Grain" suggests at some time the spirit was classified as neutral spirit, in which case, making it into gin would be a change in classification, and would require a formula. By the way, it was the TTB that let me know that moving something into storage or processing NOT as one spirit (in this case NOT gin), and then later processing or further production so that it CHANGES classification (in this case, into gin) will trip the requirement for a need for a formula. OF COURSE they won't see that when they approve your COLA. It will only become apparent if someone audits you, sees your paperwork changed the classification, checks the bottles of product to determine what label was on it, and ties it to the production records. So sure, they will probably never catch you.
  5. Someone could probably make good money selling pyrex replacements for the Enolmatic plastic filter housings. Why Tenco stopped producing them I will never understand. I suspect they did so before the explosion small craft distillers, not realizing the market was there, and knowing they were unnecessary for lower alcohol products like wine.
  6. Whether you macerate, use a gin basket, or vapor expose, does not determine if you are distilled or redistilled. For sure, with any of these methods, if you are distilling directly from ferment, you are a "distilled gin" and do not need a formula. Moreover, if you distill from any spirit previously classified as ANY specific spirit other than gin (purchased, stored, transferred, etc.), you made a "redistilled gin" and require a formula. Okay, here is where it gets tricky, and where I have obtained conflicting guidance from different people at the TTB. If you are distilling a product in production, and it stays in production for additional distillation (never moved to the storage or processing account), with the final distillation producing the finished gin, and maintain in the intermediate gauging and records that the product is gin "in production", then it could be considered "distilled gin" and not require a formula. Just like if you distill something 5 times to make vodka with only the last distillation being over 190 proof, or 3 times to make whiskey. In this interpretation, it is the change of classification of the spirit from a non-gin class to gin that makes the formula a requirement, as it would if I had product that was classified as whiskey, then redistilled to make vodka, and thus would normally require a formula. However, two countervailing points: 1) we have submitted formulas for vodka where we redistill essentially unaged whiskey or feints, prior to its finish, and have been told that a formula is not needed (or submitted formula was not approved with the comment that it was not needed); and 2) we have had one TTB officer in Formulation tell us a formula is required for gin as a "redistilled gin" so long as more than one distillation is performed. It would really help if the TTB would write a guidance note on this specific issue. It is all about how one defines "original distillation", since it does not call out "single distillation".
  7. It is not about the still. It is about the bonded premise, so storing whisky in barrel has the same issues as distilling, with regard to a residential property. That does not say it can't be approved, but they may want you to have some separation of the property with public (not private) access. For example, putting up a separation fence, possibly separating plots and ownership, and making sure there is a public road access to the location that is NOT on your residential property. And then you must make the property secure (think solidly built, with locks that meet TTB requirements), consider adding surveillance camera(s), and you will need local/state license for a bonded warehouse. Contact your regional TTB field rep for advice.
  8. Primera is nominally higher resolution (1200dpi vs. 600dpi). At comparable resolution, Primera is cheaper. There are a couple other producers of label printers worth considering, including Afinia and Neuralabel (using HP printheads and ink, 1200dpi). I have not used either of these, but they are intriguing. The Neuralabel uses HP Pagewide, a single wide printhead that does not move, and is suitable for fast quantity printing.
  9. Are they sulfured? Sulfured wines are not suitable for distillation for most craft distilleries, without good means for desulfuring before distillation.
  10. This was the first class I took before laying the groundwork for starting our distillery many years ago.
  11. Curious to see what you find, Guy. We were having boxes made for us custom, to hold 3 x 375ml bottles, because we could find nothing affordable. Keep going from one local carpenter to another. Hard to source this at a reasonable price, which for us meant $10 each or so.
  12. Which definition of angel's share? 1) the amount of spirit that is lost to evaporation when the liquid is being aged in porous oak barrels 2) the greater part of the equity in your distillery that belongs to your early investors
  13. It would be nice if the ACSA would start working toward getting spirits the same status as wine...
  14. You always need some sort of ventilation for a distillery, both for air change-over for removal of background levels of alcohol and CO2, but also a higher speed exhaust for when large quantities might occur from spills, still swamps, etc.
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