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bluestar last won the day on May 24

bluestar had the most liked content!

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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. bluestar

    Chicago Steam Boiler Installation Recomendations

    They may be great, but I would make sure they are experienced working in Cook County and City of Chicago, because of how stringent and byzantine the construction and fire codes are there. Also, in the City of Chicago, depending on your situation and location, you may need to use unionized labor. But you should know that @highwood28 given the aldermanic constitution of your enterprise, so this comment is more for others to see...
  2. bluestar

    Distillery Controls

    We made our controls, in part because no one in the US who sells controls makes them robust enough and safe enough for heavy use, yet reasonably priced, in our opinion. We have seen the controllers from the two largest still manufacturers in the US, and neither are good enough, just poorly designed. Some of the German manufacturers DO make good controllers, but there are VERY expensive. So like others, we had to roll our own, when the purchased controllers failed. While we have fully programmable PID controllers that in principle could allow full automation, we have not bothered to do so in the end, because we prefer some manual monitoring as well for our stills. But power control feedback from a temperature in the system is easy to add, as is control of cooling water flow, so those are programmable through the PIDs. I think if you are going to do full automation, you would want to incorporate a dedicate computer with a more sophisticate control program, this is what some of the German's do.
  3. Here are the relevant rules: if a spirit is NOT a legally defined category and type, then that category and type can NOT appear on the label; if it is a legally defined category and type, then that category and type MUST appear on the label; if there is NO legally defined category and type, it is a specialty with a fanciful name and formula required; and in any case, no text on the label can be misleading or untruthful, per the opinion of the TTB.
  4. The first should not be approved, because you can not use a legal descriptive category on the label if it is not the category of the spirit. In this case, it is not "Malt Whiskey" so you can not have a fanciful name like "American Single Malt Whiskey", just like you can not have the word "Bourbon" in a name if the product is not bourbon. The second could be used, because it does not have a named whiskey type in the fanciful name "American Single Malt".
  5. bluestar

    Rye Whiskey Mash - Help

    Old post, but curious to know: how much phosphoric acid, what change in pH (from, to) resulted?
  6. No it does not. What is required is not a "newly charred" oak barrel, it is a new, charred oak barrel.
  7. You will find that the TTB is not very good on correctly approving versions of "single malt whiskey" aged in anything other than new charred oak barrels. But yes, you can create a combination of text including fanciful to allow "American Single Malt Whiskey" somewhere on the label, and as long as somewhere else the correct description like "Whiskey Distilled from Malt Mash" exists, then it may be approved. I have seen a few labels out there where the only place I can find the correct description is buried in some text on the rear label. I have been puzzled by these, because clearly the information on the front label is not a correct description, because they are described as NOT being aged in charred oak, but the front label appears to label them as Malt Whiskey.
  8. bluestar

    Aging Vodka

    No, you will extract alcohol soluble components faster, but water soluble components slower, so the extraction for some desirable flavors might even be slower. Also, alcohol will transpire through the oak much faster than the water at such high proof, so the proof will drop quickly, until it equilibrates, somewhere in the range I gave you, so you are essentially just throwing that alcohol away, unless you are going to be in the barrel for a very short time. And you might trip up some fire protection limit issues. Read about aging at different proof for whiskey, and its affect on flavor...
  9. Missing info: you are also distilling with botanicals, correct? How neutral is the base spirit? And then extracting with more botanicals, after distillation (typical 2 step for absinthe verte)? What temperature are you running the extraction? Are you using dried or fresh herbs? I wouldn't expect much from the traditional herbs for the second phase extraction: pontica, lemon balm, and hyssop. Are you using something unusual? A root or seed extractive might be more likely to have issues, but this would normally be in the first phase, not the final extraction. Oh, and what proof, for all stages.
  10. bluestar

    Calculating PPM of licorice root in gin formula?

    You are welcome!
  11. bluestar

    Anton-Paar DMA35

    Really? By glass cylinder, do you mean the U-tube? We cracked one, and tied to have it replace and calibrated, and we were quoted $1300 to do that. Did Anton-Paar do that, or a third party? We still have that one...
  12. bluestar

    Aging Vodka

    In fact, along @Silk City Distillers's line of thinking, I wonder if you would not be better off bottling a "light whiskey" as a "starka", and if you could use that fanciful name. The original Russian starka were likely made to lower proof (180-190) than modern vodka (190+), and therefore had more grain flavor. If you did that and aged in used oak with just grain in the mash, then it would qualify as "light whiskey", but the difficulty in marketing that in the US is probably why no one does so?
  13. bluestar

    Aging Vodka

    The Russians call this "starka" , for TTB it could be classified as a vodka specialties and can be described as "vodka finished in oak casks". There can be no age statement. It will likely require a formula, to show it is actually something produced meeting vodka requirements and then later modified. Other "starka" have been classified as a specialty or grain spirit. "Starka" could be used as a fanciful name. There are no specific requirements but I would suggest putting it in at a high stable proof (something that won't change a lot with time), which puts you in the 100-115 proof range. You will get slightly different flavor if stored at different proof.
  14. bluestar

    New DSP :) Software Recommendations?

    Of the ones we looked at, Hoochware looked the most promising and economical. But when we went to do a trial, we realized it did not track everything we were already tracking in our own house-developed Filemaker Database with Quickbooks used for accounting and inventory costing. But we did note that the developer seemed very open to adding features, and it might always be that it can do now some of things it was missing when we looked at it. Meanwhile, we keep building up our own.
  15. bluestar

    Hopped whiskey??

    @MikeR is correct, it will not be whiskey. It is a distilled spirits specialty, UNLESS you add enough of other ingredients to put it into another category. It is not hop flavored whiskey: you have to start with something that meets the whiskey category requirements then add flavor to be classified as a flavored whiskey.