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bluestar

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bluestar last won the day on June 4

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About bluestar

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  • Birthday 09/11/1956

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    http://quincystreetdistillery.com

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    Chicagoland & Southwest Michigan

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  1. There are molasses producers and wholesalers throughout the country. Check with any supplier of sweeteners for the baking industry in your area, for example.
  2. I think if you got inspected you would be dinged for that, and asked to fix it.
  3. Low concentration to avoid pitting. Controlling temperature and flow/agitation is key to increasing rate and quality of etch. Higher concentrations will preferentially attack welds and defects, so don't do that.
  4. Thought to ping this. We are thinking of switching from SimplyBook.Me because of increasing cost, with reduced feature set for basic service. They still have a very limited free service that might be worth exploring for some. So, what are people currently using, especially with low cost?
  5. When I head back up to my place in Holland in a couple weeks, be happy to get together and provide some feedback. Also, Paul's advice in general is pretty good. He is right about still size, but it is no deal breaker, you can always store the strips as low wines or run the spirit still 2/3 or so full.
  6. I understand your reasoning, and I would concur. The only reason we have done otherwise, is that the one verbal inquiry we made to the TTB said no, and generally one is advised to follow advice from the TTB (although they can and do make mistakes). So, my current belief is that there is a reasonable argument to consider it not disallowed, but no place in the CFR where it is explicitly allowed.
  7. Thanks, you are pointing out where the proposed regulation makes overly clear that you can not sum the ages. But my question to @gabericharde was where in the CFR he can cite that you ARE allowed to do it. I am not aware of it. I believe the proposed change is to make clearer the current interpretation of the current regulation, especially if that interpretation may have been true for some time. I do understand how one could argue, with no indication otherwise, that if moved from one new charred oak barrel to another, the product is always aged in a new charred oak barrel, and one could sum it. Similarly, if moved from a new charred oak barrel into a used barrel, including the barrel it was in initially, one could argue it has not been stored in a used charred oak barrel, etc. Also note that Chapter 8 of the BAM does not address this issue, either. Now, there is one hint or suggestion that we should NOT assume it can not be summed: in the case of age statements in used cooperage, foreign producers will often move from one barrel to another during the period of aging, and that is allowed as part of the total age statement. I have also checked the rulings, and have not found it either. Maybe someone else has?
  8. Oh, I should add, some of the more expensive units are also explosion proof for this application. Which means, the cost to properly install them is also high, since they will need to be wired in using contained solid conduit meeting those requirements. And, if you are locating the sensor where everything else is required to be explosion proof (like your lights, electrical outlets, power and control wiring), then certainly you want your sensor to be explosion proof as well. If you want to put the sensor close to the still, for example, this will likely be the case. Probably not an issue if being used in a storage area for barrels. But if used near the still, you want to use it to do more than turn on a fan: you should also have it failsafe to kill heating power to the still. I don't think the RKI PS2 is explosion proof, so it would not qualify. RKI does make remote sensors that are explosion proof, akin to the Q8 mentioned elsewhere by @starcat. Finally, original poster asked about tying into fire alarm. Again, there are a fair number of less expensive units available for that now (although more expensive than the cheap home units), offered by the same companies that sell the smoke and CO alarms currently used in fire alarm installations, and for the same purpose: to detect combustible gas. In some areas, this is becoming a requirement anywhere that gas-fired heaters, boilers, ovens, and stoves are located.
  9. Everything you said is correct. But as you note, everything needs to be calibrated, or nothing. If you get a unit that can read out ppm or %LEL, you can calibrate. What would be wrong with triggering at 6% LEL ethanol, if 10% is required? You are not prevented from being more stringent. Note, I agree, if you can afford the fancier units, it is a better choice, and if your FM or insurance company requires it, then there you go. But wouldn't it be better for many small distilleries (vast majority) operating without any combustible sensors be operating with what is easily and cheaply available?
  10. As I said, the difference is certification. Many of these cheaper units have audible alarm, visual alarm, relay for turning fans on, and some even display the nominal ppm or %LEL of the combustible gas. Note these units have come onto the market in the past couple years for use in homes and RVs for fuel gas detection. Most are Chinese manufacture. Like other consumer versions, rather than replace the sensor periodically (which you must do as part of the maintenance and calibration of the more expensive units), you replace the whole unit in most cases every couple years.
  11. While more expensive alarms like the RKI PS2 are fully certified and calibrated, it is not clear they will be any more useful than a cheaper combustible gas LEL detector. There are many on the market today meant to detect methane/butane/propane. The cross sensitivity of the detectors used for these between ethanol and butane or methane is close to 1, hence they will likely detect ethanol vapor at the same levels as these other gases. Also, the LEL for these gases ranges from 1% to 5%, and ethanol is 3.3%, so an alarm designed to go off at 10% LEL for general combustible gas is likely to be suitable for use with ethanol. Some of these can be purchases for less than $20, and in addition to an audible and visible alarm, may have a relay output. Is there any reason why one or more of these can not be used instead of something like the RKI PS2 that costs $400+?
  12. Steam injected, or steam heated? If injected, how are you generating sanitary steam?
  13. We can switch back and forth, although we have removable plates, and after a gin run, will clean and citric etch them in a warm bath.
  14. Can you point to the text in the CFR or some other TTB communication to substantiate this? I am not aware...
  15. Keep in mind, that when you transfer to a new barrel, the clock stops on aging. Now, what is unclear (we have a query to the TTB on this) is if you aged in a small barrel for a short time then transferred to a larger new barrel and aged for a much longer time, could you use the time in the second barrel as the aging time? Potentially yes, because you could treat the time in the first barrels as simple storage of spirit prior to aging. But what you can't do is sum the two periods, in any case.
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