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bluestar last won the day on February 10

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

    Food in tasting room

    Our tasting room is classified as a bar, as such are considered Illinois class 1 food, which is lowest level. We can not prepare food, although we can prepare cocktails (go figure). Food must be prepackaged. We provide popcorn for free. Since we are using microwave popcorn, and provide a single package serving to a customer, our inspector allows that as prepackaged. We also sell cello-packed corn nuts (those Peruvian big corn kernels). We are thinking of adding a few more cello-packed items. We do a brunch bloody mary that stacks a bunch of edibles on a skewer in the cocktail. Since that is part of the cocktail's garnish, it is not food prep. Keep in mind the rules you will have to observe depend on your state requirements, county requirements, and local municipality.
  2. bluestar

    Aging Options.

    Finished barrels are too low density to ship affordably across the Atlantic. You need to finish cooperage in the UK. Maybe you could strike a deal with a US cooper to make the barrel parts from American oak, ship those, and finish cooperage in UK. Or just have a UK cooper buy the American oak.
  3. bluestar

    Agitate or not to agitate

    We use Magrabar Organic 3000
  4. bluestar

    POS system for sales

    No, but in most states that is illegal. Currently, I don't know of any shipper that will do it (even though there are a couple states where it is legal to do so). Does anyone else? FedEx used to, but of late they said the will not deliver to consumer for spirits at all. Now sometimes that is due to the originating state rules as well. Don't know how Hawaii handles that.
  5. bluestar

    Third non-contiguous location?

    I have not heard specifically from TTB on this issue. But I would think you could, but for the same reasoning as for two: the separation was common for large outbuildings at rural locations, and by extension, they have made such approvals for non-contiguous properties in other regions. I am aware of one craft distillery that for a time operated that way, but it was temporary, until a move was completed, and I don't know the details. In any case, the TTB will make the decision on a case-by-case basis, so your best option is to contact them. There are no specific regulations, it is up to the discretion of the TTB.
  6. I think you could remove but not add it. That kind of makes sense, since there could be other information on a bottle of whiskey that was not approved as straight that could contradict it being a straight, but not obviously the other way around. Remember, the COLA is not saying you are actually putting this or that in the bottle, it is saying that the label is legal provided you are putting that in the bottle. Generally, the allowed changes without reapproval are those that could not create even an unintended conflict with the law. So, in our case, we resubmitted when adding "straight" to the description. Same for "bottled in bond".
  7. bluestar

    Equipment Vendors Selling Stills with Design Flaws

    Just to be clear, it is possible to encounter design flaws in any new design of still, even from a veteran manufacturer. We had to modify or rebuild or replace components of a new still from a veteran manufacturer, and we supposed it was because it was not one of their standard designs at the time. But a good still manufacturer will own up to any limitations of their design and assist with the changes and possibly repair or replace under warranty. That was our experience with our vendors. On the other hand, my experience has been that the German manufacturers are least likely to have these problems.
  8. bluestar

    What is adequate ventilation? 

    Correct, the most common explosive ventilation is for dust from grain.
  9. bluestar

    What is adequate ventilation? 

    You have to ventilate for 2 reasons: fire safety and OSHA exposure limits. The OSHA exposure limits are MUCH lower, 0.1% (1000 PPM), so THAT is what drives the need to have continuous ventilation, and enough convection to prevent pooling. If you have any significant release or spill, you will get above that limit, and you will have to increase exhaust to come back down to the limit. But then you might have enough local concentration and/or pooling to reach the explosion limit, and that you have to do major exhaust for.
  10. bluestar

    fermenting or infusing

    The former would be a fruit brandy; the later would be a fruit-flavored brandy (brand flavored with fruit), not fruit brandy. Is that what you mean to compare?
  11. bluestar

    What is adequate ventilation? 

    Your problem will likely not be the general exhaust rate, but a plan for spills or swamping of the condenser for the stills: either can produce a large release of ethanol. We dealt with that by having an air exchanger running continuously for the small background air exchange, and a large exhaust fan for full exhaust in the case of a larger release of vapor. Ours is manual, but some places may require that to be automated and tied to an ethanol sensor (very expensive proposition). Pooling of vapor can probably be treated similar to CO2, since the densities are close. But to get that much ethanol means you have had a major release, not a small background build up.
  12. No, it is what you described: pressure release valve releases a little above atmosphere (under 5psi), drop the bain marie level to below or at the pot, so that you get steam at about 224F. But you can also use an external steam source under 14psi.
  13. bluestar

    Wheated Rye

    I believe Journeyman's rye is a high wheat rye. Or at least it was.
  14. Our current still operates in this mode, or full bain marie mode, depending on water height in the bain marie. We have been using it that way since 2012.
  15. bluestar

    Best 3000sf Building!!!

    3000 sf is enough you should divide up into Production, Process, and Storage. But specifics inside that are so dependent on your plans for production, it could be misleading to look at someone else's plan.