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bluestar last won the day on November 9

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

    from Copper to Cooper to Copper still

    If you are in Illinois, I suggest you join the Illinois Craft Distillers Association. You might want to do that even as a regional cooperage, or associate member in any case. And I would be happy to give you some feedback, just visit our distillery. We are very small, and I don't know how much you intend as a small amount to put toward start up, but even a very small distillery will require 100s of K dollars, especially in Illinois. Good luck!
  2. bluestar

    Sediment in finished bottles

    Yup, that could be it, the concrete will provide calcium and some magnesium salts, and may be alkaline (check the pH). Generally, those salts will cause precipitation of organic salts or general cloudiness. If you are going to use that water, you need to do reverse osmosis.
  3. bluestar

    Sediment in finished bottles

    Thanks, I appreciate the additional information. I am very into the science of this, since I am a Ph.D. physicist that in my science career actually studied the flocculation both theoretically and experimentally (although that was for simpler polymeric materials, not whiskey per se). Yes, phenomenologically, it is as you described, although fundamentally the mechanism matters to meet the definition of either, not just the appearance. Flocculation (also agglomeration, depending on appearance) is the coming together in solution of (usually) oligomers or polymers so that they form concentrated masses that effectively drop out of solution. In fact, they may still be solvated, but the agglomerations (flocculate) become visible: the clouds or flakes we observe. Since generally the flocc is formed from oligomers or larger molecules, a clean fresh distillate will not produce these since larger molecules don't come across in the distillate, except maybe deep into the tails. I don't see it in my white spirits, and why I expressed my surprise at your seeing it. Can I ask another question: when you proof down, are you using distilled or RO water? White precipitate is also formed in spirits if mineral salts are in the water added for proofing, and these will precipitate organic-salt complexes in fresh distillate after some time. This is not the same as flocc, since it is creation of an insoluble organic salt by the addition of the minerals to the solution containing the trace organics. This is what @Jedd Haas was alluding to earlier in the thread.
  4. bluestar

    Sediment in finished bottles

    I would like to know more about what you are describing, because you should not get flocculation from unaged spirit. You can get louching if you have a source of fusel oils in the distillate, when you drop the proof. Flocc can occur even at higher proofs, louching will not. If you are making whiskey, you should not get louching either, unless you are going deep into the tails.
  5. bluestar

    Reusing condenser water for mashing

    We do it some of the time as well.
  6. bluestar

    To filter or not to filter...

    These are probably oligosaccharides and maybe proteins from the wood in the barrel. You said this was your longest aged product, is it also in used barrels? Used barrel aging shows this more, also exposed toasted oak, in our experience. New fully charred barrels don't tend to show this. The longer aging would mean more exposure to the wood extractives. You can remove it by chill filtering, if you don't want it.
  7. We were looking at a bourbon cream using the same base, but we found we could not add as much bourbon to the base cream as we would like for the flavor profile we wanted. Would be interested in learning more on how that went for you.
  8. bluestar

    reusing feints

    We never recycle foreshots. Just heads and tails, and we don't go too deep into the tails.
  9. bluestar

    reusing feints

    For our whiskey feints, it is about half a dozen times.
  10. bluestar

    Is it worth using sugarcane in rum production ?

    The traditional Chinese spirit made from sorghum is called Baijiu, and is somewhere between a moonshine and vodka and rum in spirit type and quality.
  11. bluestar

    Is it worth using sugarcane in rum production ?

    You can't make a product from high-fructose corn syrup and call it bourbon, legally, presuming you mean you are going to bring high-fructose corn syrup into the distillery as the raw material.
  12. bluestar

    Is it worth using sugarcane in rum production ?

    Sorghum whiskey is made from the seed/grain/kernel, and can be called whiskey. Sorghum rum is made from the cane, and once was called sorghum rum, until the feds decided rum can only refer to a product from sugar cane, so now must be a specialty. Some of the spirits that Paul identified are made from the grain. If someone submits a label for sorghum whiskey, with no formula tied to it, it can be approved by the feds, since it is an allowed label. But if they are actually making a sorghum "rum" from the cane, and labeling as sorghum whiskey, that is illegal, and they might eventually get caught, but not until the feds audit or check the paperwork: like noticing that they are producing all this whiskey, but bringing in lots of sorghum syrup but no sorghum grain.
  13. bluestar

    Good Brandy From Bad Wine?

    I concur, especially regarding the aromatics, "bad" wine will make bad spirit. EXCEPT, if the aromatics are interesting, an otherwise thin or unbalanced wine (too acid, too tannic) might still make a good spirit, maybe even a great one. But you will have to experiment. Remember that cognac and armagnac are brandies that use grapes that otherwise make unappetizing wine.
  14. All the agave-like spirits have a similar situation. Tequila is a plant (agave tequilana) and a region, and the production of the spirit called that must be in that region with that plant, although the plant grows elsewhere.
  15. bluestar

    Control pannel for pot still

    Yes, the controller you describe sounds quite good, including essentially all the features we eventually incorporated into the unit we redesigned and built. Certainly, what the original vendor (not you) supplied was far from adequate. And from what we have seen from a number US vendors (other than you) have not been up to our standards, at least. The only other thing I will add is that while you get LESS surging with the elements in the boiler (jacket), the effect I described was observed with the elements in the boiler (jacket). As I said, this is most noticeable when you get to the boiling point in the boiler (jacket), and steam production is a part of the thermal transfer (if the jacket has empty space for steam to fill above the water line). In this case, the on-off cycling will produce increased boil rates, which increases steam production. This is observable until you approach cycling rates of one second. You will not observe surge if you are well below boiling point of water, and/or if you have almost no space above the fill line in the jacket (since then there is little space or surface area for steam transfer).