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bluestar

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bluestar last won the day on July 8

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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. need weight, dimensions when put on a palette, to determine shipping costs.
  2. This is a great discussion, really provides excellent overview of pros/cons and underlying process of a vacuum distillation for spirit production! Kudos to @Silk City Distillers and @Southernhighlander for taking the time to do so...
  3. Again, I am not criticizing how you are measuring your proof. As you said, you are using the approved TTB methods and equipment. Great! But you were implying, I interpreted, that the SNAP 51 COULD be used to meet this requirement, if only the TTB would allow it. That is my issue. It is not true. Regardless as to your specific experience that every time you have ever used the SNAP 51 at the same time that you used the TTB methods that you got exactly the same result to the hundredths, it is not good evidence that anyone else, or even you for that matter, could successfully replace the TTB methods with use of the SNAP 51 for final proofing. I am taking all this effort to answer your comments because I don't want anyone else reading the thread to come away with the mistaken impression that the SNAP 51 is accurate enough to make the required measurement, even if you are not using it for that purpose! Remember, the thread was started by a newbie asking for recommendations on digital densitometers.
  4. I am not sure what we are debating, now. I know I was not saying you were not properly using the analog methods to make a measurement. Is what you are saying is that you are checking the SNAP 51 by using the analog methods, and that is how you are regularly verifying that it is as accurate as those measurements? Okay, if I assume that was what you meant, my point earlier is that it remains only coincidence, that your unit so checked happened to repeatedly do so, because as the unit is designed and built, the manufacturer does not and can not assure that the accuracy is any better than +/- 0.2 degree proof, which means you can not extrapolate from even 1000 measurements to that point and assume going forward the instrument is measuring correctly thereafter. Even if your particular meter, by some act of the gods, happens to just manage to do so, there is no reason to assume another SNAP 51 will do so, or that yours may not suddenly stop behaving that way.
  5. Absolutely correct. CF: Angel's Envy. But keep in mind, when you do create your statement (ie, description) and your fanciful name, you must be sure that these can not be possibly misread as the description of an existing category. This is particularly a challenge when using descriptions for DSS where the description will include a phrase that is an existing category, like 'Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Wine Barrels', because the description for the existing categories are also allowed to contain additional adjectives as well and still be considered a description of the existing category. And since when you submit your label, and it is denied or sent back for correction, it is not always obvious in the TTB comments what is wrong with the language, correcting it can be a challenge. To wit: you might be able to use the phrase "Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Wine Barrels" since it is the clear description of a modification of an existing category with additional processing described in your formula, but maybe not "Wine Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey" (NB, I have not filed this to know that it would be refused for a DSS). My point being, don't assume because one wording is not accepted on the label for your DSS formula, that a slightly rephrased version won't pass muster...
  6. I believe he is in Reno NV.
  7. More plates, better separation in the cut, higher proof. For whiskey, depending on still design, too many plates might push you over the 160 proof limit with a reasonable cut. To some degree, more flavor in the distillate with less plates (but that is a complicated effect). For our still, even 4 plates is too much to keep below the 160 limit, so you can also consider 3 plates or 2 plates, or NO plates. Also depends on the starting proof of your wash or distiller's beer. BTW, a vodka still can work with less than 20 plates, but again, depends on still design and what you are charging the pot with.
  8. Correct. We do a couple (our "railroad" gin and our genever).
  9. But you shouldn't. It is only accurate to +/- 0.2 proof.
  10. First, just to be clear, I agreed with your point that it is tedious. BUT, while it may not be rocket science, it IS chemical lab technique, which I assure you some small distillers don't understand or have much experience with, even if you and I do. Sometimes my answers here are meant as much for the other possible readers of the thread as they are to the person I may be responding to. So I do agree that "we should all know how to do, and do very well", my specific point, but that many do not. But I also DISAGREE with your second point. The SNAP51 can not meet the TTB requirements, and I don't know how you would know it is "dead on" unless you are regularly testing it against a unit that is 10x more accurate or better. Anton Paar rates the accuracy to 0.1% ABV, or 0.2 deg proof, even though it reads out to the 0.01 digit. That is not accurate enough to measure proof to better than +0, -0.3 since your range on an individual reading would be +/- 0.2, which is more than is allowed legally. If the SNAP51 had twice the accuracy of 0.05%ABV or 0.1 deg proof, you could possibly claim you are in the range if you had a spot on reading of -0.15 proof, for example. But not really. The -0.3 proof under measurement allowed by the TTB is NOT intended as providing an accuracy range for your measurement. It was intended to allow some loss in %ABV during bottling, so that if you measured close to perfect from your bottling tank, you would end up within the range after being in the bottle (not obvious to find in the CFR, but explained at length to me by a visiting TTB officer during our inspection, see section 5.37 (2) (b) (3) ). Hence, the expectation that you will measure more accurately than +0, -0.3 proof to allow a drop within that range. The guideline is that you should be able to measure 0.02 proof accurate (after averaging, for glass you read to 0.05), so that is 0.01% ABV accurate or better. Here is an example of how you can (and TTB says some do) run into trouble using something like a SNAP51. You measure something as 100.0 proof (readout may be 100.00, but only accurate to tenths). Since your accuracy is 0.2 proof, that could actually be 100.2 proof, and that would be illegal if tested at that proof in the bottle.
  11. Not sure what your point is here @Skaalvenn, or if you are just being humorous? Really, if you use the glass hydrometers per the gauging manual, you can get to the required accuracy, but it is slow and requires precise lab methods, like measuring temperatures after full equilibration of equipment to 0.1 deg C accuracy. Many people purchase the regulation calibrated hydrometers for $250 or so, but don't invest the even greater amount required for a precision calibrated thermometer or a temperature controlled bath, and so can not meet the TTB requirement. And setting up the baths for temperature equilibrium, etc., means (at least for me) that a single measurement can easily take a half hour (remember, you have to repeat the measurement at least 3 times to get the required statistical averaging). Hence, why we eventually purchased one of the approved digital densitometers, and now know for sure that the Snap is not accurate enough.
  12. I agree the DMA35 (and SNAP equivalents) are good working digital hydrometers. But now that we have a precision unit that meets the TTB requirements, and have been able to see how our DMA35 and SNAP40 perform with respect to it, we know from experience they are not a substitute for the higher accuracy instrumentation required by the TTB.
  13. Actually, it is not as laughable as you think. If you actually used the precision and calibrated glass hydrometers correctly, as described by TTB gauging manual, a skilled user will meet the requirements. But most people just don't have the necessary skill or patience. On the other hand, the Snap 51 can NOT meet requirement. Even if you checked a Snap 51 against something more accurate, and you found it was accurate enough, that would be accidental, and no way to assure it would not drift out of accuracy. While that digital meter may seem to have enough PRECISION, it does not have the required ACCURACY.
  14. They drift, they are sensitive to temperature equilibration time, so work better if you are near the nominal measurement temperature. DMA35 (or Snap 40, 50) are NOT accurate enough to meet TTB requirements for measuring proof to +0/-0.3 as per the CFR. Even the high end units need periodic calibration, and are sensitive, for example, to changes in air pressure...
  15. According to Lallemand, RM should be good for 3.3-5.3. But we found that if you get much below 4, you are at risk of shutting down fermentation.
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