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bluestar last won the day on August 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

    BOTTLES 750ml & 1 Liter $0.15/bottle

    Are you sure that is not listed backwards? If the 1 liter bottle is larger and heavier than the 750ml bottle (I would suspect), then I would expect 1) more cases of 750ml per pallet, and 2) 1 liter case to weigh more than 750 ml (12.69 versus 10.19 lbs).
  2. bluestar

    TTB stopped our production due to high proof

    Most of the difference has to do with temperature control, equilibration, and correction. This is especially true for the handheld units, which have no temperature control. The quartz oscillation tube measurement itself can be done to very high accuracy even with an inexpensive handheld unit. But you have to have the temperature fixed in the device and measured accurately, as well, and then calibrate the whole thing.
  3. bluestar

    TTB stopped our production due to high proof

    Better yet is if Anton Paar or Rudolf would make a cheaper instrument that just met the requirements. They could, the difference between versions is to some degree just software. The DMA 4500 is probably overkill. But they have an inherent interest in having a large price point differential above and below the TTB requirement. One day, a vendor will do so, and everyone will do so.
  4. bluestar

    TTB stopped our production due to high proof

    If you review carefully the TTB glass hydrometer method and old standard practice, you will note that the accuracy, precision, and repeatability for a glass hydrometer is better than the nominal accuracy. For example, typical IRS glass hydrometer has 0.2% divisions and 0.2% "accuracy", but in fact the method for doing the readings can give you greater precision than the 0.2% divisions, because a skilled user can read to about 1/4 of a division, or 0.05%, and then you are to make multiple (at least 3) readings, and average them. Hey, that is how it used to be done. The result is that a better than 0.05% accuracy is attainable. These analog devices are highly repeatable, in fact, any variance due to repeatability is primarily due to human error, or skill of the operator. Finally, while nominally 0.2% accurate, if calibrated, they can be calibrated to the best attainable accuracy, or 0.05%. That means +-0.1 proof, within the 0.3 proof needed by the TTB and better than a DMA 1001. Okay, in practice today, most users lack the skill and patience to make this measurement that carefully. But the method is assuming you are a chemist in 1933. By the way, the key to all this is having everything fully equilibrated at one temperature, and a very accurate measure of temperature, and correction from 60F using tables.
  5. bluestar

    Thermal fluid system for still heating(?)

    Disadvantage of bain marie is as @Skaalvenn suggests. But there are other advantages. Primarily, being able to distill items that would be to heavily "cooked" if heating with steam, because you need to keep the temperature lower than boiling point at the pot wall. Typically, this is true for absinthe, for example. Could also be true for grappas and other fruit brandies done on fruit mash instead of clear wine.
  6. bluestar

    Free samples to distributor?

    There are distributors that will request that they can have free samples, usually this is stated in the contract, and usually the amount is limited to a percentage of the total amount purchased. And I have had our CA distributor ask for a very limited number of free samples. On the other hand, my experience with the 3 distillers we have used in IL is similar to yours in TN, they will charge back 50% of the price of stock on hand that they pull for samples.
  7. Thanks, might come try samples of the barrels some time?
  8. A little more info? What makes this port style? Alcohol content?
  9. bluestar


    Leather. $18.
  10. bluestar

    Anton Paar Products

    All of the portables compensate for temperature (through look-up tables), but they do not equilibrate or control temperature, like the expensive desktop units. That is, in part, why they do not have the needed accuracy, including the Snap 41, for final gauging required by the TTB, and are not an "approved" densitometer.
  11. bluestar

    Anton Paar Products

    Yup. Certified thermometers are very expensive beasts, compared to hydrometers. Many don't realize this, and will get the high accuracy corrected hydrometers, but use a thermometer without the needed accuracy and correction, so they end up not meeting the TTB accuracy requirements for the gauging. This is the corollary issue to needing to equilibrate everything for temperature.
  12. bluestar

    New life for used botanicals?

    We put them into soaps for liquor-based hand-made soaps.
  13. bluestar

    distillery management software TTB reports

    Don't know anything about them, except I think they are still in development for their distillery software. The currently sell their brewery software, and I think are in final beta for wineries?
  14. bluestar

    Getting absinthe to louche properly

    Absinthe distillation is a funny beast. The expert on the forum is @Gwydion Stone, so check out his posts too. I tend to follow the methods and recipes described in the 19th century texts, where you macerate at high proof, distill from high proof, and distill to high proof. You are correct, that some of the oils will come across toward the end when the alcohol content is low, and proof coming off is low, mostly due to the hydrosol effect, where the oils come across, but not fully in solution. That is one reason why you run deep for the tails, to pick those oils up too, although since the average proof of the distillate is so high, all the oils will be back in solution when collected together. If you are distilling from too low a proof, you won't get a high enough proof for the final product, without cutting too early for the tails. And of course you recycle the tails, including any residual oils, for the next distillation. You are not really doing any cut of the alcohol, so the base must be clean. You are just trying to get as much of the extraction from the herbs and seeds as you can, including the oils. By the way, you never really get to high enough BP to reach true BP of any of the oils, the key is how the oils interact with water and alcohol and are carried into the vapor phase by them.
  15. bluestar

    Oregon Oak barrels 30 gallon

    It is expensive, although typically you will pay a premium for smaller barrels over conventional 53 gallon, and again for northern oak, and again for heavily seasoned oak. But for that kind of money, it would be more interesting to get French oak, for example. Does anyone have any experience with these, comparing this oak with others?