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bluestar

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Everything posted by bluestar

  1. 5s are hard to come by, we use them rarely. I might have a couple of 8s, but they will be fairly dried out, might need adjustment of coopering before reswelling. I usually have a fair number of 10s, many fairly freshly pulled.
  2. Since the original question pertained to drains, also note that a DSP is considered a food process plant by the federal government, and you must be registered as such. Generally, the inspection of such plants is delegated by the federal government to the state governments, sometimes the agriculture departments. So, the issue of drains might be a requirement set by the state for that reason, too. In this case, if no production or processing is going to occur, and the space will ONLY be used as storage of barrels, you might be able to treat it as warehouse only space, and avoid any food or sanitation requirements. Again, local authority will apply. By the way, this does not change the requirements for fire code, etc.
  3. No. You still have not indicated why you could not write in the age on the labels, especially if you are doing such small bottlings? As @Jedd Haas pointed out, the actual age in the age statement is one of the items that can be changed on a label without having to resubmit for COLA approval. If you have not already done so, please go to the TTB website to download and read their guidance on changes to labels that don't require approval.
  4. Straight whiskies need the same age statement as non-straights. It is just that a straight whiskey must be at least two years old (among other things). Only whiskies over four years old do not require an age statement. A straight whiskey between two and four years old requires an age statement.
  5. We are often in the same situation, considering we intentionally make some of our products available a 2, 3, 4 yo. Have you considered having the specific age not printed and adding that info onto the label at bottling, either by hand, or an overprinting?
  6. what are the diameter of the columns? looks like they are big enough you would have trouble filling and stabilizing them from a 6-7 gallon pot and have a reasonable size run.
  7. Sort of true. Any locality might have the FM limiting their scope. But state law usually gives the authority to the local FM to do more if they choose to, and bear responsibility if the required things are not done. And they can choose to exercise that authority later, and again, you are left in the lurch. So it is not even enough if the policy is supposedly fine now: that happened not long ago in the city of Chicago, when they realized after the first few distilleries were already in place that the FM were not sufficiently conservative with regards to local code. Effectively, rules changed on the fly. So, for example, in the case you suggest, if the FM leaves it to zoning/building, and they say its okay, and later during a compliance inspection the FM realizes that something is not being addressed (and that info can come from anywhere), they call you out of compliance, and require you to address the issue or shut down, do matter what zoning/building said. At least, in most states, that is how the authority is structured. Gee, you get that happening all the time anyway: two years in, FM does an inspection, says probably good idea you add another fire extinguisher here, alarm there. You gotta do it.
  8. So whole heartedly agree. The Fire Marshall is usually the real make-or-break, but is the toughest, since if they are not already educated on distilleries, you are more likely educating them rather than them providing guidance to you at this stage. Nevertheless, better to deal with this early on, because the Fire Marshall can throw the wrench into the works AT ANY POINT in setting up your distillery. You can even go through full construction and inspection and approval to start operation, and if the FM returns and determines something does not satisfy their fire safety requirements, you are shut down. There is generally no appeal.
  9. The legal description if it is flavored after distillation for corn whiskey, aged or not, would be "xxx flavored whiskey" where the xxx describes the flavoring agent. You will need a formula. In addition to the description, they may allow you to include additional wording elsewhere on the label that indicates the origin or type of whiskey used, but it must be clear that this is NOT an allowed or standard whiskey description that can be mistaken for the legal description, since that would be misleading.
  10. There is a good ACSA safety presentation that goes through the current code, and establishes that the barrel exclusion would count in an H3 with appropriate ventilation and such. Not the F-1. Also, bottle spirits in the F-1 may count as part of the total if over 100 proof, you can get an exclusion for all bottle spirits for higher proof kept in an M occupancy, for example. NB: corrected this last statement that previously indicated bottle spirits count toward MAQ in F-1 irrespective of alcohol concentration. As pointed out to me by @Thatch, there is an exception for product bottled below 50% ABV.
  11. We have a similar situation with our 100% malt rye whiskey, customers who still ask for the 1yo in 15g char 4, even though our standards are 2-3yo in 53g char 5 or 4 yo in 53g char 3. While it has a little more heat, it is sweeter with a bit more fruit and floral on the nose.
  12. Certainly not upset. Just think your conclusions might be overreaching, and could be wrong in specific cases. We have experimented with 5, 8, 10, 15, 23, 30 gallon barrels, all chars, all toasts, different modifications (traditional, honeycomb, sliced, etc.). We also use 53g traditional in all chars. Our experience is that it VERY much depends on the barrel type, not just the size, as well as the type of spirit being aged. Even confining to whiskies, we found quite a difference in optimal choice for use of smaller barrels with malt barley, malt rye, and bourbon. With bourbon, it matters what the mash bill is. I would agree that using 5g (or smaller) is a real challenge for almost everything, although we have done so. For high-corn bourbon, we found 10g better than 15g or 23g, and definitely they will over oak in a short period of time. For this size, we particularly like the honeycomb, with very light char and good toast, for maximum vanillin extraction in a short time. You CAN age through the over-oak period with a 10g or smaller barrel, but we found 2+ years necessary, and the extreme angel-share loss and concentrated extractives made these less interesting to drink on their own than to blend with larger barrels. For malt barley, would agree that 15g is a better minimum, but that also reflects the need to age 2+ years. Our preference in that case has been a light char, while using the same size for malt rye we preferred a heavy char and found 1+ years could work. The barrel we found the LEAST interesting was the 30g. We did not see much difference from using a 53g (not surprising, the difference in surface-to-volume ratio is very small). But something close to this size would have been traditional in the first part of the 19th century, and there is no reason to eschew it. We had used Barrel Mill in the past, particularly 15g & 30g, but lately have been using Black Swan exclusively for the small barrels, in part because Barrel Mill no longer makes one of the chars we found worked best for one of our whiskies, and Black Swan was more flexible with regard to special toasts and chars. But otherwise, we found Barrel Mill to produce barrels of high quality and good value. We agree that small barrels can be very interesting for aging in used barrels. This is particularly so when the barrels have only been used for short period aging, the quality of the spirit in the second use has some of the character more associated with aging in new char. One of our whiskies and a couple of our gins definitely owe their lauded flavor profile to that, we think. We also found them a good choice for aging brandy and are doing our first rum tests now. Not really looking to argue against @Silk City Distillers observations, I think it is great to make their experience available to others here. I just wanted to add our own experience, especially where it might vary to some degree from others.
  13. I think any of them should work fine. As a company, Mettler Toledo is a little less friendly, its business model is oriented toward corporate pharma. But that being said, they will support products that have not been aged out. We bought a used Mettler that works well, and is still supported. We have not used desktop Anton Paar, but had good support and ease of purchase of the handhelds. The Rudolph looks like a good value, and I have had good experience with them for other equipment, but have not done so for their densitometer/alcoholometer.
  14. bluestar

    Malted corn

    I have heard others also say that there are varieties of white corn suitable for malting, but definitely not yellow hard dent, which is prone to mold.
  15. I think what @dhdunbar said is correct, but I found it a bit hard to follow, so I will summarize what I thought was the most important takeaway: you might not be able redistill the product with flavoring components and call it flavored vodka. It might be a specialty. Flavored vodka is vodka that later has flavorings and maybe sugar added to it. And a formula will be required. If your formula says you are redistilling (and you must say so if you are doing so), I think they will tell you it is not flavored vodka but a specialty. I can see the argument against this if you take vodka and then redistill with a gin basket: the product entering the basket is still vodka, and that you flavor it by high-temperature vapor infusion should mean it is flavored vodka. Not an unreasonable argument, try it out in your formula submission as @dhdunbar suggests. I think where you could run into a problem with the process you describe is that you are diluting to 30% before redistillation. Now the product is not vodka (has to be above 40%), although again since 60 proof is the minimum for a flavored product, maybe you can argue that, again as @dhdunbar suggests. And please relay the response from TTB, I am very interested.
  16. Strangely, we do a 100% malt whiskey that is aged in smaller cask with heavy toast and very light char, and bottle below 90 proof, so we might expect to see some flock. But we don't!
  17. hemicellulose (hemicellulase is an enzyme). They can be. I think you are probably right about low char levels, we see it the most on exposure to char 1 or toast without char.
  18. bluestar

    Fed Tax cut

    Taxes are due on the product that is taken out of the bonded premises: sold, trashed, donated, whatever. Taxes are due to be paid for the year/quarter/month you are reporting on, depending on whether you are on an annual/quarterly/monthly payment schedule (they will have told you), even though you report production/storage/processing monthly.
  19. The fact that this process seems to change over time is part of what I researched. It is because of various possible reasons. For example, the initial flocculant may actually not be the lowest energy state, just how the product initially came out of solution, which is a kinetic process, not necessarily equilibrium. Since shaking can put it back into solution, it may not go back in the same way as was prior to flocculation, which means if it precipitates again, it may not have the same kinetic pathway, and may form a different type of cluster. Moreover, because oligosaccharides are made up of chains of sugars, they have the similar instability in solution that sugars do, in that they can undergo isomerization reactions and hydrogen-bonding rearrangements that change their isomeric and configurational structure, and then they will flocculate back out of solution in a different form. For those that are not aware, as an example, there are multiple structures of as simple a sugar as D-glucose, and in solution, the two most stable cyclic forms will interconvert continuously, through a linear open form. At equilibrium, there will be about a 1:2 ratio of the two cyclic isomers, with only a percent of the linear intermediary at any moment. Now, imagine that kind of reactivity can also exist in polymers of saccharides, and then if they are in close proximity to each other, reactions might occur that change their structure before they are redissolved by agitation. Subsequently, since they are now different molecules, the may form a different, and likely more stable, precipitate. Finally, the polymer chain itself may break and reform. The reactions can even be enhanced by the bonding energies between the flocculated polymers, and other reactions inhibited by the steric hinderance due to the clustering. All this to say, it is not surprising that the process of redissolving and precipitating again is not fully reversible for this class of compounds.
  20. You can use almost any neutral or schnapp, but traditional is rye for Sweden, potato for Norway, other northern countries might use other grains as well. But grain or potato, so I would avoid neutral from cane, grape, etc.
  21. Agreed, that would be tough to do, even with flaked corn.
  22. bluestar

    Fed Tax cut

    Why do you think the speaker is holding up this legislation? That is not my understanding. It is true she is not a cosponsor, but that is not unusual for the speaker to not cosponsor a bill they might even be in support of. There are 320 sponsors of this bill, there is little doubt that it would pass. Same situation is true of the Senate bill, Mitch is not a cosponsor. But we DO know that he intends to pass no bills at this time. My suspicion is that BOTH bills are tied up in committee waiting to determine if they will be rolled into a single budget bill, and passed as a whole. So, it may die if we can't get a budget bill passed before the end of the calendar year. I suspect the House would be willing to pass it separately if it looks like we will need a CR beyond the end of December. The real problem might be in the Senate.
  23. Both brass and bronze will work harden, but brass is hard to anneal that out, some bronzes may. That also means thermal cycling will further coarsen grain structure in brass, and eventually it might fail. And if you leach out the zinc (which has significant vapor pressure at high temperatures), that's not good. So I probably would not want to use it on a boiler device. On the other hand, it is fine for resistance to corrosion at room temperature, in part because exposure passivates the surface and inhibits further corrosion. Hence, why brass is used for ships.
  24. We find you need about 50% bulky grain/malt in the mix to avoid getting stuck. Can be mixture of grist, hull, etc.
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