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Everything posted by bluestar

  1. bluestar

    Differences between Distilamax RM & SR

    Yes, beet ethanol (as neutral spirit) was used in France for many spirits and liqueurs, especially once grape became scarce during phylloxera epidemics. Most notably, it was used for many absinthes. Beet sugar "rums" like Stroh's were never made from molasses, but from beet syrup, second to last step product in refining beet sugar. Still a challenge to make a good spirit from that. I did my own tests making beet syrup "rum".
  2. bluestar

    Differences between Distilamax RM & SR

    Correct, it is the waste from beet sugar refining. It's disgusting. It can not be consumed by humans, inedible. I think it can be consumed by livestock. The only way you might want to use it for spirit is if you distill the ferment to completely neutral spirit.
  3. bluestar

    Finding the right alcohol-proof rubber

    Theoretically that is true. BUT, we did tests and found that while the peroxide cured EPDM gaskets don't appear to degrade in performance as gaskets, it does allow a small amount of leachate to be picked up by the spirit if the EPDM is downstream of the still head in the path of high-temperature, high-proof spirit (like between the dephlegmator and the condensor). For that location, we use platinum-cured translucent silicone. These might toughen a bit over long use, but they hold up to temperature, and we don't observe any leachate.
  4. bluestar

    Finding the right alcohol-proof rubber

    EPDM is okay near RT. No good at high temps with high proof alcohol. Charts shown here don't address this.
  5. And if you DID care about HISTORICAL precedent, you would not restrict barrel size to larger than 50 gal. Only used after WWII. Prior common sizes included 48 gal "standard" barrel and 31 gal US beer barrel, and the early spirits barrel at 40 gal. And the earliest bourbon barrels may have been the smaller, narrow "blood" cask.
  6. bluestar

    (9) Western Square 15 G Barrel Racks

    Where are u? Does the price include shipping?
  7. bluestar

    Looking for a scale....

    https://www.prime-scales.com/product/304-stainless-steel-ntep-legal-trade-bench-scale-food-process-scale-recycling-scale/ is close to what you want. $1000, NTEP approved, does 0.2 lb up to 1000 lbs. Can also be had as 0.1 lb up to 500 lbs. Another option from Prime: https://www.prime-scales.com/product/z-tcs-bench-scale-stainless-steel-indicator-platter/ This is NOT NTEP, but does 0.05 lb up to 800 lbs, and is only $500.
  8. bluestar

    Precipitate in triple sec

    Did you ever see any further precipitation on the batch done with uncoated oranges? Just thought I would follow up.
  9. bluestar

    Gin flowers

    @Silk City Distillers has the right reference. Description is typically Gin if there was any compounding. It is Distilled Gin only if there is no compounding. The BAM is giving guidance beyond the CFR requirements as to what descriptions might be considered misleading or false, which the CFR prohibits. The interpretation here is that if there is any compounding, a description that includes "distilled" would not be allowed. Remember, you can add adjectives to many descriptions, provided they are true, not misleading, and fit within the category and type. Like American Single Malt Whiskey for malt whiskey.
  10. New oak got into the CFR in the 30's because of the coopers lobbying, needing to rebuild their business after prohibition. I doubt it is the coopers now, they can't make enough to sell. But I don't doubt lobbying from large distillers would be likely.
  11. That is also my take on it, the move to 50 gallons is to codify current large distillery practice. In correspondence, it would also be useful to note that today's "standard" 53 gallon barrel is not historical. It was established AFTER World War 2 to reduce costs. It was determined to be the largest barrel that could be accommodated in rack houses that used the previous "standard" whiskey barrel of 48 gallons. And in the 19th century there was really no standard at all, smaller barrels were often used.
  12. Is the only one column on the kettle? Are there any other copper plates in the other columns? How about dephlegmators? Assume steam heated. Any instrumentation?
  13. bluestar

    Bloody Butcher Red Corn

    From our research, we learned the same conventional wisdom, that many corns won't malt well, like yellow hard dent, because of tendency to get moldy. Whether it is true or not, it is one of the reasons malting corn was generally avoided, that and the flavor for some corn gets too "green".
  14. bluestar

    Perception of "hot"

    If by "hot" they are referring to what I call "fire", as found in new make spirits of all kinds, generally this is due to the presence of ketones that will ebb with aging, either due to removal by char or conversion by esterfication. So, longer aged spirits usually have less fire. But the ketones are primarily in the front end of the separation if you are pot distilling, so if you are making head cuts that are not conservative enough, or if you have poor fractionation (smearing), you might be getting more ketones to begin with. Char #4 sounds like a very reasonable choice for 4 year aging, we do well with char #3 from ISC removing "fire" or "heat", so I suspect it is not how long you are aging, but the nature of the new make. In addition to the cut, the grain choice matters, corn being the cleanest. I see you have about 22% wheat, and that is has IMO the "hot, chalky" flavor that requires significant care to cut or age out. But 4 years in char #4 seems reasonable, maybe you need better cuts. We have only done one try at a wheated bourbon, and we do see longer aging is required. Others want to weigh in?
  15. bluestar

    Anton Paar DMA 35

    Resolution just tells you how small the lowest digit is on the readout, it does not affect accuracy, unless it is worse than the accuracy. Essentially, in this case, it is telling you how many digits is on the LCD display, and that is the same regardless of the accuracy of the model. Snap 41 is NOT more accurate than the DMA35, in any version, as far as I can tell. The Snap 51 is better than the lower end model DMA 35, and I think that is because of the improved accuracy in measuring the temperature.
  16. bluestar

    from Copper to Cooper to Copper still

    Okay, yes, I knew I met someone from Crozehead at our distillery, but was not sure if the same person was posting! Look forward to your next visit! And definitely become a member of the ICDA http://illinoisdistillers.org
  17. bluestar

    Anton Paar DMA 35

    From the info you have, you can estimate: density is about 1 g/cc, so you are about 0.1%. Which makes sense, since the Snap 51 is essentially a DMA 35 Standard or Ex. The Snap 41 and 51 are the same, except for the accuracy of the temperature measurement, needed for correction of proof. The DMA 35 Basic is the old design but also has the poorer temperature reading like the Snap 41, while the DMA 35 Standard and Ex are similar to the new Snap 51. The Ex and Standard has a special deal right now for ordering directly on-line from Anton-Paar: free lifetime replacements of the quartz tube sensor. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be offering this for the Snap series. In the old versions, this was the most common way the unit would fail: bump or drop it and the tube would crack. The earliest versions of the DMA 35 could not even replace the tube as a repair. The most recent (ie, DMA 35 Basic) can be replaced at significant expense. The new design looks like it is both better protecting the quartz tube and making it easier to replace.
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. bluestar

    Reusing condenser water for mashing

    We do it some of the time as well.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. bluestar

    reusing feints

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