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Mead

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  1. aging whiskey in barrels in unheated facility in the north

    Jesse, We've had good luck aging bourbon at 43N. We typically see temperatures down to -5F in the warehouse (~-20 outside), and temperatures up to 135F (~100F outside) in the tops of our warehouses during the summer. I wouldn't necessarily call it better or worse than aging in KY or other southern states, but it is certainly different. My biggest suggestion is to track your flavor profile throughout the temperature regime it will see in the barrels, because in our experience it can change quite noticeably. That being said, I think aging in a non climate controlled warehouse will really speak to the terroir of your region. Just so you know I'm not making things up, we have nearly 7000 barrels in storage, ranging from fresh fills to 8ish years old. Shoot me a PM if you have any more questions. -Sam
  2. Lorenzo,

    The best way to reach me is via e-mail, but don't hesitate to call either!

    sam@wyomingwhiskey.com

    307-864-2116 Office

    307-413-6092 Cell

    I'm in NYC and won't be back in the office until Tuesday, but I have my cell.

    Thanks!

    Sam

  3. Ways to add head to the mash tun

    I was just going off this. Direct Injection is a better use of heat, heat exchangers are a better use of water and treatment chemicals. Those costs pale in comparison to heating costs. Capital investments will look like a drop in the bucket compared to running the place for 5 years. One thing I overlooked with the comment is the size of the vessel being heated. At ~250 gallons I doubt you'd see much if any difference between the two. It looks like you guys are running ~250-500 gallon runs so it may not work well there either. Once you start going big though, jacketed vessels aren't going to compete due to volume:surface area.
  4. Spent grain removal

    Shouldn't be a problem giving it to the farmer/rancher wet. Our cows love the stuff. You will need to get rid of it fairly quickly if it's wet, I find it starts to get funky in ~2-3 days. Only thing to watch is the temperature, we've has cows horse around (?) and fall in the hot mash, burning themselves in the process.
  5. Roughly 5% of our bottles cost (excluding FET/SET) is spent on bottling labor. This is with about a dozen temps, working 8 hours days, bottling roughly 720 4.5L cases/day.
  6. Ways to add head to the mash tun

    I would respectfully disagree. DIS is going to transfer heat more efficiently than a jacketed system, which means you can get to temps more quickly. Time is money, especially once you start scaling up. Steam is certainly going to be safer than an open flame, provided you are using and maintaining your equipment properly.
  7. Vessel sizes are fine. We've gotten samples back from the mash coming straight out of the cook. We use a grain to water ratio of roughly 3:1 ratio. This size operation I'd assume you'd want to run either 3" or 4" pipe, I certainly wouldn't go smaller than that. I imagine a big plant would be crashing the cook temps from ~140 to fermenting temperature with a once through tube and shell exchanger. Through a 3" line, the apparent viscosity of our mash is 7.2cP @ 140F, and 15cP @ 80F Through a 4" line, the apparent viscosity of our mash is 13cP @ 140F, and 35cP @ 80F I don't think 4 hour cook times are achievable with that volume without DIS. For reference, our runs are 2500 gallons, (1/5 your size) and with DIS we can run it up to 200F in about 2.5-3 hours. You can cut down on that time if you are able to recycle some of your heat from other processes. I would run a central top mixer with props and run CIP spray on either side. CIP spray balls (the size I'm familiar with anyway), won't be getting that thing clean if you're only using one and running about 14' diameter. It also eliminates a number of problems that running from the bottom induces. You can run without a grist hydrator without a problem as long as you're careful with you pH and temps, but I imagine it's a worthwhile time saving investment.
  8. Sorry about that, if anyone needs pictures PM me your e-mail and I'll send you the photos.
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