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Everything posted by RobertS

  1. Drums can be funky at a small scale distillery, since they may be treated as a tank by some places and a package by others. If you don't move it around, especially if you have added a drain port, you can probably call it a tank and give it a static ID. If you palletize and store it, it would be given a package ID. I don't have any literal drum-tanks, but I do have a couple tanks that are smaller than drums and it's made sense in record keeping so far. When I transfer into/between tanks, I have a record that says how much of what was moved, from where to where. If it splits and remerges a single lot, no problem. If it blends two separate lots, time to make a mingling record entry of how much of what went in and thus became the new lot. Either way, I have a step-by step record of what was in each tank when, where it came from, what it became, and where it went. The tank is also labelled with its current contents at any given time, but that's dry-erased on while the tank number stays the same.
  2. And on not needing to identify individual packages within a lot, I still find it much easier to have a secondary serial code (I just tack an extra letter on the end) to ID each individual barrel. It takes almost no extra effort and makes inventory and tracking progress much easier, at least for me. Also, when I put spirit in drums for temporary storage (or long-term macerations) I still give them serial codes. Again, very little effort and makes it much easier when more than one person may touch things.
  3. MRO Inventory Management

    We have less than twenty people, any of which might touch MRO. About ten actually do more than once a year and about six actually use it regularly. Maintenance schedules are spread out across about a dozen manuals right now, compiling those is part of the project. Edit: Apparently 'about' is my word of the day.
  4. I know most of us on here are probably too small to really worry about this, I'm attached to a brewery large enough that we are and I've been tasked with sorting out our non-production inventory. I've been cataloging everything we have and reading up on Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (the MRO in the title) inventory management but the examples aren't as helpful as I would like. I don't feel we're large enough to purchase a software suite to handle the thinking part, we're DEFINITELY not large or focused enough in our needs to have a vendor contract, and 'centrally located storage' is a funny way to put 'the back corner of the mezzanine'. Does anyone here have a manual spare parts management system they're happy with? How do you keep usage records straight with more than a few users? Did you manage to sell the idea to your whole staff, or does someone need to go through regularly and see what's missing? For a little leg up on people who (like me a month ago) haven't even heard of MRO, here are some articles I've found helpful. http://www.supplychain247.com/article/five_basic_practices_that_can_quickly_close_the_gap_with_mro_inventory/inventory https://www.idcon.com/resource-library/articles/best-practices/1059-storeroom-spare-parts-what-good-looks-like.html https://www.lce.com/Changing-the-Storeroom-Culture-to-Best-Practice-Performance-1292.html
  5. Using bulk distilled spirits?

    I've seen Keurig soup. Keurig gins may be the next big thing, Roger.
  6. Proofing using Gauging Manual Table 6

    Given the rounding artifacts in the TTB tables, my guess is that key data points were collected and the rest were derived by linear interpolation without an over-arching formula.
  7. slot floor drains

    Having worked in a food packing plant, I can see the advantage to slot drains for incidental messes and I wish we had them there. But it looks like the way slot drains deal with the concerns brewers/distillers have of not being able to handle dumping tanks is 'do something else with slurries and solids'. http://blog.slotdrainsystems.com/5-issues-brewers-must-consider-about-their-trench-drains
  8. Proofing

    Ask your certifier. If you don't talk to them, they will assume regular use and only put it out to a year tops. Even if you can't push past a year, it's still good to be able to recalibrate twice for the price of once and be able to cheaply recover from the inevitable dropped hydrometer.
  9. Heating and cooling with the same jacket

    https://wine.appstate.edu/sites/wine.appstate.edu/files/Diversey_PassivationofStainlessSteel.pdf We are removing iron exposed by wear and exposing chromium so that it can form a protective oxide layer. This oxide layer renders the steel 'passive' to further corrosion until it is damaged again. Oxidation takes time, so passivation is best done with a large time gap (at least overnight) between completing the acid cycle and using the equipment.
  10. Proofing

    Check what type of calibration you have on your hydrometers, most are single or two-point calibrated. You will need a temperature-control bath to match the calibration temperature. This is a cheap and easy ice bath if they're calibrated to 32F/0C. If not, you'll need a temperature controlled bath. You use the calibrated set to proof down a calibration solution for each calibration point. Match the numbers on the certified hydrometer, then record the reading given by the workhorse at that point. Now you have the correction you need to apply to its readings. For single point calibration, it's a simple +/- you apply to future readings. For multi-point correction, you'll need to create a correction table based on however many points you took. Use calibrated -> Match calibration point -> Record workhorse measurement at calibration point -> Calibration correction found Your records will have the date and time of calibration, what master hydrometer was used, what it read at what temperature, what the workhorse read at the same temperature, and what correction that entails.
  11. Aeration

    http://www.kotmf.com/articles/oliveoil.pdf New Belgium put out a paper on using olive oil. It works, but the benefits apply more to beer than to wash. We propagate yeast with oil and feed oxygen in-line during knockout like Pete's son does.
  12. Barrel logo engraving

    Makes sense. Thank you for the explanation, we've been considering stenciling the ends of our barrels on display and a background color hadn't occurred to me. Trying with a roller probably would have made more a mess.
  13. We've been recycling in the ferment with good results so far. The cuts grew over a few batches by a total of 20%, but stabilized there. We're actually more likely to see fewer heads out than we put in and have been slowly working through the barrels of heads we put away before trying this. Yields are up, with some losses vs 100% conversion of heads to good spirit.
  14. Barrel logo engraving

    Is the background done with a roller? I notice a couple marks outside the line, so I'm guessing not a spray can with a mask for that part, at least.
  15. Smells and waste water composition

    Our waste treatment facility used to be okay with processing our load but is having us retrofit a solution for BOD and pH control. You'd probably be best off looking into a cistern and anaerobic digester right off the bat, even if the local waste treatment gives the go-ahead to skip them. Upside to the digester is that you can create bio fuel and fertilizer as valuable byproducts rather than having a cost of disposal, assuming the economics work out. A cistern would allow you to send neutralized waste water into the system on a known schedule, rather than sending large amounts of acid or base randomly as you clean your facility. For smell, I'd be more concerned with your waste grain. Our farmer picks up once a week and summer winds are...not pleasant. I don't know about complaints from neighbors, but it generally blows right into our bay doors and is not appreciated by staff. Enclosed storage would contain the smell, or more regular pickups would keep it from happening in the first place.
  16. Cost to filter spirit

    We go by ABV on the parrot. Did some test runs with our product, checked for clouding, reran the stuff that failed, and now don't run down to where clouding appeared. Give yourself some wiggle room, as it may vary a bit between batches. We never had problems for vodka, there's a rather sudden drop in proof when the tails start. Just need to know when to watch for it.
  17. Fermenting pineapple juice

    Interesting that you lost so much flavor, considering pineapple notes are one of the tropical ones that come from Fischer esterfication. I would then assume the one that comes through then is just one of a larger whole, the rest being too heavy?
  18. MSDS for Ethanol 85% Concentration

    Ahhh. Thank you for the clarification.
  19. MSDS for Ethanol 85% Concentration

    UN1170 would still be relevant for vodka production, though?
  20. using Honey - avoiding sediment

    Micron sizing has to do with particle size, not concentration. Higher concentration of filtered particles would require larger filter surface area and likely multi-stage filtration with decreasing pore sizes. Engineering toolbox points out that sugar is 0.005 microns and will slip through 1 micron easy. 1 micron is a nice, convenient, easy to find size that allows pretty much all the flavor and color compounds through while blocking many of the larger molecules that cause haze or clumping. There are a few things that can be lost - gin makers will proudly forgo filtering to preserve those - and a few pesky haze makers that slip through, but 1 micron is a good general-purpose filter size.
  21. Stripping Run Question

    Anti-foam here, too. Sometimes I add not quite enough, just dial it back until the foam breaks and gently bring it back up. I think multiple foam-ups happen when different proteins break down? Stripping time is just a matter of size and power, our 90 gallon stills strip in 3 hours with 12 psi of steam passing through.
  22. Proofing

    Obscuration correction is annoying for the time it takes. Just get a little lab still and be careful as always with your measurements. Size the sample pulled to the proofing cylinder, which for me is 500mL. Rinse the tool used to measure, adding the rinse water to the boiling flask. Distill until just shy of 500mL is collected, then top off with pure water to exactly 500mL. Gauge this redistilled sample as your true proof, compare to the gauge before distillation for obscuration and correction. Be ready to repeat this a few times as you come down to bottling proof. Glass is cheap, certification is not. I assume you don't want to spring for re-certification every six months. Get two sets of hydrometers. The one set are your babies and live in luxury, only being touched to in-house calibrate your workhorse hydrometers. The skills to calibrate hydrometers are exactly the same as to use them in the first place, just keep records.
  23. Prepair for the FALLOUT!!!

    I do, but I think that's a bad example. I track my mpg and haven't found a major efficiency difference between any of the major brands. (Sorry for the tangent)
  24. pH buffer / stabilizer suggestions

    Baking soda has been working well for us for correcting pH. Last time we had pH issues, I added an ounce per barrel, measured, and repeated until we got back up to 3.8. Flavor was fine. I don't know that I would use it proactively, though.
  25. Distillery in Malt Plant

    Which would be why you exclude the malting facility from the bond and put up a barrier to designate different businesses. So long as the distillery and malt house have separate entrances, they can be considered separate premises. Depending on the mood of your agent, you may even be able to get dispensation to use a shared entrance. We were able to use a shared bay door with the brewery and only needed railings between the bonded premises.