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Simon13

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  1. Simon13

    Thermal fluid system for still heating(?)

    Good point on backing off the power having lag because of the thermal mas of the oil although I do run very slow as a rule. Interesting points all. Might be best to play it safe and go with the steam option.
  2. Simon13

    Thermal fluid system for still heating(?)

    http://www.hogacompany.com/hogaboiler27.htm above is the only example I can find of a thermal fluid system for circulating hot oil through steam coils. As far as I can tell, its pretty new and they've just sold their first one to a distillery in Ireland. Speaking to a local engineer who specialises in boilers for distilleries says he would be worried about contamination issues in the event of a leak, but then food grade thermal fluid exists. Its a pretty massive outlay for us to upgrade. A gas boiler with steam would be the safe option but thermal fluid claims better energy efficiency, safety and less maintenance... also al little more flexible for style as it can be run hotter and slower if you want more caremelisation and maillard reaction or faster and lower for a more even heating pattern. I'm pretty keen but i'm worried about making the wrong decision with the massive costs involved.
  3. Simon13

    Thermal fluid system for still heating(?)

    Apologies gentlemen, I'm looking at a gas powered boiler heating thermal fluid system that circulates the thermal fluid through the existing steam coils. A number of breweries in recent years have taken on thermal fluid systems. Hoga make an electric one for their stills. I am looking at similar but with a gas powered boiler.
  4. Hey Guys, I'm in the process of sorting out a new heating system for my pot stills. I have been running direct gas firing and am uprgading the system. I had my stills made with steam coils as it was always the intention. Steam is the easy option as it is widely used in the industry. Thermal fluid seems to have a lot of advantages over steam but I cant find any distilleries that use a thermal fluid system. You do get food grade thermal fluid, like you get additives for steam... only issue is I cant find any distiller who uses thermal fluid. does no-one use it because no-one uses it or am I missing something? *HOGA do make an electric thermal fluid system for distilling but I cant find anyone who uses it.
  5. Simon13

    What to do with spent mash??

    A local crofter is picking up our draff for his sheep and a farmer is using our pot ale as fertiliser. In the UK we have to jump through some hoops before our co-products enter the food chain (EU regulationswhich covers training labelling and safety) but most of the farmers don't seem to know/care and it seems to be un-enforced.
  6. Simon13

    Slow Distillation and Maturation

    I've been excessively spoilt when it comes to old bottlings of Single Malt. With the case of single malts, in the past, generally the best stock was used single malts that accounted for a fraction of a percentage of whisky sales, with blends being the backbone of the industry. I rarely find any modern production that comes close to the quality of the 1970's and before. My experience of the older styles (1800's to 1970's) is that there is greater inconsistency than today but the peaks are higher. There are flavours which have been sacrificed in order to obtain greater yield, year on year. Distilleries today produce a consistently good quality but can't reach those peaks. Have a read through the Malt Maniacs Malt Monitor. 16,488 bottlings of whiskey with 52,573 scores. Almost no 1980's+ production gets the top scores.
  7. Simon13

    Slow Distillation and Maturation

    i'm agreement that taking your time is the right way to go. especially on pot distillation to get really clean fractions but also in terms of fermentation time and yeast selection. I suggest picking up The Whisky Men by Gavin D. Smith. It's a series of interviews with retired old boys talking about how everything used to be better in the old days and how modernization in terms of barley variety, mashing technique, yeast varieties, fermentation regime , plant efficiency and the push for yield had led to greater consistency, greater output and less character. the big issue for a lot of small distilleries is financing long term maturation. it wouldn't take too much thought to design an instrument to allow for people to make long term investments in barrels. For security, the investor would have to own the barrel outright (so if your company goes tits up, they still have the asset) but with a management contract and profit share with the distillery (who takes care of bottling, taxes, compliance and sales) at the far end. The problem you have in the USA is that (in my opinion) long term maturation in new oak leads to the spirit flavors being overwhelmed by the wood. The only way around that (for Bourbon or Rye) would be to lay down the largest barrels you can as that reduces the relative quantity of wood to spirit. in Scotland we can age whisky in barrels of a maximum size of 700 litres (184.92 US gallons).
  8. Simon13

    Equipment Woes

    ...aaaaannd I've dropped a month or so. All it takes is one essential piece of kit to drop behind schedule. Not so bad really.
  9. Simon13

    What kind of flooring do you have?

    Our floor being polished Our floor is sloped.
  10. Simon13

    Equipment Woes

    We should be operational in July-August and everything seems to be running about on schedule. I request pics from suppliers of progress, which is also good for social media and keep in communication, reminding them of promised dates and my schedule. I'm in Scotland and kit has been coming from Scotland, England, Holland, Portugal, Slovenia, USA and China. Everything big is 20% to 50% deposit with payment upon delivery or loading of container. We are not there yet, though.
  11. Simon13

    What kind of flooring do you have?

    We went for polished concrete with a slight incline running to the drain. We stopped polishing before it got too shiny as to leave a bit of grip but extra shiny does look good.
  12. Simon13

    iStill 500 NextGen

    Thanks for the pics, Odin. Out of curiosity... How tall is the 5000 litre going to be? We are already having to think about a stage 2
  13. Simon13

    iStill 500 NextGen

    We are looking forward to receiving our 2 istill Nextgens in Scotland. We already have an istill 50 for small experimental batches.
  14. Simon13

    Questions about buildout

    mmmm extra protein
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