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Simon13

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Simon13

    What kind of flooring do you have?

    Our floor being polished Our floor is sloped.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. Simon13

    Questions about buildout

    mmmm extra protein
  11. Simon13

    Stripping run agititation

    If you are direct firing, you could look into making a water bath which will give a more even heating pattern. My wash still (under construction) will be direct gas fired, with an ATEX certified agitator. Although we are not running steam to begin, I had steam coils fitted so we could do steam, gas or combo (Springbank style) in the future.
  12. Simon13

    What's everyone's "pieced together" distillery?

    @PeteB, I've been wanting to try your spirits, a friend of mine was showing pics of you setup. Very impressed. it's not a bad idea to get up and running with minimal cost and go shiny and expensive when you need it or can afford it.
  13. Interesting topic. Traditionally, in Scotland, draff would be mixed with pot ale and used as animal feed. Old books say that pot ale was used as a high quality fertilizer. Given that we are going to be used Organic certified cereals, we hope to team up with organic farmers (the feed for the cows has to be organic certified). Other options are to have a bio gas ingester and you can harvest some gas for burning and have a high quality fertilizer as a by product or to dry out the draff and burn it in a biomass burner.
  14. Simon13

    Innovation in distiling

    Our water from the condensers is going into an insulated Hot Liquor Tank, which will be empty when we begin to distil as we start the day with mashing. We are setting up for direct gas firing... bio oil may be worth a look too. We are in Dornoch http://www.dornochdistillery.com in the North East of Scotland We are running 2 pots with shell and tube condensers , 1000 and 600 litres and a 2000 litre column still, all direct gas fired. 300kg semi lauter mash tun and oak, wooden washbacks, 2000 litre electric HLT. Intitially we are using 1 heat exchanger and 2 pumps and brewery hosing with 2" triclamps on everything. Water is mains, ceramic filtered. In Scotland there are quite a lot of rules when it comes to whisky production. No whisky, other than Scotch Whisky, may be made in Scotland, as laid out in the Scotch Whisky Regulations. We can use oats and make a single grain but you cannot add enzymes, the enzymes must come from a proportion of malted barley in the mash bill. http://www.scotch-whisky.org.uk/media/12744/scotchwhiskyregguidance2009.pdf Thats the guidance for the 2009 Scotch Whisky Regulations if you are interested. Of course, we can make anything we want but not anything we make can be called whisky.
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