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Everything posted by Allan

  1. Allan

    Finding the right alcohol-proof rubber

    Hands down the best discussion I've seen on the topic. Have referred back here multiple times. Thanks to all for contributions. As noted by several folks, the compatibility charts are assumed to be centered around "pure" chemicals (in our case, 95% ethanol). It seems pretty clear what the answers are here re: best options. TL;DR: at what proof do you become concerned with compatibility? Do you have any concerns with prolonged exposure to say, 80-90 proof? If not, at what proof do you start to become more cautious? 100? 120? Longer: We're located at our winery (which is much larger than our start-up distillery) - so we have a plethora of equipment that we've invested in for the winery, haven't yet acquired duplicates of for the distillery, but said equipment is otherwise generally available for the distillery to use... To that end, lets say, bottling equipment: is leaching, structural deterioration, etc., a concern at 80-90 proof? Of course leaching is a primary concern, but I'd hate to run spirits through a bottle filler if it were eroding whatever wetted parts there are (mostly o-rings and gaskets I guess) which could result in either costly repairs (mostly in terms of time - failed parts are usually noticed when you need them to work) or (worst case) any potentially compromising issues for wine that may result from a failed seal.
  2. Allan

    steady take off rate

    Can you describe the tweaks you made? I had this exact problem (also one of Paul's stills, 100 gallon). Solution was to disconnect the venting pipe from the top of the parrot. As soon as that removed, the pulsation stopped. But if this is a matter of my cooling flow rate, then I'd definitely want to re-connect this safety measure and resolve. PS - cold wine cellar. Aluminum foil helps create thermal barrier to reduce reflux on aroma column. Everyone asks
  3. Allan

    International Shipping

    Thanks for your feedback. We ended up having the client research domestic import/exporters to Japan. They found much more reasonable options via their own research. Places I'd probably never have found, even with my Ph.D in "googling #@&% up" .....obscure locations that were legit. Place in L.A. shipped a case for $350 (2day air) but we had to ship FedEx from VA to them to get it there, which added to the cost. Place in Northern VA shipped 3 cases for $550 all inclusive (also 2 day air). Long story short, the answer I think is in having the destination recipient research export shippers for themselves. When I called the shipper (located about 30 miles from me) to clarify details, they answered the phone in Japanese - so clearly not targeting locals as their primary client base, and as such, it explains why they weren't popping up front-and-center on my google results.
  4. Has anyone shipped spirits internationally? I understand laws and regs vary by recipient country/region, that's not the issue...I'm more wondering how you actually shipped? Quotes from UPS and FedEX came it at $450 and $350, respectively, for a box of 3 bottles to Japan. Now I have inquiries from Australia, and I'm imagining its similar. Have you shipped international before? Where did you ship to, who did you use, and what was the cost? Thanks in advance
  5. Allan

    Corn Whiskey Occasionally Cloudy After Dilution

    Thanks for all the information here folks. Very informative. I've read this thread like 4 times over the past year and find myself keep coming back for those big words
  6. Allan

    Big Fish?

    Pre-canned emails. Aggressive (unsolicited) phone calls (almost as many calls in past month as yelp, if that tells you anything). Hey. Some people swear by yelp. I've yet to speak with anyone that I know personally who does. But same goes for BigFish. Probably legit. Not something I want to touch with a 10 foot pole.
  7. Near as I can tell, DTC to Washington DC is allowed if volume is less than 1 case per month per consumer, subject to delivery via common carrier such as FedEx, and things like age verification. In other words, no license or permits are required. Anyone shipping DTC to consumers in the district that can confirm this for me? Thanks, AD
  8. Update to for our friendly community in case you're wondering the same: DC Law allows for DTC (direct-to-consumer) shipping to individuals within the district (from outside the district), with a limit of 1 case per individual per month. The code is a little confusing to read, but it is as it sounds: 1) Must be delivered to person 21+ 2) Must be delivered by authorized common-carrier (FedEX/UPS etc. Generally, those carriers want you to have an account with them, use special shipping labels, etc) 3) Must be from federally licensed wholesaler/manufacturer (and/or, I'm guessing, retailer - but seeing how most of us are probably wholesalers/manufacturers, probably an irrelevant side-note) Exciting tidbits according to DC abc ("abra"): 1) No reporting is due to DC abc 2) No tax is due to DC abc According to my understanding: Sales are considered direct-from-bond (if your state requires wholesale reports, this is where they'd go - otherwise, the only interested party is the TTB - make sure they get their tax on bond removal). So if you're in a control state like I am, then I get to keep 100% of proceeds (minus FET)...as opposed to the 50%+ that usually goes to the state coffers. Woop Woop.
  9. Allan

    Ship Spirits to California

    Hi all, Virginia DSP here, just soft-opened last month so limited product and market exposure. Working on my local market for now, but I have several family members in California who want a case. Can anyone advise how I need to go about getting it to them? I understand from the California ABC website that I can get a shipping permit for about $65, but can only ship to a licensed importer. All importers that I've seen in CA on google appear to be distributors, which sounds a lot like "I need to find a California Distributor". And from what I've learned about distributor relationships, you don't want to just jump into one unless you've been game planning and researching and fully prepared - which I'm not at this stage, for obvious reasons. So. Is there such a thing as a boutique shop that has an importer license in California, which I could just call up and get them to agree to buy a case of spirits (maybe they want to see the PO first? i don't know)...get myself a California shipping permit, and send it on over at wholesale? Or is that a pipe dream? Thanks in advance!
  10. Has anyone bought a dedicated ice machine / ice maker for their distillery tasting room, or is everyone basically using a standard household refrigerator/freezer with an ice maker? If you bought a dedicated ice maker, what size did you get? Any advice? Thanks, AD
  11. Allan

    Ship Spirits to California

    @Alcohollery, thanks for the tip! Do you have any experience/idea of how difficult it is to get a retailer on-board with the platform to place an order? I've got a call scheduled with them today to understand the process (what it takes) for a retailer to get started + place an order (I've gotten myself all squared away in their system as a maker), but I'm curious to see if anyone has had any first-hand experience with reaching out to a retailer on behalf of a customer to introduce them to the process, convince them to give it a try, and ultimately get the product sold + into the consumers hands. I could see this being a great idea, but difficult to make happen, so just wondering if it's easier than I think? I imagine that I'd target my family's preferred local shop, introduce myself over the phone + what we're trying to do, and see if they'd be willing to sign up for libdib + make the transaction happen....and I'm imagining a bit of "...ummm...yeah...we'll look into it..." kind of kickback.
  12. Allan

    Ice Machine / Ice Maker?

    Thanks all for the input. Yeah, after doing some research I decided we wanted "gourmet, top-hat" cubes. Found a pretty low (comparatively) priced unit that only does about 60lb/day from Costco, but for the size of my store at this stage, that's like 18 cubes every 30 minutes + storage tray, I think it will do the trick. Reviews for the unit are terrible, but they're all complaining about the noise. Given that the machine will be located in a storage room, I'm not TOO concerned about it, but we'll see how bad it is once its installed (thankfully anything can be returned to Costco, no?)...Also waiting to see how much of a pain it will be to have the ice made "in the back" and have to stage a bin "at the bar" and keep it replenished. My gut tells me I'll end up returning it and spending the extra $800 or so on something in the 2k range...I'll report back with my findings (for anyone else looking to get one down the road). This is the unit I'm trying out and installing this week: https://www.costco.com/Brema®-CB249A-Undercounter-Economy-Ice-Maker-with-3-year-Manufacturers-Warranty.product.100086419.html Cheers, AD
  13. Allan

    UPC/bar code requirements

    Any word on this? I got my gs1 setup and just said no to that question...wondering if I did it wrong?
  14. Allan

    Ice Machine / Ice Maker?

    Holy crap, 2k for an ice machine... We're looking at only like 800 cases our first year, so not anticipating a HUGE volume of traffic. Having said that...do you know how many lb/ice your 2k machine produces - just so I can gauge it?
  15. Anyone have experience with / is it possible to transfer spirits FROM a bonded winery TO a DSP? We're a winery with unused grape spirits that were acquired for wine fortification FROM a DSP. We've added a DSP, and would like to transfer the brandy to our DSP for further rectification, blending, etc. Can't find a pathway/paperwork for this, was told at one point it was possible. Can anyone guide me through the required steps/docs? Thanks in advance.
  16. Allan

    Transfer Spirits FROM BW -to- DSP?

    @dhdunbar ... far more info than I wanted to read, but very glad you took the time to offer it. Many thanks.
  17. Allan

    Transfer Spirits FROM BW -to- DSP?

    CFR states that any spirits not used for the intended purpose (a winery's only legally allowable intended purpose for receiving of spirits is for wine fortification) must be "removed or destroyed". IRC agent agreed that there's no prescribed means/method for a winery to "remove or destroy" spirits to begin with, so the code needs work (there's no "pathway" prescribed for wineries to get rid of spirits, even as discussed above, sending to a DSP). So it's a big gray area.
  18. Allan

    Sodium bicarb weird smell

    Interesting, thanks for taking the time to link + copy/paste. I'll give the NaOH a shot in a small volume on my rotary evaporator and let you know what the outcome is. Any ideas for dosage trials?
  19. Allan

    Sodium bicarb weird smell

    So I tried the sodium bicard treatment in some mason jars with positive results and figured what the heck - lets give it a whirl. I was working with a "hearts" cut taken from 190 proof grape spirit, but distilled on only 5 plate column so for a "hearts" cut it was headier than Vodka should be. This "hearts cut" was diluted to 100 proof, loaded about 40 gallons into the still, tossed in about 6g/l (about half a pound in all ... too much!?) and assuming it would just precipitate out when it reaches boiling - didn't expect much ethyl acetate -> ethanol conversion for sure but figured 'hey whats the worst that could happen'...and fired the still up without waiting...About 3 hours into the run I noticed the wash had turned to a dark amber (nasty dark urine?) color. Everything coming out had that minty smell and chemical taste, the entire run, start to finish. Cutting collected distillate and re-running with more heads cuts reduced it, showed it to be most strong in the heads, but didn't "fix" the problem. Not sure what to do now. Considering sending it off to a lab for GCMS to figure out what the heck is in it giving off that smell...but given that I don't know *exactly* what I'm looking for, I'll need to get some advice as to what it "might" be so I can order the right panel. Anyone have any ideas what that smell is coming from before I do - or better yet - how the heck to get rid of it?
  20. Allan

    Daily Records

    *Edit: I stand corrected, whiskey systems does offer a $150 entry level. Have yet to inquire about what it includes, happy to report my findings back. I'm currently a month into Hoochware. We're a winery that just added a DSP. I handled IT at the winery, and after about 10 years of growth and the "software battles" to meet it, I can say that the distilling industry looks like the wine industry from about 5-10 years ago: Limited options; expensive; programs with "ideal feature sets" are very enterprise/ERP focused/priced; most options do a lot of what you may need - and quite a bit of what you don't; most options are about 10 years behind the rest of the world in the areas of UI/framework. I want a piece of software which is cloud-based, regularly developed/updated, and packaged in tiers which allow me to choose the level of feature sets that I require (and skip those that I don't). While some options are tier based, it's a far cry from feasible or accurately targeting the features I need. Granted, I'm unique in that: we're based in our wine cellar so I don't need all the fermentation tracking; we're 100% grape-based, and 99% of "grain operations management" tools are irrelevant; targeting 2-5 barrels/year of aged product in the next few years, "barrel management" is completely unnecessary;we're a control state so my startup phase can only take advantage of limited "sales force" features and account management since I primarily am only able to sell to a single wholesale account at first. Having said all that, I've looked at the following table, and Hoochware is the only one with a "lower price" and "bigger feature set" which touches on the cloud-based, modern ui, and constantly updated highlights that I'm seeking. Summary: no software is ever a silver bullet in any industry, and is always going to cost more than you want to pay. But for the right system, I'll pay what I need to - it's not ALL about the price, because like folks have noted, you can't always just put a price on your time. At this stage, the options are extremely limited and nothing is "totally" right...but from my experience thus far, I've got high hopes for Hoochware and it's working out great right now. Hope this helps. Company Website Target Likely Monthly DRAMS http://www.drams-software.com/brandy Enterprise Quote HOOCHWARE https://www.hoochware.com/ 199, no contract, 3 months free trial, no setup/termination fee ShipComplaint http://www-archive.shipcompliant.com/pricing 500 Foundations by American Spirits Exchange http://americanspiritsltd.com/services/distilled-spirits-foundations/ 500 Whiskey Systems https://www.whiskeysystems.com/WSpricing.html every level through ERP $150-$350 DistilliTrak http://distillitrak.com/ Low Level $75 for lifetime Mountain Moonshine ABS http://mountainmoonshine.com/alcoholblendingsoftware/orderinginformation.html Anybody $175 one time Stillhouse http://www.stillhousesolutions.com/pricing.html 375 Ospirits (orchestratred spirits) ERP 650
  21. My apologies for the "basic" question here, and maybe I just need some more sleep and I'm over thinking it...but I suddenly couldn't remember the answer and hoping someone might gently remind me? : ) When distilling brandy from grape, if you hit 170+ at any point during the run, does that necessarily change the type/class designation to "Neutral Brandy" (and now, a mingled spirit/DSS with the rest of the "brandy" under 170 in the run)....or does it only matter what the final proof is of that particular run (so long as the final collected spirit is under 170, it's still Brandy...?) Thanks in advance, AD
  22. Thank you @bluestar For future reference, do you recall which part/where in the CFR I can review that verbiage? I must be missing it as I keep scanning through, haven't had time recently for another thorough "top to bottom" re-read of it :/
  23. Allan

    MobilTherm 43 thermal transfer fluid

    Says you can't receive DM..This still available?
  24. Allan

    Transfer Spirits FROM BW -to- DSP?

    Thanks - you're exactly correct. Spoke with TTB this morning, and they confirmed that because there's no way to submit an application for it, we need to go by BW regs and submit it on line 7. She said there was no need to make remarks, but advised that to cover my butt in case of an audit I should note on the DSP TIB records that I called the NRC and they advised that this was the only way to do it (and that the regs require a BW to get rid of any spirits which are no longer going to be used for intended purpose on original TIB/reception). Thanks for the help! -AD
  25. We applied 9/22/2016. DSP received 03/27/2017 186 days.