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Patio29Dadio

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Patio29Dadio last won the day on September 9

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About Patio29Dadio

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  1. Patio29Dadio

    Insurance for start ups...

    I dealt (I hope past tense) with the same thing and seem to have mitigated it with a resume and long list of training and related experience. Also included the resume of an experienced consultant that would be engaged as needed. I am purchasing my equipment from Paul Hall and I would assume that I could have worked out something where he would provide a letter to say that he and his distiller provide ongoing support and trouble-shooting to their customers as needed. Insurance underwriters are risk-averse by nature, and like most people they are more fearful of what they don't know. Just think about ways you can strengthen your story. For me, I have run another good sized small business for the last 12 years and have a lot of other related work experience that, along with a list of about a dozen training courses including a week long intensive hands-on stint at Dry Fly (not cheap but worth every penny if you ask me), seem to settle them down.
  2. Patio29Dadio

    truck to grain/feed bin auger

    These guys do it all... https://www.flexicon.com/index.html
  3. Patio29Dadio

    Ultimate New Distillery Guide

    Here are a few additional categories you can consider: Training - spend several months to a year visiting other distilleries and learning. Join ADI and go to the conferences. Consider taking distillery operations classes, brewing science, etc. Anything and everything you can afford and have the time to do. It is amazing how I would visit a place and learn so many new things. You don't know what you don't know. And mistakes in understanding can cost a great deal. Business plan including brand design / business concept. Keep in mind that this is a business, not a hobby (unless you are made of money and like to spend it)... before you start dreaming about making stuff you need to develop a vision for the business. What is it that you want the brand to target as customers. What is the theme you think means something to you and that you can make a compelling story around. You will need to connect your logo and product packaging design to this concept. This is where I recommend a person spends a good several months or a year working on. Make sure you get the ideas out there and live with them in your head before going off and throwing down a lot of cash. Shoot holes in them. Ask trusted advisors and friends what they think. Finally, become 100% committed to the ideas and then move on to make it happen. One that goes along with planning and facility is "engineering". In addition to a floor-plan that may or may not require an architect, you may need engineers. I needed a plumbing engineer, and electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer, a civil engineer and a structural engineer. Again it will depend on where you are located. In terms of facility selection and engineering, the source of tank/still heat and cooling could be a big learning project for you... you might need a consultant to help with that if you don't have any experience. Finding a suitable facility probably justifies a larger discussion. In most places in the US, for a craft distillery, that is a very challenging task. Beer and wine are much easier because they are not making an explosive product. It took us 1.5 years vetting six different properties in three different surrounding towns before we found one that would work. And then 10 months of work to get it to open (we are 8.5 months into that project... not open yet). For each property, I had to engage my architect, engineers and developer to help answer the question "is it feasible?". The city staff are also needed. For one place that we thought would work, turned out that the water main was on the other side of a busy road and it would have cost another $100k+ to connect to it. The city records were wrong and only one of the city employees remembered this point. You will likely have a lot of that type of headache. Another is money. If this is a startup it will be next to impossible to get loans. Think savings including retirement, home equity and maybe investors. Don't think of starting this endeavor unless you can see clear of at least $1M before your would break even (assuming you own the building or well rent)... and probably a lot more depending where you live. And keep your day job if possible. Then there is legal. You might be able to do this all yourself, but you probably need an attorney... and absolutely if you have investors or a complex business entity-structure and/or partnership. TTB and ABC can be navigated if you are smart and persistent; but it is good to have an attorney that knows the liquor business in your rolodex for questions. Insurance... a BIG topic. Get a really good agent... you will need one. Just a few things off the top of my head.
  4. Patio29Dadio

    Ultimate New Distillery Guide

    Well done. I have some feedback. I will get back to you soon.
  5. Patio29Dadio

    Low wines - Do you use the whisky column?

    Does your still have a helmet of any type? Any reflux outside of the whiskey column? Stripping runs should be hot and fast. You are just "stripping" as much avb as possible... not worrying about cuts or plates and adjustments.... but you will need some reflux. Lastly, if you bypass the columns you will have less column cleaning to do. But vapor contact with copper in the stripping run might make a better end spirit. I would try it both ways and see what you think comes out better.
  6. Patio29Dadio

    Mitigate against the risk of fire and explosion

    You can purchase the DISCUS Recommended Fire Protection Practices for Distilled Spirits Beverage Factory document to start. https://www.distilledspirits.org/the-recommended-fire-code-protection-practices-for-distilled-spirits-beverage-facilities/
  7. Patio29Dadio

    Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - Second Opinion

    Thanks InsuranceMan 2.0. I am waiting for a quote from my agent and will reach out to you for a competitive quote.
  8. Patio29Dadio

    Pass through distribution

    Sounds like a great idea. Don't know how and why ABC would have a problem with it. It would seem that the paperwork trail would work. Frankly I don't even see where the problem is. You can contact a retailer, you just cannot sell to them directly nor can you give them anything of value other than a very small sample. Frankly2, isn't it the case with most distribution agreements that you the distiller are going to have to do the marketing... the distributor won't do it until and unless you are big. Something like this is good for the startup where there are local retailers that want the local product, but the DSP does not yet have a big enough presence or following to attract a good distributor deal.
  9. Patio29Dadio

    Forking Forklift Questions

    Good points InsuranceMan. I am going with my own LPS forklift. The landlord and I agreed that it would be good to have two in the building.
  10. Patio29Dadio

    Botanical storage best practice?

    Just order enough that it does not go stale and buy more from my friend Tyson at S.F. Herb. He moves a lot of product and so it is usually very fresh. He ships very fast. http://www.sfherb.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxrTAv_6J3gIVgX5-Ch0KjAyxEAAYASAAEgIDgvD_BwE
  11. Patio29Dadio

    hydrasieve

    I am considering a 3 cubic yard self-dumping de-watering hopper for stillage liquid-grain separation. That will hold the contents of two 300G stripping runs. My plan is to fill it and leave it to drain over-night. The next morning dump the grain waste into hoppers for a farmer to pick up. Then rinse and repeat. Anybody use a similar method? How do you think that would compare to a process using a hydrosieve instead? I assume that fines from grain-on stillage will clog this hydrosieve.
  12. Patio29Dadio

    Blending spirit tank specification

    How I am planning to cover this... 1250 L Letina forklift-able tank that is open with a variable fill lid. Clamp on small pneumatic agitator. Proof by weight. Pump to closed tank for resting. Test proof before bottling. Pump back to forklift-able tank, adjust for proof by weight if necessary, lift tank for gravity feed bottling or barrel-filling.
  13. Patio29Dadio

    5 Gallon Barrels

    Texas Gold - I emailed you. Let me know what is up. Thanks
  14. Patio29Dadio

    Boiler Installation Costs

    Largest boiler vendor in the state. They handle all sizes and scopes. I think you are probably correct. They are cherry-picking the high-paying jobs and over-bidding. Have four other bids underway. Wish me luck!
  15. Patio29Dadio

    CA Tasting Room 1.5oz Limit

    Thanks Cris. I will be active once I get over the hump of opening the business for my nearly 4-year project. I understand the lift here... the work required to change minds when there is a lot of resistance from the big boys. I appreciate the work to date. You, Jim, Timo and others have absolutely moved the regs forward to being more reasonable with respect to what beer and wine can do. Hopefully we can keep plugging away making incremental progress.
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