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Everything posted by Patio29Dadio

  1. I think you will need to rely on an attorney to answer that. But I believe the answer is no. I think the tied house rules flow to a spouse... but not other relatives. I know of situations where distillers in states without self-distribution options had a relative become a distributor to help them move products... but they have to be separate entities without any cross ownership.
  2. Patio29Dadio

    Distilling Area Classification?

    1.2MM BTU/h.
  3. Patio29Dadio

    Greetings From Texas

    DON’T DO IT! Just kidding. Well sort of. Plan for it to take longer and cost more than you expect... and then double that. And remember that you are starting a business that needs to at least break even at some point... unless you want an expensive hobby. Congratulations on having a facility. That is the hard part for many... finding one and then getting it ready. But welcome to the community. Love Orange Texas area. Beautiful country.
  4. Patio29Dadio

    Hill Billy Stills

    Go see Paul and Susan at Affordable Distilling Equipment.
  5. The Trump administration appears to be implementing a change to the allowed practice of the mostly large alcoholic beverage distributors for filing drawback claims to lower their excise tax on imports offset against their exports. https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-26793.pdf?mod=article_inline In Treasury’s view, that is a “double drawback” because the companies effectively get to avoid excise taxes on the exports anyway and then get refunds for taxes attributable to those same exports. This will result in about $60 million in additional federal tax revenue per year... paid by companies like Diageo. Now this quote in opposition to the proposed changes seems disingenuous to me. How does preventing large importers from offsetting the excise tax paid against their exports harm U.S. manufacturers in the global market? I don't get this point being made by DSC. It seems to me that this change would help level the playing field for American craft distillers as these large companies no longer get a $60 million per year tax break to import foreign beer, wine and spirits. What am I missing?
  6. Patio29Dadio

    Distilling Area Classification?

    Take a look at Sussman electric boilers. They have a lower cost, lower power consumption line that goes up to 600 BTUH that uses 200 amps. This should handle heating about 600 gallons of still operation concurrently. Depending on the length of your steam header, the cost of this over the electric Baine Marie heating system might be close to a wash, but will likely be another 25%-50% higher cost. However, it might be what you need to prevent the C1D1 hit around the still drain. What is killing me for my gas-fired steam boiler is the cost of installation that is largely related to the 60’ 4” steam header where the joints have to be welded. The C4 certified pipe fitters in my area are billing at $150 per hour. I have a ProPress tool for my copper plumbing that goes up to 1.75” fittings for iron pipe and 2.5” for copper. The MegaPress tool will handle up to 4” for iron pipe fittings but is another $10k investment and it is backordered. And my building official and engineer don’t have enough experience with it to accept it (worried the pressed fittings would fail). Hopefully this type of technology gains traction over time and allows distillery owners to do more of their own steam system plumbing, or at least saves some labor cost.
  7. Just posted a comment to not restrict the type, size or shape of a barrel.
  8. Patio29Dadio

    On Grain or Off Grain

    You might be able to do that while running a stream of water in your drain while you slowing drain the mash, but it depends on your locality and their waster water treatment capacity. I ordered a self-dumping de-watering hopper for our start-up. Plan is to fill it with the spend on-grain stillage and let it drain overnight. In the morning we should have minimal waste material to deal with. It might be dry enough for cattle feed at that point. But composting people will take it if not... assuming you don't find any pig ranchers to take it. Someone else on this forum posted the idea of big filter bags for $25 each that would do the same as a de-watering dumper.
  9. Patio29Dadio

    Exogenous Enzymes

    Novozymes : Breckenridge Technologies
  10. Patio29Dadio

    Electric Heat Controller

    Contact Paul at Affordable Distilling Equipment. They will build you a simple controller at a good price. However, not sure about a temp-controlled switch... that is getting into semi-automated controls which is another can of worms, IMO. However, maybe these guys can help... http://distillerycontrols.com/
  11. Patio29Dadio

    Hoga Stills for Sale

    Really happy I got to see and taste that operation when you guys were using these. Love to have one for brandy production, but direct fire would send my fire marshal over the top.
  12. Patio29Dadio

    Distilling Area Classification?

    Wow. I feel for this customer. I have not complete my full CofO so I should not count my chickens before they hatch. My fire official is also prone to spontaneous requirements in the extreme. It seems the most advantageous lever that I have is that everyone likes the project, likes whiskey, and wants to see the project come to fruition. I also did quite a bit of political friendly stuff with the city manager and the city council. I keep telling the building official and the fire marshal that I am completely ready to comply, but I will challenge things I think are too extreme if I think they are also highly costly. Otherwise I will just do what they say. I let them know that up front, and I think it helped. For example, they wanted three new fire hydrants installed on the property and we challenged it down to two. But I am not there yet. If they go Class-1 Div-1 on me, I am toast.
  13. Patio29Dadio

    label Printing software

    Will - can you share details of this process? What sized labels? 1, 2 or 3 panel. Do you use a template, or just make it up yourself? I need to do the same to start before we settle on all of our products as pre-printed boxes are very pricey except at significant quantities.
  14. Patio29Dadio

    Distillery Floor Treatment

    I am where I need to decide on a floor treatment for our facility. I believe aliphatic urethane concrete sealer is what I need. I just want the concrete to show through... no color. What is the experience and recommendation from others. Epoxy takes too long to cure at the point, and seems a pain to work with. However, I am told it might be the better choice. In my experience, the epoxy floors start to look bad with tire marks and scratches, but maybe a darker color would work better there. The section of the floor where my tanks and stills are located with the 60' slot drain was completely demolished and replaced. That is what I need to finish first. The rest of the floor can be dealt with later. Just interested in what others have learned and experienced here.
  15. Patio29Dadio

    Distillery Floor Treatment

    Thanks all for the assist. After reading all your comments and doing more digging into the pros and cons of different treatments, I am going with a Benajmin More Corotech sealer (V155) and epoxy finish (V430). Expensive stuff... over $100 / gallon and I will need about 20 gallons just for the tank area. But I don't ever want to do this a second time! The alternative to epoxy coatings is that aliphatic urethane. We are going to consider that for the tasting room and other areas as it will be a bit cheaper and epoxy tends to amber over time if the sun hits it though a window.
  16. 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.
  17. Patio29Dadio

    truck to grain/feed bin auger

    These guys do it all... https://www.flexicon.com/index.html
  18. 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.
  19. Patio29Dadio

    Ultimate New Distillery Guide

    Well done. I have some feedback. I will get back to you soon.
  20. 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.
  21. 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/
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Patio29Dadio

    Forking Forklift Questions

    So, I am stuck in analysis paralysis for selecting a pneumatic or cushion tire forklift. I think I am going with a newer model propane 5000 lb fork (we have lots of air circulation and I think that I don't want to deal with batteries and the charger, etc.). Interested in opinions on THAT choice I am making... propane over battery. Another tenant in my building wants to partner with us as he needs a fork infrequently and would rather not have one taking up space in his unit when he does not use it. We have 8k sq ft in the building and the barrel room is long and narrow (17' x 75'). We have some other semi-tight spaces in the main tank/production room. I am thinking that we will need another type of small lift for this barrel room given the lack of clearance (maybe a pallet jack will work to pull out the racks to be accessed by the forklift straight on)... so it might not play into the forklift selection in any case. The building is 48" above grade with a common loading dock on the side of the building with a forklift corridor. We have a 10% grade asphalt ramp in the back with only room for bobtail trucks. The back yard space will be used for moving our waste products out to be picked up by ranchers for feed and for waste removal. The flat space at the bottom of the ramp is hard-packed road-base gravel. It is also likely that periodically we will need to drive around the side of the building on this gravel "driveway" to load and unload tractor trailers that cannot reach the back yard, and cannot connect to the common loading dock (it is a bit tight... especially if and when we have customers parked in the lot). The trade-off is the larger size (10" longer plus 12% greater turning radius) of the pneumatic tire forklift vs the cushion tire forklift... and the mitigation of concern about the less frequent need to drive in gravel and also the use of the 10% grade ramp being problematic for a cushion (solid) tire forklift. Someone told me that a cushion tire will put ruts in asphalt over time, so that also has me concerned going up and down the ramp. Any thoughts and advice from those of you with distillery forklift operation and selection experience would be welcome!