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Jesse Alexander

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Jesse Alexander last won the day on May 2 2017

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  1. Jesse Alexander

    Using air to stir mash

    Does anyone have any experience using an air compressor to stir mash?
  2. Jesse Alexander

    Geothermal cooling

    " Harder question is, how long will it take for the tank to return to ambient? " That's why I was wondering if a geothermal ground loop or a chiller might be necessary.
  3. Jesse Alexander

    aging whiskey in barrels in unheated facility in the north

    Trying to figure out the cost / benefit analysis to quicker aging in a heated facility vs. less expensive storage in an unheated rick house.
  4. Jesse Alexander

    Geothermal cooling

    Thanks for all the good ideas. I'm starting to get my head wrapped around all of this. Is it reasonable to assume that a 1000 gallons of water from a poly reservoir at an ambient temperature of 65F would be adequate to cool 200 gallons of mash? I figure that the first 200-300 gallons of cooling water coming from the cooker would be the hottest and could be captured in a separate smaller insulated reservoir to be used for the next batch of mash and cleaning. The remainder of the cooling water could go through a heat exchanger and be returned to the 1000 gallon reservoir. That 200-300 gallons from the 1000 gallon reservoir would be replaced from the well using a float valve as a shutoff and cracking the intake valve just enough so as not to put too much demand on the well at one time. I figure on using the same concept with hot water out of the condenser although there may not be enough volume to mess with it. Am I on the right track for an efficient system without a large initial investment? Should I consider running water from the 1000 gallon tank through a geothermal cooling system before going to cool the mash to reduce the temp from ambient air temp to ground temperature?
  5. Does anyone have experience aging whiskey in an unheated facility in the north. I am in the very early planning stages of a small operation. I understand that temperature swing is a good thing but temperatures below 50 are not. What are thoughts comparing possibly slower aging in an unheated pole building versus the expense of a heated aging facility in the north?
  6. Jesse Alexander

    Geothermal cooling

    Yeah, I worry about lacto bacillus or other bacteria taking over in the mash. I guess getting some kind of serious cooling system is necessary.
  7. Jesse Alexander

    Geothermal cooling

    Thanks for the help. Sounds like the heat exchanger in a loop going back to the reservoir would be a good way to go for cooling the condenser. I could add a good fan and duct work to exhaust the heated air into the building in the winter or divert it outside in the summer. I would also try to run hot water from the condenser to the cooker and an insulated tank for washing before needing to start cooling it. Cooling the mash seems more difficult. I could also recover the hot water from cooling the mash and put it into the insulated tank to use for my next batch in the cooker and washing. Not throwing away heat is a good idea. I wonder what kind of temperatures a pump can tolerate moving hot mash to a fermenter where it could cool on its own over a longer period of time? I'm thinking about a 200 gallon cookers here so it's not that big. Maybe the hot mash would need to be put into smaller tanks to allow it to cool better and then move it to a fermenter tank.
  8. Jesse Alexander

    Geothermal cooling

    I appreciate every ones input. It has me thinking more about how to use the heat from the condenser and mash cooling in other phases of the operation rather than losing it into the ground. Keep the good ideas coming!
  9. Jesse Alexander

    Geothermal cooling

    Thanks for all the knowledgeable advice. I also envision a 1000 gallon poly water tank with a float valve to even out demand on our well. If the water in the cooling loop gets too hot, I could put some of that room temperature water from the reservoir tank into the condenser and replace it with water circulating through the cooling loop to get me through the run. Like you mentioned, I could lose some hot water into the cooker. Just got to figure out how to plumb it. I'm thinking about maybe 600 ft of slinky pipe in the ground. In 3' slinky loops, that should fit into a 100' trench. I could always add more if I had to. Doesn't seem like the condenser on a 2-300 gallon still would require all that much cold water. Anybody have any more thoughts?
  10. Jesse Alexander

    Geothermal cooling

    I was thinking of digging a 3' wide trench below the frost line and installing a "slinky" closed loop of 3/4" plastic pipe. I have seen this on the internet for geothermal heating and cooling used in conjunction with a heat pump. I wondered how many feet of pipe I need in the ground. I am concerned about the ground possibly heating up. I am located in northern NY State. I would be running a 200-300 gallon hybrid pot with a side mounted column. I would like to avoid the initial expense and daily cost of a chiller if possible. I also am thinking about using the hot water from the condenser on the next batch of mash. It would be great if I could also use this system to cool my mash in the cooker. The distillery, still in the very early planning stages, would be located on our farm so we do have a lot of space for the cooling loop. I also thought about running the hot water from the condenser through a baseboard radiator the length of the building before entering the underground loop to help with heating the building in the winter. Any thoughts?
  11. Jesse Alexander

    Geothermal cooling

    Does anyone have any experience with using geothermal cooling to cool a still condenser? Space in not an issue for me because I am located on a farm. Thanks for your input.