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Everything posted by Glenlyon

  1. Glenlyon

    How do they flavour those Gins!

    I've never done it - so... However, I have lots of people who come in and say 'Rhubarb Gin is great, I tasted in England.' One client even brought in a bottle. Therefore, there has to be away. I would like to think the brits aren't using 'flavoring', but who knows...
  2. Glenlyon

    Resting Gin what Proof

    In my experiments, more aging is better, however the demand is so great, I rarely get to wait that long to see if it really make a difference.
  3. Glenlyon

    How do they flavour those Gins!

    I think the Rhubarb gin is actually infused into the gin using the gin basket. That being said, we're trying to get a cranberry flavour and so far our results have not been great. Foodarom - here we come!
  4. I run what you might call a 'nano distillery'. I run the smallest distillery in Canada with a footprint of 950sf including the tasting room, a mechanical room and a tiny bathroom. I have one of Paul's 45G still/mash tuns, 2 Genios, a Redboot continuous (currently dormant) and a variety of other unholy stillage contraptions. I have a closed loop cooling system and about 500 G of fermentation tanks in various sizes. I operate seven days a week, even though I'm only open to the public for the weekends and I attend a select few local farmer's markets. It cost me close to $500k in cash and probably another $150k in my time to open my doors. I produce a basic vodka and a gin which evolves in mysterious ways every sixty bottles or so. (Damn, were did I put that recipe?) My only help is my wife, an equal partner and my daughter, part time. No matter how much I toil, I can only put out so much product. Not very much, I can tell you. So, being too nano is a careful decision - you really need to be clear on your goals and your growth projections. We thought we'd have a hard time getting any market, so we opened slowly with no advertising. Good thing we did, as now only a few months in, we're barely able to keep up with the demand and I turn green as I contemplate the impending Christmas season. Of course, the upside of all of the work - every time week look at the weekly take we smile. Our social standing is outta sight. We meet all kinds of great people - who are rich and think nothing of spending not only on the booze but a variety of other associated products we're selling. We can't wait to introduce new spirits, but they take time to develop, find the ingredients and then the paperwork etc. Right now it's eight o'clock and I'm tired and I need to create advertising for tomorrows newspaper deadline. Beats working for a living...
  5. Glenlyon

    My experiance with Corson Distilling

    A local competitor just received a 300G Corson still package. Late, but from a distance it looks to be in acceptable shape. However, I haven't seen it up close.
  6. Glenlyon

    Potato Vodka

    I didn't realize you could grow potatoes with an 18% starch content in Alaska. That's very cool. I too would be interested in how you make out.
  7. Glenlyon

    Tube-in-Tube Heat Exchanger Design and vendors

    I have one of Steve's wort chillers. It has been great to work with.
  8. Glenlyon

    confined space entry

    The idea of confined spaces makes me queasy. I had a wine-making friend who was overcome by CO2. He and his assistant, who went to assist him upon seeing his distress, died. It happened so fast. Take every precaution.
  9. Glenlyon

    thanks to all

  10. Glenlyon

    Hot vs Cold Water Barrel Prep

    Hoop to it!
  11. Glenlyon

    inspection news

    It would take a lot of extra hours to process all those bottles if you had to pre-wash them. For a bigger operation with the potential of an automatic machine, that's one thing but for a smaller operator, that would be a real drag.
  12. Glenlyon

    Dealing with vindictive neighbors...

    It was raining today and all was quiet. The day was slow but steady. Had some amazing people come through. You just never know who is going to walk through the doors. One guy was the beverage manager at a local high end restaurant and now we're his featured local libation for the new few weeks. You're right, don't let anything negative come between you and the customer. I will keep that in mind, next the problem arises.
  13. We been open for a while now and all seem to be going well - most of the people who were opposed to our original re-zoning efforts have come around - some have even become customers. However, one of our neighbors has never accepted defeat and has taken to playing loud rap music at full volume during our opening hours. Our customers are openly irritated by the racket and have been commenting on it. We're only open a few days a week and our customers are well off older folk who are very respectful of our environment. We run a tight and very quiet ship. We don't even have music in our tasting room because our customers prefer that. I've tried being nice and accommodating - that's got me nowhere. I'm trying very hard not to blow a fuse. I would be very interested in hearing some ideas on how to gracefully deal with this guy that won't cause even greater problems.
  14. Glenlyon

    Dealing with vindictive neighbors...

    Yes there is and eventually I may have to use it. However, I am hoping to resolve this in a more permanent and amicable fashion if at all possible.
  15. Glenlyon

    inspection news

    That's the first I've heard of that. So far my inspectors have not said anything to me. I would not be that open to such a suggestion as it sounds like a lot of extra work for no real benefit.
  16. Glenlyon

    Dealing with vindictive neighbors...

    Yes, this is basically my current strategy. Although, late at night my mind is prone to wander...
  17. Glenlyon

    Dealing with vindictive neighbors...

    All kidding aside. I have to be so cautious about how I am going to deal with this. I don't need an ongoing problem that could escalate and cost me business.
  18. Glenlyon

    Grinding Juniper Berries

    I don't grind the juniper cones because I would worry about too much astringent flavors being released. I tend to just macerate them for a few days. I notice after about 3 or 4 days they develop a slightly sweeter aroma and that's when I like to move the process along.
  19. Glenlyon

    What am I getting into?

    That is so true. We've been running a small distillery for about six months now and I have spent more time cleaning than any other activity. My wife wonders why I can't clean the house with the same vigor. Also, being small is great to an extent. Then, when you run out of product, things can get a bit tense and suddenly that nifty little still you got at a great price - seems wholly inadequate. Expect two years in re-zoning, paperwork and building/outfitting. Expect 10 hour days, seven day weeks right off the start. Expect the on-going paperwork to drive you to drink. Expect way more customers than you ever thought possible. Realize you should have had more children to beef up your labor force. Because, when you start looking for additional labor, good reliable people are very hard to find. Expect to spend a lot of money you didn't think you'd need to. A lot of money. Otherwise, it's a fun business with a lot of dynamic angles and lots of room for personal creativity and growth.
  20. Glenlyon

    Potato Vodka

    It depends on the starch content of the potatoes. European (Polish) potatoes have a high starch content, however, North American potatoes have less starch, so you need more to pounds achieve the same results. The cost of importing and using potatoes in Alaska might be a bit steep, unless you happen to have a great local source.
  21. Glenlyon

    Used Genio/iStill 50L or 100L wanted

    I have a G-100, but it's such a great little unit I doubt I would sell. I would imagine other owners probably feel this way as well. So, if you are looking for one just primarily to do tails, I would buy one of their G-100s (new) without the jacket or the agitator. When we do tails, we run it this way and it works great. The tails come out pretty smooth and even tasting.
  22. Glenlyon

    Craft gin - 5 questions, please don't beat me up

    Check out my follow up post where I parse out the juniper to about 10 - 12 g/L. So far I have not had any louching, but no doubt I'll eventually encounter it. I am currently proofing to 40%. Making gin is a lot like cooking, you can give the same ingredients to a group of chefs (distillers) and they'll all make something completely different. I really like that about gin.
  23. Glenlyon

    Craft gin - 5 questions, please don't beat me up

    Reviewing my post, I see I have my measurements wrong. The juniper component would represent about 10 - 12 g/L. The rest is made up of the other botanicals, coriander, orris etc..
  24. Glenlyon

    Craft gin - 5 questions, please don't beat me up

    Just learning about gin myself. I find if I use less juniper (I average 25g/L) but macerate a bit longer, it gives a nice flavor although I'm still sorting out how each botanical affects the taste, so you can take that with advisement
  25. Glenlyon

    Canadian-Made Equipment

    Good luck with that. The best I've done is a Micro Mill, from Apollo Machines in Sask. Cage and Sons makes stills, but they have a lot of the prelim work done in China.