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Everything posted by Glenlyon

  1. Glenlyon

    Dewatering on the cheap.

    I've struggled quite a bit with the grain issue. I hate handling the stuff hot and so I've taken to removing it just before distillation. I tried all kinds of ideas, to no avail - until, I stumbled onto an old hand crank apple press. It worked great but was not feasible for day to day use. But, taking it's lessons to heart, I bought a 160L bladder press. It works great - most of the time. Unfortunately, it dosen't work that great with a slurry, so we've had to develop a few techniques along the way. Generally though, it works the best for the least amount of money - assuming labor is part of the equation anyway. If I had the cash, I would buy a real system in a heartbeat.
  2. Glenlyon

    Gin flowers

    Did not know that - Thanks!
  3. Glenlyon

    Gin flowers

    I would bet against flowers as part of distilling generally, although there are probably some notable exceptions. Some flavors just don't translate well. I've had similar failures trying to get flavors out of some types of exotic mushrooms I work with. If though, you are trying to recreate the purple gin that changes to pink - what you need are purple pea flowers - readily available through mail order from Thailand. The purple pea flowers also have some color fastness to them which tends to be a rare commodity with flower based coloration.
  4. Glenlyon

    Ultimate New Distillery Guide

    This rather simplifies a complex business. Great for the fantasy. Don't forget the parts about working 10 hour days seven days a week and the constant cleaning which you'll have to do unless you have labor, which is another whole discussion.
  5. Glenlyon

    Events in Tasting Room

    We haven't done any specific events per say - however to drive traffic to the tasting room, we've found being at the various farmer's markets and craft fairs selling our product and telling people about the distillery works wonders. The best $100 in marketing money we've spent, that has brought in a LOT of people is our two sandwich boards. I used to wonder why people used them, never paying any attention to them myself. But wow, will they deliver!
  6. Glenlyon

    Mitigate against the risk of fire and explosion

    I spent quite a lot of money guarding against fire and explosion, but what I really worry about is electrocution. I notice people don't think too much about that, but there is a lot of free water in and around a distillery and it would be easy to have an errant extension cord or something come into contact with it. So, I tend to be cautious about everything.
  7. Glenlyon


    Yeah, so do I!!! Right now I have resorted to a 160 L bladder press. Works great, but rather labor intensive. This looks like the way to go! Sp simple, so elegant!
  8. The way my closed loop system works is the coolant (a mix of water and 20% denatured ethanol) pumps continuously through all of my stills and my heat exchange. Once the hot water leaves the condenser or dephlugmator or exchange, it is sent through the tasting room floor to provide radiant heat before continuing under the distillery on the journey of hope out to a pond behind the distillery. The pond is roughly the dimensions of a normal household swimming pool. The water travels through 400' of 1" water pipe before returning to the distillery as cold water ready to repeat the trip. The water travels through the system at about four gallons a minute so the hot water leaving the stills really doesn't stand much of a chance staying warm for long. In fact, the system is so efficient, I can have everything running full tilt in the middle of summer with the pond half empty and it doesn't break a sweat. So, there is loads of room to grow. I can turn on or off any part of the system or re-route as required using a series of preset valves. The pump is automatic and will deliver less or more water depending on the demand created by the mix of open and closed valves. Close all the valves and the pump will stop. Open them all and the system runs full out. All the cooling pipe is neatly exposed on the wall feeding each part of the system and looks deceptively simple over all. I designed the system on paper and my plumber figured out the technical and functional aspects. Total cost about $5K CND. I do not use this system for cooling fermenters.
  9. Glenlyon

    Cleaning columns and bubble plates

    More often that I would have imagined. Cleaning the column and the plates arn't so bad, especially if you have CIP. However, I have found that CIP may not thoroughly get under the caps in all cases. There you will find plenty of crud that builds up surprisingly fast. I think that often goes overlooked. It takes taking everything apart and cleaning each part by itself to really get it clean. I try and do a deep cleaning every two months or so. My system has two bubble plates then a six foot SS tube that I have filled with 20 pounds of raschig rings, topped with two more bubble plates. Kind of a funky system, but pretty good for making vodka
  10. Glenlyon

    Potato Vodka - HELP

    Actually, getting 8 - 10 % isn't terrible. Better than we've gotten with our experimentation. You would need a pretty high starch potato to do better. That is in the same region as the average grain mash I would think.
  11. Glenlyon

    Dephlegmator Needed For London Dry Gin?

    Just a quick disclaimer: I've only been making gin a few months - so - I'm certain better minds than mine an provide a more in depth insight. But the way we come at it, also being very small: First I macerate the botanical selection in about 100L of approx 60% base spirit. I roughly follow Odin's basic process/recipe but I adjust to taste. I don't use GNS because under my license I'm not allowed to. Therefore, we have already double distilled the spirit before the gin process. I have small 45 L still, very basic, and I'll run the base macerated spirits through in smaller batches. Each batch takes a couple of hours. At the end of the day I'll combine the take and and there is the gin ready for some aging/maturing/resting. Yes, I did get rid of the dephlegmator, which did slow the process down, but provided no better results - (that I could discern). Instead, I replaced it with a carter head which does a great job of getting rid of the juniper oils while preserving the fresh tastes of the botanicals. How far I run it is based entirely on taste. As long as I like what I'm tasting I'll keep going. But I'm always tasting the whole batch as well, not just what's coming off the still. That way there is some comparison happening.
  12. Glenlyon

    Dephlegmator Needed For London Dry Gin?

    I discovered the simpler the better. I had a dephlegmator hooked up, but soon took it off. It slowed the process down too much. Instead, in a basic pot still, I eyeball it to 70ish percent as much as possible and then let it run down until I get bored. By the time I get to the gin stage, I don't have much in the way of heads or tails left on the base spirit anyway. So, while the flavor changes throughout the process, it always seems to taste good for one reason or another which tends to keep me going. I was extremely pleased with my last batch and I have another pending. I'm really enjoying doing gin as it is a very personal beverage to create and present.
  13. Glenlyon

    Electrical standards for control panels 409 or 508A

    Actually, our panel did fail inspection. We were forced to spend $1100 to get it 'Canadainized'. I suspect however, this was not the fault of the unit, rather the enthusiasm of the inspector who saw an opportunity, wherein it would be unlikely we would complain as we were eager to keep the process moving. He won, we paid - sigh. Such as it is.
  14. Glenlyon

    Genio vs. iStill

    I have two Genios - a 100L and a 250L. They are pretty good on power and they produce a great product - assuming they are cleaned and maintained, of course.
  15. 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...
  16. 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.
  17. 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!
  18. 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...
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Glenlyon

    Tube-in-Tube Heat Exchanger Design and vendors

    I have one of Steve's wort chillers. It has been great to work with.
  22. 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.
  23. Glenlyon

    thanks to all

  24. Glenlyon

    Hot vs Cold Water Barrel Prep

    Hoop to it!
  25. 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.