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About klattig

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    Tempe, AZ
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    Partner in a craft distillery started in Jan 2017. Homebrewer for 30 years.

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  1. klattig

    Tube-in-Tube Heat Exchanger Design and vendors

    We are grain-in all the way. We're able to pump the spent grains (even more viscous after distillation), but my concern was getting them stuck in the outer tube. This would definitely be easier if we got a centrifuge... Is anyone attempting to recover heat from prior distillations to reduce heat-up of a new wash batch?
  2. klattig

    Tube-in-Tube Heat Exchanger Design and vendors

    Paul, I've been chewing on this idea for awhile - we would like cool the spent wash from the stripping distillation, and using this waste heat, pre-heat the incoming beer for the next run. Seems like we could save some power costs, and more importantly reduce heat up time. Do you think spent wash could flow through the outer shell? We have a 2" FIP that generates quite a lot of suction...
  3. klattig

    silvery stuff after on-grain distillation

    Well, depends on your definition of a long time is! We use about 12kW to heat, so it takes about 3 hours to heat up, and about 6 hours to run. We use it mostly for stripping, and therefore never have it in full reflux. If we tried to run full reflux & make vodka, it would take forever!
  4. klattig

    On Grain or Off Grain

    We made all our spirits (40% corn whiskey, bourbon, corn/wheat vodka, and even a rye) for over a year using the off-grain process. We did about 50 batches of 220 gallons - mostly successfully. It IS possible, but you have to really want to do it. We had the common limitation of direct-fire heat elements as our rationale, but still burned the occasional batch. (and Rye almost every batch, at some point in the stripping run). We finally concluded that we had to go on-grain, and made an indirect heat system for our stripping still. We are happy we did - we can do bigger batches, and we save about 8 hours per mash run by not lautering. Time will tell how the change will affect the flavor of our spirits, but we have silver-medal winning (SFO) bourbon on the off-grain process - so I think that you can make plenty good spirit either way. That said, if you're designing your distillery, do it the easy way - on-grain.
  5. We recently converted our process from off-grain to on-grain for all our products. (yes, we've been one of the nuts out there doing bourbon with a beer process!) We've noticed the appearance of a silvery film in the first column element when doing the on-grain stripping runs. (we use a 4" column on a 100 gallon still, using two copper perforated-plate bubblers). We used to see a little of this when using the beer process, but it seems much more present now. We've also noticed the presence of some black oily flakes in the low wines, more noticeably at the tail end of the run. None of this stuff seems to show up in the spirit runs, so I'm not too worried about it. But, anyone know what this stuff is?
  6. klattig

    Small Scale Grain Liquid Separation

    I agree with your comment about doing bourbon on-grain, but am curious why you think barley mashes are best off-grain? We're in the process of changing our combo mash/lauter tun & stripping still to do only on-grain. We do a lot of bourbon & whiskey, but some vodka & gin as well... Care to elaborate?
  7. klattig

    Spent Grains after on-grain distillation

    On a slightly different topic, how are you cooling the mash before pitching the yeast? We've been using a "Brutus Pro" counterflow chiller - it works OK, but is slow for our 200-gallon batches, and only works if we have completely grain-free wort. We've thought about making a really big version of a counterflow ciller, but wondering if there's a better method?
  8. klattig

    Spent Grains after on-grain distillation

    To be more clear - we lauter out the grain, so we're only putting (treated) liquid stillage down the drain. So, if we were to distill on-grain, are you saying that livestock will eat both the spent grains & liquids leftover in the still?
  9. klattig

    Spent Grains after on-grain distillation

    So you don't do any treatment to reduce the acid of the distiller's beer? We've been boosting the pH a little using CaCO3 - mostly to keep the yeast happy, but also because we don't want pH < 3.0 in the copper still. A side benefit would be to make the grains a little more palatable for livestock...
  10. klattig

    Spent Grains after on-grain distillation

    Cows drink the stillage? Seriously? That stuff seems really nasty! We've been running it down the drain (after neutralizing the acid & cooling). What's the nutritional value of it?
  11. So we've been lautering & sparging our whiskey & bourbon in our combo tun for about a year now, and are tired of all stuck mashes & low yields. We're ready to look into fermenting on-grain, and possibly distilling on-grain. But, we have a nice deal going with a local rancher who takes the spent grains off our hands & feeds them to his cattle. We're concerned that the cows will not go for grains that have been fermented (no more sweet taste). And it seems like the grains after distilling would just be nasty after all that cooking. Are others out there still able to re-purpose their spent grains after fermenting on-grain, or after distilling on-grain? Thanks!
  12. klattig

    Processing form Line 13 & 29

    Thanks to all for the good advice! Finally after 6 months of these bloody forms, I think I've got a handle on it. Now, to correct all the errors I made the first 5 months... - K
  13. klattig

    Processing form Line 13 & 29

    We're a small operation, making just a 100 or so pf gals per month so far. I'm still working to understand the monthly DSP reports (no, we don't use a packaged software - can't afford it yet!). Can someone help me understand the differences between the entries we should be making in Part I vs Part II of the Processing form? I gather that Part I is generally to show receipt of spirits in bulk containers into processing (for us, plastic drums of product from production or storage). And Part II seems to be tracking Bottled product inventory. (right so far?) Line 28 must equal line 9, which implies that for Part II line 28 is for additions to bottled inventory. But there's also line 29 "received" - what do we use this line for? Is it the same as line 2? Also, lines 13 & 33 seem to both be for taxable withdrawals - is line 13 for if we were to somehow withdraw un-bottled product? And line 33 is only for withdrawal of bottled product? Thanks for any help!
  14. klattig

    NGS guys in your Guild?

    I appreciate the considered feedback on this topic. These seem like valid points to me; perhaps I'm getting too deep in my own world. As Roger noted, I guess that as long as people are honest about the source of their product, and still take a craftman's pride in whatever process they use to make it, they should be welcome. Thanks for the responses!
  15. I'm wondering if any Guilds out there differentiate between 'distillers' who are buying NGS or pre-aged barrels, then bottling & claiming to be a 'craft distiller'. We're proud to produce grain-to-bottle, and feel that the 'craft distiller' label (and therefore entry into a Guild) should be reserved for those who are actually practicing the craft. Our state Guild doesn't seem to care. Thoughts?