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Ironton last won the day on August 17 2017

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About Ironton

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  1. Amaretto?

    If doing things the easy way is your business plan, then yes. As with all liqueur's you start with whatever base you intend to use for each product. Some use their vodka, some use their remand others a white dog (whiskey). Our liqueur's start with whatever clear spirit will be enhanced by the herbs, botanicals, fruit, etc that will be added. As far as Amaretto goes the flavor is that of almonds and sometimes apricot pits as well. You can also add other ingredients to help round out the bitter nut. Think of it like baking or cooking, you know the base flavor you are going for, but what other "seasoning" will enhance to give a balanced, enjoyable flavor. Again, this is how you would approach it as a true craft distiller. You could also take the "other" industry approach and just buy GNS and add the extract, but whats the fun in that?
  2. Rye mash

    100% Malted Rye can be done with lautering, if you have the right equipment. Coming from the beer world, I only work with off grain and controlled fermentation/inoculation, therefore I designed my system to work with all types of grain (i.e. malted, unmalted, 100% corn, 100% rye, etc.). The key for us was a vey wide mash tun with dual steam jacket zones. For 100% Malted Rye, we do a step mash with enzymes and about 12% rice hulls of total mash bill. As said before, stick to your temperatures for your rests and maintain a proper pH of you will be sorry. Lucky for us production guys, we can do the same thing over and over in our sleep. Once you get it figured out, its easy sailing.
  3. Bottle Embossing

    We have custom embossed bottles. You pay for the mold and the cost of the bottles remain the same. If you spread the cost over the first order (10,800) the cost increase is not too bad and then your next order just increases profits by that much. It's less than $1 and if you have a good product and nice looking bottle you just pass it onto the customer. Nobody's going to complain for $1. Gabriel Gentile O-I Packaging Solutions Direct: 469.443.1158 www.o-i.com
  4. Can Anyone Interpret This Spirit Analysis?

    There is nothing this is saying that you wouldn't be able to tell from just sampling it. Personally I would be more concerned about the lack of process information. The fact it has "other sugars" probably means the agave was a poor source and all this guys is doing is creating a commodity as cheaply as possible to make money. The questions I would ask are, "what plant species and how was the agave processed, how were the sugar canes processed, what other sugars (and processing went into it) how was it fermented?" But then again, I care about the production of spirits and not the profits from batting and selling. As @LaChascona said, you are in the business of marketing, not distilling. If it's cheap and tastes good enough to sell, then buy it.
  5. Identifying Infection

    Brett is a very fun one to play with and luckily for me I am a few blocks from Chad at Crooked Stave who is famous in the Beer industry for his assertion on Brett, specifically estery strains vs phenolic strains. For our Rum, I am currently experimenting with b. anomalus and b. custerianus to create fruity esters as apposed to the more common b. bruxellensis which creates more phenolics as @Silk City Distillers mentioned. Samples from dunder pits that gave the "rum oil" that is favored in the Jamaican Rums have shown presence of Clostridium, specifically c. butyricum which is responsible for the same fruity esters. I agree with phenolics being more important for a peat whiskey and potentially any whiskey for that matter considering that one of the most important flavor producing aspects of barrel aging is the tannins of polyphenols. I will be doing some experimenting in this real, after I finalize our Rum. The only bacteria we are using currently for whiskey is Lacto in our Wheat Whiskey. This is a collaboration with Blue Moon which is essentially a Berliner Weisse. Kettle sour 60% wheat mash that they ferment on blueberries, us without, then we distill and barrel age. It has a nice fatty fruity aroma that leaves an after taste similar to a white gummy bear. Signature drink is a blueberry whiskey sour to bring it back to the blueberries Blue Moon uses. Let keep the conversation going as we all do more experimenting! Cheers!!
  6. Identifying Infection

    Pretty much impossible to pin down a bacteria/fungi without plating a sample. You can speculate that it probably has a acid compound due to it having a low pH. Possibly a carboxylic acid such as acidic acid which when mixed with ethanol (esterification) will give you ethyl acetate which smells of pears. Furthermore, a carboxylic acid mixed with ethanol can form a alpha-hydroxy group such as lactic acid, hence the low pH. Again, hard to narrow down the exact carboxylic acid without knowing the bacteria/fungi, but there are plenty that have great aromas after esterification. As @Foreshot mentioned, it can be seen as a positive condition because of the esters. Unfortunately the large distillery of the last century have not advance fermentation much and only focus on the production of ethanol wheather it be neutral grain or whiskey, which gets its flavor from the barrels. The only industry close is Jamaican rum with the use of dunder pits. As a former brewer, I find the use of controlled fermentation and bacteria to create esters that can enhance any distilled product (including whiskey with light barrel use) very intriguing. IMO more distilleries should focus on quality of product through ingredients and controlled fermentation as well as distillation to create unique esters/flavors. I suspect as more craft distillers pop up this will become more common as it was in the beer industry. This is a time of innovation in our industry which is why i have moved in this direction. Sorry of the rant.... If I were you I would embrace this as a one-off experimental product. Take a sample to know what is causing the condition. Run the was through your still and after you have collected the majority of ethanol, take many small cuts of your tails and separate them in containers. You can then sample them to see what ester you get and mix them back into the ethanol in different volumes till you get the product that is best. Carboxylic Acids have very high boing points, so take deep cuts into your tails. Also, document everything well and with your wash sample you will be able to replicate the product if it turns out well. Or just ignore what I said and dump the wash or run it for the ethanol only. But if your anything like me, what I have just said will spark interest in the geek within you.
  7. How do you market your product?

    Yep, most people think you just sign with a distributor and bam, your in the big leagues. All a distributor does is open you up to further distribution chains. You are still responsible for selling your product and pull through. IMO it's best to wait for distribution until you have maxed out local sales and done all you can as a self distributor. Once you are with a distributor your sales rep can then focus on "babysitting" the distributor to increase sales outside the initial market and hope that relationships are solid so you don't lose the initial market as well. As said, all states 3 tier system is different so it will be best to start there to design your model. Were luck in CO that we can self distribute and have relaxed tasting room laws. Over all its best to just focus on tasting room sales since that is where the money. For us outside sales is just supplemental to max out production.
  8. Cooling Water set up feedback

    Thats how we do it. Cold liquor tank with glycol that is run through the condenser and heat exchanger and collected in a hot liquor tank with steam jacket. Cold water line has a bypass to street water just in case. We have 2 HLT so one can collect while the other is mashing-in and being used for wash down. We will eventually have solar panels to power glycol (and other electrical) and once city approves, we will go with bio-fuel for steam plant.
  9. Rye Mash

    5-10% is a good ration. Hope your mash tun is wide and not tall and skinny. Also, a beta rest at 110 deg F will help. Good luck and take it slow!
  10. Mashing technique and Brix degree

    I would ask for a spec sheet from your malt providers and their malt analysis. For all your malts you want 14% protein values or less. This means that the protein was used during mating to start the conversion process. For wheat you want an extract Fine Grind (FG) of 85% which will give you a Pound Per Gallon (PPG) of 1.039 (9.8 brix). This means that if you mix one pound of grain with one gallon of water you will get 9.8 brix. Double the pounds and you get double the brix (19.6) hence why we mentioned 2 pounds per gallon above. For 2-row you want an extract FG of 80% which will give you a PPG of 1.037 or 9.3 brix. Double the pounds and you get 18.6 brix. Seems that you are doing things correctly and you have tried different mash temps with same results. Your iodine test shows starch conversion is present. Not to point fingers, but the next step would be grain analysis. Your grain may not be giving you the extract potential you need for conversion. I had used a local Maltster her in Colorado a few years back and had a similar issue with inconsistencies. Haven't used him since, but he seemed to get things worked out.
  11. Mashing technique and Brix degree

    Sparge temp seems good. Vorlauf is when you run the wort from under your grain bed to above the grain bed slow enough to where you don't collapse your grain bed and get a stuck mash. The wort goes through the grain bed and acts as a filter. This is done after the rest, but before sparge. It is not necessary, but it can help eliminate proteins and create a clearer mash (more important for beer production). b-glucanase - https://bsgcraftbrewing.com/bioglucanase-gb-2 Amylo 300 - https://bsgcraftbrewing.com/amylo-300-1-l Step mashes are great for that reason, but time consuming. Also, the Beta will denature when it hits the high temp. For both of these reasons I have always just used a temp that is just enough for the Alpha, but not too much to break down the Beta. For the iodine test, does the sample stay the same color or does it get darker? If it gets darker, then you have some starches left to convert. At this point I would just assume that you do not have full conversion if you are only getting 13 brix. Where do you get your grain?
  12. Clarification on Aging Lengths

    They way you have it now is correct. It only has to touch oak to be a Rye Whiskey. The most common misconception was that in order for a bourbon to be a bourbon it had to age for so many years. The only age requirement for any whiskey is when it is "Strait" it has to be aged for at least 2 years. Label examples: "Rye Whiskey aged 6 months" "Straight Rye Whiskey aged 2 years" "Straight Rye Whiskey" <-------(with no age statement it guarantees it was aged at least 4 years)
  13. Mashing technique and Brix degree

    Your mash rest temp seems a little low as well. Alpha-amylase likes to work in 68-71deg C and Beta-amylase likes to work in 55-65.5 deg C. We mash our wheat whiskey at 68 deg C. and use b-glucanase and Amylo 300. We use 2lbs of grain per gallon in the mash-in/rest and equal amounts in the spare. We do not use dextrose and get a reading of about 18 brix. By "filtering the grains" do you mean vorlauf? And what temperature is "hot water" when you are sparging? Since you are worried about not getting full starch conversion, use iodine to test the wort. If it turns black there is starch present if it remains the same color, then you have full sugar extraction.
  14. You should be careful with your wording here. You do not realize that "a little gluten" can not (directly) kill someone with celiacs? Celiacs is an autoimmune disease in which the lining of the intestines is slowly eaten away. By consuming gluten in large amounts, someone with celiacs risks the chance of shorter life and possibly getting cancer. So, "a little gluten" consumed consistently over time may indirectly kill someone, but they are probably already affected so bad by this point from previously gluten consumption that "a little gluten" is just adding to the inevitable. That being said, alcohol can affect the intestines (similarly to gluten in a person with celiac) of a healthy individual if consumed in large amounts. Imagine what it will do to someone with celiac.... I would say that the alcohol is going to have a much worse affect on someone with celiac than the possibility of there being/not being gluten in the finish product. FYI, you said that you would rather tell people to consume another persons product that is 100% corn rather than risking them consuming your product that may have trace amounts of gluten. Either way, a person with celiac is probably going to be affected the same in the long run.
  15. Colorado corn and oat distributor

    Whiskey sister are great if you are looking for unmalted. They grow a blue heirloom corn for us and it works well for our bourbon. They also have a red corn, barley, wheat and oats.