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Ironton last won the day on August 17 2017

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  1. Ironton Distillery and Crafthouse is looking for a new member of our team! We are looking for a self starter who is passionate about craft spirits and cocktails and wants to further their education in the industry! Must also have experience and interest in maintenance and handywork. Position: Utility/Production Operator Hours: Part-time with ability to work into a full time position Requirements/skills: 21 years or older High school education or higher Experience working with power tools and maintenance Ability to operate a forklift Ability to lift over 100lbs Basic knowledge of distilling/brewing Basic computer skills Problem solving and ability to work independently Ability to interact with customers on a weekly basis Have a flexible schedule (occasional nights and weekends) Job Description: General maintenance (such as carpentry, grounds cleaning and equipment upkeep, etc) Assist head distiller with production operations (running stills, brewing, cellar work, etc.) Handling bottling operations for our product and contracted bottling Cooler maintenance and operations Barrel warehouse management Hosting distiller lead facility tours Helping with tasting events If you are interested please send your resume to laura@irontondistillery.com. Can't wait to hear from you!
  2. By cutting I mean taking a paddle and putting in the mash at the opposite side of the vessel from you and pulling the paddle towards you with it vertical cutting it like a knife. Then keep doing it to create a bunch of #. You are pretty much creating a filter rather than just moving it around and opening up the outsides so it can't lauter or just stirring it and turning it to glue. Bets mill IMO is one that is a roller and a grinder that will work with all types of grain. We use this http://rmsroller-grinder.com/brewing/brew-products/4-roller-configurations/. It's super efficient and best of all it is dustless!
  3. Love these conversations and the opportunity it gives to share and receive new information. Thanks for sharing this paper. I had no idea that Bekkera was used in the rum world although it is only the teleomorph version of Brett? It does not have quite the same characteristics as Brett and can be very bad for your product. Notable hydroxycinnamic acids and other undesirable components. As far as the Clostridium vs. Brett, the strain of Clostridium (c. butyricum) we had was very resilient because of its endospores. The report from CSU (where the lab work was done) was very strict to say that in a sterile environment, with the right conditions of the medium (pH, sugar content, lack of oxygen) the spore will come out of dormancy and infect the medium. Brett on the other hand does not work well in a sterile environment and can easily be eliminated by adding dimethyl bicarbonate to the medium. I have worked with Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus in the beer industry and the only one I had trouble with was Pediococcus, a gram-positive anaerobic like Clostridium. I guess it was just the lab results coupled with concerns from my experience that led me to my conclusion. Based on your thought on the matter, maybe I should look back into clostridium or mixed cultures. I was just trying to come up with another approach to creating the flavors (from esters) that I found in the papers. I guess I need to read more/re-read the "scriptures" of Aroyyo and try to get a better understanding. You seem to have a pretty good grasp on what he is saying. Its back to the drawing board for me, oh darn. Cheers!
  4. I was trying to continue the conversation in a forward thinking way to address what the OP was experiencing and try to help him get through it while still using his current process, as well as leaving a paper trail so others that may experience this same issue will have a walkthrough to help them as well. After all that is what forums are for. As I said before, anyone that wishes to learn about how to lauter corn successfully with minimal added work and equally cost effective as on grain fermentation, feel free to PM me and we can discuss further. This thread does not seem to be the place to discuss a different approach.
  5. I believe you me and silk city seem to be the ones diving into trying to produce the highest quality rums with the help of Arroyo's papers. I have not heard much others talk much about it. In fact, I just got back from Portland and met with several distilleries. House Spirits produce a Rum in house as well as a Rum that they produce in Guatemala and bring in. Both are just fermented sugar cane and the their team didn't know much about the "rum oils" we are seeking. Similarly I spoke with New Deal who are actually giving a seminar on Rum at ADI, but did not know about Aroyyo or the rum oils. To my knowledge, there are not any distilleries in Denver that are producing rum and when I ask around i get the same answer or either not caring or not knowing. I have recently been playing around with clostridium saccharobutyricum and have decided to now work with it any longer. It is resilient bacteria that grows well in many conditions. The only way that I have found to store it is in dirt, all other mediums do nothing to keep it dormant. I am afraid that if I let it into he distillery it will create a house flavor. My research has led me to understand that it is not the bacteria we need, but the esters that it creates thus giving rum oils. There are many esters that are favorable and the one that I chose (and is also a product of clostridium saccharobutyricum) is Ethyl Butyrate. Ethyl Butyrate is the product of the esterification of Butyric Acid. Form there I had to make a choice on what bacteria I could use that will produce Butyric Acid. Luckily with the advancement of fermentation science, I know that there are several strains of Bacteria that produce Butyric Acid. The one I have chosen is a strain of Brettanomyces that I have sought out for its characteristics of forming light funk, heavy pineapple and guava, has an attention of 70-85, ferments at 85 deg F and an alcohol tolerance of around 12%. Its a great bacteria and is used in a single, primary fermentation. I have not run it through the still yet, as I have not run a large enough batch. My current hold up is actually sourcing a quality sugar cane. I have been trying to source panela since it is the highest quality and has not gone through any processing that separates the argricol (molasses). The only source I have found can only import a full container, which is not practical. Once I get the proper sugar cane sourced I will start the distillation process, which in theory will be separating the methanol, collecting the ethanol and then taking several smaller cuts once the esters start coming and going very deep with with a lower temp (much like a quality tequila distillery does to collect the esters). I can then create 3 products, a light rum that is majority ethanol, a heavy rum that is ethanol with portions of the ether cuts and a dark that rum with the rest of the ethanol and ester that will be barrel aged to break down the long chain alcohols and hopefully create some nice tannins. Anyways, just wanted to share my thoughts and where the Arayyo papers have taken me. I love rum, I am very passionate about it and I want to create what will hopefully be one of the best quality Rums in the world. There are plenty of people making really great whiskeys, but very few that are creating unique, high flavor rums. To me it is not just a fermented Sugar Cane product.
  6. Paul, I encourage you to open your mind to the possibility that there is more than one way to do things. First you said that it can not be done and now you are saying it can, but it's not a good idea because of your experience with it. You are entitle to your opinion, but I disagree with the fact that you trying to convince people that they are doing it wrong just because you have not had success. You did the same thing with me when I called you to talk about purchasing equipment from you. I did not like being told that my way of doing things is wrong and that it can not be done, when in fact it can be done. That is the joy of our industry, there is no right or wrong way of doing things, as long as you have a quality and successful product in the end. By doing things differently it allows for greater opportunity, advancement, innovation and unique product in their own respect. I encourage you to continue to do things the way you are, especially if you like the finished product. Try doing a vorlauf, this will allow the particles that come trough the bottom to get trapped on the top. Take your time and as long as the grain bed does not drop or get stuck, you should get a somewhat clean wash. If you can overcome the issues you will look back and feel proud of your success. Other people have persevered with success and you can too. You are heading in the right direction, good luck and keep at it! P.S. jacketed systems are great and IMO everyone should have one for multiple reasons. It allows better control of temperature, no scorching and allows on-grain fermentation/distillation. I think of it as allowing you to add more products to your arsenal rather than overcoming issues with lautering. The best of both worlds. Cheers!
  7. Corn CAN be lautered, even 100%. The key is to use cracked corn, nutrients and a good amount to rice hulls. Pay attention to temperatures, take care of your mash and take your time on the sparge. The key is to not stir (as most people say), but instead cut the mash. The only problem you may have is efficiency, but assuming since you said that it is a "corn & malt mash" you will make up for it with the malt. As far as what you need it would best be answered if I know what you are working with as your mash tun. It could be as simple as a screen at the bottom or a copper pipe with slits cut into the bottom of it that fits into the exit port at the bottom of your mash tun form the inside. If you need more insight on this feel free to PM me and we can discuss over a phone call.
  8. Luckily we do not have to wear respirators in Denver since our fire department is so strict and will not allow any dust in our facility. Down side is I had to buy an expensive dustless mill. In my brewing days, I found that the 3m and honeywell north full mask respirators seal well with beards (although my beard is pretty thin). There are a few PAPR respirators that will cover your whole head like an astronaut, but they are over $1k. A cheaper solution would be a rest-o-rator which works like a scuba mouthpiece and precut cheap, though I'm not sure if it is OSHA approved. That being said, any facial hair while wearing a respirator is agains OSHA, even if it seals tight. The Respiratory Protection standard, paragraph 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A), states that respirators shall not be worn when facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function. Facial hair is allowed as long as it does not protrude under the respirator seal, or extend far enough to interfere with the device's valve function. Short mustaches, sideburns, and small goatees that are neatly trimmed so that no hair compromises the seal of the respirator usually do not present a hazard and, therefore, do not violate paragraph 1910.134(g)(1)(i).
  9. 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?
  10. Ironton

    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.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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!!
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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