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About derek.duf

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  1. I wasn't sure whether to put this in the Beginner section or Technique, but since its mainly about technique I threw it here..but be warned it is definitely beginner in nature. We are getting ready in the next few weeks to start playing around with out 100 gal still. This is a side project at this point in time, so the plan always was to 'learn on the job' as we are not trying to push any product out in the near future. I have read every book and website I could over the last 6 months to learn as much as I could, but now staring up at the still, its hard to figure out how to put that book knowledge into real life. I have a list of questions regarding proper usage of the still, if anyone could help answer some of these it would be greatly appreciated. Most of these questions have to do with temperatures. My plan has been to make cuts based on temperature as we learn, and I have all the temperature ranges, but where specifically are we talking about the temperature? Is this in reference to the temp of the vapor as it leaves the kettle? The temp of the wash? Or somewhere else in the process? Is there a target temperature to keep the mash at once we start boiling, or is it more of visual to keep everything flowing consistently? We have 2 columns, a 4-plate and a 16-plate. For the dephlegmator, is there a temperature range I should be shooting for when controlling the flow of the cooling water? Our still manufacturer said most people want the cooling water temp on the dephlegmator to around 78C. Does this make sense? For condensing column, we were recommended to have the distillate come out between 34-40C. Is this a good range? After typing this out, I guess I'm really asking if the main things I should be looking for and paying attention to is the temps in the kettle, the dephs, and the condenser? And then make adjustments to keep those temps in range.
  2. I'd prefer to try out water first, mainly for the safety aspect. Even if it makes the day a bit longer, feel safer at least having 1 less thing that can cause a dangerous situation. I saw another thread where you mentioned doing some trials with water. So best to fill my jackets up about 1/2 way with water, and obviously keep the vent open to allow the steam pressure to escape. Then I guess just keep an eye on the water level during the run to make sure we don't go dry, then adjust the amount of water used for future batches based on how much water was left over at the end. Does that make sense?
  3. @Southernhighlander If you had a moment, would you be able to provide me some advice? I've been doing a lot of searching and trying to figure out that best heat transfer fluid to put in my bain marie style pot, and your name seems to pop up on most of the threads and seem the most knowledgeable. I hate asking for advice from a company that I did not purchase my equipment from, but would really appreciate and advice you could give. Most of the heat transfer fluids I've found have to be used in a closed loop system and need a pump to move the fluid around so it doesn't burn, which I have neither of. I've seen some threads of using water instead of oil, however my jackets are not rated for pressure so not sure if that could work. Do you have any recommendations on specific oils to use? This is for a 100 gal pot. Thanks!
  4. Could anyone provide me heating oil recommendations for a bain marie pot still? Looks like I need about 35 gallons worth. Thanks!
  5. Hey Paul...I had sent you an email last Tuesday and sent a follow up this morning.
  6. Does anyone have recommendations for a simple controller I can wire for 3x 7kw heating elements. Looking for something relatively simple that will kick on/off at preset temps. Contacted a couple companies I found through Google but haven't had much luck.
  7. Sounds like the jacket is not rated for pressure.
  8. We have a DYE still. With a brewing background, was not even aware these type of heating elements existed! I am not going to have a steam boiler where the still is, and may look into that down the road but looking for the most cost efficient method at this point. There's so many different types of oils that wasn't sure what to even begin looking for, so when I saw glycol I got excited.
  9. In reading various threads on here, I've seen a few mentions of using glycol instead of oil. Does anyone have any pros/cons for this? I have spare glycol sitting around, and assume that wouldn't put off an odor like oil would. From what I can tell, a 95% concentration of glycol has a boiling point of 310F, so seems like it would work fine, but wanted to see if anyone has any feedback. Thanks
  10. I am looking for recommendation on spirit storage tanks. This will be for a 100 gal still, so do not need anything too large. I searched and most results were for significantly larger vessels than what I am looking for, and have not been able to find many suppliers through google. Thanks!
  11. I've been reading and re-reading TTB guidelines and searching on the form, and keep confusing myself further when I think I have it figured out. If someone could help me to clarify this hypothetical I would really appreciate it. Say you want to make a Rye Whiskey. TTB states it has to be produced at less than 160 proof from a mash of at least 51% rye, and stored at less than 125 proof in charred new oak containers. Ok, so doesn't say anything about an age requirement to be called rye whiskey. Then in Statements of Age, TTB states that rye whiskey is required to have a specific statement of age if it is less than 4 years old. So if you aged your rye whiskey in a new oak barrel for one day, then on your label you have to say aged 1 day in oak? So anything from 1 day up to 3 years 364 days have to have the aging time listed on the label? Is this correct?
  12. Was curious what other tasting rooms in CA do in regards to the 1.5oz tasting limit per person. Are you providing a small 1/4 oz taste of a few of your main products, then maybe letting them choose a cocktail with a 3/4oz pour? How do customers respond to being told they are only allowed one drink then they have to leave?
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