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robertbirnecker

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Everything posted by robertbirnecker

  1. robertbirnecker

    Kothe Distilling Fall 2011 Workshop

    Kothe Distilling Technologies Fall 2011 Workshop Koval Distillery in Chicago is proud to host Kothe Distilling Technologies' three-day fall workshop from October 14th to 16th. The course covers both basic and advanced distilling techniques and the legal and business aspects of starting a distillery. It is not only tailored to prospective distillers, but also is of great benefit to liquor industry professionals who want to improve their knowledge of the craft distilling movement, understand the process of distilling, and hone their skills in tasting distilled spirits. During the workshop, participants will learn the entire process of starting a distillery from fruit selection, mashing, distillation, and packaging, to the legal and business aspects relevant to North America, including the federal Tax and Trade Bureau, certification and label approvals, location requirements, and state regulations. Students will also receive hands-on distilling experience on a custom Kothe still at Koval Distillery. A sensory seminar during the workshop will teach various sensory aspects of different types of alcohol, including eaux de vie, vodkas, whiskeys, grappas and liqueurs. Participants will sample many different products and learn to identify positive as well as negative aspects of distillates. Hosts Robert Birnecker and Sonat Birnecker Hart, founders of the award-winning Koval Distillery and the manufacturer's representatives for Kothe in the United States, will be giving personal insights into the practice of distilling and starting a distillery, and other lecturers will speak on their areas of expertise. The workshop will take place from Friday, October 14, through Sunday, October 16, at Koval Distillery at 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave., in Chicago, Illinois. Cost is $799. Please visit http://www.kothe-dis...ducts/workshops for more information and to sign up for the course.
  2. robertbirnecker

    Hello from Ohio

    Sounds interesting. Quite a few people leaving academia for distilling... I guess, it's been said that academia drives you to drink. We did the same thing here in Chicago. All the best, Robert www.kothe-distilling.com
  3. robertbirnecker

    What class/workshop?

    The one day we reserve for the sensory seminar, I don't think the name Kothe even gets mentioned. People are plenty busy keeping up with Dr. Hagmann. Unfortunately, we are probably doing the last sensory seminar in May - at least for a while.
  4. robertbirnecker

    Branding idea: certified micro spirits

    Hey guys, @Melkon I agree with you, that's why I mentioned that this idea was good from the beginning. We just want to pursue the other aspect in addition (I think this is where people read the post a little too fast). @Ralph Thanks for summing this up! All the best Robert
  5. robertbirnecker

    Branding idea: certified micro spirits

    I don't think you quite understand the discussion. We are talking about 2 different things. No one is trying to exclude you. Please re-read the posts. Since this is a public forum, I think a tad of netiquette would be in order.
  6. robertbirnecker

    Branding idea: certified micro spirits

    Hey Melkon, It is something that started out of discussions with a number of other distillers that were looking for another marketing angle. Bill knows about it and we have talked about our project. We are definitely going to work with the ADI on it but I think it will only be associated with the ADI and not serve as a certification from the ADI. That's why I think your micro idea is quite interesting as well. This could be something actually from the ADI and be broader than what we have in mind. All the best, Robert
  7. robertbirnecker

    Branding idea: certified micro spirits

    This has nothing to do with relegating you to the sideline. I have no problem with people using NGS. You also have to grant people who don't use NGS though to use that as a marketing tool similar to organic and kosher. Please also watch your language.
  8. robertbirnecker

    Branding idea: certified micro spirits

    Hey Melkon, Really like the idea. We are working on something similar and have a lot of people on board by now. Q1 of 2011 we will launch a certification group for distilleries. However, we will be focusing on grain/fruit producers and exclude the usage of NGS. I've talked with Bill about it as well and agree with you that these things need to come from within the industry. All the best, Robert KOVAL Distillery
  9. robertbirnecker

    What's a fair price to buy a whiskey recipe

    I understand the discussion if we talk about Gin or Liqueur. For Whiskey... I am not sure if you can call various amounts of grain a recipe. Plus, the different types of a specific grain can really change the flavor. Wheat is a great example for this. In addition, technique can also affect your flavor.
  10. robertbirnecker

    Used Hammer Mill Wanted

    Hey Scott, Used is tricky but the new ones are 9KW and 12KW - definitely need a variably frequency drive or converter for the single phase. Let me know if you can't find a used one. All the best, Robert Kothe Distilling Technologies. Award winning handcrafted German engineered potstills for the production of high quality fruit and grain spirits, as well as bioethanol. “Kothe Destillationstechnik” uses patented technology to specially engineer each still with solid quality and energy saving compounds to meet the particular needs of each distiller. Kothe Distilling Technologies is the sole representative of “Kothe Destillationstechnik” in North America, Canada, and Mexico. -------------------------------------------------------- Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 http://www.kothe-distilling.com info@kothe-distilling.com (312) 878 7766
  11. robertbirnecker

    Boiler Questions

    Hey John, Steam is always a tricky issue, especially when it comes to process steam. It sounds like you don't have enough steam buffer for the settings you have on your boiler. If you lower the differential (I would say 1lb is standard, but there are also 0.25lb) your boiler may keep the steam more accurate. The problem is that it will then cycle on and off. Gate valves are a good way to control steam if you have relatively steady steam. The difference in psi you have requires either a large steam reservoir (more steam = more time for the boiler to start up) or a pressure reducer to keep your steam steady. There are electronic options out there as well to counter severe drops in steam by modulation of a valve, but they are the most expensive solution. As for residential vs. industrial - mostly the cost difference is cast iron vs. stainless, secondary shutoffs and so forth. All the best, Robert Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 http://www.kothe-distilling.com http://www.kotheconsulting.com info@kothe-distilling.com (312) 878 7766
  12. robertbirnecker

    Direct Flame Fired stills

    Hi Direct fired versus waterbath/steambath has been a discussion in this industry for a while. In Europe, the waterbaths developed because of the high amount of fruit mashes distilled there. Even with agitation it is very hard to avoid sticking to the pot and the heat stress to the mash can be quite significant. Just think of melting chocolate in a waterbath versus over a direct flame - same principle. However, this problem is not limited to fruit mashes. Grain mashes are just a bit more liquid and still prone to sticking. If you are only putting stripped runs through it (and now my question would be - where is this other still with the waterbath and why not just have it for both runs?) or NGS you won't have the sticking but honestly I wouldn't want to be around that still. Bottom line is, direct firing is a technique of the past. If you want to produce high quality spirits you either have a steambath or a waterbath. All the best, Robert Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 http://www.kothe-distilling.com http://www.kotheconsulting.com info@kothe-distilling.com (312) 878 7766
  13. robertbirnecker

    Steam Boiler Help a Little Operating Info

    Dear Pete, First of all, you need to know the maximum operating pressure of the still you are building, I assume low pressure steam meaning 15psi or lower to put all the appropriate safety devices on. 150GAL usually require a slightly bigger boiler than the one you have available. It basically means your heat up will take a bit longer. As for the steam regulation, you would regulate the flow of steam relatively basic with a globe valve or a ball valve, also reducing the pressure inside the still. There are more elaborate management systems with digital measurements and automatic adjustment of steam or pressure reducers that go to certain setpoints but they are also more expensive and require some more knowledge. Hope that helps. Robert Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 http://www.kothe-distilling.com http://www.kotheconsulting.com info@kothe-distilling.com (312) 878 7766
  14. robertbirnecker

    Midwest Distillers Guild

    Dear Porter, We are trying to start a guild, not an independent research group. At Koval Distillery, we know the people around us. We know who is in our business. At the end of the day, microdistilleries are in the same boat. While there is always a bit of competition, I think this is the wrong way to look at it. Brewers guilds, Winemakers guilds and so forth have shown that micros in other industries work well together. Other distillers guilds (CO, NY) also show this. As for the association with Koval, we have one seat on the board the first year. The other seats are taken by other distilleries. We decided to supply the office space, email account and labor for this venture. I don't think anybody in the guild sees this as a problem. The name of the guild is Midwest Distillers Guild - no association in name. We will also have our own websites, but these things take time and money. All the best, Robert
  15. robertbirnecker

    Sensory guide for spirit evaluation

    Dear ADI members, Due to many requests, I have decided to make our sensory guide available for everybody on this forum. I hope it helps a few people to evaluate their spirits better. http://www.kothecons...sory-guide-2010 All the best, Robert Robert Birnecker Kothe Distilling Technologies Kothe Consulting Award winning handcrafted German engineered potstills for the production of high quality fruit and grain spirits, as well as bioethanol. "Kothe Destillationstechnik" uses patented technology to specially engineer each still with solid quality and energy saving compounds to meet the particular needs of each distiller. Kothe Distilling Technologies is the sole representative of "Kothe Destillationstechnik" in North America, Canada, and Mexico. -------------------------------------------------------- Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 www.kothe-distilling.com www.kotheconsulting.com (312) 878 7766
  16. robertbirnecker

    Pear flavored vodka

    Hey guys, For the type of production you are planning, I think you'd be better of with a motorized crusher designed for fruit mashing. You can either go with a plastic model or a complete stainless setup. I am attaching two pictures. Please give me a call if you are interested in one of them. Also, if you want to discuss production techniques for your pear brandy, I am happy to see if we can help you. The crushing might not be the only thing you might want to do with the pears. As for the test distillation mentioned above, there are small units (like in a lab) that take 100ml samples of mash, liqueur or sugared product. Denver Distiller was spot on with this and also the production of "Geist" (if anyone out there has an English term, please tell me). The reason for removing the stems as mentioned above is to get rid of tannins. All the best, Robert Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 www.kothe-distilling.com www.kotheconsulting.com (312) 878 7766
  17. robertbirnecker

    Eau de Vie Production

    Hey Ian, Give me a call on Monday. I can definitely help you with that. Also, please remind me to send you the sensory guide for fruit spirits that we have. All the best, Robert Robert Birnecker Kothe Distilling Technologies Kothe Consulting Award winning handcrafted German engineered potstills for the production of high quality fruit and grain spirits, as well as bioethanol. "Kothe Destillationstechnik" uses patented technology to specially engineer each still with solid quality and energy saving compounds to meet the particular needs of each distiller. Kothe Distilling Technologies is the sole representative of "Kothe Destillationstechnik" in North America, Canada, and Mexico. -------------------------------------------------------- Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 www.kothe-distilling.com www.kotheconsulting.com (312) 878 7766
  18. robertbirnecker

    Kothe Consulting Services

    Dear ADI members, Kothe Distilling Technology is proud to announce the launch of the new consulting arm of our company, Kothe Consulting. We are going to be fully operational September 1st, 2010 with our website located at www.kotheconsulting.com. We offer the following - one on one trainings at facilities in both Europe and the United States - three different workshop modules to be held twice a year (Basic, Advanced and Sensory) - a worldwide network of master distillers with 20+ years of experience and numerous awards - co-operations with numerous universities in both the United States and Europe - highly trained technicians for distillery planning who make distilling equipment and have had years of experience setting up distilleries worldwide - relationships with major suppliers of distilling and wine equipment - consulting from those who have authored numerous publications regarding the latest technological developments, grain mashing, fruit mashing and sensory aspects of distillation. -preparation and analysis of spirits for competitions (worldwide) -specific expertise in making whiskey using a variety of techniques -specific expertise in working with fruit and herbs for gin, liqueurs, cordials, and infusions -product development and help with distillate or mash problems -knowledge of distribution channels All the best, Robert Robert Birnecker Kothe Distilling Technologies. Award winning handcrafted German engineered potstills for the production of high quality fruit and grain spirits, as well as bioethanol. "Kothe Destillationstechnik" uses patented technology to specially engineer each still with solid quality and energy saving compounds to meet the particular needs of each distiller. Kothe Distilling Technologies is the sole representative of "Kothe Destillationstechnik" in North America, Canada, and Mexico. -------------------------------------------------------- Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 www.kothedistilling.com www.kotheconsulting.com info@kothe-distilling.com (312) 878-7766 Kothe Distilling Technologies. Award winning handcrafted German engineered potstills for the production of high quality fruit and grain spirits, as well as bioethanol. “Kothe Destillationstechnik” uses patented technology to specially engineer each still with solid quality and energy saving compounds to meet the particular needs of each distiller. Kothe Distilling Technologies is the sole representative of “Kothe Destillationstechnik” in North America, Canada, and Mexico.
  19. robertbirnecker

    Wash Dilution

    Hey Ian, To follow up. The 75l - 100l is essentially based on the amount of mash you can put in vs. the amount of alcohol coming out for proper separation and actually having something to work with. I guess the answer would be, it's a general rule of thumb. All the best, Robert
  20. robertbirnecker

    Corking machine

    Hey Steve, I have a manual champagne corker for sale. $50 and shipping - it's yours. All the best, Robert Robert Birnecker KOVAL Distillery 5121 N Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 +1 312 878 7988 - ext 4
  21. robertbirnecker

    Wash Dilution

    Hey guys, Just a few thoughts on this topic. - A test still should be at least 75-100l to get results that can later on be used. Also, the construction of your still should be similar. - The maximum fill level of a still is usually 50% of the capacity it is designed for (e.g. 150l on a 300l still). - Plates on modern potstills are designed to work best under 15-20% alc. by. vol. You have to keep in mind that some fruit mashes have less than 5%, and the distillation also works well at this level. - Stripping and spirit runs are a double distilling technique. Given the plates most people have available, it may not be necessary to work that way. In distillation theory, plates were designed to speed up the process as well as protect flavor and aroma. Also, I don't think you will need as many test runs as you are imagining. Please let me know how things progress. All the best, Robert Robert Birnecker Kothe Distilling Technologies. Award winning handcrafted German engineered potstills for the production of high quality fruit and grain spirits, as well as bioethanol. "Kothe Destillationstechnik" uses patented technology to specially engineer each still with solid quality and energy saving compounds to meet the particular needs of each distiller. Kothe Distilling Technologies is the sole representative of "Kothe Destillationstechnik" in North America, Canada, and Mexico. -------------------------------------------------------- Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 www.kothedistilling.com and www.kotheconsulting.com info@kothe-distilling.com (312) 878 7766
  22. robertbirnecker

    Bonds

    Hey, Hartford actually has their own insurance classification for distilleries now. We have sent a number of people to them. We work both with Michael Klee and Jennifer Royall. Ryan already posted her contact info above. If you want to go beyond the bond, I am happy to share Michael's address for insurance needs as well. Just contact me. All the best, Robert Robert Kothe Distilling Technologies. Award winning handcrafted German engineered potstills for the production of high quality fruit and grain spirits, as well as bioethanol. “Kothe Destillationstechnik” uses patented technology to specially engineer each still with solid quality and energy saving compounds to meet the particular needs of each distiller. Kothe Distilling Technologies is the sole representative of “Kothe Destillationstechnik” in North America, Canada, and Mexico. -------------------------------------------------------- Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 http://www.kothe-distilling.com info@kothe-distilling.com (312) 878 7766
  23. robertbirnecker

    Kentucky Bourbon Festival 2010

    I like the idea. If it happens KOVAL will definitely participate. We are also going to all the WhiskeyFest events this year.
  24. robertbirnecker

    Consulting Services

    Dear ADI members, Please also take a look at the new consulting arm of our company, Kothe Consulting. We are going to be operational August 1st 2010 with our website located at http://consulting.ko...distilling.com. We can offer the following - one on one trainings at facilities in both Europe and the United States - three different workshop modules to be held twice a year (Basic, Advanced and Sensory) - a worldwide network of master distillers with 20+ years of experience and numerous awards - cooperations with numerous universities in both the United States and Europe - highly trained technicians for distillery planning who make distilling equipment and have had years of experience setting up distilleries worldwide - relationships with major suppliers of distilling and wine equipment - consulting from those who have authored numerous publications regarding the latest technological developments, grain mashing, fruit mashing and sensory aspects of distillation. -preparation and analysis of spirits for competitions (worldwide) -specific expertise in making whiskey using a variety of techniques -specific expertise in working with fruit and herbs for gin, liqueurs, cordials, and infusions -product development and help with distillate or mash problems All the best, Robert Robert Birnecker Kothe Distilling Technologies. Award winning handcrafted German engineered potstills for the production of high quality fruit and grain spirits, as well as bioethanol. "Kothe Destillationstechnik" uses patented technology to specially engineer each still with solid quality and energy saving compounds to meet the particular needs of each distiller. Kothe Distilling Technologies is the sole representative of "Kothe Destillationstechnik" in North America, Canada, and Mexico. -------------------------------------------------------- Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 http://www.kothe-distilling.com info@kothe-distilling.com (312) 878 7766
  25. robertbirnecker

    Distilling whiskey from grain mash with a modern still?

    Hi, I just came across this post and it is interesting to see some discussion on the topic of single vs. double distillation. If you look at the history of plates, they were designed to avoid the process of double distillation. Actually, in distillation theory each plate counts for an extra distillation. I am aware that there are multiple plate designs out there and they will all give you different results. At Kothe, we are strong proponents of single distillations - for all spirits. If you distill properly (right distillation velocity and right dephlegmator setting) you can get an extraordinary spirit from a modern potstill with plates that is unreachable with doubel pot distillation. Double distillation also means double heat up and loss of aromatic compounds. I come from a family with double pot distillation tradition, but technological advancements have made it obsolete. @JohnD - I just came across a study of dephlegmator temperatures again. It was focused on fruit spirits but the effect on grain should be the same. Cooling adjustment during distillation and lowering the dephlegmator temperature too much will have a negative effect on your hearts. All the best, Robert Robert Birnecker Kothe Distilling Technologies. Award winning handcrafted German engineered potstills for the production of high quality fruit and grain spirits, as well as bioethanol. “Kothe Destillationstechnik” uses patented technology to specially engineer each still with solid quality and energy saving compounds to meet the particular needs of each distiller. Kothe Distilling Technologies is the sole representative of “Kothe Destillationstechnik” in North America, Canada, and Mexico. -------------------------------------------------------- Kothe Distilling Technologies Inc. 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 http://www.kothe-distilling.com info@kothe-distilling.com (312) 878 7766
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