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DrDistillation

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  1. I'd consider twice or more used whiskey barrels or better yet some wine barrels which can help bring out more of the fruit flavors. I'd personally stay away from anything freshly charred.
  2. Never seen this happen. First you shouldn't be seeing grain going through a lauter or you're doing it wrong. It would take a lot of grain to plug up a 2" connection or bigger. I've never even had a blockage at home with a 1/2 system doing lautering for brewing or other ventures. Ideally you have a ball valve, filter, then adjustable valve inline. So in the event you get a blockage you can close the previous valve, clean the filter or down line valve and keep going. But this shouldn't really happen if you lauter correctly.
  3. Can you tell us manufacture of barrel, toast and char level as well?
  4. Have you tried putting a valve after the pump so you can adjust the flow rate? With a valve you should be able to match the flow to the sparge water. Ideally keeping a 1 inch layer of fluid on top the grain bed.
  5. Do you need adjustable control on all 3 elements or just one element? Lots of times an on/off switch can be used for elements only needed for warm up while the remaining element is used for the actual run once up to temp. That can make your selection and box selection a lot cheaper. For example on my gin still I use two 6500 watt elements on different breakers. One is only used for warm up and the other is fully controlled during the run.
  6. If you're using this in a gin I can't imagine you are using a lot of it as it's not a main ingredient. Just wash them off in soapy water and use a soft brush and the wax will come off. Don't know if you thought about it or not but you can purchase dried zest (constant weight) and use that as well which is what a lot of people actually prefer.
  7. Yes, and it can be done by plates, temps, ABV or usually a combination of the above. Keep in mind your large distilleries are basically computer controlled. So the whole production process is a repeat of a repeat of a repeat and so will the 10,000 next batches they make. Like any hobby or sport, repetition makes you good at what you do. Grain bills can change things a bit but usually if going by ABV or temps it's the same thing. It's a matter of knowing the equipment and the process being used. Obviously a reflux still will be different than a pot still. A fractioning still different then the previous two. Do you strip or one and done? Use a doubler or not? But if you use the same process every time regardless of grains things will be darn similar. You may need/want a slightly different cut depending on the length of aging but overall will be the same for rye vs bourbon vs american whiskey if using the same equipment and process. Now compare a brandy to a whiskey using the same equipment and cut points will likely be quite different with more heads retention. Every combination of process and equipment will produce something a bit different but generally the same across different spirits. You just need to learn how that equipment produces spirits and get used to it. Repetition will help you get better with every new run done the same way and you notice patterns in ABV, temps, smells & taste profiles of the spirit at the cut points you like. When you get to this point you want to log barometric pressure and factor that in as the pressure does affect boiling points. So yes they all do it, but might use different methods.
  8. Just curious. How did things turn out? What did you end up doing?
  9. Yes in some locations that may not be allowed. However you could still have the distillery banner or product behind the free (without purchase) sanitizer correct? Laws are so completely different and often times super wacky it's hard to know area to area! What gets me is how this would be different than buying a bottle of liquor that comes with a free glass or two? You can't purchase the glasses separately and can only get them with the purchase of the liquor. If different, how? Because it's not in the same box/package? If that's the case could you hypothetically shrink wrap a bottle of sanitizer to the liquor bottle? Just curious.
  10. I'm curious. What part of that would be enticement? I'm not sure that type of thing would be legal for the state to do. 1996 Supreme Court case "Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island", ruled that the state can’t inhibit advertising language as a form of alcohol control.
  11. Don't do cuts on the strip run. The idea is to run your still as fast as possible to create low wines. The exception would be if you run very slow at the start of the run like it was a spirit run. Then take a quart as foreshots to discard, then crank up the still to strip as fast as possible. I actually like to do it this way because the first spirits that flow on each run in part clean the still from the last run so the first quart is garbage anyway. Remove the coconut from your filtering. Charcoaled Sugar Maple is ok but maybe you don't want that either. Maybe do half and half for blending later? Come back to using the sugar maple later after you get the new process down. You might like the white dog as is. Strip down to nothing or at least 5% left in the boiler when creating your low wines. Feints get added to low wines and are not stripped again. The combination of your low wines will likely be in the 25% to 30% range and you should NOT need to water this down. If the ABV is above 30% you are either not stripping down low enough or have to high ABV of feints meaning to narrow of cuts on the spirit runs. Pump from the low/middle section of your feints container to NOT take the top layer where oils will be. You can wick the oils out or pump them out every once in a while. Consider if not already using some backset (from strip not spirit runs) to lower pH when mashing. Only use enough to hit your desired pH levels for enzymes. Using both backset and feints will help to develop more nice flavors in your spirit with each batch and removing the coconut filtering will allow those to stay in the spirit.
  12. Will/can depend on state for sure. Can always adapt based on location. Nothing wrong with just giving it away or allowing 4 oz refills (bring your own bottle) and just having your spirits/sign/banner featured behind the filling station. Just do what's allowed per state to help while doing some PR/marketing/brand awareness at the same time. The main idea was to partner with like minded folks who wanted to be distribution points for sanitizer and would also push the local spirits as well.
  13. I won't name companies or distilleries. But I've been doing consulting with a few companies with a buy in based on knowledge, PR & marketing. Hence if my ideas don't help them it costs zero but if I increase profits I get a part of sales over time... The best "fare" method I can think of. These are small companies with 300 gallon stills or smaller. Many farm distilleries. Non of them would likely go under as they have other means of income. So the approach I asked them to take was to start producing GNS internally which could be used for many things including sanitizer. We did PR for local radio and news. I had them reach out to hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments as well as "nursing assistance" companies that come out to the house to do rehab (think break a leg/hip, etc) AND local churches that are supplying food to those in need as well as local Red Cross and Salvation Army. Most of these were commercial enterprises but some were obviously not for profit. I had them sell "fair market" to for profit and give away to non profits (with marketing banners/marketing bottles) of sanitizer. I had them give away "free sanitizer with purchase" at specific location that helped sponsor us. Yep, liquor stores. Spend $50 and get 8 oz of sanitizer for free OR purchase any of the local distillery products and get 8 oz of sanitizer for free. Shelves of products right behind the "free sanitizer" if you purchase "our product". So spend $50 for free sanitizer or a $25 bottle of vodka from one of these distilleries and get them same thing free. Same with grocery stores or other vendors who donated products used to make the donated sanitizer. Now even though the local bars are closed and not open for business we also cut deals with a few of them that sell food as well. Use our "base" spirits for cocktails/shots and we included them as sponsors and allow free sanitizer dispensing there as well with an order. We figured this would help them when business is re-opened (time will tell). So what is the end result? Liquor stores are selling more product than ever (of our products) and as more people purchase the more is being sold. People who didn't know about the local brands are becoming aware. So if you balance "giving"/"Charging" based on non profit vs profit and do some PR/marketing there is no reason to take a loss overall unless a substantial portion of revenue is based on your own cocktail lounge (not much you can do about that). This is why it's good to diversify as much as possible and make relations with local pubs, bars, liquor stores if possible in your state (laws may be different).
  14. How would you make non alcoholic vodka? substitute water for ethanol?
  15. Nah it's not a trick question at all and I completely disagree with you Silk on quality or why blends were made. It's only been "recently" 1983 that the spirit safe was not under control of the excise officer. Even after the restriction was lifted many distilleries kept the safe off limits to employees and a company officer held the keys vs the excise officer. Anyone who loves scotch can testify that some of the best Scotch whisky made was distilled in the 1960s, 70s early 80s. These were points when no one "touched" the spirit during distillation. All they had was the spirit safe which could flow distilled spirit as well as water and it had both temp gauges/thermometers as well as a proof & tralle hydrometers with different ports to direct flow. Inside the safe were glasses/tubes that could be filled for testing along with a traditional parrot for watching the proof during the run. So of course they had the ability to watch different temps on the still itself which are good points of data to know where in the run you are at. They could watch the parrot in the spirit safe as well which is another good data point but what else did they do? How did they use the water and the glass? Silk touched on it with "demisting test". Now before debunking what went on keep in mind most of your large distilleries today producing the best spirits made use automation based on temps throughout the still & electronic parrots as well as other sensors but they have just automated what was done manually previously and taken personal bias out. So the demisting test was a method of mixing water and white dog together in the safe to usually 46%/92 proof and looking to see how cloudy it was. Based on the clouding or lack of they would make the heads to hearts cut. They could tell by look and how much water was added how much "funk" was still in the heads. When the stills are ran back to back (no cleaning/flushing) the fresh spirit foreshots/heads would clean the still from the previous run as the fatty acids and esters would cloud the spirit. These first spirits off the still were both cleaning the still as well as contain what we know to be heads or high volatile alcohols and the "cleaning" pretty much aligned up with the end of heads (a nice accident). So "your" heads will likely contain tails from a previous run (something to think about). Now they would also do a demisting test when the proof dropped and temps went up when they were near tails. Again when tails come over the 46%/92 proof glass mixture would start to cloud and you knew you were in tails. Now I'm not pushing for you to make cuts like this but to understand it and maybe use it as a data point! It's just another tool to know and understand and even play with during a run to get comfortable with. The more we know the better distillers we should be. Most distillers will know by time, temp, proof when they are near cut over points. Add in this test and you have another data point. That's before ever smelling or tasting the product. You can teach a pure rookie how to make cuts using data points. Same for you when you have a cold and can't taste/smell anything. As I mentioned previously your smell and taste can change drastically based on what you eat, smoke or drink but these other data points won't change. Use them ALL! Stop cutting to big 5 gallon containers during the whole run. Sure use one for feints when you KNOW you are in heads and tails. Use one or many during the true center/hearts run but SWITCH to much smaller containers when you are near the cut over points. Hell even switching to gallon containers and using a couple between heads/hearts and hearts/tails will allow you to evaluate them the next day and get a better understanding of where the cuts should have been. Use that technique along with other data (temps and proof) for repetitive batches. With 1/2 gallon to 1 gallon used to collect during the cut over points you will have more to look at an include/exclude. Track your proof and temps along with which of these you kept or discarded to feints gives you more room next time to fine tune. Many a home distiller will collect the whole run on a keg still using quart jars half filled. That's excessive but doing that around your cut over points can teach you a lot and give you more choice of exactly where the cut is or should be and you can play if you want with the cut after distilling this way. But if the "cut point" happens to have fallen in the middle of 5 gallons container which is big for cut over points on that size still it's a bit of a problem if doing the cuts the next day. PS Don't get me wrong, there was bad whisky produced back then just as there is now.
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