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Everything posted by HedgeBird

  1. HedgeBird

    Best options for cooling mash

    We are in the process of upgrading our mash tun from one with a separate steam plate and cooling jacket to a new larger mash-tun that has only a single steam jacket. I am wondering what folks who have single jacket mash tun, and who do grain is mashes are doing for cooling the mash? Are most of you running both steam and cooling (water or glycol) through the same jacket, or are you using a separate heat exchanger? Out details: Old mash tun is 150 gallon (has separate steam and cooling jackets)
  2. HedgeBird

    How to Pressure Test a still?

    Doing the water thing makes a lot of sense!
  3. HedgeBird

    Spirit Storage Vessels (Small Volume)

    https://www.amazon.com/Bucket-Eight-White-Gallon-Buckets/dp/B01MT5S6V9/ref=pd_sim_b2b_6?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01MT5S6V9&pd_rd_r=3744263f-ecec-11e8-8e2e-49ff07944d9e&pd_rd_w=OhzfK&pd_rd_wg=oCrK6&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=0b6f8745-66e2-4766-8b44-154b13ee4892&pf_rd_r=8ZYPX80XKYPGYC3DJB3C&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=8ZYPX80XKYPGYC3DJB3C For a budget option on collection off the still these 5 gallons buckets with the "Gamma Seal Lids" are pretty nice. Lots of color options you can use to differentiate between heads/hearts/tails, etc. bubbasbarrels.com also has some 50/100 gallon stainless drums with fittings.
  4. HedgeBird

    How to Pressure Test a still?

    https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Disconnect-Clamp-Industrial-Stainless/dp/B075RS5GB6/ref=sr_1_4?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1542735354&sr=1-4&keywords=tri+clamp+to+air+fitting Assuming you have a 1.5" tri-clamp fitting on the end of your condenser you can use the above fitting. Just remove the parrot, replace with the tri-clamp to air adapter fitting and pressurize the still with compressed air. Make sure your still has a pressure gauge you can view, and slowly fill her up until your relief valve pops. Then just let the still sit under pressure for an hour (or overnight) and check that you dont have any noticeable drop in pressure.
  5. HedgeBird

    Dephleg hotter than column

    Just curious, what type of material is the blue/green piping you are using for your cooling water? I cant tell if its painted cast iron pipe, or some type of plastic.
  6. HedgeBird

    Best options for cooling mash

    Along with what other have said this also means you have to wait longer to add your yeast. Our fermenters have very small jacketed areas so it would not be practical to use ours for the initial crash cooling.
  7. HedgeBird

    Best options for cooling mash

    We are in the process of upgrading our mash tun from one with a separate steam plate and cooling jacket to a new larger mash-tun that has only a single steam jacket. I am wondering what folks who have single jacket mash tun, and who do grain is mashes are doing for cooling the mash? Are most of you running both steam and cooling (water or glycol) through the same jacket, or are you using a separate heat exchanger? I am basically trying to figure out if I should plumb the steam jacket to do both heating and cooling, or get a separate tube in shell exchanger. Suggestions and input appreciated! Out details: Old mash tun is 150 gallon (has separate steam and cooling jackets) New mash tun is 300 gallon (has just a steam jacket) Mash is about 2lb of fine flour per gallon of water. We have a 300 gallon cold water tank/reservoir that we cool down over night with a chiller then use that water to crash cool the mash.
  8. HedgeBird

    Best options for cooling mash

    Thats good to hear as I purchased this tank from you! I have been thinking over the plumbing and it seems like the big downside is that the cooling water in the jacket when you are finished cooling will need to be drained and wasted (or pumped back to cold water tank). FYI - For some reason I am unable to get your phone number to ring. When I call it just gives me static. I have tried from two separate cell phones with the same result. Give me a call if you get a chance! andrew @ Thistle Finch Distilling!
  9. HedgeBird

    HoochWare Review

    I know this software has been discussed in other threads, but I though it might be good to not completely hijack another thread with HoochWare info. I finally got around to writing the testimonial I have been meaning to send to Shawn over at HoochWare. Figured I should probably also share it here. I used to dread filling our monthly federal reports. It would take hours to compile and prepare the data we had already spent hours recording. Even once they where finally submitted, that nagging worry that perhaps I did not file everything correctly, or I forgot to record some transaction, was a constant concern. Since migrating over to HoochWare I now spend drastically less time recording, preparing and submitting reports, and even more importantly, I now spend no time worrying that I might fail some audit in the future. Saving time might be worth money, but peace of mind is priceless and thankfully HoochWare is more than affordable even for a small distillery like mine! For the testimonial I really wanted to focus on why switching over to this software has been such a good move for me, and not specifically on features. If your still doing reporting by hand or spread sheet, or like me, have that nagging concern that your not doing it right, I would highly suggest you consider HoochWare or even one of the competing products. I am not sure what the pricing is currently on other products, but you can view the HoochWare pricing right on their site: https://www.hoochware.com/pricing While I pretty much signed up just for the reporting aspects, one of the other features we are taking advantage of is the inventory tracking. The "REORDER ITEMS" report on the inventory page is awesome. With once glance I can make sure we have enough of everything we need for an upcoming bottling. And when we record that bottling in the system for our reports the inventory we used gets automatically subtracted. Lots of other features I could go on about, but these two (reporting and inventory) alone make it more than worthwhile for me. Images: About a years worth of 2016 federal paperwork I wont be messing with this year! Screen shot of the Reorder Items report.
  10. I live in a state that has limited options for shipping product out of state direct to consumers. Previously we worked with an online operation based in D.C. that retailed our product, but they seem to be closing down. I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations for online distribution? Not really looking for anything that needs to move thousands of bottles but it would be nice to have an option for the occasional person that wants to buy our stuff from out of state. East coast preferable but would love to hear about any organization and your experience with them. Thanks in advance!
  11. HedgeBird

    Bottling line help

    This is also my experience with our four spout expressfill volumetric filler. We even replaced the laser cut rubies that are intended to control the fill speed by being exactly the same diameter and its always still a bit off between spouts. I will say that I do not think that having to do all four bottles at the same time is a disadvantage over being able to do four individually. Our routine is: pull four full bottles and set them to your left; place four empty bottles on filler; hit the start button to begin filling; as the four bottles are filling you cork the four you just pulled; by the time you have corked those four you wait about four seconds for the next batch to finish. Also when your doing over a thousand bottles in a run I dont really care that we end up with four half filled bottles over just one half filled bottle.
  12. HedgeBird

    Plumbing question: is this normal?

    The trap is still doing its job of preventing sewer gasses from passing up and out the air gap. Same as if it was a floor drain or floor sink, etc.
  13. HedgeBird

    Plumbing question: is this normal?

    An air gap (Indirect Drain) is required in most all commercial kitchen environments, so thats almost certainly by design. That particular setup would fail inspection from a picky inspector as technically there needs to be space between the top of the waste/drain pipe and the bottom of the pipe coming from the sink/dishwasher, ice bin, etc. Best would be to replace with a 3" x 3" x 2" (or whatever size pipes they are) PVC T fitting and put a clean out plug on the top end of the T. Spray foaming it would be pretty lazy work but would certainly get the job done faster! https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-in-x-3-in-x-2-in-PVC-DWV-All-Hub-Sanitary-Tee-C4811HD332/100342376 https://www.homedepot.com/p/NIBCO-3-in-PVC-DWV-Spigot-x-Cleanout-Adaptor-with-Plug-C4816HD3/205808372
  14. HedgeBird

    Hot vs Cold Water Barrel Prep

    Get yourself a hoop-driver if you dont have one! https://www.gwkent.com/hoop-driver-for-oak-barrel.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwiJncBRC1ARIsAOvG-a5gAXIReaN_pTr0GQ-qJbpAQQOXj3K9ArLfT6vWQFSstdo_8bsk4JQaAgUrEALw_wcB http://www.thevintnervault.com/index.php?p=view_product&product_id=992 https://barrelbuilders.com/store/?model_number=CSHD09
  15. HedgeBird

    Dealing with vindictive neighbors...

    I dont know what type of jurisdiction your distillery lives in, but is there no noise ordinance?
  16. HedgeBird

    Hot vs Cold Water Barrel Prep

    This is also what we typically do as well prior to filling/soaking. We get barrels from two suppliers and one supplier has staples in their hops that prevent them from being driver down.. kinda annoying. Anyone know the benefit to adding these staples?
  17. HedgeBird

    Facebook Fan Pages

    This link (with the "#!" in the URL) does not even load the page for me.. https://www.facebook.com/harvestspirits works.. Same thing for http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Breuckelen-Gin/192837856324 loads nothing.. but https://www.facebook.com/brkdistilling works.. Are folks just posting the wrong link?
  18. HedgeBird

    Looking for Used 53G barrel rack vendor

  19. Its not just a state by state issue. To actually distill you would need a federal permit in addition to whatever the state would require. Shot answer is no, its not possible to do such a thing legally speaking.
  20. HedgeBird

    New DSP :) Software Recommendations?

    Using Hoochware and QuickBooks online. I dont have them integrated, but just use Hoochware for production and TTB reporting and QuickBooks for accounting. Works okay for us. Getting a distillery specific product with enough accounting functionality to replace QuickBooks seems optimistic.
  21. HedgeBird

    Re-selling Bourbon Barrels

    I typically sell once used barrels for $200, multiple use barrels for $150 and barrels that are no longer really usable (for holding liquid at least) for $100. It blows my mind that folks are paying/charging more for used barrels than what a new one actually costs ($250), but apparently the demand for used barrels supports it and most breweries dont know what a barrel costs these days.
  22. HedgeBird

    POS system for sales

    For our new location we went with Square for Restaurants; a new version/service offered by Square. We got signed up as a beta tester back in March and have been up and running with it since mid May. https://squareup.com/townsquare/introducing-square-for-restaurants https://squareup.com/us/en/point-of-sale/restaurants https://techcrunch.com/2018/05/08/square-launches-restaurant-point-of-sale-platform/ Monthly cost is: $60 per location (includes one point of sale) $40 per additional point of sale Fees are: 2.6% + 10¢ Per tap, dip, or swipe (discounted rate available if your over $250,000 annually with an average ticket cost over $15) There have certainly been some issues, but over-all the experience has been positive and the support has been very good. Perhaps not the cheapest option, but the servers/bar-tenders really seem to like it compared to other legacy POSs they have used in the past. I feel confident that Square will continue to build out features and fix issues as they come up. I have not heard of PointOS - Seems like an interesting option and certainly sounds cheaper. Did some searching online and the overall feedback is pretty mixed: read the reviews here: https://www.capterra.com/p/81291/PointOS-Professional/ Their website says the cost is $499 for one station but I cant find any info on what other costs may be?
  23. HedgeBird

    BIB Bag In Box Supplier

    Is purchasing online an option for you: https://www.webstaurantstore.com/45145/bag-in-box-soda.html https://www.webstaurantstore.com/45149/bag-in-box-juices.html Also heads up, as not all BIB sodas have the same connection/thread type. You may need an adapter: https://www.webstaurantstore.com/adapter-for-bag-in-box/103BIBADAPT.html
  24. HedgeBird

    Question About Spirit Definition Legalities

    It would. "Sweet Sunshine" or "Pirate Spirits" would be either the brand name of fanciful name, and I believe both are required for the Specialty class along with a product description. https://www.ttb.gov/pdf/brochures/p51902.pdf Sounds like your at least familiar with running a business and keeping records, etc. so the un-enjoyable parts might not be a big issue for you. Best of luck!
  25. HedgeBird

    Question About Spirit Definition Legalities

    Yes, you can. This sheet will show you all the legally defined Classes and Types of spirits: https://www.ttb.gov/spirits/bam/chapter4.pdf If it does not fit into one of the defined Classes then it gets categorized as a "DISTILLED SPIRITS SPECIALTY" - "Distilled spirits not defined under any other class · Generally, any class and/or type of distilled spirits that contain or are treated with flavoring and/or coloring materials and/or nonstandard blending or treating materials or processes" and not "Pirate Spirits." And I know you did not ask, but doing what your saying you want to do sounds like the fastest way to probably make a hobby a lot less enjoyable.