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Hypnopooper

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About Hypnopooper

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    Active Contributor
  • Birthday 02/17/1975

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  • Website URL
    http://www.BigThicketDistilling.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Conroe, TX

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  1. Hypnopooper

    Keep Chip in your toasts, and prayers!

    Looks like Chip has been Bought out and fired from the board of Balcones. Sad ending, but I think it was inevitable. Chip will land on his feet and should reappear in a year or so... http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/balcones-distilling-founder-tate-bought-out-by-board/article_cf702743-5d51-5704-8f1d-931ab1e611c6.html?mode=jqm
  2. Hypnopooper

    Vanilla Extract

    I am trying to think of ways to get our name out to places that we are unable to sell our bottled alcohol at. In TX, we can't sell our vodka at Artisan/Farmers markets, we have a stract 3 tier system, except for bottle sales in our tasting room. I assume giving away samples at such locations that do not actually resell our product is probably not going to net many new sales if they have to go find our product after sampling at an event. I'm toying with the idea of making Vanilla Extract from our Vodka and selling in 4 or 8 oz bottles with our product name and logo on the bottle. This would allow for us to go to Farmers/Artisan markets that we are currently not allowed to sell our "Vodka" at. Have any other distiller's tried such an option? What were your results? Thoughts?
  3. Hypnopooper

    Open Wooden Fermenter Opinions

    We use the open top fermentation and run the bug that make it through the nets with the rest of the mash as well. if I could do it over again...I would have bouth a stainless tank and had it "skinned" in cypress. Less work to take care of the wood and keep the staves from separating due to lack of using all 3 of ours at the same time.
  4. Hypnopooper

    New lawsuit against the 5th Dimension Inc (Tito's)

    Subject should have stated "New lawsuit against the 5th Generation Inc. (Tito's)"
  5. Well it looks like truth in Labeling and the latest lawsuit on Tito's could be a small problem for the company... There's no denying, that we all would like to be as successfull as "Tito's" but it looks as though the "Handmade" and "distilled in Austin, TX" may end up being a problem. What's more interesting is that we may actually get some real facts from this court case as to what the production method is and whether GNS is in fact what is being re-distilled in Austin TX. (although I think most us have an inclination to suspect GNS) It's a pipe dream for me, but hopefully we can also start getting the TTB to put some rules around GNS and how the industry truthfully labels re-distilled GNS. http://www.bevlaw.com/bevlog/vodka/the-titos-lawsuit-when-approval-is-not-approval
  6. Hypnopooper

    Cypress v. Conical v. Conical with Jacket

    We have (3) 250 Gallon cypress fermentation tanks from Confederate Stills of Alabama. Each tank has 1/2" or 3/8" hard copper coils around the walls that keep our ferment at 75F in Houston with the use of our chiller. He was also making the cypress tanks that Hillbilly Stills was reselling as well as wrapping stills in a nice cypress finish until the two of them had a falling out.
  7. All still sales are supposed to be reported to the TTB. The TTB is going through the reported sales of known startup still makers and sending out a "form letter" letting purchasers know that the TTB is aware of their still purchase and that unless they have a permit to distill alcohol, they are likely breaking the law. They also cited the recent sting operation with cooperation between TTB and the FL alcohol bureau or whatever it's called that resulted in "X" amount of arrests. We purchased our stills through Hillbilly Stills and got a letter last week from TTB. No problem for us, we are a registered and bonded distillery. But for others, this could be problematic. If the TTB would have done any homework,they would have known that I as the purchaser of said still am also owner of a registered TTB business. Bottom line, if you are buying stills or parts to build a still from known still builders, and you do not have a permit to distill alcohol, you are taking a big chance that your little hobby may become a very expensive trip to a defense attorney. ADI does not endorse hobby distilling without a proper TTB permits. Stay legal people.
  8. Hypnopooper

    POS system for sales

    Agreed on square stand! It's easy, cheap and functional. we use it in our tasting room as well.
  9. Hypnopooper

    customer/sales software

    You can add a cash drawer as an option. I'm thrifty and IT oriented, so I'm just waiting on a good deal for the drawer. The Ipad was a pawn shop purchase, the stand was Craigslist, we picked up the receipt printer new in the box off of Ebay for $75.. Our total investment in the cash register solution is less than $350 to date, but we own it, and it's pretty simple to use.
  10. Hypnopooper

    customer/sales software

    We use an iPad with the square stand for tasting room sales. Very easy to run reports from and can easily import into Quickbooks.
  11. Hypnopooper

    How did you come up with the name your product?

    We used East Texas History to come up with our "Dog Trot" Vodka. Named of course after the Dog Trot style log cabins in east Texas before A/C with 2 rooms divide by a breezeway. They were common in east Texas and the "Big Thicket", and had originated from Appalachian regions of Tennessee and Kentucky. We wanted something with local roots and a conversation starter.
  12. Hypnopooper

    Alibaba, thoughts?

    MG, I got a deal on a 4ton chill king unit that I could not turn down. It came from an ice cream shop that never opened. We are using it for our condenser's and to chill our ferment tanks as well. Thanks, Dan
  13. Hypnopooper

    Alibaba, thoughts?

    We bought our still tanks from ZHENGHENG found on Alibaba. and had a good experience. I learned a little about importing too Each of our still boilers are 474L tanks that are insulated steam kettles. We bought 2 of them and paid 5322.00 each. It was a little unnerving sending 12K overseas in a bank wire transfer though. new-474L1.pdf
  14. Hypnopooper

    Boiler Pricing Range

    I agree whole heartedly Blackheart. I also found that electrical steam generators are generally cheaper than boilers. But, the cost of adding 3 phase to our electrical panel was going to be 20K for electrical powered steam. So, in the end natural gas is cheaper than electricity for for us and much more efficient. For us, I predict that by going with natural gas/steam, the cost difference will pay for itself based on our current electrical rates in less than 2 years. Find a reputable boiler inspecter, they usually can get you a good lead on a used boiler for often times more than half the cost of a new one. Pay for the inspection before you buy.
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