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david

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  1. david

    Spiced Rum

    Agreed. Use fresh spices to make an outstanding and different product. Show it to your customers on tours and really go the extra mile to differentiate yourself from those that are doing the bare minimum (and calling it craft (and/or premium).
  2. david

    Spiced Rum

    I macerate for 3 weeks at 115 proof. And yes, use small amounts of spices with small mason jars and blend the tinctures accordingly to achieve your flavor profile. Then, do a trial maceration with all of your spices together and go from there.
  3. david

    molasse question

    I buy grade 645 Molasses from Malt Products. The spec sheet on the molasses gives you the total sugars. If you use the weight of the molasses (at 11.34 lbs/ gal x .67 sugar content by weight) and the weight of water (8.27 lbs/ gal), it is pretty easy to calculate your desired brix (sugar %). I use 620 lbs of molasses for a 250 gallon (total volume) fermentation. This is nice, because a 275 gallon tote will yield exactly 5 fermentations. This ratio is closer to 3.5 gallons H2O to a gallon of molasses, but I do get a brix reading right around 20. I have open top/ variable capacity fermenters so I just take off the lid, put the tank on a pallet on my floor scale, forklift the tote over the tank and drop in 620 #s. I then use as hot of water as I can get to break down and mix in the molasses. Once the molasses is mixed in well, I'll blend in some cooler water so I can pitch yeast right away. Wash temp is usually 90-95 + when I pitch yeast and fermaid. Fermentation should be done in no more that 4 days. I don't use any heating or mash cooker. Just a few days to ferment and it's ready to go into the still.
  4. david

    hot box/force box

    I finally got a solid answer from a contact who has done this type of testing with some of the big boys (Diageo, etc,) He says that 3 months at 100 degrees is roughly equivalent to a year in the market. If my rum looks/ tastes good after close to 3 months in the box, I'll be more than happy.
  5. david

    Non Contact Cooling Water. What To Do?

    I came up with a similar cold liquor recirculation loop in our new distillery. The idea was to pump cold water (32 degrees) from one cold tank through the dephlegmator and condenser and return it to the other tank. During our first run, Sherman (who was on site to install the Vendome touchscreen) suggested that we return the water back to the original cold tank instead of the empty tank. Town water is T'd into the system, so we figured that if the water from the first tank got too hot, we could run town water through the dephlegmator/ condenser and return it to the other (empty) tank to finish the run. We didn't need to. One tank was plenty to run a single batch in a day and the chiller cooled down the water back to 32 overnight. So we have a 2 square 550 gallon tanks (that are jacketed on 3 sides). Our still is a Vendome 250 gallon column still with 4 bubble caps. A half hp pump and a small chiller complete the system. You just need to loop both tanks from the supply side (with appropriate isolation valves) to the pump through the dephlegmator/ condenser and return it to the top of both tanks (again w/ isolation valves). I have run the still 20 times and have only used the original 550 gallons of water. The second tank is still empty. The system has worked better than I could've imagined. I hope this helps.
  6. david

    hot box/force box

    No no, you misunderstand my initial post. The spices have already steeped in the rum for 2 weeks and were then removed. The spiced rum was then blended with white rum, sweetened and watered back to bottle proof (94 proof). I then filtered through the 2 micron pads. A bottle was then placed in the incubator. The force aging that I am trying to simulate is 'bottled product shelf life'. I want to see if, over time, this product will throw sediment or haze or will even lose it's flavor profile. So what I am wondering is, if a bottled product spends 1 month in the forcebox at 94 degrees F, that would roughly reflect a bottle sitting on a store shelf (maybe in the sun for a couple hours/ day) for how long? a year?.. 2? If it lasts a good long time and maintains the flavor profile as well as its clarity in the incubator, I can feel comfort about it's integrity in the market. Sorry for the confusion.
  7. david

    Road Trip to east coast distilleries, where to go?

    You're welcome to come out to the tip of Cape Cod and check out our new operation. We started making Rum in July 2013. Nothing on the shelf, but barrel samples and spiced rum bench trials are available. South Hollow Spirits in North Truro MA. Let me know if you make it this far east.
  8. david

    hot box/force box

    actually the temperature did go up a bit more, but seems to now be static at 94-95 degrees.
  9. david

    hot box/force box

    I am 'force aging' a spiced rum in an incubator to simulate the aging process on a store shelf for a year or so. Does anyone have a formula for time and temperature of force aging and how it translates to real life conditions. the spiced rum was filtered through a home wine making, 3 sheet plate & frame filter through 2 micron pads. This is an approximation of what I will do prior to bottling (my real filter uses 2.5 or 1.5 micron sheets). The temperature inside the incubator has leveled off @ 90 degrees F. The question is "how long should I leave it in there to simulate a year in the bottle under normal conditions"?... 2 years?... Thanks for any input anyone may have.
  10. david

    hot box/force box

    I am 'force aging' a spiced rum in an incubator to simulate the aging process on a store shelf for a year or so. Does anyone have a formula for time and temperature of force aging and how it translates to real life conditions. the spiced rum was filtered through a home wine making, 3 sheet plate & frame filter through 2 micron pads. This is an approximation of what I will do prior to bottling (my real filter uses 2.5 or 1.5 micron sheets). The temperature inside the incubator has leveled off @ 90 degrees F. The question is "how long should I leave it in there to simulate a year in the bottle under normal conditions"?... 2 years?... Thanks for any input anyone may have.
  11. david

    Heating fermenters

    They make heaters for tropical fish tanks. I use them for my Cane Sugar fermentations (don't need to for molasses). I just hang 'em submerged in a 1000 litre tank and they hold the heat nicely. They're inexpensive and work quite well. We also use them in 800 gallon tanks for Malo-lactic fermentation in red wines and they do the trick (although ML doesn't need to be quite as warm). Hope this helps. David
  12. david

    Rum fermentation

    The pH did crash hard (all 3 tanks below 3.00). I used Potassium Bicabonate to bring them all back up to the 4.5 - 5.0 range but they are STILL taking their sweet time. Next time, definitely no acidification and I'll watch the pH carefully during fermentation. Thanks for the input so far, anyone else got any more info?... Again, thanks. Dave
  13. david

    Rum fermentation questions

    What is the rate of citric (ie how many g/litre to change the pH from 5.5 to 4)? Also, is the reaction to citric the same for Evaporated Cane Sugar Juice as it is for molasses? I have found that you need MUCH less tartaric acid to drop the pH of ECJ than you need to drop Molasses.
  14. david

    Rum fermentation

    I have just started distilling rum in a 250 gallon Vendome Column still out on Cape Cod. We plan to bottle a blend of Rum from molasses as well as rum from Evaporated Cane Sugar Juice. The molasses has been quite easy to ferment (our 3rd batch was dry in 3-4 days) while The ECJ has been VERY sluggish. I have a batch of ECJ that was pitched almost 2 weeks ago and still has nearly half the sugar left. We are an existing winery, so I have been using wine yeast (EC 1118) and nutrients (Fermaid K) both at twice the rate we would use for wine. This works out to 500 grams of EC1118 & one pound of Fermaid per 250 gallon fermentation. We have also added DAP (although Fermaid has enough DAP to give an adequate N supply). I have 3 tanks of ECJ that are all fermenting, but doing so very slowly. Temperatures of the wash are conducive to these tanks fermenting out quickly. What am I missing? Does anyone have a secret for fermenting ECJ? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Dave
  15. david

    Safety

    Thank you for any and all info so far. We would not total more that 24 barrels in this area. We now plan to firewall off the boiler, put in an explosion proof fan (which we will run continuously). The fan is in the corner of the space with the barrels lined up along the wall between an open window and the fan. I will source the fan with '5 air exchanges per hour' in mind. Ethanol vapor sensors will also be installed (calibratde in the 3.5% - 19% range). Still working on lighting and other electronics. Again, thanks to all and is there ANYTHING ELSE?
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