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Sudzie last won the day on May 14

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About Sudzie

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  • Birthday 05/29/1957

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    York Beach, Maine

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  1. That’s Great! Glad to here you got it sorted out. Try to keep a weekly log of gas consumption just to get some base lines. Then look for seasonal changes and after a while you’ll see a pattern. Then look at it now and then and you will see when the efficiency falls off and when things need a good old tuneup. The other thing don’t be surprised, you may need to replace the burner motor every year. May has been our month to swap it out for the past 4 years. You’ll notice it going out on reset (the little read button) that’s a sign it’s almost spent.
  2. info@WigglyBridgeDistillery.com
  3. Dale sent a email and it bounced. Is that a correct email address?
  4. Your sending a whole lot of energy out of your system and taxing it more on heat up. There’s a old time saying in Maine with energy company’s. “ On the coldest day of the year your system shouldn’t turn off”. “It’s sized right”. (Most techs will way over size systems to make up for their lack of expertise to make the sale). Now most customers thought that they were wasting fuel and that was a tuff battle to over come. So we would increase the nozzle size or orifice on the boiler and then it would not run as long (but cycle more) and this pleased them. Albeit for just a month or two and then the calls would start. “Why is our bill so high”. Did you raise our price? We say no you wanted us to de-tune your system so it wouldn’t run so long. And then so we go out and re-tune it to the way we do it and tell them if you don’t save money your service calls are on us for a year. Never have done a refund. Go figure? Remember, long an slow is always better than short and fast! Its not over thinking it, it’s dialing it in for the best efficiencies in energy (money) and system longevity (money). I rather spend $$$ on grains and barrels than gas and boilers even having the luxury that we charge the distillery jobbers cost on everything. Just comes out of the other pocket. Ps if your system only runs 50% of the time you may want to change out the gun on your boiler. The pay back should be less than 2 years for something that should last 8-10. BTW, We run a 500,000 BTU modulating steam boiler with a 4” header. This supply’s a 275 gal stripping still a 109 gal spirit still and a 275 steam injected kettle. Every thing runs 7 Day’s a week. We use 225 to 275 gal of LPG a week depending on season (2” globe valves on everything for adjustment). First thing we get the spirit charged and running (1 hour heat up and 5.5 hour run). Meanwhile fill the kettle and bring up to temp while the spirit still is heating up. Turn off the steam educator on the kettle and then turn on the stripping still. (1 hour heat up and 4.25 hour run). The boiler stays between 7# & 12# (we might reduce to 11#) bouncing between low and high fire and doesn’t shut off throughout the day. And our returning condensate pipe is typically warm not hot. And believe it or not we are up grading to 750 gallon stripper and kettle and 275 spirit still starting next month and the same 500,000 BTU boiler will do it. Staging will change a bit and our still run times will increase 1.5 hours and our total cook time will go to 6 hours from 4.5 hours. It’s all in a day and if my math and heat loss calculations are off we’ll just install a Rinnai wall hung that we can re-chip to provide 180* water for the kettle with a fill time of 1 hour. Worth every penny of $1500 vs 35k for for a bigger boiler. Frugality marches on .
  5. You may want to change differentials on your high limit and your low limit pressures. Is your burner a high fire low fire one? If so you may want to adjust that. There are also pre & post purge timing adjustments which is usually a chip replacement from the burner mfg. that can be done in the field. It took us about a month in a half to dial our boiler in when first installed. We high fire in the am when everything is coming up to temp and we stage start their times. When we throttle things back our boiler never shuts off (the greatest achievable efficiency) and remains on low fire and sips LPG the rest of the day. We also own an oil and propane company and our service manager (my son) is quite savvy with steam.
  6. The kettle is injected and we employ hygienic steam (no treatment). Our incoming water is 1/16th of a grain of hardness of which none is iron or calcium and our TDS hovers around 28 ppm. We do a 15 min blow down in the kettle to a stainless tank every morning prior to filling it. We have never seen a trace of pipe slag coming from the eductor or in our accumulated condensed blown down water. I will admit the TDS increases to around 45 ppm +/-. A great side benefit is it sanitizes the kettle. One of our other company's is an Oil & Propane company and the boiler runs 7 days a week and will be replaced an a 5 year schedule regardless. The manufacture felt that 7 to 8 years would be good but i'd rater schedule the chopout vs needing to do it if a problem arises under pressure. The only down side with this is the boiler replacement, but we're in the biz and we install boilers most every day.
  7. We are expanding to larger stills and are selling our steam injected, water cooled jacketed kettle. (no exposed coils to clean) It has an explosion proof duel blade mixer. 2” tri clover drain valve. We have done over 1000 cooks with it and sad to see it go but we need the space for our new 750 gallon cooker that just arrived 🥳 $7800 ships from 03909. We will load for shipping no charge. 
  8. We are expanding to larger stills and are selling our steam injected, water cooled jacketed kettle. (no exposed coils to clean) It has an explosion proof duel blade mixer. 2” tri clover drain valve. We have done over 1000 cooks with it and sad to see it go but we need the space for our new 750 gallon cooker that just arrived 🥳 $7800 ships from 03909. We will load for shipping no charge. g
  9. This looks interesting. It’s 800 gal but for 12.5k not too shabby https://www.carter-wilson.com/shop/used/tanks--37/0-999-usg-302/used-800-gallon-jacketed-tank-stainless-steel-sanitary-with-mixer-42867
  10. If you have had them less than 6 months I’ll offer $2400 fob 03909. Let us know......
  11. Josh you can build one for about $75 and a bit of labor then just add wire..... https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-All-Purpose-Temperature-Controller-Fahrenheit/dp/B00OXPE8U6/ref=sr_1_7?crid=2T2D0OMWC2VL2&keywords=inkbird+temperature+controller&qid=1552439662&s=industrial&sprefix=Inkbird%2Cprime-exclusive%2C185&sr=1-7 https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Solenoid-Normally-Closed-diesel/dp/B007N0J98E/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=110+volt+solenoid+valve&qid=1552439903&s=prime-exclusive&sr=8-1 https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Solenoid-Normally-Closed-diesel/dp/B007N0J98E/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=110+volt+solenoid+valve&qid=1552439903&s=prime-exclusive&sr=8-1
  12. All I can say at 62 yo and selfemployed for 44 of them is I have always lead by example. Set the tone of your company. This can only be done if you are proficient in the tasks at hand. People want to get into this business because they want to run a still. Wrong reason in my option. This business is 15% production (a young persons position), 5% facility mantiance, 5% logistics, 15% hospitality and 60% sales and marketing. So with that, this is actually a sales and marketing business that people find themselves in. BTW doing production is physically more demanding than sales and marketing any day..... To clear things up these are the definitions that we use for staff and S&M positions. Brand Ambassador - Marketing; someone that promotes the brand and educates the end consumer. Sales Person - Sales; someone that sells and promotes your products through your on premise and off premise distribution network. Inside Staff - Hospiality; someone that bartends, does tastings & tours, cleans, and is the smiling face of the physicsial distillery. So, if you can find someone or several as we have that can do all 3 proficiently pay them as much as you can afford! So now back to the question at hand. Distrubtiors are the UPS/FedEx of your sales distrubtion. In reality they will just deliver your product for a huge fee. (Part of the business model). You are the only one (owners) that will sell in reality. If you don’t, can’t or want to sell your products then you need to employ a substitute for yourself. How much are you worth? How much would you want to be paid to do a stellar job selling your product. And how much can your company afford to pay for your replacement? These are the true questions you need to ask yourself. Not others. Each company has a different overhead cost and demands on real or implied margins. We calculate $35 of the case profit for S&M support efforts. I have seen some figures go as high as $110 per case for a period of time to open a new market. Ouch! From time to time we will use non staff (ambassadors) to help out with events and they usually get $15-$20 per hour for the event and usually a nice dinner or lunch prior and maybe a drink after. Always build camaraderie. And in closing, don’t forget in business “you get what you pay for” and you “only get back what effort you put in”. Go full tilt buggy and sell, sell, sell!
  13. Running production is the easy part. Hire an assistant distiller and train them on how you want things done. Pay them a good wage and then get out and sell your product. No one on earth is going to do a better job selling the goods than the person that has the most skin in the game.
  14. We have run the gamut using from 5 - 53 gallon barrels over the past 6 years while learning this barrel aging thing. If you know how to use a spreadsheet you can build out a matrix showing current/future needs offset by production/aging times/sales projections and then time your barrel dumps to the information provided. Not perfect (we had a couple of gaps where our sales out striped advable inventory) but worked great for us. What you actually end up doing is weaning yourself off the smaller size each time and progressing to the larger. Your aging times will vary a bit, but for 30’s we average 25 months and 53’s that are cycled 52 months works for us. Our natural (no heat) separate rickhouse depends on the fill season but we’re thinking 6 years will do it quite nicely. Haven’t dumped any from there yet, but love evaluating them. 3 years ago we goofed a bit and had too much bourbon and had to bottle quite a bit more than we could sell short term. Good problem to have (I thought) we dropped the price a little. Now I wish we didn’t. Didn’t noticeably help cash flow, but created sales. Should have kept the finished goods in inventory. Then bam, the next year we kept running low/out now and then due to increased demand (didn’t follow the spreadsheet) and brought the price back up to chill things back down. Learned a valuable lesson “don’t out swim your stroke”. I don’t want this to seem to be a simple task, we did have a couple of head scratching moments. But with all this said we agreed that there wasn’t a better way (using all barrel sizes) for us to start out. And BTW this will be our last year of filling 30’s (only 60 of them) and from now on only 53’s (over 250 this year) into the future. We may still use 30’s for side projects and now need to build a bigger still. The moral of our story comes from many years of teaching SCUBA diving; plan your dive, dive your plan!
  15. Agree, our difference is we throttle our kettle during heat up to keep our stills at 6# steam (balanced) on high fire (no regulator needed). When they come up to temp the stills are throttled back to run mode and the kettle is opened up wide to our strike. I think we end up with more of a water add due to our steam pipes not being insulated (short runs) and feed pipe condensate build up going into the kettle. Our kettle is at the end of the line before our line trap. Works great just keep your water add in mind. At the end of the day the only real measurement to be concerned with is your chosen SG and adjust as needed now and then to keep it where you want it. On a side note we calculated our water add with a 5 gallon bucket at our drain valve and time. Not overly scientific but got the job done.
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