Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Sudzie last won the day on June 4 2018

Sudzie had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

5 Neutral

About Sudzie

  • Rank
    Active Contributor
  • Birthday 05/29/1957

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    York Beach, Maine

Recent Profile Visitors

2,210 profile views
  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. Yes you are correct I was talking about seasonal water temps. Mid summer, we’ll into the fall our incoming water temp is around 74* here in Southern Maine and yesterday it was 41*. It adds 15 min to the summer time heat up and an additional 7 gallons to our starting 120 gal volume. Our Summer time water temp add is usually 27 gallon. Before anyone does the math, I know it doesn’t add up time/volume. There are more BTU’s need over time to bring cold water up 30* vs warm water up 30* hence more condensate. Also keep the mixer on when heating up and point the enductor at a 45* angle to the blades. For us it helped with the noise a bit too.
  7. Love using educators and live steam. We have 1500 plus cooks on a stainless eductor, think it was around $250 6 years ago and still going strong. About 2 years ago I got fed up with the noise and having to have earphones on during heat up. We now add 5 gallons backset during heat up and it’s a hell of a lot quieter also drops the starting pH to a better value than just fresh. You can actually have a conversation around the kettle now. I think the proteins in the backset makes the plain h2o more viscous. Anyhow it works great. We run at 9# steam (with a 500,000 btu peerless boiler and a 4” header) during heat up with the kettle and two stills coming up to temp. Stills heat up is 1hour +/- for both of the stills and we hit our strike in in the kettle in about 35 minutes. Just make adjustments to account for the water add from the condensed steam. Just fiddle around to hit your SG and make seasonal adjustments.
  8. Get Whiskey Systems to handle your reporting. I must say having over 40 years of self employed business experience you are definitely entering one of the most complex entrepreneurial quest one could ever venture into. I wish you good fortunes........
  9. Can I get a pic of #12, #13 & #14? Info@wigglybridgedistillery.com Ty Dave
  10. Make sure there isn’t a cross between your load (black) and line (white) with an outlet. We found this to be a problem at one of our propane customers while instilling a new high tech condensing boiler. Wouldn’t stay running without a reset and fried a circuit board within a week. The line and load wires were reversed on a outlet in another room on he same circuit in a series. Reversed and bam. Runs great and no additional service calls.
  11. Hi all We're expanding again and looking for a 500 gallon cooker with cooling and 500 fermenters.
  12. I was in a breakfast meeting (ASCA) with John Mafrita (sp) this spring an he mentioned that they are looking at a +/- in some new proofing regs for 2019.
  • Create New...