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Chrismass last won the day on January 19 2017

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About Chrismass

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  1. Chrismass

    Solder or Brazing plates

    I have just as of 3 hours ago finished brazing all of the plates. The 9 bubble caps and 3 downcomers are now in and all they need is a good brushing and cleaning. The plates got a little warped but that doesn't matter, but first one did and we just banged it back into shape really quick. We are using Harris 56% silver brazing alloy. Below is a dephlegmator design I found, and I am actually copying it! I bought 3 extra plates and I'm milling them down this week. For a few dollars extra its worth it. (Not my picture, I'm just copying) This is what the sight glasses will look like. I have cut the ferrules so they are flush with the pipe. I will be silver brazing them in either tomorrow or Monday. They are being held in place by an aluminum angle I bought at Home Depot. Everything I'm adding will be flush down the pipe tube, even the CIP system which will be modular. (My table in the morning... Not my pills) I now understand everything that must be done. I forgot to mention that I am adding a plate disabling system but I have opted to use copper pipes running straight to the plates. These pipes will have a TC connection on the side of the still where a TC ball valve attaches and can be turned on and off. Easy to clean, easy to operate. Pretty penny though. UPDATE: I didn't want to make another post, so I'll post it here. All 4 sections now have pate holes drilled. What you see are copper rivets which will be soldered from the inside and polished outside. Say what you want about it but I don't really mind them! At least it's different to say the least. The copper rivets are in 4 points around the plate which balances on it. Now it's time to take all the plates out, braze in the CIP ports in the back, then braze in the front 4 window ferrules.
  2. Chrismass

    Solder or Brazing plates

    Before I explain my still build, I would like to ask two stupid questions. What exactly do you mean by cooling managment valves, and where can I get more information? And can I use ROHS certified silver solder 56% which we have an enormous amount of? I know that normal lead free solder is much cheaper, but I have always preferred using silver which I have a quantity of. We will use a small mapp gas torch to do this. I am using some components from Still Dragon including the copper caps, downcomers, plates, sight glasses and ferrules. I have purchased a 6''x10' copper type L pipe which was cut into 2' sections and a 1' section to be made into a dephlegmator with 12 1/2'' copper pipes. I would have cut it into 1' sections like you suggested, but for aesthetics we are hoping to keep them 2' with 4 plates each. The company that runs Still Dragon has already done the surface area calculations and figured out the proper flow rates and surface area required for each plate. We are being kind of lazy and simply taking their plates, caps (9 per plate) and the downcomers (3 per plate) they make and using a different column material. One thing to note is that the 12 hole plates were a little larger than 6'' because they were made to be held in by a gasket which actually reduces their suface area by a slight amount. This same amount of surface area will be reduced for my column by a machinist friend who will be shinking the radius of the plates slightly with a lathe so they can fit in the pipe. These plates are to be held in by 4 1/8'' holes drilled into the side of the pipes with small 1/8'' copper rods inserted about 1/4'' for the plates to rest on, they will be soldered to the outside and sanded over for eventual polishing. I have a CIP system that I am building utilizing a pressurized SS beer keg and TC SS rotating CIP balls for each plate. The plates will be disabled with a 3/4'' copper pipe that leads directly to the plate on the side of the still with a 3/4'' SS ball valve for each. The sight glasses (Still Dragon ones with a brass flange that has no contact with the vapor) will be attached to 3'' SS ferrules that will be brazed into the column. The column is to be held together with 6'' SS ferrules and for the time being held together with SS tri clamps. I am eventually going to have chrome plated or polished SS flanges made to hold them together for aesthetics only. This column is going to be fed by the boiler from a 2'' copper pipe. The column is not going to be attached to the boiler because I don't think it will be as easy to access it. An idea I have been toying around with is using SS solenoid valves to control the CIP and plate disablers instead of using regular manual ball valves to ease operation even further. That is just an idea, nothing cemented yet. If you notice anything in my explanation that sounds stupid or plain wrong, please alert me. I honestly never thought about melting the things clean off when sealing the plates in. Instead of a normal downpour for the plates, the downcomers will supplement this function.
  3. Chrismass

    Solder or Brazing plates

    I have a question about securing plates to the wall of a copper column and bubble caps to the plates. Will using silver or regular solder (Lead free of course) be sufficient to secure the copper plates to the wall and the bubble caps to the plate, or would one recommend silver brazing instead? Brazing in a 6''x2' section of pipe does not seem very feasable because it would probably cook your arm in a matter of seconds, and I cannot even begin to think about getting a good line of sight. Will solder or silver solder be strong enough? If I use ROHS certified solder will that ensure approval by the regulatory agencies? Is a high silver solder preferable to a low silver solder? Will ethanol after time eat away at the solder or is this not even an issue? Logic says that silver solder will be more than enough to keep plates/caps in place for years to come. Soldered joints I see used quite often, but there is no harm in making certain. I have always used silver solder in most of my applications. Thanks!
  4. Chrismass

    Bottle Fillers

    I would try http://xpressfill.com/ I had previously contacted the owner because I had sent an email to the company asking the same question. They told me that they were manufactured in their facility in California. Chris
  5. Chrismass

    Charcoal Filtering

    http://homedistiller...vated_book1.pdf I had linked this in a previous thread, I have yet to find a more informative guide! Two sources I have came upon for carbon: http://buyactivatedcharcoal.com Types 12x30AW and 20x50 are both coconut based, I will be trying both! AND http://norit.com/ Chris
  6. Chrismass

    Good brands/sources for activated carbon?

    From what I have seen there is no limit to how many times you can reuse the activated carbon. I guess how much down time you have dictates how often or how many times you could reuse it. http://homedistiller.org/activated_book1.pdf If you have not already read this pdf, I would. This is a very informative pdf of information, and I learned so much about activated carbon there. Someone else posted it on the forums but I don't remember where, so I put up a fresh link. Chris
  7. Chrismass

    An evaporator for spent mash...

    Actually I am not 100% sure as of yet. I know a few people who own farms that may be interested, but otherwise I figure I will just get rid of it. I unfortunately live in the suburbs and because of that we have strict environmental regulations. The unit says that in batch mode it will do 17GPH. The BTU consumption is 200k. Two therms costs around a dollar where I am located, that makes the cost per gallon >5 cents. For that price this unit will pay for itself instead of me lugging it away to be disposed of. My only other option was the town dump which charges an exorbitant amount of money to destroy it, and also requires you leave it in a container which you don't get back! My curiosity was if anyone else had experience with something like this. If I become the first, I will follow up on this.
  8. Chrismass

    An evaporator for spent mash...

    Well I haven't seen any threads on this so I figured I would share it. Below I have linked the page to a whole bunch of waste water evaporators. These things could save a whole lot of time, energy and money. It runs off natural gas which is dirt cheap even here in New York. I cannot dump my spent mash, (We have strict environmental regulations) nor do I have a dry house or local farms to take my spent mash. Does anyone else have experience with a similar piece of equipment or recommend a better version/brand? Any thoughts/comments! http://www.equipmentmanufacturing.com/wastewater-evaporator-water-eater-home.htm
  9. @Panoscape The PDF you linked was extremely helpful. I read through the entire thing a couple of times, and honestly it was time well invested. The one thing that the reading has put in the back of my mind is the fear of finding inferior activated carbon. He mentions that cheap Chinese activated carbon is often sold as high quality food grade carbon. Where do you all purchase your activated carbon from? (I would prefer coconut shell!) Thanks, Chris
  10. Chrismass

    Getting to 190 proof for Vodka

    Okay so I haven't been posting anything for the last few months as I have been going through the threads (Probably more than 300 different ones) for the last few months and researching and trying to learn as much as I can. I am already very close to the building phase of my distilleries development, and we are in the process of obtaining our loan. The whole process is still moving very rapidly, and all that's on my mind are the many hundreds of finite details that must be addressed. That was just a very quick background on what I am doing. One of the things that concerns me currently is getting my spirits to 190 proof so I can legally call it vodka under TTB regulations. The catch here is that I want to use strictly pot stills, and will not have a reflux still on my distilleries premise. My reasoning for this is not only because of me, but it is because of my fathers preferences as well. His background is engineering for Hasbro, contracting for large estates and buildings, and building/repairing specialty retail stores throughout the U.S. Our family has been rooted in alcohol production since the era of prohibition when the Italian side of my family ran a Queens based winery (It got busted) and a speakeasy. My reasoning for providing this information is because I do not want anyone to convince me of my errors as I have gotten messaged about before. Often it is assumed that I do not understand reflux stills, and why they're the best choice (The stripping will be done via pot still). I know that a reflux column is extremely efficient and produces the highest proof spirits when compared to pot stills. One of my families obsessions is to keep things traditional. The old method of using pot stills to produce vodka is the only method we would like to use. The only thing we are doing to the vodka processing wise is putting it through a regiment of carbon filtration. I am trying my hardest to stay true to the older methods in production, and I can retain 100% of my pride/bragging rights that come along with this method. I understand that additional problems will arise when trying to use a pot still to gain a spirit at 190 proof. A quick explanation of our process: We are planning on doing 5 distillations per batch. Carbon filtration will be the only processing post distillation, or in-between distillations depending on our experimentation results. Our pot stills will have jacketed steam coils welded to the bottom of the still. Obviously we will be using a steam boiler to heat it, so we will have extremely good control over the level of heat. Any recommendations or suggestions to achieve the 190 proof goal more easily or differently would be appreciated! Thanks, Chris
  11. Chrismass


    Thank you very much for your input, I figured that the forms would be very iffy for someone like me to fill out. After doing a little more research I came across the fact that you cannot trademark a name if the majority of the name includes your location? My area in New York is a major part of my name, which seems like anything with your areas name in it really can't be trademarked? If this is false, that would be great and I will be able to go forward to a lawyer with my inquiry and not look like a fool!
  12. Chrismass


    Disclaimer: I searched the word trademark, and NOTHING came up (I like to give this disclaimer because generally I use that function a lot!) Heres another question about trademarking your name. I have a very unique name, took me half a year to come up with it. I am however very scared that someone else could take it, and or trademark it. My two fears are: 1 - Someone decides to make a vodka or something similar, even a non alcoholic drink or product with the same name. 2 - Someone trademarks it and I cannot use it. I wanted to know what everyones thoughts on this are? What is the BEST way I can protect my vodka (I'll pay the 325 for the trademark in a heartbeat IF that's the best way) and make sure no one can steal it from me. Is there a method that anyone else used which I could follow? I know there are dirty opportunists out there such as those who buy websites and then basically ransome them off to the person who actually was using the name in practice way before. People ignorant of these trademark and legal theft occurances end up getting screwed like my father did. I will not allow that to happen to me, I need to figure out the most bulletproof way! *Note: I am not close to production, I am in the planning phase about to obtain the loan. Thanks in advance, Chris.
  13. Chrismass

    Federal taxes

    New York state levies a 1.70$ excise tax per 1L bottle sold but is adjusted for 750ML so I assume I will be paying 1.28 per bottle according to the form. The .66$ one in California seems a lot nicer then here! The only bonus New York has is the steep discounts and benefits of getting the newly created micro distillery license (Class a-1 I believe) which saves a lot compared to the old 50,000$ one. The federal tax isn't too crippling, neither is the state. However taxes can add up very quickly. A second question that just went through my mind was do distillers pay sales tax when they wholesale it to a retail establishment? Or is the retail establishment required to pay that tax? I used to manage a bar, and when we bought a shipment of liquor neither us nor the wholesaler seemed to pay sales tax. The sales tax was factored into our income, and the local had like a 7% sales tax as well. I am guessing that the state, federal and local taxes get placed on our overall income? Another note that I want to add is that I plan on doing the distribution myself. I have a good backing for doing so, and a friend who is on board with me is helping me handle those logistics. Where I live in New York the population is very dense. My small county alone which you could drive across in a matter of 30 minutes has more than 600k people.
  14. Chrismass

    Federal taxes

    2.14 is much more affordable! Thank you so much. Even though I'm not in production yet, you can understand the fear a 4 dollar tax would have caused me! Affordable is hard to do sometimes. Once again, thank you for clarifying this for me.
  15. Chrismass

    Federal taxes

    Disclaimer: Yes I did search for taxes on the forms to see if anyone posted this before. I am kind of confused and ifs not find and definitive information about HOW federal taxes are implemented. I am making a vodka to be bottled in 750ml bottles. According to the below link, if I am reading it right, there is a tax for distilling a gallon (13.50 at only 50%) and another per packaged bottle at 40% (2.14 at 40%) so added up I take this to equal.. 2.14 + 1.98 Equals near 4 dollars to the fed. Am I reading this correctly? Or am I just flunking on my math somehow? Or does just the 750ml charge apply? http://www.ttb.gov/tax_audit/atftaxes.shtml