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CountySeat

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Everything posted by CountySeat

  1. We have a pretty poorly designed mash tun/stripping still so we can only do step down mashing. We heat the water to the max temp we are using, add a high temp enzyme to the water and then add the milled grains at the temps we are mashing them in. It generally works OK for us. We do get some clumping on the surface of the mash due to the design of our equipment and we used to use a paddle to deal with that. A couple years back we added an electric grout/mortar mixer which works well to break up the clumps on the surface. Our mashing vessel stirs the mash and we hold the mortar mixer through the manhole and let it rip, it chews up the clumps on the surface and they get mixed in. Its not perfect, we'll run the mortar mixer for a few minutes, close the manhole and let is continue to mix for awhile, repeat as necessary until everything is smooth. The mortar mixer is a lot easier than the paddle was.
  2. I would suggest finding someone reasonably close to you who makes the same types of products and runs the same model still. You'll probably still need to run a sacrificial wash or two to fine tune your process but you can probably save yourself some time finding someone reasonably local who will give you some tips.
  3. I would suggest looking at Affordable Distilling (Paul), Cage and Sons, and Stilldragon. I know AFD and Cage offer systems like you are looking for.
  4. Is there a practical limit to using electric bain marie in larger sizes? I know some manufacturers hesitate to quote electric bain marie at 300G or more because of the heat-up time, etc. We'd like to replace our current 340G stripper/mash tun but not ready to spend the upfront cash for steam (and we don't really have the space for a boiler in our facility right not.
  5. I think the SafSpirit American Whiskey is now called the USW6. If so, you can pull the technical sheet online which recommends an optimum max ferment temp of 89.6. You may want to try pitching at around 85 and seeing the difference.
  6. These guys are local to us. This is a fantastic opportunity to work for a top notch distillery in PA.
  7. As mentioned in our prior post, we did our test batches with BSG. Ferments went easy but the final product is kind of boring. Storm King - are you getting a big, bold tequila like flavor? Ours comes out really clean but more like a clean different rum. We were hoping for a bigger flavor profile. We are trickling it out on a potstill. We dunder our rum which works great but that isn't really viable for us since if we moved this into production, we'd do a single large batch. Our system is about 340G and I'm not comfortable with ordering agave for 3 to 4 batches of that size.
  8. We've done a series of malt whiskeys with a brewery in the same building. They sell well. We did a stout that came out nice, a wheated beer which was a huge hit, and an IPA beer which was niche but people liked. The IPA took much longer to age out - too harsh at first. If possible, you may want to have the brewery tweak their recipe to remove the hops which do't always distill out well and which add to the mashbill cost. All in all its a fun collaboration opportunity though if you are buying the beer you'll need to up the price a bit as the raw material costs are higher than a bourbon/rye.
  9. What do you sell the tube in shell mash cooler for and do you have any specs on cooling time, etc?
  10. CountySeat

    Damson plums

    It was Shenot Farm in Wexford, PA. https://www.shenotfarm.com/
  11. CountySeat

    Damson plums

    There is a farm out in the Pittsburgh area - we were going to run a test batch but they lost their plums last year due to weather. I agree that the prices made it virtually impossible to sell for a reasonable price.
  12. CountySeat

    Aging Rum

    Hewn Spirit in PA does this - their owner restored barns so he has access to a lot of old woods. He uses it for a secondary infusion.
  13. Thanks - we are looking to upgrade and are looking at that and also Toast. We did the Toast demo and was pretty impressed. It seems fairly comparable to the Square for Restaurants. We use the standard Square POS now.
  14. What did you end up going with? We are looking to upgrade ours.
  15. I practice as an attorney with a fair bit of experience in trademarks. While it is true that the USPTO has effectively lumped together all alcohol producers (despite claiming they they have no such de facto rule), the same is not necessarily the same for restaurants vs. manufacturers of alcohol. See - https://thettablog.blogspot.com/2017/08/ttab-test-is-cannibal-for-beer.html http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/ttabvue-86682532-EXA-19.pdf I represented the brewery in the case linked. It is always a case by case basis and it is generally advisable to search for restaurants with the same name but they aren't always deemed confusingly similar.
  16. If you haven't already, you should consider joining the PA Distillery Guild.
  17. Update: We've run a few tests with meh results so far. We are actually have no problem with the ferment but not enamored with the final product (so far). For the ferment, we are running small 20G test batches using 100% Blue Agave from BSG. We quasi closed ferment (not airtight) with an aquarium heater to keep the wash right at 88-90F and dose in nutrients at pitch and around 24 hours. The first batch we tried a mix of SaftTeq Blue Tequila yeast and a C-70 yeast and monitored the PH daily to keep around 5.0. Ferment was steady and finished in about 5 days Starting SG around 1.06. We double distilled with a small potstill set up and it Came out pretty boring and neutral without much character and the cuts did seems to bleed together more than I'd like. Not sure we will keep the distillate or maybe blend and barrel. Tried a second batch which I haven't made the cuts yet. Used same basic protocol but used only the SafTeq Blue yeast. No real difference on ferment. If you keep it right 90F and 5.0 it seems to move along consistently and finish nicely. Double distilled, this time we used our plated test still and ran a little reflux for fores and heads and then cut the reflux and ran it reallllllly slow with empty plates. Haven't made the cuts yet but seems boring again. I feel pretty confident we have the ferment protocols down but just not getting the flavor we want. 'm not sure if its the Agave we are using but we don't get nearly the big tequila flavor we were hoping for. Will report back as we keep trying. Anyone have any alternative suggestions for a yeast or sourcing for agave?
  18. Primary benefits we looked at were yield (easy to get down to a small particle size and you're getting 100% of the grain in the mash), consistency, and easier cleanup. Since it also obviates the need for a hammer mill, you may save a little space and not have to worry about the safety issues of dust. We never tested running shear pumps but if they worked, they would seem to be a really good solution to a lot of issues.
  19. We priced some of the options a few years ago but didn't pull the trigger due to cost. The shear mixers have to be mounted pretty strongly/permanently so its not a clamp on option. We were intrigued by possibly doing it using a shear pump but not sure if the applicable has been tested. We had planned to send some grain to Admix to test but never got around to it. Shear pump could work but you'd probably need to pump back and forth or run a standard mixer to things in motion and not have all your grain sink to the bottom. If you are milling to a flour, I don't see a downside to shear mixing.
  20. I would suggest contacting James at Cooper River in Camden, NJ - they are selling their all copper Hoga Alembic. He was originally selling as a going concern but now selling the still, etc.
  21. We use smaller than that but we like our Letina Tanks. It looks like St. Pats have 4000L ones in stock.
  22. Anyone find a benefit or negative to letting an agave ferment sit for a few days after the ferment completes?
  23. We're not in Canada but we've used them. Our experience was not good. If you are going to use them, you need to be able to keep them full of ferment pretty much constantly. It is a longer story, but we had some equipment issues our first year when we had the wooden fermenters and weren't able to run them all the time. If you let them dry, they warp and dry out and need to be tightened. If you keep them full of water, they can mold up which requires extensive cleaning. Ours leaked all the time (bottoms were wooden and staves were press fit, not tongue in groove and we eventually took them out of service and went stainless. Plenty of people use wooden fermenters with great success but for us they were more of a hassle and liability than anything else. Wood are sometimes cheaper but if we had to do it again, we'd get stainless from the start. Again - others have had great success but my .02.
  24. Thanks - We may try it that way with minimal temp control. I'm a little concerned we'll be overrun by fruit flies though!
  25. Thanks! We are likely to go the puree route. Do you closed ferment? Temp control? It seems like the best protocol is to temp control in a sealed fermenter which we aren't really set up for now. Also - with the purees, do you find you can rack of the fruit wine and distill it like a wort? or do you have a lot of solids in your mash? We have smaller stills for direct heating and not sure if they would be suitable for this project. We have a larger still that can run solids but it would be a much bigger batch.
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