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pogriallais

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Everything posted by pogriallais

  1. pogriallais

    Blending spirit tank specification

    Hi guys, Could you recommend tank specifications for cutting spirit with water? We're going with a 1000 litre tank. At the moment we stir our spirit and water in a 500 litre vessel and bottle direct from that vessel. For the 1000 litre tank we're looking at a concentric base with top and side manways. Does it need agitation? Or how would mixing be achieved - recirculation via pump and hose? Any recommendations welcome. We blend/ cut our spirit by volume here in Ireland rather than by weight. Image of what we're thinking attached.
  2. pogriallais

    Blending spirit tank specification

    Thanks guys for your concerns re weight but we don't do it here. What I want is your perspective on tank specification. Do you need an agitator/ open top etc?
  3. pogriallais

    Blending spirit tank specification

    The regulations are more to do with how the strength of the spirit is to be calculated after distillation and before bottling. In Scotland and Ireland, blending is typically done by volume rather than by weight. We're permitted to blend by weight too.
  4. pogriallais

    UK HMRC recommended affordable spirit hydrometer

    Yes, have you tried Stevenson Reeves in Scotland?
  5. Hi guys, Alcohol vapour is heavier than air so I believe it would sink in a distillery situation if a failure of equipment were to occur. Does everyone install ventilation specifically for operating their stills? What's the best solution. Would an alcohol vapour detection device suffice? I have a simple 180 litre copper pot still that needs a pressure release valve and vacuum release. Any tips on sizing a valve for this size of a still and where to get them? Cheers, Pádraic
  6. pogriallais

    Blending/ Proofing tank

    Good afternoon all, Does anyone have any recommendations or tips on specifications for a spirit proofing tank. i.e manway positioning top/side; height/ level gauge etc. I'm planning on getting a 2000 litre vessel. I know some people proof by weight but I have always done it by volume. Is there any issue with blending different spirits such as gin and whiskey in the same tanks as long as proper C.I.P is used?
  7. pogriallais

    Suppliers of Bog myrtle

    Hi guys, does anyone know of anyone that sells bog myrtle botanical, preferably in Europe?
  8. pogriallais

    Semi - Automation of hybrid still

    Hi guys, I'm running a 250litre 3 plate hybrid still. It's heated with electrical elements. I want to get it semi-automated so that I don't need to be tweaking reflux condenser and heat input all the time. The other advantage is the ability to pre-heat wash prior to distilling, we intend to get 2 runs done per day. We also have a wash pre-heater that will be heated at a set time. I'm proposing to build a panel with a PLC controller. I intend to have PT100's in the pot and one in each condenser respectively. Do I need to regulate the vapour temperature or am I over complicating the setup? I attach a photo of the still that we're going to hard plumb shortly. Any advice greatly appreciated.
  9. pogriallais

    Semi - Automation of hybrid still

    Also just as a side note, I couldn't find any posts in relation to PID or solenoid valves. Anyone have any links? Much appreciated.
  10. pogriallais

    Semi - Automation of hybrid still

    Thanks everyone for all the feedback. Why wouldn't people go with any automation? Some clever automation will increase productivity and lessen the burden of constantly changing dephlegmator, I'm aware that this is partly due to the way it's currently plumbed. I will look into the PID dephlegmator control, thanks for the heads up. Why wouldn't I think of letting the still heat up unattended if appropriate safety measures are in place? My hot liquor tank is programmed to keep a constant temperature, the same could be applied to the still. Most of the Irish and Scottish distileries pre-heat their wash in a wash charger/ heater why wouldn't I? Provided safety measures are put in place I don't see it as a big no no. People run their stills twice or 3 times daily, heat up is a lot of time 'wasted'. With a wash charger, you can cut out 1.5 hours on each distillation run.
  11. pogriallais

    Neutral Grain Spirit suppliers in the EU

    Hi guys. Could anyone recommend any suppliers of neutral grain spirit suppliers in the EU?
  12. pogriallais

    Poor spirit yield

    Hi guys. I have been distilling a poitín product since April commercially. I had a few small issues along the way but was able to rectify the situation myself. I have had 3 consecutive washes that didn't yield much spirit. I have taken corrective measures to try and eliminate the problem. The abv of the spirit drops relativley soon into the hearts run and the spirit becomes feinty. Current yield is approximtately 30% of the usual yield. The still doesn't have any leaks - I have checked over the gaskets for any wear and tear. I'm using a stilldragon 3 plated column on top of a pot. Wash: I use 100% malt for my wash and distillers yeast. Each batch of malt is tested by the manufacturer so this is unlikely to be the issue. Mash rest temp - 62.5C, duration - 1 hour followed by sparging with hot water at 79C. I have been relying on natural enzymes since starting and haven't had any issues. My starting gravities range between 1.058 and 1.062. Final gravity is generally 0.997 or 0.998. For the past 3 washes, the gravity has been in the 1.000 region. My S.G/ O.G suggest a good conversion of starches to sugars. The final gravity is lower than usual but not proportional to the lack of yield. Final PH on the latest wash was 4.75. The previous wash had a PH of 3.42 suggesting a lacto infection. Still expecting approximately 8%ABV. Yeast is from Anchor Yeast. Water is municipal and is consistent. Carbon filter installed. Cleaning regime - Caustic wash - 2% @ 70C plus. Followed by hot water rinse Sterilisation done with paracetic acid 0.05% at ambient temperature. There are no dead legs in the process that i have identified. Heat exchanger is washes in reverse. Last fermentation was very vigorous with quite a lot of foaming. Any ideas what could be the cause?
  13. pogriallais

    Premature tails in distillate

    I'm running into a lot of difficulty recently with my distillation/ fermentation. The symptoms are early onset of feints/ tails. I have tried increasing reflux in the still to continue the hearts cut but it isn't working. I have tried less reflux too. Fermentation appears to be good. Grain bill - 100% barley malt Starting gravity 1.061 Final gravity 0.997. Estimated ABV 8.38%. Final PH 4.19 Distillation Still - 250 litre pot with 3 plated column with dephlegmator. Heads and foreshots are compressed at the begining of the run - 100% reflux for 30 minutes and heads collected slowly afterwards. Cut is determined by taste a smell. Hearts- relfux is reduced and heating of pot is increased. Cut is determined by taste and smell. The average abv i was collecting before this was 81% ABV. I can achieve above 81% ABV initially but the abv drops fairly suddenly when about 25% of the expected hearts cut is obtained. The product becomes feinty after this point. I have checked the still for leaks but all the gaskets look fine. Any advice?
  14. pogriallais

    Premature tails in distillate

    Yeast strain is Anchor - Active Dried Distillers yeast for malt whiskey saccharomyces cerevisiae. I use 1g per litre of wort. Rehydrated using 50:50 wort to water. I boil the wort prior to rehydrating yeast to kill any bacteria present. Yeast is rehydrated at 36 C. Yeast is pitched into wort at 20 degrees C and no temperature control is used. Temperature reaches 29-32 (max) degrees C. No agitation during fermentation. A clear wort is fermented so no grain present.
  15. pogriallais

    Premature tails in distillate

    I have considered this and kept the still in equilibrium to see if it made a difference but unfortunatley not. I will try it again however. What I can't understand is how the performance of the still would change so dramatically if I'm doing everything the same for the past 6 months.
  16. pogriallais

    Poor spirit yield

    The fermentation appears to be fine so I'm confused. In terms of distillation I haven't collected the entire feints cut to be able to say if I have the right amount of total alcohol. From a brief calculation however the total litres of alcohol present is down quite a lot. From using this type of still and being familiar with the sypmtoms of a weaker wash it seems like the wash is the cause. I'm using a 250litre capacity pot with a 5'', 3 plate column with dephlegmator on top by Stilldragon. I compress the tails cut at the begining and when the hearts fraction begins I raise the heating slightly and reduce the coolant to the dephlegmator. I have tried increasing reflux to compress the hearts fraction but the hyrometer still rises and the flavour of the distillate is still of feints.
  17. pogriallais

    Poor spirit yield

    Hi. I had read that thread but the problem isn't resolved. I have adjusted my fermentation slightly in efforts to resolve the problem. It hasn't worked however. I cooled the wort to 22 C rather than the usual 19 C. Yeast rehydration - 50:50 wort and wash mixture @36 C. I boiled the wort used to rehydrate the yeast prior to this to kill any potential bacteria. I gave the yeast 10 minutes in the mixture. Yeast was begining to foam and become active. Fermentation vessel is 1000 litres. I only produced 500litres this time to see if the problem was resolved. There are no apparent leaks in the still - I have checked the gaskets and the condenser is working fine. I'm running into feints prematurely - hearts cut was only 2.2 litres and it is usually 17 litres at an average of 81% ABV.
  18. Hi all, I'm probably going to order a column with 3-4 plates from Still dragon. Planning to heat the pot/ kettle directly with an electrical element. I'm going to go for a low watt density element. I have the option of a stainless covered element. The pot is around 207 litres (55 gallons) stainless steel. I will mash and lauter in another vessel to make a clear wash. Does anyone foresee any difficulty with heating directly in terms of scorching or smearing? A lot of people swear by agitation to avoid smearing. If agitation is vital could anyone recommend a supplier of an agitator that I can install on the kettle? I can power it pneumatically or electrically. Thanks in advance for any help or advice. Pádraic
  19. pogriallais

    Still Dragon column and stainless steel pot/ kettle

    PMDoyle. I'm not sure if it would limit the life of the element. I would have to assume it would, especially if it isn't cleaned thoroughly afterwards.
  20. pogriallais

    Still Dragon column and stainless steel pot/ kettle

    I'm intrigued by the maillard reaction. I believe Glenfiddich is another distillery that uses direct fired stills. We would have directly fired our stills over many generations. How did you get that to pass in an ATEX situation? I'm getting an expert in fire safety to draw up my ATEX document and we both agreed that the 'easiest' route is to heat the still electrically, thereby removing a source of ignition should the worst case scenario happen of Lower explosive limit or Higher Explosive Limit. I will have a hood above the still that will have an extractor to remove any potential alcohol vapours.
  21. pogriallais

    ventilation for pot still and sizing pressure release valve

    Cheers Pete. I have read that thread but let's say a still was trying to puke as you put it, is there a device/ mechanism that I can allow it to do so?
  22. pogriallais

    Still Dragon column and stainless steel pot/ kettle

    Cheers. I will probably go with 3 x 5500Watt ultra low density elements. Do you have a formula I could use for that calculation?
  23. pogriallais

    Still Dragon column and stainless steel pot/ kettle

    Falling Rock, thank you. To heat the mash from 20 - 78 degrees centigrade(68-172 F) in an hour or so I would need 35KW?
  24. pogriallais

    ventilation for pot still and sizing pressure release valve

    Guys I really appreciate all the feedback and advice. I will be installing a stainless steel hood above the still and an extraction system to vent any potential vapours.
  25. pogriallais

    ventilation for pot still and sizing pressure release valve

    Thank you for the response @Williamsburg Distillery. I appreciate the feedback. I prefer to be armed with information before approaching these guys as they can take a very conservative route if they don't know all the facts.
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