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Sorghumrunner

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Sorghumrunner last won the day on January 22 2017

Sorghumrunner had the most liked content!

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About Sorghumrunner

  • Rank
    Alembadelic
  • Birthday May 9

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  • Website URL
    http://www.highwiredistillery.com

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Charleston, SC
  • Interests
    Local Ag, Renewable Energy, Slow Food and Liquor

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  1. Sorghumrunner

    face respirators and beards

    hopefully in our next incarnation. I think that what's been affecting me is the Diatomaceous Earth in the rye. may need to lose the beard!
  2. Sorghumrunner

    face respirators and beards

    I've started milling grain with our new hammer mill and am getting a lot of dust exposure. I picked up a half mask respirator with the standard cartridges, and try to wear it pretty snug, but still feel like I'm getting exposure (coughing up a lung at night). I do have a full beard, so I'm trying to figure out if I'm just letting particulates in through the beard/mask contact, or if I need to switch to HEPA filters... Before I shave it off, is anyone getting around this successfully? I know theres more than a few bearded grain distillers out there...
  3. Sorghumrunner

    Contaminating Condensing Column

    I'm fairly new to using a Kothe 4000l hybrid column still, and trying to get a handle for cleaning it. With my old alembic Hoga I would periodically PBW and then citric with my CIP spray balls. The Kothe has a CIP system in place, but it seems like its just for spraying the hot water from the condenser after runs. The previous program was to flush the still with hot water from the CIP system after each batch, and then after a gin botanical run do a citric acid distillation. When I arrived I have found that its pretty necessary to get in the still and scrub and use a caustic (we're using Brewr-ease), but I can't get to the head or the column with this method. Is anyone using the Kothe CIP system and adding cleaning chemicals somehow? I can't see a good way to add them to the condenser hot liquor tank, but there is a small inline port befor the CIP pump... I like the idea of just backlashing the column, but that won't get the head clean. I think the copper needs a good refreshing.
  4. We are outgrowing our original potstill. This is a 120 gallon capacity potstill with thumper. It was custom manufactured for us in 2014 using a Groen steam kettle as the foundation. In the top of the still head is a basket where copper mesh can be placed if desired, or potentially gin botanicals. The thumper can be bypassed for straight potstill runs. Two efficient stainless condensers knock down vapors using well water. Kettle is rated for high pressure steam, but we ran it with 15 psi low pressure steam. Two 300L receiver tanks collect heads, hearts or tails as desired. 1.5" TC connections. Skid mounted, measures 4'w x 8' l x 11' h. Asking $6500 FOB. Still is located in Pittsboro NC 27312.
  5. Sorghumrunner

    Volume issues in bottling runs

    Thank you all for your input, this was very helpful. I weighed four cases empty (with caps and labels) and full, and came up about .5lbs short. That would translate to about 5ml short per bottle, which makes sense if I was checking volume at 750ml but at 73 degrees instead of 60, and in a graduated cylinder that is +/- 2ml at 20c. Across 1066 bottles that would yield about 7 bottles short. To Silk City's comment, I have a feeling you may be onto something. At the end of the run I had affixed 89 labels, but there were 90 cases stacked, which i assumed meant we had just missed a case label on one case, but now I'm wondering if we accidently stacked 1 empty case in the filled bottles. Which means... restack 90 cases to check and see. I'm also going to go back and weigh 10 cases to get a better sample. It's funny that I've been checking fill runs on volume all this time, when the whole rest of my operation has run on mass. I had the NCDA out this morning to check the scales, they were over about .2 lbs on 500 lbs, so sitting pretty close there. I'll calibrate my lab scale and use it for fill checks, got a bottling run coming up this friday.
  6. Sorghumrunner

    Volume issues in bottling runs

    I've been noticing some variations in my bottling runs, and I'm trying to track down the source of the issue, or at least a solution. On a recent bottling run, I bottled 1080 750ml bottles, which i had gauged at 80.0 at the weight of 1674.8 # at a temp of 73.54 deg F. According to alcodens I should have bottled 1072 bottles. So I went over 8 bottles. I do volume checks throughout the run (8 or so on a run this size) on a regular graduated cylinder (+/-2ml at 20c), and it tends to be about a wash in over/under 748-752ml, to be this off over that size bottling run I would have to under fill 11 ml on every bottle. I gauge multiple times as well and fall within the acceptable range. I use alcodens for my proof and volume corrections, I have a calibrated scale, my hydrometer is calibrated (+.18 proof at 80deg at 60F), as is my thermometer (calibrated to every 5 degF). It's been a year since my last scale calibration, but that tends to be off by tenths of a lb not 12.4 lbs. I run my gauges on weight not volume throughout the operation, until bottling. Any thoughts? I'm thinking I need a calibrated 750ml cylinder to check my bottles? Any other tips on getting this right?
  7. Hi all, i've been working with my sales team the last couple years to tie our sales forecast with the flow of production, aging, bottling. So far we've been using a clunky spreadsheet that gets us by, but any one edit requires manual editing throughout. I've looked at some of the distillery specific software options, which seemed a little overpriced for our small operation, but we are interested in a good program. What are folks using for this type of production planning? Is it working for you? if you bought a distillery specific program, do you love it and wonder how you lived without it? salesforce? Gantt charts? would love some feedback!
  8. Hi all, i've been working with my sales team the last couple years to tie our sales forecast with the flow of production, aging, bottling. So far we've been using a clunky spreadsheet that gets us by, but any one edit requires manual editing throughout. I've looked at some of the distillery specific software options, which seemed a little overpriced for our small operation, but we are interested in a good program. What are folks using for this type of production planning? Is it working for you? if you bought a distillery specific program, do you love it and wonder how you lived without it? salesforce? Gantt charts? would love some feedback!
  9. Sorghumrunner

    2016 Judging Results

    Wondering when the 2016 ADI Spirits Judging results will be shared online.
  10. Sorghumrunner

    Non-centrifugal cane sugar

    I love the Panela sugar. It's definitely different than molasses based rum, likely not for everyone. It really does have similarities to Agricole. We've been aging for 16 months and will be releasing it soon. I also have a true rhum agricole that I'll be releasing later this year.
  11. Sorghumrunner

    Frozen Cane Juice

    Logistically speaking, I think it should be totally possible. You would need to find a frozen storage warehouse near the cane farmer, and arrange the transportation and such. I sometimes send fresh pressed apple juice to a nearby frozen storage facility. I pay something like $20/tote for check in processing, $20 for flash freezing, $20/month for storage, and another $20 per tote for removing them from storage. Then of course you would need to ship refrigerated up to your facility. I find that a frozen tote in room temp seems to take 7-9 days to thaw to the point I can get a heat spear into it. One interesting thing that happens with the apple juice is that the sugars concentrate when frozen, then sink to the bottom when thawed. Then the top of the juice is very low brix, and the bottom is higher. I can pull off some of that 'water' and have a higher brix juice for fermenting.
  12. Sorghumrunner

    Accounting for leftover spirits in processing/bottling

    Thanks guys, that is helpful to clear it up. I like the second suggestion, that product is proofed to bottling strength in storage, then only what is sent to the bottler enters into processing. Therefore what is leftover stays in storage and goes back to a barrel comingled with other product in the same account. Does that follow guidelines DHDunbar? If not, then having 2-5 PG that stay in Processing not commingled with storage spirits would work, though I couldn't keep them in a barrel.
  13. Hey y'all, I've been trying to figure this out. At the end of bottling runs, i sometimes have several proof gallons left over of a spirit. I can't figure out the proper way to send gauged proof gallons back to storage. It seems that I either have to send them back to production for 'redistilling', or possibly hold them in the processing account until the next time that I bottle. I'm talking about aged spirits that have been transferred to processing, proofed down to 80 proof, and are left over after a bottling run. I try to get as precise as possible when transferring barrel proof spirits to processing, but sometimes end up with more than I wish to bottle. Why can't these be dumped back into storage?
  14. Sorghumrunner

    Has anyone used Panela?

    I think the Panela has a bit of a briney taste, similar to a rum agricole, at least depending on the yeast used. I find a lot of customers don't have a wide knowledge of spirits, so things either taste like tequila, whiskey, scotch, or moonshine. I like the panela, but it doesn't have the same bottom end as a molasses rum. I wonder if some folks are blending. I've had mine in barrel for 13 months, and it is getting close, but does seem hotter than my other spirits even with longer aging. Has anyone else had issues contacting Sugardaddy recently? I've been waiting for a while on an order...
  15. Sorghumrunner

    Is it true that hang tags don't need TTB approval?

    Drink recipes are allowed? What about a recipe that includes another brands spirit?
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