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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

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

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  1. Sorghumrunner

    work boots that hold up

    My less than one year old steel toed Ariats that are slip resistant, acid\oil resistant, waterproof, etc, have already started falling apart. These boots had seemed great, comfortable and durable. Then I noticed they'd started splitting at the seam between the sole and the leather. Could be my fault for not conditioning them regularly. I bought these hoping to find a semi-affordable work boot after going thru several pairs of hiking shoes, expensive leather Red Wings, and what not. The Red Wings held up well, but they seemed too nice of a boot to tear up in the distillery. Does anyone have a leather work boot they love that has lasted? Any tips for keeping them going? I've thought about picking up some rubber boots for wash down, but I figure I'll forget to change shoes just for that purpose. I need something that will stand up to acid, alcohol, caustic and lots of wet floors. Or is less than one year just the life of work shoes in this environment?
  2. Sorghumrunner

    confined space entry

    what brand of o2 sensor did you go with
  3. Sorghumrunner

    confined space entry

    Thank you for those links Skaalvenn, very helpful. So my reading of the Brewers association article about Stone's practices would be that if a fermentation tank is empty, ventilated and tested for CO2, as well as any pipes disconnected or LOTO, then the space would no longer be a permit required space. Seem correct? The only time tanks are entered at my facility is for cleaning and sanitization, so they would not be entered when mash is present. My goal is osha approved safety, but just trying to figure out what the simplest form of that would be. I do CIP cleaning in our still and mash tun, though the still needs some scrubbing to remove cooked on grains completely. The fermenters could be CIP cleaned, they are the standard Letina 1000L tanks from St. Pats. Hadn't bought the CIP ball for them because it is easy enough to climb in and scrub and spray, but being a one man production team, it'd be hard to have an attendant present any time i'm cleaning for safety.
  4. Sorghumrunner

    confined space entry

    For those who enter their fermentation vessels and stills to clean, how are you handling confined space entry requirements? While I don't believe that there are hazardous vapors present, i would say that the entry and exit is restricted. It seems to me that it's not a 'permit-required' entry. so is any documentation or attendant required? from OSHA: Definitions By definition, a confined space: Is large enough for an employee to enter fully and perform assigned work; Is not designed for continuous occupancy by the employee; and Has a limited or restricted means of entry or exit. These spaces may include underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, pits and diked areas, vessels, silos and other similar areas. By definition, a permit-required confined space has one or more of these characteristics: Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; Contains a material with the potential to engulf someone who enters the space; Has an internal configuration that might cause an entrant to be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor that slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross section; and/or Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazards.
  5. 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!
  6. 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...
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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!
  12. 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!
  13. Sorghumrunner

    2016 Judging Results

    Wondering when the 2016 ADI Spirits Judging results will be shared online.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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