Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by stillwagon

  1. A local cheese maker has asked if I would help him with the production of a distilled spirit from his byproduct whey. He currently produces about 100,000 gallons of whey per week. I have not had his whey analyzed yet to find out exactly the percentage of lactose available, but most studies I have found say it is around 4%. I have found a suggested yeast strain, kluyveromyces marxianus, to begin fermentation trials with. I have read using an enzyme can increase the fermentability, ultrafiltration or boiling can reduce the volume and consolidate the sugars. My question is, Has anyone else worked on this? Whey has been fermented and distilled in Europe since at least the 1930s, and there are other milk wines/spirits in other parts of the world. This would be a large scale endeavor, at least for me, based on the volumes that will continue to increase as his cheese business grows. The goal would probably be to work on a vodka, and sell a significant portion as a neutral spirit in bulk. the photo shows some of the whey based vodkas currently available.
  2. I am looking at my options on whether or not to continue this business. We have a small distillery on the coast of Oregon. We currently have 18 products on the shelf. We produce primarily rum, vodka, and increasing our whiskey production. We produce about a barrel a week at this point. The primary consideration for the sale is the necessity for a hip replacement, and the worry of the repercussions of the inability to work in the distillery as needed. We have a steady increase in sales, expansion into other states has been steady, with an organic growth based on demand of our products. We have maintained very low debt and overhead expense. We have two satellite tasting rooms in addition to the distillery tasting room. We have great local support and an increasing fan base. I have not had an assessment done on the value of the business. I haven't considered selling until the condition of my hip has deteriorated recently. So, this is more a discussion of possibilities than anything.
  3. You will have to proof by distillation, or have it done by a ttb approved lab. I use Vinquiry.
  4. stillwagon

    rum waste

    We have a rural location so we treat the spent wash ouselves by aerobic digestion, raise the pH, dilute, then use it to water our forested area.
  5. stillwagon

    Aging Rum

    I use new, charred, American Oak barrels to age in for the first few years. The rum is then much like a bourbon. Then from there I start moving it around in a variety of other barrels.
  6. I had to create my own distributor in CA. I talked him into jumping through the hoops, getting a small warehouse, then helped him start acquiring his retailers. We are a year into it. Still working out the bugs, but he is getting our product into major retailers now.
  7. I had the same experience. Starting pH starting at ~5.7 then crashing early. So, I add no acid either. I add calcium carbonate to buffer to prevent crashing at the beginning and half way through fermentation. If it crashes, I use calcium hydroxide to raise pH. But I haven't had a problem with pH in the last 4 years using this procedure.
  8. I am pretty sure that you should get that from the company that makes the extract you are using. If you make your own extract none is needed.
  9. I wouldn't use sodium hydroxide either. Calcium hydroxide is what I had recommended.
  10. Calcium hydroxide is more reactive and will raise pH more effectively. Buffer with calcium carbonate in the start of fermentation and dose again 1/2 way through fermentation. My pH doesn't crash anymore like that. Calcium hydroxide is very reactive so use it sparingly.
  11. Hi there, What is the cost? Shipping cost? I am currently paying about $.55 a pound for cane sugar delivered to my location in Charleston Oregon. Thanks, Rick Stillwagon
  12. He also describes settling and siphoning. Adjustment of the pH causes the solids to precipitate. Then it could be separated. It would require a very strong pump or a vessel that could be tapped above the precipitate. I don't worry about the clarification because we use a high grade of molasses. Good luck
  13. You should read Raphael Arroyo's patent for heavy rum production. He described in great detail the clarification process.
  14. We use a baking/cooking grade of blackstrap molasses and do not clarify.
  15. Spices vary greatly from batch to batch. I infuse each separately, usually a few pounds of each in over proof spirit. Then I have an extract that I can blend to meet my desired flavor profile.
  16. Hi Chad, I am putting together a small scale spent wash recycling system right now. Once that is complete and running, then I can apply for some grants to complete the full scale prototype. Then we will make it available commercially. Then that system will recycle all of our waste streams onsite. Solid, liquid, CO2, the works. Let me know if you have any questions or would like to get involved, Rick Stillwagon
  17. I start at 20 - 22 brix, buffer pH with calcium and keep it at about 5, use plenty of nutrients, keep it 80f or warmer, and never get a stuck fermentation. I do about 500 gallons of wash a week for the last 4 years. So, I would look at it from the beginning: what is your water chemistry? What exactly is your feedstock? How are you adjusting, monitoring, and maintaining pH? What are you using for nutrients? Fermentation temp? Normal finished gravity?
  18. Cost of doing business...
  19. https://www.alphalabs.co.uk/research-reagents/294-64304
  20. http://www.formedium.com/us/products/schizosaccharomyces-pombe.html?___store=us
  21. https://www.genscript.com/gene/284812/schizosaccharomyces-pombe-972h-/kegg
  22. If the pH crashed you can raise it with calcium hydroxide, but you will probably need to repitch.
  23. What is the pH now?
  24. stillwagon

    Spiced Rum

    I macerate all spices individually in 140 proof or higher. Then blend to achieve my flavor profile.
  25. Fellow Distiller of Fine Spirits, Are you interested in sustainable business practices? Would you recycle all of your waste byproducts onsite or nearby if it was possible? Do you want to reduce or eliminate your sewer and solid waste disposal costs? Spent distillery wash, organic solids, spent grains and fruit, CO2, waste heat, cardboard, paper, etc. can be recycled and reused to produce useful products like: water, vegetable produce, soil amendments, and more. I have been working on a system to recycle all of the major byproducts of my distillery. I am now ready to build the prototype system. I want to get more distilleries that are interested in sustainable industry to get involved. There are about 1,300 distilleries in the US right now. We have about 80 here in Oregon. We have an opportunity to set the standard on sustainability. Because of the type of byproducts we produce, it is relatively simple to recycle virtually all of it. Traditional waste disposal is getting more complicated and expensive all the time. Sewage rates are going up, solid waste disposal rates are increasing, and there is concern over CO2 emissions. We can mitigate all of these onsite reducing our costs, producing other products, increasing our community presence and reputation by doing something good for the environment. Those of you that get involved as a minor partner and help either physically or financially, will have the use of the research, system design and operation for your own use at your distillery. The major partners will retain the commercial rights to the system. The prototype system will be operated in partnership with local universities and other sustainability industry professionals. We are seeking grants through other federal, state, and private organizations such as the SBIR program. Should these come through, this offer will be discontinued and those presently onboard will retain the original rights as described. Let me know if you are interested and would like to learn more.
  • Create New...