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Cunningham

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Everything posted by Cunningham

  1. With the cost of smaller "half-sized" barrels being just as much if not more than the cost of regular 53 gallon barrels, has anyone simply half-filled a regular 53 gallon to achieve the same result? Just off of the top of my head, I believe same concept of more surface area of wood to volume of liquid ratio would still apply. Thoughts?
  2. Cunningham

    ACSA Convention

    We are!
  3. Cunningham

    EZDISTILLING.com need ideas

    How to build a CO2 pump for fermentation gases Explain which materials are safe for handling alcohol and at what proof Have a "sources" page for companies that might sell an obscure piece of equipment or components commonly used in other industries, but that don't market to distilleries A "Things I've Learned"/"Things I'd Do Different" bullet point page ... that would actually make a good thread topic here. Explain simple things that we now take for granted: How to dump cases of empty bottles onto a table for filling Using a latex glove to separate & apply shrink sleeve flats to bottles Inserting finished/labeled bottles into case partition slots at an angle/corner of the slot so the labels don't rip and tear getting caught on the sharp cardboard The notch on the bottom of bottles indicates the center of the back of the bottle Show different ways barrels can be stacked/palletized How to unload loose barrels off of a semi Cost effective and efficient examples of grain handling systems
  4. Cunningham

    Cooling Water set up feedback

    We run a 500 gallon still with a dephlegmator and also a 1000 gallon cooker . We have a 2500 gallon water/glycol tank that we recirculate, but we also use a chiller/heat exchanger loop to rechill the water before it goes out to the still and cooker. The chiller is a must for us. We've tried a stripping run without using the chiller and by the time we finished, the holding tank/incoming water temperature was over 90F. Without the chiller, it would be days before we could run the still again - much less cool our mash.
  5. Has anyone made simple changes to their retail tasting rooms/gift shops that have positively impacted revenue? Things that made you wish you would've done them long ago? Maybe it was starting to offer gift cards or case discounts or a wider variety of products? Or maybe you literally started asking the "Would you like fries with that?" question in regards to another product or piece of merchandise. Even though this will undoubtedly vary by market, I'd love to hear everyone's ideas and success stories. -Matt
  6. Cunningham

    "Would you like fries with that?" Moments

    Completely agree. I should've phrased my original post to be geared more towards the gift shop ... not tasting bar. For us, we're glad to be able to serve our spirits in cocktails, but we're not set up to be a hangout cocktail bar.
  7. Cunningham

    Barrel logo engraving

    @HedgeBird Those look incredible! What kind of material is everyone having their stencils made from?
  8. Cunningham

    Feeding the mill

    @Stumpy's Your setup sounds absolutely perfect. Did you build it out of wood or weld up a stand? Could you post a picture of it?
  9. Cunningham

    Ideas on barrel filling

    Tom, What make/model spirit pump are you using?
  10. Cunningham

    Cleaning Molasses Stained Hoses

    Thanks, Tom. Looks like exactly what we need. We also use a flexible impeller so hopefully this does the trick!
  11. Cunningham

    Cleaning Molasses Stained Hoses

    We're using 2" Glidetech Butyl hoses for transferring mash/wash and over time they've become stained from the molasses washes. We use 100% molasses for our rum, and the same type of "film" or "dirt" that is left behind in the fermentation tanks is what seems to be in the hoses as well. We are able to easily clean the fermentation tanks with PBW and a brush ... but not so much the hoses. Anybody have any suggestions as to what chemicals or "pipe cleaner" of sorts that we could run through the hoses to scrub them a bit? Thanks in advance.
  12. Cunningham

    Ending Gravity for Molasses Wash

    Question for everyone using molasses for rum: What are you finding your ending gravity reading to be? For some background, our SG is 1.065 and we're finding that ours has been stalling around 1.020. I know molasses has some unfermentables in it ... but that seems like an awful lot of unfermentables. Before we pitch the yeast, we're adding a little less than a gram of DAP per gallon of wash. Right now we're using 100% molasses, but we may start experimenting with backing down the molasses % and using granulated sugar to make up the difference. I'm open to any and all comments and suggestions. Thanks.
  13. Cunningham

    Ending Gravity for Molasses Wash

    Good to hear. Thanks, Indy.
  14. Cunningham

    Growth....Needing another mash tun

    Where are you located? We bought ours used from Zwirner Equipment in Hartsville, TN. It came from the dairy world, was fully insulated and jacketed, had an agitator already mounted, and they added a steam sparger to it for us. If they've got something on hand, I doubt the lead time on it will take you into 2017.
  15. Cunningham

    Question for Vendome Condenser Owners:

    Great info. Thanks, Kris.
  16. We're working on putting a closed chilled water loop in place, but since it's taking us longer to get going on than we'd planned, we're going to go ahead and get started by hooking up our city water supply to the still condenser and dephlegmator just so we can start production. For those of you that are running your Vendome condenser off of city water, what size pipe do you have running to your condenser input? We have a 500 gallon pot still system, and the condenser input opening is 1-1/2". On top of that, Vendome only specs a working pressure of 15psi. I don't feel that running 1-1/2" copper pipe to the condenser is necessary (not to mention it's $$$), and if I can choke it down to maybe say 3/4", I think I'll get closer to their recommended operating PSI. Thanks for any thoughts and recommendations. -Matt
  17. Cunningham

    Question for Vendome Condenser Owners:

    Thanks, Andy. About how hot is your water coming off the condenser?
  18. Cunningham

    Chilled Water Closed Loop System

    We're one big step away from being physically operational - the chilled water loop. After getting back a couple bids that were well over double what we'd budgeted, we've decided to take this one on ourselves. Right now, I've got one big question, but I'm sure there will be plenty more. The question is ... Do I need pumps on the return line to get the water back to the holding tank? Let me explain the system to help you better answer the question: The chilled water will be stored in a 3000 gallon poly tank that sits outdoors. The water will be chilled by a 35 ton glycol chiller and heat exchangerWater pumped from holding tank ---> into heat exhanger (with glycol loop on the other side of the heat-x) ---> then out to the distillery equipment ---> then returning back to the holding tank We have 8 pieces of equipment that need chilled water:​ 500 Gallon Vendome Pot Still (Dephlegmator and Condenser) 22' Dehner Continuous Still (Dephlegmator and Condenser) 1000 Gallon Jacketed Mash Cooker (Steam Sparged) (5) U-Jacketed Letina Fermentation Tanks Mike Gronski is helping me with the main pump and heat exchanger. I'm planning on a 3" main chilled water line. We will "drop" off of this main line to each piece of equipment. Depending on the pressure of the main pump, we may add pressure reducers before each piece of equipment. To keep everything nice and clean, everything needs to run overhead just like the steam pipe. The return lines also need to run overhead ... otherwise I'd let gravity take care of the issue. So ... Do I need pumps on the return line to get the water back to the holding tank? If so, any recommendations? And I'm all ears to everyone's 2 cents on the whole system. Big thanks in advance for any advice. I'm sure I'll have more questions as we get into this. P.S. Don't try to drag-and-drop pictures onto a post. Your browser will simply open the picture ... in the same window/tab that you've been diligently writing your post in ... and you will have to start everything all over.
  19. Cunningham

    4" vs 8" Trench Drains

    For the people using them, are 4" trench drains sufficient? We were planning on 6" to be on the safe side, but the only sizes the supplier we're dealing with sells are 4" and 8". We aren't planning on dumping spent mash or solids down the drain.
  20. Cunningham

    From Equipment Needs to DSP Application Help - New Online Tools

    We used many of Donald's tools before he integrated them into his online platform. Having these tools was essential to forming our business plan. Highly Recommended.
  21. Cunningham

    Hello from Florida and New York

    2nd what Donald said! This is going to be BIG! Steve - could you post up another thread just for your website? I think some people may look over/never open the "Hello" posts. Thanks for putting this together!
  22. Cunningham

    4" vs 8" Trench Drains

    Big thanks to all you guys for info and heads up. This is not exactly something I can upgrade (easily) down the road either. I think the 8" cast iron is the route we're going to go.
  23. Cunningham

    spreadsheets

    If I were to do it again, I'd try to strictly use Google Sheets. We used Excel and had the files shared across multiple computers through Dropbox. The problem we ran into was that multiple people/computers would have the file open, but only one person could make changes/see the changes (without saving, closing, reopening the file). If both people/computers made different changes on the file at the same time, we would end up saving over each other's work. I think Office 365 would fix this problem, but we were only working with Office 2013. With Google Sheets, all changes are live the moment they're made. Everybody can work on and see the changes others are making as they're happening. Not to mention - Google Sheets is free.
  24. Cunningham

    Water Heater/Temp for Washdown Hoses

    Thanks, James. I found the unit you use and it looks like the cream of the crop. Very nice. Thanks for the info on the temperature ranges as well. Very good to know.
  25. Cunningham

    Water Heater/Temp for Washdown Hoses

    What temperature does everybody keep their hot water for equipment washdown hoses? And what type of water heater are you using? Tankless/On-Demand? Tank Type? We'll be using natural gas whichever route we end up taking. Thanks
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