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Everything posted by JustAndy

  1. JustAndy

    I have trust issues with my maths

    70% @ 8C = 144.78 proof 40.5 kg @ 144.78 proof = 45.915 L Using 3.7854 L per US gal https://www.ttb.gov/foia/Gauging_Manual_Tables/Table_5.pdf
  2. JustAndy

    Cider to Brandy calculating yield

    If you recover 97% of each stripping run, you'd be getting 630 LPA not 455 LPA.
  3. JustAndy

    botanical with similar flavour profile to grains of paradise

    Cardamom can fill a similar role, or cubeb, long pepper, or ginger. They all taste different than grains of paradise, but provide some piquancy and heat to gin.
  4. After about 3000 distillations, the DN100 gasket on the sight glass of our still has developed a crack and needs to be replaced. The gasket sees a lot of contact with high-temp alcohol steam and also torque from removing the sight glass for cleaning. I would normally get EPDM but wanted to see if anyone had a different suggestion / experience?
  5. JustAndy

    Feeling very pleased with my efforts

    I always enjoying hearing how you approach things, nice to see you getting some credit for all your hard work! Congrats!
  6. JustAndy

    Barrel Grabber Thingy

    Never used anything like this but I know what you mean https://www.newpig.com/wesco-adjustable-drum-grab/p/DRM209?couponCode=PLAHOODIE&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm9CbsI6B3gIVAtNkCh3r7w31EAQYASABEgIib_D_BwE https://barrelbuilders.com/store/?model_number=CSS19
  7. JustAndy

    Potato Vodka - HELP

    It depends on the specific product you are using, but for the alpha and gluco amylases (Seb-Star HTL and Seb Amyl GL from Specialty enzyme) the usage rate is closer to 1-2 oz per 200 lb of starch (so 200 lb of potatoes has maybe 40 lb of starch)
  8. I am currently an Assistant Distiller at two distilleries in Portland: a leading craft distillery producing multiple mainstream spirits categories, and a producer of fruit brandies, liqueurs, and grappa. Between these two roles I have developed a broad range of skills applicable to the entire distillation process, including recipe creation and mash production, fermentation and distillation, bottling and tasting room sales, and cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning. I’m looking for a new position with room for growth. Though I’m most experienced with distilling, I also love beer and brewing. My interests are far-reaching, and I’m particularly keen on collaborative projects with other local producers, agriculturally-focused sourcing, and quality-oriented production. I’m willing to do a virtually unlimited amount of hard, tedious labor (see: making grappa), but I’m really seeking learning opportunities. In other words, I’m not interested in a full-time bottling gig if there are no development opportunities to go along with it. I also have a background in accounting and finance, and though I’ve left the corporate world behind I retain a deep-seated enthusiasm for spreadsheets and budget analysis. I’m also pretty well versed on lean manufacturing and management techniques in the industrial setting. I have an open mind about what kind of position would be a good fit. Part-time work would be ok, and so would a position outside the Portland metropolitan area (but within driving distance). If you’re looking for a knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and focused person to lead or support a beer, spirits, or winemaking operation, get in touch. I’d love to hear from you and talk about how I can help.
  9. JustAndy

    How do they flavour those Gins!

    We make rhubarb liqueur, step one would be to taste the rhubarb and see how flavorful it is. We see big variations in flavor intensity depending on the year, time of year, location, and variety (sometimes requiring the use of almost double our typical amount of rhubarb to get the flavor intensity). If the rhubarb you are working with doesn't have flavor, neither will your syrup. If you want cooked rhubarb flavor I suspect you need to cook the rhubarb longer, and if you want raw rhubarb flavor you need to press it. Either way you'll need to settle and filter the syrup/juice to avoid sediment.
  10. JustAndy

    Water Chiller

    I would suggest diverting as much hot water as possible into an insulated tank to use for mash water and cleaning water rather than trying to chill it. And use a cooling tower or similar to drain off as much heat as possible overnight before putting it through a chiller.
  11. JustAndy

    Mashing raw barley

    We've done some whiskey from 100% unmalted barley flour, we just mashed it the same as how we deal with other unmalted grains using a high temp alpha and gluco. So far the unmalted barley spirit has gotten pretty poor marks for flavor, and we'll ultimately probably need to blend the barrels with something else down the road. We've tried out a lot of different grains (rice, oats, rye, wheat, corn, millet, sorghum, barley) and unmalted barley is the least appealing to my palate.
  12. JustAndy

    Glass Costs

    We have seen it too, tariffs and trade war worries. https://katu.com/news/local/trump-tariffs-could-squeeze-local-wineries
  13. JustAndy

    Hot vs Cold Water Barrel Prep

    I just looked and we have barrels where the hoops are held with nothing, nails (close to the worst), T-tacks, and L-cleats (the best). The most annoying for my money was at another place I worked, where we got black swan barrels that had the hoops held in place with screws. I've had the same experience with the nails tearing the wood and causing leaks, but more typically happens when removing a hoop rather than tightening. I will drive the hoops down a bit, then back up, which makes the nails/tacks/pins easier to remove with pliers. We have a set of barrels that hold stuff for 9 months and sit dry for 3 months and I use L-shaped cleats which go under the hoop rather than through them to hold everything in place while they sit dry.
  14. JustAndy

    Hot vs Cold Water Barrel Prep

    On the subject of hoop drivers: I had a local black smith (the amazing Bob Denman of Red Pig Tools http://www.redpigtools.com/About-Us_ep_7.html) forge a hoop driver based on an older design called a nantucket hoop driver (https://www.stortz.com/product/nantucket-driver/). It's essentially a 2 lb sledge with one face flattened into a notched edge. You still need a mallet to fully tighten the hoops, but I find it's pretty handy when reassembling barrels, as you can roughly knock hoops into place while still having a free hand to work a head puller or bumper compared to using a driver and mallet.
  15. JustAndy

    Dealing with vindictive neighbors...

    I would just try to ride things out longer, he's obviously trying to provoke a reaction and in absence of one will either get tired and move on or will escalate to something that gets him in trouble.
  16. JustAndy

    Hot vs Cold Water Barrel Prep

    I'm sure you could rig appropriate pressure gauges and reliefs but I would still feel worried creating and dispensing steam from a vessel not designed to do that.
  17. JustAndy

    Hot vs Cold Water Barrel Prep

    I'm sure you know what you're doing, but a home built barrel steamer sounds like an excellent way to visit the morgue. ? Standing the barrels on end and filling the head recess with warm/hot water is a good way to start re hydrating without washing out a lot of barrel character or using a ton of water. Similarly I've seen/heard of people using barrel 'kiddie' pools for very dried out barrels. We don't let water sit in a barrel for longer than 24 hours, and the water used to rehydrate/fill the barrel should be the same clean, filtered water you would use to proof spirit. https://issuu.com/artisanspiritmag/docs/artisanspirit_issue023_web/41
  18. JustAndy

    American Single Malt Whiskey

    This probably sounds snarkier than I intend but if you don't want to mimic Scotch, you probably shouldn't hope to rely on a term like 'single malt' that they have defined and marketed for 50+ years.
  19. JustAndy

    Is it worth using sugarcane in rum production ?

    The vodka thing doesn't bother me, because I no longer work anywhere that makes vodka ? More seriously, with the exception of color I consider the definition to be an unenforceably subjective standard because everything has an aroma and flavor and if you do enough QC and sensory panels you can get pretty sensitive to them. Water is probably defined as flavorless, but taste the water in 5 states and they will all be different. Even DI or RO water has a taste when compared to a non-RO sample. If the definition was based on g/LPA of esters or volatiles or something analytically measurable it would make more sense to me, but right now it's sort of the 'i know it when i see it' definition of pornography.
  20. JustAndy

    Is it worth using sugarcane in rum production ?

    I was weirdly enough interviewed for that story, my wife is the editor of that site. I don't doubt that sorghum syrup could make an interesting spirit and I've enjoyed reading your family and regions history of it, but it's not legally/technically/or conceptually whiskey when made from syrup. As we have all seen at this point a zillion times, just because the TTB incorrectly approves one label doesn't mean they will or should incorrectly approve a future label.
  21. JustAndy

    Is it worth using sugarcane in rum production ?

    Per a TTB webinar on the whiskey standards of identity, whiskey cannot be made from syrup, it must be processed from grain. So if you are fermenting and distilling sorghum syrup it is a distilled specialty spirit and not whiskey or rum. We've made whiskey and baijiu from sorghum grain, I don't think it will be catching on anytime soon.
  22. JustAndy

    Outdoor wood fired stills for wineries etc?

    Brandy Peak Distillery in Brookings OR had outdoor wood fired stills which operated from like 1994 until they closed last year. The owners father designed stills for Gallo and had his own company L&A Engineering construct their two wood fired stills. I never saw them in person so I couldn't tell you about them
  23. JustAndy

    Pit Extraction

    Where are you located? I might be able to help you, we have some destoning machinery we've used for cherries and plums in the past.
  24. Another good thing to do if you are planning to operate on nights and weekends is to make a list of all the things you like to do in your free time: camping, hiking, fishing, bbqs, dinner with friends, spontaneous travel, etc and then imagine not doing any of those things for several years.
  25. JustAndy

    Re-selling Bourbon Barrels

    Yes, it's around here in Portland I see $75-$150 for single use 53 gal ex-bourbon depending on condition and how many you're buying.