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Silk City Distillers

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Silk City Distillers last won the day on January 10

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  1. Changing pH of wash

    Too low, try targeting 5-5.2 next time.
  2. Spent Grains after on-grain distillation

    The beet pulp pellets are a pretty brilliant idea.
  3. Impact on TTB website /possible US Government shut down

    I thought I remember the websites staying up during the last shutdown, you could submit but if you were submitting something that required a response, you were waiting. Suspect the timing for label and recipe approval is going to drag out longer now.
  4. New Jersey Guild?

    NJ guild is in the final stages of formation, we've got a great group of distillers and a pretty tight-knit community. Drop me your email address and I'll add you to the distro.
  5. Rye mash

    The whole point of the step mash with enzymes is to avoid the difficultly of working with the sticky, high viscosity rye. Start high and you lose all the benefits.
  6. Rye mash

    We do a 100% unmalted rye, step mash. We rest in both beta-glucan and proteinase ranges with appropriate enzymes to take care of glucans and compensate for the fact that we're using raw grain. I find a finer mill on the raw rye increases the effectiveness of the rests and enzymes. Rough crack tends to reduce effectiveness. We dumped our first 1yo barrels of it a few weeks back, it's amazing. Northeast Ryes are going to be a force to be reckoned with in a couple years. Pay close attention to your temp and pH for each step of the process. The tighter the ranges you can maintain, and the more diligently you stick to the process, the easier it gets. I can not stress this enough. Each step has an ideal temperature and pH. There is a ton of brewing literature on step mashing, this all applies. Caveat, we're setup to run on-grain start to finish, we don't attempt to lauter anything.
  7. Lees - in or out?

    Nykanen '77 - one of my all time favorite papers. Keep in mind the increased nutrient contribution of the backset as well.
  8. Tank aging of fruit/berry based Liqueurs

    It comes up anecdotally here, people note improvements in flavor or aroma due to extended holding times. Interestingly, it seems to apply to both holding in tanks as well as holding in bottles, so perhaps it's time that's the important factor and not necessarily the vessel. It also doesn't appear to be specific to a spirit, heck I've even seen references to vatting vodka, which when you think about it, should be largely irrelevant. Probably the same phenomenon, or at least related, is the negative impact to the product from proofing/processing/bottling (bottle shock). Tasting from a just-bottled bottle, for me, seems to taste much thinner, flatter, and devoid of aroma, and even a few days time results in pretty marked improvement. It can't be as simple as oxidation, otherwise it would be relatively easy to just inject oxygen to speed the process and improve quality. There is lots of discussion about the formation or disruption of micelles and other factors related to the physical structure of specific chemical compounds in the spirit, including some phenomenon associated with the speed of proofing (and it's potential reversal over time). If you are looking for the smoking gun, sorry. But at the same time, it's clearly not just hocus pokus. In your process though, using a fermented product as input, there are a host of potential batch-to-batch variations there, don't overlook the input either.
  9. Proof too high or tails smeared in, can't find the middle ground!

    I've found that 4 plates is pretty much the top end for single pass whiskey. If you strip first, 2-3 is tops, and depending on your low wines proof, even that could be too many. Keep in mind that even with the dephleg off, passive reflux will still present a problem. It also sounds like your plate bypasses are only marginally effective, which is somewhat odd. Do you still have some action on the plates with the bypasses open? Does your dephlegmator water feed have some sort of bypass that allows water flow even with the dephleg temp set high or off? In cold temps, even a trickle through the dephleg will cause enough reflux.
  10. Pumps for High Proof Alcohol

    Just a reminder, your mobile phone is not approved for use in classified areas, nor is your laptop or tablet.
  11. Freshly dumped, once used bourbon barrels

    Can vouch for Brad, his barrels have fantastic aroma.
  12. LP Boiler

    It’s a shame that the boiler and burner manufacturers don’t make smaller modulating burners. I guess they figure with a smaller boiler, the potential benefits for a typical user are probably too small to warrant. However in our processes, heat and hold lends itself pretty well to even a simple hi/lo 2 level modulation.
  13. What ever happened to iStill?

    Very cool, but I think it should be made clear such automations are to make operations easy for a distiller, and not to promote unattended operation of a still. As an industry, we should have zero tolerance for unattended still operation, as no amount of automation or SCADA can replace a watchful eye, and no technology is failsafe.
  14. Identifying Infection

    Propionibacterium Shermanii is very easily sourced (common in cheese production, you can source pure cultures in pitchable volumes), likewise Clostridium Butyricum (not a botulinum toxin producing strain), also easy enough, but needs to be propagated. These two in conjunction with whatever your preferred lacto can create enough ester funk to put Messrs Wray and Nephew to shame.
  15. Identifying Infection

    Good luck with the Brett in rum, if you get decent results from anomalous or the others let us know. I tried a few strains, mainly brux and lambicus (still brux), they were all big fat fails. Rum does not lend itself to the phenolics like whiskey, there is nowhere to hide from the big fat rubbery medicinal band-aid. It doesn't age out either.