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Silk City Distillers

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Everything posted by Silk City Distillers

  1. Measuring stick would probably get you 95% of the way there. I don't see how density and solids content doesn't throw off the mag and ultrasonic units. Turbine, possibly, but what's the maximum viscosity - and what's the impact to error rate of being at whats likely the high end of that? Coriolis mass flow device is the ideal measuring device here, being able to account for solids and the density - but we're talking thousands of dollars. That GW Kent unit says to use an 18 mesh screen to protect it. That's like 1/32nd - would clog up very quickly.
  2. Almost impossible to answer your question. That might largely be determined by your code officials and architect. Or, you might not have either or them, or they might not care at all. Typically ventilation requirements are expressed as air changes per hour. We're talking about replacing all of the air within the building, some number of times per hour. The number of air changes per hour will depend on those code classifications, architectural/engineering decisions. A common number that comes up in the case of flammables is 6 air changes per hour, and also 1cfm per square foot of floor. What that means in terms of what ventilation equipment is going to be required, is going to be based on the volume of space, make up air, HVAC considerations, how "leaky" your structure is, passive air changes, etc etc etc. This is getting into a pretty esoteric area from an engineering standpoint. Hell, I've seen code officials satisfied with large bay doors being left open during operating hours - and a few towns over they've required vapor monitors wired to automatic exhaust fans. If you live in a very cold, or very hot, climate, these numbers will start to get very concerning if you have a large "volume" of space to change. It's 10f outside today. We'd like to keep it 65f inside. Imagine having to reheat all the air in the building 6 times every hour - this is where engineering common sense comes into play, etc.
  3. Wow @MichaelAtTCW - the workmanship blew me away. Not sure I expected it to be this well done. Can't wait to fire her up!
  4. Flat bottom stainless wine tanks are dirt cheap. Why bother? I find that HDPE tends to “hold” aroma more than you would expect. Gin for example - I could never imagine using the container for anything else.
  5. Interesting - will unscrew mine later today.
  6. Easiest would be to use something like a Modine heater. You'll need electric for the blower, steam, and a condensate line back. Wire it up so that you can disable it as necessary, so it doesn't interfere with a run.
  7. We use Square as well. Adding additional wireless iPad stations has make it much faster for us. Way easier than additional hardwired pos stations, and the portability allows us to move them around the bar and tasting room as necessary. Only negative with Square is that you can’t start a tab with a card. When it gets busy we hold cards. Not ideal, but works. Well, and if you forget to charge.
  8. Yeah, it's more similar to using a solvent recovery evaporator, rotovap, than traditional distillation as we know it.
  9. Short path, at atmospheric pressure, is very similar to the typical keg style pot still you see on home distiller forums - bend right off the top into a shotgun. Vacuum is far, far, far more interesting for most beverage and flavor extractions. Not only due to thermal decomposition issues, but oxygen exposure as well.
  10. No. Full sounds like flooded Not sure what kind of still but I’ll guess 3/4” to 1” of liquid. When running it may be difficult to determine liquid depth on a still like that, as you’ll see lots of froth/boil action. Your dephlegmator is far too cold, or you are running too much power into the kettle, or both.
  11. Mythbusting your mythbuster article on grain mill size. Good info but not necessarily all accurate, raw grains throw this for a loop. Malted grain can generally be milled more coarse than unmalted grain without a significant impact to yield. However, raw grain will see a sizable impact to yield. For us - coarse roller mill maize vs coarse hammer mill “flour” was a 20% difference in product yield on a proof gallon basis - relatively significant. We see the same with raw rye, wheat, oats as well. Raw grain through a roller mill is generally pretty abusive on the roller grooving/knurling as well - and typically generates much more dust than malted. Many hammer mill styles have built in dust collectors vs roller mills that almost never do. From a safety classification perspective - both mill styles are identical, there is no distinction. It’s about using the right tool for the job. If you are a pure malt shop, roller milling is a no brainer, especially if you have intentions of lautering. If you are focusing on the American styles, a hammer mill is far more useful. If you wish to be king of all whiskies, have both.
  12. Careful you are treading on dangerous territory. The entire snake oil patent medicine industry ... oops I mean CBD industry is in for a smack down when the FDA starts cracking down on the unsubstantiated health claims. Making health claims around an alcoholic beverage? TTB would have a field day with that.
  13. A few of our early batches of gin smelled like weed. Pot shares many terpenes with other botanicals, especially gin botanicals. There is nothing magical about the terpenes in pot, Mother Nature used the same strategies across the plant kingdom. I think you could get pretty close in aroma if you played around a bit to use a blend of other botanicals that would yield a similar terpene “fingerprint”. We are talking about creating a novelty spirit here? Tommy Chong on the label kinda stuff?
  14. RTD probes are considered intrinsically safe if they are connected to an intrinsically safe meter or controller. If your meter is not, you can use an intrinsic Safety Barrier for RTD, which is a stand-alone module that both will connect to, such as: https://www.pepperl-fuchs.com/usa/en/classid_14.htm?view=productdetails&prodid=870#functions This is getting into fairly sophisticated electronics design and safety engineering. What I am saying is that if your AHJ is indicating this is an issue, the necessary certifications are likely more important than the individual circuit components. This kind of stuff is far more complex than a typical inspector would understand. You would likely lose them at Intrinsically Safe. Keep in mind what you are protecting against. The temperature probe is not the problem, it’s that if something goes very wrong in the controller, and the rtd is now exposed to enough voltage/current - that short circuit could create an ignition source. The goal of that barrier is to protect the probe and wiring from anything that might go wrong in that box.
  15. That's why we moved to the "Aged At Least XX Years/Months" phrasing. I do not believe your phrasing would be approved, or if it's approved, you need to ensure that every bottle contains aged spirit that coincides with BOTH the lower and upper limit, otherwise the upper limit is a misrepresentation. Consumer might believe that the bottle contains a blend of whiskies older than it does. Keep in mind that the age statement can be an understatement, but can never be an overstatement - if that makes sense.
  16. We have resubmitted numerous labels for the same product as we’ve string age out longer. We try not to overbuy labels. 1 year, 2 year straight. Most of our age statements read “Aged at least xx years” now. Our 2 year product contains barrels almost 3 years old. In a few months we will reprint 3 and 4 year age statement variations. I know more than once we dumped a barrel to run out label stock.
  17. Is it bad to say I want to hug it? If that just ain't the cutest darn thing. If I had a spare $15k, I'd buy that in a SECOND.
  18. Doesn’t answer your question, but you can’t use a refractometer to measure the final gravity directly - you need to use a calculator and have an accurate starting gravity. https://www.northernbrewer.com/pages/refractometer-calculator Using the calculator you get a final gravity of .997.
  19. Done, I'll call tomorrow and mail it out.
  20. Not upset, we should be sharing more of this kind of information with each other - it's all good - I don't understand why we wouldn't leverage the knowledge of the collective to elevate everyone. Compare this thread with a book on barrel aging published by a master distiller. $35 for 150 worthless pages, without even a single actionable piece of information. On another note, about bucking the trend. We did some 1 year 100% Ryes in 15g, and 2+ in 30g - we still have customers today that beg us to lay down the 1 year rye (15g), they prefer it over the 2 and 3 year variants (30g). The big difference is the fruitiness - big dark dried fruit and honey in the 1 year, it's nearly gone by 2, totally gone by 3, replaced with rye spice dominating.
  21. Will call Michael to beg tomorrow.
  22. From the conclusion above: Don't forget about the small barrel maturation curve, it goes like this: 1. Young harsh distillate. 2. Tastes faintly like whiskey. 3. OH MY GOD ITS OVER-OAKED. 4. Wow, that's really good, I now realize that #2 tastes terrible. 5. Ah christ, now it's really over-oaked. 6. Garbage. Many pull at # 2, on the upswing of the extraction curve. I feel this is incorrect, misleading. You generally see these as products aged 6-8 months in 10 gallon. What you get it extraction products and color without maturation products. Bitter/Dry Tannin is on the upswing, peaking in # 3. But, it's not until these have some time to oxidize/react, settle down, allow the vanillin/syringealdehyde to come through. For us, # 4 is 12-14 months in a 10 gallon. # 5 if about 15-16 months. You may have some luck "rescuing" #5 by dumping into stainless tanks with plenty of headspace and letting it sit for a few more months. You will never "rescue" #6, it's not even suitable for blending. Or just bite the bullet and push to 15/25/30g sizes.
  23. No prob. My own 2 cents, which admittedly might not even be worth that, is that anything below 15g isn't worth anyone's time. I'm sure I'll upset people using barrels smaller than that, but in our experience, the extraction curve crosses the maturation curve far too early below 15g. We played around with 10g and 15g, and now only use 15g for our test batches, with the intent on 12-18m aging on the test batches. We find this to be far superior than pushing a 10g to the 12 month mark, or dumping at 10g earlier than one year. To us, 15g feels like the tipping point between small cask and large cask. One thing to keep in mind for us, we're in a fairly dry climate during the winter, and our barrel storage is conditioned (read: very dry), so we typically see substantial evaporations - 10% a year is typical for us in smaller cooperage. If you are cooler, and wetter, you might be able to stretch out the maturation time before over-oaking. Our go-to now is 30g, and we're currently transitioning to 53g - which means laying down a lot of inventory (and needing lots of space). I think the Kelvin 25g size is a nice balanced position if you needed to be slightly smaller, it's a manageable size, and we had some good results at the 2 year mark. Barrel Mill 15/30g have been winners for us. Used cooperage is another story entirely, we've found second and third fills on small barrels to work well with dark rums aged far longer than you would ever realistically consider in a first fill small cask (~1 month per gallon as a rule of thumb). We have some high ester rums at 2 years in second fill 10g that are fantastic. Depending on your jurisdictions, you might have better success with second-fill small cooperage whiskies aged longer. We don't have this option in the US.
  24. Need the adjustable Mori tray - I can’t get it to work with my bottles. Proper fill level is right between two settings. Piramal Jersey. Proper fill level isn’t in the neck, but the top of the large bore body. Small differences in height are major ml differences.
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