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Silk City Distillers

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Everything posted by Silk City Distillers

  1. Other thing to consider, if you are really using it as a development still, it should very closely approximate your production hardware. Bubble caps vary by manufacturer, but most manufacturers use somewhat consistent sizing/ratios across their product line, which means the smaller stills will be more representative of the larger stills within reason. Now, if your end goal is straight pot still, why bother with trays at all. If you want cleaner product to blend, just redistill it at a higher proof. Doing a separate strip and spirit run is going to come pretty close to a single pass through a 3 plate column.
  2. Perf plates are less flexible than bubble caps. There is a concept called turndown, it’s the range of operating conditions the tray can support without flooding or dumping. Bubble caps have a significantly wider turndown range than perforated. What’s that mean to you? It’s more flexible. It’ll run faster or slower and with more or less reflux. It's better, on every single measure possible (except maybe price). Would think, that for a development still, experimental still, you want the widest potential set of options to utilize. Modular, bubble cap. Perf trays have their place, they work great in dedicated columns that run in a really tight range, usually making one thing (vodka). In those cases, you don't need turndown and flexibility, you need the column to do one thing, every day, and not deviate. So you can save lots of money by using the less expensive tray type. i wouldn’t spend money on any kind of perf plate column. Most of that stuff comes right out of the hobby community from 10-15 years ago, when nobody could get a bubble cap.
  3. Looking for some 200ml Nocturne or similar. Don’t need a whole skid but something around half would do.
  4. I vote for Tom's explanation. Occam's razor. Simplest answer is the often the right one. Measurement error.
  5. I still don't understand why anyone would drain a jacket outside of maintenance.
  6. Can I ask why you would drain coolant? That’s like saying you drain your fermenter cooling jackets when you don’t need to cool. I don’t drain my still condensers when I’m not distilling. I don’t drain my mash tun cooling jacket.
  7. While you can stage your nutrient additions, you can not stage your yeast additions. Pitch all your yeast at once. For 1000 liters of cane juice, pitch a brick of yeast (500g). In cane juice this needs to be done as quickly as possible post-press. Cane juice is full of wild yeast and bacteria, it will begin fermentation immediately upon pressing. If wild yeast outcompete your pitched yeast, alcohol levels may retard the growth of your yeast in comparison to wild yeast, leading to a stalled fermentation. If bacteria outcompete yeast, pH will plummet quickly and retard yeast growth. By adding nutrient and not all the yeast up front, you are providing an advantage to the wild yeast and bacteria.
  8. Is this malt or unmalt rye? If Unmalt - Push your Amylo300 to 150ml, 30ml is too low.
  9. Fresh cane juice is pretty unstable from a microbiological perspective. Whats your yeast pitch amount and how fast are you pitching post-pressing?
  10. Second brett as being a negative phenolic contributor. I think it's the 4-VP that's the major standout in distilled spirits, not so much 4-VG, but that's just my personal opinion. 4-VP is burnt plastic bandaids and bad hospital smell. 4-VG is more of a rye spice. However, do not discount POF+ yeasts, especially with high malt barley and wheat mash bills (high ferulic acid). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/j.2050-0416.1996.tb00918.x A good primer is to look at the processes to emphasize phenolics/clove in Wheat Beers, and don't do anything they tell you to do. I think ultimately, the easy answer for distillers, is to mash in malt at a higher temperature than you might be comfortable with, and utilize exogenous enzyme to ensure complete conversion, combined with a lower fermentation temperature. Don't add malt or wheat as an adjunct before cereal mashing/gelatinization of corn (some do this for the enzyme). Also experiment with unmalted wheat, if you are using wheat, or really any unmalted adjunct. And try to stay away from POF+ yeast (finding out if your strain is POF+ or - may not be easy) - but if you are playing with beer yeast, specifically ale or hefe, it's there. Back to the Brett - it creates the volatile phenolic flavors the same way that POF+ yeast does, so anything you do to minimize ferulic acid production is going to limit the phenols from a Brett infection as well.
  11. 1) Keep on truckin'. Once you get it down, it's easy. We love mashing rye now, it's the shortest and easiest mash day. 2) Make your pH adjustments before each enzyme addition. 5.8 for BG, 5.8-5.6 for HTAA, 5.4-5.2 for GA (roughly). This is to optimize effectiveness and ensure maximum activity through mashing and continuing through fermentation. Look at the pH tables for your enzymes, if available, and make a determination of what's optimal, and what works (you don't want to be increasing the mash pH, only stepping it down slowly with each addition). For example, if you are already at 5.6 after grain additions, don't bother attempting to raise, that becomes your starting pH, only adjust down for GA, and then afterwards. Bring it down to at least 5.2 before fermentation. If you suspect you are dealing with bacterial gremlins, push it down even further. 3) Increase your hold time at gel temperature, push it to an hour. Rye always seems to like it hotter, and longer, than what any chart or table says. There is a really popular gelatinization temp chart that's made it's way around the internet. Ignore it, it's garbage. 4) Add your HTAA right after your glucanase rest is complete, it helps keep mash thin. 5) Rye Lies - don't bother attempting an accurate starting gravity. Even the iodine test can be frustratingly inaccurate. Especially if you are milling to near-flour. 6) You can try pulling back to 2lb/gal until you have a dialed in process, then attempt to push from there if necessary. I don't even attempt to push that high, it's not worth it. We use 1000lb of unmalted rye in 2000l (530g) total mash volume or 450 gallons total water. We tried pushing to 1100, and it's just not worth the effort. Also, 1000lb is half of a 2000lb super sack, which makes grain handling easier. 7) The slow distillation - are you using an electrically heated Bain Marie? Agitator? 😎 Yield - how much of the 3 enzymes are you using? What's the total mash bill weight?
  12. Just find a sieve/screen that is small enough to permit the dust/bits to fall out, but not the botanicals. Don't bother rinsing, it'll be a mess.
  13. Mandatory? Depends. It will protect your pump from pressures higher than its rated for. It will also provide you a way to control pump speed. Turn down the pressure, it’ll slow. Some compressors may come with regulators, but the assumption is you are locating the compressor far far away from your pumping location, so you really wouldn’t be running back and forth to adjust the pump speed. Easier to have an on/off valve and a regulator to control your pump right there.
  14. You can buy ethanol based ink that you can roll on with a stencil (rolling easier than spraying). I'll try to find the maker, but it's basically ethanol and carbon black. Pretty much perfect.
  15. I’ve been in at least a hundred distilleries, and have never seen a single spiral plate HX in use.
  16. Post-gelatinization, there isn’t much of a chance of sedimentation. The viscosity is fairly high compared to water, and the remaining grain components are easily kept in suspension. Maybe if you were pumping through an 8” pipeline, but not 1.5” or 2”. If you are recirculating back to the tun, there is no reason to run a slow flow rate. Faster the flow the better the efficiency, don’t get fooled thinking the smaller delta t is a problem. In the dairy world these are a bit larger/longer since they are sized for single pass. And those idiot dairy farmers didn’t bother to consider smaller inner tubes, they just added more straight through sections. Clearly they spent too much time consuming their own product. If you are recirculating, optimizing HX efficiency is a whole lot less important, since you can just trade time or adjust flow rate.
  17. Keep in mind that was published in the early 1940s, meaning this way based on activity taking place in the late 30s, early 40s. I am pretty sure that exogenous high temperature amylase was not "invented" yet, likely not beta-glucanase either. They didn't have access to the technology that we have today, so their workflows were constrained compared to what we have access to today.
  18. We have a pair of 2" Viking Duralobe positive displacement pumps. Pretty much all of the stainless PD lobe pumps work in the same way, even if the lobe styles/shapes are different.
  19. Totally don't understand. If you are clogging a straight-through HX, it means your pump can't build sufficient pressure to pump against the back pressure of the tubing. There are zero occlusions in a straight-through flow path to cause any kind of blockage, build up, or otherwise. So how on earth does a more restrictive setup result in less chance of clogging? Especially one that now includes obvious inclusions. You'd face significantly more head pressure with a 4 tube design, because it's more restrictive to flow. Your maximum solids size now becomes the inner diameter of the smaller tube. If I bought a 4 tube design and one tube clogged, so that I needed to break it down to clean it, I'd ask for my money back, because that's garbage design.
  20. Yeah I agree with Paul, straight through tubes won't clog, and just based on their nature, will tend to stay clean.
  21. On each transition from elbow/180 degree U to 4 tube heat exchanger, there would be a small gap between the inner wall and the HX inner tube, which at best would prevent it from being fully draining, but worst would cream possible dead spots/buildup - which would necessitate regular breakdown for cleaning. The worse the orientation, the greater the potential transition gap. From a microbiological perspective, a mash cooling HX would be the most vulnerable point in the process. Similar situation with milk cooling in the dairy industry.
  22. This post has nearly doubled the discussion on the topic.
  23. There are a number of major products on the market today that are "double new oak barreled", and I'd suspect a good number of them are counting the aggregate age. Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Jack Daniels Double Oak Pritchard's Double Barrel Bourbon Old Forrester 1910 Knob Creek Twice Barreled Rye
  24. So you can't make good spirits using a continuous still?
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