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vsaks

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About vsaks

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    10th Street Distillery

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    http://www.10thstreetdistillery.com

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    San Francisco Bay Area, California

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  1. Did not know about OSHA stuff. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for this information.
  2. vsaks

    Hoses or Piping?

    It is a question of cost and added complexity. You have to account for not just product movement but also CIP. We have hard piping from HLT -> mash tun -> fermenters -> wash still -> LWF -> spirit still -> ISR -> SR and bunch of loopbacks. You end up with manifolds on inlets and outlets and have to be sure that the correct valve is open and the rest closed.
  3. There is no danger until you hit LEL. So a lower limit gives you early warning to fix whatever is wrong, or to get the hell out of there. We chose 10% and 20%, not because it was required by AHJ, but because we felt it gave us enough headroom. If you have an alarm which gives you LEL readout and you can choose the actionable threshold, that should allow you to run operations safely (now whether your AHJ accepts that or not is another issue). The reason you don't want a 6% or lower threshold is you don't want a threshold so low that you hit it during normal operations. Then it just becomes a nuisance and might not be noticed when a real problem is happening. Our $450 RKI sensors needed calibration after 6 months or so. They were being triggered multiple times a day. No alarms since the calibration. That illustrates two things : 1. All gas sensor based alarms need periodic recalibration. If the AHJ sees the alarm installed, they are going to ask for calibration records. 2. I don't know that the alarm threshold should be, but do know that when our alarms dipped below 10%. it was too low
  4. You can use another cheaper alarm if 1. The alarm can be calibrated 2. The range is suitable for your use 3. The sensor being used is stable enough that it doesn't drift Even the RKI PS2 needs to be periodically calibrated. We used 2000 ppm Hydrogen and 4000 ppm Hydrogen as surrogates to calibrate at 10% and 20% LEL of ethanol as recommended by RKI (though my research indicated that it should have been 2800 ppm and 5600 ppm Hydrogen). You need to match the LEL equivalence. 10% LEL of ethanol is the same as 9% LEL methane, 13% LEL propane, or 14% LEL n-butane. Double those for 20% LEL ethanol. An off the shelf alarm at 5% of methane will trigger at 6% LEL ethanol. Not sure if you really want that.
  5. RKI PS2 with exhaust fans is the way to go. Just be sure to calibrate them every six months or so. It's a relatively simple process outlined in the manual.
  6. I agree with the sentiments expressed earlier, "DO NOT run the still unattended or remote". Even the remote probability of something happening when unattended which you can't control can cost dearly. Typically you should design your system and heat input for bringing to boil in 1 hr or so. It is a simple calculation of the amount of heat required to bring your system to boil, the heat transfer efficiency and the max available power. If for some reason you don't have enough power available (not enough amps/boiler too small) then there is another solution available : Use a pre-heater. We have an effluent tank where we keep last run's hot effluent. It has an agitator and lots of copper coils. When filling the still, the wash is pumped through these coils. And it comes to a boil in 45 minutes !! If you don't have effluent, you can heat up water in a tank to pre-heat the wash. Essentially you are stretching your peak heat usage over longer time by heating the pre-heater.
  7. 1. You don't need a servo control. For precise steam control, you need to use a multi-turn globe valve, not a ball valve 2. Is your boiler control ramping up and down as you open and close the valve ? Or is it turning on and off with the valve in the same position ? What is the turndown ratio on your boiler burner ? If you are not constantly opening and closing the valve and the boiler is cycling, then it might be an issue with the turndown with your boiler burner. If you are using too little steam, the boiler pressure will go to the max and it will turn off. Then you have to turn it back on.
  8. Buying from reputed vendors who are active here, I assumed the pumps had the right seals/diaphragms for use with high proof alcohol in distillery. Do you ever open and clean your pumps ? I am wondering if others might have this issue too
  9. We leave pumps wet with alcohol. Don't rinse with water
  10. We have been using the G70 explosion proof pumps for pumping alcohol for the past two years. I recently opened one of the pumps for cleaning and found the diaphragm breaking down. This was used for pumping low wines (after stripping run) to the stills, so no solids. I know these have been advertised as okay with alcohol, but it doesn't seem so. Has any one else experienced the same issue ? I have emailed the supplier I bought these from about replacement diaphragms.
  11. We have been using the $450 PS 2 model for the last one year. Had the manufacturer set the alarms at 10% and 20% LEL of ethanol. Each alert light/alarm also turns on a relay, so you can hook up a fan to turn on automatically. We got the 115V version and our exhaust vent fan is connected to the relay to turn on automatically at 10%.
  12. I was wondering if anyone has bought the Shanken Report and if it has worthwhile information beyond the DISCUS Reports. Considering it is priced at almost $1K !!!
  13. Is anyone aware of any TTB requirements for date/batch lot serial number identification on bottles ? One of the label vendors mentioned that we need this on the label (and they can provide it), but I can't find any information anywhere about this. I am aware of the case labeling requirements as outlined in §19.488 Marks on packages filled in processing §19.489 Marks on cases filled in processing §19.490 Numbering of packages and cases filled in processing but none of the COLA BAM guide or 27 CFR 5.40 mentions anything about serial numbers/batch ID/date on the labels.
  14. Is it possible for a distiller to sell directly to retailers when getting started ? Did any of you do this when you first started producing ? While the AB 1295 permitted craft distillers to sell directly to consumers (single-tier) since 2016, it seems California ABC Act has always permitted a two tier system for California manufacturers ... § 23363. Licensed manufacturers of distilled spirits originally distilled in this State; Sale to licensees Any licensed manufacturer of distilled spirits originally distilled in this State may sell them to any person holding a license authorizing the sale of distilled spirits.
  15. Wondering if we could report this on Google. Most of the people are finding them via Google Search.
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