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Towerguy

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About Towerguy

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  1. Towerguy

    Gin Bitterness - Berries or sharper cuts needed?!

    It may be a characteristic of your still, but in my gin, the harsh juniper oils come off first, so I have to take a more generous heads cut.
  2. Towerguy

    Question for those who ferment on grain...

    Stones, we have an agitator which stirs up the mash in our mash tun and another which attaches to our fermenters to stir that up prior to pumping into the still. No problems with clumping so far. But 3:1 grain to water seems high, we use about 2:1, and that seems about right. Maybe you should try a little thinner mash?
  3. Towerguy

    miniatures

    We are a new, craft distillery, and are looking at the feasibility of producing miniatures (50 ml) without using a contract bottler. A friend has an injection molding business, and thinks that he can produce miniature bottles with screw tops from food-grade polyethylene for a reasonable cost. Not being an expert on polymers, does anyone know if this material is suitable for packaging 80-100 proof spirits? It seems like most miniatures I see for sale in our State's (PA) liquor stores are either glass or PET. Anyone out there with expertise in this area: is this do-able, and if not, what other materials are known to be suitable for spirits? TIA.
  4. Towerguy

    conveyor for milled grain

    Hello! We are looking for a simple, portable (or at least easily moveable) auger or conveyor to move milled grain into our mashing vessel. So far, we have been feeding it manually, but in addition to being a pain, it also requires 2 people to accomplish. We have a quote from an ag company for a 4 inch, 11 foot long utility auger, but while this machine is not too expensive, it seems like overkill for our needs. Any suggestions for a simple way to move 600 to 700 pounds of milled grain (coarse flour consistency) at a relatively low rate would be greatly appreciated. TIA, John
  5. Towerguy

    Hello from the Garden State

    Jake, we are new enough to have a pretty full plate of our own problems to deal with, but will be happy to share whatever we have figured out thus far. We are in Allentown, County Seat Spirits. Pretty close to you. Good luck!
  6. Towerguy

    Ethanol vapors. Hazard?

    Thanks for the replies. It is not an issue with our condensers, but while collecting low wines, we then transfer them in batches into a ss tank, which is away from the still. While dumping the low wines into the tank, the ethanol vapors are pretty intense. I try not to inhale while pouring them in, some exposure is hard to avoid. Our ventilation is pretty good, and other than right by the low wine tank, there are no noticeable fumes.
  7. Towerguy

    Ethanol vapors. Hazard?

    Being a startup distiller, I am frequently exposing myself to fairly concentrated ethanol vapor during the production of our spirits. Has anyone found a good resource for determining whether this is a health hazard, and if so, how to minimize it? All I can find on the internet concerns people (mostly college students) purposely inhaling ethanol vapors for recreational effect. I just want to make good adult beverages. Any thoughts? TIA.
  8. Towerguy

    WTB : Affordable mash pump

    EB, what size FIP did you get? We are considering these pumps, but wonder if a 2 inch would handle the abuse we will give it, or go a bit larger, to 2 1/2 inch. We need to move and "pump over" some pretty heavy grain mashes. Thanks, John
  9. Towerguy

    How far to go on stripping run

    Hello, this may be a newbie question, but has anyone calculated the point on a stripping run (by ABV of output) when it is no longer worth the time and energy to keep collecting? It seems that once you get to say, 10%, the amount of ethanol collected is relatively small, and much of this will end up in the tails cut anyway. Has anyone actually figured this out scientifically? TIA, John
  10. Towerguy

    Applying shrink capsules with heat gun

    Lenny, thanks for the suggestion. I didn't think to try spinning the bottle (duh!), but I will try that. BTW, I tried both the preformed capsules and the flat ones, with similar results. Do you have a preference?
  11. We are getting ready to produce, and have been trying out various tops and shrink capsules. When I use my heat gun to shrink the capsules, about half of them come out looking like ET snot. Any suggested techniques to get a consistent seal? I was considering making a cup-like end to attach to the heat gun, to even out the heat. I realize there are devices made for this, but until we get to selling product, our budget is pretty lean. TIA, John
  12. Towerguy

    Get your Federal Permit? How long did it take?

    Thanks Sean! With any luck we will be producing by late November. I'll bring a bottle down for food truck Friday!
  13. Towerguy

    New barrel shortage issues.

    I can't attest that this is true, but I have heard that the "big guys" have bought out several cooperages, partly to meet their own needs, and partly (the conspiracy part) to control the market for the new competition. But, that being said, I have no doubt the free market will eventually sort this out. Till then, plan ahead as much as you can, and develop personal relationships that may help you source barrels when you need them.
  14. Towerguy

    Source for t-top corks

    Thanks guys! I am waiting for samples, but they look good.
  15. Towerguy

    Source for t-top corks

    Anyone have a suggestion for synthetic corks? We can get wood tops, 34mm X 22.5mm, but can't seem to find synthetic ones. The wood ones are nice, but pretty expensive, and would like the option of plastic tops, if the price is much better.
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