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Skaalvenn

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Skaalvenn last won the day on May 11

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About Skaalvenn

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  1. Skaalvenn

    Thermal fluid system for still heating(?)

    Other than initial price I can't think of a single advantage that baine Marie has. I've been running electric baine marie for almost 4 years, initially with heating oil but now with propylene glycol, which seems to work better. It got me started, it has made some fine spirits, but the slow startup time and high cost to run ($900 monthly electric bills) mean that it's time that I suck it up and upgrade to steam.
  2. Skaalvenn

    Fork lift or not fork lift

    We're a little higher than that. Empty glass is about 1200 for our bottles, bagged grain is about 2,000, and a super sack can get up to 3,000.
  3. Skaalvenn

    Fork lift or not fork lift

    I have used a 2,000lb rated Big Joe stacker for the last 2 years, but I was previously in a dock-height space and am now on ground level. It's been a life saver, but it can also be a real headache outdoors while loading and unloading semis. Pallet Stacker Pros: Much smaller size and turning radius than a sit down forklift Inexpensive Can be manually pushed around a little bit (great for when you need to nudge it an inch or two) Pallet Stacker Cons: 2,000lb limit means it's really struggling at 1900lbs, and at 2,000lbs you are worried if it will even lift. a 3500lb triple mast forklift is rated to lift 3500lbs all the way up. It is meant for indoor use on flat concrete, if you have a heavy pallet in the air it will stall or get hung up on any dips or rises in the surface. Gravel? not a chance. Nearly zero torque. You can not push heavy pallets that extra nudge into a truck, nor can you drag one out of a truck. No tilt or side shift. If you grab a pallet out of a truck it needs to be perfectly centered on the stacker or else the pallet will hit one of the forward legs on the way down. Much slower to load/unload semis than a sit down forklift. Thankfully my next door neighbors have a big forklift, and I have a key to their space. My expense to use it is a couple cases of beer each month.
  4. Skaalvenn

    InsuranceMan 2.0

    Glad to see you back, and I can't wait to have you be my insurance man again! I've been with Aaron since the day I called him up saying "I'm thinking of starting a distillery but want to know how much insurance might be?". He's always been there for us when I had a question or issue.
  5. Skaalvenn

    Anton Paar Products

    Correct. You'll get a slip of paper with the hydrometer that states what the correction you need to apply is. I've had some come back saying they are as much as 1/10 of a proof off.
  6. Skaalvenn

    confined space entry

    You need a permit. No question about it (my job in the Air Force involves responding to HAZMAT incidents, as well as identifying and entering confined spaces--so I'm fairly well versed). A fermentation vessel indeed Has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere (CO2). There is really no arguing against that, and it's very unlikely you'll win that argument against an OSHA inspector. These rules are carefully written and spelled out clearly as to avoid interpretation which could result in deaths. http://halmapr.com/news/crowcon/2013/07/22/co2-gas-hazards-in-the-brewing-industry/ https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3138.html https://www.brewersassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Confined-Space-Power-Hour.pdf
  7. I think we can all agree that your grain costs and I'll go up, heh, significantly, if you don't use malt or enzymes. Don't take it as an insult; but it's like asking if your still will be cheaper to run if you don't heat it.
  8. Skaalvenn

    Wanted: Used Bottle Filler

    We might be selling a 4 spout Xpressfill in a few weeks. It's not gravity, but figure I'd toss it out there. PM me if interested.
  9. Skaalvenn

    Used Genio/iStill 50L or 100L wanted

    I don't have one for sale, but I do have a Genio. It's a nice unit for making vodka, but they don't seem to have much interest in firmware updates to allow greater functionality and/or user control--which is frustrating. If you get one be advised that you will want water re-circulation or some other option other than tap water. Due to the (IMO poorly designed) head and condenser, the 250L unit requires around 80GPH of water during the run, and a run can take 10-11 hours. It runs really really slowly during the first few hours and there's no manual control to speed that portion up. If you were running it 5 days a week on tap water, you would easily use over 15,000 gallons of water in a month just for cooling a 65 gallon still.
  10. Skaalvenn

    GNS Cost and Availability

    We recently switched our aquavit from redistilling GNS, filtering and then flavoring/aging to just filtering then flavoring aging Why? I was never able to get a single drop of heads or tails out of it even when my still produces just under 192 @ 60 degrees on a calibrated and certified hydrometer. I don't have much experience with GNS but at least with the stuff I use there are no heads or tails. It's 2018 and we are all well aware that we should be conserving energy--not wasting it. I saw running GNS through the still as a waste of natural resources and think doing so to put "distilled" on the label rather than "produced" is one of the most ridiculous and wasteful things one could ever do. (note: I totally understand the requirement to redistill GNS for any type of vapor or pot infused product.)
  11. Skaalvenn

    grain/liquid separation

    The biggest challenge you'll face is finding a reliable farmer who picks up when he says he'll pick up. Not only does it spoil, but it can bring your entire operation to a halt if you can't even empty out your still. If you're in the city this becomes harder since there's less local farmers and they have more places looking to get rid of grain. Just within a few miles of us there's about 50 different breweries and distilleries who are trying to get rid of it, not to mention all the grocery stores and food salvage companies who are also looking for farmers to take their expiring produce.
  12. Skaalvenn

    Issues with a small equipment supplier

    I just timed myself on how long it takes me to go from standing at the man way of the still to pressing the emergency stop button at a brisk walking pace (not running). Distance: 34 feet, 6" from the manway to the control panel emergency stop. Control: 7.5 seconds to turn 90 degrees and casually walk over and hit the stop button Test 1: 4.7 seconds (face still, 90 degree turn to panel) Test 2: 4.5 seconds (face still, 90 degree turn to panel) Test 3: 4.9 seconds (facing away from panel, 180 degree turn to panel) And after realizing that I was not going to get an absurd amount of time to the panel... Test 4: 5.2 seconds (standing on one leg facing still, 90 degree turn while hopping on one leg to panel) If there's an emergency and the still is spewing hot steam or fire, I would imagine that time to decrease by a good second and I'd be going towards the exit of the building at the same time I'm hitting the emergency shutoff. If the time difference of 1 or 2 seconds extra is catastrophic, you probably don't want to be spending any bit of time near the still to attempt to hit the emergency stop button (it's not like someone is going to get caught up and wound into a machine requiring a close stop button). At least to me, saving a life is most important so I'll stick with my panel being further away so that myself or an employee is less likely to be harmed in the event of catastrophe. One could "what if" all day and say that "what if that 4 extra seconds was the difference?" Well, we can play that game until the end of time.
  13. Skaalvenn

    Issues with a small equipment supplier

    I guess I don't see why people put their control panel right next to the still? I had that in our old space and didn't like the idea of it so in our new space the panel is about 35 feet away, next to the exit door. Stills should be monitored close enough that vapor percentages in the explosive range is nearly impossible to reach. And if that happens, would you really want the panel with emergency stop button to be right next to the device with a bunch of fire around it? I'm working on wiring up a simple automatic shutoff into my still and panel. Output temp after the condenser hits X degrees and the panel shuts off and has to be manually reset. Looking in to how I can accomplish the same thing with pressure to shut it down before a pressure valve would ever have to do its job.
  14. If you are selling bottles the customers can not pass through the bonded area when they leave as tax paid alcohol would be passing into a tax unpaid area. For samples only it's probably OK, but the TTB will not allow bottles to be sold in such a configuration.
  15. Skaalvenn

    HAZ EX/OP Area - Mobile/ Cell Phones

    Interestingly enough, today I got a private tour of an ethanol plant which makes over 50 million gallons of pure ethanol each year--cell phones were most definitely allowed.
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