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Skaalvenn last won the day on February 20

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About Skaalvenn

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  1. Good news. So it sounds like there’s still approval required from the FDA and then individual states, right? not trying to be a Debbie downer. Just want to ensure I am staying in full compliance.
  2. Edit on 23March2020. The information below is out dated due to new guidance and guidelines that have recently changed. I am leaving this post up as current regulation loosening may be temporary. Best to check with the proper authorities for anyone reading this after the covid-19 outbreak passes. Same with us. Those laws and regulations are there for a reason. You wouldn’t trust a distillery to make Baby Asprin, would you? It’s production is regulated no different. As a PROFESSIONAL distiller I am obligated to follow the rules and laws of what I can manufacture and how it’s to be manufactured. This is largely for public safety. As a healthcare professional I am obligated to “do no harm” and ensure the proper steps and procedures are being followed when it comes to patient safety. Going rogue, abandoning guidelines, and having total disregard for the law is reckless and puts consumers and employees at unnecessary risk. But hey, I’m sure it’s a great marketing opportunity during a global crisis :eye roll: That being said, if the feds give us the direction and approval to start making a sanitizing product, they have the full support of our entire production facility and all available staff. Until that happens though, we will follow the law.
  3. Further reading: Edit on 23March2020. The information below is out dated due to new guidance and guidelines that have recently changed. I am leaving this post up as current regulation loosening may be temporary. Best to check with the proper authorities for anyone reading this after the covid-19 outbreak passes. I am not entirely familiar with USP certification or grade. Is what we make USP grade? I'm guessing not. Ethanol, 80% vv denatured according to TTB. If you do not have the checkbox for denaturing operations, you can not legally do this. Mind "The compounder does not add other active or inactive ingredients", so a compounder (pharmacist) may not veer from the above recipe. Also keep in mind that only ethanol can be used which rules out using heads for this purpose. I'm not trying to be a downer. I fully support this and will dedicate all available resources towards this if and only if we can legally do it.
  4. Edit on 23March2020. The information below is out dated due to new guidance and guidelines that have recently changed. I am leaving this post up as current regulation loosening may be temporary. Best to check with the proper authorities for anyone reading this after the covid-19 outbreak passes. Unless i'm reading this wrong, it does not say distillers can make hand sanitizer Disclaimer: I have not finished reading it yet.
  5. Edit on 23March2020. The information below is out dated due to new guidance and guidelines that have recently changed. I am leaving this post up as current regulation loosening may be temporary. Best to check with the proper authorities for anyone reading this after the covid-19 outbreak passes. Went over this already. Hand sanitizer is regulated by the FDA as a OTC drug. Unless you are licensed as a drug manufacturer and reseller you are treading in dangerous territory. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-drug-class/topical-antiseptic-products-hand-sanitizers-and-antibacterial-soaps A few have said "we won't call it hand sanitizer." Well, you can call it whatever you want, but if the feds and/or state say it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, they are the ones who determine (not you) if it's a duck. If anyone knows for sure otherwise, please let me know. FYI one of our suppliers for beverage alcohol is focusing their entire operation towards fulfilling orders for hand sanitizer manufacturers and all beverage alcohol is delayed 2 weeks. There's the very real chance you could lose your business and 1 day later every Home Depot has 20 pallets of the stuff. You probably spent years and your entire life's savings opening a business in a highly regulated industry, don't risk it by treading into another highly regulated industry that you aren't licensed in.
  6. I'm not offended in the slightest, I just read your posts and it sounds more and more like scientific buzz words being thrown around without anything to back them up than anything. I have one of your older istill models, and it simply doesn't do what you always claimed they did. I know you separated from the company that used to build them, but that brings up the question of your honesty in advertising prior to doing fabrication in house. 1. You just need thttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj9SL6A61qoo observe the mixing of a tank designed by someone who has some knowledge about mixer design, or who has watched a 2 minute video on mixing. A properly designed system will not have any splashing, vortexing, or dead spots. See below: youtu.be/Sj9SL6A61qo 3. I understand the benefit of being able to dial in and maintain an amount of heat--a properly designed steam system can do just that. To say that electric is superior is just spreading misinformation and people have figured out how to control the precise amount of BTUs with steam long ago. I will say that electric WAS beneficial when starting since I didn't have to buy an expensive steam boiler, but any change or move with electric required thousands of dollars spent to build more control panels, install more electrical lines, and add higher amp panels to handle the load. Going to steam eliminated basically all those costs (in addition to the previously stated benefits). 4. I am quite familiar with cooking and what the maillard reaction is, to say that this doesn't happen in a different still is quite bogus. In fact, I'd argue that the ability to distill on the grain results in the ability to have a product with more flavors than using direct elements. 9. I did a brief google search and found nothing from the Edinburgh University and copper levels in spirits. Can you share the article for us?
  7. So, I read all your posts and just want to chime in with some observations and questions. (numbers are in reference to the list of features you linked) 1. Square boiler. A properly placed agitator on a round tank will not vortex and will achieve ideal agitation. There's a reason round is the standard and it's not because engineers weren't clever enough to think of a square. 2. I believe wide or narrow have the same evaporation rates and that it's all about BTUs transferred (someone can correct me on this). 3. As someone who spent the first 4 years on electric, I'm so absolutely thrilled that I've moved to steam. We are not a large operation by any means, but switching our main still to steam has saved us $700 per month in electricity bills, and our new steam powered vodka still should knock another $400-500 off. Roughly $14,000 of revenue saved each year, and we have reduced heatup times from 100a electric by about 4 hours each day. Our steam boiler will pay for itself within just a couple years, much sooner if we consider labor and increased production capacity. I also don't have to worry about electrical components causing a multitude of issues. 4. You say your still creates maillard reaction, but a traditional still does not. Can you back that up with science? 5. As far as I understand it, mixing speed has no effect on the rate of boil. 9. You make multiple wild claims. 1. Copper contamination. In a properly designed still, there should be no copper contamination. You also claim that copper rusts? Your stills have copper, so are you saying that iStills rust and poison customers spirits?
  8. Ask the cooper for references, find people who use them years ago and still use them. We prefer The Barrel Mill, they are local to us, make a good barrel, and I don't think I've ever heard a negative thing about them.
  9. Depends what you're fermenting and how. With rum we can basically fill a 350 gallon tank to about 340 gallons and not worry (as long as we don't turn the agitators on). Hard wheat with a higher protein %? Need lots of head space even with a gallon of anti-foam (I'm exaggerating). After the initial "flare up" a few hours after pitch it should settle down. Having the mash on the cool side will help as the yeast won't get as excited as they would in say a 90 degree pitch.
  10. Thanks for being a great insurance agent, Aaron! Aaron was one of the first calls I made when we were just thinking of starting up back in 2013 as I needed to know for my planning what the heck distillery insurance cost. Was it going to be $100/mo or $10,000/mo to insure a small distillery? He's been extremely helpful at every stage of our operation.
  11. Same goes for above, feel free to give me a ring for a temporary solution until you get a new tray.
  12. I am very familiar with filling nozzles, their adjustment, and TTB standards of fill. The Mori in it's standard configuration is only adjustable by moving the tray up and down, adjustment of the rubber cone on the Mori does not change fill heights. That I am 100% absolutely positive about as I have had plenty of communication with @MichaelAtTCW at TCW about this. Sometimes the tray notches perfectly line up and a certain bottle design is within TTB tolerances (always measure by weight) and sometimes the only option is violation of fill by either too much or too little. There are some "hacks" you can use with vice grips or clamps, but it's not ideal and they are prone to move/drift out of adjustment through a run. Sometimes you are in tolerance when your spirit is around 76 degrees in the summer, but then it's out of tolerance when the temperature drops (and vice versa). Thankfully, the new design seems to work well, although I will be e-mailing Michael with the results I've found so far. It's not perfect, but I think a minor change will fix that. I have 4 different fillers that we use for various products/projects at the distillery because for us, it's easier to typically dedicate one towards a certain product/bottle so that we don't have to spend time adjusting things back and forth or waiting for cleaning to be finished before proceeding with another bottling on busier production days. Each filler is a different brand/model and they each have their own "personality" or quirks, they all do some thing better than the others, and they all have something I don't like about them. I've been thinking about looking into prototyping and then making my own design of fillers someday. Ding ding! The Jersey is that same bottle we use for our brand, and that fill height in the transition between the flat top and the neck bore is a real PITA to nail down. We tried out the prototype tray with the Jerseys the other day and it was a complete success. We usually use the Criveller for the jerseys and it works OK. The downside to that filler is that it's pretty sensitive on the angle of the jersey bottle, and each bottle must be angled the exact same way otherwise incorrect fills happen. The rubber cones are also much softer on the Criveller and they are prone to catching on the bottle lip and cause the cone to not seal, you'll typically only catch it when a bottle starts gushing spirit out the top...it's very annoying. Anyways, yesterday our criveller was giving me a headache on the Jersey bottles (not able to push the fillers up high enough to completely open the air port, leading to very slow fills), so I wheeled in the Mori and adjusted the tray. After about 2-3 minutes of filling bottles, weighing them, and then making small adjustments we had it nailed down and it worked great. So e-mail Michael @ TCW and see if he can do you up. The one thing I did notice is that the Criveller filled the bottles at a noticeably faster rate. The mori gets close to the top and then fills very slowly whereas the Criveller raced all the way to the top. I'm not sure if that is the fill head design or the angle of the bottles--have not investigated yet. The bottles are pretty vertical in the mori, and at an angle in the Criveller. Feel free to google "Skaalvenn" and give me a call if you want help getting your current Mori to fill the jersey bottles correctly, I'm always here. You can text as well. -Tyson
  13. Not a problem. It looks pretty good So far. I already have an idea of how to make it slightly better (quick and cheap mod), but I'll save that for after we actually have a chance to use it. Thanks again!
  14. Thanks so much--that saves me some time! Right now we have 2x 6 spout fillers, a Mori from TCW and a 6 spout from Criveller that we use regularly https://store.tcwequipment.com/products/mori-filler http://www.criveller.com/products/winery/bottling-solutions/manual-bottling-systems/fillers/ Both are good fillers, and both have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on the bottle shape and how you use it. I have less headaches with the Mori, and Michael at TCW has been great to work with. The only real headache with the TCW unit was that the fill height is only adjustable by the tray itself, and the Criveller is adjustable by both the tray and knobs on the nozzles (very important for accurate fills on SOME bottle shapes). The tray on the Mori doesn't allow for fine enough adjustment for SOME bottles to meet the TTBs allowable fill tolerances. HOWEVER, I just received a prototype infinitely adjustable tray from TCW for me to test out, and I believe it will solve the aforementioned issue. The Mori is also longer by about 10 inches, which does add up if you're running a few thousand bottles a day. The Criveller unit was sent with a Flojet BEER pump, which is almost the same as the G70 except my brief research tells me that the internals may not be ethanol compatible. We swapped that out immediately, so if anyone wants an unused beer pump, let me know. The main headache we get from the Criveller unit is that the nozzle tips are very soft and prone to getting bunched up on the bottle neck, which can cause overfilling and overflows. The second headache with the Criveller is the pneumatic float isn't strong enough to completely shut off the pump, so if you stop filling you'll want to manually shut off the air supply. We never have those problem on the TCW unit. Again, overall both units are good fillers. I can't say one is absolutely better than the other for everyone, but I'd lean towards the Mori from TCW.
  15. I'll chime in and say I never liked the position, a line that right angles out the back would have been more ideal for us. We still have one of these that I keep for smaller bottling projects and I think I'm going to try these modifications. Quick question though. I didn't see that larger valve on McMaster, do you have a part number? Thanks!!
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