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Skaalvenn

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Skaalvenn last won the day on December 12 2019

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About Skaalvenn

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    http://www.skaalvenn.com

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    Minnesota
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    Photography, outdoors and travel.

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  1. 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.
  2. Same goes for above, feel free to give me a ring for a temporary solution until you get a new tray.
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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!!
  7. I enjoy what I do, but if someone wants to make an offer on our distillery (partial or entire) I'm at least going to listen to what they have to offer. So if anyone is seriously looking at purchasing a successful distillery and/or brand, give me a call =D
  8. Not sure if I'm following this all correctly, but we just have our condensate plumbed into a receiving tank with a float switch that then pumps it back to the condensate tank next to the boiler? Same unit that Silk posted an image of. Our still is against a wall, and the tank is on the other side of the wall, so it's about as explosion proof as you can get.
  9. I don't think it's quite that easy. Everything I have ever read about different methods of continuous fermentation is that controlling yeast mutations and infections eventually becomes a nightmare.
  10. Just looked at the parts list, it states : 140MESH 0.004" SLOTS, 0.030" WIRES No need to post a video because there's really nothing to see. Google kason centric sifter and that's it. When it's running there's no noise, none. All you see is grain particles falling out of the outlet because everything is self contained. The only visible moving part is the fan on the motor.
  11. We have a liquid/solid separator from Kason. Price was under $20k shipped and with a custom stainless steel stand. Works like a dream and it's DEAD silent. Pump in spent mash on one side and dry grain comes out the other side. Ok it's not DRY but it's about as close as you could get without applying heat. Word of advice, don't let them arrange the freight as they wanted almost $1,000 for shipping when our logistics guy was about $250 including insurance.
  12. Just posting for a follow up on cupcake spirit. We ran it through a 4 plate column and so far it's one of the worst tasting and smelling things I've distilled. Maybe it will clean up to a vodka? Not sure. I'd imagine the butter and all the other flavors just don't distill well. Sometimes the art of the industry is in the failures.
  13. Thanks. This cupcake thing is probably a one time deal...unless it turns out amazing. The color contrast with the butter on top just does a very good job of highlighting what is happening with the motion of the fluid. I'll send you a PM. Silk, feel free to give me a call. Google Skaalvenn and it will give you the number. I've never made cupcake spirits before, but I can say it is by far the best smelling thing I have ever done in the distillery and I'll be sad when that aroma is no longer here.
  14. Here's the video of the cupcakes mixing, and all the butter. You can see some of the chunks that wouldn't break up spinning aroud at the top, and they stay in the same orbit instead of being sucked down by the blades. Man...that's a lot of butter.
  15. Thanks. I do not run corn. I do pretty thick wheat mashes, and it does turn over better as the thickness goes up, but it still doesn't mix properly (uneven temps). You'll typically see vertical, center shaft mixers on very high viscosity liquids that have a centipoise equal to or exceeding toothpaste, as that type of mixer works well for those viscosity. I was also told by you that baffles are not needed...
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