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Everything posted by kleclerc77

  1. I found it to be worth it. It's not extra technical like say The Alcohol textbook ($~200), but it gets into how every step of the process is going to impact the quality/style of the final result. It also has prompted me to research certain points I wouldn't have thought of otherwise. I definitely think it's worth it. It's high quality, unbranded education. I bought two copies by mistake and would send it to ya if I hadn't already given it to another local distiller. Unfortunately you won't find it locally, as it just came out and is only sold through the wset site. But yeah gotta agree with Andy about your spirits run charge being in the ~30% range. Collecting everything from a strip down to 5-8% ABV should get your low wines collection in that ballpark. I've also found some really kick-ass flavor from adding feints from a previous spirit run. I'm Doing some yeast trials at the moment so am being more straightforward with my runs, but I plan on collecting 10-20 gallons of feints after my tails cut to add to the next run(~250 gallon total charge). When you add these, the end of your hearts towards the tails gets an awesome, rich flavor and texture, like what you're enjoying about the end of your hearts but amplified a bit. I'm excited to get back to doing it.
  2. You don't need to make any cuts at all on your stripping run. All cuts should be done during your spirit run. How low are you getting your strips? You should be collecting down to 10-15 proof (5-7.5% abv). If you're looking for a good resource, I recommend the WSET level 3 Award in Spirits. It's been a huge help to me. https://shop.wsetglobal.com/collections/books/products/understanding-spirits-explaining-style-and-quality
  3. You can set some out and let it settle, and if that's not working you can strain/squeeze some through a cheese cloth.
  4. I'd say pitch the high temp alpha after the first few bags of grain down at that 130 temp. Should help with the consistency on the cook up. Also, different enzyme suppliers will suggest different things but that temp seems high for your gluco addition. You shouldn't have to cook quite that hot, you'd probably be fine in the 160-170 range. What are you using to cool? Why does it say you cool to 80 but pitch your yeast at 90? Also, pitching your barley at 167 isn't going to accomplish anything, I would pitch in the 145-150 range if you want to take advantage of its enzymes.
  5. What I've found is running your steam pressure very low prevents anything charged in the kettle from pushing up into the second column. There is a definite PSI point for us where it starts to happen, so we keep it well below that. That being said, I'm still struggling to get a consistent 190+ for a whole run because we can't hold our steam pressure at a steady PSI.
  6. Your enzyme supplier will definitely give you the best info about how to use your enzymes. Ours has us pitching gluco right as we start to fill the fermenter, it keeps working during the ferment, making more sugars available that the alpha was incapable of doing by itself. I'm dealing with a subtle off flavor in our spirit that hopefully will be solved with a combination of using nutrient, and by not bringing the rye too far past its required gel temp, which is ~160F. I'm looking for a bolder rye flavor from our 95+% rye. It seems a little muted, not quite standing up to the barrels after six months. Bringing it above its gel temp was compared to basically just overcooking anything. Here's a snippet from an earlier post by them (Wilderness Trail/Ferm Solutions) about why they choose to not bring their small grains up to the temp needed to gel corn which is that 180F-190F range: "The reasons you do not cook grains beyond their proper gelatinization range is more about flavor than yield because if it is too rigorous, thermal decomposition of grain components will cause objectionable popcorn phenolic odors, yield is more impacted by poor grains, under cooking, poor conversion and yeast conditions. By using the infusion mashing process for small grains, you keep the branched chain amino acids and proteins in place with the grains that the yeast will use to properly make a flavorful result. If you boil your small grains, you are creating unbranched chain amino acids, degrading proteins and frankly blowing apart the flavor you are trying to extract. Small grains also get scorched very easy and there are Maillard effects that create all kinds of new chemicals from the high heat of small grains you don't want, plus why would you, the process doesn't require it. The yeast take these unbranched chain and Maillard effect's and turns them into higher alcohols (fusels) and other chemicals that alter the flavor and result of the beer & distillate." It's from a post about bourbon production, but the point stands that bringing small grains past their required gel temp can produce muted/off flavors. Not to mention it will save us time and energy not cooking all of our grains so high. It may not solve our problem, but I'm 100% willing to give it a try and compare.
  7. Gotta agree with the gluco add right before pitching your yeast. That stuff works miracles. I think you may be able to cut back a bit on your grain bill as well, maybe aim for that 16 brix as opposed to the 20 brix range. Maybe try 300lbs of your malted and unmalted ryes instead of 350lbs. I'm working on bringing our cook temp down from 180 for rye closer to 160, and extending the rest for 15-30 more minutes to make up for the efficiency at 180. It was recommended by our enzyme supplier who suggested we'll like the results from a flavor standpoint, and shouldn't notice a difference in yield. We'll have to compare notes, coming from opposite sides on that one!
  8. I'm surprised there was any rum left! The loss in those small barrels is usually huge.
  9. I found kind of the opposite to be true for us. When I dry pitched and there was no action, I got a bigger grain cap than I have seen since, probably 12"-18". With hydrated yeast starting to do its thing quickly, causing some natural agitation, the grain caps are in the 6" range. It could have been happenstance, hell if I know. I also am finding that malted barley definitely provides more structure for a larger grain cap to form, but also gets very uniform pock marks where the co2 is escaping. A nightmare for trypophobics, but I love to see it! There are so many factors that lead to these different findings among us - milling, yeast used, pitch temp, fermenter shape, the list goes on. It makes it tough to get the perfect advice for your unique situation, but gives you lots of good starting points.
  10. Are you hydrating your yeast properly? I tried dry pitching once and this happened. Started hydrating the yeast, and pitching it almost as soon as I started filling the fermenter and it hasn't happened since. our bourbon gets a bit of a cap to it but you can see the holes in the cap where the co2 is escaping, and looking under the cap you can see the ferment is very active. The cap consistently falls into solution after 48 hours of active fermentation.
  11. Give Jesse a call at Trident in Maine. We love ours we got from him. https://www.tridentstills.com/
  12. It is! I sent you a text earlier. Feel free to email me at kleclerc77@gmail.com too. Thanks.
  13. Yeah absolutely not. We're making what we can afford to give away (not hundreds of gallons) because I can't find anywhere that says we're even allowed to sell it. Is anyone aware of any literature stating we're allowed to sell it? If that were the case, we could produce a lot more. We don't even have our spirits available to the public yet, so definitely can't afford to just switch to a hand sanitizer production facility.
  14. I was wondering the same thing. We intend to give ours away to places that need it, and I thought that was the whole intention. I've seen a number of places selling it or starting GoFundMes, possibly as a way around selling it. Obviously there is a production cost on all our ends, but selling this stuff seems totally against the point.
  15. I like doing stripping runs and a polishing run vs. a single, plated run. It saves you time if you plan out your production schedule, and I am able to make better cuts doing a polishing run from low wines vs. from a wash/mash. Some distilleries appreciate the uniqueness every run from wash/mash brings, and prefer to do single passes with plates. I learned how to distill that way and looking back on it, frankly, it was a pain in the ass. I can't imagine doing it that way with grain in mashes.
  16. I thought Agricole was done with fresh pressed cane juice that starts fermenting almost immediately
  17. I had the pleasure of working with cane syrup some years ago. The distillate it yields is DELICIOUS! I'm not well versed in rum, but I found it less petrol-y if that makes any sense. The sweetness really carries over nicely. I think it is prohibitively expensive when compared to molasses, though. Really made an unforgettable spirit.
  18. We do a high (un-malted) rye (92%). We use a high temp alpha amylase that does its thing best around 180F, but we pitch it with our initial grain at around 110F, so it's in there for the whole cook. Really achieves a nice, workable consistency. After the crash we pitch a gluco amylase as we fill the fermenter. Great consistency, conversion, and overall results. I use a dab of no-foam right after the alpha add, and a bit on each stripping run. Foaming has not been an issue.
  19. If it's a stripping run, why engage any plates? Also, the plates won't work to their full potential if you're not using the dephlagmator to condense vapor to be trapped by the plates. Maybe a little bit at first because the column is cold, but definitely not their full potential. The ABV drop is pretty extreme from fores to the middle of the run, but nothing you're getting off a stripping run is really "hearts" quality/material, so don't worry about it. Is your final collection adding up? I say skip the plates and the deph and just scream it through there if it's a stripping run. If your yield isn't adding up, then something is off.
  20. you want the prop to be pushing down as opposed to pulling up to ensure proper agitation.
  21. kleclerc77

    Odin on Gin

    Are these stills approved for a class 1 div 2 (USA distillery standard) environment?
  22. Yep, that's exactly what we do. It draws a surprising amount of energy from the equipment but it certainly heats the place when we need it.
  23. 1100 liter (290 gallon) Zottel jacketed fermentation vessel and/or blending tank up for sale. This brand new, never been used stainless steel tank came as part of a package with our distillation equipment (Kothe), but we do not require its use for our production. Stainless steel, jacketed for cooling, temperature probe, three feet, flat bottom, high quality construction. Also includes the exit port ball valve with DIN 50 thread. DIN to triclamp adapters are inexpensive and readily available from a number of suppliers if you use triclamp fittings. Price is below retail value. Shipping from Boston, Massachusetts. $3,250 plus shipping
  24. Hey, look! A Kothe CIP support group! We should start a club. In the past I have used the ol' rinse, caustic, rinse, citric, rinse routine. However, there are so many nooks and crannies in this system that I really don't feel comfortable using a caustic in it, in fear that it may find a little pocket somewhere to stay behind. Doing all grain in stuff, the stripping runs leave a mess in the pot. I have resorted to a dinky pressure washer to blast off the crud so I can skip the caustic step. Also, after testing the pH of the water after a citric rinse, it was still very acidic. I now do two rinses after each citric cycle. I disassemble and drain all CIP lines after the citric cycle as well. You have to be very cognizant about all the potential places in the CIP path that stuff may be left behind, turning what you thought was a rinse into a kind of diluted second chemical cycle.
  25. Contact some suppliers. Let them know you're interested in buying their corn and request the grain analysis info. Most suppliers will have this info readily available for you.
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