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HWY 101

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  1. A-P is running a craft special at the moment. DMA4500M-EC + Snap 50 for $18,500. Steep but as many have stated, very much worth the cost and reduced hassle.
  2. Looks like A-P has a new version of the DMA-35. I have a call in to my rep to see if more than just the form factor has been updated. Wouldn't it be nice if our handhelds became accurate enough to satisfy our TTB needs?!! https://www.anton-paar.com/us-en/products/details/portable-density-meter-dmatm-35/
  3. Paul, what is the cooling rate for the HX pictured? I'm cooling 145°F mash to 80°F on the way to the fermenter with 5,000 gal of 50°F glycol chilled water. Are you recirculating in the mash kettle for a bit or one pass?
  4. One Eight D, I've had some pretty detailed conversations with GE and they readily admit that a concave bottle design like the first bottle below is tough no matter what. The second bottle below they said it's good as it's just a straight taper. You said it still has had a high error rate for you though. Which bottle design are you using? How are the errors materializing themselves? Skewed labels? Cheers.
  5. I'm looking for a solid, very reliable and easy to use labeling machine that will produce quality results time and again no matter who is running it. My research has brought me to Great Engineering's Bench series of semi-automatic labelers. Is anyone using one of these machines? They have a good range of machines from the very simple manual MATE up to the foot activated MAX. They speak of limiting errors while being able to reproduce exacting applications over and over. Given the number of bottles we need to label, I think spending a little more on a high-quality labeler is a smart choice for us. I'm specifically interested in which Bench model you're using, why you chose that model over the others and if you're happy with it or have had issues. How has customer service been? Also, if you're not using Bench, which labelers are you using and would you recommend them? Thank you in advance! http://greatengineering.com/benchmax/
  6. Bluestone, what is the cost of the wort chiller you have pictured?
  7. DD, Is this to say that each foeder would likely have its own unique characteristics and therefore produce different subtle flavors and nose in the end products? I've been to your facility and am aware of the number of fermenters you employ; do you keep track of how each of them affects your whiskey? Thank you for sharing your vast experience to this topic!
  8. Thank you Joel, I must have had bum-scoop. Brian, I think you are correct. Thank you for the course correction.
  9. One discipline required during buildout that seems to catch new distilleries with an underestimated budget item, is the cost of plumbing installation. I'd like to understand the cost everyone has realized and what hangups or surprises you experienced. Did you run copper or PEX pipe? What insulation methods did you choose? Was your focus on install cost reduction or energy conservation? etc. If you'd like to share any related details such as still size and quantity, fermenters, mash tun, boiler and chiller proximity, etc. that impacted your plumbing costs; the more info the better. Thank you in advance. MK
  10. Does anyone have any insight into Tuthilltown's solera system? Thanks in advance.
  11. Thank you <dhdunbar> for the very complete reply! I've read through the links you've shared and certainly understand where we [CA] stand today (although I still need to make a call to CA ABC to see if any changes have been made). Quoting from the CA ABC below, it is clear there is certainly a double-standard currently being applied to spirits vs our wine and beer brethren. I'm hopeful we too will be able to enjoy the relaxed laws before long. Just having the ability to sell direct to the consumer from our distillery would be a HUGE benefit for distillers, and by way of tax revenues to a bankrupt state! "Under the ABC Act, only California-licensed retailers, winegrowers and beer manufacturers are authorized to make direct sales of their packaged alcoholic beverages to adult consumers in this state. The Department has determined as a matter of policy that it is permissible for those licensees to solicit and accept purchase orders for their alcoholic beverage products from consumers by direct mail, telephone, or on-line computer." -California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control DIRECT SHIPMENTS AND INTERNET SALES OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES Additionally, I found the quote below taken from the TTB to be a bit odd...States are worried about outside alcohol being shipped in via online sales. I see this as lost tax revenue for the receiving state. But what about the lost tax revenue from being able to sell outside your borders?! I don't think one needs to be an economics specialist to see the exponential positive tax benefits for the exporting state. Place a reasonable tax on all exported alcohol. "The States are concerned with mail order sales and shipments made directly to consumers in the State from sellers located outside the State." Keep pushing for new legislation guys!
  12. Is anyone familiar with where California stands today on being able to sell and ship spirits via online? The idea follows the same business model as the wineries wine clubs; allowing visitors to browse, buy, send gifts and sign up for regular shipments right to their door long after they've returned home from vacation. With California finally allowing distilleries to sell tastings at their tasting rooms, I'm sure we are a bit behind the curve on the "wine club" model. Cheers!
  13. I'm working on a proforma and would like to know what others are realizing when it comes to distributor margin requirements in non-controlled states. Back in 2010 Will wrote about distributors requiring in the range of 30-35% with occasional agreements dropping as low as 25%/case. His rule of thumb was 33% therefore: "So, let's work backwards: Let's say MSRP is $40, and let's guess that "street price" will be $35. $35 * .66 = $23.10 - this is the price the retailer wants to pay for the product. $23.10 * .66 = $15.25 - this is the price the wholesaler wants to pay for the product." My question is, what is everyone else seeing as the norm in 2014? Is 33% still a good figure to work with? Cheers, Matt
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