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MichaelAtTCW last won the day on May 21

MichaelAtTCW had the most liked content!

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About MichaelAtTCW

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    Santa Rosa, CA

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  1. MichaelAtTCW

    grain/liquid separation

    You're not the only one. I know a number of our customers using hydraulic grape presses for extraction on grains, honey, and herbs for botanical extracts. Works great.
  2. MichaelAtTCW

    Pre bottling filter recommendation.

    Guessing St. Pat's. They sell a Chinese 10" poly cartridge for $30. The $1 filters are probably double open end melt-blown cartridges. The problem we tend to see with DOE melt-blowns is that it's easy to push by them because their integrity hinges on how tight you're able screw your housing together, hence why some people complain about large visible particles making it through the filters. Since they typically have minimal (if any) structural support it is easier to crush them, so you can't overtighten the housings either with them. The only way to tell if you got it right is if your filtered product comes out clean at the end of the filtering run. That's why we recommend using the industry-standard Code 7 cartridges with a structural support cage. More expensive upfront, but there is at least more assurance that you are actually filtering.
  3. MichaelAtTCW

    Grain in mash pump

    I don't keep an eye on the used market, but I see a lot of old Jabscos come into our shop for a tune-up, and it normally doesn't take much to get the pump head in like-new condition—at most new seals, o-rings, and an impeller. I'd say a used one is a great investment if you can find one. Jabsco produces spare parts for their pumps going back 40+ years.
  4. MichaelAtTCW

    Grain in mash pump

    Conventional wisdom is that suspended solids will cause the impeller on a sanitary centrifugal pump to wear prematurely, and anything that restricts the inlet flow of a centrifugal pump risks causing cavitation, which will also cause premature impeller wear. The use of sanitary centrifugal pumps should generally be restricted to products with water-like viscosity (Skaalvenn's experience to the contrary). The best solution for mash is either a flexible impeller pump like our Jabsco SQN 20 or SQN 50, or an RPD pump. We've definitely been seeing more interest in RPD pumps like the Jabsco Hy~Line. Although they are much more expensive than a flexible impeller pump they have some big advantages: They can run dry They can be easily CIP'd They can run super-hot product through them (up to 355 °F when spec'd appropriately) You never have to change out the impeller The only downside with them is that they generally need a flooded inlet because they are not self-priming (much like sanitary centrifugal pumps). Waukesha pumps get around this by having metal-on-metal contacting heads which helps them pull suction and self-prime. However eventually the metal-on-metal contact wears down and the heads have to be rebuilt, which is $$$.
  5. MichaelAtTCW

    Bottlemate 910 label machine

    Looks like it's just a rebranded Bottle-Matic from Dispensa-Matic. We sell a lot of these, and our customers really like them: https://store.tcwequipment.com/products/bottlematic-ii-semiautomatic-labeler We sold the Primeras for a few years but stopped. The fit & finish of the Bottle-Matic were much nicer for not much more money, and the customer support from the US manufacturer is really great.
  6. MichaelAtTCW

    Bottle Blower / Rinser

    Our MiniMax Closed Loop Rinser rinses bottles with your own spirits prior to filling, and runs on compressed air. We've done some in-house testing of just blowing bottles with compressed air. What we've found is that air alone—even if treated—isn't very effective. Even at fairly high pressures, it tends to just blow the particles around, but they still remain in the bottle. Liquid is much more effective at rinsing. If you want to just hook up air, you can use our Rinser/Sparger and get the 'Sparger Only' option. Typically it's used by wineries and breweries who want to sparge their bottles with inert gas prior to filling to prevent oxidation, however if you just hook up high PSI air to the inlet , it will just blow compressed air into the bottles. My warning remains, though. It's not as effective as a wet rinse.
  7. MichaelAtTCW

    Transfer Pump (small) 4 GPM

    Flojet says their G-Series pump must be oriented with the ports facing down. My guess is that this helps with keeping the ports drained fully at all times.
  8. MichaelAtTCW

    xpress fill reviews xf460hp

    We sell a 2 x 30" housing setup on a cart that can be used to go through a cheap pre-filter and more expensive final filter as @Skaalvenn suggests in a single pass. Most of the distilleries that we work with that filter are doing so in the 5-10 µ range, using the Graver QMC polypropylene cartridge. Then some go finer to an absolute final membrane filter like the ZTEC WB, if necessary. Some other distilleries have issues with colloidal haze forming, so they use a positively charged filter. Something like the GFC, or a plate and frame filter using DE sheets.
  9. MichaelAtTCW


    The reciprocating action of the pump can also create static electricity. The air motor should be composed of parts that are capable of discharging to ground. Pumps in our SimpleSpirits line adhere to this.
  10. MichaelAtTCW


    SCD is right on wanting stainless wetted parts. Some customers I talk to have trouble with using AODD pumps for mash unless you are religious about keeping them clean. Any gunk that gets stuck and "baked on" the ball valve or seats can prevent it from sealing properly, meaning you have to partially break them down to remove the offending debris. Otherwise the pump will chug and chug without moving anything. Some other styles of pump are less prone to this: FIP, RPD, or Peristaltic, for example.
  11. MichaelAtTCW

    Square Bottle Labeler

    We sell Ferrinox labelers with a square bottle upgrade. It's basically a tray with a pneumatic cylinder that pushes the square bottle through at a controlled rate to apply the label evenly. You can use the same labeler to do rounds or squares by just removing the pneumatic tray.
  12. MichaelAtTCW

    WARNING: Oak Wood Barrel Co.

    Getting a site shut down through Google is very difficult. The simplest tactic is to post information about the company with negative keywords nearby. "OakwoodBarrels.com is a Scam". That kind of thing. Post it on your blog, here, on other forums, etc. This thread is already the third result in Google when you search for "Oak Wood Barrels", and I'm certain that reading this thread has prevented at least some people from following through with a transaction. It's a dirty tactic, but effective as long as the sites you're posting to are considered trustworthy by Google and other search engines. A more direct option is to report abuse through OWB's domain registrar. Most domain registrars take abuse reports pretty seriously, as their accreditation with ICANN is on the line. Registrars always have policies about what kind of content they will allow registrants to host. Companies engaged in illegal activities are pretty near the top of the list for disallowed content. Oakwoodbarrels.com's domain registrar is ASCIO. ASCIO's abuse email is abuse@ascio.com, and their abuse phone number is +44.2070159370 The problem with a company like this is that as soon as oakwoodbarrels.com stops being viable, I'm betting they will pop up with a new name and a new website.
  13. MichaelAtTCW

    Pumps for High Proof Alcohol

    I'm interested to hear other folks' take on this. Requirements are usually set by local fire marshals or other local governing bodies rather than US-wide regulations. When you apply for permits to open a distillery you usually find out pretty quickly what you're required to use. Some folks we deal with seem to have a lot of free reign in choosing equipment. Others not so much. Some users have no one specifically dictating what type of equipment they can use, so they're left to make their own best judgments. The majority of folks I talk to just want the absolute safest (at the absolute lowest price ) Read up on Hazardous Location classification, if you haven't. Class I is most relevant to distilleries. Class I gets subdivided into divisions and zones. These divisions and zones say how often flammable vapors may be present, under what circumstances (normal use, equipment breakdown, etc.), and the zones that have the greatest concentration. So, once you have the classification you can purchase equipment that adheres to those classifications. Or, if you just want the absolute safest, you can go with Class I, Div 1 electrical equipment. Class I, Div 1 motors and enclosures are used in places like oil refineries or chemical processing plants where flammable vapor are present in sufficient quantities to represent a significant sparking hazard pretty much all the time. Of course, this equipment is also the most expensive because requirements to meet Class I, Div 1 are really stringent. A pump that might normally cost a few thousand dollars all of a sudden can top $15k if it's fully kitted out with a continuously purged enclosure, continuous fan cooling, thick-walled stainless bolted enclosure, etc. Air diaphragm pumps can sidestep the need to worry about Hazloc classification, but they can also present their own hazards unless specced properly. I see people assuming that all air diaphragm pumps are intrinsically safe because they don't use electricity. This is not completely true. Air diaphragm pumps could pose a sparking risk because they produce static electricity through normal usage. This is why we offer groundable air diaphragm pumps for distilleries. The mechanisms in the pump that normally build up static electricity can be discharged through the ground. Anyway, this just scratches the surface. I read in a recent ADI newsletter some advice from distillery architect Scott Moore, which I uploaded here. He recommends Class I, Div 2 electrical equipment in a classified area, particularly if proper ventilation is not available. But, as you can see from his "electric sombrero of death" illustration, it's a pretty nuanced subject. d9f54ab0-d8ec-4930-a02f-88ba5a60129f.pdf
  14. MichaelAtTCW

    INOXPA Flexible Impeller 10/40 Pump

    I assume you're talking about the EPDM impeller. Yes, it's rated for 5° more than Neoprene. The downside is that EPDM has much poorer mechanical resistance than Neoprene, so the tradeoff for 5° of head-room is rarely worth it. From one Jabsco distributor to another, I would strongly recommend against using EPDM as the default impeller material on your pumps solely for that extra 5°. We mostly recommend EPDM impellers for applications where the pumped material has poor compatibility with Neoprene rather than instances where the extra 5° is make-or-break. When you're pumping hot material, you'll go through impellers quickly one way or the other. Either because your product is at or near the maximum operating temperature, or because you're using an EPDM impeller, which has poorer mechanical resistance than Neoprene. Better to simply let your mash cool a bit before transferring it. Ours doesn't have threads inside the connection either.
  15. MichaelAtTCW

    INOXPA Flexible Impeller 10/40 Pump

    That's never a good sign! We've been selling the SQN 20 since the 70s, so we know that maintenance and readily-available spare parts should be top-of-mind when deciding on a pump. $200 savings up front isn't worth much if the parts are more costly and harder to find. Luckily the SQN 20 has easily available spare parts, and most customers go 5+ years before they need to do anything but change the impeller, which is not that expensive. A new Neoprene impeller is $77. Keep one on the shelf. I know Inoxpa. My main beef with European flexible impeller pumps is that they are generally a little more lax with their quality control than Jabsco. They are also generally made from thinner metal. The SQN 20 is made from cast and machined 316 stainless steel. Most of the European flexible impeller pumps I see are made from bent or pressed plate/tubing, so they're much thinner. Bending and pressing is fine for tanks, but flexible impeller pump heads are subject to a lot of axial force from the motor shaft. Wandering tolerances will lead to leaking or suction problems. I pulled one of the SQN 20 heads from our shelf and took a picture. See below. I think the difference is pretty apparent. It's burly little head. The motor on these pumps will grind themselves to dust before the Jabsco head gives up the ghost. My only caveat about flexible impeller pumps is that you must be extremely diligent about not letting them run dry, and if you are pumping hot mash your impellers will need to be replaced much more frequently. If you want to avoid these issues there are alternative pump options (RPD, peristaltic…) but none as inexpensive.