Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


MichaelAtTCW last won the day on May 21

MichaelAtTCW had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

9 Neutral

1 Follower

About MichaelAtTCW

  • Rank
    Active Contributor

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Santa Rosa, CA

Recent Profile Visitors

1,360 profile views
  1. MichaelAtTCW

    To filter or not to filter...

    Typically the health hazards of DE are related to its loose powder form. If inhaled it is a known lung irritant, like fiberglass. The OSHA consequences are why filtering with DE powder has been almost entirely eliminated in the beverage industry, and replaced with plate & frame or lenticular filtration. 40 x 40 sheets and lenticular modules often contain DE or Perlite mixed with a binding agent like cellulose, so you're no longer dealing with a loose powder. The DE is contained in the media, so you don't have the same risks for lung irritation or concerns about proper disposal. Anyway, in spite of the concerns, diatomaceous earth on its own is not asbestos. It's still widely used as a natural flea powder. Some people even take it as a dietary supplement, though it sounds pretty dubious. The linked article is about people that work in DE mines, particularly those that worked before 1950.
  2. MichaelAtTCW

    Screw top types and bottles

    Yes, special equipment is needed to install roll-on pilfer proof (ROPP) caps like the ones you're describing. You need a capping head that is sized and adjusted to match your bottle, cap, and cap liner material. The head is installed in a capping machine capable of applying the proper pressure and rotation to form the threads and seal the cap. It's surprisingly complex to get right and easy to get wrong, resulting in caps that don't seal properly. There is, in fact, a whole 200+ page book written on the finer points of properly closing a bottle with a screw cap. We sell a capper, but the manufacturer requires bottle and cap samples to test and adjust the machine prior to shipping. This is to avoid issues with improper sealing. Most reputable manufacturers will require the same. There are only a couple of companies that manufacture the closing heads. The engineering requirements are quite complex. I'd avoid ROPP caps if you're only planning for a small project and stick to t-top corks. Much simpler, unless you're planning on moving all of your production over to ROPP (which is a nice way to go).
  3. MichaelAtTCW

    Pair of Large Tanks

    We have two large tanks for a nice price. These tanks were brought in for a customer whose operations had to downsize while the tanks were still on the water from Europe. We're trying to help him out by spreading the word on these tanks, but he (our customer) will be the ultimate seller, so any offers would have to go through him. I'm attaching tank specs. They don't photograph very well because they are lying on their side. These will likely have to be transported by flatbed, though they could be loaded into a 40-foot container. In short, transportation will likely be fairly pricey, so a West Coast buyer will have a price advantage. 120 HL (3,170 Gallons) Closed Top, Conical Bottom Tank * Diameter: 2100 mm * Body height 3500 mm * Leg height 330 mm * AISI 304 BA Stainless Steel construction * Adjustable leg levelers * Top manway, diameter 400 mm * 3" TC port * Support for ladder * Lower manway door * Connection for sample tap NPT 1/2" * Conical bottom * Bottom drain connection TC 3" * Partial drain connection 3" TC Original Price: $14,995 145 HL (3,830) Gallons, Closed Top, Flat Bottom Tank * Tank diameter 2300 mm * Body height 4500 mm * Legs height 330 mm * Adjustable leg levelers * Sloped bottom 5% * AISI 304 BA Stainless Steel Construction * Rectangular bottom manway 530 x 420 mm * Bottom 3" TC Connection * Support for ladder * Circular top manway Original Price: $14,295 Customer is pretty keen to sell, so I'm sure reasonable offers will be considered, and we can put any interested parties in touch. Closed type tank 145 hl 01(1).pdf Closed type tank 120 hl 01(3).pdf
  4. MichaelAtTCW

    Distillery Hoses

    Brewline has a chlorobutyl liner. Generally we recommend chlorobutyl for up to about 50% ABV, after which UPE (like on GlideTech Distillery) exhibits superior resistance over the long term. The other thing our customers like about Glidetech Distillery relative to Continental hoses is the "channels". Continental's hoses are flat are flat on the exterior, which lets liquids pool and gather on the ground if the hose is blocking the flow to your drain. Glidetech has ridges so liquids can flow past to your drain. And, of course, the smooth exterior cover that makes it easy to drag (hence the "glide" in GlideTech)
  5. MichaelAtTCW

    Mori filler mod for infinite adjustability

    Dang. That is really clever and very cleanly done. I was going crazy trying to think of a rack and pinion setup or something, but I really like this. I'm going to see if we can get something going in production once our busy season settles down.
  6. MichaelAtTCW

    Bottling line help

    Sorry if I derailed the thread, David, or intimated that any issues are the result of user error. Not my intention. Since we have Mori Fillers working well in hundreds of distilleries I was keen to hone in on why exactly it wasn't working for you. I've yet to find an issue that couldn't be root-caused and corrected. Still, it sounds like you're past that point and I totally understand. If you choose to sell your Mori Filler to another distillery I'd be glad to help you sweeten the pot for the next owner by providing a set of nozzle seals and o-rings free of charge to the new owner. Just have them reach out to me.
  7. MichaelAtTCW

    Bottling line help

    Hey David, Sorry you're having trouble with the fill levels. The fact that you mention you're also having fill level issues with the Enolmatic leads me to wonder if there may be something else going on. Perhaps with the glass? The Mori Filler—like all level fillers—operates on pretty basic principles, and fill level issues can usually be corrected once the source of the issue is found. To get accurate fill levels you need to have a tight seal against the mouth of the bottle. Overfills are caused because the seal is not adequate, and it can usually be corrected by lowering the nozzle cone, and thus increasing the tension against the mouth of the bottle. Underfills are usually the result of a blockage in the nozzle that's not letting air vent out. It can be corrected by disassembling and inspecting the nozzle to clear out blockages. Give me a call if you'd like to troubleshoot. I think I may have talked to you or your wife last year briefly.
  8. MichaelAtTCW

    Distillery Hoses

    High end compared to garden hose. Low end compared to your still. But about average compared to industrial hose in general. Industrial hose is not cheap, but you get what you pay for. GlideTech Distillery is tough as hell, reinforced with SS helices, does not impart odor/flavor, and is built to conform to a variety of sanitation and safety-related specs. If you can find cheaper hose that ticks all the same boxes—particularly as it relates to the unique challenges posed by safely transferring distilled spirits—let me know. I'll carry it. Industrial hose isn't sexy and you can't feature it in your tours like you can your still, so I understand why people just starting to outfit their distillery are surprised that something as "simple" as hose isn't $1/foot. But at the end of the day it's the only thing separating your product from the floor.
  9. MichaelAtTCW

    Pump safety

    Depends on the version. There are three: The Gravity-Fed version doesn't use a pump. The Electric version uses the Flojet Quad pump. The Pneumatic version uses the G70. You can see the breakdown here.
  10. MichaelAtTCW

    Pump safety

    Those little Flojet quad pumps actually come with a warning not to use them with any products that have a flash point below 100 °F. Here's a link to the documentation. An old Flojet rep told me people used to try and use those electric quad pumps for moving marine fuel. It didn't end well for someone, and now they plaster warnings all over the documentation to prevent anyone from trying to use it to move flammable liquids. The pump you're looking for is the Flojet G70, which can be grounded, and is rated for use with more volatile substances when used as directed in the documentation. As far as sizing the air compressor, these pumps don't take much to run. With air diaphragm pumps the most important factor to sizing the compressor is the CFM (cubic feet/minute) of air the compressor is capable of generating. The G70 only requires about 3 CFM. A cheap compressor like the kind you can pick up at your local tool store for $100-$200 is capable of this. Sometimes people even use tanks of compressed gas. The compressor will almost certainly be much, much louder than the pump itself.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 $$$.
  15. 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.