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Everything posted by PeteB

  1. If you still have the heads and tails then mix back and re-run. If not then do as you suggested and add some to your next few batches. If you are cutting by nose and taste you should still end up with full flavour. The only way I see you could end up with less flavour is if you needed to add a lot of water to keep your pot charge at below 60 proof
  2. Also found out the Scottish name for a GRANT is an UNDERBACK
  3. I have just returned from visiting all the distilleries on Islay, Scotland. I asked about recirculating at the start (Volauf) and none were doing it which surprised me. They also stir the grain bed between water additions which would let more fines through. I am fairly sure most Australian malt distillers will recirculate to clear up the wort.
  4. Small footprint, smaller heating cost, smaller cooling cost, use as stripping still then very economical.
  5. Once you get into production you might experiment by not doing Vorlauf, small amount of grain particles and yeast in direct fire can improve complexity of spirit
  6. For a small lauter tun I don't think a mechanical rake is necessary, a hand paddle will do just as good a job and way cheaper My Son removed the rake from his 1,000 litre system, it was in the way and achieved very little
  7. Can someone tell me what a "grant" is? A "home-rolled grant" sounds like something to eat for lunch 😁
  8. With Malt whisky i pitch all the yeast into the fermenter as soon as I have a few litres of wort at correct temperature. Some wild "infection" before yeast added can improve the flavour and complexity of whisky. With my Rye or Oat wort I leave it overnight to sour naturally before adding yeast. It really improves the fruity notes. 100% malted grain can be a bit riskier because the kilning of the malt kills off most of the natural bacteria that help protect the grain from nasties.
  9. I bought a non-certified glass hydrometer from Coleparmer. I noticed I was getting unexpected readings. Discovered a small crack in the base and liquid was very slowly leaking into it. It was a manufacturing fault and Coleparmer replaced it. Also I assumed glass thermometers won't change but I have found some red spirit ones become inaccurate. A small section of spirit can break away and move further up the capillary. Sales guy told me they must be stored vertically.
  10. Are you planning to move to Australia? "rules governing spirits production in Australia" It is not just one document. For example there is Food standards, occupational health and safety, flammable liquids, local council, and the ATO Excise department ( TTB equivalent) just to name a few.
  11. The high temperature amylase I use is Spezyme Alpha, liquid Amalyse
  12. I have tried adding grain before high temp enzymes (accidentally) and have "spent the afternoon spear fishing with a mash paddle" The high temperature enzymes (amylase) I use are designed to add to the hot water before the grain, we end up with way less balling, and they are much easier to break up, and the yield is significantly higher. My oats and rye are hammer-milled fine, looks like flour but has a slight coarse feel. I will try a lower strike temperature then raise the temperature to see if there is any improvement. I hope it is not better because it is a bit time consuming with my setup.
  13. I have not done corn but regularly do rye and oats. That "rubbery ring" you mention, if I didn't agitate vigorously for long enough after adding the grain I got that about 4 inches deep on the bottom. Very hard to break up. Recently I discovered high temperature amylase, add it ....before ....adding grain. Strike temperature 190f. drops to 175 after addition Much less agitation required and balling is much less of a problem and my yield has increased dramatically.
  14. For efficient use of your barrels I suggest filling within 1/2 inch of full. If the barrel is completely full then I have found some spirit can "wick" out around the bung. I have heard that barrels only partially filled can mature more quickly, which might help with the Fire Marshall's calculations. I don't know if it would help, but point out to him that older barrels have lost angels share. Mature barrels have typically lost about 30% of their volume.
  15. What was the result when/if you re-tested the gaskets?
  16. As an Australian I am not particularly interested in TTB regulations, but age statements can be misleading. For example I have some barrels of 9 year old brandy in my distillery. Still quite young when compared with some from Europe. I think a purchaser would expect a reasonable product but still not with the age characters of some older ones. This brandy is totally undrinkable. It is waaaay over-oaked . It is in 50 litre barrels and has been stored in Australian dry and temperature fluctuating conditions. The 3 year old barrels are very drinkable. Is a customer going to buy the 9 year or the 3 year if they know nothing else?
  17. A refractometer has the same problems as a hydrometer when trying to measure anything that is not a simple mixture of just 2 compounds. A refractometer and hydrometer can measure accurately the amount of sugar dissolved in water, or just alcohol plus water, but when you have 2 or more compounds in varying amounts, plus water, they don't measure well. OG and FG as well as original and final refractometer readings assume that it is only the sugar that has been turned into alcohol, and no other compounds have been altered.
  18. The final gravity reading is not measuring sugars only. It is measuring all sorts of soluble compounds. In my experience rye has a lot of dissolved compounds that are not fermentable sugars, and I assume these also have something to do with the high viscosity. 1.008 could be as low as it is possible to go with rye. In my opinion each different grain will have a different original and final gravity.
  19. To check the pressure release valves the safest way is to remove them as Tom suggested. Screw them onto a manifold along with pressure gauges off the still and check them against an accurate gauge. I would play it a bit safer with HedgeBird's suggestion by filling the still with water to at least normal operating level, or even safer fill as far as practical before adding compressed air. If there is a large amount of compressed air in the still and it ruptures then there could be quite a BANG but if there is mostly water then there will be far less excitement in your day.
  20. I haven't forgotten you Jedd. Can't work out how to get photos off my phone to this forum. Have a guy who can probably show me tomorrow.
  21. The overflow pipe starts at the bottom of the conical boiler so it purges solids before they build up.
  22. The bottoms kettle is the boiler, I am feeding the column with flavour filled steam, not with clean steam. I am making whisky, not neutral spirit. The kettle overflows and gravity feeds through tube in shell heat exchanger to re-claim the heat. The outflow does surge a little but I don't think it is a problem.
  23. Thanks for the suggestions guys. The problem I have experienced with centrifugal pumps is if there is still some CO2 in the beer they cavitate especially if trying to push to a reasonable height ie. with back pressure. The flow control valve and column height would cause back pressure. Also any solids in the feed could obstruct the control valve. The centrifugal would be fine if no residual CO2 or solids. I think the rubber type impeller pump which is a positive displacement type would be far less likely to have problems, Jo Dehner suggested the same. Can you give me a lead about where I can buy these with VFD? I have 240vAC or 12v DC. Ideally I want to connect it to a temperature activated PID controller Cheers
  24. Thanks for those translations Paul. My confusion was Jen said "The second column won't get up to temp unless I overheat the still and then it pukes." but later he said in a reply to me "I do not have antifoam in the pot and haven't seen any foam build up at all." It doesn't matter now because it appears he has it running. As I said above, I know very little about the type of still Jen has. I learnt quite a bit from this thread but don't understand why the dephleg could be hotter than the column?
  25. I have changed my settings, hope PM will work no but not convinced. or email me pbignell@belgrovedistillery.com.au Except for a file for CNC cutting of simple plates the rest of the plans are in my head
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