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Tom Lenerz

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Tom Lenerz last won the day on April 21 2017

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About Tom Lenerz

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  1. Tom Lenerz

    Bulk proofing vs. Proofing in bottle

    The list of reasons you cut to proof in the tank is as follows. 1) You only have to do it once, versus 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 times. 2) Consistent proof across all the bottles in the batch. 3) Bottlers are typically designed to fill bottles to a fill line near the top. 4) Minimize possible contamination from the bottling environment by only filling once and capping. 5) Filtering near bottling proof. 6) Reduces additional labor. 7) Probably at least 100 other reasons. If you want to get away with a smaller bottling tank, bottle less in each batch, and bottle more frequently, but this still has many of the same disadvantages, as larger batch sizes will reduce the amount of labor in proofing/cutting/filtering, and increase bottle to bottle consistency.
  2. Tom Lenerz

    How many of each bottle size

    Echoing these guys, sticking to one format (750ml in a 6 pack most likely) per product makes the most sense. When we started, because of limited availability of inventory and pre-existing high traffic we were doing a lot of 375ml bottles. We are in the process of transitioning most SKUs to the 750ml format.
  3. Tom Lenerz

    New startup question about setting up

    Aren't you the one selling stills with electric heating elements? If it is such a concern why would you take that risk that no customer of yours or anyone they might sell the still to or an unknown future employee might use the still in a way it wasn't designed for?
  4. Tom Lenerz

    Barrel Filling and Recording

    I believe it is acceptable to do a beginning and ending gauge of the tank, and just divide the PGs evenly over the lot. (EG: 5000 pounds of liquid in the tank to start, filled 12 barrels, 200 pounds left, 400 pounds per barrel.) But I'm not 100% certain. We fill each barrel on a scale, and fill them all to the same weight. So some have more head space than others, but the liquid amount is the same.
  5. Tom Lenerz

    proofing spirits proofed with sugars

    Read the gauging manual. https://www.ttb.gov/foia/gauging_manual_toc.shtml
  6. Tom Lenerz

    Question About Spirit Definition Legalities

    Adding to hedgebird's comments, all Distilled Spirits Specialty will require formula approval before applying for labels. This sounds kind of minor, but I'm sure it will add to the list of things that makes the hobby less enjoyable.
  7. Tom Lenerz

    2 Used Chillers

    Unfortunately I don't have a lot of information other than what is in the pictures, they were purchased before my time. I can tell you that we were using them for wine fermentation, and together they handled all of our fermentation and crash cooling of over 200,000 gallons of wine in September and October every year. We never ran into chilling capacity issues and we did not operate them with a buffer tank.
  8. Tom Lenerz

    2 Used Chillers

    We have two chillers for sale. One Trane 20 HP and one McQuay 25 HP. Both chillers were in excellent working condition when they were decommissioned, we just upgraded to one central chiller. Units are sold as-is. Buyer is responsible for pick-up or arranging shipping. Located 30 minutes north of Madison, WI. Both units are set to run at around 38 to 40 degrees. Trane - $8,000 McQuay - $6,000
  9. Tom Lenerz

    Blending/ Proofing tank

    Consider a jacket and insulation if you will cold stabilize or chill filter. Consider air-driven agitator for mixing. I'd minimize things on the side to clean, especially with a 2000 liter, you can easily enter the top if you need to scrub. Do it by weight, it makes things so much easier. CIP should knock out any flavors of gin on stainless, you might want to look at having separate gaskets for herbal and non-herbal spirits though.
  10. Tom Lenerz


    See video part 3. https://www.ttb.gov/spirits/proofing.shtml Also, read the gauging manual https://www.ttb.gov/foia/gauging_manual_toc.shtml.
  11. Tom Lenerz

    Barrel Filling Cane

    We used to use a scaled pallet jack to do pairs of barrels on the rack. Now we have a flush with the floor, floor scale we use now. If that isn't an option you can usually find ramps for floor scales too, so you can pallet jack the barrels and rack up on to it. As Huffy2K suggests a gantry crane might be a good option, or an appropriately sized straddle stacker.
  12. Tom Lenerz

    Eye Wash Stations

    It is at least recommended if not required by OSHA if you have an electric forklift, https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/pit/forklift/electric.html. I'm not sure what other instances require one, but we have one in our still house and one by our forklift charging area, both with the shower. We placed it in the still house in case of an issue with cleaning chemical or being splashed by hot stillage.
  13. Tom Lenerz

    Benefits of Tube in Jacket Condensers?

    All of the above is true, however many traditionalists will argue, particularly with Cognac, that a tube-in-bath or worm-tub type condenser leads to a slower step down in temperature (top of the bath is hotter than the bottom of the bath) and that the temperature of the distillate coming off the still will affect the flavor of the product. I believe, although am not certain, it is standard practice to watch both the temperature of the finished distillate and the proof, and it is easier to control that temperature with a worm-tub. We have both worm-tubs and a tube-in-shell. We use the worm-tub stills for brandy and mostly make American whiskey on the tube-in-shell, albeit not the only reason we use the stills for those products.
  14. Tom Lenerz

    TTB Certified hydrometer

  15. Tom Lenerz

    Canned Cocktails?

    If it is a liqueur then yeah, otherwise it is DSS, like Silk mentioned.