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This sanitizer business sucks.  At first I did not expect that flood of demand, so I had not purchased enough supplies.  When I went back to reorder, they were out and back-ordered.  Then I had to scramble to find containers and parts to meet the demand.  That required re-pricing and retooling the process.  Then those ran out and I had to use different containers.  Now with my distillery stocked and the process of efficient production implemented, the demand seems to have died.  I have noted in social networking a flood of offers for hand sanitizer from various sources.  My sense is that the free market has resulted in the typical flood of late-comers trying to cash-in. 

It has been impossible to plan for this business and to execute the plan due to the crazy volatility of this COVID-19 political and media narrative. 

The good news is that we have benefited from a lot of local good will making this essential product for local first responders, medical and essential business.  We have donated about 1/3 of what we made, and the margin we made on the rest helped fund the donations.  But since I am sitting on thousands of dollars of supplies that appear to be no longer needed, this effort was a bust.

Anyone else out there with a different experience, sense? 

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We've had mixed experiences. We started producing way back in Feb so that gave us some first mover advantage. We were also told up front by our retailers that they wouldn't stick with us once the big brands returned. We lucked out and snapped up 5,000 small spritz bottles at the beginning and that kept us going. Although we did try and find more - it was a fruitless search. We refrained from offering larger volumes. Then about two weeks ago, our retailers warned us that they were about to be restocked, we ran out of bottles and Health Canada told us we had to print the labels in French. So, we abruptly quit doing it. We gave away about a third, made some money, and some friends but mostly we just kept on going. Year over year, we're ahead of last year in-spite of everything. Now we're back to 100% beverage production and looking forward.

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We aren't in a major city area, so maybe we are bit slower in getting restocked by the bigger brands, but it seems like the demand has increased or stayed the same as things are beginning to reopen. I've been making the alcohol, as I had never purchased GNS before, and none of the GNS companies replied to me when this first started. I have a batch finishing now. I'm going to start at least one more batch this week, probably another next week. 

I wouldn't worry too much, just wait and see what happens as things reopen and possibly new outbreaks emerge. I think this thing is a long ways from being resolved. Bigger companies may now have the ability to meet any future demand, but worse case scenario, I figure we donate it. I don't think any of us got into this to profit from making hand sanitizer anyways, and I'm tired of making and reading about it. I know how you feel though, I feel like I finally have making sugar washes dialed in. Learning to maintain the right pH has been a worthwhile learning experience I guess.   

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It's been a mixed bag here too.  We have plenty for sale in different sizes in the stillhouse retail store.  We do gallon and half gallon containers.  We are seeing an odd swing of availability in the local marketplace; one day the local Walmart or CVS is flush with inventory. The next day they're empty.  As a result, we're just telling people we have it, we will always stock it as long as there is demand, and we will watch the local pricing to stay competitive.  We kind of treat it as a new sku - and one that draws first time customers to the retail store. 

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Even before the big brands return - we were already seeing the mid-list distilleries buying shitloads of GNS and dumping it into our area - so we're pretty much awash in sanitizer and we're pretty far from the big city. Prices have dropped significantly and so there is little reason to keep going at our level. I think though, when the big brands do show up in real force, they will be absolutely focused on winning their market share back - so, I suspect some distilleries are going to be sitting on a lot of GNS & packaging they won't be able to get rid of.

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We got into it know that in 2-3 months the big players would fulfill demand at a much lower price point. We did ours via GoFundMe donations and gave everything away. Looking around now it's not hard to get sanitizer at local stores now. I doubt that anyone our size will be able to be competitive price wise with the big guys.

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We've had a similar experience.  Our set up is smaller though so we didn't invest too deeply in special supplies. Bottles of course are the hardest and the thing I hate buying in large quantities because we can't use them for spirits later. Otherwise, I figure we can always use isopropyl and peroxide for cleaning, for the next several years :P We've made most of our own base alcohol. We did get a couple batches of wine and beer donated here and there which helped with the initial demand and turn around but obviously we can't price it like the big guys. We've been trying to donate a portion of each batch as well. 

That said, even with our prices being a smidge higher, it's not that out of the realm of what 'regular' companies are charging at this point. I've seen some office supply places charging almost 2x as much. We didn't bother trying to pursue distribution though we had some solicitations for it. I don't really want to make this my 'business.' So, we'll use the stuff we have on hand, and see if a second wave comes. And if all else fails, I'll go back to putting it in 50 ml  mini nips.  

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This product only has utility in the Surgical Theatre. The idea that is it going to " Make things better " is based on Fradulent "Pseudo Science " and Major " Social Engineering " which is better stated as popular mind control.

 

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oh jesus christ here's this "idiot again".  What an "unbelievable dipshit".

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I like him, adds some spice to the forum. Also, what happened to the guy building a home brew sized continuous fermenter/still that thought he was a genius and everyone else was a moron?

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17 hours ago, daveflintstone said:

He's flying to Mars on SpaceX.

I think that Musk's Starships will make it to Mars in the next few years.  His Starship is super cheap to build and launch.  His new Raptor engines run off of natural gas which is almost free, compared to the other rocket fuels being used.  The skin of the Starships is stainless.  These are the first stainless skinned rockets, since the 1950s.  They are hugely cheaper than the heavily machined aluminum that everyone else is using.  In fact you can't build an aluminum rocket that big using todays methods.  The Russians charge $9,000,000.00 per seat.  It will cost as little as $25,000.00 to $50,000 per seat on Starship.  Starship is almost 30' in diameter and can carry over 200,000 lbs of cargo.  That is over 4 tractor trailer loads.  Also NASA has picked Starship for the Artimis program, meaning Starship is the next moon rocket.  Also Starship can land on its tail and take off again, meaning there will not be a need for a lander on the moon, Mars or Io.  Starship can be used time after time and in a few decades they will probably be hualing cargo out to colonies, not just on Mars, but on some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn as well

Musk is launching the first manned NASA launch from  US soil, in almost a decade.  Musk beat Boeing and all other challengers in a huge way, in the latest race to launch Americans into space from US soil, in a US rocket, made by an American company.  That's right, he stomped Boeing in a race that no one said he could win because Boeing had been building and launching rockets for decades while Musk started from scratch.

I've made a lot of money betting on Musk and his companies.  When Musk smoked that big joint on video and Tesla stock dropped, I bought as much as I could and made a chunk.  

So yes,  Musk's Starships are going to Mars.  He already has one or two of them built and they are the first of hundreds.  If he ever takes SpaceX public, I'm a buyer for sure.  

I'm sure that someday someone is going to start a distillery outside of earths gravity well.  Maybe the equipment will be hauled on one of Musk's Starships.  I'm sure that a Starship will carry some great distilled spirits to some were.  Hmmm, I wonder if anyone has ever been drunk in space?  If not, I'm sure that it will happen sooner or later.  I would love to have a drink while taking a paid flight in a Starship.  I'm ready to go as soon as the seat becomes available.  Maybe they will let me bring along a little bottle of Pappy VanWinkle's.

 

 

 

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This is the best thread hijack ever.  I want to sit next to you on the flight.  I will be drinking mai tais.

 

How much stock can I get for $16.85 in bottle deposit futures?

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In the meantime, we're seeing very low demand for sanitizer now.  We're back to making things to drink.

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On 5/25/2020 at 4:15 PM, adamOVD said:

what happened to the guy building a home brew sized continuous fermenter/still that thought he was a genius and everyone else was a moron?

I don't know, but this is how I envision him working on this still:

wizard.jpg

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29 minutes ago, Foreshot said:

this is how I envision him working on this still

"You fools, if you cross your streams you'll cause a total protonic reversal."

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Back to the topic.  Scored a bottle of Purell today, the pump.  Good god. The delicate floral nose.  The long, luxurious, silky finish.  Just a hint of spice and heat (on my papercut).  Sweet baby Jesus, it's a gel.  Craft sanitizer ain't got nothing on this.

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