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rumfarmer last won the day on December 29 2015

rumfarmer had the most liked content!

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  • Location
    Kunia, Hawaii
  • Interests
    Sugar cane farming, ethnobotany, agricultural rum, sales, marketing, technology.

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  1. Can you explain how you define "cane rum" for these barrels?
  2. My question is related only to wholesale pricing. We have a tasting room and sell there directly to the consumer. This is obviously the highest margin available. Once we box it up and give it to the distributor, they will re-sell either on premise (bar/restaurant) or retail (liquor store, big box guys). We can't control where it goes after the distributor takes it. All we can do is set our wholesale price. My question to everyone out there who has been at this for a while is: "is there any kind of general industry rule of thumb for what is a normal profit margin assuming a good COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) model has been developed? Is it 10%, 25%, 45%, 150%, 1000%? Most industries have some general idea as to profit margin norms. Is there one for our industry yet?
  3. What is the profit margin you expect or build into your wholesale price?
  4. I concur on the Yelp thing. We have a full 3 months of data and the click are way up, but it has not translated into increased tasting room visits.
  5. St. George ships freshly cut cane into their distillery and crushes it on site. A refrigerated 40 foot container will do the trick, but it will be pricey. If you keep the cane on ice for a week, I think you will have a perfectly good agricole style ferment.
  6. If you aren't using fresh cane juice, I don't think you will get the classic vegetal notes you want no matter what yeast you pick. I tried about 10 different ones before deciding to go with a wild strain that was isolated locally. None of the commercial yeasts I found gave that big agricole nose.
  7. Agree with most of what is said above. The big issue I see killing many distilleries now is simply the sheer number of us out there. Differentiating is tough when there are so many "craft" options now. The problem is compounded as I think the new players coming in are much better capitalized than the early adopters who bootstrapped to success. I think the days of the successful bootstrap distillery have passed. My DSP completed in August 2012. I worked at my business plan for a good two years before that, and had to start a farm to grow cane concurrently. We are only now approaching a positive cash flow. Marketing is also much more important than most startups know. I said to myself when I started that my marketing budget should be at least 5x my capital expenses in the first 3 years. Looking back, I would say that is accurate on the low end. It is so easy to buy shiny machines and cool equipment, but most distilleries have a "if I build it, they will come" mentality and those days are just over, in my opinion. Make something awesome and market the heck out of it. Put in the crazy hours, and forgo any salary for the foreseeable future. Only quit your day job if you can do this with no income. That is another big killer to distilleries. On a positive note, I truly believe all the work that went into starting my business will pay off well. If I had it to do over again, I would still do it, but I would do it much differently. I would say I started both undercapitalized and over-expensed. Don't do it that way
  8. Just curious what natural unrefined sugar is, exactly.
  9. Just curious, why aren't any of you with the Black Swan barrels doing a second fill on them?
  10. Long delay here, but I have never had a ferment go bad because of high temps in Hawaii. We have a proprietary local yeast that came from this tropical environment. Something like an EC-1118 makes really nice rum and it has great heat tolerance, too. We just like the flavor our wild yeast gives us, but there are plenty of options out there.
  11. I do not agitate during fermentation. The action of the ferment itself is robust.
  12. I ferment in 500 gallon stainless tanks without a jacket now. I started with 230 gallon Apollo Flextank fermenters, but they are a major pain to clean (I have bunches of them if anyone in Hawaii wants one). The heat in the larger tank is no greater and the last run was brilliant. Ferment was complete and the tank is much easier to clean since it has a CIP. My still is generally charged to 500 gallons, so I use 500 gallon fermenters. Keep it simple when you can.
  13. FedEx was a super easy setup for us, and they have no issues shipping spirits. We just filled out the forms and they sent us all the required labels. One of the easiest things we've done at the distillery. You might be dealing with a PA issue.
  14. Wow! This is just about the most beautiful setup I have ever seen.
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