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  1. We considered that but our stills are Cognac stills that are direct fired. Much easier to lauter then ferment, rather than try to separate after ferment. For us anyway.
  2. Thanks Thatch. Was wondering given malt's sort of delicate flavor.
  3. Thanks captnKB. We are not planning on a boil of any sort. Do you guys ever use stillage/backset in your ferment like the Bourbon guys? I've never seen it done for single malt. Wondering if anybody has experimented.
  4. Assuming you're talking about stillage, we will need probably to get a PE certification of our process (still working on that), but our prelim plan is to discharge into a holding tank/tote, run stillage through HX to scavenge heat a hot water holding tank or the wash for the next charge, get water to as low a temp as possible, test for PH, treat if needed, dilute and discharge to spec. If we don't have the demand for hot water at the time, scoot the tote outside and let it cool before the above. We have very little solids as we are direct fire and solids are removed either before or after ferment. We are going to try to recover caustics. Open to any and all feedback. Edit: oh and solids to local farmers.
  5. Thanks a ton for your input!
  6. Thatch, do you guys agitate/stir or let the grist hydrator do all the work? We want to go really simple, so insulated non-fired mash/lauter combo with sparge arms. Building up our mash scheme and trying to separate our "beer brains" from our "whisky brains". We all have experience in the brew world, but our goals are different now, ie efficient mash, full ferment conversion. We're leaning towards going with an insulated tank in addition to the tankless heater so we can do hot liquor water and capture heat during crash through our HX water for either next batch and/or CIP/cleaning. Hopefully also scavenge heat after distillation and accelerate our stillage cooling to legal 140f drain temps.
  7. Thanks Thatch. Good to know somebody is having good luck with a tankless. We will be all malt too and somewhere close to 550gal. Do you treat or dose the charge water to help PH and nutrient base? On a smaller test batch we watered to just above the false bottom before we mashed in and it worked good. We could potentially dose our water there if needed and forgo a HLT.
  8. Thanks guys. Silk, I'm not boiling, just going straight from lauter to ferment. Anybody using a wort grant to check for clarity during vorlauf and check SG? Early on, we can't really budget for a boiler (+/- $150k with room, lines, return, etc) so we are planning on either boiling/treating the mash water in our stills or getting a dedicated hot liquor tank fed by a burly tankless gas heater and dose into it. We could get a dedicated boiler for our mash tun/HLT and save a little cheddar. I think under 300k-400k btu, we can have a boiler out in the open next to the units. Not uncommon to see smaller dedicated boilers in small breweries. We really don't want to do electric heat as we will already have a big 20 ton chiller setup and are putting solar on the roof. I don't want to burn through 80,000 watts heating stuff. Lacking a big boy boiler, anybody have experience with alternative heating? Pete, I've done some reading/stalking on your process and wow, I am in awe of your operation. Makes me sort of giggle when I see "grain to glass" on people's marketing materials.
  9. I guess I could HX to a cooler temp than pitch temp and hold it cold in the jacketed fermenter. That is wasted energy and that makes me a little sad.
  10. Hello all. Finally building our distillery this spring, got sidetracked building a cocktail bar but are back at it. This site has been an incredible resource and I thank you all for sharing so freely. I hope to return the favor once we get our stuff together. We are building a french style direct fire brandy setup. We will be doing fruit for sure, but in non-fruit season we will be doing malt and probably no other type of whiskey until we get a second steam jacketed setup in a few years. We are eyeballing an old-school single infusion insulated mash tun with a lauter/false bottom. 500g working capacity. We will be knocking the wort down from mash temp to pitch temp with a tube in tube HX setup. We are considering using a wort grant for the runoff before HX to the ferment tanks. Runoff could be +/-2 hours long and I'm worried about nasties getting into the wort before pitching as I slowly transfer wort to the ferment vessels. In the beer world I would be going straight from the mash/lauter tun into the whirlpool/boiler then crashing through the HX directly to the fermenter much more quickly but in our scenario we are limited by the runoff rate. We can't go grain on because we are direct fire. Any ideas? Maybe dose small amounts of yeast in stages as the wort hits the Fermenter?
  11. Most definitely NOT an attorney but I've dealt with 11 BK a number of times in my line of business. Not sure if you have yet but you need to file a claim have your lawyer watch the federal PACE system for their Chapter 11 filings. You would qualify as an unsecured creditor and you, along with anybody else they screwed who files a claim, will have high standing in court. The charge with 11 is to specifically watch after unsecured creditors. 11 can be for re-org but it most commonly a liquidating event. I'm sure they have bad secured debt but those collectors will only be able to recover fire sale value so watch for liquidation (it's coming) and maybe try to pick their bones for equipment at pennies on the dollar. This post is eye-opening. I had them bookmarked for possible equipment sourcing (ACK!). I also have about $115k out on deposits so I feel for you! BEST OF LUCK BUDDY!
  12. I own a bar and we use Toast. The backend is sort of mickey mouse if you like to do a lot of year end analysis but they do sell an API for integration with Quickbooks. Terminals work great and you can edit almost all parameters on terminal (without a computer). They are about half the cost per terminal of Aloha etc but they make it back in the credit card processing end. I will say they develop features very quick and customer service is instantaneous. I've ever really been satisfied with backend systems for accounting and deep analysis. I guess that POS folk figure that's what Quickbooks is for.
  13. Six DSP's in Utah now and at least five in the horn, including us. HW have always produced some of their own stuff although their primary product is sourced. They just released their 6 year oat whisky, Valley Tan. They are also putting the finishing touches on what will surely be one of the largest whiskey operations in the west: http://www.sltrib.com/home/1923423-155/high-west-builds-ultimate-whiskey-distillery
  14. Thanks Printer's! Can't wait to taste your stuff.
  15. Hello all! I am a long time lurker (as in about four years, sheesh) who is now working on getting everything together to do this thing that we're all talking about. In one form or another, I've been in pursuit since 2010 and, much weeping and wailing later, am now preparing to build this mansion out of toothpicks in the sky. I can't believe the level of expertise and hard won knowledge that everybody shares around here. This is, without a doubt, the most complete and useful resource out there for people like us and I want to thank everybody who posts regularly for sharing so freely of their experience and expertise. My background is in food and beverage with a focus on craft bartending. About two decades on that side. The aha moment came in 2009 when I realized that I could easily burn a few solid decades making spirits and be happy as a clam, so here we are. I will attempt to document my trials and tribulations through this process with the hope that I can help other along in their process along the way. The one thing I've learned so far is that, like boozy snowflakes, no two distilleries are alike. Thanks, Sean Neves Congregation Spirits Salt Lake City, Utah
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