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Everything posted by Allan

  1. Allan

    Blended Brandy?

    *edit: woof 🤦‍♂️--- what @JustAndy says below. Go with that 🤐
  2. This was my interpretation. I guess we're still waiting for the FDA to issue the retraction notice / withdraw the FRN from the register - appears to still be up on the website (although it only mentions 2021 fees/dues...did it originally have verbiage mentioning 2020?) I didn't de-register, still trying to figure out if they're trying to keep the fees in place for 2021/going forward...but again, the HHS statement would seem to indicate that the FDA is currently grounded, mom and dad are pissed, and the FDA still working on how to spin the PR to "explain the error"....
  3. Update, courtesy of the Virginia Distillers Association: as always, please check with your state's regs! Some of this info looks like a repeat but there is indeed updated guidance. Also, as with @InsuranceMan 2.0's mention, please keep any potential insurance liability in mind and proceed at your own risk. I personally have been in touch with state representatives that have assured me their support in our production of this - for whatever it's worth lol! Apologies in advance for any link issues - let me know if you have a problem accessing and I'll re-work them. FDA: The FDA has issued guidance for its temporary policy for compounding of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products. Please CLICK HERE for the presser. The downloadable guidance document entitled " Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-191 ) Guidance for Industry" (attached to this post) provides protocol for distilleries to manufacture hand sanitizer. Items 1-6 listed in the document provide the essence of the protocol that will need to be followed. Item 6 states you will need to register with the FDA, but it appears once you register online you will receive immediate approval by FDA. TTB: Due to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Acting Administrator of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has found that it is necessary or desirable to waive provisions of internal revenue law with regard to distilled spirits, and therefore is providing certain exemptions and authorizations to distilled spirits permittees who wish to produce ethanol-based hand sanitizers to address the demand for such products during this emergency. Any existing DSP therefore can immediately commence production of hand sanitizer or distilled spirits (ethanol) for use in hand sanitizer, as described below, without having to obtain authorization first. These measures are generally authorized under authorities that apply in disaster situations, and as a result, are initially approved through June 30, 2020, with the possibility for extension as necessary. Permit guidance for alcohol fuel plants (AFPs) and beverage distilled spirits plants: TTB is exempting AFPs and beverage DSPs from the requirement to obtain additional permits or bonds to manufacture hand sanitizer or to supply ethanol for use in the manufacture of hand sanitizer to other TTB permittees who are authorized to receive such distilled spirits. TTB is authorizing this exemption under the authority of 26 U.S.C. 5562. AFPs and beverage DSPs must continue to keep records of their operations, including any undertaken as authorized under this exemption. Tax guidance for the manufacture of hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizer products are not subject to Federal excise tax if made with denatured ethanol. However, if made with undenatured ethanol, Federal excise tax applies. For information regarding denaturants, please contact TTB’s Scientific Services Division. WHO production: https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf DistilleryTrail.com map and listings for producers: https://www.distillerytrail.com/blog/breaking-ttb-gives-distillers-green-light-to-produce-ethanol-based-hand-sanitizer/ ADI survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QMXWY32 FDA_Hand Sanitizers Immediately in Effect Guidance Other Firms FINAL_0.pdf
  4. Amen to this. Also, having a difficult time finding h2o2 / hydrogen peroxide from a reputable supplier - consumers are buying it out, everywhere, and there appear to be a whole new crop of sudden scammy offers trying to take advantage of things. Even amazon sources appear to be out of stock for 10 days or so, or price gouging is in full swing on in-stock items.
  5. Thank you. This. Very helpful. (Also, I award you +10 points for replying to the actual question)
  6. Either my instruments are off, or we're misunderstanding each other here (maybe on proof, or timeframes?) ... I can sample from the top of a tank, and the bottom, and I have two different readings.... You're saying that ethanol and water exist in a perfect tango? This hasn't been my experience...can you expand on this?
  7. As a follow-up...in your experience, does a vessel not require significant mixing in order to maintain a homogenized state? I've found that proof levels change rather quickly over short periods of time - stratisfying - from one part of the tank to the other (water tends to sink to the bottom, ethanol tends to rise to the top - lower proof at bottom of the tank, higher at the top)... When trying to get accurate measurements and really dial things in, it occurs to me that the only way to really keep things balance is through a venturi, aggressive agitation, or consistent pumpovers (allowing of course enough time for air bubbles to dissipate before taking readings). But this also has to to with sugar additions for vermouth, infusions, etc. (aside from simply getting consistent proofs across a tank)
  8. Thanks, yes, I should have specified that I also have SS mixing paddles, HDPE paddles etc. Getting a tank fully turned over manually with paddles and pump-overs does the job, yes. No disagreement there. I have a use for the pneumatic-powered mixing paddle in other operations outside of ATEX concerns. But would like to use it in the distillery if I could. Having said that, my question really has to do with whether or not these pneumatic drills are safe. Thanks!
  9. Hey all, I've done plenty of searching, but forgive me if this has been answered ad nauseam - haven't found anything on the topic. I'm wondering if your run-of-the-mill (think DeWalt, Aircat, Etc...just search "pneumatic drill" on amazon and you'll get the breed) tools would be acceptable for mixing a small tank (70 gallon stainless variable capacity) of booze? I deal mostly in lots of this size...so I'll empty a barrel and proof it down. Approach thus far has been to pump-over. That's fine. But I'd prefer a more efficient method for mixing re: proofing down. I Know that the ideal would be a multi-thousand dollar "ATEX" industrial pneumatic mixer (the kind I see which are designed for 55 gallon drums and such) would be the "obvious" answer. Still. Does anyone have any insights into the safety of these pneumatic hand-held drills? My guess is that the concern would be static electricity ...? We've all seen these stainless steel mixing chucks, the kind that you might use for typical food use or perhaps mixing paint or whatever...I've got one with a 1/2 inch chuck for a standard drill, and I see all these pneumatic drills that are really built for socket sets and whatnot. Any insights would be appreciated. Would love to save the money in the short term, but wifey and kids would probably appreciate the pump-over method if there's any doubt otherwise
  10. Got ya broski - #distilleryHack Materials (excluding hose, pump, and inline filter, this is going to run you like $75-100 if you just follow the links below, you can probably shop it out and make smarter buys to cut this total cost in half. I'm not illustrating this for cost purposes, just showing what I did. Use it as a roadmap or don't...hope it helps someone save the time I wasted mapping it out for myself). Small dolly ($10-$20, hardware store) length of 2x6 wood, roughly 30 inches but whatever floats your boat, I liked keeping this thing smaller and lower for portability and storage small length of 2x8, or small piece of plywood or something to span the middle gap between the two rails of the dolly "L" bracket - $1 or $2 from hardware store, if not cheaper. Air regulator (I got this one for ~$40, you can get it for like $25 from amazon warehouse options...shop it around) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005JDKY68/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_Sp.7Cb3E4FAF0 1/4" ball valve (for air control on/off) ...$20 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00835X4NE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ...or get a cheaper one that is male NPT - female NPT, like this, for $7, and skip the extra $3 male-male hex nipple listed below (that's what I'd do second time around, just including the original purchase because that's what's pictured in my setup): https://www.amazon.com/Lead-Free-Forged-Brass-Quarter-Female/dp/B07DHTR486/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=1%2F4+ball+valve&qid=1559238590&s=gateway&sr=8-4 1/4" hex nipple, male-male NPT (skip this if you get the cheaper male-female adapter in the second link immediately above)...$3 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003NXYB5Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 length of 1/4" high pressure air hose ...$10 (funny, you only need 6-12 inches, but the 10 foot roll is more expensive than the 25 footer...go figure...) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MXVJ63X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1 A few hose clamps ...$6 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001HWGMBG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 1/4" barb x 1/4" male NPT fitting ...$5 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SAO7XQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 3/4" tubing for spirit inlet/outlet (take your pick, prices all over the place depending on what you're looking for) 2x (3/4") barb-to- (pick your size) tri clamp adapters. Final product in attached photos. Simple, portable, but good luck attaching the grounding wire to something appropriate. I just let it dangle. Maybe should have at the very least attached it to the 2x6 board? Not sure how "grounded" the entire assembly is through the casters anyhow...kinda seemed pointless to me but what do I know. But anyone considering this setup as a way to go should check with someone about how to properly ground the pump so you don't follow my roadmap and blow yourself up. Cheers AD
  11. Hands down the best discussion I've seen on the topic. Have referred back here multiple times. Thanks to all for contributions. As noted by several folks, the compatibility charts are assumed to be centered around "pure" chemicals (in our case, 95% ethanol). It seems pretty clear what the answers are here re: best options. TL;DR: at what proof do you become concerned with compatibility? Do you have any concerns with prolonged exposure to say, 80-90 proof? If not, at what proof do you start to become more cautious? 100? 120? Longer: We're located at our winery (which is much larger than our start-up distillery) - so we have a plethora of equipment that we've invested in for the winery, haven't yet acquired duplicates of for the distillery, but said equipment is otherwise generally available for the distillery to use... To that end, lets say, bottling equipment: is leaching, structural deterioration, etc., a concern at 80-90 proof? Of course leaching is a primary concern, but I'd hate to run spirits through a bottle filler if it were eroding whatever wetted parts there are (mostly o-rings and gaskets I guess) which could result in either costly repairs (mostly in terms of time - failed parts are usually noticed when you need them to work) or (worst case) any potentially compromising issues for wine that may result from a failed seal.
  12. Can you describe the tweaks you made? I had this exact problem (also one of Paul's stills, 100 gallon). Solution was to disconnect the venting pipe from the top of the parrot. As soon as that removed, the pulsation stopped. But if this is a matter of my cooling flow rate, then I'd definitely want to re-connect this safety measure and resolve. PS - cold wine cellar. Aluminum foil helps create thermal barrier to reduce reflux on aroma column. Everyone asks
  13. Thanks for your feedback. We ended up having the client research domestic import/exporters to Japan. They found much more reasonable options via their own research. Places I'd probably never have found, even with my Ph.D in "googling #@&% up" .....obscure locations that were legit. Place in L.A. shipped a case for $350 (2day air) but we had to ship FedEx from VA to them to get it there, which added to the cost. Place in Northern VA shipped 3 cases for $550 all inclusive (also 2 day air). Long story short, the answer I think is in having the destination recipient research export shippers for themselves. When I called the shipper (located about 30 miles from me) to clarify details, they answered the phone in Japanese - so clearly not targeting locals as their primary client base, and as such, it explains why they weren't popping up front-and-center on my google results.
  14. Thanks for all the information here folks. Very informative. I've read this thread like 4 times over the past year and find myself keep coming back for those big words
  15. Pre-canned emails. Aggressive (unsolicited) phone calls (almost as many calls in past month as yelp, if that tells you anything). Hey. Some people swear by yelp. I've yet to speak with anyone that I know personally who does. But same goes for BigFish. Probably legit. Not something I want to touch with a 10 foot pole.
  16. Has anyone shipped spirits internationally? I understand laws and regs vary by recipient country/region, that's not the issue...I'm more wondering how you actually shipped? Quotes from UPS and FedEX came it at $450 and $350, respectively, for a box of 3 bottles to Japan. Now I have inquiries from Australia, and I'm imagining its similar. Have you shipped international before? Where did you ship to, who did you use, and what was the cost? Thanks in advance
  17. Update to for our friendly community in case you're wondering the same: DC Law allows for DTC (direct-to-consumer) shipping to individuals within the district (from outside the district), with a limit of 1 case per individual per month. The code is a little confusing to read, but it is as it sounds: 1) Must be delivered to person 21+ 2) Must be delivered by authorized common-carrier (FedEX/UPS etc. Generally, those carriers want you to have an account with them, use special shipping labels, etc) 3) Must be from federally licensed wholesaler/manufacturer (and/or, I'm guessing, retailer - but seeing how most of us are probably wholesalers/manufacturers, probably an irrelevant side-note) Exciting tidbits according to DC abc ("abra"): 1) No reporting is due to DC abc 2) No tax is due to DC abc According to my understanding: Sales are considered direct-from-bond (if your state requires wholesale reports, this is where they'd go - otherwise, the only interested party is the TTB - make sure they get their tax on bond removal). So if you're in a control state like I am, then I get to keep 100% of proceeds (minus FET)...as opposed to the 50%+ that usually goes to the state coffers. Woop Woop.
  18. Near as I can tell, DTC to Washington DC is allowed if volume is less than 1 case per month per consumer, subject to delivery via common carrier such as FedEx, and things like age verification. In other words, no license or permits are required. Anyone shipping DTC to consumers in the district that can confirm this for me? Thanks, AD
  19. @Alcohollery, thanks for the tip! Do you have any experience/idea of how difficult it is to get a retailer on-board with the platform to place an order? I've got a call scheduled with them today to understand the process (what it takes) for a retailer to get started + place an order (I've gotten myself all squared away in their system as a maker), but I'm curious to see if anyone has had any first-hand experience with reaching out to a retailer on behalf of a customer to introduce them to the process, convince them to give it a try, and ultimately get the product sold + into the consumers hands. I could see this being a great idea, but difficult to make happen, so just wondering if it's easier than I think? I imagine that I'd target my family's preferred local shop, introduce myself over the phone + what we're trying to do, and see if they'd be willing to sign up for libdib + make the transaction happen....and I'm imagining a bit of "...ummm...yeah...we'll look into it..." kind of kickback.
  20. Hi all, Virginia DSP here, just soft-opened last month so limited product and market exposure. Working on my local market for now, but I have several family members in California who want a case. Can anyone advise how I need to go about getting it to them? I understand from the California ABC website that I can get a shipping permit for about $65, but can only ship to a licensed importer. All importers that I've seen in CA on google appear to be distributors, which sounds a lot like "I need to find a California Distributor". And from what I've learned about distributor relationships, you don't want to just jump into one unless you've been game planning and researching and fully prepared - which I'm not at this stage, for obvious reasons. So. Is there such a thing as a boutique shop that has an importer license in California, which I could just call up and get them to agree to buy a case of spirits (maybe they want to see the PO first? i don't know)...get myself a California shipping permit, and send it on over at wholesale? Or is that a pipe dream? Thanks in advance!
  21. Thanks all for the input. Yeah, after doing some research I decided we wanted "gourmet, top-hat" cubes. Found a pretty low (comparatively) priced unit that only does about 60lb/day from Costco, but for the size of my store at this stage, that's like 18 cubes every 30 minutes + storage tray, I think it will do the trick. Reviews for the unit are terrible, but they're all complaining about the noise. Given that the machine will be located in a storage room, I'm not TOO concerned about it, but we'll see how bad it is once its installed (thankfully anything can be returned to Costco, no?)...Also waiting to see how much of a pain it will be to have the ice made "in the back" and have to stage a bin "at the bar" and keep it replenished. My gut tells me I'll end up returning it and spending the extra $800 or so on something in the 2k range...I'll report back with my findings (for anyone else looking to get one down the road). This is the unit I'm trying out and installing this week: https://www.costco.com/Brema®-CB249A-Undercounter-Economy-Ice-Maker-with-3-year-Manufacturers-Warranty.product.100086419.html Cheers, AD
  22. Any word on this? I got my gs1 setup and just said no to that question...wondering if I did it wrong?
  23. Holy crap, 2k for an ice machine... We're looking at only like 800 cases our first year, so not anticipating a HUGE volume of traffic. Having said that...do you know how many lb/ice your 2k machine produces - just so I can gauge it?
  24. Has anyone bought a dedicated ice machine / ice maker for their distillery tasting room, or is everyone basically using a standard household refrigerator/freezer with an ice maker? If you bought a dedicated ice maker, what size did you get? Any advice? Thanks, AD
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