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Patio29Dadio last won the day on June 11 2020

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  1. I was away for a while and didn’t check my post. thanks for the responses. We are using a hammer mill with a 4000 micron / 5/32 sieve. We are doing a 700 gallon mash with 568 gallons water and 1600 lbs grist. less than capacity but easier to work with. I think we are getting full cook/gelatinization. Conversion/yield is generally consistent and adequate. We come close to 2 barrels filled with each batch. But questioning our mash being too thick. Tried the pumping water up the discharge arm. In fact, that is generally required. Although it can take more than one try and makes a mess disconnecting and reconnecting hoses. Thinking maybe a heavy duty pneumatic valve right at the center drain under the tank, before the elbow. that is another problem we have… the butterfly valve at the end of the elbow gets stuck with all the solids pressing on it. Distillers are using much bigger mash cookers than we are, so i know there must be some remedy for our stuck mash.
  2. I have a 1000 gallon steam jacketed mash tun with a sloped center 4” drain to an elbow and gate valve to a drain arm that reduces to 3”. After the mash process we end up with a clog of solids that cannot be pumped. We end up with a mess shooting high pressure water up the drain arm and eventually we break the clog. The agitator is on full speed while mashing. The mash isn’t too thick. The hammer mill grind is good. We get full cook. It is just a plug of solids that fall to the center drain and plug up the works. We have a 7HP stainless impeller pump that does not prime because there is no fluid getting through. Thinking we might need a 45% fitting on the bottom with a shorter discharge arm. Maybe a different type of valve? Maybe a different type of pump. Or other ideas for preventing or breaking up the clog.
  3. In the US we continue to refer to our standard 750ML as "a fifth".
  4. Maybe. Although there were 2500 in 2019 when supply prices were stable and a number of smaller distributors/brand owners existed.
  5. Have you priced custom glass? $120k investment for your first order. $60-$80k per order after that. I can get GNS, it is just a lot more expensive. Labeling "whiskey" so you can take advantage of used barrels? I might be wrong here, but I think you need a qualifier. Grain is 2x the cost it was 18 months ago. I am crying all the way to the bank!
  6. Like many of you after being hammered by the administrative orders to shutdown and then run at limited capacity, I am now unable to purchase at a reasonable price if at all... glass, corks, barrels, labels, GNS, whiskey, grain, etc... just about everything we need to continue to operate. Now obviously some of this are just the problems with the global supply chain and the inflationary result of the government dumping trillions into the economy while also pushing policies that prevented and dissuaded people from working. However, (and my suppliers admit this too) much of it seems to being caused by the big spirits brand owners buying up supplies to drive up costs, but more importantly to make them scarce for the craft industry. And let's not even get into the distribution consolidation. That is another topic for another day. The prime example is barrel of supply problems are barrel stave oak. ISC is all sold out for 2022 and cannot even give a commitment for 2023. Smaller cooperages are telling me that they cannot find oak staves. The federal government requires new barrels for American whiskey. Obviously we all know that the large distillers push this for their competitive advantage. But what we seem to be seeing now is complete monopolistic collusion to aggressively destroy the craft spirits industry after these big brand companies watched what happened to beer beginning 25 years ago. Where is ADI on this? The state of our national politics is a mess, but this should be a front and center topic for our trade associations. I have heard and read very little in advocacy for the craft distilling industry.
  7. Good responses. The general message is that I am either over-reacting, or need to learn how to deal with it. Well I certainly know this. But we are talking about a shift that potentially makes the entire industry of what we do losers... unless we can shift to cannabis in a bottle... or unless it is a micro trend that doesn't stick. Given what we are seeing today in trends being manufactured and pushed through our always-on media feeds, I guess I am dubious about being natural and not also manufactured to some end. Ok. Interesting. My sense was based on comments I heard from some of these young consumers that they are flooded with alcohol choice and marketing and tired of it. I am old enough to have lived through 3 of those... and this last one isn't quite like the previous two. However, the downfall of humanity is another topic... I and just considering the downfall of craft spirits consumption. I will keep up the pitch for craft, authentic, etc. Funny, one debate I had with a young dude telling me alcohol sucks... destroys lives and marriages. I said "well if you are smoking a lot of pot I doubt you have much of a life, and are certainly going to have a harder time getting married." That pissed him off for some reason.
  8. Hugote - Sorry I missed your questions. Alex_Sor has provided a ton of great information. One thing for our system, it includes process controls to inject house water into the cooling loop when the tank level reaches a low point. This is a bit sub-optimized for us as the chiller and heat exchange are designed to chill down our water overnight between processes... not have enough BTU power to chill the process water in use. It is our 400G stripping runs that will overuse the 1600 gallons and require make-up water... thus potentially ending up with warmer condenser water toward the second half of the run. However, with a Danfoss themo valve we can adjust the flow to the condenser to compensate. We should have enough with our ~150G finishing still to cover a batch. But again, we certainly cannot run out of process water, so the system will open up the house water valve as needed, and depending on the temperature of the city water, we will see the process water warm a bit. In the future I will increase the size of my chiller and heat exchange.
  9. I have been reading a growing number of articles saying that Millennials are rejecting alcohol. I have had some debates with people in this age group confirming the very thing... basically lauding cannabis and putting alcohol in their hierarchy of things they are addicted to cancel. It seems that COVID, our government responses to it, the impact to the on-premise market, the consolidation of distributors, the explosion in ready-to-drink offerings... and now this trend for another young person and nanny-state try at a new Volstead Act in practice, is about the perfect storm of crap for our industry. I for one, think the explosion in hard seltzer and other big-producer industrial consumer ready-to-drink alcohol products has reached a point of over-saturation. They are truly pushing over-consumption and it seems the smarter generation of young people have about had it with that marketing/media manipulation. Unfortunately they are not differentiating those products with our premium, hand-made craft products of agriculture. We compete with these big products, and it seems they are potentially pulling us down with them. I am taking every opportunity to differentiate our products from these other products... that frankly I believe are crap. Really, flavored soda water with some GNS? Another very frustrating aspect of this... the kids seem to be on a kick to reject tradition. The stories of history connecting to our industry... the nostalgia... the authenticity... these are starting to be responded to as negatives. I think we better get on this or we are going to see a generational downward trajectory in market. Interested in your take on this. Am I over-reacting?
  10. The legislation gives additional relief to a list of NAICS codes for "hard-hit" small business... but since Distilleries, Wineries and Breweries are considered NAICS 31 - Food Manufacturing - they are not included and do not have access to that additional relief. This is a damn shame.
  11. This is why I always vote for the candidates that promise more and bigger government. sic.
  12. Like many smalls getting started, we thought it was special to hand-write the batch and bottle number on each new finished spirit product we produce. Tasting room customers like it... it absolutely connects to the feeling of craft, hand-made and artisan. However, the batches are getting big and we will move into 3-digit and then 4-digit batch numbers soon. So the hand-writing is becoming a big PITA chore. One suggestion is to pre-print the "bottle number" when the labels are produced... and then hand-write the batch number. My employees are a bit against the pre-printing as they say it looks "too corporate" for a small craft distillery. One idea they have it to just write the batch number and skip the bottle number... basically have a batch number space on the bottle label but no bottle number. I think this is a reasonable idea. Anyone out there with thoughts, ideas, recommendations?
  13. So we are surrounded by plum orchards. They are for prunes. We have made a run of Slivovich last year, and it was/is fabulous (not selling, but drinking). But you wrote "high proof". Are you looking for a neutral spirit from plum? I don't know that we would want to do that, but we can certainly produce a high proof plum brandy. What quantity? It is seasonable. I need to check with the local farmers for estimate for when the plums would be ready. Email me at jeff@patio29.com with more info.
  14. Uline sells single bottle shippers.
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