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Josh last won the day on April 23

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    Sonoma County, California

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  1. Hi John, do you need food grade/direct contact steam for this system, or is it indirect/treated steam?
  2. @SlickFloss We used Fermentis GR2 supplemented with go-ferm, fermaid o, fermaid k. Temp control as well. We also bought a kason sifter as well to separate solids prior to stripping, but ultimately moved into a different direction altogether. Just part of the journey. @Golden Beaver Distillery Thanks for the suggestion. I know you have a good supplier on rice up north from talking with you before. I'm excited to try some of your rice whiskey next time you're down in Sonoma County, or I'm up north.
  3. We run 20 plates (4 + 16) setup. The 16 plate section has packing material on the trays to improve efficiency. It gets the job done and we can finish a hearts cut above 191, but it's a painfully slow process. We had a myriad of challenges to get the system to work correctly, but here's what I would say were critical: 1.) Stream temperature control valve or a way to specifically control kettle temp, manual valves did not work for us. 2.) Entry proof needs to be low to avoid alcohol smearing and get clean separation (we charge at 20%). 3.) Dephlegmator control system (we use a danfoss valve, but something that regulates temp of the cooling water). 4.) A correctly functioning condensate return line (if using a split column). We ended up designing a double S curve line to make sure that drainage worked, but that kettle vapor didn't bypass the first tower and blow up through the line into the tower, which completely imbalances the temperature of the tower. The biggest lesson once we got the system working was that 190+ proof does not mean the alcohol will be flavorless or "neutral". We ended up doing a stripping run, two 180 proof reflux runs, and then one vodka distillation to get something that we can live with for classic vodka, but we are actively re-engineering the process as we speak because of residual vanilla character from the corn ferment is still too strong, and that's after four distillations and seven carbon passes. It still blows my mind to this day. And the fermentations were well managed, plenty of nutrient support, temp control, etc. Good luck!
  4. Hi all, Looking to buy a machine that separates liquids from solids on a 100% corn mash/ferment. 600 gallons at a time. What comes to mind is the russel finex liquid solid separator, but if you have a unit for sale the separates slurry from liquid, let me know! Thanks, Josh
  5. We are also in Nor Cal, we ultimately were required to hire a fire prevention engineer to go through all of our equipment, tanks, building, pumps, etc. and develop a formal recommendation for the fire marshall to allow us to open. Ventilation and ethyl alcohol detectors were a big concern, as well as complying with div/class requirements for all motors and electrical in the distilling area. We also had some concerns with sprinkler density issues for our F1 vs H3 areas, but all were ultimately fixable. If overhead sprinklers are a non-starter, there are also totes of chemical fire retardant that you might be able to pitch to your powers that be. Our biggest adversaries in the process were city planning (tasting room), building department, and fire department. State and Federal are paperwork, at least in our case, hope it helps!
  6. Hi, Anyone have any recommendations on a tube in tube/shell and tube mash cooler that we could use to run grain in mash through during the mash phase to lower temperature? 2 inch internal tube, 3-4 inch external tube is what my initial gut feeling is, probably 10-20 feet length. Used would be great, but new definitely an option as well. Thanks, Josh
  7. I appreciate the responses. Silk City, do you do any routine maintenance on the boiler system to reduce scaling since you aren't treating with chemicals, like a monthly flush and drain type of thing. Do you use a water softener, or is it straight from the source, be it municipal or well? I'm trying to balance the idea between a lower cost mash tun ($10k DSI vs $25k jacketed) or a shorter boiler lifespan. The boiler is the backbone of the operation, so not treating it seems like a risk, but then again, the most expensive part of the boiler was not the boiler itself, but the plumbing, accessories, traps, etc. Thanks for your help on the matter, appreciate it.
  8. That's a good point. We already have black iron pipe installed.
  9. Hi, Hoping for some guidance here. We use a chemical treated steam boiler system for our jacketed stills and jacketed mash tun. I am starting to look for a new, larger mash tun and like the concept of direct steam injection for heating efficiency and to lower the mash tun replacement cost. Does anyone know of a way, or process, to filter/strip the chemically injected steam so that it's safe for mash/food purposes (DSI)? I don't want to use untreated water in the boiler because of boiler useful life reduction, but would rather just treat the steam only for the one appliance that needs it (the DSI mash tun). Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, Josh
  10. Hi Jesper, We offer custom distilling services in Sonoma County, California if that would be something that interests you. Email me at josh@youngandyonder.com if you would like to further discuss. Thanks, Josh
  11. Thank you all for the help here, I sincerely appreciate it! The lesson learned here is the complexity of an answer far outweighs the simplicity of the question. I will spend some more time on researching this, and appreciate all of the comments provided. As you all know, the days are long and tireless, and the current heat up times at full capacity are just too slow to be sustainable labor wise over time. VSAKS - great idea - we have a tankless water heater that can pump out 182f water, so the concept of pumping our low wines through a counterflow unit is a simple idea that could reduce time to boil - something for us to think about at least. Silk City, thank you so much for sharing the unit you've set up, pretty slick! Love the dialogue and community we have here on the forums, it truly is a one-of-a-kind resource for the craft distilling community.
  12. Thank you everyone for your contributions - Roger re: nut clamps particularly inventive. Both stills are non-pressurized bain marie stills with oil jackets. Minimal/no risk of jacket pressure issues with the open vents. Nest cameras in production facility always running for remote observation. The heating systems are initiated by a toggle switch (see pictures) that goes to a PID. I find it hard to believe that an automated version of this switch isn't available in the market. I was simply curious if someone had replaced this type of toggle with an automated version. Thank you all! Josh
  13. Hi all, Hoping for some help on automation. I have two oil jacketed stills with control panels. Each of the control panels have a simple left/right toggle switch to power them on. Does anyone know of a device that I can wire after the toggle switch to add remote start functionality via wifi? Basically When we charge our larger still to capacity, runs can take 12 hours+, and we sit for three hours during heat up before we get any action. It would be great to wake up and start the still heat up process while commuting to work to shorten the downtime upon arrival. Seems like a simple unit that would exist in the world, but I can't seem to find anything on the interwebs! Thanks in advance, Josh
  14. Thank you Sudzie! I guess I just needed a little help with finding what to look for, but I can definitely build one of these from what you've shown me. Thanks again!
  15. Hi, I have two stills that currently run their dephlegmators on danfoss valves. I would like to upgrade the units to an automated system where I set the set point temp for the top of the column, and then the automation would open and close a solenoid valve to let chiller water into the dephlegmator as needed for temp control. Does anyone know of an off-the-shelf solution for this need/have one for sale? Thanks, Josh
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