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JustAndy

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JustAndy last won the day on July 30

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  1. I can't imagine using these, why not just use a normal 55 gal drum with some staves if that was your goal?
  2. I can't see the logic for having a mash tun 2x the fermenter; unless you are distilling 2 fermenters at a time it would mean you have one sitting empty while waiting for the other before you could mash. A half-full fermenter will often work fine, a half-full mash tun or mash mixer might not depending on the placement of agitator, steam jacket, rakes, etc.
  3. You should look into your state restrictions before bringing them in, they are on state invasive species lists and quarantined in some places http://pi.cdfa.ca.gov/pqm/manual/htm/318.htm
  4. If you are spending several weeks proofing you don't necessarily need to take a reading if you are tracking the total water addition. But also it takes like 5 seconds to take a reading if you have a handheld density meter and perhaps 90 seconds if you have to use a hydrometer. I understand that everyones business functions differently and there are many price tiers and product niches, and slow dilution might not fit every business model. But to not use it because you are worried your employee cant do basic math? Or punch some numbers into a program?
  5. I distilled cider for a couple of cider marker's pommeau. The traditional way in Normandy would be either double pot still distillation or low-rectification continuous column depending on the region, and would work out to about 60-70% abv brandy. I distill ours at about 78% on a 3 plate pot still, our orchardist prefers that as it allows more apple must to be in the blend to hit the right mix of sugar and acid. The apple must seems to matter more than the brandy, if there isn't enough tannin or acid in the apples the pommeau will be very flat and blah. 50 ppm is a lot to me, your still wil
  6. Arak is not terribly relevant to a discussion about bacterial strains, but there is fair archaeological evidence that puts origin of alcohol distillation into 3rd century India, and some place it in China. Safest to say that scholars disagree. We make an 'arak' for a restaurant group using grape brandy and Syrian aniseed, its fun, they mostly use it in cocktails and tiki-style drinks.
  7. JustAndy

    Fennel

    Without knowing more about what you are currently doing, my advice would be to treat it like anise and distill a concentrated macerate of fennel and spirit all the way out until it is milky white/1%abv/just about dry and then put that phlegm in the next distillation or redistill it and use it as an essence.
  8. I second that its the SNAP 50 and not residual sugar (which will not be present in spirit after distillation) in rum or cask extractives (unless it's spending 18 months in a 10 L maple syrup barrel or similar).
  9. This sounds snarky and I apologize for that, but the best way to answer these questions is to hire someone who knows how to operate a still.
  10. Since you've got them in the tote, give them lots of oxygen and slowly proof them down over the course of a couple months and you might be able to better integrate some of the wood. I would probably put them back into used fullsize bourbon barrels at a relatively low proof for a year or two and see what happens.
  11. Are you planning to 1. store the barrels and 2. do the blending & bottling at your own facility? If you have cash and a place to store the barrels I suspect there will be plenty of inventory available in the next 6 months as operations close or need quick cash survive the downturn.
  12. Many cooperages in California, the barrels will be more expensive but shipping will be much cheaper if you are ordering less than full truck loads. Seguin Moreau makes nice barrels in Napa, and so does Demptos. They are generally much higher quality barrels than ISC or the other kentucky cooperages from my experience. We used to use Kelvin and then ISC but I think we will be moving to Seguin as shipping is getting outrageous for MO->OR for the small quantity of barrels we need.
  13. I've worked at 4 distilleries; I've worked for 8 years at a 100% grain-to-glass distillery where we make about 30 different spirits (fruit brandy, whiskey, wine brandy, liqueurs, misc), a few years at a larger distillery which did malt whiskey and about 30,000 cases/year of gns based gin, a midsized distillery that focused on vodka/gin/simple liqueurs, and a start-up that did gns-based spirits which I left over their misleading labels. So i am not insensitive to Roger's points about some of the dishonest marketing practices which are deployed, but I have first hand experience that redistilling
  14. I worked a place that redistilled GNS through a 20 plate column, and there was a clear heads component that was removed. The distillate was noticeably cleaner than the starting GNS, and also different than the same GNS run through carbon. The distillery used 3 different GNS sources for various contract projects, and there were differences between them and they performed differently under redistillation (meaning a different sized heads cut). We also made a vodka on the same column from a 100% wheat mash base. It's not very interesting to redistill GNS and I'm glad I dont need to it anymore, but
  15. Pitching yeast into a mash that already has alcohol in it is stressful and damaging to them. At the beginning the yeast are building their membrane walls and reproducing and the presence of alcohol can affect this behavior. There are some components of heads/tails that can be consumed & cleaned up by yeast during fermentation, but I would add to an already working fermentation if that was the goal.
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