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Silk City Distillers

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  1. It's very difficult to provide a dosage recommendation, since there are two factors at play: 1) How much nutrient do you need to reach optimum? Refined sugar requires far more nutrient than a grain fermentation using backset. 2) How concentrated is your yeast slurry? I'd say a good starting point for a slurry is 2x your yeast pitch weight for molasses based fermentations, and 3x your yeast pitch rate for more refined sugar fermentations. So, if you are pitching 500g of yeast, pitch 1000-1500g of slurry, and go from there. Tell-tale signs of nutrient deficiency for rum ferments are slow or sluggish fermentations, stalled fermentation near the end, and sulfur aromas in the wash/distillate.
  2. One more thing. DSI not generally used in these kinds of column designs because you don't want to add water to the product and reduce purity/proof. There's also no bottoms product.
  3. Using backset will help reduce external nutrient requirements, but also keep in mind that you can cook your old yeast and use it as a nutrient - which should have no problems for certification. Not only will it save you a tremendous amount of money, realize you are recycling your nutrient in a way that's far "greener". The very popular Servomyces is dead yeast.
  4. In the 200 liter range, a scale is by far the easiest option. Using flat bottom open top wine tanks, it’s easy and economical to weigh, gauge, blend, etc. At that scale, a stainless mixing paddle is enough. Accurate flow meters are incredibly expensive, and working volumetrically is a serious pain in the ass. Mass flow meters would work, but an accurate scale is probably 1/10th the price.
  5. Don’t pull vacuum on any still not specifically designed for vacuum operation.
  6. One technique to keep up your sleeve is to use your 12 plate to clean up heads in a third distillation, but you need a clean clean still to do it. What I mean by that is, load your kettle with your semi-finished vodka. Run as high reflux ratio is possible. Take a slow finishing heads cut, then stop. Drain your plates (or not) and let your kettle cool. Drain your finished product from the kettle. Ideally, through a heat exchanger to cool it down. I’ve played around with this approach to clean up neutral without the time and energy of putting it all through, it does work, and the approach is similar to some of the continuous gns redistillation rigs you see on the market.
  7. Sounds like you are pretty set, and are looking for how to get this rig to work best. Really though, worst case, you are talking about 3 distillations. You got strip on one side, spirit on the other. Not the most efficient in time, yield, or energy, but you could play around with double distilling on the 12 plate, or even double distilling on the pot first.
  8. Can’t really make it out on the drawing. But the liquid from each column bottom pumped to the top of the proceeding column (bottom of 3rd to the top of the 2nd, bottom of the 2nd to the top of the 1st). Bottom of the 1st would return to the kettle. So 2 pump systems. 1 single reflux condenser at the top of the 3rd. Paul can weigh in on this approach as well.
  9. My personal opinion is to use pumped reflux across each column, and not a shared drain system with separate reflux condensers. I think that the shared reflux drain adds considerable inefficiency to the mix, and you are already approaching this from behind, so you need to exploit all the tricks. From a cost perspective, eliminating two of the condensers is a big cost savings, which will help offset the pump cost.
  10. What’s the TIB have to do with formula and label submissions? Not following. Look on the bright side, far easier to find another producer now, than to try to unwind this relationship after you’ve got sales and orders in the pipeline going unmet. You trying to get this going for this holiday season? Traditional recipe? I get how that’s going to be a challenge for a typical co-packer who are used to very typical blend and bottle ops. Tried to get something going with a local coquito producer a few years back, shelf stability issues, separation issues, the need to actually cook ingredients, refrigeration requirements, lots of gotchas. Tried to get him to consider a cream base from Creamy Creation, it was like I was insulting his grandmother.
  11. Submitted a half dozen formulas a week ago and got approval back in under 7 days. Had zero issues on either Mac or PC, used both. Try a different browser maybe. Try using your phone not connected to wifi.
  12. Guessing that you are lautering, so I'll go from there.. At 60-75% wheat, I'm sure you know that sticking the mash is a good possibility, even with rice hulls (why you are asking). Beta-glucanase and xylanase enzymes will help, since wheat is high in glucan and AZ. Sebflo, Ultraflo, Distilazyme BG, etc etc. Though keep in mind that if you are using 100% malted grains, it's an easier workflow than raw wheat. While step mashing (glucan rest) can accomplish similar, it is nowhere near as effective as enzyme. With that high of a wheat percentage, you'll want to be careful with rest times and yeast selection, using a POF+ (phenolic off flavor positive) yeast may result in a high level of 4-VG (spicy medicinal bandaid). IMHO, some of these volatile phenols tend to smear across the distillation, meaning it's not as simple as cutting them out. Think of what is distinctive and characteristic of a hefeweizen getting concentrated in the distillate. Whatever a brewer would do to get a more hefe tasting hefe, go the other way. You are in grain country, consider using unmalted wheat from local suppliers. Not only is it tremendously more cost effective than buying malted wheat, it aligns with your marketing. IMHO - I think you'll find that unmalted wheat provides an all around more subtle flavor profile.
  13. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with molasses spec sheets, and hopefully work with a supplier that can provide a spec sheet that’s useful. The variation in molasses is enormous, and there are plenty of suppliers that will provide almost worthless spec sheets (ranges so incredibly wide that they can use the same spec sheet for everything). Brown sugar is tricky, it can be one of two things, refined sugar with molasses added, or unrefined crystal sugar (Demerara). You’ll want to avoid the first, it’s just dirty white sugar that you’ll overpay for. You can accomplish similar by blending crystal sugars with molasses in whatever proportions suit your style. I wouldn’t put highly unrefined sugars like Panela or Piloncillo in this category, they are really in a world of their own (FYI - there are no major commercial rum styles that use these sugars). Single these contain nearly all the solids from the original cane juice, their sugar content is lower than refined crystal sugars, but far higher than some types of molasses.
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