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    Walton, New York, USA
  • Interests
    Watching yeast. Making copper things hot. Boiling beer. Whiskey.

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  1. As I have done two previous years, I'll be hosting my 2012 edition of the Chillin' & Distillin' Craft Distilling Adventure November 8th through 11th, 2012. Here's the info. Delaware Phoenix Distillery Chillin' and Distillin'Craft Distilling Adventure 4 day intensive workshop November 8th through November 11th, 2012 9 a.m. until we're done with the day's work (about 6 p.m.) at Delaware Phoenix Distillery, Walton, NY Join distiller Cheryl Lins in a hands-on workshop at a working distillery, DSP-NY-15019. Our emphasis will be on making American whiskey: rye, corn, bourbon. We'll go through the whole whiskey production process from grinding the grain, mashing, fermenting, distilling to barreling and bottling. We'll use a 50 gallon Christian Carl pot still while turning back the clock to explore mid-19th century whiskey production methods and the modern legal and business environment for operating a small distillery. Participation is limited to 15 people (or so). Cost: $500 per person $125 non-refundable deposit ($600 after October 28, 2010) Limited to 15 people (or so). Lunch will be provided each day. Make check or money order payable to Delaware Phoenix Distilleryandmail to Delaware Phoenix Distillery, PO Box 245, Walton, NY 13856. The distillery itself is located at 144 Delaware Street, Walton, NY 13856. For more information contact the distillery, 607-865-5056. Transportation to Walton, NY Walton is a small village of maybe 3,000 people in the western Catskills region of upstate New York. The nearest airport is an hour away, and there is no public transportation that will get you to Walton. The nearest airport is in Binghamton, about an hour away by car. Albany airport is about two hours away, and Newark airport is about 3½ hours by car. It's recommended that you fly to whichever airport you choose and then rent a car for the trip to Walton. For those driving from New York City, Walton is about 3 hours from the George Washington Bridge. Accommodations in and near Walton, NY Walton itself has a B&B and there are a couple others nearby. Most of these have just a couple or three rooms. There's a couple other places that are more like motels within short driving distances in Walton, Hamden, and Downsville. Once you've registered, I'll send you a list of places. Early November Weather in Walton, NY At this time Walton can be experiencing cold temperatures and maybe snow. Though usually not a lot. Daytime temperatures can be 40's-50's or 20's-30's, and at night the mercury can go to the 30's down into the teens. So while the distillery will be warm, the outside weather will be cold, especially overnight. Come prepared! Clothing for Distilling This is a working workshop. The intent is for the participants to get hands-on experience with mashing, fermenting and distilling, and there's a good chance you'll get messy. The distillery is not a clean room. The yeast do not care what you look like, only that you don't introduce competing bacteria into their environment.
  2. While this may technically be true, the liquor industry of 100 years ago and older was pretty much unregulated. And there were lots of quality problems, not all of which were related to the producers. Due to the generosity of some friends, I've had the chance to taste pre-Prohibition whiskey and I thought they were excellent. I've had some Old Fitz made in 1933 just after Prohibition ended, barrelled for a mere 5 years at most, and it was far superior to nearly all the bourbon on the market today. imo Mr Cowdery can now happily claim his disassociation from BT, but he certainly was happy with that association so he could produce his exclusive report where his headline screams "ALL WHISKEY MADE IN SMALL BARRELS IS BAD". Of course, just the messenger. Have to say I have a lot of respect for Mr Cowdery when he writes on the topics of the history of whiskey and the major brands. Anyone who wants to be successful in this business should just go out and get some nicely aged whiskey from LDI and bottle it. Mr Cowdery and all the experienced whiskey drinkers will like it, they'll say nice things about it, you'll have enough to get a distributor and they'll push the brand for you. Instead of having to buy all that distilling and fermenting equipment you can hire some brand ambassadors for key markets for half the price and you'll move some product and make some money. Or you can work your butt off non-stop to make something you think is special. Whiskey that's good right from the still. But the bars won't stock it cause they have an exclusive arrangement with the dominant wholesaler in their market for all the major brands at prices you can't compete with; the big box stores won't deal with you for basically the same reason, plus the fact that you can't produce enough to meet their needs; and in the end you struggle just to make ends meet.
  3. The idea that if it doesn't conform to what is made by the majors, it isn't whiskey, is the biggest crock of doo-doo foisted on the whiskey drinking public in a long time. Just because the majors make whiskey a certain way using certain kinds of column stills, with certain grain bills, water ratios, fermenter sizes, barrel sizes, aging, etc simply provides a limited description based on current industrial practice.
  4. A 5 micron filter is extremely small. While not small enough to remove flavor molecules, that's below the level you'd usually have issues with cloudiness due to agglomeration at clod temperatures.
  5. Beam is not dumb. Probably better that Beam bought it rather than Diageo or Pernod-Ricard.
  6. I personally use my own spreadsheets. Which meet my needs.
  7. Does anyone know when the registration will be up on the website for the 2012 ADI conference? What about the spirits judging? That has an earlier deadline, and the currently posted document doesn't give any pricing for entry. I'd like to budget funds for these things. Thanks for any info.
  8. Washington state was one of the leaders in the craft distilling industry. I'm not sure that will remain true, as Marc notes it will be very difficult (if not impossible) to get those craft products into the big box stores. Now if you live in the sticks, far away from big box stores, does this mean your community just effectively became "spirit dry", with only beer and wine sales allowed, since there won't be any 10,000 square foot spirits stores located there?
  9. One account? A bottle a month loss maybe? Maybe 2 or 3 bottles a month? Maybe more if the bar manager decides that your whiskey or gin or vodka is their "well" brand, and the one that is reached for most by the staff. Given the number of bars in CA or even just LA or SF, it should be "easy" to develop the relationships necessary to establish your infused spirits as their "go to" brand. I put "easy" in quotes because for some bars, they'll just always stick with the mass marketed and distributed brands, and it's still a lot of legwork to get to know the people behind the bar and to get them to know your products. But just because a bar could make an infusion themselves, doesn't mean that they will, because it takes time and effort to do it right. Maybe you should ask some of your customers what they'd want you to make? But so long as you consider on-premise customers your competitors you won't approach things from the proper angle, and you might not treat them as your friends which they can be. Good luck to you!
  10. Seems like this recent article in the LA Times says that California's microdistilleries are booming. All based on a close relationship with bars and restaurants. http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-1103-california-spirits-20111103,0,209266.story
  11. Thanks to all those who expressed interest in the workshop. The workshop is sold out.
  12. I'd agree with Scott that the folks worried about a few bars making some infusions is a waste of time. Focus on what's important.
  13. Brenton, yes Maison Premiere is great. Not only do they have a large selection of absinthe, they serve it properly, without flames. Rich, all of the Artemisia spp. are thujone regulated in the US (as well as tansy, oak moss and a few others, but not sage). So the source of thujone does not matter, simply total thujone, and it doesn't matter whether it's A or B. Sadly the TTB and FDA don't wish to understand absinthe let alone recognize it as a spirit category. But then again, why invest tax dollars on analyzing a spirit whose sales are negligible? So long as no one is reporting the dreaded hallucinations (only in TTB's imagination) or jumping out of windows they seem to have more important things to concern themselves. Any sort of base spirit is suitable so long as you have a pleasant flavor profile. The grape neutral spirits of today's commerce is not the same grape spirit used in the 19th century.
  14. Usually as a manufacturer your raw materials are not charged sales tax as that is collected on the end product. Equipment is a different matter as you are the end user of that equipment. But usually that only applies to purchases made in NY.
  15. Here is what should be a correct link to the PDF, which I attached anyway just in case... Chillin' & Distillin' 2011 link CD2011.pdf
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