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  1. Thanks Bluefish that's a huge help. Since we currently have no barrel aging and will be in fact piping CO2 out, that should address her biggest concerns. And yes, we are viewing first and then checking with the city for use. Thanks again. -j
  2. Hi guys, I've read a few posts touching on this subject but wanted to see if I could drill down a little based your experience. We are about to view a space and the manager has some concerns about the odors affect neighboring tenants. The space is a basement below retail shops - not sure the nature of the business yet. We are a super small operation, planning to distill about 4 times a month. We will be fermenting fruit for brandy, and not working with grain or cooking/heating mash. Based on my observations at other distilleries, the highest odor output results during distillation. Sure, it always smells like alcohol and fermentation on-site, but outside these facilities I don't detect much odor. Breweries, on the other hand, seem to have a much more significant um....odor footprint. I told the manager that our closed fermentation process is not likely to produce any real noticeable odor outside the facility, and that alcohol odor will be noticeable during distillation only. I realize that's not totally accurate, but I don't want her to think that distillation is this super stinky operation, which I really don't think it is. Please let me know your thoughts if you get a chance. Cheers! -john
  3. Hey Robert - kind of a math problem regarding the racked vs. non-racked. I did not record the volume after racking, so therein lies the rub. I fermented about twice as much blueberry the second time and ended up with about 2.5 gallons of unracked mash. In any event I will definitely not rack next time. -j
  4. Oh hey, update: second distillation yielded 375 Ml of head. I was a bit stingy with the cuts because I'm still learning how to judge when to cut, so I always err on the side of caution. This was my best effort yet - nice even burn, strong blueberry essence and no clouding. Can't wait for strawberry season
  5. I used a pectin enzyme and some yeast nutrient that I pitched in at the same time I pitched in the yeast. I ended up racking the mash and discovered that the "solid" material was not solid after all. The yield was about 1.2 gallons of blueberry juice without the solids, which I threw away. I have yet to do the second distillation - so far the yield is about 375 ml of raw brandy and it smells fantastic. I got 7 more flats of blueberries and am going to do another first distillation in the next couple of days, after which I will distill both raw brandies together. This time around though, I have been agitating the mash regularly and will use it in its entirety. I think it was a mistake to throw away the solids in the first batch. This is the first time I've used glass carboys and I think I panicked because I could see the process, whereas with previous mashes I only saw what was in the plastic bucket and I've always distilled the entire contents. Can't let you know how it tastes for a month or so...
  6. Hi Patrick - that's correct. The aroma is decent - definitely a sulphury fermented scent but strong blueberry essence. I did not use a press; instead I pureed the blueberries and put all the contents into the carboy. We have had success with stone fruits but this is my first try with blueberries. -j
  7. Thanks Jh I'm thinking I'll give it one more day and then rack it. -j
  8. Hi Guys, I've got a very small quantity of blueberries fermenting in a 3 gallon carboy. The initial puree was thicker than any other fruit I;ve experienced, almost like pudding. I mixed in yeast, some nutrient and a proportion of enzyme to thin out the mixture. It started bubbling after about an hour and has been going steadily for about 3 days now. Here's what I'm worried about: The mixture developed a solid mass that is gradually breaking down. That is, you can see pure blueberry juice at the bottom of the mass increasing in volume, but the contents are still mostly solid. I wonder if there might be oxygen trapped inside that mass and therefore danger of evil bacteria growing inside it. I would like to add a little more enzyme and agitate the solid part to try and break it down a little, but I fear exposing the wash to air and ruining it. I could do it relatively quickly but I wonder if it's worth the risk. I could just be patient and hope it breaks down over the next fortnight. Any advice? Thanks! -j
  9. Thanks guys, Treskatz I would love to check out your product as many of your fruit choices are things with which we're experimenting, particularly golden delicious and rowan berry. Do you have west coast distribution and would there be a place I could pick up some product? Thanks for the numbers! -j
  10. Brilliant, thanks Andy - and everyone else for this valuable info and for taking the time to respond. Can't thank you enough! -j
  11. Thanks for the reply Andy When you say "per bin" would that be bushel/case? And approximately how many pounds of fruit are we talking? -j
  12. Thanks for the info -j
  13. @Sorghumrunner, Just checked out your site and I love your suite of products - really unique. I'm particularly interested in trying your agricole style cane spirit - my favorite style of rum. I'm sure prices vary by region, but I would be curious to know what things are like in NC price-wise. That's just more info that could help create an average price that would be ideal for financial projections. Best, -j
  14. Thanks Roger! Am I understanding approximately 1 gallon of apple juice at 10% Brix for $1.25, give or take?
  15. Thanks guys - very interested in looking into the concentrate option. MDH - I'm stretching it a bit. My yield so far has been between 400-700ml depending on the fruit. That's after second distillation and addition of water to achieve desired proof of 45%. My calculation was based on raw materials to alcohol rather than starch/sugar to alcohol. Approximately 2 gallons of mash from 16-20 lbs of fruit has yielded 700ml. I'm totally with you on producing 375ml bottles with a luxury price, but the bottle price quotes I'm working with right now are for 750ml bottles. I have yet to convert my math to using the 375 container. As you can see things are still coming together and I'm not quite as precise as I want to be. I'm going to check out some eau de vie producers this weekend and see if I can get some help on yield calculations. Thanks again, -j
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