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seventh son

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seventh son last won the day on December 7 2015

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  1. Can you provide a model number? The pictures that you posted will not open.
  2. Thanks for the reply. It's not an AHJ issue, I just want to be sure that my still is operating safely. Someone suggested to me that simply adding a thermowell would solve the problem, but I am still skeptical. If a short in the controller leads to the thermocouple, I don't see how the thermowell would provide a barrier.
  3. I need to add a couple temperature probes into the vapor path in my distillation column. I'm looking for a simple stand-alone thermometer to plug the probes into so that I don't have to rebuild my control panel. I'm having trouble finding an intrinsically safe thermometer. The question is...does it have to be intrinsically safe, or can it be a standard thermometer?
  4. The tanks I imploded wore more or less expendable. That was years ago during Some trials and experiments. I wasn't trying to scare anyone away from vacuum distillation, my point was that you can't operate any still under vacuum. Obviously, you sell units that are designed for vacuum operation. I like what you're doing. The challenges of making cuts and the inefficiencies are just a couple of the trade-offs of vacuum distillation. If it wasn't worth the trade-offs I wouldn't still be distilling that way!
  5. As the founder of Seven Brothers and a guy who has been building and using small scale vacuum stills commercially for a decade, I agree that it is just different. Vacuum stills will allow you to manipulate variables to achieve different results. That has always been my goal, not to make a vodka just like the big guys make, but to make products that stand out as different from the herd. Ultimately, the consumer decides if they are better or worse than products made in conventional stills! As far as running a vacuum still goes, they can be temperamental and they are not always as efficient as conventional stills. Mine are set up to sample without breaking vacuum, but making correct cuts is more challenging because the boiling point of each component changes under vacuum and you don't have traditional temperature benchmarks to rely on. It's not the easy way to make spirits. Southernhighlander, I have some experience imploding non-vacuum-rated vessels. It's relatively easy to convert a large, shiny, expensive still into a crumpled mass. I wouldn't pull even a modest vacuum on any vessel that is not engineered for it (again).
  6. Thanks for the praise and sorry that I missed you, but my walleye fishing expedition went much longer than planned, so I was late to our open-house! My nephew was a little off, my first attempt at making alcohol was at the age of 13, but I didn't build my first vacuum still until a dozen years ago! The equipment pics on our website and FB page are not current. I just finished an upgrade. I do have a continuous vacuum stripping still and batch vacuum stills for finishing and infusion. All designed and built in-house from sourced or locally fabricated components.
  7. I'm looking to buy a tote of stripped wheat distillate. Anybody out there interested?
  8. Have you considered using recirculation instead of agitation. It may not be as efficient, but with the right plumbing and the right pump, it could be a solution for you.
  9. I know this thread is a bit old, but my potential source for wheat is telling me that they average 3ppm DON. There seems to be some scant evidence that it affects the mashing and fermentation efficiency, but at this level it may not have a big impact. Is there evidence that it affects the flavor of the distilled spirits?
  10. I find myself needing an inexpensive ROPP capper for a small bottling run. Anybody out there interested in selling a bench-top model?
  11. Thanks, MDH. I'm hoping that his particular product will be between 8% and 12% ABV. I will change course if pasteurization is required. I know that cider producers often pasteurize, but I imagine the equipment cost will be prohibitive for my project.
  12. I am working on a low-proof distilled product and I would like to bottle it with a small amount of the fruit in the bottle. I see examples of similar product on the market. The best example that I can give is a low-proof "moonshine" type product with fruit in the jar. Is there a low proof where I should be concerned with pasteurizing the product?
  13. I signed a simple contract with a broker not long ago - they represent and promote our products, and we pay them a fixed % of the selling price (as a broker they don't take possession of the liquor). I guess that I may be a little naive, but I thought that for this payment, they would promote our product at bars, restaurants, and in stores. Now they are proposing a two month program where we would pay additional money for performance: $ for each menu, $ for each new bar restaurant, $ for each display, etc.... My opinion is that this is what I have been paying them for already. I know that programming is normal in the industry, but is it typical for a broker to be paid these incentives on top of the agreed upon rate?
  14. Here's my take and I'm sure others will step in and correct me if I'm wrong: Making vodka is all about two things - achieving 95%, and achieving separation of heads, middle, and tails. To do each of these you need lots of reflux. A short column will require multiple passes to achieve 95% unless you slow it waaaay down by increasing reflux. As your run goes on, more and more reflux is needed to keep it at 95%. A narrow 3" or 4" column gives you a pretty modest flow rate to start with. Then the question becomes - can you build your business on the vodka production volume that a small still can produce? Do the math, you'll probably discover that making something (anything) other than vodka is a better choice if you are on a low budget!
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