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Tom Lenerz

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Everything posted by Tom Lenerz

  1. Hey Cap, With the old Whiskey Systems Pro at $350 we had access to a whole slew of reports, sales tools, and barrel tracking tools. The biggest thing that is driving me crazy is that I have every stack of barrels assigned a location in whiskey systems, and while not perfect, it worked well enough. On June 1, we started Pro Tier 1, which doesn't include the ability to update barrel locations any longer, meaning I would have to manually track them separately from whiskey systems or pay another $150 on top of the $450 to get advanced barrel management. Which includes other things we use like barrel history for our barrels that get refilled. Accounting wants to get one number out of a finance report and to add that would cost another $100 a month for the accounting support package. The justification for this splitting is "to keep prices down on lower tiers" which doesn't make any sense in anyway as the software is already developed... For the record, I get that they are a business, and costs go up overtime, I understand that since we are also in business. But you can look at this attached sheet and see what each chunk costs. They took a ton of the functions out while increasing the price by $100. Then to add back all the stuff they took out, it would cost a total of $400 more, which equates to a $500 price increase per month on a product that was $350 per month. Whiskey Systems Add-Ons.pdf
  2. We were paying $350 for Pro and it went up to $450. Not super happy about that, but thought I could live with it. Then last week, when the plan changed over I lost a bunch of functionality, including some of the key things we use. Since they are in an add-on package now they want us to pay $600 a month for something we were paying $350 for. At this point we are seriously considering going back to spreadsheets.
  3. TTB requires it, it's how taxes are calculated.
  4. Was it aged less than 2 years or more than 2 years in oak? If less than 2 (0 is less than 2) its immature, if its over 2 then its brandy.
  5. Update the packaging to eliminate the information and/or switch to larger batches. We only handwrite on Single Barrel products (barrel, proof, abv and age), which is a smaller % of our products. We print batch stickers for our larger batched products that are annual releases, they look like old WI state tax stamps. Handwriting bottle numbers seems like a nightmare...
  6. We have always sold "Futures" of one of our wines, we taste a barrel sample of it in the spring and it is available for pickup in the fall, the future is a deal price for a full case. We have done that with 2 spirits, sampling a barrel sample in the summer, option to buy a "future" and then pick-up in November. In my opinion it wasn't really worth the hassle for the spirits unless you have some scarcity of the upcoming release.
  7. My best guess is it is either too thick or not coarsely ground enough, either or potentially both leading too poor conversion. We hit north of 16 plato with 75% of the grain you used. Our process is almost identical to yours, but we are doing our malt rest around 145 instead of 140, but I don't think that would make that big of a difference in conversion. It sounds counter-intuitive, but I'd try going thinner and see if your yield goes up, seems a lot of people on here struggle with yield with the thick mashes.
  8. Malt and malted wheat are going to have a lower PG per bushel than corn. Was this field corn you used or something else like flakes? Also that mash seems thick for on-grain, at a 22 beer gallons (liquid volume/bushels) -- was this lautered? We run a 30 gallon beer here and usually get 4 to 4.4 PGs per bushel.
  9. I agree it would be nice to be using the global standard, but everything in our country is in freedom units, and I doubt that will change anytime soon. However I disagree that proof gallons are easy to miscalculate (WG * proof/100 or move the decimal of the proof to just after the 1), confuse (stating Wine Gallons vs. Proof Gallons adds to clarity in my opinion) or provide no use. Its very easy for me to figure out how many barrels of brandy I might get out of tank of wine, or estimate the acres of a grain my farmer may need to plant to fill my production volumes for the year, or even the number of cases I might produce of a given product, all using proof gallons as my anchoring unit. Would it be just as easy if I were used to metric, yes probably -- but I'm not, and none of the people I do business with on a daily basis are used to metric either. Almost all of my equipment is American made (and therefore calibrated in freedom units), all of my employees are American (and are therefore familiar with freedom units) and we operate inside and are regulated by the US government (which requires most of the reporting in freedom units), so I don't really struggle with converting because there is almost never a need in my day-to-day operation to do so.
  10. I have a copy of https://www.ebay.com/itm/International-Barrel-Symposium-5th-6th-7th-ISC-Cooperage-Wine-Cask-Cooper-2008-/303640750147 that I've found useful. I believe there is a PDF version floating around.
  11. Some filter suppliers will offer to do bench runs of filter media for you to test to help you select your filtration. (Shout out to David Strauch at Strauch Chemical) Personally we go as coarse as we can without any visual issues. For most of our whiskeys that means just going through a 5 micron cartridge. For our brandies we do see some haze so we use Beco Select A20 pads and chill filtration (around 4 C) or a similar cartridge with non-chill filtration depending on the expression.
  12. We distill our Apple Brandy for our Pommeau to 160 proof. That high of a sulfite content could come across in the brandy, but depending on storage conditions it might not be so bad.
  13. The brewery I previously worked at we hauled anywhere between 300 and 800 pounds of ground specialty malts up a 6 foot step ladder and into a hopper, twice a day. It wasn't fun but it is definitely doable.
  14. Natural cork? Could be cork taint or "corked" spirit...
  15. Check in with the CFR but a quick search for non-beverage in Part 19 found the following: §19.626 Records of distilled spirits shipped to manufacturers of nonbeverage products. (a) General. When a proprietor ships distilled spirits to a manufacturer of nonbeverage products, the proprietor must prepare a record of the shipment, forward the original to the consignee, and retain a copy. (b) Form of record. The record of shipment referred to in paragraph (a) of this section may consist of either the record of tax determination required by §19.611 or any other document that contains the necessary information specified in paragraph (c) of this section. (c) Required information. The record of shipment required under this section must contain the following information: (1) The name, address, and registry number of the proprietor; (2) The date of shipment; (3) The name and address of the consignee; (4) The kind, proof, and quantity of distilled spirits in each container; (5) The number of shipping containers of each size; (6) The package identification numbers or serial numbers of the containers; (7) The serial number of the applicable record of tax determination; and (8) For distilled spirits containing eligible wine or eligible flavors, the effective tax rate. From here it looks like quantity of each container needs to be stated but I'm also guessing that means non-standard fills are acceptable. This is just a guess, but would make sense since it isn't for consumer sale. Additionally you can read through Part 17 covering the drawback process for the client you are selling too, that might have some good information in regards to what you need to provide: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=a89a1d294d443c17e47b8c7e52c950e1&mc=true&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title27/27cfr17_main_02.tpl
  16. This happens to us on rye and wheat, it depends on the size of your screen and type of grain you are using. We find the less plump grains making it through our 3/32 screen. We were using a 7/64th screen before, but found a slightly tighter screen helped a lot. Depending on your product flow rate and HP of the motor you can go tighter, but it will slow things down.
  17. This one https://www.saverglass.com/en/our-products/catalog-spirits/cognacaise-2536-oz-plate-bouchon-tete-29 ?
  18. It is rare, but not unheard of for people to use your Fedex or UPS number to ship you free samples (that way you get billed for the shipping) but that is a weird response.
  19. We do just hitempase, no bio up front with no hold until 185 for 20 minutes. Add bio, amylo and malt at 145 and hold 30, cool to fermentation. Works well for us, we see between 4.3 and 4.8 PGs of hearts per bushel on a single pass run.
  20. I agree, storage conditions can be a big concern for used wine casks, also neutrality, used red wine barrels can impart some cool color but from my experience I didn't like what it did to the taste. Even more neutral, white wine barrels we have gotten a distinct "vinous" character from that we have to be careful with in our blends. If you don't have access to used toasted cooperage, that is more neutral, I would recommend a very lightly toasted, no charred barrel. I would look at getting some barrels from Seguin Moreau, the Alc 2 toast specifically. That being said, you are likely looking at a pretty pricey brandy. For the most part we purchase brandy cooperage new, and then reuse multiple times and build blends of new and used. Our apple brandy is more used than new, we don't make a peach brandy though.
  21. You have to list both DSPs, Heaven Hill distills all their product at DSP-KY-1 and bottles at DSP-KY-31, as can be seen on this BIB label. https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=19156001000250
  22. We use a Colorado Milling Equipment HMS, 20 HP with 3/32 screen. Works well for us, we mill about 1000 pounds in 30 to 40 minutes. http://www.coloradomillequipment.com/equipment/hammermills/HMS Spec Sheet.pdf
  23. Depends on what your model/plan is, but I'm guessing that won't be enough. We have a 1,600 amp service for our distillery building, which is currently overkill. I was curious what our usage was at the moment, so I went to check. We are charging a forklift, operating 1 pump, our crossflow filter (which is a high-load), boiler & air compressor were cycling, and the still agitator were going. Plus lights, computers, etc we were at 235 amps. When we are cooking I have another 4 or so motors between 2 and 10 HP running. 3-phase is really nice to have for pumps and agitators... We run a 250 gallon Vendome, 500 gallon cooker, a couple 5 hp pumps, and some smaller stills with no electric.
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