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Measuring Ethanol + Equipment Setup


tgif

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Hi Everyone,

We are currently producing in small batches but are considering a 230L still setup so I have a couple of simple equipment questions that may help us when we increase output. Any advice is recommended

Question 1. Besides using scales/measuring by weight, what other ways are there to measure both the amount of ethanol pumped from Tank A to Tank B and also the amount of water pumped into the blending tank for dilution? Any advice on investing in a batch controller/flowmeter system or will that be impractical due to costs?

Question 2. Any recommendations or things to look out for in blending/spirit holding tanks in the 200L range?

Question 3. Is it wise to invest in a large agitator to ensure the distillate and water are properly blended together during dilution?

Question 4. Are IBC containers good enough for storing RO water?

Question 5. Any recommendations on a setup to strain (hot) spent botanicals/mash safely?

Thanks.

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Question 1. Besides using scales/measuring by weight, what other ways are there to measure both the amount of ethanol pumped from Tank A to Tank B and also the amount of water pumped into the blending tank for dilution? Any advice on investing in a batch controller/flowmeter system or will that be impractical due to costs? - pay for a tank calibration service.

Question 2. Any recommendations or things to look out for in blending/spirit holding tanks in the 200L range? adequate (or forced) ventilation.

Question 3. Is it wise to invest in a large agitator to ensure the distillate and water are properly blended together during dilution? recirculate with the pump you already own instead

Question 4. Are IBC containers good enough for storing RO water? why wouldn't they be? but consider they dont block light so how long would you store, how would you ensure cleanliness.

Question 5. Any recommendations on a setup to strain (hot) spent botanicals/mash safely? put them in a bag in the still to allow easy removal afterwards and negate this task.

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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.

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