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Start up : 55 gallon stainless drum tank barrell?


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Trying to start on a budget.... I can see the value in the stills and tanks professionally made, but, as a new startup, with a new brand, I want to start with as little money as possible, once I have permits, licenses and a product with positive momentum, I can justify higher equipment costs.

To that, I am thinking of using some 3 inch copper packed columns and 55 gallon drums. The drums would be used for the mash tun, HLT, and boiler for the still. It would be all electric. I want to make a Nuetral and a flavoured product. I would use the packed column for the nuetral and either remove the packing or build a 3 or 4 inch pot still head for the flavoured product. I am planning to insulate the barrells for efficiency.

I like this setup because the cost is low, and it can be expanded modularly as required... Or at least I think it can?

My question is, what sort of negatives will come with a setup like this? Can anyone foresee an issue that I have not thought about?

Thank you in advance and by the way, is is a great forum, I have learned a lot. Thank you to all who take the time to contribute.

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1. Take a professional distilling class.

2. Know and understand all and I mean all,the laws governing the sale of alcohol in your state.

3. Hire a consultant for a day, or invest in going to the ADI conference.

4. The still is the smallest issue of a distillery, capital and sales stream is first.

5. Business plan, business plan, business plan.

6. There is nothing wrong with a 55 gallon still, I started on smaller, but first identity what you want to make and design the still for it.

To me, the easiest conversation starting point is the equipment, but that, in retrospect, is the least important. As long as copper in in the vapor path and you know how to drive your still, you'll be fine. Just make sure you have enough capital to afford the screw ups, and or learning curve.

Best of luck

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