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Hello all, and thank you!


CJS

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Hello All!

I just wanted to take a moment and introduce myself and to Thank You All for the great information I'm finding on here!

My friends call me C.J., I'm originally from a small rural town in WI, and hope to head back there soon (within the next two years) to begin my project.... although I'll be going back to a slightly larger town this time.

I joined this forum after getting the chance to speak with Bill Owens and being impressed at how knowledgeable and approachable he was.. he even sent me some great materials to my location overseas to help me out with my planning! I figured since he's such a stand-up guy, then I had to follow his recommendation of joining this forum. I'm really glad I did! I'm already finding a lot of answers to my questions, and of course finding out a ton more questions that I need to begin asking and researching.

My project in it's final form with be a Distillery/Brewery/Winery/ with a 60 acre Vineyard&Orchard with some rentals cabins. I know that this is going to be a complex undertaking, but I have it broken down into stages with the initial stage being the Distillery start-up and planting of the vines and fruit trees, followed by the outfitting of the brewery side, with the longer term term goal of establishment of the winery. This is going to be a family run project....I've already recruited two of my brothers and one of my sisters and soon perhaps a few other family members.

My current position in planning is determining the correct size for the distillery, size and type for the still or stills to purchase, with corresponding size equipment, tanks, ect, including outfitting for the brewery. I"m leaning towards following DryFly's path with a 450L still, but have been reading more about the efficiency of distillery operations utilizing two stills. My goal is to start purchasing the equipment this coming year. Any guidance, recommendations, or opinions on equipment layout and operations is always welcome.

I wish you all the best of luck with your endeavors! I look forward to reading about your thoughts, opinions, and experiences on here!

Regards,

C.J.

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Welcome CJ and wishing you the best with your venture.

Something you might think about is maybe start with the brewery first. This will give you everything needed to do the distillery, except the still. Plus, you'll be making a profit right off the bat. Wine and whiskey take time to age, so having something generating income would be good. Another thing is to add more floor drains than you think you need, you can never have too many floor drains.

Best of luck to you and your family.

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I have another client doing the brewery/distillery combo, he is trying to get as much equipment in phase 1 that can be dual purpose for phase 2. Luckily he has a well and a milkhouse from the farm that was there for his mash cooling that he can concentrate the chiller on alcohol cooling for the brewery side until next year.

We spent a lot of time going over calcs to decide what sizes would be needed for now and later down the road.

Anything I can help with, give me a shout.Good luck!

Mike

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Hey Pano... great point. One of the issues I'm having right now is settling on a still size in relation to brewery size... and in relation to projected growth needs while taking into account dual purpose equipment sharing. lol.. I'm currently thinking a 600L or 1200L still to start, and was thinking a 15bbl or 20bbl brewery (I know there are a lot of nano-brewers that would get mad at me but there are a lot of cost analysis papers that point to 15bbl as being the smallest viable size for decent profits) I only wish there were more studies of the distillery industry to refer to!

Hey Mike! oddly enough.. you're already on my list of people to contact from reading through this awesome forum! Any pointers as to the matching up sizing of a Distillery to a Brewery would be great! (that other client of yours sounds like someone I'd love to speak to as well) needless to say, once I get that portion down I'll be needing some heating and cooling advice, equipment lists, and pricing. :)

Thanks for the welcome!

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CJ,

The client I mentioned is located outside of NYC up the Hudson, and has his still and just received the cooling equipment. I believe it will be into spring before he gets all the pieces together.

I have received another referral from a distillery consultant for cooling on a distillery/brewery out West but it's plans haven't gotten to the chiller services yet.

What I've noticed so far is that there is a reconciliation that has to be looked at for adapting the low temp glycol service required for the brewery side and the higher temp water (or glycol) service for the distillery. I am researching adding a heat-pump partnership to integrate into the system to serve a portion of the load and to supply hot water for various uses.

Like you say, plenty to do to plan for two markets!

Mike

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Hey Pano,

I was thinking a 20bbl (roughly 620 gal) would match up well with a 1200L (317.01 gal) still?

Also, wouldn't having a separate mash tun and lauter tun allow for more efficiency just like having a double sized mash/lauter tun? Essentially allowing a 10 or 15bbl to double production? or on the flip side still do a smaller run for beer or distilling if I wanted to change up a recipe, as well as allowing for fine tweaking of beer? Of course I'd still need some double capacity in my tanks. (I'm also pricing an idea of starting with a set of a 150 gal (600L) & 600 gal (2400L) stills.)

Hi Mike, Keep me posted! My future system will need cooling for brewing, heat for the distillery, and heating and cooling for the winery! lol. It will definitely keep the planning for these interesting. I think you may be finding yourself a nice niche market!

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Depends on the specs of the still, meaning some still manufactures list the total size of the pot and some list what the pot should be charged with. Rule of thumb is 2/3rds fill, 1/3 headspace. So, a 450 gallon pot would take a charge of 300 gallons. I charge my 100 gallon still with about 65-70 gallons of wash. But, if your still is rated to the size of the wash that it can take, then you're fine. I haven't run a large still like a 300, so not sure if you could get away with less headspace.

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Pano,

Great points! I came across that in the forum, and asked Steve at Artisan Stills, it seems that their stills are rated to the charge. :) He seems pretty reasonable as well as pretty patient with my non-stop questions...I actually feel pretty guilty about how many I do ask. lol. I'll be checking around just in case before finalizing the equipment manufacturer of course, but so far Artisan Stills has some awesome customer service! I hope you're having a great weekend.

Regards,

C.J.

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