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Measuring bulk spirits


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Wondering how other distilleries are measuring the volume of tanks, barrels, etc. that contain bulk spirits, and with what degree of accuracy? Once the spirits are bottled, of course, volume is easy, but the difficulty for us comes after distillation but before bottling. We are trying to improve our record-keeping accuracy and would appreciate any tips.


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GW Kent is a great supply company. But where to get the glass tubes?

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Sight glasses work, but they're a pain to use because temperature must be accounted for, as well as the shape of the tank (in the case of irregularly shaped tanks, or cylinders on their sides).

In contrast, weight does not change as a function of temperature or vessel shape, therefore, we choose to determine volume by weight...it's just sh__loads easier

In the simplest case, small batches can be weighed to 1/10 LB accuracy using a scale like this:

UFM-F300 by UWE

We find this one just fine for barrel-sized lots. We've found that those simple 4-wheel furniture dollys sit just above the platform, and are fine for shuffling the barrels on/off of the platform. In an ideal world, we would have built a ramp and built-up platform that we could roll the dolly and barrel onto as a unit. Important hint: weigh the barrels first, and mark the weight on the outside.

Once you have the weight, proof again and use one of the TTB tables to determine volume.

For larger volumes, many producers invest in a single tax determination tank sitting on load cells, and they use this for everything...pump-in weigh, pump-out.

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