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Re: First Still

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  • Harry
    First question then is, is this the kind of steam you were envisioning?  Is there a danger here I ve overlooked? That s 2 questions.    (just kidding) Ok
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 25, 2010
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      First question then is, is this the kind of steam you were envisioning?  Is there a danger here I've overlooked?

      That's 2 questions.    (just kidding)
      Ok you have a low pressure boiler and you know how to run it to heat things.  That's good.

      Second, I wasn't envisioning making 20 bottles.  One of us has mis-interpreted quantities here (likely me).  I'm thinking I start with 30-gallons of corn mash, then end up with considerably less product.  If I estimated correctly after some research, about 3-4 gallons.  True, that's quite a bit to drink, but it's nowhere near commercial and takes up a lot less space than beer.

      What strength do you envisage your 30-gallon corn mash to be?  If you think 3-4 gallons of product yield, then you must be reckoning on 10-13% potential for the 30-gallons.  That's about right as that's what most folks start with by upping the gravity with a bit of sugar.  An all-corn mash without added sugar has low gravity (5%?) and it's a lot of work (and risk of infection) for little yield.  So, say you end up with 3-4 gallons of alcohol.  That alcohol is at 80% abv or better.  Cut it to drinking strength and you now have 6-8 gallons of 40% abv.  Let's say 7-gallons to make figuring easy.  7-gallons is 35 "fifths" or bottles.  All from one batch.
       
      My friend, that IS commercial production, albeit the smaller artisan end of the scale.
       
      What I'm trying to point out to you is... that's not the sort of size or setup a learner at distilling should begin with.  You need a small still, and small test batches.  Perfect your distilling first, then advance from there.
       
      As to your question, yes, I am seriously considering becoming a 1Bbl/week nano-brewery and have already scoped out two available retail outlets for my product, both with their own complications and costs.  The logical step after that would be to start distributing spirits, but I'm in for a 2-year learning curve and tons of paperwork before I would consider going commercial.  If I did, the same retail outlets that I used for beer should be translate.

      Better check out all the licencing regulations/requirements here...

      TTBGov  

      This is the 'Welcome to TTBGov'; page. It has brief announcements and links to all the main pages withing TTBGov.

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      One thing they're NOT gonna let you do is make beer products and distilled products on the same licence OR SAME PREMESIS

       
      Slainte!
      regards Harry 
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      --- On Fri, 26/11/10, toscrawford <toswho@...> wrote:

      From: toscrawford <toswho@...>
      Subject: Re: First Still
      To: "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
      Received: Friday, 26 November, 2010, 12:26 AM

      I don't think we're talking about the same kind of steam.

      My home had two steam boilers, about 105,000 BTU.  We converted the home to hot-water heat, and one of the boilers.  The spare steam boiler sat around unused for 10-years until I got lucky and received a 120L steam jacketed boil-kettle from a factory that closed.  I've used it to make 6-batches of beer in the 7-15 gallon range without incident, though there has been a learning curve.

      The boiler has a proper hartford loop and working low-water cutoff.  The steam generated travels through black pipe to a radiator hose to black pipe to the steam-jacket.  The kettle is welded 304 stainless and is 40psi pressure rated.  There are two 15psi pressure relief valves with pressure gauge and a return hose to the boiler.  At max it's never gone above 10psi so the pressure relief has never triggered.  At the bottom of the kettle is a steam trap where the condensed water escapes and heads down the drain.  My next upgrade is to rig it with an auto-water feed, which should improve both convenience and safety.

      First question then is, is this the kind of steam you were envisioning?  Is there a danger here I've overlooked?

      Second, I wasn't envisioning making 20 bottles.  One of us has mis-interpreted quantities here (likely me).  I'm thinking I start with 30-gallons of corn mash, then end up with considerably less product.  If I estimated correctly after some research, about 3-4 gallons.  True, that's quite a bit to drink, but it's nowhere near commercial and takes up a lot less space than beer.

      With beer I would never start with 30-gallons of wort, it would boil over and I'd spend the next week cleaning the floor.  I don't know if wash boils over, but I had the impression it would not because it would mash well below boil.

      My mash tun for all-grain beer are coolers that can hold 30-45 pounds of grain, plus steeping water.  That would be enough for 31 gallons (1Bbl) of regular beer, less of something stronger.  Fortunately I also have a source of 1Bbl fermenters.  The question here is should I be using the same mash tun for wash as wort?  Probably.  I can scale up my mash tun way easier than my boil kettle.

      As to your question, yes, I am seriously considering becoming a 1Bbl/week nano-brewery and have already scoped out two available retail outlets for my product, both with their own complications and costs.  The logical step after that would be to start distributing spirits, but I'm in for a 2-year learning curve and tons of paperwork before I would consider going commercial.  If I did, the same retail outlets that I used for beer should be translate.

      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
      >
      > The very first thing you should do is decide if you want to be a hobbyist or a commercial artisan.  A 120 litre batch charge will produce minimum 30 bottles of drinking strength spirits per each batch.  I'm pretty good, but I can't drink that much in 6 months.
      >
      > Second thing... Steam boilers are dangerous, dangerous, dangerous.  If you don't know how to distill yet, leave them well alone.  There's a good commonsense reason why you have to licence a steam boiler AND the operator.
      >
      > Start with a 2" bokakob column to make neutral.  Put it on a 20 litre or so boiler.  After a few runs, when you know how to make good neutral spirits, try a pot still for flavoured brown spirits.  If either of these fill your needs, sell the steam rig to a bigger outfit & use the money to perfect your HOBBY.
      >
      > If you still wanna be commercial, the steam rig will need considerable expert re-working to turn it into a true eau-de-vie still.  Really it's only a heat source.  The still proper is in the riser (bubble plated column, packed column or scotch type swan-neck).
      >
      > Either way you finally decide, at least you'll know how to distill, without risking your all.
      >
      >
      >
      > Slainte!
      > regards Harry
      >



       
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