Alcohol Measurements in a Winery – Distillery

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Making Alcohol Measurements in a Winery – Distillery

We will be spending the day at Warwick Valley Winery and the Black Dirt Distillery, located in Warwick, New York.

Co-founders of Black Dirt Distillery and Warwick Valley Winery, Jason Grizzanti and Jeremy Kidde, have been in the business of making alcohol based beverages for over 25 years. Starting as fruit cultivators, the two men fell in love with the idea of making hard cider form Apples, and opened their farm winery in 1994.

Since then, the two men have spent years perfecting their products, and have created even more product lines since. With the opening of their newest production facility, Black Dirt Distillery, in 2012, the co-founders have expanded the production of their spirit products to include bourbon whiskey, rye whiskey, and Apple Jack Brandy.

Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery is located in the foothills of the New York State’s Hudson Valley. With over 120 acres of manicured grounds, gardens, and various building it is a wonderful place to spend a day. The Winery and Distillery produce a wide range of products including award-winning and New York’s original hard cider, Doc’s Cider.

The Black Dirt Distillery was the first micro-distillery to open in New York State since prohibition and is where the Double Gold award winning Black Dirt Bourbon was created. In addition the Winery produces a critically acclaimed wine collection, and they make a mean sangria as well as excellent cocktails. Locally sourced food is available and they offer a gourmet farm-to-table style cuisine. To complete your experience great musicians play here every weekend, and 4 music festivals are held during the summer months.

Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery has recently purchased a Rudolph AlcoTest-RI, and with the help of Darvin Martin from Rudolph Research Analytical, we would like to show you the many ways the AlcoTest-RI can be used in your winery and distillery. It is truly an all-purpose, time saving, instrument for a multi-product production environment such as a winery-distillery.

– Rudolph Research Analytical makes it faster than ever to test the % ABV value of alcoholic products with consistent accuracy, using the new AlcoTest-RI.

– The AlcoTest-RI, which includes the TTB approved DDM 2911 Plus density meter, is a great way to measure the specific gravity of “distiller’s beer” right before and right after fermentation to calculate % ABV of the finished beer. The results can be stored right on the instrument so you can monitor your batches over time.

This is a great way to monitor and maximize the %ABV yield from your mash. Varying the mash bill, fermentation time, the yeast, and temperature will have an effect of the %ABV yield of the finished distiller’s Beer.

– When making cuts from the still and when barreling, the highly accurate Density Meter component of AlcoTest-RI can be used to measure “Percent ABV” to make cuts and dilutions precisely and consistently, every time.

The DDM2911 PLUS also has on-board software for calculating dilutions as per the TTB gauging manual. This feature is called AlcoCalcTM

– The TTB requires that obscured products like an Apple Pie Moonshine be distilled in a lab still to remove just the water and alcohol so that the %ABV can be measured in a TTB approved density meter or with a hydrometer. When blending down an obscured spirit this might necessitate several, hour long distillations.

– One of the great advantages of the AlcoTest-RI is it can deliver accurate but “Unofficial” Percent ABV readings of obscured products. In less than 2 minutes you can have a Percent ABV measurement, then continue diluting and blending – this save hours of work on each batch and countless hours each month. Only the final measurement for label value would have to be done with the lab still and it is possible to eliminate many of those distillations as well.

– When using the AlcoTest-RI in production mode the % ABV measurements are quite accurate without distillation even on obscured samples like wines and ciders. The refractometer sees the obscuration in the sample and is able to compensate for this when testing the density / Percent ABV. Since tax is paid by volume at a flat on these lower %ABV products your main concern is being below the Percent ABV limit. The AlcoTest-RI will be more that accurate enough for measuring these products.

– If you are a winery, distillery, or a combination of both, the AlcoTest-RI is the perfect instrument for your application providing any and all alcohol related testing in one system. It is really the ideal testing solution for all of the many testing activities that might be used in the making of high proof spirits, wine and cider.

The TTB requires that obscured products like an Apple Pie Moonshine be distilled in a lab still to remove just the water and alcohol so that the Percent ABV can be measured in a TTB approved density meter or with a hydrometer. When blending down an obscured spirit this might necessitate several, hour long distillations.

We enjoyed spending the day with Jason and wish the team well with their new instrumentation. We would certainly encourage anyone able make it to the area to visit Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery and sample some of their excellent products.