Observations On Erecting Distilleries

Those who are about to erect distilleries, have a handsome subject for

consideration; the advantages, and the probable disadvantages that may

arise from building on a particular site, or seat. The contiguity to a

chopping mill is a material consideration--Wood forming an important

article, should be taken into view--Grain merits also a great share of

attention. The water which forms, by no means, the least important

redient should be well analyzed; and a share of thought is due to

the subject of a market for the whiskey, spirits and pork, produced from

the establishment.--And should the water then prove good, soft and

proper for fermentation, can be bro't over head, and the chopping mill

is not very inconvenient, and wood convenient and cheap, and grain

plenty and at reasonable prices, and a market within one hundred miles,

I have little doubt but that with proper economy and observance of

system, the establishment will prove very productive; and may be

progressed in with cheerfulness, and a reasonable hope of a fair

retribution to the owner.

A proper seat being fixed on, with sufficient fall to bring the water

over head, for it is very material, and an immense saving of

labor--material, because it prevents a loss, in running the stills, from

pumping or want of water in the cooling tubs. The size of the house

follows, as requiring some more than usual calculation--houses are

generally made too small, giving great inconvenience, and preventing

that nice attention to cleanliness, which forms a very important item

in the process of distilling. I would recommend a size sufficiently

large for three stills, and to mash six hogsheads per day--one of col.

Anderson's patent improved stills, I would consider, in many situations,

as most desirable; at all events, I would recommend the preparation of

room enough for three stills, if even it should be the intention of the

owner to erect but two--for it is very probable, that after some

experience, he may determine to pursue the business more extensively,

and add the patent still.

The size then established, I would recommend the lower story to be 10

feet high, this will leave room for the heated, or rarefied air to

ascend in the summer above the cooler, and more necessary air in the

warm season of the year, and prevent the unpleasant effect of a too warm

air on the mashing hogsheads, and the sowing of the stuff in

fermentation--and moreover, prevent the unpleasant effects of smoak on

the distillers eyes. But it is important that the house should be

erected on level ground with doors opposite each other, with plenty of

windows to afford a draft and recourse of air, at pleasure, during the

warm season; and so that in the winter it may be closed and preserved

perfectly warm--to which end it is most expedient the lower story

should be well built with stone and lime, and neatly plastered--the

windows well glazed, with shutters &c. Thus provided, and a thermometer

placed in the centre of the house, a proper temperature may be kept up

in the air of the house--for there is a certain degree of warmth which

exceeds for fermentation--this degree of heat, then correctly

ascertained by the distiller, he may by a close attention to his duties,

fires and the thermometer, always keep the air of the house in nearly

that same and most approved state; and even by a well timed observation

guard against storms and casualties. To effectuate this grand and

important object, some have divided the stills, placing the boiler at

one end, and a singling and doubling still at the other; this mode will

ensure, in cold weather, the success of the measure more fully--others

have placed all the stills in the centre of the building--a plan that

will do better in the winter than in the summer, and one I think less

favourably of than that of dividing them.

During the winter, the north or northwest side of the house should be

kept quite close, permitting the house to be lighted from the more

temperate southward exposure. To calculate the window sashes to open by

hinges, or to be taken entirely out in the summer, at pleasure, is in my

mind advisable.