After results are averaged and the yield, pH, and other data are found favorable and consistent, it is time to scale up to actual equipment. This will require testing and more adjustments should be anticipated as the change is scale and equipment will lend new problems. If this occurs, it is back to the small scale to determine the solution. Research and development leads to a wealth of knowledge for the small distillery. The best way to more fully utilize this knowledge is to make a guide. Every distillery should have a troubleshooting guide with all the answers to the problems that have already been solved.
TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE A troubleshooting guide is one of the most important tools of the small distillery. It contains all the lessons learned and the knowledge gained during operations. Part of developing processes is recording the steps and actions that do not work. These failed attempts should be recorded so they are not repeated.
Brooks Grain Improving the quality of life with grain. www.brooksgrain.com
to the distilling industry for over 50 years.
This guide is an important reactive tool for new employees. New employees should have this troubleshooting guide included in their training manual. The purpose of this guide is to make problem solving more efficient. It instils a knowledge that normally someone can only gain by doing. Specifically, it helps with the unique set of problems that plagues every facility. It is an operational quality control must.
CONCLUSION A good quality management program will help make a quality and consistent product more achievable. Developing good processes, good production documentation, and extensive employee training programs, and a sensory analysis program will all aid a quality management program. The initial focal point of this program should be process development. This is the start to making great spirits. One of the most important aspects of process development is time. Research, scientific trials, and analysis all take time. A time investment that will eventually develop into an asset to the small distilleryâ€™s quality management program.
Molly Troupe is currently the master distiller at Freeland Spirits, located in Portland, Oregon. Her previous experience includes both Oregon Spirit Distillers as the production manager and lead distiller and at Hood River Distillers, Inc, as a quality control assistant. Along with her experience, Molly has an M.S.c in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University and a B.S. in chemistry from Southeast Oregon University. 118â€
The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.