|Project by pel1961||posted 03-24-2015 04:13 AM||2178 views||5 times favorited||16 comments|
First post. Hope you enjoy. Not many photos, I was too busy making sawdust.
This is a project I did for my neighbor on Main Street in Crestview, FL (Peaden Brothers Distillery). They were just getting started with their business and had purchased a 150 gallon mash fermentation tank from a company and paid a lot of money for it. It wasn’t very attractive, was made quite cheaply, was warped, and it leaked. I’ve never attempted anything like this before, but felt pretty sure I could do a better job, so I offered to build one for them, since the business was in the growing stage and they were still on a tight budget.
Starting with some beautiful cypress planks from a local lumber yard, I went to work with my trusty Shopsmith and it wasn’t long, I was staring at a table full of mitered staves. Now what? It was a bit tricky holding them all together until I could get a tiedown strap ratcheted down to hold them. Once I had all three metal straps on and tightened, it was perfectly round and solid. After I had it mounted on the base, I removed the metal straps and painted them, stained the outside of the tank, put it all back together, filled it with water to swell the wood to make it leak free.
After a day of soaking, and a few well placed taps of a mallet, not a drop leaked anywhere. I delivered it to the Distillery where is has been in use and has fermented countless gallons of corn mash for Moonshine. Their original “purchased” tank has suffered two major failures (only in use for a year) and I will be repairing it. One of the metal bands snapped (rusted through) and the the drain pipe fell off and 100 gallons of hot water (at cooking temperature) gushed out the bottom. Luckily, nobody was burned.
I will soon be building a new 260 gallon fermentation tank and as business grows, who knows, I may have to attempt a 500 gallon tank.
-- Paul, Crestview, FL