Looking for some quick and easy ways to improve your DSP operations? Here are some process improvements that you can implement to save time and money, while reducing your risk of noncompliance.
- Do you know about specialized equipment that can save your DSP operations time and money?
- Drum & Barrel handling equipment (carts/racks)
- Barrel bung removal tool
- IBC Tote top removal tool
- Poly wine thief for taking samples
- Is your space and workflow optimized? Consider setting aside a dedicated space for your proofing and compliance tasks. Whether you’re using a hydrometer or a density meter, having a clean work space with good lighting and a computer nearby will help you gauge your spirits consistently and encourage you to record your results immediately, both of which are good business practice and required by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). See 27 CFR Subpart V
- Odds are you’ve got some excellent cleaning products right on hand. Use your heads or GNS to clean & disinfect surfaces, tanks and more (bear in mind the explosive tendencies of the vapor, though!). These products evaporate quickly, leaving behind a clean and dry surface.
- Are you gauging, cutting and fortifying by weight? Many craft distilleries just eyeball containers to estimate their liquid volume. However, that is only permitted by the CFR for tanks above 100 gallons which are permanently mounted and have a sight glass & calibration chart. If you are gauging a drum, barrel or tote then you need to gauge by placing the container on an appropriate scale and net out the tare weight of the container. Once you’re used to it, this method is faster and more accurate than volumetric measurement. Dx5 & Whiskey Systems automatically convert weight to wine gallons and proof gallons when recording your operations. See 27 CFR Subpart D
- Here’s a tip for checking your fill heights by mass (weight). We’ll assume you are bottling 750ml of 80pf Vodka using a 2-head bottle filler:
- Place two empty bottles on a suitable scale (i.e. readable to 0.1 gram with 5kg capacity) and press “Tare”
- Fill the bottles and immediately return them to the scale without capping. The weight displayed is the total weight for 2 bottles worth of liquid (i.e. 1.5 Liters)
- Using blending software or Table 4 of the TTB Gauging Manual, compute the expected weight of 1.5L of 80 proof spirit.
- Compare your measured weight to this computed weight and adjust your fill heights accordingly
- Are you gauging at all the required times? You are required to gauge (determine volume and proof) of your batches upon production, when you transfer between vessels, when you receive spirits by transfer-in-bond, upon cutting or mingling, before and after bottling, and much more. Dx5 & WhiskeySystems encourage good gauging habits by requesting gauges at appropriate times during production. See 27 CFR § 19.283
- Have you kept your Federal Basic Permit up to date with operational changes? You are required to amend your permit before you put into use any new tanks, stills, or other spirit-handling equipment. Major changes in your business structure or ownership must be reported; heck, you even have to update your permit when an individual receives or gives up keys to your DSP building. See 27 CFR Subpart E
If you’d like help with CFR requirements or how to implement improvements for your DSP operations we’re here to help. Reach out to us here to schedule time with our consultant and take your operations to the next level.
Tyler Derheim is Fx5’s in-house consultant, using his expertise to help distilleries of all sizes make it easier to make great things. Tyler first entered the regulated beverage industry in 2010, when he started working harvest and crush at a midsize winery in Slovenia. After returning to California in 2017 he joined a startup DSP, with responsibilities for formulation, production, compliance, lab services, and more. In 18 months, he led the DSP from mason jars and buckets to tankers and trailers, then moved into a freelance consulting role, helping distilleries of all sizes with every aspect of production, operations, and compliance. A long-time Fx5 user, Tyler brings a wealth of experience unmatched in the industry.