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38137Adventures in sour mash

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  • Trid
    Jan 1, 2007
      So, roughly following Ian Smiley's sour mash process, I'm working on a peated
      malt sour mash whisk(e)y. Of course, in my typical
      mad-scientist-figure-it-out-as-I-go-who-needs-to-take-notes fashion, I'll
      attempt a recap of the festivities thusfar.

      note: this is being performed in a 5 gallon bucket

      One...had some[1] hulled barley that I got in bulk at the organic market
      ($0.45/lb attracted my inner cheapskate) which I ground with SWMBO's coffee
      mill (already conceded to owing her a new one).

      Two...mashed the raw barley with some[2] 6-row malt. Totally neglected the
      iodine test.

      Three...when the mash was cool, added water and some[3] peated 2-row and mixed
      it all up good and sloshy (for aeration) and let 'er sit for a week or so.

      Four...skimmed some floaties (per Smiley, floaty=spent grain) and let it
      continue to work, adding a pound of peated malt somewhere in there.

      Five...after the grains (considering the grains occupy 3/4+ of the bucket's
      volume, I can't really call it "trub") settled, all the floaties have been
      skimmed, and the liquid portion appears to look like it's clarifying, I rack
      the liquid off the grains into a separate bucket with a spigot.

      Six...replace the liquid volume with clean water, and add some [4] 6-row malt,
      and stir madly (more O2, more mixy goodness, and trying to maximize
      enzyme/starch contact).

      Seven...repeat four and five until the second bucket is filled.

      Eight...when bucket #2 is full, run its contents through a stripping run. When
      done, and backset is cool enough, replace the liquid volume from the last
      racking with backset and some more peated malt. Keep remaining backset in a

      Nine...repeat four and five again, with liquid replacement step alternating
      between water and backset. One of these days, it might be worthwhile testing
      the pH, yanno?

      Ten...repeat eight and nine...

      So, I just finished my third stripping run. I'm obviously getting impatient.
      A 4 gallon stripping run yielded about 1 1/2 L where it should have been 2+

      Personal notes...I need to keep track of the mash and either time the rackings
      specifically, or possibly do an iodine test to confirm when all the starches
      have converted. I would consider that the yeast would work about as fast as
      the starches can be converted (ambient temp between 66 and 72) so no starch
      would equal no sugars/max ethanol. Second, replenish spent grains in a more
      controlled manner...like, oh, I dunno...measuring :)

      [1] I think it was somewhere around 4-5 lb
      [2] perhaps about a pound
      [3] I think it was 1 1/2 lb
      [4] whatever was left in the bag...no clue at all how much a pound, maybe 2???

      Anyway, over the course of the experiment thusfar, I have about 2 gallons of
      low wines. I'm on the fence right now if I want to run them all in a polishing
      run and save the feints for the next round of low wines, or if I want to do one
      to 1 1/2 gallons and then add the feints to the remaining low wines and polish

      -will keep you posted...feel free to add any feedback
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