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39555Re: [Distillers] problems with a simple sugar mash2

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  • Andrew Bugal
    Jun 4, 2007
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      Trid has a good point, notable..."check your cuts".
       
      Not a few of us amateurs have been schooled initially in the thought of where the good stuff starts to come out of the reflux still based on temperature.
       
      For example, we started eyeballing the activity when the thermometer hit 79 degrees C and start to draw (after foreshots and heads collection) at around 82 degrees C.
       
      However, I find that from 82 degrees up to about 90 is where the hearts are.
       
      Give it time and if using a reflux still, let the equipment work.  I find that at least 1.5 hours of refluxing from 79 degrees before you draw the foreshots and the heads is a good average.  Remember, every still is different and the column length and diameter as well as the efficiency of the condensor and the heating temperature once you have reflux will affect your product so what I say is not a hard and fast rule - it depends on your equipment.  However, it is a pretty general rule.
       
      I am a manual distiller.  I do not have a management head and like some of the despicables in here take my cuts by taste (that is, start to seriously collect for drinking product that tastes good and smells good and will not offend anybody when cut into drinkable spirits).
       
      Just a thought.
       
      Regards,
       
      Bwyze

      Trid <triddlywinks@...> wrote:
      --- sourkrout8165 <orange_baron65@ hotmail.com> wrote:

      > I'm new to distilling but i have done my research i have made a couple
      > runs already and getting some good stuff but I'm having problems with
      > my mash. I'm using 13 gallons of water and 25 lbs of sugar according
      > to my math and the calcs. on home dist. of alc. i should be getting
      > close to two gallons of alcohol when i cook it off to 90% when i mean
      > close its a gallon and some change. i think its my water I'm using
      > spring water thats high in calcium but on 2 of my mashes i boiled the
      > water to settle the calcium and didn't add hardly any of the calcium
      > and still got the same result my mash takes 4 to 5 weeks to ferment
      > and when i run it i only get a half gallon of good product and i get
      > another half gallon of the tails. i am using k-1 yeast, yeast
      > nutrients and i have added baking soda on the last two mashes to
      > neutralize the acid and seems to be getting the same result. any help
      > would be greatly appreciated! !!!!

      There's a lot of questions regarding your procedure, but first and foremost,
      get a hydrometer. If you can measure the specific gravity before fermentation
      and after fermentation, you can be much closer to certain of how much distilled
      product you can expect in the end.
      Second: Stop with the baking soda. Yeast likes an acidic environment. Invest
      in some inexpensive pH testing strips to get a ballpark idea of what the pH of
      your wash is...if you're using rough measurement, shoot for between 5 and 6.

      You should get a *LOT* more than a sum total of one gallon of hearts and tails.
      Check also your cutting criteria...if you stop collecting too soon, you can be
      wasting valuable spirit and thus reducing your net product.

      Are you using a pot or reflux still? This too affects your method and criteria
      for collection.

      Hopefully this helps in the right direction.
      Trid
      -back from Portland, land of microbrews and microstills

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