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Re: Agave Nectar or syrup Pulque-Mezcal-Tequila pruduction experiments

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  • Tarvus
    ... pursuit of ... his ... must ... For Matt SF, acthegreatone, and all others interested in the agave nectar experiment, Last night I mixed up my first batch
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 1, 2004
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      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Matt SF <spore@p...> wrote:
      > On Mon, Jan 26, 2004 at 05:33:24PM -0000, acthegreatone wrote:


      > For my part, I've posted all I know (which isn't much) on this
      pursuit of
      > distilling from agave nectar. For now, we might look to Tarvus and
      his
      > results since he has already learned from my mistake of making a
      must
      > that is too high in sugars for a speedy fermentation.

      For Matt SF, acthegreatone, and all others interested in the agave
      nectar experiment,

      Last night I mixed up my first batch of agave nectar wash. Learning
      from Matt's experience with a too high original gravity, I
      deliberately mixed mine into a more dilute solution. Matt had sent
      me a pdf file explaining in detail tequila production and the article
      stated that natural agave juice fermented out to about 6% abv, so
      that was what I was shooting for.

      Basicaly, I added 18 pounds (6 quarts) of agave nectar to 2 gallons
      of boiling water, removed from heat, stirred, then cooled by adding
      another 13 1/2 gallons of cold water. I split the wash into 2
      fermenters for ease of handling and to accomodate my initial plan of
      trying out 2 different yeasts (48 hr turbo and regular baker's
      yeast). I was uncertain, however, whether the agave must had
      sufficient yeast nutrients, and given the high cost of the nectar
      ($100 US for 6 quarts) I decided to play it safe and use the turbo
      yeast in both batches knowing it had nutrients included.

      My hydrometer reading showed the starting gravity at just under 6%
      potential (1.044), but that was not corrected for the still warm
      temperature of the wash. I estimate the corrected gravity would have
      been roughly 1.050 giving about 6 1/2% potential alcohol.

      Both fermenters are bubbling merrily away in my laundry room at this
      moment. Given the low starting gravity, the yeast used, and the
      ambient temperature inside, the fermentation should easily finish
      within 2 days. I'll keep the group updated!

      best regards,
      Tar
    • Matt SF
      ... great report Tar, thanks for the info. Also let us know how the flavor profile comes out with the turbo yeasts; i m worried they would sacrifice desirable
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 2, 2004
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        On Sun, Feb 01, 2004 at 02:54:14PM -0000, Tarvus wrote:
        > ($100 US for 6 quarts) I decided to play it safe and use the turbo
        > yeast in both batches knowing it had nutrients included.
        >
        > My hydrometer reading showed the starting gravity at just under 6%
        > potential (1.044), but that was not corrected for the still warm
        > temperature of the wash. I estimate the corrected gravity would have
        > been roughly 1.050 giving about 6 1/2% potential alcohol.

        great report Tar, thanks for the info. Also let us know how the flavor
        profile comes out with the turbo yeasts; i'm worried they would sacrifice
        desirable organoleptics for higher alcohol. So for my next batch I'm
        going to try a wine yeast (probably Lalvin K1V-1116) and a proper
        nutrient balance.

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      • Paul William
        Where did you get the agave nectar from? - Paul
        Message 3 of 12 , Feb 2, 2004
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          Where did you get the agave nectar from? - Paul
        • Tarvus
          ... Sweet Cactus Farms. Here s a link... http://www.sweetcactusfarms.com/orders.htm Tar
          Message 4 of 12 , Feb 3, 2004
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            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Paul William" <stihl056paul@y...>
            wrote:
            > Where did you get the agave nectar from? - Paul

            Sweet Cactus Farms. Here's a link...
            http://www.sweetcactusfarms.com/orders.htm

            Tar
          • Tarvus
            ... flavor ... sacrifice ... I m ... Hello everybody, Here s the agave nectar update: The agave fermentation finished out at .995 I ran the batch this
            Message 5 of 12 , Feb 3, 2004
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              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Matt SF <spore@p...> wrote:

              > great report Tar, thanks for the info. Also let us know how the
              flavor
              > profile comes out with the turbo yeasts; i'm worried they would
              sacrifice
              > desirable organoleptics for higher alcohol. So for my next batch
              I'm
              > going to try a wine yeast (probably Lalvin K1V-1116) and a proper
              > nutrient balance.

              Hello everybody,
              Here's the agave nectar update:

              The agave fermentation finished out at .995

              I ran the batch this afternoon. I discarded about an ounce and a
              half of foreshots then started collecting. I kept the first pint
              separate, collected 3 quarts, then kept the last 3 pints separate in
              pint jars. I chilled everything down to 60F in my freezer to be able
              to get an accurate alcohol reading.

              The first pint and the 3 quart jars were crystal clear when chilled,
              but the last 3 pint jars were clouding. I opted to use one pint (the
              least cloudy) from the last three and all the earlier clear stuff in
              my batch. So I wound up with exactly one gallon which measured out
              at 92% abv. I cut it back to 80 proof and as soon as I added the
              water, I realized it was a mistake to include that last pint. The
              whole batch clouded slightly - not bad, but not what I wanted
              cosmetically. Obviously I let a bit too much of the tails come thru
              and the fusils in that last pint are clouding. I deliberately made
              the cut later than usual because I wanted to capture as much flavor
              as possible. I must admit, the tequila tastes very good - very
              smooth and sweet with that gentle bite good pure agave tequilas
              have. I am dissapointed though that it is slightly cloudy. I will
              probably re-distill it tomorrow and narrow the cut just a bit to
              remove the cloudyness.

              All in all, I am quite pleased with the results. The turbo yeast
              allowed plenty of flavor to come through. I may experiment with
              different yeasts in future batches though - just to see what impact
              yeast selection has on flavor.

              I was a bit dissapointed in yield. There must be some unfermentable
              dextrines in the agave nectar since it finished fermenting at .995
              whereas I usually finish at about .98 with a sugar wash and turbo
              yeast.

              Recommendations and lessons learned:
              #1. The 5 gallon bucket is a better deal than ordering 6 quarts of
              agave nectar. $200 per 20 quarts versus $100 for 6 quarts when
              ordering jugs. Next time, I will go with a full bucket.

              #2. Much of the flavor of tequila is in the heads. Be stingy with
              how much of the heads you throw away.

              #3. Don't try to stretch the run on the back side. Better to cut
              tails too early than too late.

              #4. 8 kg of agave nectar won't give you the same yield as 8 kg of
              sugar.

              #5. If you try the agave nectar route, it WILL make good tequila! :)

              best regards,
              Tar
              sipping on a shot glass full of "El Mulo Blanco Mojo Tarquila" as he
              types this message :-)
            • theholymackerel
              Thankyou, God bless you, and thankyou again. Yer the first person I ve ever seen post about makin their own tequilla. Thanks for postin all the way through
              Message 6 of 12 , Feb 3, 2004
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                Thankyou, God bless you, and thankyou again.

                Yer the first person I've ever seen post about makin' their own
                tequilla.

                Thanks for postin' all the way through yer project. Ya got me
                thinkin' now.

                Are ya gonna drink it white and young, or aged and on oak? Please
                let us all know what ya do, and how it comes out.

                Best of luck, THM
              • Tarvus
                ... Glad you found the postings of value, THM! :) This batch I will drink as a silver. I may experiment in future batches with oak aging a reposado and anejo.
                Message 7 of 12 , Feb 3, 2004
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                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "theholymackerel"
                  <theholymackerel13@y...> wrote:
                  > Thankyou, God bless you, and thankyou again.
                  >
                  > Yer the first person I've ever seen post about makin' their own
                  > tequilla.
                  >
                  > Thanks for postin' all the way through yer project. Ya got me
                  > thinkin' now.
                  >
                  > Are ya gonna drink it white and young, or aged and on oak? Please
                  > let us all know what ya do, and how it comes out.
                  >

                  Glad you found the postings of value, THM! :)

                  This batch I will drink as a silver. I may experiment in future
                  batches with oak aging a reposado and anejo. I want to perfect the
                  tequila making basics first before worrying about oaking and aging,
                  though my personal preference in tequilas is for the reposados.

                  best regards,
                  Tar
                • Matt SF
                  ... True, as Srs. Cruz and Alvarez-Jacobs detail, the main esters found in silver tequila were Ethyl Acetate (17.77%), Ethyl decanoate (2.78%), Ethyl lactate
                  Message 8 of 12 , Feb 3, 2004
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                    On Wed, Feb 04, 2004 at 01:17:01AM -0000, Tarvus wrote:
                    > #2. Much of the flavor of tequila is in the heads. Be stingy with
                    > how much of the heads you throw away.

                    True, as Srs. Cruz and Alvarez-Jacobs detail, the main esters found in
                    silver tequila were Ethyl Acetate (17.77%), Ethyl decanoate (2.78%), Ethyl
                    lactate (2.74%), Ethyl octanoate (1.92%), and Ethyl dodecanoate (.95%).

                    What's weird is that when talking about the esters they also say:
                    "Ethyl acetate has been reported to be the second most abundant compound
                    in tequila after isoamyl alcohol." Now the main isomer of isoamyl alcohol
                    (aka isobutyl carbinol aka fermentation amyl alcohol) is listed as having
                    a boiling point of 130.5 C ... are the pot stillers south of the border
                    really running their stills that hot and heavy to drive that compound
                    over in great abundance? But since I see references to it being a major
                    component of the group known as fusels, then I guess it does make sense.
                    Heck even Ethyl Decanoate has a bp of 117 C.

                    Congrats on your success! If I can get this whiskey mash to finish
                    fermenting and free up the bucket I'll try to play catch-up :)

                    -Matt sf


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                  • Andrew Forsberg
                    ... Hi Matt, Are those meant to be percentages, or parts per million? 17.77% ethyl acetate sounds incredibly high. Don t you think? After all those esters it
                    Message 9 of 12 , Feb 3, 2004
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                      On Wed, 2004-02-04 at 15:10, Matt SF wrote:
                      > On Wed, Feb 04, 2004 at 01:17:01AM -0000, Tarvus wrote:
                      > > #2. Much of the flavor of tequila is in the heads. Be stingy with
                      > > how much of the heads you throw away.
                      >
                      > True, as Srs. Cruz and Alvarez-Jacobs detail, the main esters found in
                      > silver tequila were Ethyl Acetate (17.77%), Ethyl decanoate (2.78%), Ethyl
                      > lactate (2.74%), Ethyl octanoate (1.92%), and Ethyl dodecanoate (.95%).

                      Hi Matt,

                      Are those meant to be percentages, or parts per million? 17.77% ethyl
                      acetate sounds incredibly high. Don't you think? After all those esters
                      it sounds like there would be bugger all room left for ethanol and
                      water...

                      Not that I'm pretending to know much about tequila makeup or anything.
                      The figures just sounded odd. A ppm / percent confusion may explain why
                      those 130+ deg C BP compounds getting such high figures too.

                      Cheers
                      Andrew
                    • Matt SF
                      ... Hi Andrew-- yes the authors aren t entirely clear but it appears they are saying that those are the percentages found when you sample the family of esters
                      Message 10 of 12 , Feb 3, 2004
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                        On Wed, Feb 04, 2004 at 03:22:44PM +1300, Andrew Forsberg wrote:
                        > On Wed, 2004-02-04 at 15:10, Matt SF wrote:
                        > > True, as Srs. Cruz and Alvarez-Jacobs detail, the main esters found in
                        > > silver tequila were Ethyl Acetate (17.77%), Ethyl decanoate (2.78%), Ethyl
                        > > lactate (2.74%), Ethyl octanoate (1.92%), and Ethyl dodecanoate (.95%).
                        >
                        > Hi Matt,
                        >
                        > Are those meant to be percentages, or parts per million? 17.77% ethyl
                        > acetate sounds incredibly high. Don't you think? After all those esters
                        > it sounds like there would be bugger all room left for ethanol and
                        > water...

                        Hi Andrew--

                        yes the authors aren't entirely clear but it appears they are saying that
                        those are the percentages found when you sample the family of esters
                        alone. I'm assuming it's percentage by weight.

                        They are quoting this source, according to the bibliography:

                        Estarrón, M., T. Martín del Campo and R. Cosío.
                        1999. Identificación de los componentes volátiles que caracterizan la
                        huella cromatográfica distintiva de tequilas. Technical Report for Tequila
                        Herradura S.A.

                        I don't suppose anyone here has a copy of that on the shelf, eh? :)

                        Hmm interesting, I just found that if you search via Google using the
                        authors above, you can find a link with the pdf Tarvus and I have been
                        discussing. Funny how that works! ;)

                        -matt
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