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Re: [Distillers] molasses fermentation - an update

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  • Derek Hamlet
    I m having a little trouble here. A packet of yeast in your pocket on a hot day is not going to go bad. Mollasses has tons of nutrients in it. So, additives
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 25, 2005
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      I'm having a little trouble here. A packet of yeast in your pocket on a
      hot day is not going to go bad.
      Mollasses has tons of nutrients in it. So, additives other than to adjust
      ph should not be necessary.
      According to Harry, mollasses has tons of unfermentable bits in it, which
      will contribute to an s.g. that can be very misleading.

      At 07:39 PM 2/25/05, you wrote:


      >s
      >
      >my heartbreak would be less today, as i find this out, but the 1118 yeast
      >i just
      >bought has all turned out to be dead.
      >(note to self: don't keep yeast packets in one's pocket on the way home
      >from the
      > brew shop on a hot day... dangit!)
      >
      >anyways, ferment time has been about 19-23 days, ambient temps are a
      >little low,
      >in the low 60's, but that hasn't stopped the _other_ alcohol from brewing....
      >
      >i've come to the conclusion that either A) molasses doesn't have enough
      >nutrients
      >in it to ferment out completely or B) molasses has unfermentable sugars in
      >it.

      Derek Hamlet
      Victoria, B.C.
    • Saul Sabia
      ... well, i was a little premature in my prog. the yeast was just fine! i slopped back a little bit plus double-pitched and it was going within four hours...
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 28, 2005
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        > Message: 2
        > Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 20:46:55 -0800
        > From: Derek Hamlet <derekhamlet@...>
        > Subject: Re: molasses fermentation - an update
        >
        > I'm having a little trouble here. A packet of yeast in your pocket on a
        > hot day is not going to go bad.
        > Mollasses has tons of nutrients in it. So, additives other than to adjust
        > ph should not be necessary.
        > According to Harry, mollasses has tons of unfermentable bits in it, which
        > will contribute to an s.g. that can be very misleading.
        >
        > Derek Hamlet
        > Victoria, B.C.

        well, i was a little premature in my prog. the yeast was just fine! i slopped back
        a little bit plus double-pitched and it was going within four hours... four hours
        _after_ i made the post, that is. =) so the 1118 is just fine, and i've got ten gallons
        going as we speak.

        yeah, molasses is supposed to have tons of nutrients in it... but i've added nutrient
        this time just to see what happens, see if it will actually ferment out. i bet the
        slop-back and the tomato paste and lemon juice will be of more use than the nutrient.
        anyways...

        according to a recent post from harry, that only 75% of the sugars in blackstrap is
        fermentable, well, that would explain a lot. means i'll have to rethunk my recipe, though.
        maybe three liters vs two of molasses? hmmmm. three liters, 5 lbs of table sugar, and
        a can of tomato paste in 5 gals?



        Saul



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      • Harry
        ... it, which ... i ve added nutrient ... ferment out. ... in blackstrap is ... rethunk my recipe, though. ... of table sugar, and ... I was actually being
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 28, 2005
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          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Saul Sabia <saul_sabia@y...>
          wrote:
          > > According to Harry, mollasses has tons of unfermentable bits in
          it, which
          > > will contribute to an s.g. that can be very misleading.
          >
          > yeah, molasses is supposed to have tons of nutrients in it... but
          i've added nutrient
          > this time just to see what happens, see if it will actually
          ferment out.
          >
          > according to a recent post from harry, that only 75% of the sugars
          in blackstrap is
          > fermentable, well, that would explain a lot. means i'll have to
          rethunk my recipe, though.
          > maybe three liters vs two of molasses? hmmmm. three liters, 5 lbs
          of table sugar, and
          > a can of tomato paste in 5 gals?




          I was actually being generous with the 75% estimate, Saul. A lot
          depends on the source of the blackstrap, and the prevailing world
          price of sugar (iow, has it been processed 3 times, or 4?). Here's
          some data I've picked up from a distillery consultant company. If
          you go by their figures, there can be as little as 288gms of
          fermentables in every 1kg of molasses...

          Composition of Molasses

          Composition of molasses is also sometimes referred to as 'quality of
          molasses'. The objective of sugar manufacturing is to minimise the
          content of sugar in molasses while maximising extraction of sugar
          during processing of cane. We will look at the various components in
          molasses forming its composition. The representation is on 'as is
          basis' for whole molasses.

          Broadly, the contents can be divided into:

          A. Water : 20-30 % w/w
          B. Total solids : 70-80 % w/w

          The solids can be further divided into:

          A. Organic solids : 65-70 % w/w
          B. Inorganic solids : 10-15 % w/w

          The organic solids are formed by following components:

          1. Sugars:
          Fermentable: : 35-55 % w/w
          Sucrose : 27-43 % w/w
          Fructose : 5-7 % w/w
          Glucose : 3-5 % w/w

          Unfermentable :
          Pentose : 2-7 % w/w
          Galactose :

          2. Non-sugar substances : 15-25 % w/w
          Nitrogenous: Proteins
          Carbohydrate polymers: Starch, Gums
          Organic acids: 500-25,000 PPM
          Acetic acid
          Butyric acid
          Propionic acid
          Valeric acid
          Waxes
          Colouring substances
          Vitamins
          Polyelectrolytes, Biocides etc.

          The inorganic solids are formed by following components:

          Cations:
          Calcium
          Potassium
          Sodium
          Magnesium
          Silica
          Iron
          Manganese
          Etc.

          Anions:
          Sulphate
          Chlorides
          Phosphates
          Carbonates
          Chlorides
          Nitrates
          Oxides
          Etc.


          HTH
          Slainte!
          regards Harry
        • Derek Hamlet
          My little mollasses fermentation problem was also solved. My fermentation trucked right along and when it stopped bubbling I just left if for a couple of weeks
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 28, 2005
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            My little mollasses fermentation problem was also solved.
            My fermentation trucked right along and when it stopped bubbling I just
            left if for a couple of weeks as I was redesigning my still. However, when
            I wen to check the numbers I found I still had a whoppingly high s.g. that
            could not be accounted for by unfermentable sugars. After thinking about
            it for a while and not having kept notes I decided that perhaps I had
            started with too strong a sugar/mollasses bases and had actually almost
            killed the EC1118 yeast. So, I grabbed another carboy, diulted the wash
            significantly and threw in another EC1118 starter. Lo and behold it is
            bubbling away merrily in the basement.
            All the things being equal it simply means I will have a larger volume of
            wash come distillation time.
            At 12:09 AM 2/28/05, you wrote:


            > > Message: 2
            > > Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 20:46:55 -0800
            > > From: Derek Hamlet <derekhamlet@...>
            > > Subject: Re: molasses fermentation - an update
            > >
            > > I'm having a little trouble here. A packet of yeast in your pocket on a
            > > hot day is not going to go bad.
            > > Mollasses has tons of nutrients in it. So, additives other than to adjust
            > > ph should not be necessary.
            > > According to Harry, mollasses has tons of unfermentable bits in it, which
            > > will contribute to an s.g. that can be very misleading.
            > >
            > > Derek Hamlet
            > > Victoria, B.C.
            >
            >well, i was a little premature in my prog. the yeast was just fine! i
            >slopped back
            >a little bit plus double-pitched and it was going within four hours...
            >four hours
            >_after_ i made the post, that is. =) so the 1118 is just fine, and i've
            >got ten gallons
            >going as we speak.
            >
            >yeah, molasses is supposed to have tons of nutrients in it... but i've
            >added nutrient
            >this time just to see what happens, see if it will actually ferment out. i
            >bet the
            >slop-back and the tomato paste and lemon juice will be of more use than
            >the nutrient.
            >anyways...
            >
            >according to a recent post from harry, that only 75% of the sugars in
            >blackstrap is
            >fermentable, well, that would explain a lot. means i'll have to rethunk my
            >recipe, though.
            >maybe three liters vs two of molasses? hmmmm. three liters, 5 lbs of table
            >sugar, and
            >a can of tomato paste in 5 gals?
            >
            >
            >
            >Saul
            >
            >
            >
            >__________________________________
            >Do you Yahoo!?
            >Yahoo! Mail - Easier than ever with enhanced search. Learn more.
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            >
            >
            >
            > Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
            > FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >

            Derek Hamlet
            Victoria, B.C.
          • Harry
            ... just ... However, when ... s.g. that ... thinking about ... had ... almost ... the wash ... it is ... volume of ... And therein lies the reason why
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 28, 2005
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              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Derek Hamlet <derekhamlet@s...>
              wrote:
              > My little mollasses fermentation problem was also solved.
              > My fermentation trucked right along and when it stopped bubbling I
              just
              > left if for a couple of weeks as I was redesigning my still.
              However, when
              > I wen to check the numbers I found I still had a whoppingly high
              s.g. that
              > could not be accounted for by unfermentable sugars. After
              thinking about
              > it for a while and not having kept notes I decided that perhaps I
              had
              > started with too strong a sugar/mollasses bases and had actually
              almost
              > killed the EC1118 yeast. So, I grabbed another carboy, diulted
              the wash
              > significantly and threw in another EC1118 starter. Lo and behold
              it is
              > bubbling away merrily in the basement.
              > All the things being equal it simply means I will have a larger
              volume of
              > wash come distillation time.



              And therein lies the reason why commercial distillers don't go above
              8% potential abv in a molasses fermentation. Too much risk of
              osmotic pressure retatding the yeast and causing a stuck ferment.
              You wouldn't want that with a 300,000 litre beer.

              Home distillers, however, tend to try making as high a potential abv
              as possible. There seems to be this ethic of processing as little
              liquid as possible to get as much alcohol as possible. That's fine
              for some substrates, but not molasses. You'll end up with
              complications, like stuck ferments, perhaps even bacteria
              contaminated beer. possibly total loss of your ingredients and
              extra starters. Better to bite the bullet and process more wash for
              less alcohol return.

              I said elsewhere that in the time (and worry) of making a high abv
              beer (can drag on for weeks), you could easily ferment 2 or 3 times
              the amount of molasses beer and distill out more alcohol.


              Slainte!
              regards Harry
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