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Re: Some general observations on whiskey

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  • Sven Pfitt
    ... Get a Gott (Rubbermaid) insulated Hot/Cold drink cooler (5 gallon or 10 gallon). Put the Bazooka screen in it with a ball valve on the outside. I got my 5
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 1, 2005
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      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "sea_strider" <sea_strider@y...>
      wrote:
      > I've read quite a bit about the all-grain routines and those
      > folks have lots of great items! I was looking at all sorts of
      > accessories including great big mash pots, bazooka screens, ball
      > valves ... all kinds of good things. It is certainly more difficult
      > to squeeze out the last "goodness" from a bag -- ...snip...
      >
      > I looked at one bazooka screen set-up and said: "This would make life
      > much easier." But if you have one of these in your big and expensive
      > mash pots, it must make it difficult to stir completely around in a
      > fashion that prevents all possible grain-scorching. ...snip...

      Get a Gott (Rubbermaid) insulated Hot/Cold drink cooler (5 gallon or 10
      gallon). Put the Bazooka screen in it with a ball valve on the outside.

      I got my 5 gallon cooler for $15. It has enough insulation to do
      infusion mashes up to 16# of grain in the 5 gallon one, or decoction if
      you are a masochist.

      Since you are not making beer like I do, you can skip the multiple
      infusions for beta glucans and protein and just do an infusion at 152,
      wait 45 minutes for sacrification and bring it up to mashout at 170.
      You could probably even sparge higher since you wont' have to worry
      about tannins effecting flavor. Sparge at 180 or even 212 for better
      extract efficency.

      This way you only need one boil pot of SS or aluminium.

      Sven
    • closetdistiller
      Hey Strider, your right-you can t beat the smell and flavours of a mash ;-) A question though, why do you need to apply heat to the bottom of the pot when the
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 1, 2005
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        Hey Strider, your right-you can't beat the smell and flavours of a
        mash ;-)

        A question though, why do you need to apply heat to the bottom of
        the pot when the grains are in it? Are you boiling the mash at the
        end of conversion with all the grain in it? I have read this
        technique in Ian Smiley book but draining the wort from the grains
        before boiling is much simpler and easier in my books. But each to
        there own.

        The idea I was talking about, generally, is to heat your water up
        you several degrees over your mash temp so that when you add you
        grain the temp of the mash falls to your desired mash temps (there
        are simple brewing programs that can do this calculation for you eg.
        www.promash.com-free demo version has all you need). Then you let it
        sit and convert. If your pot looses heaps of heat (which is rarely
        much of a problem) you can add a bit of heat back to it with a flame
        and stirring. The bazooka screens don't hinder stirring much at all
        for this small amount of stirring.

        Just from your reply it sounds like your dumping all the grain into
        the cold water and then heating and stirring as you raise the temp
        all the way to your mash temp. Whew, sounds like hard work to me.
        Either that or boiling the converted mash as I said at the start.

        From the other post, the Gott cooler or Rubbermaid coolers are very
        cheap over there in the states (10 gallon for about $20US). Cheaper
        than ss pots. Heat your water in a pot ( or a plastic pail with an
        element in the side), get it to the right temp and add it to your
        Gott cooler then stir in the grains and let sit at the right temp.
        Then drain the sweet wort out via your bazooka screen in the bottom,
        into your fermenter or your boil kettle which ever you do, and feed
        some hot water onto the top of the grain bed to rinse more sugars
        out.

        Anyway, hope it helps. Once you've tried an all grain home brewed
        beer you'll never go back to comercial beers or the kit beers.
        Absolute malt and hop bliss. I assume the same goes for whiskey (I'm
        about 2 weeks from starting my first batch).

        Cheer, CD


        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "sea_strider" <sea_strider@y...>
        wrote:
        > I've read quite a bit about the all-grain routines and those
        > folks have lots of great items! I was looking at all sorts of
        > accessories including great big mash pots, bazooka screens, ball
        > valves ... all kinds of good things. It is certainly more
        difficult
        > to squeeze out the last "goodness" from a bag -- a sort of hand-
        > squeezed sparging: hot water (small volume held back from the
        mash,
        > so as not to dilute) sprinkling through the bag, then squeezed a
        few
        > times. With HARD pressure, it's amazing how much fluid/mash can be
        > squeezed out from the grain (the grain is somewhat moist but
        clumps
        > together in a pretty firm ball). I call it my "Hand Press."
        >
        > I looked at one bazooka screen set-up and said: "This would make
        life
        > much easier." But if you have one of these in your big and
        expensive
        > mash pots, it must make it difficult to stir completely around in
        a
        > fashion that prevents all possible grain-scorching. A pot with
        > nothing in the bottom is quite easy to stir right to the edge, all
        > around, even if only up to conversion temps (not up to boiling).
        > Maybe I just like to stir, stir, stir ... and make things harder
        than
        > they need to be! Of course, the extravagant solution would be to
        have
        > a pot for heating/converting the mash ... then pour it out of that
        > pot, into another one with a bazooka screen and a ball valve --
        then
        > drain out of the last one. But those big pots are expensive! I
        have
        > an extra plastic fermenter bucket with a plastic valve and two
        > gaskets, but that valve always gets clogged. I suppose I could use
        a
        > metal bazooka screen with those fairly fat gaskets and get a good
        > seal. Hmmmmmm ... maybe I'm getting tired of the "Hand Press."
        >
        > Whether by slightly more difficult means or "easy screens," I'm
        > pretty much sold on the all-grain recipes (or mostly grain, with a
        > much less amount of sugar than many recipes ... and always corn
        sugar
        > as opposed to sucrose). For one thing, the aromas of the mash
        itself
        > speak volumes of the flavour to come!
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • sea_strider
        ... 10 gallon). Put the Bazooka screen in it with a ball valve on the outside. ... if you are a masochist ... ... Brilliant! So simple ... insulated coolers
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 7, 2005
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          > Get a Gott (Rubbermaid) insulated Hot/Cold drink cooler (5 gallon or
          10 gallon). Put the Bazooka screen in it with a ball valve on the
          outside.
          >
          > I got my 5 gallon cooler for $15. It has enough insulation to do
          > infusion mashes up to 16# of grain in the 5 gallon one, or decoction
          if you are a masochist ...
          >
          ... This way you only need one boil pot of SS or aluminium.
          >
          > Sven

          Brilliant! So simple ... insulated coolers are certainly a lot cheaper
          than mash pots ...
        • sea_strider
          ... So true! ... I think I wasn t describing my process as well as I could have -- I ve been doing it by the book ... Smiley s book, that is. Basically, I
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 7, 2005
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            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "closetdistiller"
            <closetdistiller@y...> wrote:
            > Hey Strider, your right-you can't beat the smell and flavours of a
            > mash ;-)

            So true!

            > A question though, why do you need to apply heat to the bottom of
            > the pot when the grains are in it? Are you boiling the mash at the
            > end of conversion with all the grain in it? I have read this
            > technique in Ian Smiley book but draining the wort from the grains
            > before boiling is much simpler and easier in my books. But each to
            > there own.

            I think I wasn't describing my process as well as I could have --
            I've been doing it "by the book" ... Smiley's book, that is.
            Basically, I usually add whatever smaller amounts of dextrose I will
            use to the mash water that is already well on it's way up to the
            temperature for conversion -- doing pretty much as you describe here:

            >
            > The idea I was talking about, generally, is to heat your water up
            > you several degrees over your mash temp so that when you add you
            > grain the temp of the mash falls to your desired mash temps ...Then
            you let it sit and convert.

            Exactly. I may add my flaked maize and part of the barley just a bit
            early ... not too soon, but enough so that it cooks a bit as I'm
            heating it to slightly above mash temp ... I like the smell as I stir
            it a bit, making sure all the ingredients are well-mixed! Adding the
            rest of the malted barley at the right temp cools everything just
            enough so that for the 90-minute or so conversion rest, it stays in
            the perfect temp range as Smiley described.

            After the 90 minutes or so is up (and since I don't have a wort
            cooler), I take the pot and put it in a sink of ice water. I stir a
            bit, and the temp comes down before too long. Then I pour everything
            into a big plastic fermenter bucket that's lined with a strainer bag.
            I lift the grain in the bag, squeezing as I go. After I've gotten
            most of the liquid out, I use another bucket with a colander placed
            in the bottom to push against -- to squeeze as much liquid out of the
            grain. But before squeezing it (grain in bag) as dry as possible, I
            will use some held-back mash water to pour over the grain/bag and
            perhaps get some additional "goodness" out of the grain. Do this
            maybe twice, then squeeze, squeeze, squeeze ... get as much liquid as
            possible out of that grain. Most, really ... but I also really like
            Sven's idea about using a insulated cooler with a bazooka screen:
            sounds very, very easy!

            Then when the liquid goes into the clean fermenter, I aerate with an
            aquarium pump with a sterile filter in the middle of the hose: a 35mm
            plastic film can with alcohol-laden cotton. Moist, not more than
            that. And a bubbler tube at the bottom, weighted down with a heavy
            spoon and a rubber band ... sterilized, of course. After that
            aeration, the yeast never fails to take off without an awful long lag
            time, which is (of course) good for the process.

            > If your pot looses heaps of heat (which is rarely
            > much of a problem) you can add a bit of heat back to it with a flame
            > and stirring. The bazooka screens don't hinder stirring much at all
            > for this small amount of stirring.

            Hmmm ... if perhaps I don't try the cooler routine, I may yet go
            ahead and install a bazooka screen in my mash pot ...


            >
            > Just from your reply it sounds like your dumping all the grain into
            > the cold water and then heating and stirring as you raise the temp
            > all the way to your mash temp.

            No, not all the way. Just some of the way, and mostly to mix
            everything well and to make sure that everything releases as much
            fermentables as possible. I think at least some stirring action (with
            the flaked grains) helps some ... maybe not. But everything is
            certainly well-mixed by the time I get to mash temp -- did I mention
            it smells GREAT?! LOL ...

            > Whew, sounds like hard work to me.

            Not so much. That's the easy part. (It's the SQUEEZING, later, that's
            the harder part).

            > From the other post, the Gott cooler or Rubbermaid coolers are very
            > cheap over there in the states (10 gallon for about $20US). Cheaper
            > than ss pots. Heat your water in a pot ( or a plastic pail with an
            > element in the side), get it to the right temp and add it to your
            > Gott cooler then stir in the grains and let sit at the right temp.
            > Then drain the sweet wort out via your bazooka screen in the
            bottom,
            > into your fermenter or your boil kettle which ever you do, and feed
            > some hot water onto the top of the grain bed to rinse more sugars
            > out.

            See, I really LIKE this idea! Very easy ... let gravity do more of
            the work, slowly drain out through the bazooka. In my impatience to
            get everything into the fermenter for aeration, I create a bit more
            work for myself.

            > Anyway, hope it helps. Once you've tried an all grain home brewed
            > beer you'll never go back to comercial beers or the kit beers.
            > Absolute malt and hop bliss. I assume the same goes for whiskey
            (I'm
            > about 2 weeks from starting my first batch).
            >
            > Cheer, CD

            I appreciate the tips! And I must agree, all-grain is wonderful. I've
            even used the dried malt extracts and they worked fine, but I really
            like using the flaked maize and wheat (and malted barley), in
            differing amounts of each, in order to get slightly different flavor
            profiles. My latest recipe is using enough of the flaked wheat (for
            smoothness) to try and make a recipe that is rather like Maker's
            Mark. Not as good, of course, but a bourbon that uses wheat as an
            adjunct grain. I've decided bourbon is really, really good stuff! My
            wife agrees ... (and when your wife will drink it, that's a good
            sign).
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