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Re: problems with a simple sugar mash

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  • Harry
    ... Boiled water = reduced oxygen reduced oxygen = poor yeast performance poor yeast performance = less alcohol More research is required.
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 3, 2007


      --- -- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "sourkrout8165" <orange_baron65@...> 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!!!!!
      >

       

      Boiled water = reduced oxygen
      reduced oxygen = poor yeast performance
      poor yeast performance = less alcohol

      More research is required.

      http://homedistiller.org
      http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/msearch?query=oxygen+yeast&submit=Search&charset=windows-1252

    • Trid
      ... 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
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 3, 2007
        --- sourkrout8165 <orange_baron65@...> 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
      • Trid
        ... Oh yeah...and this too (totally spaced it). If you are boiling your water prior to fermentation, you need Need NEED to aerate it to replenish the oxygen.
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 3, 2007
          --- Harry <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
          >
          > Boiled water = reduced oxygen
          > reduced oxygen = poor yeast performance
          > poor yeast performance = less alcohol

          Oh yeah...and this too (totally spaced it). If you are boiling your water
          prior to fermentation, you need Need NEED to aerate it to replenish the oxygen.
          When you pitch your yeast it has to multiply first (which requires O2) and
          build sufficient population to ferment (after the O2 is depleted) efficiently.

          > More research is required.
          >
          > http://homedistiller.org <http://homedistiller.org>
          > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/
          > <http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/>
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/msearch?query=oxygen+yeast&\
          > submit=Search&charset=windows-1252
          > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/msearch?query=oxygen+yeast\
          > &submit=Search&charset=windows-1252>

          ...and this too :)

          Trid
          -not looking forward to going back to work
        • cadence22003
          sourkrout,,good start,, but if i could add to both TRID and HARRY S excellent advice i ll bet my new porsche,,[i wish ] that your wash is not warm enough and
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 4, 2007
            sourkrout,,good start,, but if i could add to both TRID and HARRY'S
            excellent advice

            i'll bet my new porsche,,[i wish ] that your wash is not warm enough
            and more likely although you are adding yeast and nutrient no-where
            near enough is being pitched

            5 x weeks to attenuate ? struth !!!

            what is your temp. ? and of course it is best kept constant

            what weight in grams [or ounces]of yeast are you pitching ?

            what weight in grams [or ounces] of yeast nutrient are you pitching ?

            please tell us a little more about the yeast and the yeast nutrient

            have you considered molasses as an alternative to yeast nutrient ,,say
            a ratio of 25 % molasses to 75% sugar

            your mash bill ratio at circa 12kg sugar to circa 50 litres of water
            is well inside "tidy" ratio

            those links in harry and trid's replies are invaluable use
            them-congratulations on choosing distilling as a hobby ,,better than
            building an ant farm

            don't skimp,,,,,,,skimps are nasty bastards of animals they come back
            to bite you,,,and the pain and agony is usually in the hip pocket ==
            OUCH !!!!!!!!!

            keep up the good work and thankyou for getting my brain out of the cobwebs

            brian



            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "sourkrout8165"
            <orange_baron65@...> 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!!!!!
            >
          • Andrew Bugal
            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
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 4, 2007
              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

              Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

            • Trid
              ... My money is on oxygen and pH...mostly O2. ... Allowing the yeast to multiply madly in the first day or so makes all the difference in the rate at which the
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 4, 2007
                --- cadence22003 <cadence22003@...> wrote:

                > sourkrout,,good start,, but if i could add to both TRID and HARRY'S
                > excellent advice
                >
                > i'll bet my new porsche,,[i wish ] that your wash is not warm enough
                > and more likely although you are adding yeast and nutrient no-where
                > near enough is being pitched

                My money is on oxygen and pH...mostly O2.

                > 5 x weeks to attenuate ? struth !!!

                Allowing the yeast to multiply madly in the first day or so makes all the
                difference in the rate at which the ferment occurs. Yeast can only consume so
                much sugar per critter. More critters, higher rate of consumption. What you
                pitch is only the beginning, not the total amount yeast that you're trying to
                put to work.

                > what is your temp. ? and of course it is best kept constant
                >
                > what weight in grams [or ounces]of yeast are you pitching ?
                >
                > what weight in grams [or ounces] of yeast nutrient are you pitching ?
                >
                > please tell us a little more about the yeast and the yeast nutrient
                >
                > have you considered molasses as an alternative to yeast nutrient ,,say
                > a ratio of 25 % molasses to 75% sugar
                >
                > your mash bill ratio at circa 12kg sugar to circa 50 litres of water
                > is well inside "tidy" ratio

                Seconded...all valuable details to the process. I had no idea there were so
                many possible variables when I first struck out on this hobby.

                > those links in harry and trid's replies are invaluable use
                > them-congratulations on choosing distilling as a hobby ,,better than
                > building an ant farm

                I will confess to having an odd liking for ant farms :) I just fear the
                possibility of them getting out in my house *twitch*

                > don't skimp,,,,,,,skimps are nasty bastards of animals they come back
                > to bite you,,,and the pain and agony is usually in the hip pocket ==
                > OUCH !!!!!!!!!

                This is a double edged sword. After you get a few batches under your belt
                while improvising (versus "skimp"), it will make a noticeable difference when
                you apply that part of the experience to doing subsequent batches all the way,
                without improvising. You may not get a stellar result now, but each run is a
                building block to subsequent improved batches.

                > keep up the good work and thankyou for getting my brain out of the cobwebs
                >
                > brian

                Likewise,
                Trid
              • sourkrout8165
                im using a yeast slurry i use 2 to 3 packets 5 grams and i start it about 2 to 3 days before i make my mash and then i add it to it. my yeast nutrients is
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 4, 2007
                  im using a yeast slurry i use 2 to 3 packets 5 grams and i start it
                  about 2 to 3 days before i make my mash and then i add it to it. my
                  yeast nutrients is fermaid K i add a gram for every gallon what the
                  label says. when i add my yeast it only takes about a day for it to
                  start to bubble the airlock. i dont know about the O2 it could be but
                  i didnt boil every mash it was my first experiment after my first 3
                  mashes had the same problems. the temp. around here has been in the
                  80's and at night the 70's. should i try a fish aerator in the mash
                  for a few hours before i add the yeast?

                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Trid <triddlywinks@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- cadence22003 <cadence22003@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > sourkrout,,good start,, but if i could add to both TRID and HARRY'S
                  > > excellent advice
                  > >
                  > > i'll bet my new porsche,,[i wish ] that your wash is not warm enough
                  > > and more likely although you are adding yeast and nutrient no-where
                  > > near enough is being pitched
                  >
                  > My money is on oxygen and pH...mostly O2.
                  >
                  > > 5 x weeks to attenuate ? struth !!!
                  >
                  > Allowing the yeast to multiply madly in the first day or so makes
                  all the
                  > difference in the rate at which the ferment occurs. Yeast can only
                  consume so
                  > much sugar per critter. More critters, higher rate of consumption.
                  What you
                  > pitch is only the beginning, not the total amount yeast that you're
                  trying to
                  > put to work.
                  >
                  > > what is your temp. ? and of course it is best kept constant
                  > >
                  > > what weight in grams [or ounces]of yeast are you pitching ?
                  > >
                  > > what weight in grams [or ounces] of yeast nutrient are you pitching ?
                  > >
                  > > please tell us a little more about the yeast and the yeast nutrient
                  > >
                  > > have you considered molasses as an alternative to yeast nutrient ,,say
                  > > a ratio of 25 % molasses to 75% sugar
                  > >
                  > > your mash bill ratio at circa 12kg sugar to circa 50 litres of water
                  > > is well inside "tidy" ratio
                  >
                  > Seconded...all valuable details to the process. I had no idea there
                  were so
                  > many possible variables when I first struck out on this hobby.
                  >
                  > > those links in harry and trid's replies are invaluable use
                  > > them-congratulations on choosing distilling as a hobby ,,better than
                  > > building an ant farm
                  >
                  > I will confess to having an odd liking for ant farms :) I just fear the
                  > possibility of them getting out in my house *twitch*
                  >
                  > > don't skimp,,,,,,,skimps are nasty bastards of animals they come back
                  > > to bite you,,,and the pain and agony is usually in the hip pocket ==
                  > > OUCH !!!!!!!!!
                  >
                  > This is a double edged sword. After you get a few batches under
                  your belt
                  > while improvising (versus "skimp"), it will make a noticeable
                  difference when
                  > you apply that part of the experience to doing subsequent batches
                  all the way,
                  > without improvising. You may not get a stellar result now, but each
                  run is a
                  > building block to subsequent improved batches.
                  >
                  > > keep up the good work and thankyou for getting my brain out of the
                  cobwebs
                  > >
                  > > brian
                  >
                  > Likewise,
                  > Trid
                  >
                • Tony Smith
                  I had problems with the first couple of washes I tried. Nothing seemed to work. So I set up two 1 gallon washes. Number one was with city tap water. Number two
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 4, 2007
                    I had problems with the first couple of washes I tried. Nothing seemed to work. So I set up two 1 gallon washes.
                     
                    Number one was with city tap water.
                    Number two was with distilled water.
                     
                    Number one turned out to be a dud.
                    Number two worked.
                     
                    So then I distilled the city tap water and reran another wash. It worked.
                     
                    So, at this point, this is what works for me.
                     
                    4 gal wash
                    6 lbs (96 oz) sugar dissolved in 2 - 1 gal batches of distilled water heated to 90-100 deg F
                    add 4 crushed B1 tablets
                     
                    This is then poured into a 5 gal bucket and
                    aerated for 1 - 2 hours with an aquarium pump
                     
                    Add 6 oz tomato paste
                    Add 4 tablespoons lemon juice (1 TBS/Gal)
                    Stir well
                     
                    I take about 12-14oz of the above wash and heat it in the microwave to
                    110 - 115F then add 10 teaspoons of bakers yeast making sure it is well stirred and bubbling
                    10 minute wait
                     
                    While waiting for the yeast I add half the wash to the 5 gal fermenter.
                    When the yeast is ready I add it to the fermenter and then the second half of the wash
                    This seems to provide a nice mixing of yeast and wash then top off the fermenter with more distilled water.
                     
                    I then add an aquarium heater and wrap the top of the fermenter with a cloth and keep it in place with a good strong rubber band.
                     
                    Plug the heater in and wait for the bubbling to start!
                     
                    I will continue to experiment somewhat in the future but this is working right now for me and as I continue to change the mix, I am going to change only one thing at a time to see what works and what fails.
                     
                    Happy Drinking!
                     
                     


                    sourkrout8165 <orange_baron65@...> wrote:
                    im using a yeast slurry i use 2 to 3 packets 5 grams and i start it
                    about 2 to 3 days before i make my mash and then i add it to it. my
                    yeast nutrients is fermaid K i add a gram for every gallon what the
                    label says. when i add my yeast it only takes about a day for it to
                    start to bubble the airlock. i dont know about the O2 it could be but
                    i didnt boil every mash it was my first experiment after my first 3
                    mashes had the same problems. the temp. around here has been in the
                    80's and at night the 70's. should i try a fish aerator in the mash
                    for a few hours before i add the yeast?

                    --- In Distillers@yahoogro ups.com, Trid <triddlywinks@ ...> wrote:
                    >
                    > --- cadence22003 <cadence22003@ ...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > sourkrout,,good start,, but if i could add to both TRID and HARRY'S
                    > > excellent advice
                    > >
                    > > i'll bet my new porsche,,[i wish ] that your wash is not warm enough
                    > > and more likely although you are adding yeast and nutrient no-where
                    > > near enough is being pitched
                    >
                    > My money is on oxygen and pH...mostly O2.
                    >
                    > > 5 x weeks to attenuate ? struth !!!
                    >
                    > Allowing the yeast to multiply madly in the first day or so makes
                    all the
                    > difference in the rate at which the ferment occurs. Yeast can only
                    consume so
                    > much sugar per critter. More critters, higher rate of consumption.
                    What you
                    > pitch is only the beginning, not the total amount yeast that you're
                    trying to
                    > put to work.
                    >
                    > > what is your temp. ? and of course it is best kept constant
                    > >
                    > > what weight in grams [or ounces]of yeast are you pitching ?
                    > >
                    > > what weight in grams [or ounces] of yeast nutrient are you pitching ?
                    > >
                    > > please tell us a little more about the yeast and the yeast nutrient
                    > >
                    > > have you considered molasses as an alternative to yeast nutrient ,,say
                    > > a ratio of 25 % molasses to 75% sugar
                    > >
                    > > your mash bill ratio at circa 12kg sugar to circa 50 litres of water
                    > > is well inside "tidy" ratio
                    >
                    > Seconded...all valuable details to the process. I had no idea there
                    were so
                    > many possible variables when I first struck out on this hobby.
                    >
                    > > those links in harry and trid's replies are invaluable use
                    > > them-congratulation s on choosing distilling as a hobby ,,better than
                    > > building an ant farm
                    >
                    > I will confess to having an odd liking for ant farms :) I just fear the
                    > possibility of them getting out in my house *twitch*
                    >
                    > > don't skimp,,,,,,, skimps are nasty bastards of animals they come back
                    > > to bite you,,,and the pain and agony is usually in the hip pocket ==
                    > > OUCH !!!!!!!!!
                    >
                    > This is a double edged sword. After you get a few batches under
                    your belt
                    > while improvising (versus "skimp"), it will make a noticeable
                    difference when
                    > you apply that part of the experience to doing subsequent batches
                    all the way,
                    > without improvising. You may not get a stellar result now, but each
                    run is a
                    > building block to subsequent improved batches.
                    >
                    > > keep up the good work and thankyou for getting my brain out of the
                    cobwebs
                    > >
                    > > brian
                    >
                    > Likewise,
                    > Trid
                    >



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