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Replication

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  • Tom Smith
    I make straight corn batches. I am having a hard time getting consistiency from batch to batch. any Idea as to what I am doing wrong. some batches come out
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 3, 2007
      I make straight corn batches. I am having a hard time getting
      consistiency from batch to batch. any Idea as to what I am doing wrong.
      some batches come out great and some are noticibly different. not bad
      just different.

      Youngblood
    • jamesonbeam1
      Hi Tom, While not making True Blue Blood Corn Whiskey - ie. all grain, I do follow some of the principles and practices of the true Bourbon and Tennessee
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 4, 2007
        Hi Tom,

        While not making "True Blue Blood" Corn Whiskey - ie. all grain, I do
        follow some of the principles and practices of the true Bourbon and
        Tennessee Whiskey distillers around here to insure "consistency" from
        batch to batch.

        First, one practice is makin "Sour Mash" from the leftover distillate.
        Most Whiskey distillers around add at least 25% (up to 40% in the case
        of Jack Daniels) where they "slop back" the old distilled mash into the
        fresh mash (called "sweet mash"). This is similar to using the
        old "dunder" in making rum, or using old dough in making "sour dough"
        bread or biscuits.

        This accomplishes a few things - it gives additional nutrients from the
        distilled mash, provides additional acid for a lower PH, saves the
        distllers that precious limestone water and gives some consistancy
        between batches.

        The second practice is to keep a percentage of the old wash alive.
        Scoop out any spent grains, but keep the liquids as long as its still
        bubbling. This will give additional consistancy along with saving you
        money in having to pitch fresh yeast. Just add all you new ingredients
        when cooled and it will start re-fermenting...

        As far as aging - well thats a whole nother ball game. Since I usually
        drink my corn whiskey right from the still lol, cant help ya on that
        one mon ami. Good Luck.

        Vino es Veritas,
        Jim.

        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Smith" <smiththomas9263@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I make straight corn batches. I am having a hard time getting
        > consistiency from batch to batch. any Idea as to what I am doing
        wrong.
        > some batches come out great and some are noticibly different. not bad
        > just different.
        >
        > Youngblood
        >
      • jamesonbeam1
        BTW Tom, If you can moderate in all things , then the real way the Whiskey makers and master distillers in real distilling comanies insure consistancy is a
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 4, 2007
          BTW Tom,

          If you can "moderate in all things", then the real way the Whiskey
          makers and master distillers in "real" distilling comanies insure
          consistancy is a process of blending their whiskeys from batch to batch
          over many, many years of aging.

          However, since i can barley make a batch of mine last a week, cant help
          ya there either :):):). But if you get my drift, keep some from every
          batch, age it on oak and keep mixin and matching - correct way to do it.

          Jim.

          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Smith" <smiththomas9263@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > I make straight corn batches. I am having a hard time getting
          > consistiency from batch to batch. any Idea as to what I am doing
          wrong.
          > some batches come out great and some are noticibly different. not bad
          > just different.
          >
          > Youngblood
          >
        • Mark
          ... 7 things: 1) Fermentation temperature. Is it the same from batch to batch, and somewhat constant throughout or consistant throughout the entire
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 26, 2007
            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Smith" <smiththomas9263@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > I make straight corn batches. I am having a hard time getting
            > consistiency from batch to batch. Youngblood

            7 things:
            1) Fermentation temperature. Is it the same from batch to batch, and
            somewhat constant throughout or consistant throughout the entire
            fermentation? I understand that esters (amount and type) are strongly
            influenced by fermentation temperature - which also controls
            fermentation speed.
            2) Wash pH at time of yeast pitching. Affects esters and yeast
            health. Shoot for a wash pH of 5.7 or so - never below 5.0 and always
            below 6.5
            3) Still cuts. Are you collecting the same %'s of heart from batch to
            batch?
            4) Reruns. the heads and tails from prior runs - is this the same from
            batch to batch?
            5) sour mash. Somewhere between 10% to 35% of the still heel should be
            used to make the next wash. Note that this will strongly affect the pH -
            so check pH AFTER this addition.
            6) Initial gravity of wash. My corn mashes range between 1.040 and
            1.090 - keeping all other factors the same I have convinced myself that
            the taste of the final product if influenced by the initial gravity.
            (I think more esters are produced with higher gravities.)
            7) Corn source & enzyme action. What sugars are formed at starch
            conversion?

            If I had to guess, I'd say #7 and #1 are the culprits.

            Mark
          • Tom Smith
            ... and ... strongly ... always ... to ... from ... should be ... pH - ... that ... gravity. ... Thanks for your input Mark. in response I have a few questions
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 27, 2007
              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mark" <markgofast@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Smith" <smiththomas9263@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > I make straight corn batches. I am having a hard time getting
              > > consistiency from batch to batch. Youngblood
              >
              > 7 things:
              > 1) Fermentation temperature. Is it the same from batch to batch,
              and
              > somewhat constant throughout or consistant throughout the entire
              > fermentation? I understand that esters (amount and type) are
              strongly
              > influenced by fermentation temperature - which also controls
              > fermentation speed.
              > 2) Wash pH at time of yeast pitching. Affects esters and yeast
              > health. Shoot for a wash pH of 5.7 or so - never below 5.0 and
              always
              > below 6.5
              > 3) Still cuts. Are you collecting the same %'s of heart from batch
              to
              > batch?
              > 4) Reruns. the heads and tails from prior runs - is this the same
              from
              > batch to batch?
              > 5) sour mash. Somewhere between 10% to 35% of the still heel
              should be
              > used to make the next wash. Note that this will strongly affect the
              pH -
              > so check pH AFTER this addition.
              > 6) Initial gravity of wash. My corn mashes range between 1.040 and
              > 1.090 - keeping all other factors the same I have convinced myself
              that
              > the taste of the final product if influenced by the initial
              gravity.
              > (I think more esters are produced with higher gravities.)
              > 7) Corn source & enzyme action. What sugars are formed at starch
              > conversion?
              >
              > If I had to guess, I'd say #7 and #1 are the culprits.
              >
              > Mark
              >

              Thanks for your input Mark. in response I have a few questions and
              answers.

              #1 temperature. I ferment in a double vessel with a water jacket and
              a aquarium pump and heater to keep the temp at a constant 78f.

              #2 wash PH I use backset to set the ph to about 5.5 appx. I know I
              can improve my quality control here.

              #3 I use a parrot and I check the taste frequently at a watered down
              30% I use smileys cuts.

              #4 I read some where that if you keep the heads seperate and add some
              bicarbonate of soda to them that this will reduce the ethel acetate
              and improve the taste. but I haven't tried this yet.

              #5 I use about 33% backset. I make 15 to 18 gal mash and use about 5
              gal of backset. this lowers the P H to about 5.7

              #6 my mash is usually about 1.060 this is with 18gal water/backset
              30lb corn ground fine, and 6 lbs of pale malt. I heat the corn to
              180f and cook for about 1.5 hrs cool to 155f add malt and stir for
              1.5 hrs then cool to 80f and transfer to fermentation vessel and
              pitch a 1 gal active starter. I use muntons ale yeast. I also believe
              that you get a better flavor if you keep the mash gravity lower. do
              you think that higher gravity esters are better?

              #7 I'm not quite sure what you mean by enzyme action. I used to use
              enzymes from mile hi but I found that these produced a bitter after
              taste. the corn I use I get from a local farmer. It's not the
              greatest quality but the price is right. 3.00 for 50lb I've been
              using the same corn for all my batches since I bought 400 lb.

              I have made some UJSM and I have to admit that I thought that It was
              better tasting than anything I have made with straight Corn. My stuff
              is not bad but UJSM was better. I am just too cheap to spend 15.00 on
              sugar to make UJSM. I have posted some pictures on the Photo albums
              under Youngbloods stuff.

              Thanks again for your input.

              Youngblood
            • Mark
              multiple sips... Talking only about consistancy: I read some where that if you keep the heads seperate and add some bicarbonate of soda to them that this will
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 3, 2008
                multiple sips...

                Talking only about consistancy:

                I read some where that if you keep the heads seperate and add some
                bicarbonate of soda to them that this will reduce the ethel acetate
                and improve the taste. but I haven't tried this yet.

                I was taught that pH reduction changes ethyl acetate (that has a BP
                close to ethyl Al) into "good" ethyl and acetic acid - it doesn't do
                anything for head separation - it sharpens the change from "good"
                alcohol to tails. It increases the yield of clean ethyl at the
                expense of desirable and undesirable esters. I'd guess that for
                consistancy you'd want the "same" amount and types of esters - so I
                wouldn't do a pH reduction for whiskey, only for vodka/neutral spirit.


                do you think that higher gravity esters are better?

                Well, personally I like whiskeys from lower gravity washes - but my
                point was that different gravities (starting and ending) can make
                different tasting hootch.

                #7 I'm not quite sure what you mean by enzyme action.

                I was referring to the time/temp starch conversion steps, beginning
                at 122F and ending at 140F / 160F. Do you follow the exact same
                schedule each time?

                People in this group will beat me up for saying this, but I
                say "learning to make good whiskey you must first learn to make good
                beer". I was taught that the starch converstion process decides the
                taste of beer more than any other variable - including mashbill and
                yeast type.

                There are 6 variables in the starch converstion process - and these
                must be controlled to affect consistancy. (mash pH, mash stiffness,
                protein rest time, protein rest temp, starch conversion time, starch
                conversion temp)

                Shoot - another variable is the age and moisture content of the corn,
                but that's minor compared to the starch conversion process.
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