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Re: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

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  • just me
    the copper is supposed to get dingy. you should run hot water over it only. just me No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However a large number
    Message 1 of 24 , Jan 7, 2010
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      the copper is supposed to get dingy. you should run hot water over it only.

      just me
       No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However
      a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


      On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 8:08 PM, juliet kent <julietyumyum@...> wrote:
       


    • ric
      After a run I drain the boiler, close my VM take off and pour about 4 litres of boiling water down the top of the column. I leave the unit together but then
      Message 2 of 24 , Jan 7, 2010
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        After a run I drain the boiler, close my VM take off and pour about 4 litres of boiling water down the top of the column.

        I leave the unit together but then open all ports and let air circulate freely.

        The mesh stays fresh and usable for many many many months.

        I use to rinse with vinegar but found that it just depletes the copper mesh. The black discolouration on the mesh appears to have no adverse effect. In fact I have read it improves things.

        have fun


        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, juliet kent <julietyumyum@...> wrote:

        > How long should the copper last before being changed as mine seems to go manky very quickly?
      • juliet kent
        Thanks for that. I have another problem. Have been distilling for about five years now with no probs but my latest brew although working away for over a
        Message 3 of 24 , Jan 10, 2010
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          Thanks for that.  I have another problem.  Have been distilling for about five years now with no probs but my latest brew although working away for over a month registers no alcohol content.  I keep adding more yeast thinking it must need to work more but still no go.  Could this mean I have some sort of a bacteria issue going down?.  Has anybody else had this problem.  Go on - embarass me.  lol.
            

          To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
          From: hifa222@...
          Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2010 20:22:12 -0600
          Subject: Re: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

           
          the copper is supposed to get dingy. you should run hot water over it only.

          just me
           No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However
          a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


          On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 8:08 PM, juliet kent <julietyumyum@ hotmail.com> wrote:
           






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        • juliet kent
          Thanks, thats very helpful. Should have asked years ago. Cheers, juliet To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com From: richutchings@gmail.com Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2010
          Message 4 of 24 , Jan 10, 2010
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            Thanks, thats very helpful.  Should have asked years ago.  Cheers, juliet
             

            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
            From: richutchings@...
            Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2010 02:28:06 +0000
            Subject: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

             
            After a run I drain the boiler, close my VM take off and pour about 4 litres of boiling water down the top of the column.

            I leave the unit together but then open all ports and let air circulate freely.

            The mesh stays fresh and usable for many many many months.

            I use to rinse with vinegar but found that it just depletes the copper mesh. The black discolouration on the mesh appears to have no adverse effect. In fact I have read it improves things.

            have fun

            --- In Distillers@yahoogro ups.com, juliet kent <julietyumyum@ ...> wrote:

            > How long should the copper last before being changed as mine seems to go manky very quickly?




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          • jamesonbeam1
            Juiliet, I have no intention of embarassing you, but tis hard to believe your fermentation is working away with not change in specific gravity.... Matter o
            Message 5 of 24 , Jan 11, 2010
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              Juiliet,

              I have no intention of embarassing you, but tis hard to believe your fermentation is "working away" with not change in specific gravity....  Matter o fact it is chemically impossible for it to be generating CO2 with no change in the sugar content.  Unless you used a highly carbonated water source of course.... (sorry just a joke :)).

               As a wine maker turned distiller, I have never had a primary fermentation last longer than 7 days as far back as I can remember !!  You need to tell us what recipe you used, what type of yeast, the starting SG and did you use any nutrients?  If it was a sugar wash - remember there are no nutrients in pure sugar.  Please tell us this and will help very much in solving your problem.  You also might want to read up on yeast fermentation  and  yeast cultivation at http://archive.maltosefalcons.com/tech/MB_Raines_Guide_to_Yeast_Culturing.php

              Thanks,

              Vino es Veritas,

              Jim aka Waldo.


              In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, juliet kent <julietyumyum@...> wrote:

              >
              >
              > Thanks for that. I have another problem. Have been distilling for about five years now with no probs but my latest brew although working away for over a month registers no alcohol content. I keep adding more yeast thinking it must need to work more but still no go. Could this mean I have some sort of a bacteria issue going down?. Has anybody else had this problem. Go on - embarass me. lol.

            • Robert Hubble
              Juliet, When you say registers no alcohol content , are you referring to seeing no change in specific gravity? Have you tasted the wash to see if it s still
              Message 6 of 24 , Jan 11, 2010
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                Juliet,

                When you say "registers no alcohol content", are you referring to seeing no change in specific gravity? Have you tasted the wash to see if it's still sweet to the taste, indicating incomplete sugar-to-ethanol conversion? Has it picked up any nasty bacterial smells? Taste and smell can really tell you a lot. OH! Did you see a lot of airlock activity during the fermentation time (assuming of course, that you used an airlock).

                Embarrass you? Never! (At least not until we know you better) We're just happy to have another lady in the group.

                Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller




                To: distillers@yahoogroups.com
                From: julietyumyum@...
                Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 05:52:31 +0000
                Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                 
                Thanks for that.  I have another problem.  Have been distilling for about five years now with no probs but my latest brew although working away for over a month registers no alcohol content.  I keep adding more yeast thinking it must need to work more but still no go.  Could this mean I have some sort of a bacteria issue going down?.  Has anybody else had this problem.  Go on - embarass me.  lol.
                  


                To: Distillers@yahoogro ups.com
                From: hifa222@gmail. com
                Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2010 20:22:12 -0600
                Subject: Re: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                 
                the copper is supposed to get dingy. you should run hot water over it only.

                just me
                 No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However
                a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


                On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 8:08 PM, juliet kent <julietyumyum@ hotmail.com> wrote:
                 






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              • jamesonbeam1
                Right on the money ZB, Them ol timer moonshiners never used those new fangled hyro meters or thermo meters to make excellent likkers. As we talked about
                Message 7 of 24 , Jan 11, 2010
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                  Right on the money ZB,

                  Them ol' timer moonshiners never used those new fangled hyro meters or thermo meters to make excellent likkers. As we talked about before, they used the senses God gave em - sight, taste and smell. To see how strong the stuff was, they shook the bottles to see how the bubbles (gooseeyes) distributed and took a swig of it :))).

                  Vino es Veritas,
                  Jim aka Waldo.

                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Juliet,
                  >
                  > When you say "registers no alcohol content", are you referring to seeing no change in specific gravity? Have you tasted the wash to see if it's still sweet to the taste, indicating incomplete sugar-to-ethanol conversion? Has it picked up any nasty bacterial smells? Taste and smell can really tell you a lot. OH! Did you see a lot of airlock activity during the fermentation time (assuming of course, that you used an airlock).
                  >
                  > Embarrass you? Never! (At least not until we know you better) We're just happy to have another lady in the group.
                  >
                  > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
                • juliet kent
                  Thank you for that. Will get that info to you soon. Cheers, juliet To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com From: jamesonbeam1@yahoo.com Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jan 12, 2010
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                    Thank you for that.  Will get that info to you soon.  Cheers, juliet
                     

                    To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    From: jamesonbeam1@...
                    Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 17:14:33 +0000
                    Subject: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                     

                    Juiliet,
                    I have no intention of embarassing you, but tis hard to believe your fermentation is "working away" with not change in specific gravity....  Matter o fact it is chemically impossible for it to be generating CO2 with no change in the sugar content.  Unless you used a highly carbonated water source of course.... (sorry just a joke :)).
                     As a wine maker turned distiller, I have never had a primary fermentation last longer than 7 days as far back as I can remember !!  You need to tell us what recipe you used, what type of yeast, the starting SG and did you use any nutrients?  If it was a sugar wash - remember there are no nutrients in pure sugar.  Please tell us this and will help very much in solving your problem.  You also might want to read up on yeast fermentation  and  yeast cultivation at http://archive. maltosefalcons. com/tech/ MB_Raines_ Guide_to_ Yeast_Culturing. php
                    Thanks,
                    Vino es Veritas,
                    Jim aka Waldo.

                    In Distillers@yahoogro ups.com, juliet kent <julietyumyum@ ...> wrote:

                    >
                    >
                    > Thanks for that. I have another problem. Have been distilling for about five years now with no probs but my latest brew although working away for over a month registers no alcohol content. I keep adding more yeast thinking it must need to work more but still no go. Could this mean I have some sort of a bacteria issue going down?. Has anybody else had this problem. Go on - embarass me. lol.




                    MSN NZ Travel Find a way to cure that travel bug
                  • juliet kent
                    OK. I used more sugar than usual, 8 kg instead of 6kg, i used a different yeast called turbo gold super yeast compound. I have measured sg of water (1%),
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jan 12, 2010
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                      OK.  I used more sugar than usual, 8 kg instead of 6kg, i used a different yeast called turbo gold super yeast compound.  I have measured sg of water (1%), brew (now at 14), sg of initial mix (8/25) (13) and alcohol reading still below zero but I can taste a small level of alcohol but it still very sweet. 
                      I threw in a second lot of yeast (small amount and it worked away like crazy) but still no improvement in alcohol content so Ahem I threw in a beer yeast because it was all I had and I am miles from town and thought it couldnt hurt and it worked away for another week but still no change.  More nutrient required? 

                      To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      From: jamesonbeam1@...
                      Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 17:14:33 +0000
                      Subject: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                       

                      Juiliet,
                      I have no intention of embarassing you, but tis hard to believe your fermentation is "working away" with not change in specific gravity....  Matter o fact it is chemically impossible for it to be generating CO2 with no change in the sugar content.  Unless you used a highly carbonated water source of course.... (sorry just a joke :)).
                       As a wine maker turned distiller, I have never had a primary fermentation last longer than 7 days as far back as I can remember !!  You need to tell us what recipe you used, what type of yeast, the starting SG and did you use any nutrients?  If it was a sugar wash - remember there are no nutrients in pure sugar.  Please tell us this and will help very much in solving your problem.  You also might want to read up on yeast fermentation  and  yeast cultivation at http://archive. maltosefalcons. com/tech/ MB_Raines_ Guide_to_ Yeast_Culturing. php
                      Thanks,
                      Vino es Veritas,
                      Jim aka Waldo.

                      In Distillers@yahoogro ups.com, juliet kent <julietyumyum@ ...> wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > Thanks for that. I have another problem. Have been distilling for about five years now with no probs but my latest brew although working away for over a month registers no alcohol content. I keep adding more yeast thinking it must need to work more but still no go. Could this mean I have some sort of a bacteria issue going down?. Has anybody else had this problem. Go on - embarass me. lol.




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                    • Johnnie Sisco
                      Do you know what your PH is?
                      Message 10 of 24 , Jan 12, 2010
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                        Do you know what your PH is?

                      • juliet kent
                        No. What would you suggest I use to measure ph? Litmus or is that old school? I realise in hindsight I really broke the rules and sticking to guidelines and
                        Message 11 of 24 , Jan 12, 2010
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                          No.   What would you suggest I use to measure ph?  Litmus or is that old school? I realise in hindsight I really broke the rules and sticking to guidelines and recipes is important.   I sometimes get a bit reckless (very occassionally) and throw protocol out the window and it usually bites me in the proverbial.  What will I learn from a PH test in this instance? 
                           

                          To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          From: michael@...
                          Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 19:35:30 -0600
                          Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                           

                          Do you know what your PH is?




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                        • Peers Cawley
                          Look for an aquarium or pool supply firm you can get nice little digital PH testers for about 10 dollars Cheers From Peers From: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          Message 12 of 24 , Jan 12, 2010
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                            Look for an aquarium or pool supply firm you can get nice little digital PH testers for about 10 dollars

                             

                            Cheers From Peers

                             

                            From: Distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Distillers@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of juliet kent
                            Sent: 13 January 2010 04:28
                            To: distillers@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                             

                             

                            No.   What would you suggest I use to measure ph?  Litmus or is that old school? I realise in hindsight I really broke the rules and sticking to guidelines and recipes is important.   I sometimes get a bit reckless (very occassionally) and throw protocol out the window and it usually bites me in the proverbial.  What will I learn from a PH test in this instance? 
                             


                            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                            From: michael@...
                            Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 19:35:30 -0600
                            Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                             

                            Do you know what your PH is?

                             

                             


                            Browse profiles for Free! Singles online now!

                          • joe giffen
                            Hi harry, Is New distillers closed? Regards Joe ... From: Peers Cawley Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie? To:
                            Message 13 of 24 , Jan 12, 2010
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                              Hi harry,
                              Is 'New distillers' closed?

                              Regards
                              Joe

                              --- On Wed, 13/1/10, Peers Cawley <peers_c@...> wrote:

                              From: Peers Cawley <peers_c@...>
                              Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?
                              To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Wednesday, 13 January, 2010, 5:39

                               

                              Look for an aquarium or pool supply firm you can get nice little digital PH testers for about 10 dollars

                               

                              Cheers From Peers

                               

                              From: Distillers@yahoogro ups.com [mailto:Distillers@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of juliet kent
                              Sent: 13 January 2010 04:28
                              To: distillers@yahoogro ups.com
                              Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                               

                               

                              No.   What would you suggest I use to measure ph?  Litmus or is that old school? I realise in hindsight I really broke the rules and sticking to guidelines and recipes is important.   I sometimes get a bit reckless (very occassionally) and throw protocol out the window and it usually bites me in the proverbial.  What will I learn from a PH test in this instance? 
                               

                              To: Distillers@yahoogro ups.com
                              From: michael@goairsoluti ons.com
                              Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 19:35:30 -0600
                              Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                               

                              Do you know what your PH is?

                               

                               


                              Browse profiles for Free! Singles online now!


                            • Johnnie Sisco
                              http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3 &t=12501 Here is a link talking about PH. If the PH
                              Message 14 of 24 , Jan 13, 2010
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                                http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12501

                                 

                                Here is a link talking about PH.

                                 

                                If the PH gets too low or too high the yeast can’t work right depending on the yeast.

                                 

                                I have used baking soda it works OK.  I prefer Potassium Carbonate this is what I use when making beer. Since your going to be distilling, the baking soda will be left behind. With beer whatever you put in you will be drinking.

                                 

                                I had a Rum that had stopped fermenting I used the strips (they can be a little hard to read) and my ph was under 3  I added baking soda and brought it up above 5 and it took of again.

                                Just add a little at a time keep testing it after each addition. If you go too high you can add water to bring it down if you have room in the fermenter or add citric acid like fruit fresh from the grocery store or lemon juice

                                What you want to shoot for is a PH of 5.2 most times

                                 

                                I have started using a PH adjuster (from Brewhas  http://www.brewhaus.com/52-pH-Adjuster-P859.aspx ) and my washes take off and finish faster.

                                 

                                I bought this ph meter and I like it very much http://www.brewhaus.com/pH-Meter-P973.aspx but the strips are OK.  If your wash has lots of color like from molasses they are hard to read.

                                 

                                Missouri Bootlegger

                                 

                                 

                                 

                              • jamesonbeam1
                                Hi Juliet, I assume you are using the Alcotec Gold Turbo Super yeast which will ferment 6kg of sugar in 3 days for a 25 liter wash. This is the advertized
                                Message 15 of 24 , Jan 13, 2010
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                                  Hi Juliet,

                                  I assume you are using the Alcotec Gold Turbo Super yeast which will ferment 6kg of sugar in 3 days for a 25 liter wash.  This is the advertized numbers and will produce a wash of 14.1%ABV.  The first thought that comes to mind is that since you added another 2kg over the recommended quantity this would produce an 18.8% ABV wash.  Just guessing here,  but that high a gravity wash may have caused way too much osmodic pressure on the yeast and killed them off.  18.8% is high even by S. Bayanus standards, and usually the  sugar is added in steps to reach this level.   This may explain why they start off fermenting fine and then stop.  I know for a fact that beer yeast only have a tolerance of 14% ABV and 18% is way over the limit.  Since turbo yeast has the nutrients in it, I dont believe thats a problem.

                                  Some other thoughs are did you aerate you wash and also the question of the pH as was mentioned before.  A properly aerated wash is necessary for yeast growth - read the posting I just made in New Distillers http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/37653

                                  pH is important since yeast grow best between a pH of 4 and 6.  To quote Dr. MB Raines:

                                  pH.  The last factor to affect yeast growth is pH (a measure of acidity).  Yeast grow well at acidic pHs.  They grow best between pH 4 to pH 6.  Normal wort is acidic with a pH near 5.2.  During growth and fermentation the pH drops to about 4.1-4.2 and in some cases even lower. 

                                  One last thought is check the expiration date if there is one on the yeast package.  What I would do now is to remove about 1/3 of the wash (8 liters or so) and add water to bring the SG back to 1.110 (25.8 brix) for a 14% ABV wash again.  Since its been sitting for so long, aerate with a pump and stone for 6 hours or so and re-pitch another pack of turbo yeast. 

                                  And next time Juliet, please follow the directions when using a new product or procedure..... ;).

                                  Vino es Veritas,

                                  Jim aka Waldo.

                                   

                                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, juliet kent <julietyumyum@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > OK. I used more sugar than usual, 8 kg instead of 6kg, i used a different yeast called turbo gold super yeast compound. I have measured sg of water (1%), brew (now at 14), sg of initial mix (8/25) (13) and alcohol reading still below zero but I can taste a small level of alcohol but it still very sweet.
                                  > I threw in a second lot of yeast (small amount and it worked away like crazy) but still no improvement in alcohol content so Ahem I threw in a beer yeast because it was all I had and I am miles from town and thought it couldnt hurt and it worked away for another week but still no change. More nutrient required?

                                • jamesonbeam1
                                  Heck no Joe, I was on it late last night and early this morning. Try again. Vino es Veritas, Jim aka Waldo.
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Jan 13, 2010
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                                    Heck no Joe, I was on it late last night and early this morning. Try again.

                                    Vino es Veritas,
                                    Jim aka Waldo.

                                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, joe giffen <joegiffen@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Hi harry,
                                    > Is 'New distillers' closed?
                                    >
                                    > Regards
                                    > Joe
                                  • joe giffen
                                    Is it Jim aka Waldo,aka Harry? Regards Joe ... From: jamesonbeam1 Subject: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie? To:
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Jan 13, 2010
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                                      Is it Jim aka Waldo,aka Harry?

                                      Regards
                                      Joe

                                      --- On Wed, 13/1/10, jamesonbeam1 <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:

                                      From: jamesonbeam1 <jamesonbeam1@...>
                                      Subject: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?
                                      To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                      Date: Wednesday, 13 January, 2010, 15:12

                                       

                                      Heck no Joe, I was on it late last night and early this morning. Try again.

                                      Vino es Veritas,
                                      Jim aka Waldo.

                                      --- In Distillers@yahoogro ups.com, joe giffen <joegiffen@. ..> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Hi harry,
                                      > Is 'New distillers' closed?
                                      >
                                      > Regards
                                      > Joe


                                    • jamesonbeam1
                                      No Joe, Jim aka Waldo AKA MODERATOR , is not Harry, but if you noticed, Harry has not been around recently since he has been busy with computer problems and
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Jan 13, 2010
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                                        No Joe,

                                        Jim aka Waldo AKA MODERATOR , is not Harry, but if you noticed, Harry has not been around recently since he has been busy with computer problems and the moderators have been helping out by answering questions and approving messages.

                                         If you bothered reading some of the postings in New Distillers, you would have read:

                                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gnikomson2000" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:

                                         Sorry for the late reply.  I've just spent nearly 3 days & nights restructuring from a computer meltdown. (try recovering nearly 100 Gig of info if you want something to do.  Still not fully up to speed).
                                        ___snip

                                        Slainte!
                                         regards Harry
                                         
                                        ps...Many thanks Geoff, for filling the breach in my absence.  Good work!  So too for the moderators.  Thank you.
                                         H

                                        So anyways, your very welcome for answering your question....

                                        Vino es Veritas,

                                        Jim aka Waldo

                                        (Moderator filling in for Harry)

                                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, joe giffen <joegiffen@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Is it Jim aka Waldo,aka Harry?
                                        >
                                        > Regards
                                        > Joe

                                      • juliet kent
                                        Thank you for that. It is extremely helpful and I think believe there is a nutrient problem which I have now rectified and will test ph tomorrow. Cheers,
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Jan 13, 2010
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                                          Thank you for that.  It is extremely helpful and I think believe there is a nutrient problem which I have now rectified and will test ph tomorrow.  Cheers, Juliet
                                           

                                          To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                          From: michael@...
                                          Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 04:26:32 -0600
                                          Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                                           

                                          http://homedistille r.org/forum/ viewtopic. php?f=3&t=12501

                                           

                                          Here is a link talking about PH.

                                           

                                          If the PH gets too low or too high the yeast can’t work right depending on the yeast.

                                           

                                          I have used baking soda it works OK.  I prefer Potassium Carbonate this is what I use when making beer. Since your going to be distilling, the baking soda will be left behind. With beer whatever you put in you will be drinking.

                                           

                                          I had a Rum that had stopped fermenting I used the strips (they can be a little hard to read) and my ph was under 3  I added baking soda and brought it up above 5 and it took of again.

                                          Just add a little at a time keep testing it after each addition. If you go too high you can add water to bring it down if you have room in the fermenter or add citric acid like fruit fresh from the grocery store or lemon juice

                                          What you want to shoot for is a PH of 5.2 most times

                                           

                                          I have started using a PH adjuster (from Brewhas  http://www.brewhaus .com/52-pH- Adjuster- P859.aspx ) and my washes take off and finish faster.

                                           

                                          I bought this ph meter and I like it very much http://www.brewhaus .com/pH-Meter- P973.aspx but the strips are OK.  If your wash has lots of color like from molasses they are hard to read.

                                           

                                          Missouri Bootlegger

                                           

                                           

                                           




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                                        • juliet kent
                                          Yes I did aerate the wash but it is really good to know all that attention to detail really is important. Alot of it I do just by gut feeling and years of
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Jan 13, 2010
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                                            Yes I did aerate the wash but it is really good to know all that attention to detail really is important.  Alot of it I do just by gut feeling and years of helping my parents with their wine making and a bit of brewing but plan to make 2010 a year of learning brewing in more depth.  I have been a voyeur of this site for quite a few years but have been missing a bit of basic knowledge in hindsight.  Thanks all for your feedback (most of it non judgemental) and very helpful.  Cheers, juliet  

                                            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                            From: jamesonbeam1@...
                                            Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 15:08:11 +0000
                                            Subject: [Distillers] Re: Questions from a newbie?

                                             

                                            Hi Juliet,
                                            I assume you are using the Alcotec Gold Turbo Super yeast which will ferment 6kg of sugar in 3 days for a 25 liter wash.  This is the advertized numbers and will produce a wash of 14.1%ABV.  The first thought that comes to mind is that since you added another 2kg over the recommended quantity this would produce an 18.8% ABV wash.  Just guessing here,  but that high a gravity wash may have caused way too much osmodic pressure on the yeast and killed them off.  18.8% is high even by S. Bayanus standards, and usually the  sugar is added in steps to reach this level.   This may explain why they start off fermenting fine and then stop.  I know for a fact that beer yeast only have a tolerance of 14% ABV and 18% is way over the limit.  Since turbo yeast has the nutrients in it, I dont believe thats a problem.
                                            Some other thoughs are did you aerate you wash and also the question of the pH as was mentioned before.  A properly aerated wash is necessary for yeast growth - read the posting I just made in New Distillers http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/new_ distillers/ message/37653
                                            pH is important since yeast grow best between a pH of 4 and 6.  To quote Dr. MB Raines:
                                            pH.  The last factor to affect yeast growth is pH (a measure of acidity).  Yeast grow well at acidic pHs.  They grow best between pH 4 to pH 6.  Normal wort is acidic with a pH near 5.2.  During growth and fermentation the pH drops to about 4.1-4.2 and in some cases even lower. 
                                            One last thought is check the expiration date if there is one on the yeast package.  What I would do now is to remove about 1/3 of the wash (8 liters or so) and add water to bring the SG back to 1.110 (25.8 brix) for a 14% ABV wash again.  Since its been sitting for so long, aerate with a pump and stone for 6 hours or so and re-pitch another pack of turbo yeast. 
                                            And next time Juliet, please follow the directions when using a new product or procedure... .. ;).
                                            Vino es Veritas,
                                            Jim aka Waldo.
                                             

                                            --- In Distillers@yahoogro ups.com, juliet kent <julietyumyum@ ...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > OK. I used more sugar than usual, 8 kg instead of 6kg, i used a different yeast called turbo gold super yeast compound. I have measured sg of water (1%), brew (now at 14), sg of initial mix (8/25) (13) and alcohol reading still below zero but I can taste a small level of alcohol but it still very sweet.
                                            > I threw in a second lot of yeast (small amount and it worked away like crazy) but still no improvement in alcohol content so Ahem I threw in a beer yeast because it was all I had and I am miles from town and thought it couldnt hurt and it worked away for another week but still no change. More nutrient required?




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