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alcohol measurement

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  • gloworm24
    hi iam new to this site.i have built a reflux still and fired it up today the mash i used was a polenta mix the liquid that came off smells funny and tastes
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 14, 2010
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      hi iam new to this site.i have built a reflux still and fired it up today the mash i used was a polenta mix the liquid that came off smells funny and tastes funny i put a hydrometer in it and it sank to the bottom of he glass tube can some 1 tell me what this means and is there a way of changing the taste for the next run or do i add this back to the mash in the next run. The still i built is (Bokakob)mini still in the link below
      http://homedistiller.org/image/mini_explained.jpg
    • tgfoitwoods
      Gloworm, In the matter of the smell and taste, there are lots of places it could have gone wrong. Because corn and scorching are often involved together,
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 15, 2010
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        Gloworm,

        In the matter of the smell and taste, there are lots of places it could have gone wrong. Because corn and scorching are often involved together, that's a possibility. I'm guessing,however, that you either had an infection, where some wild bug survives your yeast enough to make bad flavors, or you had bad or insufficient yeast nutrients in your wash. A bad nutrient profile makes for a stressed ferment, and stressed ferments can make some bad flavors. Also, your run make have puked ookies through the column.

        As for the hydrometer sinking, it sounds like (and I'm wildly guessing here, because it certainly never happened to me!) you've dropped a triple-scale hydrometer, which measures mostly denser-than-water sugar mixtures, instead of an alcoholometer, which measures less-dense-than-water alcohol mixtures. A triple-scale in spirits will sink like a stone.

        If you're not familar with alcoholometers, here's one, along with the glass jar you'll need to keep from being dissolved by your spirit.

        http://store.homebrewheaven.com/categories.aspx?Keyword=alcoholometer

        Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gloworm24" <gloworm15@...> wrote:
        >
        > hi iam new to this site.i have built a reflux still and fired it up today the mash i used was a polenta mix the liquid that came off smells funny and tastes funny i put a hydrometer in it and it sank to the bottom of he glass tube can some 1 tell me what this means and is there a way of changing the taste for the next run or do i add this back to the mash in the next run. The still i built is (Bokakob)mini still in the link below
        > http://homedistiller.org/image/mini_explained.jpg
        >
      • Stuart Gray
        thanks for the info will try to get 1 local as i live in the orkneys.Also i think it could be because i used bread yeast in my second batch the first batch was
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 16, 2010
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          thanks for the info will try to get 1 local as i live in the orkneys.Also i think it could be because i used bread yeast in my second batch the first batch was made with brewers yeast and did not smell as bad. Many thanks 4 the info

          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
          >
          > Gloworm,
          >
          > In the matter of the smell and taste, there are lots of places it could
          > have gone wrong. Because corn and scorching are often involved together,
          > that's a possibility. I'm guessing,however, that you either had an
          > infection, where some wild bug survives your yeast enough to make bad
          > flavors, or you had bad or insufficient yeast nutrients in your wash. A
          > bad nutrient profile makes for a stressed ferment, and stressed ferments
          > can make some bad flavors. Also, your run make have puked ookies through
          > the column.
          >
          > As for the hydrometer sinking, it sounds like (and I'm wildly guessing
          > here, because it certainly never happened to me!) you've dropped a
          > triple-scale hydrometer, which measures mostly denser-than-water sugar
          > mixtures, instead of an alcoholometer, which measures
          > less-dense-than-water alcohol mixtures. A triple-scale in spirits will
          > sink like a stone.
          >
          > If you're not familar with alcoholometers, here's one, along with the
          > glass jar you'll need to keep from being dissolved by your spirit.
          >
          > http://store.homebrewheaven.com/categories.aspx?Keyword=alcoholometer
          >
          > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
          >
          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gloworm24" <gloworm15@> wrote:
          > >
          > > hi iam new to this site.i have built a reflux still and fired it up
          > today the mash i used was a polenta mix the liquid that came off smells
          > funny and tastes funny i put a hydrometer in it and it sank to the
          > bottom of he glass tube can some 1 tell me what this means and is there
          > a way of changing the taste for the next run or do i add this back to
          > the mash in the next run. The still i built is (Bokakob)mini still in
          > the link below
          > > http://homedistiller.org/image/mini_explained.jpg
          > >
          >
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