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43747Re: Confuzzled

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  • tgfoitwoods
    Apr 24, 2013
      Claude,

      As you did it, the grain is not a complete waste of time; it's a source of some flavor (as in the Uncle Jesse's Simple Sour Mash recipe, a sugar wash flavored with grain), but without another whole set of steps it's contributing nothing to the alcohol concentration.

      The people who do this "'nother whole set of steps" best, or at least most commonly, are the "allgrain" beer brewers, and their processes are documented all over the web. For the grain barley, the brewer's grain of choice, here's the process: 

      1. The dry whole grain is moistened and warmed to make it think spring has arrived, so the grain starts sprouting and producing enzymes that can convert starches to sugars. It is then kilned to stop the "malting" process and stabilize the grain so it can be stored and shipped. It's now malted barley, or barley malt, and you can buy it at your local homebrew supply store.

      2. The brewer cracks the grain, and heats it in water to ~155F, varying a bit depending on what kind of beer you're making. This temperature is warm enough to enable the malt enzymes to start converting the grain starch to sugar, but not so hot as to "kill' (denature) the enzymes.

      3. The now-sweetened grain water is drained off (lautered) and rinsed out of the grain (sparged), and can now be fermented to drink as beer or to distill as whiskey.

      As complicated as this may sound, barley is the easy grain to convert starches. It's "the brewer's friend". In fact, barley malt has enough enzymes in it to convert starches in some less-friendly grains, corn for example.

      If you choose to work with grains, I'd really suggest starting with purchased barley malt; there'll be time enough later to try harder grains to use. I'm still working on my corn-mashing procedures, ans it's still kind of a PITA.

      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits


      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, cnapier@... wrote:
      >
      > Bob......
      >
      > I always enjoy your posts......and I'm amazed at the knowledge you possess.
      >
      > So......The grain is basically a waste of time?
      >
      > I'm getting some flavor at the expense of potential alcohol?
      >
      > Thanks again for your insight.
      >
      > Claude
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: tgfoitwoods zymurgybob@...
      > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Wed, April 24, 2013 3:11:30 AM
      > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Confuzzled
      >
      >
      > Claude,
      >
      > No mud dragging, guaranteed.
      >
      > A bit of simple calculation gives me this: 5 gallons of sugar and 5 gallons of
      > water = 1 pound per gallon, which should give you a specific gravity of ~1.045
      > and a potential alcohol of ~5.9%, maximum.
      >
      > That means that the very best you could expect is 5.9% of 5 gallons of ethanol,
      > or .354 gallons, which equals 45 fluid ounces of ethanol. Diluting all that
      > ethanol (without making cuts) to 80% gives you a total of 56 ounces at 80% ABV
      > (160 proof).
      >
      > Since those are absolute maximum possible numbers, 40 ounces isn't too bad.
      >
      > What did all that grain get you? Absolutely nothing except for a bit of yeast
      > nutrient, and maybe a bit of flavor. Remember that grain is essentially all
      > starch, and yeast can only eat sugar, so unleess you do a proper grain mash with
      > enzymes from malt or a bottle, and the correct times and temperature, to convert
      > that grain starch to sugar, the grain is worthless to the yeast.
      >
      > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
      >
      >
      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "cnapier@..." wrote:
      > >
      > > Ok.....need help.
      > >
      > > I've run multiple sessions of shine.
      > >
      > > I like very much the flavor of my shine.
      > >
      > > 4 inches of all grain...corn, barley, maple mix.
      > > 5 pounds white sugar.
      > > 5 gallons distilled water.
      > > 2 teaspoons dady brewers yeast.
      > > Water temp 70 degrees
      > > All in glass carboy
      > >
      > > Wait til yeast is finished.
      > >
      > > Distilled in pot still.
      > > Double barreled condenser.
      > >
      > > Done on hot plate.....plenty of heat.
      > >
      > > Lucky to get 40 oz on stripping run.
      > > Run again....less than a quart of 160 proof.
      > >
      > > Feel free to drag me thru the mud.
      > >
      > > Claude
      > >
      > > Sent from my HTC EVO 4G LTE exclusively from Sprint
      > >
      >
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