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Re: My First Sugar Wash!

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  • txbajabill
    ... as ... Good question, for which I have a half-answer! The overall goal was for a successful fermentation, but also to see what kind of flavor I could yield
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 1, 2004
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      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gatesbox" <gatesbox@y...>
      wrote:
      > sorry for my uneducated curiosity but what are you trying to make
      as
      > your finished product? The recipe sounds interesting but so
      > complicated for a simple high yield sugar wash. What are the
      > benefits to your choice of sugars, corn, etc? It seems you must be
      > going for a certain flavor in your finished spirit. Perhaps others
      > can explain also what the benefits of adding various ingredients to
      > the wash. Are the lemon, corn, multiple sugars in place of yeast
      > nutrients for a stable fermentation?

      Good question, for which I have a half-answer! The overall goal was
      for a successful fermentation, but also to see what kind of flavor I
      could yield from the wash. I'll be honest, I don't quite know what
      flavor this will cook up. My first two runs were pure water, and the
      third run I made was with 4 liters of 12% red wine and 350 ml of
      nasty sugar cane brandy (some old bottle of Berretega Mexican sugar
      cane brandy; tasted like bitter pecan shell). I was quite amazed how
      much the flavor of the wine and brandy survived through the reflux
      column and went into the final product. It was a sweet, strong
      grappa/brandy tasting vodka. I would postulate that much of the
      flavor of the wash will carry over through the run.

      First, I would like to credit a few others' recipes and ideas.
      Namely, Mikrobios' recipe, "Wine for Distilling," Dr. Legendre's "One
      Dollar Wash" recipe, Tony Ackland for his wonderful webpage
      and "Jack" for his numerous ideas. My recipe is a piecemeal of data
      and ideas from these sources.

      I used the 6-row crystal malted barley for it's starch, flavor and
      acid buffering capacity. The corn meal was added for starch, flavor
      and the thiamine (B-1) enrichment that is helpful to the yeast. I
      used brown sugar and the Mexican unrefined "piloncillo" brown sugar
      for flavor and nutrients not found in the pure white cane sugar.
      Piloncillo is made from pure unrefined brown sugar and invert syrup.
      The lemon juice provided valuable vitamins and citric acid, which
      along with the Acid Blend (malic, citric, tartaric) helped to invert
      the cane sugar (sucrose) during the 15 minute boil. The inverted
      sugar is easier for the yeast to digest as opposed to straight
      disolved sucrose. The yeast nutrient is self-explanatory, while the
      orange juice also added vitamins, minerals and most importantly,
      cellular structure (pulp) to aid the yeast in the end of fermentation
      by preventing compaction and autolysis of the yeast. The multi-
      vitamin tablet was just additional nutrient, but perhaps unneccesary.

      It will be interesting to see what kind of flavor I'll get from the
      wash. Primarily, I wanted to avoid a stuck fermentation. I'll be
      honest, I was afraid that I had pitched the yeast when the wort was
      too hot and all was for naught. I was very relieved when the
      fermentation took off; it took off like a rocket too!
    • gatesbox
      Thanks, great explanation. I have been messing with my first fermented turbo for quite some time and I still think that it has some off odors after using
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 1, 2004
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        Thanks, great explanation. I have been messing with my first
        fermented turbo for quite some time and I still think that it has
        some "off" odors after using the amazing still, then running through
        a very simple pot still, and now a more sophisticated pot still that
        is a mini me version inspired by brainselnoid's fine pot still. the
        third time through I hit a nice 80% with very minimal odor/flavor.
        But I still blame my sensitive odors on the original wash. I have
        added some essences now and am waiting to see if they mask the
        inperfections (top shelf classic rum, and TN whiskey w/ a bag of
        chips soaking)

        I am encouraged now that you may be contributing to a better
        flavored wash, good to know, let us know how it tastes out of the
        still.

        Another question for the group, does traditional (i.e potato)wash
        produce a more crisp vodka?

        Have other folks had the same problem with residual turbo funkiness?
      • txbajabill
        ... through the same problem with residual turbo funkiness? I have a question for you regarding your off flavor and the turbo wash. Did use
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 1, 2004
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          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gatesbox" <gatesbox@y...>
          wrote:
          > Thanks, great explanation. I have been messing with my first
          > fermented turbo for quite some time and I still think that it has
          > some "off" odors after using the amazing still, then running
          through the same problem with residual turbo funkiness? <<SNIP>>

          I have a question for you regarding your "off" flavor and the turbo
          wash. Did use activated carbon on your distillate to polish out the
          odors? Another question I have regards the settling/fining of the
          finished ferment. With my next fermentation I was going to use
          straight sugar and turbo to see the difference. I noticed on the
          directions a comment that due to the particular strain of yeast in
          the turbo, filtering with a wine filter was necessary. It read that
          the yeast would not settle naturally, but remain in suspension. From
          what I've read, yeast in the boiler would contribute to "off" odors
          and tastes in the distillate.

          I'm wondering what the most efficient way of getting a clear wash
          after fermentation. I have bentonite to fine the wash, but am
          wondering if egg whites or some other clearing agent would be better
          before siphoning wash off the yeast cake.

          baja
        • gatesbox
          Yes I think we may be talking about the same turbo. Liquor quick I think was the brand. Anyway, it did not settle even after an ample fermentation time (5
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 2, 2004
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            Yes I think we may be talking about the same turbo. Liquor quick I
            think was the brand. Anyway, it did not settle even after an ample
            fermentation time (5 days) and I did not use a wine filter to filter
            the yeast. The "off" flavor has been almost eliminated but it has
            taken several runs as I said. I don't know how other clearing agents
            will work, but If I was going to use a turbo again I would filter the
            wash. I did use some charcoal but as per other strings in the group
            I have not built a very good filter yet. I am hoping the slight
            residual flavor/odor will be masked by essences and aging in oak.

            Honestly I don't know if I would advocate turbo yeast. As I have
            gained a bit more confidence in the distilling process producing a
            totally neuteral spirit seems somewhat less attractive than
            expirementing with whisky, schnapps, and other flavored spirits.
            This is also why I have become more content with my stove top pot
            still.
          • Rana Pipiens
            Gatesbox, Does your stove use an electric element or a gas burner and what is the volume of your pot still boiler? Thx, R. New Distillers group archives are at
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 2, 2004
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              Gatesbox, Does your stove use an electric element or a gas burner and what is the volume of your pot still boiler? Thx, R.



              New Distillers group archives are at http://archive.nnytech.net/
              FAQ and other information available at http://homedistiller.org





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            • gatesbox
              ... and what is the volume of your pot still boiler? Thx, R. I decided to bite the bullet and run it on the gas burner. I had plenty of ventilation and
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 4, 2004
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                > Gatesbox, Does your stove use an electric element or a gas burner
                and what is the volume of your pot still boiler? Thx, R.

                I decided to bite the bullet and run it on the gas burner. I had
                plenty of ventilation and decided to monitor the pot for leaks. By
                the way I found that with six small clamps the seal on the metal to
                metal lid to pot was better than when I tried to use tubing or other
                seals. I bought a set of 4 Pots on ebay and use the largest 20qt
                pot, the whole set was 19.99. I ran 3/4 inch copper out of the lid
                to a long goose neck using 3 (120deg?) elbows twisted to conform to
                a nice long angle. If you are interested I can share parts and
                dimensions. It was very cheap (compared to reflux) and uses only
                copper soldering, hose clamps and inexpensive pvc fittings for the
                condensor.
              • pmbcaton
                Hell yes, I d like some info. That sounds almost exactly what I had in mind for my very first machine. How do those clamps suit you? Any leaks? Do you
                Message 7 of 9 , May 24 7:49 PM
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                  Hell yes, I'd like some info. That sounds almost exactly what I had
                  in mind for my very first machine.
                  How do those clamps suit you? Any leaks? Do you flour/water paste
                  it first?
                  Let's say I make a great wort, like an 18%-er. What kind of yied
                  can one one expect with one batch in your still and ran through three
                  times?
                  What's the lyne arm set to? That same angle you were talking about?
                  I am excited about this, for I have all but the boiler.

                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gatesbox" <gatesbox@y...>
                  wrote:
                  > > Gatesbox, Does your stove use an electric element or a gas burner
                  > and what is the volume of your pot still boiler? Thx, R.
                  >
                  > I decided to bite the bullet and run it on the gas burner. I had
                  > plenty of ventilation and decided to monitor the pot for leaks. By
                  > the way I found that with six small clamps the seal on the metal to
                  > metal lid to pot was better than when I tried to use tubing or
                  other
                  > seals. I bought a set of 4 Pots on ebay and use the largest 20qt
                  > pot, the whole set was 19.99. I ran 3/4 inch copper out of the lid
                  > to a long goose neck using 3 (120deg?) elbows twisted to conform to
                  > a nice long angle. If you are interested I can share parts and
                  > dimensions. It was very cheap (compared to reflux) and uses only
                  > copper soldering, hose clamps and inexpensive pvc fittings for the
                  > condensor.
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