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whats up with my quantitys?

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  • gord
    I have a reflux still with a 3 ft 2 tower.I run it at about 82C and get 80% abv..BUT..Out of a 25 ltre batch,I only get about 1 and 1/2 litres, at best.Am I
    Message 1 of 15 , Oct 30, 2006
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      I have a reflux still with a 3 ft 2"tower.I run it at about 82C and
      get 80% abv..BUT..Out of a 25 ltre batch,I only get about 1 and 1/2
      litres, at best.Am I doing something wrong?I keep going till the temp
      rises and I,m getting waaay too little out of the discharge,maybe 1
      drop every sec.by this time the temp has risen to close to 90C..I
      stop.even at 1 drop per sec ,the least i have had is 70%abv.It seems
      to be too little for the amount of wash(sugar)..Whats up?
    • Larry
      ... 1. How much alcohol was in the wash after fermenting? 2. How tightly is your column packed? Getting 80% out of a reflux still indicates something wrong, to
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 30, 2006
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        At 12:47 PM 10/30/2006, you wrote:

        >I have a reflux still with a 3 ft 2"tower.I run it at about 82C and
        >get 80% abv..BUT..Out of a 25 ltre batch,I only get about 1 and 1/2
        >litres, at best. Am I doing something wrong?I keep going till the temp
        >rises and I,m getting waaay too little out of the discharge,maybe 1
        >drop every sec.by this time the temp has risen to close to 90C..I
        >stop.even at 1 drop per sec ,the least i have had is 70%abv.It seems
        >to be too little for the amount of wash(sugar)..Whats up?

        1. How much alcohol was in the wash after fermenting?
        2. How tightly is your column packed?

        Getting 80% out of a reflux still indicates something wrong, to begin with,
        like not enough alcohol from fermentation to start with. Output from a
        reflux still should be closer to 90%, and a LOT more than 1.5 liters total
        (if you started out with enough alcohol in the wash).

        If you don't have a hydrometer that's graduated for measuring the wash,
        getting one is probably going to be your first step towards an answer to
        your question.

        OR, you could simply drink about a quart of your wash and see whether you
        get Stinkin' Drunk from it!

        It should be as strong as wine, so if you can still function well, %abv is
        too low. <wink>

        If you mix 3 gallons of alcohol into 2 gallons of water (high %abv), and
        distill it, you'll get the 3 gallons back out, leaving 2 gallons of water
        behind.

        If you mix a quart of ethanol in with 5 gallons of water (low %abv), you
        can only get that quart back out when you distill it.

        There are a number of ways a wash can ferment out to little or no alcohol,
        but defining that as being (or not being) your problem is the first step.

        Mesh in the column should be packed as loosely as you can get it, without
        having it fall out on it's own when you put the column vertical.

        Tightness could be affecting your collection rate, and maybe your abv, too.
      • Gord Day
        I hadn,t been measuring specific gravity.My wash was 10lbs sugar,3tblsps turbo yeast,and nuf water for 25 litres.It bubbled for a week and finally stopped.This
        Message 3 of 15 , Oct 30, 2006
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          I hadn,t been measuring specific gravity.My wash was 10lbs sugar,3tblsps
          turbo yeast,and nuf water for 25 litres.It bubbled for a week and finally
          stopped.This is the same for every wash..I,ve made about 7 batches by now..I
          even have 2 batches wash on the go rite now..BUT..these 2 never have seemed
          to bubble and one was oct 22 and the other oct 24.I added one tblsp of yeast
          to each yesyeterday and they frothed at the introduction of the
          yeast.Still,they r not bubbling thru the bubbler.My llids appear tite.
          What should the average output be (hypothetically) on a 25 litre
          wash?Quantity wsie?
          I,m confuzzled

          Gord in Kitimat BC

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        • Gord Day
          ok..I just chekt spacific gravity..1030 after over a week.didn,t chek at first so don,t know where |I started.
          Message 4 of 15 , Oct 30, 2006
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            ok..I just chekt spacific gravity..1030 after over a week.didn,t chek at
            first so don,t know where |I started.

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          • Harry
            ... chek at ... Fermentation problems...Possibilities are (among others): Not enough viable yeast cells per litre wash. Not enough oxygen at startup. Not
            Message 5 of 15 , Oct 30, 2006
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              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Gord Day" <temagami@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ok..I just chekt spacific gravity..1030 after over a week.didn,t
              chek at
              > first so don,t know where |I started.



              Fermentation problems...Possibilities are (among others):
              Not enough viable yeast cells per litre wash.
              Not enough oxygen at startup.
              Not enough nutrients.
              Wrong pH.

              Distillation problems...
              If the head reading in a reflux still won't go below 82 degC, you're
              pumping too much power in. Lower it.

              I suggest you go to the homepage and read up on the theory, then the
              practicals.

              Slainte!
              regards Harry
            • Larry
              ... Hmmm... not enough sugar and not enough yeast is going to give you Not Enough Alcohol after fermenting. I use Prestige Turbo-Pure 48 yeast. It s
              Message 6 of 15 , Oct 30, 2006
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                At 04:28 PM 10/30/2006, you wrote:

                >My wash was 10lbs sugar, 3tblsps turbo yeast, and nuf water for 25
                >litres.It bubbled for a week and finally stopped.

                Hmmm... not enough sugar and not enough yeast is going to give you "Not
                Enough Alcohol" after fermenting.

                I use Prestige Turbo-Pure 48 yeast. It's instructions say to use 13-17
                pounds of sugar dissolving into 2 gallons of hot water, then when it cools
                down below 104F, top it up to 25 liters with cold water and add the entire
                packet of yeast, which is 4.75 ounces (135 grams), and keep it under 86F
                while it ferments.

                I've never measured out the yeast by volume, since the packets say to use
                the whole thing in a 25-liter wash, but my guess is that it would be about
                six or seven tablespoons.

                If your yeast didn't come with instructions that say to mix it like that,
                you might consider about 15 pounds of sugar and at least double the amount
                of yeast.
              • fit_dude42
                I have just run a Power23 turbo yeast which says to use 18L of 40C water and add 10.6kg of turbo (brewers) sugar or 9kg of table sugar. This brings the volume
                Message 7 of 15 , Oct 31, 2006
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                  I have just run a Power23 turbo yeast which says to use 18L of 40C
                  water and add 10.6kg of turbo (brewers) sugar or 9kg of table sugar.
                  This brings the volume up to about 24L at room temperature.

                  This yealded 900ml of 92% spirit from 5L of wash, so i reckon the
                  wash fermented out to about 20%ABV.

                  The final SG was 0.98. The initial SG was 1.15. I calculated the
                  fnal SG should have been about 0.96 for the advertised 23% from this
                  turbo.

                  The calculators on the home page of this group helped me work out
                  what sugar should be required for given %, and 10kg into 25L of
                  water is quite high, but correct for a 23% wash.

                  I am assuming the turbo yeast you used had all the appropriate
                  nutrients in it, otherwise your yeast will just die, no matter how
                  much you use.

                  The Power23 also had a packet of liquid carbon with it that was
                  added with the sugar and yeast. I am assuming this has the effect of
                  removing any unwanted smells or tastes from the wash, but i am also
                  thinking it may help the yeast as welll by removing toxins, thus
                  making the yeast more productive. I'll keep researching that one.

                  My turbo didn't do as well as it should because i think i didn't
                  aerate the wash enough before hand - going to test that on the next
                  one.

                  Hope that puts a perspective on things regarding potetial output
                  quantities. I reckon i should get 4.3L of 92% spirit from this 24L
                  wash given that i've only done 1x5L run as yet and that gave 900ml.

                  Karl.

                  Cheers m'dears.


                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Larry <larry@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > At 04:28 PM 10/30/2006, you wrote:
                  >
                  > >My wash was 10lbs sugar, 3tblsps turbo yeast, and nuf water for
                  25
                  > >litres.It bubbled for a week and finally stopped.
                  >
                  > Hmmm... not enough sugar and not enough yeast is going to give
                  you "Not
                  > Enough Alcohol" after fermenting.
                  >
                  > I use Prestige Turbo-Pure 48 yeast. It's instructions say to use
                  13-17
                  > pounds of sugar dissolving into 2 gallons of hot water, then when
                  it cools
                  > down below 104F, top it up to 25 liters with cold water and add
                  the entire
                  > packet of yeast, which is 4.75 ounces (135 grams), and keep it
                  under 86F
                  > while it ferments.
                  >
                  > I've never measured out the yeast by volume, since the packets say
                  to use
                  > the whole thing in a 25-liter wash, but my guess is that it would
                  be about
                  > six or seven tablespoons.
                  >
                  > If your yeast didn't come with instructions that say to mix it
                  like that,
                  > you might consider about 15 pounds of sugar and at least double
                  the amount
                  > of yeast.
                  >
                • Gord Day
                  ok..I,ll add more sugar next time..Can I add more sugar and yeast NOW.and stir it and let it set 4 another week,,Also..How long do your washes SET?
                  Message 8 of 15 , Oct 31, 2006
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                    ok..I,ll add more sugar next time..Can I add more sugar and yeast NOW.and
                    stir it and let it set 4 another week,,Also..How long do your washes SET?

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                  • Larry
                    ... I forgot to mention, it s best if it s sugar from sugar cane. This is no big deal in the USA, since Pure Cane Sugar is plastered all over sugar bags.
                    Message 9 of 15 , Oct 31, 2006
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                      At 08:27 AM 10/31/2006, you wrote:

                      >ok..I,ll add more sugar next time..

                      I forgot to mention, it's best if it's sugar from sugar cane. This is no
                      big deal in the USA, since "Pure Cane Sugar" is plastered all over sugar
                      bags. I've seen comments, from people in other countries, which indicated
                      that "table sugar" in some other countries may not be cane sugar. It has to
                      do with the type of sugar... which "tose". Glucose, Sucrose, Fructose,
                      Whatever-tose... sucrose, specifically, is best, and cane sugar supplies that.

                      For simplicity, I just go to the Super Wal-Mart and buy two ten-pound bags
                      of the cheapest sugar they sell. I weigh out 3 pounds from one of the bags
                      (on a postal scale), and put it in our pantry, for use on the table.

                      Then, 17 pounds of it goes into my 25-liter wash. If you don't have any
                      means of weighing it, you could always buy three 5-pound bags and use it all.

                      You're basically drinking Yeast Sewage. Yeast eats the sugar & nutrients in
                      the Turbo, and their waste is alcohol. The more it eats, the more waste it
                      creates, until (like any living thing), it dies in it. The more there IS
                      for it to eat, the more it WILL eat. Yeast is a glutton. <grin>
                    • Larry
                      ... if you can get 80% out of your current wash, you d be best off just running it, and changing things next time. If you get 80% (or whatever) and want
                      Message 10 of 15 , Oct 31, 2006
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                        At 08:27 AM 10/31/2006, you wrote:
                        >Can I add more sugar and yeast NOW.

                        if you can get 80% out of your current wash, you'd be best off just running
                        it, and changing things next time. If you get 80% (or whatever) and want
                        higher, you can cut it to 40%, and add it to your next wash just before
                        your next run. It'll all come back out, minus the water that's diluting it
                        down to 80%.

                        I would GUESS that you could add more sugar and yeast right now, but you'd
                        need to essentially make another wash, then add it to your current one, and
                        let it ferment all over again.

                        Otherwise, it might be tedious dissolving several pounds of sugar into cold
                        water, and if you heat your wash above 86F you will kill the yeast.

                        The main thing you'd save by adding to your current wash is the gas or
                        electricity that you use in doing two runs instead of one, and the amount
                        of your time required.

                        You aren't going to waste the sugar and yeast you've already used... you'll
                        get out a proportionally small batch of alcohol, but you didn't spend much
                        on ingredients, so not too bad if you don't get a lot of output.
                      • fit_dude42
                        How much sugar did you put in originally? My wash had 10kg of sugar in 18L which is very high unless your turbo is designed to handle it. Having too much sugar
                        Message 11 of 15 , Oct 31, 2006
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                          How much sugar did you put in originally?

                          My wash had 10kg of sugar in 18L which is very high unless your turbo
                          is designed to handle it.

                          Having too much sugar is just as bad if not worse than having too
                          little - the yeast can't breathe if the wash is too 'syrup-y'.

                          If your wash has already fermented, adding new yeast will just kill
                          it, as yeast needs to become accustomed to the alcohol levels. The
                          only way you could possibly recover the wash you have is to try a
                          winemaking trick to recover partially fermented 'stuck' brews.

                          Get 2 pints of luke-warm water, dissolve a cup of sugar into it, add
                          your yeast and nutrient and get it bubbling - takes about 1/2 an hour
                          to an hour - then once it's bubbling well, add 1 pint of your stuck
                          wash to it and let it get bubbling again, then continue to double up
                          on the new wash with equal quantities of the stuck wash, letting it
                          get a good hold each time before adding more.
                          With wines this can take a couple of days to establish the new yeast
                          with all the 'stuck' stuff. Never tried it with turbo's but i would
                          assume the principle is the same. You are introducing the alcohol
                          from the partially fermented wash in small stages to let the new
                          yeast get used to it. If you do it too quickly though you may kill
                          the new yeast.

                          Once it's all going leave it in a normal inside room at about 20-22C.

                          My turbo's instructions said it should have fermented out to 23% in 7-
                          9 days. Mine was a bit slow as it took 14 days and only reached 20%,
                          but i think that was something i did rather than the yeast not doing
                          it's job.

                          Hope you can recover your's, but it's only a few quid in sugar if you
                          can't.

                          Cheers m'dears
                          Karl.


                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Gord Day" <temagami@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > ok..I,ll add more sugar next time..Can I add more sugar and yeast
                          NOW.and
                          > stir it and let it set 4 another week,,Also..How long do your
                          washes SET?
                          >
                          > _________________________________________________________________
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                          > the creative potential of today's youth? Check out Mobile Jam Fest
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                        • Larry
                          ... Turbo-Pure 48 will give you a distillable wash in 48 hours, if you use the minimum 13 pounds of sugar and temp is on the high side. If you use more sugar,
                          Message 12 of 15 , Oct 31, 2006
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                            At 08:27 AM 10/31/2006, you wrote:
                            >Also..How long do your washes SET?

                            Turbo-Pure 48 will give you a distillable wash in 48 hours, if you use the
                            minimum 13 pounds of sugar and temp is on the high side.

                            If you use more sugar, and want a higher %ABV, the packet advises up to 7
                            days. Most people let it sit at least until it has quit bubbling, assumming
                            that isn't too soon, which indicates something wrong.

                            Other yeasts will take different amounts of time... Turbo-Pure 24 is a
                            24-hour yeast, for example, and most others take longer.

                            Whatever yeast you're using, (unless it's baker's yeast from the grocery
                            store) probably has recommended times, but "Ain't Bubbling" will pretty
                            much do, no matter what yeast is used, probably a week or two.

                            Personally, I add a clearing agent to my sugar wash after about 5 days,
                            then it sits until I get around to running it, usually another week or two.

                            I have a wash in there right now that I started a little over two weeks
                            ago, and looks like a big, translucent bucket full of Budweiser. <grin>

                            If doesn't matter how long the wash sits after fermentation is complete, so
                            long as the alcohol doesn't evaporate out of it.

                            Alcohol evaporates faster than water, so you might conceiveably come up
                            with a container full of liquid that contains little alcohol, eventually.
                            If you've got the wash in an airtight container, it'll keep for a long time.

                            Mine's still in the fermenter, with an airlock on it, so it's fairly close
                            to airtight. I may have time to start running it in another week or so...
                          • morganfield1
                            Hi Gord, (and everyone else, yes, he s back!) First of all, are you adding yeast nutrient to the wash? Yeast can not live on sugar alone. Second, you have to
                            Message 13 of 15 , Oct 31, 2006
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                              Hi Gord, (and everyone else, yes, he's back!)
                              First of all, are you adding yeast nutrient to the wash? Yeast can
                              not live on sugar alone. Second, you have to take gravity raedings,
                              it's the only way to troubleshoot a problem when (not if) you have
                              one. Take an O.G. at the beginning, and a F.G. at the end. This will
                              tell you how much potential abv% you have in your wash to start with.
                              Third, what type of still do you have! (Reflux, I know)but is it LM,
                              CM, or just a packed column? That will go a long way towards
                              determining how much abv to expect from your still. Good luck, hope
                              this helps.

                              Tip one, Morgan

                              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Gord Day" <temagami@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > I hadn,t been measuring specific gravity.My wash was 10lbs
                              sugar,3tblsps
                              > turbo yeast,and nuf water for 25 litres.It bubbled for a week and
                              finally
                              > stopped.This is the same for every wash..I,ve made about 7 batches
                              by now..I
                              > even have 2 batches wash on the go rite now..BUT..these 2 never
                              have seemed
                              > to bubble and one was oct 22 and the other oct 24.I added one
                              tblsp of yeast
                              > to each yesyeterday and they frothed at the introduction of the
                              > yeast.Still,they r not bubbling thru the bubbler.My llids appear
                              tite.
                              > What should the average output be (hypothetically) on a 25 litre
                              > wash?Quantity wsie?
                              > I,m confuzzled
                              >
                              > Gord in Kitimat BC
                              >
                              > _________________________________________________________________
                              > Buy, Load, Play. The new Sympatico / MSN Music Store works
                              seamlessly with
                              > Windows Media Player. Just Click PLAY.
                              > http://musicstore.sympatico.msn.ca/content/viewer.aspx?
                              cid=SMS_Sept192006
                              >
                            • Gord Day
                              Thanx Guys..I made another batch using some(2gal) of the other batch.I put in a lot more yeast and 20lbs sugar.. chekt gravity.1000..30..I ran the other batch
                              Message 14 of 15 , Oct 31, 2006
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                                Thanx Guys..I made another batch using some(2gal) of the other batch.I put
                                in a lot more yeast and 20lbs sugar.. chekt gravity.1000..30..I ran the
                                other batch anyhow and got 80% only about 1 and half litre.but oh well..live
                                and learn..Now I,m gonna hafta redo the instructions I printed out for the
                                wife..I,ll being heading out 4 about 6 weeks and I wanted her to keep the
                                still going.we,ll see.Maybe I can get enuf made ahead of time to keep me
                                happy while I,m gone.
                                Thanx
                                gain
                                Gord

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                              • Larry
                                ... I hope a full 20 lbs isn t going to be too much... as someone pointed out, there IS such a thing as too much sugar. Turbo-48 s instructions recommend 13-17
                                Message 15 of 15 , Oct 31, 2006
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                                  At 05:17 PM 10/31/2006, you wrote:
                                  >Thanx Guys..I made another batch using some(2gal) of the other batch.I put
                                  >in a lot more yeast and 20lbs sugar..

                                  I hope a full 20 lbs isn't going to be too much... as someone pointed out,
                                  there IS such a thing as too much sugar. Turbo-48's instructions recommend
                                  13-17 pounds.

                                  Whatever yeast you're using might have a higher, lower, or identical
                                  need/tolerance for sugar.

                                  Another thing to keep in mind is aeration. Don't used distilled water,
                                  don't even boil it before using, as that makes it give up dissolved oxygen,
                                  which the yeast needs.

                                  I have an "Air Rock" for an aquarium that I run for a couple of/few hours
                                  before I start adding the sugar.

                                  Then I make sure the water being heated in my stock pot doesn't get hot
                                  enough to approach boiling before I start adding sugar.

                                  That's to insure a good amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, and is
                                  probably over-kill, since I get all my water from the faucet on the kitchen
                                  sink, and it has an aerator on it.

                                  I fill a gallon pitcher, then dump into the fermenter.
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