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  • yagr11
    My fruit mash is somewhat thick. I used 12 lbs peaches, 5 lbs white sugar dissolved in boiling water, and liquified everything to come up with a final volume
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 20, 2007
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      My fruit mash is somewhat thick. I used 12 lbs peaches, 5 lbs white
      sugar dissolved in boiling water, and liquified everything to come up
      with a final volume of about 3.5 Gallons. The hydrometer is really
      more suspended in the stuff rather than "bobbing" in it. If I let it
      sit there for 5 minutes, it finally sinks to the bottom, making the
      reading way off.

      Does this mean I need to add more water? If not, how would I get an
      initial Hydrometer reading that is accurate(do I even truly need to
      get an initial reading?)?

      I have not pitched the yeast yet, so a quick answer may save my
      batch! :) Thanks in advance for your help! Brandon
    • Harry
      ... up ... it ... You ll need at least another 1 gallon of water, 2 would be safer, to prevent stuck fermentation. A few yeast nutrients will help also, like a
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 20, 2007
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        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yagr11" <yagr1@...> wrote:
        >
        > My fruit mash is somewhat thick. I used 12 lbs peaches, 5 lbs white
        > sugar dissolved in boiling water, and liquified everything to come
        up
        > with a final volume of about 3.5 Gallons. The hydrometer is really
        > more suspended in the stuff rather than "bobbing" in it. If I let
        it
        > sit there for 5 minutes, it finally sinks to the bottom, making the
        > reading way off.
        >
        > Does this mean I need to add more water? If not, how would I get an
        > initial Hydrometer reading that is accurate(do I even truly need to
        > get an initial reading?)?
        >
        > I have not pitched the yeast yet, so a quick answer may save my
        > batch! :) Thanks in advance for your help! Brandon
        >


        You'll need at least another 1 gallon of water, 2 would be safer, to
        prevent stuck fermentation.

        A few yeast nutrients will help also, like a cup of molasses or a
        small can of tomato paste.


        Slainte!
        regards Harry
      • waljaco
        Equal quantity of water will reduce the fruit acidity to a good pH for fermentation. A 3:3:1 or 2:4:1 proportion of fruit:water:sugar works well In your case
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 21, 2007
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          Equal quantity of water will reduce the fruit acidity to a good pH for
          fermentation.
          A 3:3:1 or 2:4:1 proportion of fruit:water:sugar works well
          In your case add another 11/2 gallons (6 litres) water for -
          6 kg fruit (12lbs):6 litres water (11/2gallons):2 kg sugar (4.5 lbs)
          wal
          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yagr11" <yagr1@...> wrote:
          >
          > My fruit mash is somewhat thick. I used 12 lbs peaches, 5 lbs white
          > sugar dissolved in boiling water, and liquified everything to come up
          > with a final volume of about 3.5 Gallons. The hydrometer is really
          > more suspended in the stuff rather than "bobbing" in it. If I let it
          > sit there for 5 minutes, it finally sinks to the bottom, making the
          > reading way off.
          >
          > Does this mean I need to add more water? If not, how would I get an
          > initial Hydrometer reading that is accurate(do I even truly need to
          > get an initial reading?)?
          >
          > I have not pitched the yeast yet, so a quick answer may save my
          > batch! :) Thanks in advance for your help! Brandon
          >
        • yagr11
          Ok...so now I m getting a bit frustrated. Not a good place to be as this is supposed to be a fun new hobby! :) Since last post (30+ days ago), I took a
          Message 4 of 13 , May 2, 2007
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            Ok...so now I'm getting a bit frustrated. Not a good place to be as
            this is supposed to be a fun new hobby! :) Since last post (30+
            days ago), I took a little time off (as I had already had to dump
            and start over 3 times) and decided to give this infamous peach
            brandy another shot (yes, for the 4th time). This time, I made sure
            that my proportions were more along the lines that Harry and Wal
            suggested (see below). I added additional water so the mash was not
            as thick etc. The total mash is approximately 5 gallons, which
            includes 12 lbs fruit and 5 lbs sugar...the rest being water. I
            even added a small can of tomato paste this time around to see if it
            would be a good nutrient for the yeast. Well......

            Everything was looking good for the first 2.5 days until today, I
            get home from work and it looks as if the air lock is still. No
            gasses whatsoever coming out anymore. I thought it needed to
            ferment for closer to a week to really get the alcohol content we
            want. So...my questions (this time) are: could it still be
            fermenting? If not, is it possible to get a good alcohol content
            after only a couple days? What might I have done wrong this time?
            And finally........ Is there a more recommended "starter batch"
            that you guys could recommend that may be harder to "screw up"???

            Thanks a ton! Brandon


            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco" <waljaco@...> wrote:
            >
            > Equal quantity of water will reduce the fruit acidity to a good pH
            for
            > fermentation.
            > A 3:3:1 or 2:4:1 proportion of fruit:water:sugar works well
            > In your case add another 11/2 gallons (6 litres) water for -
            > 6 kg fruit (12lbs):6 litres water (11/2gallons):2 kg sugar (4.5
            lbs)
            > wal
            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yagr11" <yagr1@> wrote:
            > >
            > > My fruit mash is somewhat thick. I used 12 lbs peaches, 5 lbs
            white
            > > sugar dissolved in boiling water, and liquified everything to
            come up
            > > with a final volume of about 3.5 Gallons. The hydrometer is
            really
            > > more suspended in the stuff rather than "bobbing" in it. If I
            let it
            > > sit there for 5 minutes, it finally sinks to the bottom, making
            the
            > > reading way off.
            > >
            > > Does this mean I need to add more water? If not, how would I
            get an
            > > initial Hydrometer reading that is accurate(do I even truly need
            to
            > > get an initial reading?)?
            > >
            > > I have not pitched the yeast yet, so a quick answer may save my
            > > batch! :) Thanks in advance for your help! Brandon
            > >
            >
          • scotty@onlinebrewing.com
            ... Like all fermentations,is there a yeast head, have you checked with a hydrometer and such. Gas likes to leak out of nooks and crannies... Scotty
            Message 5 of 13 , May 2, 2007
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              >
              > Everything was looking good for the first 2.5 days until today, I
              > get home from work and it looks as if the air lock is still. No
              > gasses whatsoever coming out anymore. I thought it needed to

              Like all fermentations,is there a yeast head, have you checked with a
              hydrometer and such. Gas likes to leak out of nooks and crannies...

              Scotty
            • sbr_f
              ... Scotty.. What was your starting spg and your target ending spg? Take your wine theif and check your spg...... if its way high to your ending target youv
              Message 6 of 13 , May 2, 2007
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                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, scotty@... wrote:
                >
                >
                > >
                > > Everything was looking good for the first 2.5 days until today, I
                > > get home from work and it looks as if the air lock is still. No
                > > gasses whatsoever coming out anymore. I thought it needed to
                >
                > Like all fermentations,is there a yeast head, have you checked with a
                > hydrometer and such. Gas likes to leak out of nooks and crannies...
                >
                > Scotty
                >
                Scotty.. What was your starting spg and your target ending spg? Take
                your wine theif and check your spg...... if its way high to your
                ending target youv probably got a "hung fermentation" {i love that term}
                caused by bad hygene sp or wild temp changes or movement of the
                fermenting wash...the yeasty guys are bitchy!!!! How far off are you
                of your target????

                Good luck
                sbr
              • Harry
                ... as ... sure ... not ... it ... time? ... Taste it (trust me, it won t hurt you). If it s sweet, the ferment may be stuck. If it s not sweet, then it s
                Message 7 of 13 , May 3, 2007
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                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yagr11" <yagr1@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Ok...so now I'm getting a bit frustrated. Not a good place to be
                  as
                  > this is supposed to be a fun new hobby! :) Since last post (30+
                  > days ago), I took a little time off (as I had already had to dump
                  > and start over 3 times) and decided to give this infamous peach
                  > brandy another shot (yes, for the 4th time). This time, I made
                  sure
                  > that my proportions were more along the lines that Harry and Wal
                  > suggested (see below). I added additional water so the mash was
                  not
                  > as thick etc. The total mash is approximately 5 gallons, which
                  > includes 12 lbs fruit and 5 lbs sugar...the rest being water. I
                  > even added a small can of tomato paste this time around to see if
                  it
                  > would be a good nutrient for the yeast. Well......
                  >
                  > Everything was looking good for the first 2.5 days until today, I
                  > get home from work and it looks as if the air lock is still. No
                  > gasses whatsoever coming out anymore. I thought it needed to
                  > ferment for closer to a week to really get the alcohol content we
                  > want. So...my questions (this time) are: could it still be
                  > fermenting? If not, is it possible to get a good alcohol content
                  > after only a couple days? What might I have done wrong this
                  time?
                  > And finally........ Is there a more recommended "starter batch"
                  > that you guys could recommend that may be harder to "screw up"???
                  >
                  > Thanks a ton! Brandon




                  Taste it (trust me, it won't hurt you). If it's sweet, the ferment
                  may be stuck.

                  If it's not sweet, then it's finished. Distil it.

                  Get back to us after the taste test with an observation.


                  Slainte!
                  regards Harry
                • yagr11
                  ... be ... (30+ ... dump ... if ... I ... we ... content ... up ??? ... ferment ... Thanks for the advice. So I tasted it, just a little off the top, so to
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 3, 2007
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                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yagr11" <yagr1@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Ok...so now I'm getting a bit frustrated. Not a good place to
                    be
                    > as
                    > > this is supposed to be a fun new hobby! :) Since last post
                    (30+
                    > > days ago), I took a little time off (as I had already had to
                    dump
                    > > and start over 3 times) and decided to give this infamous peach
                    > > brandy another shot (yes, for the 4th time). This time, I made
                    > sure
                    > > that my proportions were more along the lines that Harry and Wal
                    > > suggested (see below). I added additional water so the mash was
                    > not
                    > > as thick etc. The total mash is approximately 5 gallons, which
                    > > includes 12 lbs fruit and 5 lbs sugar...the rest being water. I
                    > > even added a small can of tomato paste this time around to see
                    if
                    > it
                    > > would be a good nutrient for the yeast. Well......
                    > >
                    > > Everything was looking good for the first 2.5 days until today,
                    I
                    > > get home from work and it looks as if the air lock is still. No
                    > > gasses whatsoever coming out anymore. I thought it needed to
                    > > ferment for closer to a week to really get the alcohol content
                    we
                    > > want. So...my questions (this time) are: could it still be
                    > > fermenting? If not, is it possible to get a good alcohol
                    content
                    > > after only a couple days? What might I have done wrong this
                    > time?
                    > > And finally........ Is there a more recommended "starter batch"
                    > > that you guys could recommend that may be harder to "screw
                    up"???
                    > >
                    > > Thanks a ton! Brandon
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Taste it (trust me, it won't hurt you). If it's sweet, the
                    ferment
                    > may be stuck.
                    >
                    > If it's not sweet, then it's finished. Distil it.
                    >
                    > Get back to us after the taste test with an observation.
                    >
                    >
                    > Slainte!
                    > regards Harry
                    >



                    Thanks for the advice. So I tasted it, just a little off the top,
                    so to speak. It definately wasn't sweet; at least not as sweet as
                    12 lbs peaches and 5 lbs sugar should be (it was a very sweet drink
                    before fermentation). It almost tastes a bit sour. That said,
                    shouldn't 5 gallons of the stuff take longer than 2 days to ferment
                    out? What do you think? Distill it? I have a feeling I may only
                    get a few dribbles out...
                  • Link D'Antoni
                    Brandon, Did you run Specific Gravity at the beginning of fermentation? What was it? What is it now? Yes, It is possible that there is still (a little
                    Message 9 of 13 , May 3, 2007
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                      Brandon,

                      Did you run Specific Gravity at the beginning of
                      fermentation? What was it? What is it now?

                      Yes, It is 'possible' that there is still (a little
                      distiller's lingo there) fermentation. Your
                      container/airlock might not be sealed properly, etc or
                      just that the fermentation has just slowed enough...

                      Link



                      --- yagr11 <yagr1@...> wrote:

                      > Ok...so now I'm getting a bit frustrated. Not a
                      > good place to be as
                      > this is supposed to be a fun new hobby! :) Since
                      > last post (30+
                      > days ago), I took a little time off (as I had
                      > already had to dump
                      > and start over 3 times) and decided to give this
                      > infamous peach
                      > brandy another shot (yes, for the 4th time). This
                      > time, I made sure
                      > that my proportions were more along the lines that
                      > Harry and Wal
                      > suggested (see below). I added additional water so
                      > the mash was not
                      > as thick etc. The total mash is approximately 5
                      > gallons, which
                      > includes 12 lbs fruit and 5 lbs sugar...the rest
                      > being water. I
                      > even added a small can of tomato paste this time
                      > around to see if it
                      > would be a good nutrient for the yeast. Well......
                      >
                      > Everything was looking good for the first 2.5 days
                      > until today, I
                      > get home from work and it looks as if the air lock
                      > is still. No
                      > gasses whatsoever coming out anymore. I thought it
                      > needed to
                      > ferment for closer to a week to really get the
                      > alcohol content we
                      > want. So...my questions (this time) are: could it
                      > still be
                      > fermenting? If not, is it possible to get a good
                      > alcohol content
                      > after only a couple days? What might I have done
                      > wrong this time?
                      > And finally........ Is there a more recommended
                      > "starter batch"
                      > that you guys could recommend that may be harder to
                      > "screw up"???
                      >
                      > Thanks a ton! Brandon
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco"
                      > <waljaco@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Equal quantity of water will reduce the fruit
                      > acidity to a good pH
                      > for
                      > > fermentation.
                      > > A 3:3:1 or 2:4:1 proportion of fruit:water:sugar
                      > works well
                      > > In your case add another 11/2 gallons (6 litres)
                      > water for -
                      > > 6 kg fruit (12lbs):6 litres water (11/2gallons):2
                      > kg sugar (4.5
                      > lbs)
                      > > wal
                      > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yagr11"
                      > <yagr1@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > My fruit mash is somewhat thick. I used 12 lbs
                      > peaches, 5 lbs
                      > white
                      > > > sugar dissolved in boiling water, and liquified
                      > everything to
                      > come up
                      > > > with a final volume of about 3.5 Gallons. The
                      > hydrometer is
                      > really
                      > > > more suspended in the stuff rather than
                      > "bobbing" in it. If I
                      > let it
                      > > > sit there for 5 minutes, it finally sinks to the
                      > bottom, making
                      > the
                      > > > reading way off.
                      > > >
                      > > > Does this mean I need to add more water? If
                      > not, how would I
                      > get an
                      > > > initial Hydrometer reading that is accurate(do I
                      > even truly need
                      > to
                      > > > get an initial reading?)?
                      > > >
                      > > > I have not pitched the yeast yet, so a quick
                      > answer may save my
                      > > > batch! :) Thanks in advance for your help!
                      > Brandon
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >


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                    • Harry
                      ... You may not think so, but that s a low sugar content mash. This is desirable for fast ferments and clean alcohol (no yeast stress by-products). Most
                      Message 10 of 13 , May 3, 2007
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                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yagr11" <yagr1@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Thanks for the advice. So I tasted it, just a little off the top,
                        > so to speak. It definately wasn't sweet; at least not as sweet as
                        > 12 lbs peaches and 5 lbs sugar should be (it was a very sweet drink
                        > before fermentation). It almost tastes a bit sour. That said,
                        > shouldn't 5 gallons of the stuff take longer than 2 days to ferment
                        > out? What do you think? Distill it? I have a feeling I may only
                        > get a few dribbles out...
                        >




                        You may not think so, but that's a low sugar content mash. This is
                        desirable for fast ferments and clean alcohol (no yeast stress
                        by-products). Most fruits have relatively low sugar content in relation
                        to overall weight. 2 days to ferment that amount of sugar potential is
                        not uncommon.

                        Peaches have a sugar content ranging from 7% to 12%. The average is 8%.
                        Using good distilling practices with few inefficiencies, the alcohol
                        yield per 100 kg (220 lbs) of fruit is about 5 litres (1.3 gal) @
                        azeotrope (95.6%abv).

                        Your fruit will give about 1/20th of that, roughly 1/2 pint, plus the
                        yield from the added sugar, roughly another 2.5 pints. That's a total
                        of 3 pints @ 95% abv, if you're using a good reflux still. If using a
                        potstill you can look at somewhere between 4 and 5 pints @ 70-80%.

                        These figures are best-practice yields. If you get even 20% lower yield
                        than that, you're doing ok.



                        HTH

                        Slainte!
                        regards Harry
                      • sonum norbu
                        You are a bloody marvel, Harry. Where do you store all this knowledge? :)) ... Most of the troubles of the world are caused by human beings . (Shakyamuni
                        Message 11 of 13 , May 3, 2007
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                          You are a bloody marvel, Harry. Where do you store all this knowledge? :))


                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: Harry <gnikomson2000@...>
                          > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: New question
                          > Date: Thu, 03 May:50:53 -0000
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yagr11" <yagr1@...> wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Thanks for the advice. So I tasted it, just a little off the top,
                          > > so to speak. It definately wasn't sweet; at least not as sweet as
                          > > 12 lbs peaches and 5 lbs sugar should be (it was a very sweet drink
                          > > before fermentation). It almost tastes a bit sour. That said,
                          > > shouldn't 5 gallons of the stuff take longer than 2 days to ferment
                          > > out? What do you think? Distill it? I have a feeling I may only
                          > > get a few dribbles out...
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > You may not think so, but that's a low sugar content mash. This is
                          > desirable for fast ferments and clean alcohol (no yeast stress
                          > by-products). Most fruits have relatively low sugar content in relation
                          > to overall weight. 2 days to ferment that amount of sugar potential is
                          > not uncommon.
                          >
                          > Peaches have a sugar content ranging from 7% to 12%. The average is 8%.
                          > Using good distilling practices with few inefficiencies, the alcohol
                          > yield per 100 kg (220 lbs) of fruit is about 5 litres (1.3 gal) @
                          > azeotrope (95.6%abv).
                          >
                          > Your fruit will give about 1/20th of that, roughly 1/2 pint, plus the
                          > yield from the added sugar, roughly another 2.5 pints. That's a total
                          > of 3 pints @ 95% abv, if you're using a good reflux still. If using a
                          > potstill you can look at somewhere between 4 and 5 pints @ 70-80%.
                          >
                          > These figures are best-practice yields. If you get even 20% lower yield
                          > than that, you're doing ok.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > HTH
                          >
                          > Slainte!
                          > regards Harry

                          >



                          "Most of the troubles of the world are caused by human beings". (Shakyamuni Buddha)

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                        • Harry
                          ... knowledge? :)) Heh, I have been accused of having a big head. ;) But seriously, much of it comes from relentless hours of research & study. These days I
                          Message 12 of 13 , May 4, 2007
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                            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "sonum norbu" <blanik@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > You are a bloody marvel, Harry. Where do you store all this
                            knowledge? :))



                            Heh, I have been accused of having a big head. ;)

                            But seriously, much of it comes from relentless hours of research &
                            study. These days I rely on my computer hard drives to keep it all.
                            Easy enough to search with the operating system's search facility.
                            There's about 5 or 6 gig there that I haven't even had time to put in
                            the online Library yet.

                            Slainte!
                            regards Harry
                          • yagr11
                            ... drink ... ferment ... relation ... potential is ... is 8%. ... alcohol ... the ... total ... using a ... yield ... Thanks so much for the advice! I m
                            Message 13 of 13 , May 4, 2007
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                              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yagr11" <yagr1@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Thanks for the advice. So I tasted it, just a little off the top,
                              > > so to speak. It definately wasn't sweet; at least not as sweet as
                              > > 12 lbs peaches and 5 lbs sugar should be (it was a very sweet
                              drink
                              > > before fermentation). It almost tastes a bit sour. That said,
                              > > shouldn't 5 gallons of the stuff take longer than 2 days to
                              ferment
                              > > out? What do you think? Distill it? I have a feeling I may only
                              > > get a few dribbles out...
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > You may not think so, but that's a low sugar content mash. This is
                              > desirable for fast ferments and clean alcohol (no yeast stress
                              > by-products). Most fruits have relatively low sugar content in
                              relation
                              > to overall weight. 2 days to ferment that amount of sugar
                              potential is
                              > not uncommon.
                              >
                              > Peaches have a sugar content ranging from 7% to 12%. The average
                              is 8%.
                              > Using good distilling practices with few inefficiencies, the
                              alcohol
                              > yield per 100 kg (220 lbs) of fruit is about 5 litres (1.3 gal) @
                              > azeotrope (95.6%abv).
                              >
                              > Your fruit will give about 1/20th of that, roughly 1/2 pint, plus
                              the
                              > yield from the added sugar, roughly another 2.5 pints. That's a
                              total
                              > of 3 pints @ 95% abv, if you're using a good reflux still. If
                              using a
                              > potstill you can look at somewhere between 4 and 5 pints @ 70-80%.
                              >
                              > These figures are best-practice yields. If you get even 20% lower
                              yield
                              > than that, you're doing ok.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > HTH
                              >
                              > Slainte!
                              > regards Harry
                              >



                              Thanks so much for the advice! I'm going to try to distill it this
                              evening and I'll let you know how it all turns out. Funny thing, if
                              Harry is correct, I may have dumped a couple good washes in the past
                              month, thinking that I had a stuck fermentation! Well, live and
                              learn. Brandon
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