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Fermentaion using only molasses

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  • frying_dragon
    Thanks to all for the responses about using a glass carboy as a still. Next question: What are the guidelines for using molasses only for wash? There is a
    Message 1 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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      Thanks to all for the responses about using a glass carboy as a
      still.

      Next question:

      What are the guidelines for using molasses only for wash? There is a
      calculator on www.homedistiller.org indicating that about 5 kg of
      white sugar in 20 L of water will yield a SG of around 1.07. Is this
      an accurate assesment for using molasses as well, or should I be just
      dilute until I reach a certain SG? When using hi-grade molasses,
      should I be concerned about additional yeast nutrients and/or PH
      levels, or can I just use general guidelines and calculator above to
      achieve good results?

      Thanks again!
    • Ian Macsween
      Get your molasses from your local feed store. A friend of mine swears by it - it is cheaper than what you can buy in the supermarkets - and has no additives.
      Message 2 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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        Get your molasses from your local feed store. A friend of mine swears by
        it - it is cheaper than what you can buy in the supermarkets - and has no
        additives. Also, what's good enough for horses should be good enough for
        us!
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "frying_dragon" <frying_dragon@...>
        To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002 11:49 AM
        Subject: [new_distillers] Fermentaion using only molasses


        > Thanks to all for the responses about using a glass carboy as a
        > still.
        >
        > Next question:
        >
        > What are the guidelines for using molasses only for wash? There is a
        > calculator on www.homedistiller.org indicating that about 5 kg of
        > white sugar in 20 L of water will yield a SG of around 1.07. Is this
        > an accurate assesment for using molasses as well, or should I be just
        > dilute until I reach a certain SG? When using hi-grade molasses,
        > should I be concerned about additional yeast nutrients and/or PH
        > levels, or can I just use general guidelines and calculator above to
        > achieve good results?
        >
        > Thanks again!
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      • cornfed62
        I have used sorgham molasses in the past. It is a dark brown almost black solution. It tested out at about 50 percent sugar concentration. You need to have
        Message 3 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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          I have used sorgham molasses in the past. It is a dark brown almost
          black solution. It tested out at about 50 percent sugar
          concentration. You need to have around 20 percent brix or less
          depending on the capabilities of the yeast strain that you use. I
          located a spectrometer for a bargain price and use that, but a triple
          scale hydrometer has a "balling" scale built in that can be used to
          determine the brix. You will also be able to determine the potential
          alcohol using it. The batch of molasses that you get should be close
          to 50 percent sugar, but every batch differes. I placed 2 gallons in
          a 8 gallon fermenter and filled the rest up with water. It worked out
          for me. Molasses is a natural source of nutriants, you wont have to
          add any. You will have to add a heavy charge of yeast to overcome
          the natural occuring yeast present. You should add the yeast as soon
          as possible also to lessen the possibility of bacterias taking over
          the wash. The bacteria will give your product an off flavor. You
          should also closely monitor the ferment and run the wash thru the
          still as soon as it is complete or slightly before. This will lessen
          the amount of flavor altering esters in the ferment wash. Of course
          a double boiler, electric hot plate or flame fired pot or reflux
          still works best for this kind of wash. Immersion electric elements
          tend to scorch the wash during the process.

          Cheers

          --- In new_distillers@y..., "frying_dragon" <frying_dragon@y...>
          wrote:
          > Thanks to all for the responses about using a glass carboy as a
          > still.
          >
          > Next question:
          >
          > What are the guidelines for using molasses only for wash? There is
          a
          > calculator on www.homedistiller.org indicating that about 5 kg of
          > white sugar in 20 L of water will yield a SG of around 1.07. Is
          this
          > an accurate assesment for using molasses as well, or should I be
          just
          > dilute until I reach a certain SG? When using hi-grade molasses,
          > should I be concerned about additional yeast nutrients and/or PH
          > levels, or can I just use general guidelines and calculator above
          to
          > achieve good results?
          >
          > Thanks again!
        • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
          ... That calculator of mine is pretty rough - its doing a rough density calculation based on the proportions of water & sugar present, assuming a density of
          Message 4 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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            > What are the guidelines for using molasses only for wash? There is a
            > calculator on www.homedistiller.org indicating that about 5 kg of
            > white sugar in 20 L of water will yield a SG of around 1.07. Is this
            > an accurate assesment for using molasses as well, or should I be just
            > dilute until I reach a certain SG?

            That calculator of mine is pretty rough - its doing a rough density calculation based on the proportions of water & sugar present, assuming a density of 0.67 for the sugar.
            Molasses is likely to have a different density.

            To get it right, it would pay to measure the SG as you go.

            Whats the best SG to target ? Can't really say.
            My last "raw sugar" rum started at about 1.10 and dropped to around 1.00 (13% alcohol)

            Tony
          • mattdistiller
            Hi, I m quite interested in this thread, as I am about to start a mollases run myself! I have been searching for bulk mollasses in Brisbane (AUST) myself, and
            Message 5 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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              Hi,

              I'm quite interested in this thread, as I am about to start a
              mollases run myself!

              I have been searching for bulk mollasses in Brisbane (AUST) myself,
              and have found two suppliers:
              1. A stockfeed supplier - has the mollasses in bulk for horse
              suppliment. Costs $2.30 AUST per litre.
              2. A Natural food store - has 100% organic mollasses in 13kg tubs
              (special order) for $30.00 AUST

              I'm thinking I'll use the stuff from the food store, as I think it
              may be better quality (I think....!)

              I was also thinking of using a portion of brown sugar as well, while
              I get the hang of it. I was think 3/4 mollasses, 1/4 brown sugar. I
              was planning on making a 25L wash, and just keep adding until I get
              to around 15% potential. I've got some EC 1118 to use with it.
              Sound OK? Anyone give me a heads up on how much I should be
              expecting to add?

              > You will have to add a heavy charge of yeast to overcome
              > the natural occuring yeast present. You should add the yeast as
              soon
              > as possible also to lessen the possibility of bacterias taking over
              > the wash.

              Can the natural yeast be sterilised by adding boiling water the
              mollasses at the start - i.e. Mollasses added to fermenter, dissolved
              in boiling water, cold water added to top up - wait to cool, add
              yeast?

              > of course
              > a double boiler, electric hot plate or flame fired pot or reflux
              > still works best for this kind of wash. Immersion electric
              elements
              > tend to scorch the wash during the process.

              How important is this? Can I expect to get the wash to clear enough
              that it won't be a problem in my electric element boiler?

              Thanks,

              Matt
            • mattdistiller
              ... while ... I ... What I meant was - can anyone give me a heads up on how much SUGAR and MOLLASSES I should expect to add to obtain around 15% potential.
              Message 6 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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                > I was also thinking of using a portion of brown sugar as well,
                while
                > I get the hang of it. I was think 3/4 mollasses, 1/4 brown sugar.
                I
                > was planning on making a 25L wash, and just keep adding until I get
                > to around 15% potential. I've got some EC 1118 to use with it.
                > Sound OK? Anyone give me a heads up on how much I should be
                > expecting to add?

                What I meant was - can anyone give me a heads up on how much SUGAR
                and MOLLASSES I should expect to add to obtain around 15% potential.

                Matt
              • cornfed62
                Matt with molasses you wont need to add sugar. Molasses is sugar in the liquid form. Brown Sugar is an economics alternative. It may be less expensive that
                Message 7 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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                  Matt with molasses you wont need to add sugar. Molasses is sugar in
                  the liquid form. Brown Sugar is an economics alternative. It may be
                  less expensive that molasses. You will have to adjust your mixture
                  with water to get the brix (sugar content) number that you want.
                  You should know that there are more than one type of molasses. The
                  kind made from sugar cane is clear. The kind made from sorgham or a
                  similar plant is darker. I only have sorgham available to me here.
                  But with a mill located only a few miles away, it does have a cost
                  effective angle for me. I found a link about the processing of
                  sorgham into molasses syrup if you want to read it. It is
                  interesting in that it describes the temperatures that the sysrup is
                  added to storeage containers to prevent fermentation. It also
                  describes the addition of enyzmes to convert starch to sugars and to
                  invert sucrose to glucose and fructose.
                  http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/agr/agr123/agr123.htm

                  to answer your questions, I was following a written direction about
                  the quantity and timing of the yeast. I ran a batch thru my
                  immersion element still and did notice a burnt smell when I emptied
                  it out. I didnt notice a huge taste impact in my product. One thing
                  to keep in mind though is that you wil need to gently stir the
                  fermentation buckets daily to keep the syrup in suspension.


                  --- In new_distillers@y..., "mattdistiller" <distiller@m...> wrote:
                  > > I was also thinking of using a portion of brown sugar as well,
                  > while
                  > > I get the hang of it. I was think 3/4 mollasses, 1/4 brown
                  sugar.
                  > I
                  > > was planning on making a 25L wash, and just keep adding until I
                  get
                  > > to around 15% potential. I've got some EC 1118 to use with it.
                  > > Sound OK? Anyone give me a heads up on how much I should be
                  > > expecting to add?
                  >
                  > What I meant was - can anyone give me a heads up on how much SUGAR
                  > and MOLLASSES I should expect to add to obtain around 15% potential.
                  >
                  > Matt
                • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
                  Sidestepping your question of how much to use... but I found some interesting stuff about using molasses in The Alcohol Textbook ... Blackstrap molasses at
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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                    Sidestepping your question of how much to use... but I found some interesting stuff about using molasses in "The Alcohol Textbook"...

                    "Blackstrap molasses at 80 o Brix will not ferment
                    without dilution as the sugars and salts exert a
                    very high osmotic pressure. It is therefore
                    necessary to dilute the molasses to below 25 o
                    Brix. Yeast will not start fermenting rapidly above
                    this point; and contamination may develop
                    before the yeast become established since
                    molasses is laden with contaminating bacteria.....

                    When diluting molasses, it must be
                    remembered that the Brix scale measures on a
                    weight % basis and all calculations must be based
                    on weight and not volume. 80 o Brix molasses
                    has a specific gravity of 1.416, therefore a gallon
                    weighs about 11.8 lbs and a ton contains about
                    169.5 gallons.....

                    Typical sugar content of molasses in the US
                    is relatively low (46%). Therefore, when the
                    molasses is diluted to 25 o Brix the sugar content
                    is only about 14.3% (Calculated: 25 x 46/80 =
                    14.3). This is only sufficient to yield 7-8% v/v of
                    ethanol in the fermented beer. Distilleries
                    generally need a higher final ethanol content to
                    economize on energy for distillation; but the
                    fermentation cannot begin at a much higher Brix
                    without running into problems of slow starts and
                    bacterial contamination. Some distilleries
                    overcome this problem by diluting the first
                    portion of molasses going into the fermenter to
                    about 18 o Brix, which allows the yeast to get
                    established very rapidly. When the Brix reading
                    in the fermenter is down to about 12 o Brix,
                    molasses diluted to around 35 o Brix is added.
                    This allows beer ethanol levels of around 10%
                    to be attained.


                    If all this use of "Brix" has confused you, they explain it as .....

                    Balling (or Brix) A scale used to measure the
                    specific gravity of a liquid in relation to that of
                    a solution of sugar in water. Each unit on the
                    scale is equivalent to 1% by weight of sugar.
                    Thus a mash of 20 o Balling has the same
                    specific gravity as a 20% w/w sugar solution.
                    The scale is frequently considered to indicate
                    % dissolved solids in a liquid, although this is
                    only true of solutions of pure sugar.
                    Traditionally, the term 'Balling(tm) has been used
                    in grain distilleries, while 'Brix(tm) has been used
                    in sugar mills and rum or molasses alcohol
                    distilleries. The measurement is accomplished
                    by use of a Balling (or Brix) hydrometer.
                  • cornfed62
                    http://www.syrupmakers.com/ This page shows the different kinds of molasses and the mills and plants / procedures that go into making them. ... interesting
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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                      http://www.syrupmakers.com/ This page shows the different kinds of
                      molasses and the mills and plants / procedures that go into making
                      them.

                      --- In new_distillers@y..., "Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)"
                      <Tony.Ackland@c...> wrote:
                      > Sidestepping your question of how much to use... but I found some
                      interesting stuff about using molasses in "The Alcohol Textbook"...
                      >
                      > "Blackstrap molasses at 80 o Brix will not ferment
                      > without dilution as the sugars and salts exert a
                      > very high osmotic pressure. It is therefore
                      > necessary to dilute the molasses to below 25 o
                      > Brix. Yeast will not start fermenting rapidly above
                      > this point; and contamination may develop
                      > before the yeast become established since
                      > molasses is laden with contaminating bacteria.....
                      >
                      > When diluting molasses, it must be
                      > remembered that the Brix scale measures on a
                      > weight % basis and all calculations must be based
                      > on weight and not volume. 80 o Brix molasses
                      > has a specific gravity of 1.416, therefore a gallon
                      > weighs about 11.8 lbs and a ton contains about
                      > 169.5 gallons.....
                      >
                      > Typical sugar content of molasses in the US
                      > is relatively low (46%). Therefore, when the
                      > molasses is diluted to 25 o Brix the sugar content
                      > is only about 14.3% (Calculated: 25 x 46/80 =
                      > 14.3). This is only sufficient to yield 7-8% v/v of
                      > ethanol in the fermented beer. Distilleries
                      > generally need a higher final ethanol content to
                      > economize on energy for distillation; but the
                      > fermentation cannot begin at a much higher Brix
                      > without running into problems of slow starts and
                      > bacterial contamination. Some distilleries
                      > overcome this problem by diluting the first
                      > portion of molasses going into the fermenter to
                      > about 18 o Brix, which allows the yeast to get
                      > established very rapidly. When the Brix reading
                      > in the fermenter is down to about 12 o Brix,
                      > molasses diluted to around 35 o Brix is added.
                      > This allows beer ethanol levels of around 10%
                      > to be attained.
                      >
                      >
                      > If all this use of "Brix" has confused you, they explain it as .....
                      >
                      > Balling (or Brix) A scale used to measure the
                      > specific gravity of a liquid in relation to that of
                      > a solution of sugar in water. Each unit on the
                      > scale is equivalent to 1% by weight of sugar.
                      > Thus a mash of 20 o Balling has the same
                      > specific gravity as a 20% w/w sugar solution.
                      > The scale is frequently considered to indicate
                      > % dissolved solids in a liquid, although this is
                      > only true of solutions of pure sugar.
                      > Traditionally, the term 'Balling(tm) has been used
                      > in grain distilleries, while 'Brix(tm) has been used
                      > in sugar mills and rum or molasses alcohol
                      > distilleries. The measurement is accomplished
                      > by use of a Balling (or Brix) hydrometer.
                    • Tony & Elle Ackland
                      ... Mate - you re getting every answer except that one. Looks like a touch of suck and see for you this weekend. Maybe we can guess .... Lets say normally
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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                        > What I meant was - can anyone give me a heads up on how much SUGAR
                        > and MOLLASSES I should expect to add to obtain around 15% potential.

                        Mate - you're getting every answer except that one.
                        Looks like a touch of "suck and see" for you this weekend.

                        Maybe we can guess .... Lets say normally you'd need 5 kg of sugar to do
                        that in 20L (using 17 x 20 x 15 rule of thumb). Assuming that the
                        particular type of molasses you lay your hands on is around 50% sugar.
                        Then just swap 2kg of molasses for each 1kg of sugar... eg 4kg sugar + 2kg
                        molasses, or 3kg + 4 kg, or 2 kg + 6 kg ... That should get you somewhere
                        close to start with. Maybe play conservative, and not add if all upfront,
                        but rather wait and see how the fermentation goes, adding more only when it
                        drops below SG 1.1 ?

                        Tony
                      • ups474@aol.com
                        In my experience (molasses from Hawaii, piped into a bucket from a tanker), molasses needs to be diluted down to about 10 to 15% potential alcohol- it will
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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                          In my experience (molasses from Hawaii, piped into a bucket from a tanker),
                          molasses needs to be diluted down to about 10 to 15% potential alcohol- it
                          will ferment out only halfway (15% potential alcohol will only drop down till
                          you end up with 7.5% alcohol by volume- molasses is only 50% fermentable).
                          It doesn't need yeast nutrient, but a quarter ounce of acid blend per each 5
                          gallons of mash has shown to give a better flavor.
                        • ups474@aol.com
                          I ve made good rum by using half sugar and half molasses. IF the molasses is bitter tasting (most feed store molasses is), then it s strong enough to make a
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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                            I've made good rum by using half sugar and half molasses. IF the molasses
                            is bitter tasting (most feed store molasses is), then it's strong enough to
                            make a solid flavored rum, even when it only makes up half of the
                            fermentables. Hell, a 4 gallon bucket of molasses, 25 pounds of sugar, and
                            20 gallons of water made a good (and cheap) rum for me more than once.
                          • mattdistiller
                            ... ... I guess you can also do a conversion from a normal SG hydrometer? I m a little confused by all the above, as some of the calculations don t
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jan 31, 2002
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                              > If all this use of "Brix" has confused you, they explain it as .....
                              > Balling (or Brix) A scale used to measure the
                              > specific gravity of a liquid in relation to that of
                              > a solution of sugar in water. Each unit on the
                              > scale is equivalent to 1% by weight of sugar.
                              > Thus a mash of 20 o Balling has the same
                              > specific gravity as a 20% w/w sugar solution.
                              > The scale is frequently considered to indicate
                              > % dissolved solids in a liquid, although this is
                              > only true of solutions of pure sugar.
                              <snip>
                              > The measurement is accomplished
                              > by use of a Balling (or Brix) hydrometer.

                              I guess you can also do a conversion from a 'normal' SG hydrometer?

                              I'm a little confused by all the above, as some of the calculations
                              don't seem to work out for me.

                              If a Balling unit is a 1% w/w sugar solution, then this is equivalent
                              to 10g of sugar per 1000g water, which by definition is then 10g
                              sugar per 1000mL water. True?

                              This being the case, 20 o Balling is 200g sugar per 1000mL. True?

                              OK then. My hydrometer has a little chart which comes with it,
                              giving SG readings, the corresponding sugar/L and potential alcohol
                              (%) - I can scan it in if you would like to see it.

                              This tells me (with a little maths on my part) that:
                              10 g/L sugar = SG 1.004 = 1 o Balling
                              100g/L sugar = SG 1.038 = 10 o Balling
                              200g/L sugar = SG 1.077 = 20 o Balling
                              800g/L sugar = SG 1.304 = 80 o Balling

                              Now, in your calculation, you say that:

                              > When diluting molasses, it must be
                              > remembered that the Brix scale measures on a
                              > weight % basis and all calculations must be based
                              > on weight and not volume. 80 o Brix molasses
                              > has a specific gravity of 1.416, therefore a gallon

                              Now is this is a bit different to my calculation (above) of 80 o
                              Balling = SG 1.304. Is this because of the extra stuff (non-sugar)
                              in the mollasses? Or have I stuffed something up?

                              Confused,

                              Matt
                            • Brandon Lee
                              hello-- read your post on making rum and was wondereing how much yeast--do u stir it daily -- how long to ferment--etc-- thanks blueflame456 ...
                              Message 14 of 17 , Feb 1, 2002
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                                hello-- read your post on making rum and was
                                wondereing how much yeast--do u stir it daily -- how
                                long to ferment--etc-- thanks
                                blueflame456
                                --- ups474@... wrote:
                                > I've made good rum by using half sugar and half
                                > molasses. IF the molasses
                                > is bitter tasting (most feed store molasses is),
                                > then it's strong enough to
                                > make a solid flavored rum, even when it only makes
                                > up half of the
                                > fermentables. Hell, a 4 gallon bucket of molasses,
                                > 25 pounds of sugar, and
                                > 20 gallons of water made a good (and cheap) rum for
                                > me more than once.
                                >


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                              • Tony & Elle Ackland
                                ... Oops.. meant to say .. below 1.010 Tony
                                Message 15 of 17 , Feb 1, 2002
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                                  > Maybe play conservative, and not add if all upfront,
                                  > but rather wait and see how the fermentation goes, adding more only when it
                                  > drops below SG 1.1 ?

                                  Oops.. meant to say .. below 1.010

                                  Tony
                                • ups474@aol.com
                                  I use two of those little 5 gram packets for each five gallons of mash. I don t stir at all- there is no grain/fruit to mash down, anyway. It typically takes
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Feb 1, 2002
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                                    I use two of those little 5 gram packets for each five gallons of mash. I
                                    don't stir at all- there is no grain/fruit to mash down, anyway. It
                                    typically takes about a week to ferment out and to begin clarifying on it's
                                    own.
                                  • mattdistiller
                                    Hi everyone, After all the discussion recently about Brix, Balling, SG and sugar, I went away and a bit of searching and maths. Heres what I found: a) Brix,
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Feb 3, 2002
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                                      Hi everyone,

                                      After all the discussion recently about Brix, Balling, SG and sugar,
                                      I went away and a bit of searching and maths.

                                      Heres what I found:

                                      a) Brix, Balling and Plato are all measures of specific gravity of
                                      sugar solutions, where 1 unit is equivalent to 1% w/w solution
                                      sugar. So 1o = 1% sugar; 20o = 20% sugar

                                      b) You can convert Brix/Balling/Plato to SG:

                                      { Brix /(258.6-([Brix/258.2]*227.1)} + 1 = Specific gravity
                                      or
                                      Brix = 258.6 / [ 0.88 + 1/(sg-1)]

                                      So using this, I have made up two tables - one for converting SG to
                                      Brix, and the other from Brix to SG. I have expanded the tables so
                                      that the sugar/water quantities to make up the solutions of a
                                      specific SG or Brix value can be done in three ways:
                                      i) Number of grams sugar added to water to make up 1000g of solution
                                      ii) Number of grams of sugar added to 1000g (1000mL) water to make
                                      up the solution
                                      iii) Number of grams of sugar made up to a volume of 1000mL with water

                                      You can download the tables from:

                                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/mattdistiller/brixs
                                      gconversion.doc

                                      Hope this is helpful for someone!

                                      If anyone finds any errors, please let me know and I'll try and fix
                                      them.

                                      Matt
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