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UJSM questions

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  • Nathan Stanley
    Hi everyone, I have been reading about sour mash today, as I ve been interested to try it for a while. I found the following recipe:
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 2 7:01 PM
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      Hi everyone,

      I have been reading about sour mash today, as I've been interested to
      try it for a while. I found the following recipe:
      http://aussiedistiller.com.au/viewtopic.php?t=512&p=4619

      From what I've read I guess the process is (for a beginner):

      Ferment ingredients, siphon the wash, distill it, collect the 80-70 ABV
      distillate. Everything else except the first 150mL can be used as feints
      in the next run.
      After distilling, take 5L (25%) of the stuff in the still (backset) and
      disolve it with the next batch's sugar. Let the backset cool, add 15L of
      water to the fermenter, scoop out the old corn. Add the cooled backset
      and sugar to the fermenter.
      Repeat.

      All ok so far?

      Now I have some questions.

      The last line of that recipe says: "When you have 40l of strip saved up,
      do a slow spirit run in the potstill making careful cuts. Age it on
      toasted oak sticks"

      Does this mean 40L of the distillate I mentioned above? (The 80-70 ABV
      "sour mash whiskey" distillate)
      How am I to distill the 40L in a slow spirit run? I have always thought
      distilling at too high ABV could be dangerous. Is it? (I think I've
      asked this before but cant find the answer here)
      Also, how much distillate would I get approximately per fermentation?
      Sugar washes give me about 1/5th the quantity of the fermented wash so
      would this mean I would need to do 10 fermentations to get the 40L
      mentioned above?

      The recipe also says to allow it to ferment 3-4 days then siphon and
      distill the wash. It notes not to get solids in the siphoned wash. After
      3-4 days fermentation, how clear should I expect the wash to be? Will it
      be cloudy or should it actually be _clear_ like sugar washes go? Or when
      it says solids does it just mean the chunks of corn in there?

      Any comments are welcome.

      Regards,
      Nathan.
    • tgfoitwoods
      Hi Catfish, Comment inline in blue. ... ABV ... Your flavor might be improved. Everything else except the first 150mL can be used as feints (the word feints
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 3 8:31 AM
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        Hi Catfish,

        Comment inline in blue.

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Nathan Stanley <catfish@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi everyone,
        >
        > I have been reading about sour mash today, as I've been interested to
        > try it for a while. I found the following recipe:
        > http://aussiedistiller.com.au/viewtopic.php?t=512&p=4619
        >
        > From what I've read I guess the process is (for a beginner):
        >
        > Ferment ingredients, siphon the wash, distill it, collect the 80-70 ABV
        > distillate. You can collect down to a total 50% ABV, if you'd like. Your flavor might be improved. Everything else except the first 150mL can be used as feints
        (the word "feints" may confuse people. The recipe really means to say "low wines")
        > in the next run.
        > After distilling, take 5L (25%) of the stuff in the still (backset) and
        > disolve it with the next batch's sugar. Let the backset cool, add 15L of
        > water to the fermenter, scoop out the old corn. Add the cooled backset
        > and sugar to the fermenter.
        > Repeat.
        >
        > All ok so far?
        >
        > Now I have some questions.
        >
        > The last line of that recipe says: "When you have 40l of strip saved up,
        > do a slow spirit run in the potstill making careful cuts. Age it on
        > toasted oak sticks"
        >
        > Does this mean 40L of the distillate I mentioned above? (The 80-70 ABV
        > "sour mash whiskey" distillate)
        Yes, he is using both "feints" and "strip" to say what the rest of us mean as "low wines",
        that distillate that you collect from a strip run for later "spirit" distillation.
        > How am I to distill the 40L in a slow spirit run? I have always thought
        > distilling at too high ABV could be dangerous. Is it? (I think I've
        > asked this before but cant find the answer here)
        You are correct. For safety and flavor, dilute your low wines to 27-30% before you do the spirit run.
        > Also, how much distillate would I get approximately per fermentation?
        Depending on the ABV of your UJSM wash, expect very roughly 3 quarts to a gallon of 50% low wines
        from 6 gallons of wash distilled.

        > Sugar washes give me about 1/5th the quantity of the fermented wash so
        > would this mean I would need to do 10 fermentations to get the 40L
        > mentioned above?
        You have too many variables for me to say exactly. Distill and dilute to 27%
        until you have 40 liters of 27% wash.

        >
        > The recipe also says to allow it to ferment 3-4 days then siphon and
        > distill the wash. It notes not to get solids in the siphoned wash. After
        > 3-4 days fermentation, how clear should I expect the wash to be?
        Within reason, the longer you let it clear, the clearer it will get. The clarity
        standard you need to apply depends on how you heat your still. If you use a high-energy-density
        internal electric element, you need to be very clear to avoid scorching. At the other extreme, if
        you use a water or steam bath, or direct steam injection, you could care less about chunks or lumps.

        Will it
        > be cloudy or should it actually be _clear_ like sugar washes go? Or when
        > it says solids does it just mean the chunks of corn in there?
        >
        > Any comments are welcome.
        >
        > Regards,
        > Nathan.
        >
        Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
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