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Re: beano in the mash

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  • tgfoitwoods
    Willy, My first question is about your reading about 4% ABV . What instrument did you use to get an ABV reading from what may be a partially-fermented wash?
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 4, 2012
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      Willy,

      My first question is about your "reading about 4% ABV". What instrument did you use to get an ABV reading from what may be a partially-fermented wash?

      As far as converting the potato starch by "natural" means, specifically avoiding commercial enzymes, I'd go for a good malted 6-row barley. If you take care with conversion temperatures and pH, you should be able to utilize the alpha- and beta-amylase enzymes in the malt to convert the potato starch (after cooking the potatoes, from what I recall).

      Having said that, for years we've watched people on this list (and others) try to make potato vodka, with great frustration and/or dissatisfaction. Skilled or newby, the only person I've ever heard admit to "success" is Pintoshine with his purchased enzymes, the link I passed to you (last week?). We all know it can be done, but yield and satisfaction may not make it worthwhile to you.

      Just one stiller's opinion.

      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits


      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Frank B." <lostwilly929@...> wrote:
      >
      > I ended up using 3 tablets in a 3 gallon mash.  It want ballistic for about 12 hours and died.  Nothing I tried brought it back, additions of sugar, yeast, nutrient, B-12, and Epsom Salts (Mg SO4).  after now 4 days I'm reading about 4% ABV.  Tonight, after taps, I'll be adding this mash to the compost pile.  I'd really like to know how vodka like hooch was made back when there wasn't a myriad of additives to confuse us not so bright shiners.  My intuition tells me to use only natural and available stuff for my brew....the best source of natural amylase enzyme is saliva... so, the next mash I guess I'm chewing up 5 or 10 pounds of raw spuds.  What do you guys think of that approach?     
      >
    • Harry
      To be honest, I don t see what the fixation is with potatoes. Maybe it s just popular belief? They are just a source of starch. So is flour, and any number
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 4, 2012
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        To be honest, I don't see what the fixation is with potatoes. Maybe it's just popular belief? They are just a source of starch. So is flour, and any number of grains. Which were all used to make vodka in centuries gone by. Potatoes were only used as a last resort when the others were not available, or countries/regions couldn't grow grain.
        Same as potato starch was used to make bread when grain crops failed. Bit of trivia for you there (longtime baker here before I was a distiller). :)

        No matter the starch source, you still have to convert it to sugars. Then those sugars have to be converted to the simple sugar glucose before yeast can use them at all.

        Methinks the simplest no-fuss solution is to start with a sugar source in the first place! By all means, play with starches later if you've a mind to. BUT, only when you understand what the hell it's all about and what you can expect (low yields & a lot of work & failures for example).

        Think about this...commercial spirits producers would use sugar sources in a heartbeat, if not for laws preventing them.


        Slainte!
        regards Harry
        ====================================

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
        >
        > Willy,
        >
        > My first question is about your "reading about 4% ABV". What instrument
        > did you use to get an ABV reading from what may be a partially-fermented
        > wash?
        >
        > As far as converting the potato starch by "natural" means, specifically
        > avoiding commercial enzymes, I'd go for a good malted 6-row barley. If
        > you take care with conversion temperatures and pH, you should be able to
        > utilize the alpha- and beta-amylase enzymes in the malt to convert the
        > potato starch (after cooking the potatoes, from what I recall).
        >
        > Having said that, for years we've watched people on this list (and
        > others) try to make potato vodka, with great frustration and/or
        > dissatisfaction. Skilled or newby, the only person I've ever heard admit
        > to "success" is Pintoshine with his purchased enzymes, the link I passed
        > to you (last week?). We all know it can be done, but yield and
        > satisfaction may not make it worthwhile to you.
        >
        > Just one stiller's opinion.
        >
        > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
        > <http://kelleybarts.com/MFS.html>
        >
        >
        > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Frank B." <lostwilly929@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > I ended up using 3 tablets in a 3 gallon mash. It want ballistic for
        > about 12 hours and died. Nothing I tried brought it back, additions of
        > sugar, yeast, nutrient, B-12, and Epsom Salts (Mg SO4). after now 4
        > days I'm reading about 4% ABV. Tonight, after taps, I'll be adding this
        > mash to the compost pile. I'd really like to know how vodka like hooch
        > was made back when there wasn't a myriad of additives to confuse us not
        > so bright shiners. My intuition tells me to use only natural and
        > available stuff for my brew....the best source of natural amylase enzyme
        > is saliva... so, the next mash I guess I'm chewing up 5 or 10 pounds of
        > raw spuds. What do you guys think of that approach?
        > >
        >
      • White Bear
        Friends-   I have been following a thread pertaining to aging spirits with charred oak sticks.  I am a newbe here and was just wondering- are the charred
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 4, 2012
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          Friends-
            I have been following a thread pertaining to aging spirits with charred oak sticks.  I am a newbe here and was just wondering- are the charred sticks placed in the spirits before cutting or after.  Thanks for every and all answers.
           
          White Bear

        • Steve
          Generally, you will cut the spirit to around 60-65%, then age. Steve Roberson ... From: White Bear To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, April
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 4, 2012
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            Generally, you will cut the spirit to around 60-65%, then age.
             
             
            Steve Roberson
             

             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2012 2:50 PM
            Subject: [new_distillers] Wood aging spirits

             

            Friends-
              I have been following a thread pertaining to aging spirits with charred oak sticks.  I am a newbe here and was just wondering- are the charred sticks placed in the spirits before cutting or after.  Thanks for every and all answers.
             
            White Bear

          • waljaco
            In Poland they use potatoes with a high starch content! Even with a maximum of 20% fermentable material potatoes cannot match grain at about 60%. Most table
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 5, 2012
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              In Poland they use potatoes with a high starch content! Even with a maximum of 20% fermentable material potatoes cannot match grain at about 60%. Most table potatoes have only a 10% fermentable content.
              Potatoes need to be cooked to rupture starch cells - any natural enzymes will be thus destroyed and thus need to be added to convert the starch to fermentable sugars.
              See -
              http://tinyurl.com/2ue7u
              wal

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
              >
              > Willy,
              >
              > My first question is about your "reading about 4% ABV". What instrument
              > did you use to get an ABV reading from what may be a partially-fermented
              > wash?
              >
              > As far as converting the potato starch by "natural" means, specifically
              > avoiding commercial enzymes, I'd go for a good malted 6-row barley. If
              > you take care with conversion temperatures and pH, you should be able to
              > utilize the alpha- and beta-amylase enzymes in the malt to convert the
              > potato starch (after cooking the potatoes, from what I recall).
              >
              > Having said that, for years we've watched people on this list (and
              > others) try to make potato vodka, with great frustration and/or
              > dissatisfaction. Skilled or newby, the only person I've ever heard admit
              > to "success" is Pintoshine with his purchased enzymes, the link I passed
              > to you (last week?). We all know it can be done, but yield and
              > satisfaction may not make it worthwhile to you.
              >
              > Just one stiller's opinion.
              >
              > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
              > <http://kelleybarts.com/MFS.html>
              >
              >
              > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Frank B." <lostwilly929@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > I ended up using 3 tablets in a 3 gallon mash. It want ballistic for
              > about 12 hours and died. Nothing I tried brought it back, additions of
              > sugar, yeast, nutrient, B-12, and Epsom Salts (Mg SO4). after now 4
              > days I'm reading about 4% ABV. Tonight, after taps, I'll be adding this
              > mash to the compost pile. I'd really like to know how vodka like hooch
              > was made back when there wasn't a myriad of additives to confuse us not
              > so bright shiners. My intuition tells me to use only natural and
              > available stuff for my brew....the best source of natural amylase enzyme
              > is saliva... so, the next mash I guess I'm chewing up 5 or 10 pounds of
              > raw spuds. What do you guys think of that approach?
              > >
              >
            • Frank B.
              @ Harry and  Zymurgy Bob, thanks for the input. it s all good stuff.  I used both an alco-meter and sp.gr. calculation to get my guess of 4%.  I did a
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 5, 2012
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                @ Harry and  Zymurgy Bob, thanks for the input. it's all good stuff.  I used both an alco-meter and sp.gr. calculation to get my guess of 4%.  I did a stripping run of about 3.5 gallons and got 20 oz. of 90 proof out of it.  It was a lot of work for a very small return, but, I'm kinda hard headed about things like that.  I seem to "know" there is something there to discover and really want to know what it is....hope it's more than just re-proving something doesn't work, lol.  I guess I'm just a purest at heart, I'd like to grow my own fermentables, build my own still and do it all off the grid some place as a hermit.  Potatoes seemed and easy thing to grow.  I know the best loaf of bread I ever made was with hand ground flour and baked in a rock and foil oven next to a camp fire; hoping potato vodka gets me the same feeling (been a loafer myself for a few moons, Harry).  I like the nut's and bolt's approach to distilling, how things work...just open a few packages isn't going to teach me much.  I've been married twice, so following directions doesn't come easy to me.

                As all my potato mashes have failed to various degrees, I am going to a corn mash (crack it myself with a hand grinder) and see what that makes.  Potatoes will still be with me, as will trying to get the starches to convert...may be there is a particular mold I can find that produces the right enzymes...might be as simple as putting sour dough bread on the mash in a hooch fashion.  I got more time and toys than talent (at present) so why not experiment?  what ever alcohol I can tease out I can save and redistill a time or two...may get a nice neutral spirit or something better suited to an alcohol stove; either way it's the journey not the the destination, right?

                Willy  
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