sweet feed with pellets?

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sweet feed with pellets?

Postby irishmike » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:40 pm

hey all, searched the forums and couldnt find anything on this particular question.

I bought some Nutrena 10% sweet feed from a horse supply store. I told the lady i didnt want pellets as they are usually made of alfalfa and that i wanted all grain with as little additives as possible. she assured me the Nutrena was what i wanted. got it home and opened it up and....almost all pellets!!! the pellets are not alfalfa though, they are dark and sticky, the molasses im sure, holding what the label says "grain by products" together. is this waht i want to be using? ive seen pictures online of other sweetfeeds and they are just a mix of easily discernible grains. i mixed this stuff with 2 parts water and it turns to mush in a minute or so, i know that i'll use much more water when doing an actual mash but im unsure about this stuff. ive read somewhere in another sweet feed recipe that you strain the mash through a pillow case. this makes me think im using the right stuff as if the mash was made up of whole grains you could strain with just about anything and not need to use a pillow case.... im hoping to not use any sugar and add a bit of malted barley and just convert the natural starches. i suppose this could be called an "all grain sweet feed" mash, except for the molasses.
any insight you have would be great.

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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Dnderhead » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:02 pm

each grain mill makes it different, sweet feed, is grain,(usually corn/oats) with additives this can be most anything from chicken x to---salt/minerals
as these are dusty they "glue" it on with molasses. as for converting that is not going to be easy, the grain should be crushed/ cooked, and how you going to do that with molasses in it? if you want to use all grain then use grain.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby WalkingWolf » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:42 pm

WalkingWolf wrote:I've seen this thread (and many others on sweetfeed) continuing to circulate and can't really see the point. I been feedin' "sweet feed" for about 40 years now and I've probably seen 30 different formulations. The ones that have the pellets thrown in is what probably got me wonderin bout this. To each his own but I'd think the time and effort spent would be better spent on using a grain that you at least know what it is. I aint against using stock feed in any way nor stock grade molasses but this sweetfeed thread baffels me.

Kinfolk had a feed store/feed mill/fertilizer operation. Sweetfeed blend depended on what they had in bulk tanks for the week.

ww


I posted this back at the end of April and this is what I was talking about. If you're familiar with the "sweet feeds" that are on the market and you want to go forward then so be it. If you do not have experience with sweetfeed prior to distilling you'd be better served with picking up some "grain" and working with that.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby irishmike » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:46 pm

Dnderhead wrote:each grain mill makes it different, sweet feed, is grain,(usually corn/oats) with additives this can be most anything from chicken x to---salt/minerals
as these are dusty they "glue" it on with molasses. as for converting that is not going to be easy, the grain should be crushed/ cooked, and how you going to do that with molasses in it? if you want to use all grain then use grain.


perhaps a silly question; but why cant i convert these starches into sugars? why cant i add plenty of boiling water to this feed, hold at a really high temp (my 10gal stock pot holds temp really well without having to add heat) for an hour or so then wait till the temp drops to 150f and add malted barley? it seems to me that I am using all grain its just milled really fine and then "glued" together with molasses. i know im new here and perhaps im overlooking something but i thought the point in doing a sweet feed mash was that you get a nice blend of grain products already made up when you buy it? seems to me that all of these "old time" recipes floating around must have had some reason for using sweet feed right? all sweet feed recipes ive seen use sugar for alcohol instead of conversion. with the molasses already in the feed i guess im looking to do a little of both. im looking to see if others have used this particular brand and tell me of their success or failures with it.
thanks for the input all, m.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Dnderhead » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:46 pm

first not all the grain is cracked. most just crack the corn.. next it takes about 10-20 minutes of cooking at 240f with steam or 45+ minutes of boiling to "open" the starch granules. this has to be done before the enzymes can do there work. when it is cooked proper it will become a gelatin mass. when you do beer you use malt ,in the proses of malting the starches are converted to sugars so you can eliminate the "cooking" part and just crack and use hot water.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby WalkingWolf » Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:20 am

and you're not accounting for the "non-fermentables" that are thrown in the pellet batch when the guys sweep the mill floor and throw the sweepings in the batch. (believe it don't happen :roll: )
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Kentucky shinner » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:02 am

I guess what I buy is totally different here in Ky. Our sweet feed is made for very high quality horses. The sweet feed I am buying is cracked and there are no pellets. The basic process is the same as UJSM, except you have some other grains and molasses added. It has a totally different flavor than the UJSM. The beer from the sweet feed taste good enough to drink even before distilled.
If you are buying sweet feed with pellets I don't think I would try to use it. That sounds more like a high grade rabbit food. Our Horse farmers around here only feed all grain sweet feed and cracked corn, the the pasture for ruffage and maybe a little hay. NO PELLETS.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby rad14701 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:25 am

I was just at a Tractor Supply store yesterday and noticed that they carry many varieties of sweet feed, some of which do have pellets while others do not... I'd definitely opt for a mix with no pellets if I was buying a 50 pound bag... iirc the 12% molasses mix had the best mix of grains but I don't recall the name brand... There was one 12% with and one without pellets...
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby irishmike » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:29 am

the pellets kinda bother me too. good point KY shiner about the rabbit food, looks a lot like that. think im gonna go back and ask the warehouse guy whats actually in each bag before i buy. thanks to all for your comments, m.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby NcHooch » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:29 pm

Sorry Irish, no help here. I've been doing all grain bourbon and UJSM.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Fastill » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:33 pm

I just bought the same crap from tractor supply and damn was I dissappointed when I opened the bag :cry:
The bag has a tag sewn into the bottom with all ingredients and nutrition facts and one ingredient is "roughage products"
That could be anything from alfalfa to cow shit...
Well, being adventures, I poured boiling water on it and 4 lbs of sugar and let her cool. The pellets all dissolved and now I have a slimey goo fermenting. The smell says that the molassas is sulphated and I dont think it can be strained or seperated from the liquid for cooking anyway so it looks like I just bought 50 lbs of high priced deer food. Oh well, we live and learn!!
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby irishmike » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:08 pm

damn fastill thats disappointing. i was hoping someone would come along and see this thread and say "hell yeah i use that all the time, its great!" it's not looking good is it? still i think im gonna have to try it. it was only $7 and im pretty sure the horse snobs wont let me return it anyway. i know ive read a recipe where you strain through a pillow case. im gonna try an cook the hell out of it and use some malt to convert the starch so hopefully, if im successful, it wont be so damn gooey. i'll keep you all posted.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby MuleKicker » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:52 pm

I just went to the local feed store here and all they had was the same shit. with pellets. I asked the guy, and he said they had all different mixes, but all had pellets. Then he asked "what kind of horse do you have, a young one?" I said: a drunk one." I then got a goofy look and needed an escape plan. I told him I made beer, and heard of this new recipe. Ahh chrisis averted. what the hell? Im bummed now. I want to try makin some of this.
Last edited by MuleKicker on Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Dnderhead » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:01 pm

can t you git just plain horse feed? (corn/oats) then add your own molasses,then you know what is in it.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby MuleKicker » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:16 pm

yeah dnder. thats a good idea. he told me he had seperate grains that I could buy. They did custom feed blending but they wouldnt add the molases cuz its hard on the mixing/grinding equiptment. so i just get 10# wheat, 10# corn and 10# oats. I dont know how bad I really need molases. I want to make some decent whisky, dont know if I really want the molases or not. just figured if it all came in a bag i would give it a try.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Kentucky shinner » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:17 pm

call me crazy but I started a 30 gallon ferment about a week ago of the sweetfeed with pellets just to see how it was. It is still fermenting out but I looks great, just like what i have fermented without the pellets, and the beer taste great right now. I will let you know how it is after I run it.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby MuleKicker » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:46 pm

Really?? thats cool. Everything I here around here is negative about the pellets. I hope it works out. I chewed on a pellet at the feed store to maybe get an idea of its contents. no such luck. couldnt tell. All the guy would say it that it was vitamins and nutrients. who knows, it may help a ferment. Thanks for the info KS.

Edit: KS, the stuff yer buyin without pellets, is it baged/mixed by the mill or is it comercial? Just wondering what brand it is. maybe i could talk to my mill and get the same stuff.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Kentucky shinner » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:40 pm

I may go and get another bag in the next couple of days, if so I will ask if they mix it. I will let you know what I find out.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby irishmike » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:10 pm

went ahead and made up a 55gal batch of this a week ago. it seems to be finished working which seems to be pretty fast to me. all of my other mashes (only 6 or so) have all taken much longer. perhaps this quicker one was due to it being outside? its around 80-90 here right now. or the fact that this was a sour mash? i threw about 2 gals corn from a ujsm mash into a 55gal olive barrel and poured 5gals of boiling backset in. then mixed in 50lbs sugar, 30lbs of this pelleted sweet feed, 3 pounds white corn meal (RIP popcorn) and topped up with cool water. to this i added perhaps a tablespoon of bakers yeast and about a quart of corn/yeast from the bottom of a previous ujsm mash. do sour mashes work off in less time than sweet ones? i'll let you all know whats what when we run it.

spoke to the manufacturer and they assured me there are no animal by products in their stuff. of course one can buy grains and molasses then mix it themselves but have you seen what a bucket of molasses costs? i bought my 50lb bag of feed for $7. yes the "roughage products" can sometimes be things like soy beans and alfalfa but screw it, i'll go and buy the separate proper grains when i start making bourbon i figure. right now im making moonshine and i think itll fun to see the looks on my friends faces when i remind em the drink theyre enjoying so much is made from horse food, as long as it tastes good. and if not? the bag was only 7$ and we learn from our mistakes right?
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Kentucky shinner » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:07 am

Let us know how it comes out. Remember let it air out with coffee filters over it for about 24-48 hours. After some time it will smooth out more and more depending on how long it has aged.
Keep us posted.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby MuleKicker » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:46 pm

$7??? wow mike thats cheap. The bastards want over $12 where Im at.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Kentucky shinner » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:48 pm

$7 bucks here too
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby MuleKicker » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:53 pm

dammit.... thems folks rippin' me off! The price a guy will pay to make himself some shine these days 8)
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby NcHooch » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:35 pm

That dont seem too expensive Mule, considerin you might get 2 gallons out of a 50 pound sack
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I hear ya tho, it just dont seem right when the other fellers are payin 5 bucks less
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby irishmike » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:53 pm

damn!!! infection. went and checked mash today and there was that white spiderweb non popping bubble film on top. smelled good though. like beer y'know? well i cant just write off 55gals so i skimmed off all the crap and added a little yeast. i read somewhere on here that you could do that to get it restarted. i think its done working but just in case i added the yeast. im sure the white stuff will come back so ill hae to go and skim tomorrow and then before i strip it the next day. you guys think that my turb at the bottom is infected of does the infection need air and thus only live on the top? i like using turb for sour mashing and the yeast strain ive grown seems to do a great job. id hate to lose it. will fill you all in on what happens when i run it though im pretty sure i wont be able to run it all in one day as the still only holds 14gals.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby rubber duck » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:59 pm

The infection goes all the way down. Don't worry about it this happens all the time with grain mashes. Just run it and everything will turn out just fine. After a weeks fermentation at 80f you should be done, grain ferments can keep bubbling for a long time after fermentation is complete. Co2 gets trapped in the grain bed and is slowly released, it can trick you into thinking it's still fermenting. If it doesn't taste sweet it's ready to distill.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Kentucky shinner » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:01 am

Keep us posted. I look forward to hearing about your results. I checked my 30 gallon wash yesterday but it was not quite finished. SG was 1.00
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby MuleKicker » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:18 pm

Dammit Kshinner. I am totally waiting to hear your results on the pellet wash. I want to start one so bad, but since i heard your trying it, i cant bring myself to spend the $12 until you say its a go! I have the week after the 4th july off work and i want to have some shit ready to still. helps me pass some time. the good way. 8)
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby Kentucky shinner » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:40 am

I should be trying some of this wash Tuesday or Wed. I will let you know then how it comes out.
Sorry about the delay MuleKicker.
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Re: sweet feed with pellets?

Postby MuleKicker » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:14 am

no problem man, just givin ya shit. :lol:
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