Wheat Vodka Recipe

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Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:39 am

Hi all. I am almost ready to begin my first mash. At this time, I am strictly interested in making a wheat vodka. I have searched around the net (and tried to search here, but couldn't for some reason). I was surprised that there was no recipe for a wheat vodka in the "Tried and True Recipes" section. Maybe, if I get good really fast, I can post one.

Anyway, this is the best recipe that I have found yet:

http://www.home-distilling.com/store/pc ... Recipe.pdf

These are the ingredients:
23L of fairly soft municipal tap water. E.g. hardness level of 4;
almost no iron; 100 ppm calcium; pH 8.5.
10-ml (2-tsp) Gypsum (CaSO4)
95% sulphuric acid (H2SO4); or, citric or tartaric acid;
or, 18 ml (1.2 tablespoons) 5.2 pH Adjuster
8L (4K or 8.8 lbs) flaked wheat
1½ L (¾K or 1.65 lbs) of finely crushed wheat malt

My questions:
Does anyone know if there is any reason I cannot use local wheat rather than store bought?
What type of citric acid do I have to use? Does it matter if I use the juice from fresh squeezed lemons or limes?
(Any other tips will be greatly appreciated.)

I have lemon and lime trees and plan to add wheat to the "garden" next season. I want to be fully sustainable (in terms of food and drink) soon and distilling is one of the last arts I need to learn (and do well).

Thanks everyone for an awesome site.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby Dnderhead » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:07 am

you can use "local" grains, though they need to either be crushed and cooked or malted and crushed.
why all the chemicals?
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:42 am

Good question.

edit: and of course, thank you!
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby Dnderhead » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:18 am

crush/cook/add malt/enzymes, then if you want check PH, you do it this way because the grain can change the PH.
iv used different water and different grains and never had a problem with pH. this usually lowers with addition of the grain/malt.by adding first you can miss the "mark" and cause other problems.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:11 am

Dnderhead wrote:iv used different water and different grains and never had a problem with pH.


That is the kind of awesome stuff I like to hear (read). Thank you.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:24 pm

Does anyone want to share their wheat vodka recipe with me? The recipe I referred to seems good, but it would be nice to hear from someone with experience. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:41 pm

Well, I am going to do a hybrid approach to the recipe above with this recipe:

Wheat mash recipe: in a 10 gallon metal pot with lid, heat 6 gallons of tap water to about 165F. Add two gallons of dry, flaked wheat and stir. Check the temperature and ensure that it is between 150F and 155F. Stir in one gallon of crushed wheat malt. The temperature should be about 149F. Cover and let rest for 90 minutes to two hours, stirring occasionally. The starches should convert into fermentable sugars during this time, and the mixture should become much less viscous. After 90 minutes to two hours, cool the mixture to 80 to 85F. Use an immersion chiller for rapid cooling or just let it cool overnight, but don’t let it get much below 80F.

I want to cut out all the complications and chemicals involved with the first recipe, but I see the importance of all the details of that recipe, as well. Open to suggestions/criticism. Thank you.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby blind drunk » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:48 pm

Hey memetic, how's this one going?

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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:10 pm

I haven't started it yet. I have about an hour or so to go on finishing my rig (see my other posts for pictures). I really hope I start the mash by, or on, this weekend. I will definitely keep my progress posted.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby loneswinger » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:01 pm

pH of between 5.0 and 5.2 is ideal for conversion in case you didn't already know. The grains will lower pH but hard to predict by how much. I usually adjust it after adding the grain with a combination of malic acid and calcium carbonate. (A little calcium is good for conversion).

I did an all wheat beer once and it does not lauter as easily as barley due to it being a little more viscous and the lack of an outer husk. It might be a good idea to do a protein rest, hold at 120 F, this should help lower the viscosity. It is hard to do two temperature rests by water addition without adding too much water. You can add the water and then heat on a stove (careful not to burn the grains) or just inject steam (my now much preferred method). Other than that, good luck, I have never done an all wheat whiskey or vodka so I am interested in your results.

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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby blind drunk » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:48 pm

Are you going for on the grain fermentation?

I might use your recipe for a wheat whiskey :mrgreen: I just thought today that it might be a good drink and I already have a big bag of cracked wheat handy. Don't have the right rig for a vodka.

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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:08 pm

I got my grains from Brewhaus. Originally, I was looking for some local wheat, but discovered they stopped growing it here some years ago after it was blighted. I figured if I have to go out of state I might as well buy it online. Why not support Brewhaus?

I am really stuck on the condenser fabrication. So, until I get that sorted there will be no mash. I just can't bring myself to start fermenting without having an operational still handy.

Thank you
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby sparky marky » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:07 am

I never understand why people want to throw lots of chemicals in with their all grain brews. I brew real ale for a living, here is a list of the ingredients we use:

malted barley
Tap water
Yeast
Hops

Then just a little bit of finings to clear the beer before we send it out in casks.

The point is, we don't need to fiddle the tap water or add anything else to produce award winning beer. In fact tap water is better than natural water sources. There are laws about tap water in my country, the water company has a set of upper and lower limits for ph and dissolved ions etc that they have to adhere to, while natural water sources can change every day. (and they can vary ALOT based on rainfall, the water table etc)
I have also been tinkering with the idea of all grain vodka now I have a nice new vm column. The recipe I would use is for a 50 liter batch:
18kg malted wheat (or barley)
Mash at 66 degrees C for 90 mins with 36 liters of water
Sparge with 25 liters of water at 85 degrees C
This will give you approx 50 liters to ferment with the yeast of your choice with a potential alcohol of about 11% (but this depends on how much u ACTUALLY get in fermenter, how efficient the conversion was etc...)

The only thing left to do would be to strip it and then reflux it. :-)
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:54 pm

Thanks a lot sparky that definitely takes some of the complexity out of the equation and eases my mind a bit. So, do you even measure pH and SG? Or, just the temps? I have been looking at a lot of really simple recipes and was wondering why that first recipe I posted had to be so complicated. That is why I was planning to tone down a bit. But, if I can get to the kind of simplicity you're describing I would be very happy indeed. It just seems more "pure" or "natural". I want super high quality vodka made as naturally as possible. (By next fall, I want to not only be able to make this vodka, but all of the ingredients to make it.) Thank you.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby sparky marky » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:46 pm

When making beer we don't even bother taking a ph of the water or resulting wort. But I imagine that the hops we use will add a little acidity which yeast seem to like. If u were keen on getting ph spot on at start of ferment you could test your tap water and adjust with citric acid (lemon or lime juice) but it really isn't essential unless u have strange water in your taps.

The important numbers are the mash temps and SG. Mashing at about 65 produces alot of fermentable sugars whilst mashing at 70 will make some unfermentable sugars, for distillin you should use a lower mash temp, no point in making unfermentables in this case is there?
To work out your alcohol content take the SG when u pitch your yeast (should be nice and high) and then again when it's done it's thing (it will prob finish at about 1005 or something) and work the % out from there.

I have done an all grain whisky in this way and it came out smooth and tasty!
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:39 pm

Sweet. Thank you again.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:51 pm

blind drunk wrote:Are you going for on the grain fermentation?


Missed that the first time. Yes, so far that is the plan. I am a little behind in schedule due to getting caught up on the condenser construction. I just finished my rig a couple days ago and started the cleaning. I am going to do my first real distilling, but cleaning run that I'll pitch, in the next day or so. I hope to start the mash in two to three days and be drinking my first vodka next weekend.

I'll document everything and take pictures, so if you want more info I will gladly provide it. I'll probably do a post in the "My First" section covering everything I did in one post. Feel free to PM me anytime -- everyone here has been so helpful and I will take every opportunity to return the favor.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:15 am

Here it is. I followed the simple recipe. I only added 1.2 TBSP of 5.2 pH adjuster (mixed in water) while aerating. I used a compressor and a piece of pex plumbing I had lying around to do the aerating. I had a tough time getting the temp stable (I have radiant floor heat), so I put it in a box on top of some foam and wrapped xmas lights around it. If I can't get that to stabilize, I am going to put it on an electric radiator heater I have that has a thermostat -- set it at 78 degrees and walk away. Will be pitching the yeast momentarily -- just waiting for the mash to drop a couple more degrees.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:44 pm

For those curious, I pitched 90 grams of baker's yeast about six hours ago and aerated for about 15 minutes after doing so. I have not a stitch of scientific reason, or any other really, solid basis, for the 90 gram amount; the complex recipe that I posted first called for one packet of vodka yeast, which is 72 grams, so I figured if I am using baker's yeast and not tailoring the mash with chemicals to suite the exact needs of the yeast that I might be better off with a little extra. I may toss in another 10-20 grams later. This is my first time, so all I can do is try my best and keep notes about the results. I am thinking about doing one stir about 24 hours from now and pitching that extra yeast. I welcome any input, criticism, comments. Thank you.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby rad14701 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:49 am

memtic, what is the total volume of your wash...??? There should be no need to pitch additional yeast if you thoroughly aerated, which you have... Don't get into the habit of fussing with your wash... Just sit on your hands and leave it alone... If problems arise, deal with them at that point in time... Don't go out of your way to introduce problems by attempting to fix problems that don't exist... It's a very common occurrence in this hobby...
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby bgrizzle » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:54 pm

memetic... I would be careful aerating with an air compressor like that... I know that my compressor has a tendency to spit out some nasty stuff at times. There is a drain plug at the bottom that I have to open to periodically drain moisture from inside the tank... Any moisure in the tank will be blow out into that tube...

I could be going overboard here, but I thought it could be a small risk in contaminating a wash and/or getting a little rusty water in there if the inside of your compressor tank has any rust in it...
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby rad14701 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:32 am

I was thinking the same, bgrizzle... Using a water trap/filter on the outlet of the tank, like paint shops use, would improve the air quality... That crap in the tank is a good reason to not mess with compressed air by blowing it around haphazardly... Get a rust chip or even rust water sprayed at you can cause serious injury... A high velocity rust water droplet can go right into your skin, enter your bloodstream, and cause blood poisoning... Not to mention blasting a rust chip deep into someones eye, potentially causing permanent blindness... But I digress... Using a very low air pressure, and its resulting volume, would minimize the contamination risk...
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:42 am

rad14701 wrote:memtic, what is the total volume of your wash...??? There should be no need to pitch additional yeast if you thoroughly aerated, which you have... Don't get into the habit of fussing with your wash... Just sit on your hands and leave it alone... If problems arise, deal with them at that point in time... Don't go out of your way to introduce problems by attempting to fix problems that don't exist... It's a very common occurrence in this hobby...


It's six gallons of water and a few gallons of wheat. Yeah, I get your point, I'll leave it alone. I just got the impression that more would be happening. It just formed a really solid cap and looks very unimpressive.

I cleaned the compressor first. It is pretty much brand new anyway. I was very gently opening the valve to blow the air. If I opened it full throttle mash would go everywhere. I could always hook up a filter for the air to pass through before going into the mash like rad said. What a good idea, thanks guys.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby bgrizzle » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:06 am

Yeah... I saw in the picture that your compressor looks brand new. My post was just as much for others that may have an old compressor.

I use a fish aquarium pump with an air stone. It was like 4.99 at walmart!! Its super easy, and very quiet! Next time your in walmart take a look their aquarium pump. They are so cheap its almost stupid!

Cheers and Merry Christmas
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby loneswinger » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:14 am

I usually just give it a good stir to get some air in before I pitch the yeast, and never aerate after, and I haven't had fermentation problems in years. My washes generally finish in 3-5 days. This idea of pumping air, while it might finish a few hours sooner and make you feel like you are doing something, is probably not worth it. Just throw the yeast on top of the mash, come back in a about a week and it will be done. I have better things to do than babysit my fermenters. Even a $5 airstone purchase seems like a waste to me.

To each his own of course, I just wanted to point out that this step is not necessary and certainly not worth worrying about. You can introduce more than enough air by stirring ahead of time, or while pouring the mash into the fermenter. In my mind letting the yeast rehydrate at the surface also helps but I can not support that with any evidence.

Cheers all,

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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:35 pm

I just started Birdwatchers and Wineos Plain Ol Sugar Wash tonight -- the wheat wash is doing awesome, btw (it smells like really potent beer, I swear I can smell alcohol). Once I get these three under my belt I'm going to start playing around. I like simplicity loneswinger, and I plan on building a large VM rig and jumping up to much larger quantities soon, so I'll definitely put your suggestions to the test over here. Thank you all and happy holidays.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby rad14701 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:50 am

With a vigorous ferment of a medium to high SG wash I can usually smell alcohol... Smells like victory... 8)
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:47 am

rad14701 wrote:With a vigorous ferment of a medium to high SG wash I can usually smell alcohol... Smells like victory... 8)


No kidding! Just smelling it now gives me a buzz. It wreaks of alcohol. Am I safe to distill tomorrow morning? That will be almost five days of fermenting (I think the recipe only called for three days). I really want to take a gallon of vodka to a holiday dinner party tomorrow night. I'm doing another wine and water cleaning run momentarily. Thank you.

edit: I just realized I have to transfer my wheat mash/wash into another container to do my final wine/water cleaning. Is this going to F everything up? If I slowly siphon it into a 5 gallon carboy will I be ok not disrupting the final fermentation? Thank you.
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby rad14701 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:26 pm

You can rack into another container just as easily as racking directly into the boiler... If the wash is clear enough, go ahead and run it...
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Re: Wheat Vodka Recipe

Postby memetic » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:51 pm

rad14701 wrote:You can rack into another container just as easily as racking directly into the boiler... If the wash is clear enough, go ahead and run it...


I have no idea how clear the wash is yet because I haven't disturbed the cap. Should I go ahead and peak? Hate to seem so pussy-footed, but this is my first time and all... Rather be safe than F it all up. I can tell it is still fermenting just a bit, as I can see little bubbles every once and a while popping through the cap. But, it is real slow now. I'd like to transfer it in a way that doesn't totally interrupt the last of the fermenting, so I can distill it tomorrow AM.

Thank you.
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