Inka's All-Flour

Grain bills and instruction for all manner of alcoholic beverages.

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Paulinka
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Inka's All-Flour

Post by Paulinka » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:56 pm

Dear Friends,

I would like to share the all-flour method I use with great success. It has been tried and works for a great many different flours, very adaptable technique. I have a 4.5 gal pot still that I use for cooking, stripping and distilling, so the amounts are centered around my tool. Feel free to scale up as you like.

- Warm up 9 liter (3 parts, 2.4 gal.) water to 50ºC (120F).
Higher strike temp will make it much harder to break up clumps.

- Mix 2 ml (½ tsp.) of alpha-enzyme in the water.
Alpha likes neutral pH. Without using alpha we should have to use 12 litre (4 part) water and more than ~3% malt-flour in our grain bill to prevent the epic thickening of the cooked out starches.

- Stir in 3 kg (1 part, 6.6 lb.) flour.
Any taste you like. I use two grainbill-base, one is bourbon- the other is scotch-style. My bourbon has two-third cornflour, rest is rye and oats, my scotch has two-third barleyflour, rest is different malts. This recipe is also good for rice, sorghum, triticale, wheat etc. flours.

- Heat your soup slowly while continously stirring to 80ºC (175F).
While barley and malt does not need that high temperature to release its starches, in my experience it is still useful to heat it up to this level as barley-mash is more inclined to infections than one made from corn. If your barley-flour is made from berries without husks then you can stop at lower temperature if you wish.

- Take it off the heat, pour in 3 liter (1 part, 0.8 gal.) cold backset.
I fill my backset-jars straight from the pot while the backset is still steaming hot, store them in a cold basement, and use it within a week, so it is less likely to contaminate the mash.

- At 60ºC (140F) set the pH to 4.5 and stir in 2 ml (½ tsp.) of gluco-amylase.
Gluco needs a low pH to work, and it works best just under it's destabilisation temperature, which is 65-70ºC. Keeping the mash at 50-60ºC with an insulated pot for two hours means a day or two less fermentation time, but do not attempt to leave it all night as it can be infected before yeasting.

- Cool down the mash below 30ºC as fast as possible.
Cool it from outside, by filling your bathtub with cold water and putting the pot in it, or from inside, by using a wort chiller or a DIY-chiller, which is a submersible double copper spiral with an aquarium pump that circulates a big bucket of water in it.

- Aerate the mash, then rehydrate and mix in the yeast.
Use your favorite yeast or in combination with some ale-yeast added as plus. If your distillers yeast has a high killer-factor it can and will kill the ale-yeast, however the ale-yeasts will still give out their characteristic flavour to the mash.

- Keep a constant temperature while fermenting.
Check your yeast's optimal fermenting temperature by searching out it's datasheet, even cold-tolerant yeasts can have a surprisingly high fermentation optimal. 25ºC (80F) seems to be a good temperature for most yeasts we use with AG. This way you will get a fast fermentation, 4-5 days and it is ready to cook.

I make three pots of this mash with the amounts written and ferment it out together in an 50L insulated and temperature-controlled fermentation barrel. The mash is ready when most of the floating particles are sank to the bottom, no bubbling or sizzling can be seen and the CO2 feels gone from the top. Still it is a good idea to check the clean liquid from the top with a beer hydrometer to see if it is really fermented out dry. This is when I tear down the insulation and pull out the heating tube, giving my fermented mash a day to settle.

When stripping time comes, I collect the liquid only from the top, leaving the sludge as undisturbed as possible. After about 2x 13 L (3.5 gal.) run I reach the creamy part. This is when I pour in 10 L (2.6 gal.) water and after mixing it well, I leave it for another day to settle. What happens is that the water dilutes the alcohol into itself instantly, and even if this last strip yields less alcohol it already pulled out >50% of alcohol from the sludge, and while doing this we also gave an oxygene shot to the yeast that we wish to use later in the next fermentation run.

Nonetheless, if someone wish to give the spent grains to farm animals (like backyard chickens), it is better to give it to them with low alcohol as a bad hangover stops hens' laying for a few days. I use to cup 4/5 of the sludge out, leaving the creamy liquid yeasts at place, and refreshing with a little shower-water to give them even more oxygen for budding. I fill the fermentor again with three pots of mash, then ferment and strip it out too.

As for stripping I put my previous feints in stripping runs, sometimes with aged "honey" backset that is not the same as the ones I use for acidifying the mash. (It is much like dunder, infected at cold with part of a backset that developed a deep honey-like sweetness. This "honey" backset is sterilized for an hour after it starts hissing in a pressure cooker before use.) I stop the stripping when the low wines start to come out at 15% abv.

When distilling 6x pot worth of the above mash - it equals around 12 liter of low wines diluted to 30% abv - I collect hearts from 72% to 62%. First 100 ml is used as bbq-fluid, then a liter of heads are collected in the feints jar, 3 liter of hearts is stored separately, rest is tails that I put into the feints jar too.

Try it, and tell me how you like it.

Cheers,

Paulinka

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Re: Inka's All-Flour

Post by scuba stiller » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:23 pm

Love your writing style. Your method is very refined. Thank you for posting this.

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Re: Inka's All-Flour

Post by Paulinka » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:37 am

Thank you for your kind words Scuba, still it is surely visible that English is not my mother-language. :)

I found out that the more types of flour are cooked together the easier to stir the mash while cooking. So it can be helpful - if you run out of alpha or dont want to use it - to include a handful of wheat- or rice bran in the grain-bill, whether it is a single grain or a multi-grain recipe. If no brans around, some powder-fine malt (I use my coffee grinder) will do the same effect at as low as 2-3% ratio in the grain-bill.

I don't know exactly why, but if I have to guess I would say that different saccharification temperatures of the different grain-particles mixed together helps prevent caking and against sticking starch-chains together.

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Re: Inka's All-Flour

Post by Paulinka » Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:01 am

With the mash made as written above, after fermentation stopped and a cold night for the yeast (Uvaferm CM) to settle, when the pediococcus infection is visible, corn+millet (1:1) beer is ready to go for stripping:
Pediococcus infection
Pediococcus infection
Cute velo de flor, ain't it? :clap: Lambic whiskey anyone? Well, we shall see how it affects the taste, I hope the best. There is a very very little chance that it will produce the diacetyl I'm looking for. As Uvaferm CM is not clearly designed to deal with complex maltose (like Danstil A, fi.), it is possible that this strain of pedio converts such.
It would be a perfect combination in a grain-bill I plan to learn makin' a good whisky from, as it is cheap and interesting. Also I heard millet gives a nice floral scent and - as strange as it may sound - I'm looking to make a bourbon that has an Irish bouquet-style.

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Re: Inka's All-Flour

Post by Paulinka » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:07 am

What a difference a handful of grinded and scalded chocolate malt makes. After a week of fermentation galaxy is forming again, tomorrow I will strip it. Then the most thorough cleaning of the fermentation barrel and utensils comes.
withchoco.jpg

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Re: Inka's All-Flour

Post by HDNB » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:43 am

Paulinka, awesome write up as usual. I have found my stride with AG using the same methods, but i still tend to go a bit higher temps before cooling to reduce the chance of a bad infection.
On your second post it sounds like the pediococcus is intentionally introduced? or did it just happen this way?

you have identified pedio by pattern it grows in or is there more science involved than you let on?
I finally quit drinking for good.

now i drink for evil.

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Re: Inka's All-Flour

Post by Paulinka » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:20 pm

It was not an exact science, and any experienced microbiologist is sure to do a double facepalm by just reading my method. I have taken steps toward the goal to have "my own" beneficial lacto strain, and luckily one step resulted in a leap.
After stripping a mash I fill the piping hot backset in preheated jars, close them tight, let them cool. Then I intentionally inoculated them with different cultures (that were introduced first to a 8% alcohol solution and shaked with a resonator): a few grain of artisan cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, keffir, pickled veggies from different sources, grain-hulls, fruit-mummies from the garden.

Till spring the shed's floor was literally covered with dozens of infected backset-filled jars partaking in this experiment. The bar was set pretty high, and most of the contestants didn't qualified, as the ideal lacto-strain had to meet certain expectations:

1. Withstand an ~8% ABV in the mash
This was easy as bacterii with less alcohol tolerance already died in the slant tube's 8% alc. solution before entering the medium.
2. Thrive fast at 4.5pH
After two weeks at temperatures 1-15C the sour backset culture should have shown spectacular development with a distinctive character.
3. Be a yeast-parallel homofermentative
Backset has many unfermented sugars, teared up proteins, enzymes, yeast hulls and such. A good lacto in my opinion is not a strong feedcompetitor against the yeast used, they have to live in peace beside each other from the start otherwise alcohol yields will suffer.
Later, in the search for the optimal "lacto-friendly-yeast-buddy" I found out that it is beneficial to look around in the group of those yeasts that are not specialized to convert complex maltose sugars, so those end up in the backset or converted by a lacto found this way.
4. Easily recognizable appearance
IMHO pediococcus is close to be the best in recognizability, especially for the eye of an amateur without a lab, the veil is very typical in the first few days after yeast descension. Veil appearance also clearly marks the end of the fermentation, which can be hard to recognize for novices in the art of guided fermentation.
5. Additive olfactory values (beside creation of lactic acid) without acridity produced
From the dozens of different inoculated backset only two reached my set goals, and won the race to partake in further experiments. This pedio sp. ("Patty") gives a sweet and sour peach-yoghurt smell to the mash. The other strain I kept is a lacto sp. ("Lacey") that enhances rye-flavour to a deep long ryebread-honey smell; it does not form a veil like the pedio but a yellow greasy scum (a golden "ring") at the surface sides of the fermentor.

Backsets that shown even the tinyest sporulating mold island or any adverse olfactory value were of course discarded, and quite a few did not had any recognizable bacterial development, which means to me that sterility of the media was not much compromised. Most inoculants simply could not stand the alcohol and/or the pH, nor they found feed to thrive on.

From now on, I can use either of my lacto, if I inoculate 2L batches of cold backsets with a tablespoon of fresh fermented-out mash and store them for a few weeks. When making a new mash I cool it down with a type of infected backset ("Patty" or "Lacey", depends on the grain-bill) to 55-60C and I mix in the gluco-amylase.

I wish I had made data about time, pH, daily temperature fluctuations, now I have no idea where these two bacteria even came from. Such a shame it may sound, but anyway, it is not a big fault, as there are hundreds of lactobacillus in dairy products and on various surfaces. Main problem is that without raising and isolating them in proper laboratory conditions (on a very expensive, selfadjusting pH medium) one will never know exactly what it is. Even if I knew, it would not make a big difference knowing the name of it, I gave them names. :)

Next step was to find a yeast that works properly but leaves feed (leftovers, preferably) for the lacto. Uvaferm CM found to be working nice together with "Patty", they gice a creamy, milky mouthfeel to whiskey and a peach-scent. "Lacey" is more of an aftertaste- and "smell length"-enhancer, not a fast lactic-acid producer, but a good addition to a simple bourbon grain-bill, if a honey-character is preferred. No big change perceived (noncalculated though) regarding final alcohol content with the use of these lactobacillus, an 5-10% less alcohol in return should easily be welcomed by me. Fermentation time is 4-5 day at 25C, then after 2 day coldshock at 10-15C mash are stripped.

I found very little information about finding and nourishing distiller's lacto-cultures, and I believe it is because they bite into the profit of big distillerys so they are regarded as an infection. I highly recommend to play with them on hobby level, as lacto can give a new dimension in distilling.

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Re: Inka's All-Flour

Post by HDNB » Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:28 am

Wow! Fascinating stuff. I've never even considered a breeding facility.
This is something i am eager to learn more about. I think i will have to try some trial and error (to the sound of more micro-biologists out there banging their heads on the lab wall)
I have had only a few pronounced infections...four producing bad butyric smelling swill...and the very last ferment i did on a sour mash AG job. on the third generation i got a thin, milky film towards the end of the cycle and it got quickly more aggressive as i finished the strips over the last three days.
I never noticed any "off" smells, it was fairly benign in that regard. I must admit i though the whiskey had improved towards the end of the task. How improved? a better mouthfeel. smooth pleasant heat. I have not checked it in many weeks now that it has been resting and i have some on oak and some white that i'm going to put a critical nose to, to sniff for any difference.
I'm too dumb to know how i got the infection going, but i was smart enough to keep a sample in case i wanted to introduce again!
Thank you again for the detailed notes, and another idea to pursue!
I finally quit drinking for good.

now i drink for evil.

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Paulinka
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Re: Inka's All-Flour

Post by Paulinka » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:08 am

I have results from my new experiment with triticale flour combined with hefeweizen yeast. I mixed 3kg of triticale flour in 12L 48C water that already had 2ml of hitemp-alfa in it. After mixing evenly I let it for a long ferulic acid rest, 30 minutes at 43C, this is where it dropped by using 20C flour. Ferulic acid is the precursor of the 4-vinyl-guaiacol created by the Bavarian wheat brewers yeast, it is the sought after clove-aroma. After the ferulic rest I raised the temperature slowly to 68-70C while stirring the mash. Then I cooled it down with 1.5L cold water in which I mixed a leveled tablespoonful of citric acid. Now that the pH is set and the temperature is good for the glucoamylase, I instilled 2ml of gluco on top. After half a day it cooled down to pitching temperature and I pitched in some hefeweizen-starter built on 1.040 OG malt-juice.

Most of the clove scent is generated at 17C AND soon after lag-phase, ONLY WHILE the yeast multiplies. So after three days (when the mash has a high foam*) at this temperature the mash temperature can be brought up, with this strain (Mangrove Jack's Bavarian Wheat) under 23-24C desirable esthers of banana formed, the not-so-coveted bubblegum-tuttifrutti comes at its' high optimal 28-30C. It takes a bit more than a week to finish ferment, but most of this yeast will not settle, so only after about 3-4 weeks it becomes susceptible to infections when it runs out of food and thus becomes weak.

*Top-cropping ale-type brewers yeast might be much better idea than washing it. When high krausen (foam) collect the grain-foam with a sterilised foam-spoon and discard it. Next day collect most of the foam in a sterilised jar, it will be much more clear yeast, and siphon some from the top layer of the mash too. With multiple cold-crashing and dilution with preboiled and cooled water one can have a healthy layer of hefeweizen-yeast. It is important not to use just cold tap water because we wish to put the yeast in a dormant condition, that means no oxygen and no minerals should be given to her at all, so we boil out both from the water. Yeast will stay alive in the fridge for a long time, and a fresh healthy starter can be made anytime from it.

Low wines has a wonderful scent of freshly baked bread without a yeasty feeling and in the spirit the clove and banana aroma is recognizable.
Only a very light oaking with crocodiled sticks is recommended if at all, just to iron out imperfections in blending, vanilla easily overpowers the natty characteristics, or it can be left white as a specialty.

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Re: Inka's All-Flour

Post by Paulinka » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:13 am

Few more things:
- If you aim for clove-flavours then underpitching is better than overpitching but needs more care regarding sanitation.
- Do not raise the mash temperature over 80C or you will wash out tannins from the hulls. As ferulic acid is in the hulls, I use triticale that was milled whole. It is very cheap, about same price as corn-flour in fodder-store. You can try whole milled oats too with ferulic acid rest. The mash will be loaded with proteins, unlike in brewing we do not make protein-breaking rests, but those proteins are a good foodsource for the yeast.
- Oxygenation of the mash before inoculation shortens the lag phase thus shortens the critical time when infection can enter. Close the barrel and give it a good shake, or stir the top of it with a clean paddle till it foams (not the paddle, the mash :) ), or bubble it up with an air pump. Should you choose the latter, make an air-filter and place it in between the mash and the pump.
- Rehydrate your dry hefeweizen-yeast in lukewarm water with some clear wort you collect from the mash in which the glucoamylase been splitting carbs for a few hours. Best is to rehydrate the yeast in a diluted wort (1.030-1.040 SG) with a magnetic stirrer, which is no big hassle to make from old computer parts (magnets from HDDs, PC-fan, plastic CD-tray, etc.).

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