Whiskey from free ingredients.

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Zeotropic
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Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Zeotropic » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:04 pm

So I was given a True Brew ingredient kit called Octoberfest.
It includes 3.3 lb of Muntons amber malt extract
2 lb of Muntons light dry malt extract
5 oz of priming sugar
8 oz Weyermann Melanodin Malt

This kit is intended to make a 5 gallon batch.
Should I adjust the water for a lower sg or brew it as is?

Also I am planning to boil it until I get a hot break to prevent boil over during distalation.
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MartinCash
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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by MartinCash » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:13 pm

Does it come with hops? If so I'd avoid using them. If it comes with pre-hopped extract you may not have much choice, though.

The kit should say what ABV it produces, more or less. If under 8% I'd just go as it is.

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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Zeotropic » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:17 pm

MartinCash wrote:Does it come with hops? If so I'd avoid using them. If it comes with pre-hopped extract you may not have much choice, though.
I didn't list the hops because I wouldn't be using it. There are 2 packets of hop pellets but the malt all seems to be un hopped thankfuly.

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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Zeotropic » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:24 pm

I am moving at the end of the month so this will be my first batch at the new house.

One thing I need to decide is what yeast to use.
I have red star DADY and red star baking yeast or I can buy something.
I have read a lot of good about bread yeast for whiskey but I will have to look into it a bit more.

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Chauncey
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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Chauncey » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:03 pm

It says 4 to 5abv id add something to bri g that sg up a few notches.
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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Deplorable » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:08 pm

Add in the priming sugar, and a pound or so of additional sugar and get it up to 1.065-1.070.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Zeotropic » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:06 pm

Really? I had been thinking I would keep it really low. Is there a benefit to raising the sg other than yield?

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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by MartinCash » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:37 pm

Priming sugar will up your yield at the expense of flavour. If you were concerned at it being too low, I'd add malt extract. But then, it would no longer be free...

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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Zeotropic » Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:23 pm

MartinCash wrote:Priming sugar will up your yield at the expense of flavour. If you were concerned at it being too low, I'd add malt extract. But then, it would no longer be free...
I was planning to use all the malt and priming sugar but no extra sugar.
I can adjust the water to change the SG though if needed.
What should I aim for?
I thought I read somewhere on here that 5% was a good safe target for whiskey to produce good flavor with less chance of fermentation problems.

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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by MartinCash » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:50 am

5-6% is an easy and fast fermentation. You're pretty safe up to 8%, as most or all ale yeasts are happy in that range and don't produce too many fusels. Just don't up the abv potential by adding simple sugars as they contribute no flavour.

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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Swedish Pride » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:57 am

half the water instead of adding sugar, or don't. It does not matter if you get 8% in 2.5G or 4% in 5G, same amount of booze albeit the 4% mash will ferment out quicker.
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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Zeotropic » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:51 am

MartinCash wrote:5-6% is an easy and fast fermentation. You're pretty safe up to 8%, as most or all ale yeasts are happy in that range and don't produce too many fusels. Just don't up the abv potential by adding simple sugars as they contribute no flavour.
Thanks for the confirmation. I will probably just do 5 gallons with no sugar. I don't have a sacrometer yet so I don't want to fiddle with it to much anyway. This batch is going to be more about figuring out the still than anything else but I would be happy if the little product I get is good. Do you think bread yeast would do well in this situation?
The yeast that came with the kit expired in 2015 so I think I need fresh yeast for the active part. I will probably use the expired yeast as nutrient in a sugar wash.
I will probably toss the hops because something that aromatic would almost have to loose something after that many years. Also I am not making beer currently but if I was this would not be my recipe.

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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Zeotropic » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:52 am

Swedish Pride wrote:half the water instead of adding sugar, or don't. It does not matter if you get 8% in 2.5G or 4% in 5G, same amount of booze albeit the 4% mash will ferment out quicker.
I will just do 5 gallons. I am not interested in quantity anyway.

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Chauncey
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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Chauncey » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:37 am

The yeast is probably fine unless its liquid yeast.
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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Zeotropic » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:52 am

Chauncey wrote:The yeast is probably fine unless its liquid yeast.
Good to know. I probably won't use it anyway as I don't know what to expect from it.
I am thinking it is mainly a choice between baking or distillers yeast now.

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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by greggn » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:40 am

Zeotropic wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:51 am
I will probably just do 5 gallons with no sugar.

Corn sugar (dextrose) contributes no flavor to the ferment so go ahead and add the priming sugar. 5oz is not enough to bother keeping on the shelf and risk attracting bugs. It's table sugar (sucrose) which adds a distinctive bite and undesirable flavor.
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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by MartinCash » Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:10 pm

greggn wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:40 am
Corn sugar (dextrose) contributes no flavor to the ferment so go ahead and add the priming sugar. 5oz is not enough to bother keeping on the shelf and risk attracting bugs. It's table sugar (sucrose) which adds a distinctive bite and undesirable flavor.
I have never experienced a difference in the character of added dextrose compared to sucrose in eight years distilling and 25 brewing. Only price.

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Re: Whiskey from free ingredients.

Post by Corsaire » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:03 pm

You could also try adding liquid enzymes, to get some more fermentables out of the malt extract.

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