Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

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Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 am

Ok some explainin I guess on that weird title. There's 2 recipe's in this post, back to back, which is how they are made. The first is an All Grain Wheated Bourbon. Similar in style to Makers Mark, Pappy Van Winkle and some others that use wheat instead of rye in their bourbon. You can also make it with rye replacing the wheat if thats your taste. Im partial to the warm buttery smooth fruity notes from wheat myself. Rye will be similar but with a floral aroma and a little spicier flavor. Allso damn fine, think Knob Creek, Basil Haydens, Four Roses and many others.

The second recipe is a sugarhead made with the spent grains. Since its wheated, and its a sugarhead, and my favorite wheat beer ever is Three Floyds Gumballhead, I stole his name for this. Its a nice drinkin likker but especially good for pantydroppers and flavored stuff.

I call this recipe 'easy' because I dont cook the corn over fire. Lazy bastard that I am. I boil the water, then add the corn and let it steep cook for several hours, wrapped in a blanket. It works great, gelatinizes the corn just fine. Finally, 1/2barrel is in the title because it is tuned for a 15.5gal 1/2 barrel BAP (big ass pot) cooker. Keg with the top cut out. And a 15.5g still.

Ok on with it already.

WHEATED BOURBON RECIPE (Edited April 2015)

Ingredients:
10 gallons water
2 gallons backset (to lower the pH of the mash. Or sub with 2 more gal water and 15ml lactic acid)
4 teaspoons gypsum (calcium sulfate, lowers the pH a tad and yeast like Calcium)
22 lbs cracked corn (washed and drained with warm water in a bucket)
OR 16 lbs corn meal (corn meal converts more efficiently due to much smaller crack size).
5 lbs wheat malt, milled.
3 lbs 6 row, milled (or 2 row, or use 8 lbs wheat malt total)
A good ale yeast (US-04, US-05, Nottingham, Wyeast 1272, WLP023 Burton or similar) 2-3 packets, or a healthy starter.

A note on yeasts, US-05, Nottingham, WLP001 and Wyeast 1272 are very clean fermenting and produce very little esters. Make a great whiskey. US-04, WLP023 Burton and many other English style yeasts produce more fruity esters that will come across in the bourbon. The cuts get trickier and the final yield might be slightly less for these estery English yeasts but it does add a nice interesting touch to the bourbon.

Process:
1 - Bring the water, backset and gypsum to a boil in your half barrel BAP. It takes a while, and helps if you wrap a flame proof insulating blanket around the pot while its heating up. I usually quit at 205F out of impatience, and to avoid boiling the oxygen out of the water (yeast need oxygen).
2 - Turn the heat off and stir in the corn.
3 - Wrap it up in extra blankets, even if you have the flame proof insulator on it. And let it steep cook for several hours or overnight. Note the corn is pasteurized now so nothing funky is gonna grow in there. Helps to stir a few times as the corn will settle.
4 - After 3+ hours (I do overnight) remove the blankets, stir well and check temp. When I make this, I start the process at 8PM, stir in my corn by 10PM and at 9AM in the morning its 155F or so still. So if you wrap it up well it will hold temp just fine.
5 - Point a big fan at the BAP and stir a few minutes, it will drop fast, watch it. at 146F, stir in the 8 lbs milled malt and wrap it back up tight in blankets. Stir occasionally.
6. After 90 minutes cool to 80F and pitch yeast. A starter is recommended to get a good healthy start to fermentation. Note the typical whiskey mashing process does not involve pasteurization, and this is fine if youre careful about sanitizing equipment and not delaying the cooling from mash to pitch temp. Bacteria thrive in that range between 80 and 150. So its important to give the yeast the head start, not the bacteria. For bakers or distillers yeast (DADY) ferment at 80F, for Beer Ale yeasts ferment at 65-70F.
7 - It will be mostly done in 3-4 days, if you leave it to ferment out dry 5-7 days the yeast will add more fruityness (a good thing). Commercial distillers would like to do this but dont have the time, for economical reasons. Some push to 60+ hours to try and get more fruit. We do have the time :thumbup: But watch it and dont let it go longer than 7 days ever. The corn was pastuerized, the 8 lbs malt not, so the bugs will take off on you and feed on the yeast autolyses products and youll risk ruining a batch of nice bourbon fixens.
8 - When its done, squeeze out the grain through a large mesh grain bag. This isint as hard as some people make out. 20 minutes and Im done, and will get close to 11 gallons to distill. Let it sit overnight to settle out. The cloudyness is yeast. You dont want to distill that if you can avoid it, but if in a pinch for time its fine, Im hard pressed to taste any difference when I have run cloudy washes.
9 - rack the clear wash off the top of the settling buckets into your 1/2brl still. Do a quick stripper run. Pitch 6 oz of fores. I run the stripper until the low wines avg about 30%. You could go a bit longer but youre burning a lot of propane for a little bit of alcohol. (Whiskey distilleries typically go to 20% low wines, economics, and the large steam boilers are already running anyway). Save the backset from the stripper for next time. Its sterile, so stores fine in a sterilized bucket. You can also freeze blocks in gallon ziplock bags. Ive done both.
10 - Run the low wines slower in a spirit run. Pitch another 6 oz fores.

Cuts and Yield:
Make your cuts to taste. This recipe gives me 4 quarts at 56% usually, without feints added to the runs, or a higher yield if you have feints to add.
Age on toasted and charred all around oak. Dont touch it for 4 months, at that point its damn good. And only gets better with more time.
At todays grain prices $11/ 50lbs corn, $48/50lb wheat and $46/50lb 6row, This works out to $11.22 for 7 fifths of 80 proof. Or $1.60 a fifth. :thumbup: :thumbup: (not counting yeast, I use harvested yeast from beer runs).
Why do I distill? My answer in another thread on here - Im a cheap bastard with expensive tastes.

A note on oak aging, according to Jimbo - Oak needs to be toasted at 400-450 for 2-4 hours AND then charred all sides exposed to likker. Lots of ways to do this. Raw wood baked and charred gives more sweetness faster. Used barrels are great. Take a little longer. JD staves from a half barrel planter work great. I cut them into 1x1x5 inch sticks, and char the unexposed 5 surfaces with a torch. They are already toasted so dont need that treatment. Soak charred wood for several hours in water to remove some tannins and grit. For the JD sticks 1 ea 1x1x5 stick per quart. This is 88 sq inches per gallon. A 55g barrel gives about 52 square inches per gallon. I havent done the math on 5 gallon barrels yet but them used Balcones barrels sure are nice, I have 3.


BOURBON GUMBALLHEAD RECIPE Delicious sugarhead drinkin likker.

Instead of dumping that pile of squeezed out spent grain (and goo from the bottom of the settling buckets) in the compost (like I used to do! ugh) cook up 16 lbs of sugar with 2 gallons of the backset from the stripper run above and 10 gallons water. Cool and pour over the spent grain. There's plenty yeast embedded in the grain so no need for more yeast. This baby will start up quick and ferment out fast, 1.061 to 1.000 in 4 days. Squeeze it out like above, let it settle and run it twice, all same as above. You could pull a couple quarts of hearts out of the first run for a sweeter tasting shine. The second run will be cleaner. With the bourbon feints from above added, the yield is about 6 quarts of 56% or so! At the price I paid for sugar at Aldi last time this works out to $0.98 per 80 proof fifth! :shock: Age on oak. Life is good.

Cheers friends.

WhiskeyBourbonWheatedSm.JPG
Halfbaked edit
Last edited by Jimbo on Fri May 17, 2013 7:06 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby shawn2974 » Wed May 15, 2013 8:39 am

I have to say Jimbo its definitley got my attention to give it a try.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Bing-Bot » Wed May 15, 2013 8:48 am

If you were to get yeast from your all grain batch to save for another batch how might you do that? How long will it keep and how do you store it?
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Wed May 15, 2013 9:05 am

halfbaked wrote:If you were to get yeast from your all grain batch to save for another batch how might you do that? How long will it keep and how do you store it?

I dont do that baked, because the AG whiskey ferments are not sterile. The malt is never pasteurized in AG fixins, so the bacteria on the malt is still there. Its a race with the yeast. And in a clean environment with fresh clean yeast, the yeast will win. If you keep cycling something with bacteria, the bacteria will proliferate and youre toast.

Beer is boiled after mashing. So the ferment is sterile.
Last edited by Jimbo on Wed May 15, 2013 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Bing-Bot » Wed May 15, 2013 9:10 am

Thanks. Great post
Last edited by Bing-Bot on Wed May 15, 2013 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby DFitz » Wed May 15, 2013 9:33 am

I have an open barrel atm that might just work out for this recipe. I'll keep it in mind for my next run. First I have a 95% rye/5% smoked barley I have to get through. Looking forward to trying this. :thumbup:
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Wed May 15, 2013 10:20 am

Messin around with some generic labels you guys could use for this.

Cheers.

ShineSm.JPG
BourbonRyeSm.JPG
BourbonWheatedSm.JPG
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby shawn2974 » Wed May 15, 2013 11:52 am

Jimbo what are u using to create those labels?
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Wed May 15, 2013 12:27 pm

shawn2974 wrote:Jimbo what are u using to create those labels?


http://www.beerlabelizer.com/ Cool little program. If you want to do the picture options you need to buy it but its cheap, forgot what I paid. For the pictures I do google searches, and then clean them up in GIMP (free photoshop).

For labelling, I print them on plain paper, cut them out and use a little elmers to stick them to the bottle. Works great for whiskey bottles. Wouldnt work so good for beer bottles tossed in a cooler of ice. :problem:

For more durable labels, buy some laminating sheets and use your wifes iron when she isint home.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Antaean » Tue May 21, 2013 12:15 pm

Jimbo,
Noobshine directed me to this thread after asking the question of if I can reuse the grains from an all grain batch and drop some sugar on it. I have to say after reading your post it has my mouth watering, sounds delightful. I have a few days left of fermenting of my all grain before I can try it. Looking forward to it !!
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Tue May 21, 2013 12:41 pm

Antaean, Thanks. I was really pleasantly surprised. Makes a nice drinker. Try that nuclear treatment on some with an oak stick in it. I did on a quart for grins and it's drinkable right away without waiting 4+ months. I wont be dumping my piles of spent whiskey grains in the compost anymore without doing this first, $0.98 a fifth is hard to beat for a nice mixin likker :)

What was your all grain batch?

cheers
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Antaean » Tue May 21, 2013 12:55 pm

Jimbo,
What are your steps you do when nuclear treating?
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Tue May 21, 2013 1:05 pm

Antaean wrote:Jimbo,
What are your steps you do when nuclear treating?


Basically followed what they say in this thread/ viewtopic.php?f=4&t=38991

I did 4 rounds of 3 minutes in the microwave, oak stick in, cap off. Pull it out of micro hot and put the cap on, let it cool. It draws a vacumn, then pop the cap after its cooled and repeat, the hooch reabsorbs back into the wood again I guess is the theory, then sucks out in the vacume when it cools? Not sure what all happens, maybe even more than just the oaking going on? Dunno. Improved it tho.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Antaean » Tue May 21, 2013 1:17 pm

Thanks Jimbo,
I had read that post, Just had to ask if you had some other process.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby warp1 » Tue May 21, 2013 5:38 pm

Great thread....very detailed recipe...love it.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby BentJar » Wed May 22, 2013 1:06 am

I think that putting labels on your licker jars would be strong evidence to the police that you are manufactoring illegal alcohol.
I like them, they are cool but......in case you are busted, it might add more time to your stay in a state run facility.

Sumthin you might want to consider.


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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Tue May 28, 2013 9:32 am

Just ran the strippers and spirit run from another batch over the weekend. 'Keep' yield this time with fruity high ester Burton Ale yeast worked out to 4.03 lbs of grain per 80 proof fifth. Or 12.4 fifths per 50lbs. Last batch was 4.3 lbs/fifth with very clean fermenting US-05. Too early to say if the fruity yeast does anythign good for the flavor as hoped. Cut it down from 70 to 60% and have it aging on oak till xmas. Cheers.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby ThrownOlive » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:59 am

If you're busted with a rig and bottles of hooch, it won't matter if they're labeled or not. May as well make the evidence look fancy for the jury :)
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:35 am

ThrownOlive wrote:If you're busted with a rig and bottles of hooch, it won't matter if they're labeled or not. May as well make the evidence look fancy for the jury :)


haha thats my logic! I figure a cute little clearly homemade and printed label isint gonna change the legaility of the stuff inside the bottle one way or another.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby singlewhitemalt » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:54 pm

Hey Jimbo, this recipe sounds like just what I need. I was recently converted to a malt whiskey drinker and want to get started making some American style single malt but, I still have about 60lbs of corn to go through (and hey I haven't thrown all my corn likker away yet :lol: ). I also just acquired a really sweet 1/2 barrell mash tun. A trip to the home brew store for some 6 row and some ale yeast and I'll be ready to get mashing on a full batch of this. It's gonna be rye to start as I already have some but, looking forward to trying it with the wheat as well. Thanks for the clear cut recipe. I'll report back on my results.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby tickle » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:26 pm

Jimbo,
All I can find locally is bags of wheat bran (flakes). I assume its not what you use..worth trying you think?
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Pesty » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:59 am

tickle wrote:Jimbo,
All I can find locally is bags of wheat bran (flakes). I assume its not what you use..worth trying you think?



If you can't source grains locally, then hit up the online sources like brewhaus or midwest supplies for the good stuff shipped to your door.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Black Eye » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:04 am

morebeer.com has some pretty good deals and not a bad selection. They don't chagre much for milling the grains and I believe the shipping is reasonable.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:14 am

tickle, morebeer is my favorite online supplier. They have 5 and 10 lb bags of wheat malt. http://morebeer.com/products/white-wheat-malt.html

If you spend $59 shipping is FREE. Great barley malt prices too.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby BoomTown » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:51 am

Just saying hi, so I can track this thread in the my postings section....good job guys...
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:56 am

Hi Boom! Just bottled a fifth of cherry panty dropper made with the gumballhead from this run. Its damn fine. No sugar, just the sugarhead fresh sour cherries and 2 charred sticks in a gallon flip top jug.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby BoomTown » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:06 am

Jimbo wrote:Hi Boom! Just bottled a fifth of cherry panty dropper made with the gumballhead from this run. Its damn fine. No sugar, just the sugarhead fresh sour cherries and 2 charred sticks in a gallon flip top jug.


Thanks Jimbo,

BTW, as for squeesings...I dropped $30US on a plastic mop squeeser that fits into a box. Now I put the mop wringer over a bucket, spread a nylon paint strainer bag over the mop squeezer, and then pour the mash into the mop squeezer till its about 2/3 full. Then pull the handle, and squeeze it out into the bucket. Lets me squees my grains dryer than I could by hand, and does it all in about 5 minutes per 7 gallon bucket of wash.

You might want to spend some of those $$s your saving on a good mop squeezer. Check out the WEBstaurant Store, Item # 274MOPWRINGER. You'll have more time to sip your $.99 Cherry P.D. :thumbup: :moresarcasm:
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:53 am

Thats a great idea boom! Ill check into that, thanks

My 0.99 panty dropper LOL, hadnt thought of that, hell, I might have to pour a triple next time. haha, whats that about 12 cents? :ebiggrin:
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby midwest shinner » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:33 pm

Damn good thread Jimbo, very detailed. Even the most novice of stillers should be able to follow. Great job. I love the labels too. As a side note i would love to try your cherry bourbon gumballhead it sounds mighty tasty. My lady isn't a whisky drinker at all but that might be a way to get her interested
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:50 pm

Thanks Mike appreciate that. I try my best in these recipe threads to take the mystery and apprehension away from all grain brewing. They really are not difficult. 2 additional steps and some careful temperature control and youre off. I also intentionally keep them as simple as possible. Some things in life just dont need to be overcomplicated. Mashing grain is one of them.
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