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

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

Postby Jimbo » Wed May 25, 2016 1:22 pm

der wo wrote:
Jimbo wrote:Because youre using a reflux for your spirit, your tails are hugely compressed

That's not true for my distilling procedure:
After the fores, heads and the high abv hearts fraction I try to maintain a vapor temperature with the needle valve. It's normally 88°C for whisky and one or two degrees lower for fruits (I decide by tasting during the run). And after a while I start collecting small jars. This way without rising of the temp I don't have a clear line between hearts and tails, the taste is changing slower than with a potstill (of course I started distilling with a potstill, so I know).

I don't doubt this method and search more in direction what happens before the spirit run currently.


Youre just delaying the tails and stretching your hearts run by cranking up the reflux water, I do that too, but you cant do that forever, and when you finally concede and let the tails through, they are hugely compressed. But frankly this isint a reflux thread so Im gonna let it drop here and we can bash it around elsewhere.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby der wo » Thu May 26, 2016 1:58 am

Yes of course I cannot do that forever. Or more exactly, I can do (the control of a LM is easy), but of course after a while the jars start taste worse. Yes, that's the tails. But this way I don't find a stricter line with my reflux than with my potstill. Perhaps only my problem. Again, sorry for beeing off-topic...
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby raketemensch » Thu May 26, 2016 5:04 am

Well, I only made it to 1.04. I think it's probably because I milled the grains in a blender, and still had some hard kernels in the mix. I wasn't aiming for perfection on this one, as it's my first ever attempt at an AG, all the beer I ever made was from extract. I think I should have stirred more, too.

So I'll be ordering a corona mill before my next attempt. It seems like other than that, most of the learning curve on this one is logistical. I also ordered a bazooka filter (oh, if only I'd thought of that a week ago), and I'm going to build a shelf to keep this sucker above boiler height. I'm also going to put a heating element in this BAP to get the water up to temp -- since it's all steep-cooking after that, I don't have to worry about scorching. If the bazooka filter works as expected (cue everyone telling me that it won't), I should be able to drain straight from this pot into the boiler. Which would be great, because I don't ever want to have to crab-walk this damn thing around the house again.

Interesting learning curve here. Certainly not insurmountable, but also not exactly a party. My wife is away for a week, so it was easy to destroy the kitchen a few times while sorting things out. Like, I have to remove the knobs from the stove to slide the pot on and off, and the lid won't fit past the hood vent. At 8.34 pounds/gallon of water, plus 22 pounds of corn and 8 pounds of grain, this thing is at an estimated 130 pounds? Lord, no wonder it was hard to lift to countertop height.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Thu May 26, 2016 9:29 am

Raket,

Dialing in a process is a big part of the learning curve for sure, what works, what doesnt, minimizing ball busting lifting etc etc etc. Be persistent about finding and addressing all the areas that piss you off, and soon you'll have the process dialed into something enjoyable and streamlined. Honest, dont lose faith. We all go through this, and much of it is very individual to yoru setup and circumstance so cant really be taught. But some tips Ive learned addressing a few of your frustrations below....
1. drain ports on the bottom of pots, and drain port height just above the lip of the grain barrel below it. Boil water, open drain onto the corn. Stir wrap up and cover. (no lifting)
2. stir and steep cook for 3 hours! no less. this will improve the efficiency number
3. use high temp enzymes so 2 above doesnt cement
4. use corn meal. MUCH better efficiency. Cracked corn sucks
5. My least favorite part, after ferment squeezing in paint strainer bags is a little easier with a mop bucket.

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

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Thu May 26, 2016 9:42 am

Jimbo wrote:Raket,

Dialing in a process is a big part of the learning curve for sure, what works, what doesnt, minimizing ball busting lifting etc etc etc. Be persistent about finding and addressing all the areas that piss you off, and soon you'll have the process dialed into something enjoyable and streamlined. Honest, dont lose faith. We all go through this, and much of it is very individual to yoru setup and circumstance so cant really be taught.

+1
I've been using this basic protocol since the beginning, and I've finally got my own system for the various steps.
I do all my mashing with an 8 gallon boil pot, and 6 5-gallon buckets. I make 30 gallons of mash, dump it all in a Brute, add 9 gallons of ice, pitch yeast. Lately I've been hitting OG 1.07.

High temp enzymes are a godsend for the corn cooking. Keeps the corn liquid, and does a great job of tearing up the starches so that they are available to the mash process.
I grind my grains up to a fine meal with a corona and a drill motor.

Good plan to be working the kinks out with the Mrs. not there. :thumbup:
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby raketemensch » Thu May 26, 2016 5:25 pm

Thanks guys, I'll get there. The learning curve is what sucked me into this in the first place. I'm a Process guy, and building out this bizarro system and refining it into a simple machine is what drives me. Well, that and this delicious booze.

I was hoping to avoid enzymes, but for no genuinely good reason. I'd imagine that they're even more important with corn meal, I don't want to be stirring wallpaper paste...




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

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Fri May 27, 2016 7:51 am

raketemensch wrote:I was hoping to avoid enzymes,...

No need for the additional liquid enzymes, I made many batches of this recipe before I ever ordered any enzymes.
When the corn gels it will set up and get thick, but when it cools and you add the malt to it, it will magically liquify before your eyes.
I use the high temp enzymes for the corn now, but I still just use the malts for the mashing.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Fri May 27, 2016 11:49 am

MichiganCornhusker wrote:
raketemensch wrote:I was hoping to avoid enzymes,...

No need for the additional liquid enzymes, I made many batches of this recipe before I ever ordered any enzymes.
When the corn gels it will set up and get thick, but when it cools and you add the malt to it, it will magically liquify before your eyes.
I use the high temp enzymes for the corn now, but I still just use the malts for the mashing.


+1 :thumbup:

a drill mounted paint stirrer is your friend to mash in with the malt. Also use it every 20-30 min on the corn while its steep cooking to keep it from getting too solid.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby dodgebrown » Fri May 27, 2016 7:11 pm

all right, newbie is back (me).
I scaled down to 5 gal and started my first AG.
I used stone ground cornmeal, wheat malt and 2 row.
Iodine turned black, but SG was 1.058 at 46C ( 1.065 corrected to 20C or 8.5% potential ABV)
How am I doing?
I pitched Nottingham yeast, we'll see what happens tomorrow.
I am really not sure how well I'll be able to squeeze the liquid from the solids... It's pretty thick.

25 kg crushed wheat malt bag had a date on it from July last year, is it bad? I read somewhere that malt needs to be as fresh as possible and shouldn't be stored longer that a few months even under ideal conditions...

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

Postby still_stirrin » Sat May 28, 2016 4:55 am

dodgebrown wrote:How am I doing?....I used stone ground cornmeal, wheat malt and 2 row.
Iodine turned black, but SG was 1.058 at 46C...

Mash protocol? A black iodine check says your starches are NOT converted. What temperature did you mash? Did you gelatinize the corn meal?

If you're fermenting "on the grain" and you didn't boil your wort (or heat it above 150*F), you may get some starch conversion in the fermenter. You could help with enzyme conversion by crushing some Beano tablets, mixing with a cup of water, and adding to your fermenter. Those enzymes will help break down the remaining starches.

As for your malt's viability, it should work although not as well as fresh malt. As the malt "weathers", the enzymes obviously degrade. Oxygen, moisture, sunlight, and heat are the biggest attackers to the enzymes. If the grains were vacuum packed and stored in a dark, cool, dry place, they will survive a long time (more than a year easily).

Now..."how are you doing"?
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby dodgebrown » Sat May 28, 2016 7:25 am

Mash protocol?


the one described in the beginning of this thread, obviously. It should answer the questions about the temps...
Would Beano still help?

It's bubbling away now.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Sat May 28, 2016 1:07 pm

Sounds like it turned out great. 1.065 is perfect. Nice work. Now just leave it alone and let the yeast do their thing.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby raketemensch » Sat May 28, 2016 3:34 pm

Well, I checked 24 hours in, and ran into a nasty smell and an infection. I didn't have the energy to haul it outside, so I went to bed. The next morning it smelled like delicious beer. I'm now enjoying sniffing it so much that I'm afraid to lift the lid and disturb it...

[EDIT] I got brave and took a look, it's fizzing along beautifully. Now I wish I'd taken a picture, or that you could record smells.... People talk about "baby vomit," and that's what it made me think of, but now it looks and smells perfectly healthy. And delicious. I pitched on Wednesday, so it's Day 4 now, and fizzing along like pop rocks. I was hoping to be able to run it tomorrow, but I guess I got a slow start.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby dodgebrown » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:12 pm

It stopped bubbling yesterday (4 days) and I checked it today (day 5), SG 1.000, I filtered and will run tomorrow after overnight settling in a glass carboy.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby dodgebrown » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:41 am

Would it work if I boiled water 5 gal at a time and mixed cornmeal in batches in a 32 gal container?
I mean it's a lot of work for making 5 gal at a time... and 5 gal is my largest pot at this time.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby dodgebrown » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:19 pm

I collected a bit over 2 L from approx 11 L of wash, I collected to the point of 15% abv, did I got to low..?
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby raketemensch » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:30 pm

dodgebrown wrote:I collected a bit over 2 L from approx 11 L of wash, I collected to the point of 15% abv, did I got to low..?


It seems that most people stop at 20%, I don't think 15% would be a bad thing. It'll just end up in the feints jar anyway, right? More flavor for your feints run.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby jedneck » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:37 pm

dodgebrown wrote:I collected a bit over 2 L from approx 11 L of wash, I collected to the point of 15% abv, did I got to low..?

I strip until the collected volume is 27%+/-. On my still with my cut that gibes me a keep of 63-67%abv. Just rite for oak with minimum water if any.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby dodgebrown » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:04 am

jedneck wrote:I strip until the collected volume is 27%+/-.


I think you mean 27% abv?

thanks for the replies.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby jedneck » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:11 am

dodgebrown wrote:
jedneck wrote:I strip until the collected volume is 27%+/-.


I think you mean 27% abv?

thanks for the replies.

Yuppy.

I gotta go pitch yeast in 50# corn,12.5# wheat and 25#rye malt.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby der wo » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:17 am

Today I will do a spirit run 100% rye. I stopped at almost 0% all three sripping runs. I collected minimum 4l from three 12l mashes (9-10%abv). The 12.5l low wines have around 27%abv. The fraction between 10 and 0% was really tasty. So I think, it will be a success.

I wouldn't do that for a neutral or for fruit.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby raketemensch » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:08 pm

I finally got to run this today, and it was delicious, I can't wait to finish the cuts party tomorrow.

I was dreading draining the BAP, but with ga flatwoods' miles mesh stuff it was cake, and actually fun at times -- it was like milking a cow full of beer. Now that I have a drain on my keg I was able to drain off 2 gallons of hot backset and dissolve the sugar for the gumball right in it, right away, no dragging stock pots up and down the stairs. Talk about making life easier...

So far I've only mad UJ and SF, and I was surprised at the similar smell to the SF. It's much more relaxed, nowhere near as sharp, and I'm dying to taste it when my cuts are blended.

I didn't get as much as the recipe states, but that's because of my conversion fail. I order a corona mill today, and next time everything will be ground properly. I'll also grind up the corn better.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby raketemensch » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:09 pm

I also think I'm gonna replace my frozen UJ backset with this stuff, it smells incredible.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby jedneck » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:16 pm

raketemensch wrote:I finally got to run this today, and it was delicious, I can't wait to finish the cuts party tomorrow.

I was dreading draining the BAP, but with ga flatwoods' miles mesh stuff it was cake, and actually fun at times -- it was like milking a cow full of beer. Now that I have a drain on my keg I was able to drain off 2 gallons of hot backset and dissolve the sugar for the gumball right in it, right away, no dragging stock pots up and down the stairs. Talk about making life easier...

So far I've only mad UJ and SF, and I was surprised at the similar smell to the SF. It's much more relaxed, nowhere near as sharp, and I'm dying to taste it when my cuts are blended.

I didn't get as much as the recipe states, but that's because of my conversion fail. I order a corona mill today, and next time everything will be ground properly. I'll also grind up the corn better.


:thumbup: :thumbup: wait till it comes of oak. It will make you bring back stuff you never stole.

I have my version fermenting in the basement right now in a old open top whisky barrel. Mine is a rye Bourbon. Its 50# corn, 12.5wheat and 25 rye malt and the house smells great
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby raketemensch » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:49 pm

jedneck wrote: :thumbup: :thumbup: wait till it comes of oak. It will make you bring back stuff you never stole.

I have my version fermenting in the basement right now in a old open top whisky barrel. Mine is a rye Bourbon. Its 50# corn, 12.5wheat and 25 rye malt and the house smells great


In an open top fermenter? I was more paranoid about infection on this one than I've ever been before... I convinced myself it was infected 3 times.

When it was really fermenting I could smell the barley and the wheat, but before and after the hot and heavy fermenting it smelled odd. I guess that's just what corn smells like in this context. My 8 year old told me that it smelled like vomit, which was what I'd been paranoid about. No signs of infection at all though, the wort looked (and tasted) perfectly healthy.

I think from now on, when starting up the next gen of UJ, I'm going to cook up a little corn in the BAP first.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby dodgebrown » Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:46 pm

Well, thanks, Jimbo and all who posted in this thread, the other bourbon thread was also very informative, but it's still not easy to find all the gems in there...
The recipe works as posted, everything was done to the letter.

Anyhow, I distilled my first bourbon, from three 5 gal ferments I got 2.5 L of 63% abv aging on oak now, it was 73% before dilution with distilled water. Cutting and mixing was the hardest part for me as I have never done it before. I collected 14 jars approx 250 ml each down to 16% I used #4(75%)-#10 (63%), abv measured by parrot at the end of collection for each jar, so the abv in the jars was actually higher.

I bought a piece of white oak, split it into 1x1x6", toasted in the kitchen oven 2 h at 400F, burned in wood fire, soaked overnight and dried.

To answer my own questions.
Cornmeal (stoneground) works fine. Pressing it is not hard, I use window covering fabric (mesh), place it in an empty bucket, pour ferment in, tie a knot around a dowel and turn.
2 row works fine (instead of 6 row).

The output from one 5 gal stripping was disappointing, so I considered fermenting in 32 gal barrel, but since I only have 5 gal pot to boil water, I streamlined my production as follows.
In the evening heat water in pot, dump cornmeal in, wrap in blanket, next morning, proceed with mashing.
I tried cooling to yeast pitching temp in the sink, but it's so much pain, I just leave the pot outside now for most of the day and it cools enough. Dump in bucket, pitch Nottingham yeast (hydrated).
In the evening, heat water for batch 2, next morning mash it, cool, split the first batch (fermenting by now) into 2 buckets, add the second mash. Now I have 2 buckets fermenting for the price of one pack of yeast.

Then of course, re-use the spent grain for the sugarhead, so now I got 4 buckets out of one pack of yeast.
Also, I minimize cleanup this way, things go from bucket to bucket, press all at the same time, start new batch etc.

When I run out of corn I will do AG 2 row malt and AG wheat separately, sounds like simpler process.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:11 pm

dodgebrown wrote: I streamlined my production as follows.
In the evening heat water in pot, dump cornmeal in, wrap in blanket, next morning, proceed with mashing.


You still have enough heat overnight to hit a 148F mash temp after the 2 row is mixed in?

Yes single malts are much simpler, no corn to cook, skip right to mash step.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby dodgebrown » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:03 pm

Jimbo wrote:
dodgebrown wrote: I streamlined my production as follows.
In the evening heat water in pot, dump cornmeal in, wrap in blanket, next morning, proceed with mashing.


You still have enough heat overnight to hit a 148F mash temp after the 2 row is mixed in?

Yes single malts are much simpler, no corn to cook, skip right to mash step.


When I check in the morning, it's around 165F. I cool to 146 and add malt. Should I mix it in at higher temp to get 146-148F AFTER adding 2 row?

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

Postby Jimbo » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:24 pm

Ya 145-148 is target temp. A few lbs of malt won't push the temp much. Im gonna have the mods edit that to add malt at 149-150, to hit 148 mash temp. Gives a bit of margin for cooling off during the mash period.
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Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby raketemensch » Fri Jun 17, 2016 6:39 pm

I ran the gumballhead tonight, and it smells even better than the AG run did. That's probably because of my poor conversion on my first try, but still, I can't wait to taste this stuff in a few months.

I also had a brain fart and shorted it 2 pounds of sugar when I started it, so I added it about 3 days in. It popped a cap again, and may have kept the yeast a little happier. It finished at 0.995.

Thanks, Jimbo.
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