Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby DAD300 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:08 pm

What was your ABV going into the boiler? If it was high, you may have stressed the yeast.

I would air before dilution. When you dilute before airing you trap some things in the water you wanted rid of.

Don't throw it out...dilute and re-run if it isn't getting better in a few weeks...
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby razerhawg » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:43 pm

I didn't clear the mash up so it was to thick to get either an OG or a FG, but based on what I collected it was around 8%. I went ahead and ran it through some carbon and it is drinkable now, but can still fast a little bit of that taste. I actually have another batch fermenting now and I am going to invest the loads of time to clear this up before running. The last batch I opened up 2 or 3 time to stir it in hopes of getting some more of the rice to liquify, so I might have got some nasties? I have done a ton of UJSSM and birdwatchers and not had anything taste like this since my first batch of turbo. I may run down and buy some rice vodka at the lstore for comparison. Thanks guys.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby shaner » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:58 pm

Oryza is the local Louisiana rice vodka. Off hand, I don't know of any other brands, but I'm sure they are out there.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby shaner » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:02 pm

Also, I noticed less of the flavor after I stopped running any of the cloudy portion. Could be just the different batches, but I think the clouds could have added to that flavor I was getting.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby razerhawg » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:27 pm

I had read where you were clearing yours, but I was wanting to run something over the new years holiday and everything else I had was still working. I'm going to spend some time on the next batch and see how it does. If nothing else I will dump both batches back in and run them again.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby peter » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:13 am

Have read and re-read this thread many times and Am about to start my first rice Vodka. Have the Amylase on order from Smileys in Canada and it should be here in about a week. (I am in South Central BC)
A note here on what I read re cooking rice, for the past couple of years I have been washing the rice very well, at least three rinses. Previously I was told to never wash the rice before cooking but my daughter who spent almost a year in India and seen how they handle the rice convinced me to start washing it. For the quantities required in this recipe bring 4 times the volume of water to boil and add the washed rice, bring back to a boil and shut the burner off. Drape some towels over the pot to retain the heat and come back in a couple of hours for very well cooked rice. For eating, same procedure but use only 2 times the volume of water to rice. Perfectly cooked rice and never a scorch
Some questions. The original recipe did not call for nutrients but I noticed some people add it in. Is this necessary? How about using rice flour instead of whole grain? And should I be adjusting the PH?
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby shaner » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:00 pm

Peter,

Nutrients- I've tried with and without. I actually used Gerber rice cereal a la Rad's recipe to add nutrients and it went maybe a little faster. I haven't tried rice flour, it sounds like even more mess than rice- at least I can strain the grains out.

As far as ph goes, I think it is important especially for the enzymes. Hopefully your enzymes will come with instructions on ph for the alpha and gluco stages. Gluco likes a lower ph than alpha. I found that once I dialed in my ph, my starch conversion went much better.

Keep us informed!
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby shaner » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:11 pm

BTW, Peter-

Are you close to Nelson?
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby peter » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:48 pm

Next door practically!
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby carbohydratesn » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:47 am

I haven't read all the pages of this thread yet, just the first few pages - but I'd like to share some knowledge about brewing with rice that I learned making sake from scratch.

I see that some of you are mashing the rice like you would mash other grains - boiling the rice in water, and then adding enzymes. This probably works, but it's unfortunately it's far from the best way to prepare rice for brewing.

When making sake, you steam the rice, but in a different way than you would for cooking. Soak the rice in water, until it expands in volume by a third - so three cups of dry rice should expand to become four cups underwater. Dump the rice and water into a strainer, rinse it until the water coming out is not very cloudy, and let it drip dry for about an hour. Dump the dried, soaked rice into a flour sack towel or another clean cotton cloth, wrap it up, and put it in a steamer. Steam the rice for about 45 minutes total, mixing it up to evenly redistribute all the rice so it gets cooked evenly every 10-15 minutes.

After this, the rice should be slightly translucent, sort of 'dry' feeling, and stiff. If you squeeze a grain between your fingers, it should be sort of firm, and take a good amount of force to squish. Spread the cloth out, and spread the rice out on top of it, letting it cool to room temperature. This gelatinizes the starches in exactly the way you want them to be for brewing.

For more reading about the process, this website: http://www.taylor-madeak.org/ is a great resource. There are a few others online, but they are few and far between...

After it's steamed in this manner, you can just add it to your mash with the necessary enzymes. I'm starting my first batch of a rice mash today, 15lbs of rice and 10 gallons of water, about the same as what the original recipe posted here calls for. I'm steaming the rice in batches, and adding it to the fermenter over the course of the day. Instead of using just enzymes, I'm using homemade koji rice that I prepared for sake a few months ago. The taylor-madeak.org website contains a lot of good info on making your own koji rice - this kind of information is even more rare than resources on brewing sake.

For those of you who are posting about trying or using yeast balls - those do contain a form of koji, but they do not contain any of the enzymes you need to convert the rice starches. They contain cells and spores of the koji mold, but they can't properly mash rice on their own. You have to grow the spores into a healthy colony that grows into and penetrates the rice kernels, filling them with amylase and other enzymes. Once you have done this, you can use it to convert the rice starches into sugars. I would write a bit more about the whole process, but that would take a looong time - it's all up on the taylor-madeak.org website already. Koji is very finicky and difficult to grow. I was never 100% successful, mine is nowhere near the quality of that made in a sake brewery - but I got to maybe 80-90% of that :) It's going to be much easier and cheaper for most of you to buy koji premade, or just use amylase enzymes from a homebrew store.

I'll let you all know how this mash goes, I'm excited to try it!!

15lbs white short grain rice - I'm using Kokuho Rose, it really is a good all-around rice
10gal water
2.5lbs koji rice
1/2 cup DADY
Heaping tablespoon of citric acid
Three tablespoons fermax

I feel it is okay to skimp on the koji rice a little for the mash - for sake, you use a 4:1 ratio of regular rice to koji rice. Using more, and adding it in steps along with your rice, speeds up the process and keeps the enzymes fresh for the multiple additions of rice. This helps the yeast stay happy and making good flavors all the way up to 20%abv, but as this should be under 10%, adding it all at once should be fine. I'm also going to ferment this around 85 degrees F, for the benefit of the DADY - sake is traditionally made with a lactic acid starter fermented at room temp, and then refrigerated to slow fermentation and encourage good flavors. I'm skipping that part and speeding up the fermentation. Doing it hot for a low ABV wash should be ok - but I suppose I'll find out, on all counts!
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby carbohydratesn » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:11 pm

And now I've read all the pages!

The only thing I'll add right now - if you all think this recipe is good with rice made in a rice cooker...try steaming it :) And using koji rice or enzymes. It's a little more work, but there's a reason *all* good sake is made that way.

Before I learned how to properly make sake, I tried making rice wine with yeast balls, no koji, and I cooked the rice in a rice cooker. It was awful, every time. It would probably be passable after distillation, but I wasn't able to do that back then.

The sake I'm making now, with just a few basic changes, is SO MUCH BETTER than the rice wine. Orders of magnitude more drinkable.

If everyone's been getting great results doing it with rice made in a rice cooker and yeast balls...I can not wait to see what comes out with a more drinkable sake-like mash!
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby razerhawg » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:04 am

Wow I just read the piece on making saki and it was a very interesting and informative article, something I'm definitely going to try. The really interesting part was where he is steaming the rice. My biggest problem so far has been cooking the rice without burning a little bit of it.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby carbohydratesn » Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:59 am

A few days in, and the mash is bubbling away happily and smelling great - sweet and flowery. And alcoholic :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

There are a lot of fats and proteins in the outer parts of rice kernels, so I'm getting a bit of 'scum' on top of the mash. Sake breweries use highly polished rice to get around this problem - the inner part of a piece of rice is mostly starch. The outer layers contain fats and proteins - and these are loved by bacteria and other non-yeast organisms, so keeping that stuff in there makes infections easier to get, and it can contribute to off-flavors.

I had to break up steaming the rice over a few days...I really need a bigger steamer. This shouldn't affect the end product, though - if anything, it'll be better this way, with more gradual additions. When it's done, I think I'll run it through a paint strainer bag, and clarify what I get from that with some agar. Rice particulates don't settle very easily or quickly, and I don't want to have to wait a month or two to run this.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby carbohydratesn » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:17 am

Well, it's been smelling very strongly of ethyl acetate (I think) for the past two days...smells just like 'Super Elastic Bubble Plastic'. I can barely smell anything else in there now...gonna be some nasty heads on this batch.

I think it might be because of the temperature - this could be exactly the reason sake is brewed cold :?
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby shaner » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:45 am

@Carbo

They say that rice is an easily infected medium. I don't know if that is true, but I have done some reading on Chinese rice wine and they recommend a lower temperature to guard against secondary infection.

Check out this ridiculously long thread. It's Chinese rice wine which is different from sake. I will by trying some of this with red yeast rice soon - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f243/making ... nt-361095/

I've done URRV at 70 with EC-1118 and at 80 with DADY and although the EC-1118 takes much longer, the flavor of the mash is way cleaner. I suppose that is just the EC fermenting clean. But I have never gotten an acetone smell. I've heard that you can get a smell like that early on and then it goes away, but it doesn't sound very good to me. I'd give it a little more time and see what happens.

What temp are you fermenting at?
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby carbohydratesn » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:08 pm

85° F, with DADY. I let the fermenter (20gal, LDPE) air out with the lid off and a fan nearby for about a half an hour, and the smell is mostly gone - it could've just been the more volatile products of fermentation evaporating more/faster than ethanol and hanging around in the closed container.

Just checked again, though, and it's back and strong. Definitely more ethyl acetate than acetone, it's a sweet solvent-y smell. Can't really detect any acetone at all.

Ethyl acetate is the ester of ethanol and acetic acid...so I probably ended up with an acetobacter infection. Makes sense, given the film that started forming on top - wiki says "they grow as a surface film due to their aerobic nature and active motility...they can destroy wine which they infect by producing excessive amounts of acetic acid or ethyl acetate, both of which can render the wine unpalatable." I ferment kombucha in the same room, and there have been a few fruit flies around...oops.

Pure ethyl acetate boils at 170.8° and ethanol at 173.07°, so getting good separation will be difficult. I'll probably consign this whole batch to being cleaning/fuel alcohol. Or should I just dump it now...? Looking at a few different resources, ethyl acetate, even at a concentration of 100%, shouldn't damage LDPE - so maybe I'll distill it just to have an extra solvent around! And it has a very low toxicity, so it should be alright to run.

That thread is the main resource I used trying to make rice wine the first time :) (...it didn't turn out too good, unfortunately)
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby Johnny6 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:57 am

Hey everyone,
I've got an all-grain/no-sugar version of this in the fermenter right now. It's been bubbling steadily for 12 days now, starting to slow down. I just peeked at it last night and there is a color change. The top of the cap is a pinkish/amber color. Smell is still nice, no vomit smell, etc.
- 5 Gallon fermenter
- 12 lb rice (10 long grain, 2 med grain)
- gluco and alpha amylase for conversion
- Couple of vitamin tablets
- some citric acid to drop PH for enzymes.
- Bread yeast
Back on pages 4 and 5 of this thread there are some pictures that show reddish colors, but I think they might have been using the red-koji yeast balls. The color in mine isn't as pronounced as in those pictures. Any thoughts? Is this just a yeast color that only shows up here because the grain is white?
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby shaner » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:41 am

I've done about 15 12 gallon batches of this (a few all grain) and I have yet to see a color change like that, but I usually punch the cap down. Did it dry out on top? Mold maybe?
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby DAD300 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:20 pm

Doesn't matter what it looks or smells like if you distill it! Some of the best distillate comes from shit smelling ferments. Look up dunder pit...

Distill it like you expect it to be good and decide then. I never throw a ferment away...

Yes the sake is fermented at lower temps to avoid an infection. Sometimes in the fridge.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby shaner » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:58 pm

I agree! Scrape the fuzzy stuff off the top if it bothers you and roll!
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby Johnny6 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:10 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I'll give it a chance. The color wasn't fuzzy or dry, but looked more like reddish brown oil droplets. I scraped and dumped the top, racked and squeezed. I'll run it in the next few days. I'm suspicious that my fermenter bucket is carrying an infection from batch to batch. A previous run had trouble, but I really cleaned the fermenter... or so I thought. Either I step up my sanitizing efforts, or I replace it. Rats.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:20 pm

Get some Star San to sanitize your fermenters. Sanitize all the tools you use for fermenting too. I would imagine your wash is OK as long as it doesn't develop a fowl smell, but I wouldn't let it sit too long before running it.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby davebo » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:17 am

Just ran my last batch of rice and got too close to perfect temps on my boka and ruined the flavor by getting it too clean, great vodka seriously neutral, will probably detune it for the next batch and try again
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby Flon Klar » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:31 pm

I have a question about this recipe. I made a batch, and after about 5 days of fermenting, it was done.i checked the SG, which was .996. When I poured the liquid off, the remaining grain was hard and apparently intact. I would have thought that the rice would be mostly mush at this stage. Does anyone with experience with rice have an opinion on this?
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby carbohydratesn » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:01 pm

Were all the grains fully cooked? And did you use a good amount of enzymes? Rice has always turned into a powdery-looking mush by the end of the ferment for me.

I had to dump my ferment of this, by the way - it was in the bedroom closet fermenter, and my ladyfriend did not appreciate the smell. Another time, when I get a bigger steamer, this will happen again.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby Flon Klar » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:58 am

Well, that's what I'm not sure about. If the rice was supposed to turn to mush, then apparently I didn't cook it enough (although I followed the instructions in the recipe). I'll try it again with a longer cooking time. I also had to toss mine, for 2 reasons: the mash and resulting distillate smelled like rotten milk, and the distillate itself only ever reached a high of 20% ABV. Thanks for the response.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby carbohydratesn » Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:46 am

Flon Klar wrote:then apparently I didn't cook it enough


What did you use for enzymes? Undercooked rice can still be broken down and converted to sugars, it's actually better to undercook than overcook when making sake - so I'd think it's probably more an issue with enzymes than cooking.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby francis » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:42 am

razerhawg wrote:Thanks for all the advice and assistance. I think somebody mentioned using boil bags and that is certainly on my radar for the next attempt. I did add sugar to my recipe.
I have a new problem though, I collected all of my output in seperate jars and took the very center of the hearts and cut that to 40 % ABV with distilled water and aired it out fro 1 day. I went and mixed a drink and it had that dirty sock smell? This was truly the hearts and was crystal clear. Does anybody have any idea of what went wrong? FYI I have a 6 plate reflux still and I had just torn it down and ran it through the dishwasher and scrubbed the boiler down as well.



Hmmm. Dirty socks. It's funny how we all try and explain smells and tastes when we rarely stand next to each other tasting the same product.
Dirty socks sounds like tails to me, but my dirty socks may smell different from yours.



The "dirty socks" aroma is sought after. It's a mushroom smell. I haven't tried maotai, but it sold for $3500 a bottle recently.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56458&p=7325068&hilit=baijiu#p7325068
Goodbye.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby DAD300 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:29 am

I just found brown rice (hulled but unpolished) in a 50# bag. At an Amish store for $27usd. That's 54cents a pound.

I wish it still had the hulls. It will be fermenting in a week or two. I intend to use enzymes. Stand by...
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Postby shaner » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:49 am

Do you think the bran will supply more nutes for the yeast?
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