Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

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MichiganCornhusker
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:36 am

My rice has finished, all quiet and smells great. Tart like lemonade without the lemon flavor.
This is the driest fermentation I've ever had, FG 0.994.
Hoping to get time to sritp it this weekend.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by cranky » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:26 pm

I've done this recipe twice using amylase and was pretty happy with it but it can get a bit messy. I actually watered a bottle down to 21% and gave it to a Korean guy I work with who after trying it was surprised that it was actual soju, not rice wine. He shared it with some soju snobs all of whom were surprised that an American could make such good soju. It does make good rice wine too and if you add a bit of the vodka back to the rice wine it makes a very nice fortified rice wine :D

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:38 am

I finally got around to running this.
I used my keg/thumper to strip, and then again, twice more, as spirit runs, tossing fores, early heads, and late tales each time.
I watered everything down to 35% each time and used water to charge the thumper.

I was going for a "potstiller's vodka" and I think I got there.
This stuff is very neutral compared to anything else I've ever made, reminds me more of vodka than anything else.
I'm very happy with the result considering what I was aiming at.

Problem is, I'm just not that big a fan of vodka. :roll: Just wanted to see if I could do it, I guess.

I really miss the rice flavor, I prefer flavored spirits.
The rice mash was delicious, so now I'm going to have to do it again ( :D )to see if I can keep a rice flavor in the spirit simply by distilling it fewer times.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by cranky » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:11 pm

One thing I did once was save a few bottles of the wash then run the rest and added a bit back to the bottles of rice wine, It worked out very well.

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:59 pm

Thanks, Cranky, I'm going to try a few different things with this batch.
I like the idea of trying to make a drinkable rice wine, simply fermented rice juice.
Did you add the spirit back to your wine to boost the % up to around 16%-18% for wine, or did you go higher?

Will also do something like a shochu, doing a one-run through my pot to see what I get.
Also going to try running low wines through some wash in the thumper.

Heck, I might even try shooting the thumper with something, seems like this rice shine would play very well with other flavors.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by cranky » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:22 pm

I can't remember exactly how high I made it, probably 18% maybe 20 but it blends in with the rice wine so well that you don't really notice the boost. I'll tall it again even though I think I already told the story of the Korean guy and the soju which is basically the Korean version of shochu. He had talked of soju many times and from talking to him about it I surmised it was made from distilled rice wine, but they often used other things to get conversion such as sweet potatoes, I know that is right up your alley, then it is tempered to 21%. He told me in America it is sold at 18% but in Korea it is always 21 so I tempered my URRV to 21% and gave him a bottle at Christmas when I gave out my Christmas wine to everybody else. Later after he tried it he was very surprised and excited that it was actual soju and not rice wine and was 21% and shared it with some of his soju snob friends who were all quite impressed. It is one of the few distilled things I have ever given out and it made me feel good that I could impress even the most discerning soju snob :D Every now and then I think about trying another batch but I messed one up once and although it made good spirits it was such a pain in the ass to do that I prefer to spend my time making brandy.

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by aircarbonarc » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:22 pm

This is a great thread and very inspiring. So lastnight I made my first 12Gal of rice wheat Pilsner mash. I used a 20# sack of American long grain white rice, I was amazed how easily the rice turned to a startchy goop. Instead of using enzyme I used 17#s of a 71% wheat 39% pilsner blend I scored. It converted the rice starch so well and tasted like rice crispy squares! Added Ec1118 so I could have a vodka type liquor. I will add 10#s of sugar in a few days to fortify the mash and try running it through my reflux. Rice is a very impressive form of starch and I was thinking of making some rice malt whisky in the future using maybe 25-40% rice with 2 row as a basemalt as well as a little rye or something for flavor. I'd like to make a clean and mild grain liquor.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by Makr » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:34 am

Hi, was going to try some saki. I find it nearly impossible to find the gluco amylase, is really necessary to use or will it turn out good without it? Thanks

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:29 am

I’ve put together a three gallon batch of sake using this koji-kin starter to convert the starch and a lager yeast. It’s been fermenting almost 20 days now and smells and tastes wonderful. I’ll keep this as a sake but plan to do a much larger batch to distill. I see I’m going to need a thumper.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by FL Brewer » Tue May 01, 2018 7:56 am

Makr wrote:Hi, was going to try some saki. I find it nearly impossible to find the gluco amylase, is really necessary to use or will it turn out good without it? Thanks
You need alpha- and gluco- amalyse to get conversion of the starch in the rice to fermentable sugar... the enzymes can come be in pure form that you can buy from several places (a few have been mentioned in this thread) or can come from malted barley. Six row barley tends to be higher in enzymes, lower in starch per pound of malt than two row.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by nuncaquite » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:47 am

The ferment is just finishing on a some buckets of this. Gave it a taste, and in my opinion, no doubt this could be kept for wine just as is.
Did 2 five gallon batches with enzymes and then thin mashed with sugar.
Did 1 five gallon batch with just the ground rice and 6 pounds of sugar. At this time all batches taste the same.

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by TDick » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:36 pm

nuncaquite wrote:The ferment is just finishing on a some buckets of this. Gave it a taste, and in my opinion, no doubt this could be kept for wine just as is.
Did 2 five gallon batches with enzymes and then thin mashed with sugar.
Did 1 five gallon batch with just the ground rice and 6 pounds of sugar. At this time all batches taste the same.
Thanks for the bump sir. I'm researching for pot stilled neutral and I'll have to try this.
Uncle Remus wrote:Hey all. Haven't been here in a while. Sounds like this rice vodka been working out good for a lot people. Just did a spirit run on a couple of stripped batches the other week. What I did this time is put the final product through about a 3' carbon filter. A friend and myself tied into a jug of it last night and wow, I'm talking a vodka with absolutely no aftertaste at all and no burn going down and most importantly no hangover today :clap: I would put this product up against a bottle of Grey Goose any day of the week, and it was made in a pot still not a reflux still. Rice is such a good grain to work with, it just does not produce the esters of other grains or fruits.
Happy distilling everyone! :)
Not sure about the carbon filter but this certainly sounds good.

After reading - yes the ENTIRE thread - I saw suggestions to thoroughly rinse the rice when getting started.
I also checked and saw that Sam's Wholesale has a 25# box of parboiled rice for $11.00, about a buck more than plain long grain.

Would that suffice or does that strip out some needed ingredients?

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by aircarbonarc » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:38 pm

I've tried adding 20% wheat malt for enzymes and flavor and... wow!!! I do always use added enzymes and the results are great everytime
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by goldgin » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:20 am

cranky wrote:I've done this recipe twice using amylase and was pretty happy with it but it can get a bit messy. I actually watered a bottle down to 21% and gave it to a Korean guy I work with who after trying it was surprised that it was actual soju, not rice wine. He shared it with some soju snobs all of whom were surprised that an American could make such good soju. It does make good rice wine too and if you add a bit of the vodka back to the rice wine it makes a very nice fortified rice wine :D

Hey cranky,

Did you go for an all rice recipe or with sugar? Also when u said amylase I assume it's both alpha and Gluco?

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by FL Brewer » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:46 am

Just tried some whiskey I made from this recipe, and it's very nice .... I cooked 20 lbs of plain ol' white long grain rice, used hi temp enzymes to convert it, fermented with EC1118 till it slowed down and added 10 lbs of sugar dissolved in a couple gallons of water in two parts (5 lbs sugar in a gallon of water two times about 3 days apart). It fermented out very completely, slightly sour, slightly sweet, very nice taste. Did a double pot still distill and ended up with about a gallon and a half of 120 proof into glass jugs with three sticks about 8x3/4x3/4 inch toasted and charred Jack Daniels barrel. After three months on wood it has a very nice flavor. Kinda like Makers Mark, but a little sweeter..... not quite as smooth, but I'm gonna keep this on oak for a total of a year, I think that will make it nice and smooth. This recipe gives a good yield, excellent flavor, I am a convert to rice as a base for distilled liquor, I'll try another batch with 6 lbs each of two row pale malt and wheat malt and skip the sugar (and maybe skip the enzymes). Will let you know how the rice/malt/wheat version turns out.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by FL Brewer » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:08 am

Another thing I should add is to echo Uncle Remus' note about being able to go deep into the tails without any nasty flavors coming through.... I collected hearts much longer than I expected which may be the reason for the better than expected yield. That may change with the barley and wheat malts added, so will play that one by ear.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by Addison » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:09 am

After a read of this thread and several others, I thought I would give this a go and it sounded interesting and cheap. Using 3.5KG plain white rice ( cheapest in the supermarket ) I cooked the rice up slowly only until it absorbed all the water,
then added 5 litres more and placed the pot on the edge of the range for five days. The range is used 24/7 for hot water but this was placed on the edge and maintained a 35-40 C temp.
There was a build-up of mould on the surface which I scraped off carefully and then I dunked the lot into the fermenter bin. I melted the sugar and added it, waited for it to drop to 25 C and added ground up
yeast balls. Now I live in an area that still has cool winters, so I added a belt heater and waited two days before it started fermenting. It slowed down after three days so I figured I would have a poor result
when compared to my other brews. It could have used some help but I wanted to see what would happen if left be.
Yesterday morning with an SG of .990 I racked it and it was, without doubt, the clearest I have ever done! Later that evening I stilled it and had to wait until it reached 185F before she started dripping.
There was virtually no acetone smell or taste and it was crystal clear from the onset. Dumped the first jar and then proceeded to collect 2 liters before stopping at 50%. The temperature had just gone over 200%
so I stopped. This is less than I would normally harvest but was unsure to where to stop as there wasn't the usual smell associated with tales.
I am left with an unbelievably neutral tasting product and after a year or so making UJSSM almost exclusively, I will be adding a couple of bins of this but working on improving the technique. Even the girlfriend liked
this and she is my harshest critic.

I have probably done a lot of this wrong, but the product speaks for itself. I will import the correct mould though, I have found a Japanese eBay site selling Aspergillus oryzae.

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by Newcastle1996 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:36 am

Hi Uncle Remus!

Gonna give this a try soon! Looks great! I’ll be using packets of alpha amalyse and gluco amalyse! How many grans roughly would you be using??

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by Alpinesun » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:25 am

Hi all,

Giving this a go tomorrow. Not been able to obtain gluco amylase but have found others so should be ok :)

Wanting to use this as a base for a very smooth Gin I have in mind.

Col :D

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by FL Brewer » Tue May 14, 2019 7:04 am

I've enjoyed this recipe, made it several times, couple times for a (kinda) neutral (two runs in a pot still), and couple times for whiskey. It does make a very nice whiskey.... kind of reminds me of the smoothness of a single malt, but a more subtle flavor. I've switched to using my VM for the spirit runs, even for whiskey. I like the real tight heads compression I get using the VM column, then I run with a fairly low reflux ratio, about 3:1, and collect a bit of the tails to get the grain flavor into the final product. Gives a much better yield than dual pot still runs.

I decided to do an all grain version of the recipe, I cooked 20 lbs of regular ol' long grain rice with enough water to make about 11 gallons, which is about the max I can fit in my 12 gallon fermenter. Put it into the fermenter when it was a little over 90C, added 10 ml SEBStar HTL as the rice hit 90C, then 10 ml SEBAmyl GL as it hit 60C. Conversion went pretty quickly, and the mash was down to 30C the next morning, when I added two packages of EC 1118 yeast. After the yeast took hold, I added another 5 ml each of the enzymes just to make sure I didn't leave any unconverted starch. It took almost two and a half weeks to ferment completely. The beer was very dry, just slightly sour, and all around pretty pleasant tasting and smelling. Did a stripping run with the pot still head, threw out the first 100 ml foreshots, and saved the rest all the way up to 98-99 degrees vapor temp. Repeated the ferment and stripping run, and ended up with a total of a little over 3 gallons of low wines at 49% ABV. On the 2nd run, I used my cider press to squeeze what was left of the grain, and got better yield on the stripping run than the first one. I think that's gonna be standard procedure from now on.

Fired up the VM column for the spirit run, ran very slowly to collect a little over a liter of heads, then collected hearts up to 83C. That's probably higher than what I would do for a neutral, but it does get some of the grain flavor in the finished product. Ended up with a total yield to barrel strength (I use 60% for whiskey ageing) of about eight and a half liters from the 40 lbs total rice. Put it on new charred oak (old JD barrel, old char scraped off, toasted at 400F for an hour, alligator charred with propane torch after the wood had completely cooled, rinsed with water, two sticks each gallon jug 8 x 3/4 x 1/2 inch) last night. It already has a slight color this morning. Also saved one 750 ml bottle of white dog at 60%, just to see how the rice flavor develops independently of the charred oak. I will update the thread in a few months when I sample it. I'm planning to leave it on oak for a year, my bourbon seems to be good at the one year on wood point.

I'm excited about this batch, I really like the rice flavor, and hopefully it will come across a bit stronger with the all grain version vs. the 20 lbs of rice to 10 lbs of sugar recipe I used for all my previous batches.

Please excuse the mixed English/metric units, I'm comfortable with both, my BOP, fermenter, tape measure, and the rice I buy are marked in English units, everything else is metric.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by FL Brewer » Tue May 14, 2019 7:10 am

.... and forgot to add, the spirit run came out at 88.5% ABV - all the ABV numbers temp corrected of course. I can get 93-94% when I'm running with a higher reflux ratio, but wanted to carry some of the flavor over to the final product, and since I'm diluting down to 60% for ageing, no reason to shoot for the very high ABV.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by bastardbrewer » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:27 am

Hi guys,

I'm a huge wodka fan. After refluxing about 30 birdwatchers and my own version of Rad's All-Bran (based on cheerios and weetabix) I read uncle remus' recipe and thought - "I need to try this".

So I ordered and shipped in the enzymes (bloody expensive here, I live in Saudi so websites that sell "baking goods" are making a fortune) and got going.

I work with 2x25ltr fermenters, so approximately scaled the recipes from people I've seen on these 11 pages; per fermenter:
- 2.5kg medium grain rice (read medium works better, i left it unmilled).
- 7 gram alpha amylase (got an ounce of each of the amylases...figured for 4 batches as I didnt want to underdo it).
- 7 gram gluco amylase.
- 2.5kg sugar - the normal stuff, nothing fancy.
- 20 grams wine yeast, prepared for quick take-off.

So i boiled the 2.5 kg rice in two pans for about 20 minutes, before adding it in the fermenter and topping up with some more water, as I found the rice was sitting quite high in the water, then let it cool down to the 66 degrees celcius UR recommends.
I notice some amylases work with different temps, mine doesnt state any details so went with this as I didnt want to kill it. Added the alpha amylase, stirred and let it do its thing. I was pretty nervous and unsure what to expect but hey ho, it seemed to work as soon I seemed to have less rice and more gloop.
I read different temps for the gluco amylase, UR recommends only 35, others add at a higher temp of 55 or even 62? Also read online somewhere that gluco amylase likes around 50 degrees C so I decided to add around 53 degrees, which was 75 minutes after adding the alpha amylase. Oh yeh, I also added 5 grams citric acid to get the pH down a bit as I read gluco amylase likes a lower PH. No sciency stuff, im just guessing 5 grams will do the trick.
Once it was on 42, I topped up with hot water (while stirring to not kill any amylase) to the 25 ltr mark and 47 degrees and im leaving it there so the gluco amylase can do its thing as long as possible. I just took temp and its still 40 degrees and seems to keep the heat long.

There's definately still some rice left but much much less than initially. If I dont stir for a while there's almost a cloud of white gloop sitting in clearer liquid, with maybe 10cm of rice (ish?) at the bottom. I cant see through the fermenter so I'm guessing.

It's 20.15 now and wonder if I should pitch yeast tonight, if it hits the 32 degrees C before I go to bed, or just wait till tomorrow. It's still quite hot here (27C nights) so I could even leave it out the night (lid tightly on of course).

Saw some of you took the gravity, it sits at 1070ish now... but I dont feel it means anything as its so thick with gloop.

I think I will also add a vitamin tablet and some yeast nutrient when I pitch the yeast later.

Question:
- anyone picked on any major flaws?
- any hints or tips on what you would do different?

Cheers,
Bjorn

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by bastardbrewer » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:34 pm

add-on;
It's now morning, pitched the yeast last night. I am used to pitching 70 grams of yeast per 25 ltr fermenter (following All-Bran / BW) and only used about 10 grams for this recipe (saw 2x EC-1118 used by most in UR recipe). Wasnt very foamy but had a head so pitched anyway hoping for the best. Now 7 hours later, its got some bubbles coming through, not the tiny bubbles i'm used to seeing in BW / AB wash, but a few fairly larger bubbles if that makes sense?

Will check it every day the next few days to make sure it's still going ok... will keep you all posted

cheers,
Bjorn

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by Swedish Pride » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:40 am

sounds like it all went well, it's a nice drop for sure.
Some use the grain bed for a second go around as well, just cost you the price of a bit sugar and water per fermenter.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by ChefJohn » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:21 pm

I’ve been wanting to make this for quite some time since rice is inexpensive and I think it would be a perfect medium to make Thai Terror, but before I try it for the first time, I wanted to post it for feedback.

Therefore, I would like to present my version of the recipe (Enzyme-based, not koji-based) that I’ve “distilled” out of all the info in this thread for the purposes of review/feedback, and hopefully so other users can have something more concise to point to. Also, this *hopefully* objective post addresses the recipe portion only, not whether to do a single or double distillation, nor how/when to make the necessary cuts.

Please let me know if you have any helpful suggestions, constructive criticism, or questions. Thanks!

Please note: “Tbs” = Tablespoon, “Tsp” = Teaspoon, “Sugar” = Table (Cane) Sugar, “A-Amylase” = Alpha Amylase Powder, “G-Amylase” = Gluco Amylase Powder, “Rice” = Whatever white rice you have on hand, preferably milled to 3-5 pieces per grain.

RICE VODKA MASH

Water 5 Gal
Gypsum 1 Tsp
Rice 6 Lbs
Sugar 3.5 Lbs
A-Amylase 2 Tbs
Citric Acid 1 Tsp (or more as needed)
G-Amylase 1.5 Tbs

Yeast Starter

Sugar 2 Tbs
Water 1 Cup
Yeast 2 Tbs
Nutrient 1 Tsp

Procedure:

1. Rinse rice thoroughly.

2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring water, gypsum, and rice to a boil; then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, then mix in sugar. Cover and cool to 148 degrees F, then thoroughly mix in Alpha Amylase. Replace lid.

3. After 60 minutes, add citric acid (enough to get ph down to around 4.5), and check temp; if temp is between 131-140, stir in Gluco Amylase, otherwise wait until temp is in that range prior to adding. Replace lid.

4. Let slowly cool to yeast pitching temp (I.e. overnight), or rest for two hours then use an immersion cooler (or place covered pot in a sink filled with ice water) and cool to pitching temps appropriate to your desired yeast.

5. Make a yeast starter by dissolving sugar in warm filtered water (90-105 degrees) in a sanitized container; add nutrient and mix thoroughly with a sanitized utensil to dissolve. Add yeast, then cover with foil and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

6. Transfer rice mixture into a sanitized fermenter; aerate for at least five minutes. Measure SG. Pitch yeast. Seal fermenter and attach an airlock.

7. Allow to ferment in a dark area (within the ideal temperature range for your yeast) for at least 1 week, or until FG does not change for more than 2 days in a row, or measures below 1.000.

8. If desired, rack the clear liquid into a sanitized carboy and cover with foil. Strain any solids through a sanitized mesh or muslin bag back into the fermenter, then discard any remaining solids (or reserve for the next batch). If desired, allow the remaining liquid to clear overnight, then rack into the carboy.

9. Transfer liquid to still and run as desired.

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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by greggn » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:21 pm

ChefJohn wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:21 pm

1. Rinse rice thoroughly.

Why rinse away starch that can be converted to sugar ?
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by Twisted Brick » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:50 pm

There are many thoughts on washing rice, depending on its origin and processing. The obvious reason is to remove insect wings/legs and other undesirables, but these days, rice can be highly processed, which includes cleaning. Some rice processors hull the rice to the point that vitamins and nutrients are removed, necessitating the rice to be soaked in a nutrient solution to replace what was lost (converted rice). The most common reason for washing rice (for eating) is to remove surface starch that can lead to gummy rice. How much potential fermentable starch is removed by washing is debatable, but hydrating the grain prior to cooking allows complete gelatinization more quickly, which I think would be a good thing when mashing.
Last edited by Twisted Brick on Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by greggn » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:42 am

Twisted Brick wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:50 pm
hydrating the grain prior to cooking allows a more complete gelatinization more quickly, which I think would be a good thing when mashing.
TB, you mash using unmilled rice ?

I go straight from 50lb bag, purchased at the local Asian supermarket, through the Agristore mill into the mash tun.
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by Twisted Brick » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:33 am

Sorry to be of no help here, greggn. I haven't made the time to mash rice. When I do, I will mill do like you and and use enzymes. The Calrose rice (normally) available is said to retain its delicate flavor profile if cooked correctly, so I'm going to follow the gel temp in the chart in the link below, and mash in at 145F. Incidentally, the lab tests determining the gel temps of different varieties were made using finely milled rice.

Are you using any nutrients?

Gelatinization temperatures of rice
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greggn
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Re: Uncle Remus Rice Vodka

Post by greggn » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:14 pm

Twisted Brick wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:33 am
Are you using any nutrients?

Gelatinization temperatures of rice

TB, my rice protocol is (generally) ...

15 lbs jasmine rice, milled fine
7 gallons, ~200F water
liquid enzymes (either SEB or Ferm Solutions), with a slightly longer gluco rest than other grains
Pinch of epsom salt, Tbl of gypsum, Tbl of DAP
1.5 oz bakers yeast

After bucket straining, without sparging or heroic efforts to squeeze out every drop, I consistently hit 6 gallons @ 1.068

I "rest" my vodkas for 8 weeks but find rice improves with a few more weeks on the shelf. I'd swear that hints of jasmine persist in the finished product.
________________

I drank fifty pounds of feed-store corn
'till my clothes were ratty and torn

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