How I do a cooked rye mash

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How I do a cooked rye mash

Postby Uncle Jesse » Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:53 am

A photo essay of sorts. I was distracted during this mash so I didn't take photos of a lot of the process, I'll try to complete this next time around.

First, get yourself a Big Ole Pot (BOP):

Image

100 liter capacity as you can see.

Next, make sure you have a nice screen to use as a filter. Yes, I'm aware it could be a bit cleaner:

Image

Here's a photo with the screen in place:

Image

Make sure your pot has a lid otherwise you waste a lot of energy when heating your water:

Image

Continued next message after I process some photos...
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Continued

Postby Uncle Jesse » Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:08 am

Next, I fill my grain mill with five lbs of malted rye. This stuff is no fun to mill as it takes quite a bit more effort than 2-row. This is a 10 gallon mash so I have to mill 20 lbs of malted rye. My mill holds 5 lbs at a time.

Note: use of dog with demonic green eyes is completely optional. He's a complete ham for the camera. I should figure out a way to hook a treadmill to this apparatus so he can do the work:

Image

I fill the BOP with 6 gallons of water and bring it to a hard boil. The pot starts out clean but this kills any residual nastiness which I missed. Once it is at a hard boil, I add 6 gallons of room temperature water. Doing this to this particular mash brought the water temp down to 135 F so I had to warm it up to 170 F which is where I like to start.

After the water hits 170 F, I turn off the heat and use my Big Ole Spoon (BOS) to stir in my cracked rye:

Image

For this particular mash, adding the grains brought my temps down to 151 F. A few degrees warmer than I prefer, but close enough so I covered the pot and let it sit. This pot was outdoor so I knew it would cool down rather quickly. I didn't want to adjust my temps down at all since they were in an acceptable range.

Cover and let sit for an hour, stirring every 10 or 15 mins.

More later when I get some good pics of iodine starch testing, hydrometer readings and so on. These days I normally skip these steps, though I was religious about them when I was learning.
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Postby pangea » Thu Apr 21, 2005 1:14 pm

Outstanding! Keep the story going!
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Postby Pieterpost » Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:56 am

indeed, very interesting to see !

way to go Uncle jesse !
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...

Postby Uncle Jesse » Wed May 11, 2005 1:47 pm

finally, an update!

Continued...

Cover your heated mash and let sit for an hour, stirring every 10 or 15 mins. A few times during the mash I like to take a few quarts from the bottom spigot and add it back to the top of the mash tun to add a bit of circulation since distillers worts are not sparged.

It is useful to do an iodine starch conversion test to check the progress of your mash. To do this you simply take a square Herradura shot glass (other types may work as well) and siphon off a bit of your wort:

Image

Add a few drops of iodine and check to see if the color turns purple:

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This sample was taken 15 minutes after the mash-in started. This purple color indicates that there are still starches present which need to be converted to sugars, or more simply, that your mash is not yet finished.

45 minutes later another iodine starch test indicates that the color has changed and I am satisfied that my mash is finished.

Image

SAFETY NOTE: discard any wort you mix with iodine! And always clean the shotglass between uses.

Time for me to take a reading with my specific gravity hydrometer to determine where my mash has finished. I cooled the sample to 80F which means I must add .025 to my reading for temperature compensation:

Image

That's 1.042 which compensates to 1.067, roughly 1.65 brix, 9.5% potential alcohol by volume. Not bad!

Next I transfer the wort to two sanitized 6.5 gallon carboys:

Image

My 9 gallon mash will fit into two 5 gallon carboys, but I prefer to leave some headspace for foaming. I did 9 gallons because I have a gallon of feints saved for a total volume of 10 gallons.

Pitch yeast, put into a dark room and wait!
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Postby Josesillo » Thu May 12, 2005 7:08 pm

does the cat have to be thre before or after you transfer to the carboys?
:D

nice work uncle jesse, i'll get some rye to try this stuff though i'm not very into whiskey making
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yes

Postby Uncle Jesse » Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:06 am

i forgot to mention that the cat is essential!
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Re: yes

Postby Uncle Remus » Sun Jul 10, 2005 7:02 pm

Uncle Jesse wrote:i forgot to mention that the cat is essential!

...if that cat could talk what tales he'd tell about Della and the dealer and the dog as well, but the cat was cool and he never said a mumbling word. :D
Anyway I've not yet done a rye mash, I've done a few corn mashes. I was just curious about how long you ferment your rye mash.
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Postby Blueraven » Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:45 pm

Tanks UJ, that was fun..maybe youll start a trend.. <G>
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Postby Grayson_Stewart » Sat Dec 03, 2005 5:20 am

A friend recently wanted directions on how to make a grain wash and I remembered Uncle Jesse's post with the pics. I figured a pic is worth a 1000 words and would mean that much less typin I'd have to do in an email.

Jesse went to alot of effort making this post and I thought it would be good to keep it close to the top.
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Postby Blueraven » Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:10 am

Great teaching aid.

And here's my standard ref to John Palmer's Book on doing it for beer..(but ya aught to read his whole book)..

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter18.html

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cool

Postby Uncle Jesse » Sat Dec 03, 2005 11:34 am

glad you folks find the information useful.

i let it ferment until it's done. usually 2-3 days depending on temperatures but if it's cold, it can go longer.

wait until the crust falls from the top then siphon off your beer and charge your still.

there's nothing like the satisfaction of sipping a whisky you made from scratch.
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Postby Guest » Sun Dec 04, 2005 4:14 pm

UJ,

From what i've read certain conversion enzymes work at better temps than others. Some ard 140 or so and some ard 150-160 or so.

Anyway, i rem seeing that program abt the distilleries. I rem one of those guys saying they slowly brght theirs up to 135 then rest then up more and rest then up and up till the finally stop. That gives each diff yeast its working temp for awhile. Seems like I rem in beer brewing it was called a sacrification rest. Anyway, im gonna try that and see how it works when i get a insulated pot fixed up. Last times i just got the mash up to 160 and let it sit over night.

Most of you guys prob already know all that..

BR.
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How long do you let it ferment?

Postby Spiritmaker » Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:07 pm

Uncle Jessie, "Uncle Remus" asked you how long you let it ferment and you replied 2-3 days, would this also apply to corn? I read that the longer grains sit on the ferment, they (corn anyway) begin to make more and more methyl until you end up with some unhealthful stuff to work with! I personally don't see how this is possible but, just wonder what some of you guys might think? This was posted on (I beleive) another forum by a self proclaimed "Master Bootlegger", and he claimed some 30 or 40 years at this (not as a hobby either) so that did tend to lend some credence to his statement. Jis wondering.
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Postby cellsitegod » Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:42 am

Uncle Jesse,
What type of yeast did you use?
How much?
Any nutrients?
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a few responses

Postby Uncle Jesse » Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:14 am

1. i've never heard of any problems with methanol building up over time. especially since i remove the beer once ebullition stops and the beer clears a bit, then i restart a new mash with new water.

2. i use a distillers yeast, sold in bulk which came with my still. i've also used fleischeim's bakers yeast or whatever the commercial name is. i've also gotten some white labs tennessee whiskey distillers yeast as well as their platinum high-tolerance yeast and both worked pretty well.

the stuff i'm using now i just throw in a teaspoonful and leave it go.

i'm not as careful as i was when i first started as far as measurements etc. now that i'm comfortable with what i'm doing, i enjoy the play-it-by-ear style quite a bit. i've always tried to keep it cheap and simple as a nod to the moonshiners who blazed the trail i follow.
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Postby lawnman » Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:27 am

i cant believe the lengths u pot distillers go to :lol:
you americans are obviously keen distillers :lol:
i enjoy doing it and r realling interrested in it but i think ill stick to my reflux still.
im happy with the product i produce although the wife complains about the smell while distilling :lol:
its interesting to to diff methods and diff set up though.
it all still facinates me pardon the pun.
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ha

Postby Uncle Jesse » Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:32 pm

Well, I don't consider it all that hard, really, and neutral spirits bore me. I'd rather experiment with all-grain mashes and traditional methods, personally. I understand the economy, ease, and convenience of neutral spirits and essences, however.
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Re: ...

Postby Big J » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:34 am

="Uncle Jesse"
Time for me to take a reading with my specific gravity hydrometer to determine where my mash has finished. I cooled the sample to 80F which means I must add .025 to my reading for temperature compensation:

That's 1.042 which compensates to 1.067, roughly 1.65 brix, 9.5% potential alcohol by volume. Not bad!


Don't want to pick nits as I found the tutorial helpful, but isn't a reading of 1.042 at 80F properly corrected to 1.045 :?: Or are different hydrometers corrected differently? I thought they were all the same. That would make the potential alcohol more like 6%.

Cheers,
J
Last edited by Big J on Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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not sure

Postby Uncle Jesse » Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:16 pm

not sure about other hydrometers but mine has the values printed next to the temperature scale. i'll try to post a photo of it sometime.
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BOP

Postby Elricko » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:58 am

For those of you that don't own a BOP or a stainless steel screen, you can use a Gott cooler with a screen that can be bought at any homebrew store made specifically for the Gott. Actually you can use any cooler and design your own screen. Beer kegs work well also.

This process is called single infusion mash. It works well for any malted or flaked grain. Try using 25 lbs of two row barley to make scotch.

Cheers!
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Re: ...

Postby Virginia Gentleman » Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:52 am

Uncle Jesse wrote:Next I transfer the wort to two sanitized 6.5 gallon carboys:


You ferment on the grain, Jesse? Any trouble getting mash into carboys? I normally use 5 gal. buckets, but have come into a couple of 6 gal. carboys.
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well

Postby Uncle Jesse » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:03 am

i don't normally ferment on grain but i have done it before and it does make a difference in the final product. it's a lot more clean-up work though.
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Postby duds2u » Thu May 17, 2007 4:01 pm

Here is a link to American Distiller Newsletter detailing the new Mt Vernon rye mash and their procedures.

http://distilling.com/newsletters/ameri ... ler56.html
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Postby bronzdragon » Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:43 pm

Another option is using a muslin grain bag and putting it in a cooler with a spiggot at the bottom. This method is not as efficient as using a correct mash tun like UJ was using ... however, if you just want to add some flavor to your wash with 5-10 pounds of grain, it's a good start.

~r~
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Postby blanikdog » Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:09 pm

lawnman wrote:i cant believe the lengths u pot distillers go to



I lerv my coil in a bucket pot still heated by propane. It's easy and makes a fine end product and I don't find it much work at all. I look at all the posts about things going wrong with reflux stills and it just doesn't seem worth it.

Actually, as I read this I note that I'm saying exactly the same as you were about potstills. :) :) :)

It is a strange world and thank christ we can all be different.

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Postby Sweettuff » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:29 pm

UJ,

Doing my research on Rye Whiskey has to be at least 51% rye. Yours was 100%? Have you tried any other combinations of corn or barley? What is that comparing to your tastebuds? What did you to for aging?
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yeh

Postby Uncle Jesse » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:53 pm

I did 100% rye but I mixed malted and unmalted if memory serves correctly. I didn't age it, we drank it all. It was very tasty. I'll be experimenting with rye again soon enough.

The main reason I wanted to do some 100% rye was to learn the taste. Rye has a very distinct taste and being able to recognize and understand it will affect a number of other spirits which rely on rye for the mash, specifically Bourbon and Tennessee whiskeys.
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Postby mtnwalker2 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:32 pm

Like the millet I just made, very strong flavor. So much easier to do a blend adjusting to your own taste, than many runs of mixed ferments, trial and error. After the bends when it is just right for you, it would be somewhat easy to take the proportions and thence do a mixed ferment. Might come close??
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Re: ...

Postby Alchemist » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:05 pm

Big J wrote:
Uncle Jesse wrote:Time for me to take a reading with my specific gravity hydrometer to determine where my mash has finished. I cooled the sample to 80F which means I must add .025 to my reading for temperature compensation:

That's 1.042 which compensates to 1.067, roughly 1.65 brix, 9.5% potential alcohol by volume. Not bad!


Don't want to pick nits as I found the tutorial helpful, but isn't a reading of 1.042 at 80F properly corrected to 1.045 :?: Or are different hydrometers corrected differently? I thought they were all the same. That would make the potential alcohol more like 6%.

Cheers,
J


I just checked a couple references and they indicate 0.0025 for every 10F, not 0.025. It's an adjustment for the liquid, not the hydrometer, per se. But I get 1.047 (1.042 + 0.0025*20/10).

Great reading nonetheless.
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