The still isn't finished and a blizzard is keeping me from making a needed trip to the hardware store. So let me spend some time talking about my first fermentation and soliciting advice as to what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. This is Wino's Plain ol' Sugar Wash, cut to half the recipe (3 Gal.). It is intended to be the first one run through the still for cleaning so it will be tossed out in the end. Here's what I did:
Tested my water, Ph = 8.0
Dissolved 4lb sugar in hot water and dumped it into a five gal. bucket, added cool water to the 3 gal. mark and stirred vigorously to get O2 in, added 1/2 tsp DSP, 1 crushed vitamin B tablet, 1/2 tsp Gypsum, pinch of Epsom Salt, let cool to 85F. Then added 1/2 tsp Citric Acid and tested the Ph. It tested somewhere between 5-6. At this point the SG was 1.070 (tested at 60F). Then I sprinkled 1/4 Cup of bakers yeast on top. (Wash temp was 85F at this point. Should I have waited till is was under 80F?) Let it sit for 20 minutes then stirred it gently and put the lid/airlock on.
Six hours later the airlock had stopped bouncing so I panicked and threw another 1/8 cup of yeast in and stirred it in gently. (Maybe I should not have done this. Should the airlock be bouncing throughout the process or only early in the process?)
8AM: Temp. 65F, airlock still bouncing. Put a 40w light bulb under the bucket to bring the temp up a little. (I'm trying to hold the temp between 70-80F.)
Noon: No airlock activity. SG=1.036, Ph=5 (or just a little higher)
6PM: Temp.=75F, no airlock activity, bubbles on surface.
Monday: Temp=80F, no airlock activity, SG=1.005. (Dipping out the SG sample stirred up the wash a little and the airlock started bouncing again.)
Tuesday: Temp=74.5, SG=.996, no airlock activity
Wednesday: SG=.994 (9.8% ABV by my calculation), no airlock activity
Thursday: SG=.994 (no change in 24 hours so I assume it is done). At this point I moved the bucket to the shop where the temp is in the low 40s and let it rest.
Saturday (today): The top 2" of the wash is water clear with about 6" of cloudy wash below that. (How long should I let this sit before racking it into another container?)
That's it. Comments, critiques, suggestions?
(snowbound at the moment)