My Moonshine Tastes Funny

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My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby tmains » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:43 am

Hello everybody, first time posting in here.

Anyway I have a question for you guys. I took 4 pounds of granulated sugar, 2 1/2 pounds of cornmeal, around 2 1/2 gallons of water, and about a palm full of baker's yeast (a little more), mixed that all up in a 5 gallon jug, put a condom over the mouth of the jug with holes poked in it and let that sit for a week. Then I dumped a little bit into my still. My still is this: a small pressure cooker with no gauges with 5 feet of copper tubing running up out of it and down into a coil that sits inside of a bucket filled with ice and the tubing then comes out of a small hole at the bottom of my bucket where I can collect the supposed shine.

Well, at first I guess I turned up the temperature a little too high (gas stove by the way) and mash shot out of the tube into my collection jar. Eventually I fiddled around with the gas and got it to drip a clear colored liquid. Thing is when I tasted it, I tasted no alcohol. When I put a little on a plate and tried to burn it, it didn't hold flame.

My question is... am I doing something wrong?
I have the rest of my mash on hold until I can figure out if I did something wrong.

Thanks everybody :)
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby Samohon » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:45 am

Hey tmains, drop by the welcome center and tell us a little about yourself... :D

First things first...

Fermentation:
The ferment will only ever happen if the yeast is allowed to work between 23°C and 30°C...
Always cook your mash with boiling water then (STERILISES EVERYTHING IN YOUR FB), once it has cooled to the above, pitch your yeast...
Take an Original Gravity (OG) reading and Finishing Gravity (FG) with a hydrometer, from this you can work out how much alcohol is in your mash..

Distillation:
Make sure the rubber seal (No RUBBER, PLASTICS, SILICONS), is removed from any presure cooker lid, I bet thats the funny taste your having.. Its bad for you...
Ensure the pot is only 1/2 - 2/3 full maximum... Your kitchen still is puking and having the pot too full is causing this...
It wont light as there has been wash transferred to your collection jar via the puking....


If you dont understand any of the above info then it seems like you have a lot to learn tmains...

Stop by the:

Were here to help, we don't want you or others to get hurt, but we DO expect our members to help themselves by reading the above...
It makes this hobby even better if the seniors of HD know your having fun and doing it safely...

Welcome to HD... Have fun man... :D
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby Braz » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:46 pm

Sam, you have the patience of Job.
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby ArkyJ » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:01 pm

Damn Sam! Make you a Mentor and you go all mushy.
Yup, need to put Job in front of Samohon.

@ Tmains. An A for effort, but please, do lots of reading before starting anything new.
I know it take all the fun out of what you are doing, but you'll enjoy your distilling like
you ain't now.
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby blanikdog » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:48 pm

Braz wrote:Sam, you have the patience of Job.


He does indeed. :)
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby Bayou-Ruler » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:56 pm

welcome aboard
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby tmains » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:11 am

Thanks guys for the welcome, etc.


But I do have one thing to say to everyone telling me I need to read yadda yadda. I have. I read all your rules, advice, and everything such as that, as I do everytime I join a forum I'm unfamiliar with.

I don't think my question was that outlandish, I was just asking the source of my problem. That wall of text I gave you was the information of my setup, not questions.

Anyway, I'll try redoing my mash.


Thanks
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby ArkyJ » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:24 pm

OK, your pissed. Your pissed because you think were laughing at you. That's fair.
Now answer a couple of questions for me and MAYBE I can explain what you did
wrong. This post let's talk about the ferement. You said:
tmains wrote:Hello everybody, first time posting in here.

Anyway I have a question for you guys. I took 4 pounds of granulated sugar, 2 1/2 pounds of cornmeal, around 2 1/2 gallons of water, and about a palm full of baker's yeast (a little more), mixed that all up in a 5 gallon jug, put a condom over the mouth of the jug with holes poked in it and let that sit for a week.

Thanks everybody :)

Of the 4 items you deceided to ferement with, how did you come up with your receipe?
What did you ferement in? Was it clean? If so, how do you know?
Did you cook any of your above. If so, what, how long and in what order?
When you added all the above. What was your OG?
During your week ferement. What if anything happened?
What temp did your ferement sit at?
At a week what made you think your ferement was done and what was your FG?

If you will answer those questions, then we will talk about your distiller unit and distilling ability.
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby blanikdog » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:55 pm

May I suggest that you chill out and read what Samohon suggested. I cannot for the life of me see what got your dander up, but it has. Never mind.

Anyway, arky asked you the questions needed to to help you. Answer them and we may make some progress. The ball is now back in your court.
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby Samohon » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:17 pm

Thank you would've been nice... :roll:
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby rad14701 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:55 am

I guess when the help isn't presented on a spoon it's time to whine... Nobody here is picking on you, it's just that this ain't our first rodeo...

tmains, if you don't like the help given, don't ask for any because you don't get a choice in the help that experienced members determine is what you need, whether you agree or not... How we proceed here depends entirely on your answers to the questions asked, without additional attitude...
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby ScottishBoy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:48 pm

I'm thinking it might be a little frustration on his behalf because nobody answered the question.
tmains, YES...you are doing something wrong.

But dont let that stop you from having a good time. This is a good bunch of guys and they are trying to help you. Sometimes things get lost when posted on the net, like feelings and kidding etc...

Most of the pressure cookers I have seen are pretty small, so even if you got some alcohol in the mix, you probably boiled it off as it was too small to collect.By the time your mash was puking, you had shot that wad. Nearly anything you got after that ( provided you cleaned the coil ) would have been corny flavored water wit no alcohol in it.

No, Im suspecting that the reason that everyone gravitated towards fermentation was because you didnt mention if you thought the ferment was complete.
It could be that your ferment was not complete and you were just boiling sugar water. The cautions on plastics is standard for here. Most of us are not against progressive thinking, but we like to be extra paranoid when working with high temperature solvents.

Sounds like you are going to want to stick with this rig for a bit, so what I would do is go downtown and get some cheap red wine and practice a few runs with that. This will serve both as a cleaning period and it will illustrate the way alcohol comes through with a sample you KNOW contains it. Feel free to toss it back in and run it a few times so you can learn the very basic smells, but DONT drink any of it. Toss that shit and try some of your mash.

You should taste your mash before you try to distill it. Does it taste dry almost like a hint of dustiness with a cloying sweet smell? Then you probably have alcohol. If it's sweet and tastes like bread, then your yeast didnt make it. Sterilize the wash and try again.

You will definitely want to check out the fermentation section. Many folks here started with beer and worked their way up. Its the same principle for mash.

This is a learning process. If you open yourself up to it, it can be very rewarding. Sometimes when folks help, they sound like they are criticising when all they are really doing is trying to be breif...a trait I seem to have missed in this post.

So...did the condom inflate at all? What temperature was the room you fermented it in? Did you smell CO2 during the process? You said you used a clear 5 gallon jar, did you see any bubbles on the sides? Did you warm the water? Did you happen to kill the yeast by making it too hot? and Lastly...have you tested the yeast to see if its viable? ( 1 tsp sugar in 1 cup baby-bottle warm water, stir and see if it grows?)

You'll get it soon enough and then you will drip your first...from then on...your just plain doomed. ;)

Welcome aboard!
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby blanikdog » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:56 pm

Yes SB, you are probably correct. My first attempt to reply to this post was to simply say YES, as you say, but I decided that it was a bit rude and not helpful so I let it go. Sam then gave him an excellent answer and then tmains came back with "But I do have one thing to say to everyone telling me I need to read yadda yadda. I have. I read all your rules, advice, and everything such as that, as I do everytime I join a forum I'm unfamiliar with.

I don't think my question was that outlandish, I was just asking the source of my problem. That wall of text I gave you was the information of my setup, not questions."


What the hell did he expect? We aren't his children or perhaps his school teachers, we come here and give our time to help out of our good nature, not because we receive any monetary reward. Perhaps folk like this should think ahead to the time when they may be in the same position and have to tolerate responses as he gave.

We'll give anyone a fair go, but like most folk we do like some form of manners.

So, in a few words in answer to his question, "am I doing something wrong?" Yes. quite a few things.
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby Dnderhead » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:23 pm

to tell the truth I dont believe your mash worked/or worked little.you should have gotten something good bad or other? (if worked off there should have been about 32oz)
that is why if you do not give information then we have to ask.
so the more you can tell us the better chances of helping.
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby whiskymonster » Thu May 12, 2011 4:50 am

late to the party, but surely spermicide from a condom wouldnt be good if it got into the wash would it?
you work 18 hours and whaddya get?
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby Tater » Thu May 12, 2011 5:24 am

Recipe sounds off to me 4 lbs sugar maxed out the amount of water before added the cornmeal
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby rad14701 » Thu May 12, 2011 5:27 am

whiskymonster wrote:late to the party, but surely spermicide from a condom wouldnt be good if it got into the wash would it?

Oh, you use a NEW one... :lolno: That explains a lot... :shifty:
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby whiskymonster » Thu May 12, 2011 6:09 am

oh, id always use a new one.

i have read about the risks of secondary infection in the wash.....
:sick:

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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby Dnderhead » Thu May 12, 2011 7:05 am

most dont worry about secondary infections,the mash does not usually hang
around that long,as does beer or wine.
but tmans needs to start at the basic and work up.
id not go out and buy wine,I thank working on wash comes first.
with out doing this he cannot progress further.
he does not give enough info to tell what happened or even if it worked at all.
witch i believe it did not.normally 2lb to the gallon is not that bad,but
some/most "corn meal" has had the germ removed this whould eliminate
much of the nutrients.(remember all the adds,eat whole grain not processed)
he could experiment on small ones first,if processed grain is all that is available
then some nutrients should be added.(I myself do not beleve in "off store the shelf")
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby whiskymonster » Thu May 12, 2011 8:30 am

i think you missed that one dnder,

i meant secondary infection from the condom!

sorry. my sick mind at it's best!

j
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby Erin » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:56 am

Ok i'm new to the process but in most everything i have read it says to use copper or stainless to distill. Not aluminum. Most pressure cookers are made from aluminum. I've read that distilling in aluminum not only makes you product taste funny but makes it toxic. Plz if i am wrong someone correct me.
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby oliver90owner » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:48 pm

Most pressure cookers are made from aluminum.

Maybe most, but certainly not all. Do you know of any aluminium compounds that are volatile at these temperatures? Remember that aluminium is used for all sorts of cooking utensils, and at much higher temperatures than distilling.

Stills are copper or stainless steel because the don't corrode and are easy to clean and classed as food grade. Glass would be just as acceptable excepting the breakage risk. Cast iron would work too, but too heavy and no good for fabricating. Same with stoneware vessels. Titanium is out on cost grounds, as are the precious metals. I would hazard a guess and say HDPE would be acceptable, but there are distinct disdvantages for those using gas burners to heat with....

Yes, stick with the obvious choices. They were made for very good reason. Why try to re-invent the wheel.
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby mealstrom » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:13 pm

Great response Sam - thank you for taking the time. Good info there. Even though I didn't have his issues I learned something from your post, so it was very helpful.

For the OP: I don't have the knowledge to critique your setup, but I might offer a suggestion: Do a really simple sugar wash or possible get something already fermented (beer or wine) and use that as a control. If you distill one of those and you get the same flavors it's likely something with your rig. If you don't then you probably have something wrong with your wash.
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Re: My Moonshine Tastes Funny

Postby Tal » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:15 am

For what its worth...you can recycle those condoms...just shake the f..k out of them first!....I really hope you take all this on board Tmains in a good way cos you can learn a lot from these guys...stuff that just don't make sense at all now, slowly comes to light...it's a lot of fun too...welcome aboard the ride to stilling wisdom!
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