How long can mash sit before being used?

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby The Snowman » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:58 am

Due to a multitude of reasons, I have 10 gallons of mash / wash that has set for almost 3 weeks. I had it going so that when all the parts to my still got here I would be able to run it through and make some 'fuel'. Then life got in the way and I finally have some free time to run this through. Knowing it has set for so long, it has been sealed so it should be good, is it still okay to run this through? I don't want to end up making my 'engine' sick.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby Prairiepiss » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:13 am

Run it! Alcohol is alcohol your not going to make your engine sick.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby blind drunk » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:20 am

Just rack it off of the sediment, if there is any, and let it rip. Just might be the best stuff you ever done :mrgreen: Let us know how it went.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby The Snowman » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:54 am

It's also the first stuff I've ever done... So this should be interesting!
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby ArkyJ » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:59 pm

If this is your first run in a new still and you plan on drinking it. Dump it after you run it! Belongs to the angles.
If it's for an engine, guess the angles are SOL!
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby The Snowman » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:41 pm

Lol I just found out about breaking it in I guess you could call it? Doing a run of vinegar / water and then a run of a couple of boxes of wine. After that I shouuld be able to run a drinkable batch through right?

1.Vinegar / water run
2. Box wine run
3. Drinkable run

?
Should I do a run of straight water between 2. and 3. ?

Sorry for the newbie questions, just this distilling is kinda one of the things a guy wants to do right!
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby rubber duck » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:13 pm

There's no need to do a water run as long as the vinegar goes ok and you don't find any leaks in your rig. If you find a leak fix it and do a water run to check to see if it's fixed.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby canadianmoonshiner » Thu May 05, 2011 11:26 am

I once rescued 120 litres of sugar wash from a friends appartment about to be inspected. Kept it sealed in a plastic drum. Ran it 18 months later when it became obvious they were not going to set up again. Crystal clear as the yeasts had long since died & settled. Good clean stuff.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby blind drunk » Thu May 05, 2011 11:29 am

Ran it 18 months later when it became obvious they were not going to set up again. Crystal clear as the yeasts had long since died & settled. Good clean stuff.


Seems like a trend's developing :clap:
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby johnboy1234 » Wed May 25, 2011 4:08 pm

ArkyJ wrote:If this is your first run in a new still and you plan on drinking it. Dump it after you run it! Belongs to the angles.
If it's for an engine, guess the angles are SOL!
ArkyJ

Should you not drink your first batch in a new still? Is it dangerous?
I did do a test run with just water for 1 hr to see how it all worked, will that be OK?
Also my wash has been in 9days now and is still hissing and the hydrometer read just below the 1000 mark, should I keep it fermenting or distill it now?
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby Fastill » Wed May 25, 2011 6:02 pm

[Should you not drink your first batch in a new still? Is it dangerous?
I did do a test run with just water for 1 hr to see how it all worked, will that be OK?
Also my wash has been in 9days now and is still hissing and the hydrometer read just below the 1000 mark, should I keep it fermenting or distill it now?[/quote]

Do another cleaning run with vinegar and water, then a sacraficial run of fermented wash and water.
If you don't want to lose your first wash as a cleaning run then buy some cheap wine and run it through.
If you can drink a bottle of whisky and a case of beer a day you have a problem....
It cost too much to get drunk!!
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby johnboy1234 » Wed May 25, 2011 6:11 pm

What happens if I only do the vinegar and water run, and not do the sacraficial run of fermented wash and water?
Will it make me sick or just taste crap? How much vinegar should I use in the water and how much sacrifical wash with the water?

UPDATE:
Well it looks like I am going to have to sacrifice my 1st wash to the still gods!!
Im pretty sure its buggered as I put in the hydrometer and it was still an inch down from the 990 mark, BUT I also had a taste of it and it was super sweet. I got the whisk out to degas it and all these white foamy bubbles come up and then dissolve away to nothing.So I guess thats that! I have moved it outside(3C-5C) with the air lock and lid on..........ANY Suggestions?
Last edited by johnboy1234 on Wed May 25, 2011 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby junkyard dawg » Wed May 25, 2011 6:21 pm

Theres no telling if it is going to make you sick. But, hot alcohol is a great solvent that takes off lots of crap from a new still. Even if you scrub the hell out of it and think its perfectly clean, the first time you run alcohol thru it, more stuff will come out. Its best not to take a chance.

I know how hard that is to have to wait, but just go down and get yourself a big ol jug of cheap wine. You will find the jug is handy later on, and you will be reassured that you are following good practices with your new hobby.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby rubber duck » Wed May 25, 2011 8:20 pm

johnboy1234 wrote:What happens if I only do the vinegar and water run, and not do the sacraficial run of fermented wash and water?
Will it make me sick or just taste crap? How much vinegar should I use in the water and how much sacrifical wash with the water?


Would you eat a spoon full of flux? If the answer is yes then I guess you don't need to do a sacrificial run.

For a sacrificial run I would do a 6% run at 1/4 boiler capacity.

For the vinegar run IDK I just do 1 part vinegar 2 parts water and do the same 1/4 boiler capacity.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby johnboy1234 » Thu May 26, 2011 2:30 am

OK Guys, you have convinced me to sacrifice it to the still god.

Just double checking here before I do this
I need to use 6% wash and the rest water and only quarter fill my still with that ratio of liquids?
If this is correct
1. How long should I distill it for from when it 1st starts dripping out, as there will only be 4 litres going through it.
2. How do I work out what 6% of 4 litres is? I was never any good at %'s
3. Can I use the other 19 L 's of my 23 L wash that I am sacrificing 4L's from?

Sorry for being so thick about all of this, it's my 1st time ever......I'm a Still Virgin who needs a wash ..Lol!
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby rad14701 » Thu May 26, 2011 7:57 am

Don't fixate on the 6% figure, just consider it to be the minimum %ABV of your wash and higher is just a bonus...

If the wash is done and cleared, you can distill the balance of the wash as your first keeper run to enjoy and celebrate... Done is done, regardless of the hydrometer reading... If all of the sugar hasn't fermented then just watch for foaming...
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby johnboy1234 » Thu May 26, 2011 1:30 pm

THANKS rad14701

It is foaming whenever I give it a stir, anything I can do about that?
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby rad14701 » Thu May 26, 2011 4:35 pm

johnboy1234 wrote:THANKS rad14701

It is foaming whenever I give it a stir, anything I can do about that?

Check it real close to see if it is actively producing tiny bubbles as part of an active fermentation or if it is just degassing when stirred... If it is actively fermenting then just leave it alone or you might introduce an infection by stirring... Once in the anaerobic phase no further introduction of oxygen is required... Trust me, it can be tough to patiently wait for a wash to finish without meddling... I still get tempted...
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby johnboy1234 » Sat May 28, 2011 8:09 pm

Na its still bubbling away without stirring 11days later, twiddles thumbs and whistles.......I might have to buy another bucket and some more sugar and start again. As this is real boring waiting for this to stop bubbling.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby Smokehouse Shiner » Sat May 28, 2011 8:23 pm

johnboy1234 wrote:I might have to buy another bucket and some more sugar and start again. .

Swut I'd do. Buy 3. :wink:
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby olddog » Sat May 28, 2011 8:26 pm

I have got 5 fermenters :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
I hate waiting.



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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby LWTCS » Sun May 29, 2011 5:22 am

olddog wrote:I have got 5 fermenters :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
I hate waiting.


Nats duh way tuh go.

Keeping your self with something ready to charge the still any day of the week seems to minimize the scramble. Allows you participate more casually and yet be more productive,,,,IMO.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby johnboy1234 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:35 pm

Well heres an update about using a brand new "Modern" still.

I just rang up the manufacture and asked about whether it was necessary to sacrifice the 1st wash through the still and they said not at all. I told them that I had read that it was necessary to wash out the still of welding flux etc with alcohol so it is totally clean. They said with brand new modern correctly manufactured stills all that was required was to half fill it with water and run it for an hour.

So is this just dangerous sales talk, or is it true that modern stills are made so you don't have to sacrifice your 1st wash?

BTW
That slow wash of mine after 16 days has finally stopped bubbling and it is just below the 1000 mark on the hydrometer, approx 1/2 inch from the 990 mark. This is the best reading I have had. So I have it outside in 5C temperature to settle and I will leave it there for a few days before distilling. The only thing that concerns me, is it has a slight apple smell to it, is this a problem? Also it tastes a bit sweet, nowhere as sweet as it was about 5 days ago though.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby frozenthunderbolt » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:47 pm

johnboy1234 wrote:That slow wash of mine after 16 days has finally stopped bubbling and it is just below the 1000 mark on the hydrometer, approx 1/2 inch from the 990 mark. This is the best reading I have had. So I have it outside in 5C temperature to settle and I will leave it there for a few days before distilling. The only thing that concerns me, is it has a slight apple smell to it, is this a problem? Also it tastes a bit sweet, nowhere as sweet as it was about 5 days ago though.


Apple/ fruity smells are usually associated with heads - contian a lot of headache causeing esters. Just be carefull making your cuts not to include too much heads. Try 200ml cuts (after having first chucked 200- 400ml for fores) and then air them for a day or two (just paper as a lid on each NUMBERED jar). Starting in your middle work you way out carefully sniffing and tasting a diluted sample untill it becomes too 'off' for you. combine the good stuff and keep it. use the bad stuf for fuel, cleaner or save it up till you have enough for a feints run.
Where has all the rum gone? . . .
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby myles » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:20 pm

johnboy1234 wrote:Well heres an update about using a brand new "Modern" still.

I just rang up the manufacture and asked about whether it was necessary to sacrifice the 1st wash through the still and they said not at all. I told them that I had read that it was necessary to wash out the still of welding flux etc with alcohol so it is totally clean. They said with brand new modern correctly manufactured stills all that was required was to half fill it with water and run it for an hour.

So is this just dangerous sales talk, or is it true that modern stills are made so you don't have to sacrifice your 1st wash?


You need to do a cleaning run on every still - unless they have done it for you. Do you think they have done so? Bear in mind you also need to do a cleaning run if you make any changes, such as building a new condenser. It is no big deal though.

It is the only thing that I use turbo yeast for - fermenting a plain sugar junkahol for sacrifical use as a cleaning agent.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby rad14701 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:51 am

We surely aren't going to waver on our safety guidelines based on advice from a still manufacturer...

Think about it... If some novice comes here and reads that a random still manufacturer said the sacrificial alcohol wasn't needed and then they purchase a still made by a different still maker from different materials, like soldered copper instead of TIG welded stainless steel, then they might end up drinking flux tainted spirits... And I wouldn't be trusting a cleaning run with water as being good enough to remove all of the remains from the welding process or potential protective coatings applied at the time of manufacture...

We use broad stroke guidelines here for a reason... We want to err on the side of safety rather than having different guidelines based on "what if" scenarios... If a member chooses to ignore our guidelines that's their choice... Remember, if we want to be taken seriously with regard to decriminalization of home distillation we need to be able to prove that we are encouraging ample personal safety guidelines... The safety aspect will be governments last ditch effort to thwart any efforts once the taxation issue is conquered...
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby johnboy1234 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:04 pm

I see what you are saying Rad14701 about your safety guidelines and Im on your side, I was just commenting what the manufacture had said to me. For all I know the person on the other end of the phone could be a newbie and has no idea what they are talking about. What you guys say makes perfect sense about "hot alcohol is a great solvent that takes off lots of crap from a new still"

I have decided I will sacrifice 1/2 of my 1st wash, that should be sufficient to clean out the new still, as you were saying I only needed a 6% run. I will be doing that a bit later today.

Just one thing frozenthunderbolt about what you said, I am a total novice and have no idea what cuts and heads are. I have tried googling the words, but with no luck. Could you explain it in layman terms as to what I have to do to get rid of the apple smell please.
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby Dnderhead » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:38 pm

what kind of still are you runing?
heres one for a pot still,,http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=46
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby johnboy1234 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:45 pm

I have a eurostill 30-2 from spirits unlimited

That link only takes me to a long list of posts which post are you talking?
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Re: How long can mash sit before being used?

Postby LWTCS » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:01 pm

+1 @ smoke
swut ah doo too :D
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