Corn, rye, barley mash

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Corn, rye, barley mash

Postby MizMizus » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:13 pm

Hi, this is actually our 3rd mash (wash?) And we are kinda getting the hang of it. We think.

First we did a 2.5 gal thin mash... kinda all wrong but also right and ended up with about 3 pints of some decent 70 proof whiskey (over cut and over dilute- had we not been over reacting wed have had a half gal at 80-100 proof). We are currently on the stripping run of 5 gal fancy molasses rum- this is going surprisingly well.

And, then, there is the whiskey mash sitting now. As we learn we grow... and this is a mash up of a regular mash and a thin mash. 8.5 lbs corn, 1 lb rye, .8 lb malted barley, 4 lbs of sugar all in about 7.5 gal of water. Got the stuff cooked and in the fermenter with 2 packs of Nottingham yeast and it was bubbling merrily away for about 2 days. Never got a head tho...then seemed to putter out. So, we decided to check the ph... it was mid 3s. Oops. Got it to come up to low 4 with potassium bicarbonate and tossed new yeast. Today is day 6 of what we anticipate to be a 2 weekish ferment...Its rocking happily away, no head still, and has a strong vinegar smell. We did realize our ph has been low on all 3, and a unique bite is present on the 2 that have been run ... but this vinegar smell is strong and distinctive. Soo.. we are a little lost here. Its most definitely not dead, the ph is stableish around 4. Im still acquiring the tools i didnt know id need at first, so i dont have an og- but current sg is 1.040. Maybe this is normal (dont think so) but the smell has us concerend.

Any feedback is appreciated!
MizMizus
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Re: Corn, rye, barley mash

Postby still_stirrin » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:57 am

MizMizus wrote:...this is a...thin mash. 8.5 lbs corn, 1 lb rye, .8 lb malted barley, 4 lbs of sugar all in about 7.5 gal of water. Got the stuff cooked...
How did you “cook” it? Did you grind the grains properly? Did you gelatinize the corn? What was the saccharification temperature you mashed at?

MizMizus wrote:...and in the fermenter with 2 packs of Nottingham yeast and it was bubbling merrily away for about 2 days. Never got a head tho...then seemed to putter out. So, we decided to check the ph...it was mid 3s. Oops. Got it to come up to low 4 with potassium bicarbonate and tossed new yeast.

Today is day 6 of what we anticipate to be a 2 weekish ferment...Its rocking happily away, no head still, and has a strong vinegar smell. We did realize our ph has been low on all 3, and a unique bite is present on the 2 that have been run ... but this vinegar smell is strong and distinctive. Soo..we are a little lost here. Its most definitely not dead, the ph is stableish around 4.

Im still acquiring the tools i didnt know id need at first, so i dont have an og- but current sg is 1.040. Maybe this is normal (dont think so) but the smell has us concerend.

Any feedback is appreciated!

If it is still fermenting, then let it keep going. The “vinegar” smell is from the CO2 bubbling up through the highly acidic wash. I would try to raise the pH again or it may stall out soon. And the high gravity (1.040) is too high to be done, or nearly done.

Incidently, I don’t like the Nottingham yeast because I’ve had trouble with sulfurs in it. It seems to need an aggressive aeration to start actively fermenting (at least for me).

Also, I assume you’re fermenting “on the grain”, right? If so, sometimes grain carries bacteria with it, especially corn, and that can get rooted in the ferment, although a low pH is not a welcome environment for bacteria. Tell us a little more about the fermenters...what are you fermenting in and at what temperature.

In the meantime, let it keep going as long as it will (but try to raise the pH a little more).
ss
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Re: Corn, rye, barley mash

Postby MizMizus » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:33 am

still_stirrin wrote:
MizMizus wrote:...this is a...thin mash. 8.5 lbs corn, 1 lb rye, .8 lb malted barley, 4 lbs of sugar all in about 7.5 gal of water. Got the stuff cooked...
How did you “cook” it? Did you grind the grains properly? Did you gelatinize the corn? What was the saccharification temperature you mashed at?

MizMizus wrote:...and in the fermenter with 2 packs of Nottingham yeast and it was bubbling merrily away for about 2 days. Never got a head tho...then seemed to putter out. So, we decided to check the ph...it was mid 3s. Oops. Got it to come up to low 4 with potassium bicarbonate and tossed new yeast.

Today is day 6 of what we anticipate to be a 2 weekish ferment...Its rocking happily away, no head still, and has a strong vinegar smell. We did realize our ph has been low on all 3, and a unique bite is present on the 2 that have been run ... but this vinegar smell is strong and distinctive. Soo..we are a little lost here. Its most definitely not dead, the ph is stableish around 4.

Im still acquiring the tools i didnt know id need at first, so i dont have an og- but current sg is 1.040. Maybe this is normal (dont think so) but the smell has us concerend.

Any feedback is appreciated!

If it is still fermenting, then let it keep going. The “vinegar” smell is from the CO2 bubbling up through the highly acidic wash. I would try to raise the pH again or it may stall out soon. And the high gravity (1.040) is too high to be done, or nearly done.

Incidently, I don’t like the Nottingham yeast because I’ve had trouble with sulfurs in it. It seems to need an aggressive aeration to start actively fermenting (at least for me).

Also, I assume you’re fermenting “on the grain”, right? If so, sometimes grain carries bacteria with it, especially corn, and that can get rooted in the ferment, although a low pH is not a welcome environment for bacteria. Tell us a little more about the fermenters...what are you fermenting in and at what temperature.

In the meantime, let it keep going as long as it will (but try to raise the pH a little more).
ss


Hello! Thanks for the reply! Ill try to answer what i missed to the best of my ability.

The corn and rye were flake and used as purchased. The 6 row malted barley was course ground at the time of purchase. The corn... yes it was gelatinized. Omg was it gelatinized. Due to space it was necessary to cook it in less water then the final mash would be. Many jokes about making breakfast were had.... the corn was in 3.5 gal of water held at 165 degrees for about 15 min (wanted 180 and for 30 but it was not happening with my kitchen stove). The corn was a huge, hilarious, upper body work out, learning process. The same was done with the rye in one gal at 165, and the barley at 150. Also broke down the white sugar in 1 gal around 150. It all went in our 'Fermenter' as it came off the stove in the stages mentioned above. The last step before formally cooling was to top off with water bringing the overall h2o volume to 7.5 gal. We then got that entire tasty mess (breakfast mash we were calling it) down to 85 by putting the fermenter a cool bath. Agressive aeration was done via aquatic air pump as we knew there was no way we'd get enough oxygen in the mash otherwwise.

The fermenter- well this is our next project. Its currently a 10 gal brute trash can. Good start to see if this is something we wanted to persue, and wholly inadequate as we've become aware. Tried to add some weather stripping at the rim to get a solid air seal, but thats a lost cause- so the airlock is useless (we did install one!). Before the next mash we look to acquire an insulated cooler thats been converted to a mash tun (a pair of them actually). The ferment is in the bathroom, on a towel to keep it off the floor a bit- average ambient air temp about 75 degrees. The location is less than ideal as well- thats also something we are adressing. City bound home does not have any really measurabe outdoor space (nor is that a good idea in our location due to wild temps) interior space is also 'snug'. Is what it is.

In other news, the stripping run of the rum was amazing for a first go of it we think. Also had the ph issue here but not as bad. Started with Fleishmans then tossed some 1118 at a week in. Stripped out just over a gallon at 100 proof. We will do the spirit run today and spice it.

I do appreciate your time!
MizMizus
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