How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Many like to post about a first successful ferment (or first all grain mash), or first still built/bought or first good run of the still. Tell us about all of these great times here.
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How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Sat May 18, 2013 8:06 am

Hey everyone! This is a thread to document my first ever UJSSM recipe! I have read the 160+ pages of how to make it, and I still see a LOT of newbies who have questions. So hopefully this thread will be a great resource for any newbie that wants to try out this recipe.

First, you need to know how much ingredients to use. The WIKI Page gives you two examples, but here are the BASIC, bare-bones ratio.

For every ONE GALLON of water you use, you will need:

1.4 Ibs of Sugar
1.4 Ibs of Cracked Corn
Yeast (amount varies)

So if you have a small fermenter that can only hold three gallons, then multiply those values by three!

In my case, I wanted to make a four gallon batch, so I went with:

4 x Gallons of Water
5.6 Ibs of Sugar
5.6 Ibs of Cracked Corn
Yeast (I used a couple tablespoons worth)

Here are some common questions I am seeing with ingredients:

"Where do you get cracked corn?" - You can get it at most animal feed stores (or Tractor Supply Company). For me, I lucked out and got mine at a local WALMART! Yes, Walmart sells cracked corn (at least in my area they do). Just look in the animal section (near where they sell big bags of dog food). As long as it's cracked corn and no other preservatives, you should be fine. Check the ingredients label to be sure. My label just says "Cracked Corn" so I know that I'm good to go.

"Can I use other kinds of corn, like frozen corn, corn meal, etc?" - Yes. You aren't using the corn to get alcohol. You are using the corn to get FLAVOR. Over time, the corn may break down and impart some ABV to your recipe, but this is mainly for flavor.

I personally DO NOT RECOMMEND corn meal. It becomes a big gloopy mess inside your fermenter, and it's a pain to deal with (in my opinion). For me, cracked corn is the way to go.

"Can I use other grains, like wheat, rye, etc?" - Yes, you can use anything you want. However, I am only sticking with the original recipe, so that's all I will be referring to in this thread. Remember, this is for newbies, so let's keep it to the basics.

Now I will cover what I did for my first Fermentation!
Last edited by StogieFarts on Sat May 18, 2013 9:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Sat May 18, 2013 8:32 am

I have a five gallon fermentation bucket. Actually, it's SIX gallons, but that would be to the very top. And you NEVER want to fill your bucket to the very top. As a general rule, I always try to allow ONE EXTRA GALLON OF SPACE so that the wort has room for an active fermentation. Remember, yeast will DEVOUR the sugar and can be extremely active, often resulting in foam and expansion of gases inside the bucket. So if you fill it too high, that stuff will come out of your airlock.

You DO have an airlock, right? :shock: :)

Now, even though I have a bucket that I can safely fill with 5 gallons of wash, my still can only be charged with 3 gallons of wash. So I decided to start my first Fermentation of UJSSM with only 4 gallons of water. You have to figure that your corn is going to ABSORB some of this liquid, and you will never siphon out every drop that you put into the recipe. So DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE: don't think to yourself, "My still can only hold X-amount of gallons, so I will only use that same amount of water in my recipe." Why not? Because if you start with, say, three gallons in your recipe, you will probably only get about 2.5 gallons out of it. The rest is absorbed by the corn, or just a pain to extract. Besides, you probably don't want to (or need to) extract every bit of fermented wash that is leftover inside your bucket.

So what I did was this. I said to myself, "My still can only charge 3 gallons at a time. So let me make a 4 gallon batch. That will easily allow me to collect three gallons of fermented alcohol, and then a little left over which I can save for later."

So my recipe looked like this:

4 x Gallons of Water
5.6 Ibs of Sugar
5.6 Ibs of Cracked Corn
Yeast (I used a couple tablespoons worth)

First, I measured out the corn and dumped that into the empty bucket.

Then, I measured out the sugar and did the same. Finally, I added the water and mixed it up real good!

Finally, add your yeast!

AND DON'T FORGET - Take your Starting Gravity (SG) reading!!!! I will say that again: TAKE YOUR STARTING GRAVITY (SG) READING!!!!! I cannot tell you how many newbies will ask, "How do I know if my fermentation is complete?" Easy - you check how much sugar is left inside your bucket! And the only way you can do that accurately is with a HYDROMETER.

So after you mix everything together, extract a little into a tube (my hydrometer came with a tube), and then put the hydrometer into it. It will FLOAT because of the sugar in the water, and it will give you a reading. My first SG reading on my first UJSSM batch was 1.066. That is roughly going to ferment into a 9% alcohol wash when it's done. If you followed the recipe I gave you above, yours should work out to be about the same (give it take a little, but ultimately your wash should ferment anywhere between 8% - 10% alcohol if using those ratios).

KEEP THE FOLLOWING IN MIND:

1. The more AIR (or oxygen) that you get into mixing your ingredients, the better it will be. So MIX MIX MIX! I usually mix off and on for at least five minutes. If you want, you can pour HALF your water, mix mix mix, and then use the rest of your water, and mix mix mix!

2. Give your yeast time to START BEFORE PITCHING IT into your bucket. What does that mean? It means don't just throw your dry yeast into the bucket and seal it up. I mean, you CAN do this, and it will be perfectly fine......but if you want to jump start your fermentation, then you should do the following:

3. Put your yeast into a large container or cup by itself. Mix it with WARM water (no hotter than 90 degrees F) and also an equal amount of sugar. MIX THIS VERY WELL and leave it sit! I usually will leave it for about an hour if possible, although some people will do this the day before if they have time. I just do it before I start my recipe, and then when I see some activity in the cup, I pitch that into my bucket and stir it up!

So this is the entire process that I did for my first UJSSM recipe. I slapped an airlock onto the bucket, and half a day later, it was bubbling away like crazy!

DO YOU NEED AN AIRLOCK? - No, you don't. Technically speaking, you just need a vessel to allow air and gas to escape, but not to allow air inside. However, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ONE! They are GREAT INDICATORS of how active your fermentation is. Think about it. Do you want to GUESS at how active your yeast are? Of course not! With an airlock, you simply look at your bucket. If it's bubbling, then you know that the yeast are still "doing their thing." If it stops bubbling, then it's a good indication that you're done!

I whipped up my first batch on Saturday May 11th, and it began to bubble half a day later.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Sat May 18, 2013 8:54 am

Now, my first fermentation took SIX DAYS to complete. Yes, I know the original recipe says 3-4 days, but don't go by that. All yeast are not created equal, and all distillers have different environments. The easy way to know is to use an AIRLOCK, wait until it stops bubbling, and finally to check the FINAL GRAVITY (FG) reading on your hydrometer.

I actually noticed the bubbles on my airlock drastically slowed down about 5 days into the ferment. So on Day 6, when I woke up, it wasn't active at all.

So I took my bucket, opened it up, and I did two things:

1. I took a hydrometer reading. Remember before when I started this batch, and the hydrometer measured 1.066? Well now, it measured 0.994. That tells me that all the sugar that we placed inside the bucket has been converted into alcohol. NOTE: Any reading of 1.000 and lower usually means your wash is ready to distill. This is why a hydrometer is so IMPORTANT. It allows you to scientifically see if your ferment is ready, or if it simply stalled (perhaps due to temperature or low pH). By seeing a reading of 1.000 or less, then you know that all the sugar is gone.

2. I also took a little TASTE of the wash. Don't worry, it's not gross (unless you got a massive infestation of bacteria, but then you would smell it!) Your fermented wash should smell a little like beer, possibly a little like wine, but be BITTER to taste. You should taste little to no sweetness at all, since all the sugar should be gone.

Once I verified that my readings were correct, it was time to DISTILL!

I SIPHONED out the first three gallons of wash into my pot still. My pot is just a 4 gallon stock pot, with a copper coil attached to it. Real basic.

Once I had three gallons in there, I still had too much liquid in my fermentation bucket to see the corn on the bottom. So I siphoned off another 3/4 gallon into an empty container, just enough so that I could see all the spent corn at the bottom of my bucket.

NOW YOU HAVE TO PREPARE YOUR BUCKET FOR THE NEXT BATCH!!

Here is what you do.

1. When you have extracted all the wash out (or enough to get to the top layer of corn at the bottom), you will notice that the corn looks greyish in color. That is the SPENT or USED corn, and that is what you get rid of. Simply take a slotted spoon, and skim off the top layer of this corn bed. You will quickly see that UNDERNEATH the used corn, there is a nice, vibrant layer of YELLOW corn beneath it.

So scoop off as much of the grey corn as possible, leaving only the layer of yellow corn behind.

2. Now that you have gotten rid of your OLD corn, we should fill it up with WATER so that the yeast don't dry out. To keep it basic, since I extracted almost 4 gallons of water out of my bucket (using three of those to distill, and keeping the rest in another container), that means we need to refill it back with the same amount of water. BUT WAIT.....THIS IS A SOUR MASH! That means that we are going to use some of the sour backset to add to this bucket.

(Backset is the term used for the leftover liquid that you have AFTER you distill all the alcohol out of it)

So in my 4 gallon recipe here, I decided that I wanted to use 1 GALLON of backset that I will use. And if I use 1 GALLON of backset, that means I need to make up the remaining quantity with regular water. Following me so far? So that means I need 3 gallons of water, and 1 gallon of BACKSET.

(NOTE: We don't have any backset yet, because we haven't yet distilled anything. We are just doing our calculation right now).

So where were we? Ahhhh yes, we had scooped out the old corn, and now that we know how much WATER we need (3 gallons), we can put that into the bucket. BUT HERE'S A LITTLE TRICK! Don't put all three gallons in there. Only put 1-2 gallons in there. Save some for later (you will see why).

3. THEN REFILL YOUR BUCKET WITH AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF NEW CORN TO REPLACE THE OLD CORN that you removed in step 1! So for example, I was collecting my used corn into a strainer (so that liquid could fall back into the bucket). I then looked at how much used corn I filled my strainer with, and then replaced that same amount with new corn. I believe this was about 1.4 - 1.6 Ibs of old corn (out of the original 5.6 Ibs we started with) that I removed and then replaced with new stuff.

So now you have your corn, your water (or most of it) added to the bucket, and you can cover it up and set it aside for now. Because now it's time to DISTILL the three gallons of wash that you charged your still with!
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Sat May 18, 2013 9:05 am

DISTILLING TIME!

Since I have a real basic pot still (with a simple coil worm attached directly to the lid), I have decided to do a STRIPPING RUN, and then a final SPIRIT RUN down the line.

Since this is for newbies, I will explain what that means.

A STRIPPING RUN is where you STRIP OUT THE ALCOHOL from your wash. You don't drink this alcohol, so you don't have to worry about making nice cuts, or anything like that. You are just stripping out the alcohol to save for later.

Out of 3 gallons of wash that you start with, you will probably end up with only HALF of one gallon of liquor. (At least that's what I ended up with). That liquor which you end up with is called the LOW WINES.

You want to SAVE all your low wines, until you have 3 gallons worth (since I only distill in 3 gallon batches at a time).

(NOTE: I should mention that you should dilute your low wines to 30-40% ABV. This is both for safety and for better flavor profile. So even though I mentioned above that you should collect 3 gallons of low wines, you might only need to collect two gallons, but after that is diluted down to 30-40% alcohol, that might give you the three gallons that you need to go further.)

Once you have enough low wines to fill your still, you then do a SPIRIT RUN. That is where you extract all your drinking alcohol, make your cuts, etc.

Now that I have covered a STRIPPING RUN versus a SPIRIT run, it's time to get started.

I am doing my first STRIPPING RUN on my 3 gallons of wash that I fermented. You can turn the heat up pretty high on this, because you want to run this hard and fast. Basically, you want to make sure that the alcohol which comes out of your condenser is a nice, steady stream. If it's only going drip, drip, drip, then it's not fast enough. If it's a steady stream (like a water faucet which is slightly left on), then this is what you're going for. A thin, pencil stream of liquid is good.

I still collected about 100-150ml of foreshots to discard so don't forget to do that! That's the first stuff that comes out of your still, and is not drinkable. Toss it.

After that, I just collected everything until I got down to 20% ABV. So for me, this was about HALF a gallon of distillate that I collected.

HOW DO YOU CHECK ABV%? You need an alcoholmeter (or an alcometer, I've seen it written both ways). I got mine on Amazon. It works like a hydrometer, except it measures alcohol and not sugar.

So what I do is while I am distilling, I will grab some of the liquid coming out, put it into my test tube, and then measure how much alcohol is in there. Once I am around 20 percent, I STOP COLLECTING. Anything lower than that, and you're just getting mostly water.

Remember, you aren't drinking this stuff. Just collect it all inside one container and set it aside. Turn off your still and let it cool down.
Last edited by StogieFarts on Sun May 19, 2013 11:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Sat May 18, 2013 9:20 am

AFTER DISTILLING AND PREPARING YOUR NEXT BATCH!

Let's recap. We just now distilled our 3 gallons of wash, ending up with about half a gallon of alcohol which we collected until our ABV% was roughly 20% coming out of the still.

We still have our fermentation bucket which we scraped out any old grey corn, replaced with new yellow corn, and added some water back into it. But now we want to add our new sugar, and our BACKSET!

Now, if you're like most people, you will see that your backset is HOT HOT HOT! You can't throw that into your bucket or else it will kill all your yeast. It needs to cool down. So here is what I do:

1. First, since we know that we want to use 25% backset (or 1 gallon) in our bucket, then make sure you are only working with that amount. You may need to dump/discard the extra backset (or you can save it in your fridge like I did to use with another batch).

2. Once you have your 1 gallon of backset inside your pot, it's going to be hot (or hotter than 90 degrees F which is the hottest it can be before you can throw it inside your bucket). So in order to cool it down, take the remaining water that you set aside (remember from earlier? We didn't put all of our water into the bucket, we saved some aside for this purpose). When you pour that remaining water into the backset, it will cool down the temperature drastically, cutting down all that waiting and allowing your backset to get to 90 degrees F a lot faster).

3. Once you pour in that remaining water, you can pour in the new sugar (5.6 Ibs) and mix it up inside this warm/hot backset. STIR IT LIKE CRAZY! If you don't, and if the pot is still too hot, the sugar will stick to the bottom of the pot and begin to burn. You don't want that! You simply want the sugar to dissolve.

4. Use a thermometer and measure the temp. When it gets 90 degrees F or lower, you can throw it into your bucket.

At this point, you should be good to go. You have added your water. You have added your backset/water/sugar mix (once it's cooled down below 90 degrees F). You have added your replacement corn (only replacing the amount which you scooped out). NOW MIX MIX MIX!

The more you MIX, the more air/oxygen you add to the liquid, and the happier the yeast will be.

OH I SHOULD MENTION - YOU DON'T ADD ANYMORE YEAST! As long as you add new sugar, water, backset, and replace the grey corn from the first time around, the existing yeast inside the bucket will be enough to begin fermentation again.

So seal the bucket, slap on your airlock, and let it begin working again! Mine took off within 6 hours and was happily bubbling away again!

SAVE YOUR LOW WINES (or the alcohol you collected on your first distillation). We are going to ADD THAT to the next time we use our still. Normally, we would keep our low wines until we get enough, and then do a spirit run on them. However, since this was our FIRST distillation, the alcohol that we collected is not from a SOUR MASH, because there wasn't any backset in the fermenter when we first started. So only this very first batch will be used later to throw back into our pot (we will cover this on the next post).
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Sat May 18, 2013 10:10 am

SECOND DISTILLATION TIME!

So now a few days have passed, and your fermentation bucket has stopped bubbling. This should all start to be familiar to you, since this process is exactly like the first time! You are going to do all the same steps this second time around that we already talked about previously:

1. Check your FINAL GRAVITY (FG) using your hydrometer and make sure your readings are 1.000 or lower. That tells you that all the sugar has been converted to alcohol.

2. THIS IS WHERE IT GETS DIFFERENT (and we only do this step ONE TIME). Remember the half gallon of low wines that we collected on our first distillation? We are going to pour that entire thing into our still. Technically speaking, that first batch of alcohol (low wines) that we collected doesn't come from a sour mash. Since we are making Sour Mash Moonshine, we are going to return that initial batch to distill with our second distillation.

3. We then top off our still with the new wash that just finished fermenting in step 1. Again, since my still only holds 3 gallons, that leaves me some leftover wash that I store in a separate container to run in the future. Just fill your still up with the low wines that you originally collected, and the rest with wash.

4. Make sure you do all the same steps we discussed before in order to get your fermentation bucket ready again. In other words, remove the spent grey corn, replace it with new yellow cracked corn, add some more water (a couple gallons), cover it up, and set it aside.

5. Distill this second batch just as you did before. This is a STRIPPING RUN. Run it hard and fast, and collect all the way down to 20% ABV. Make sure you toss the 100-150ml of foreshots though.

6. When you have collected your stripping run, label it as LOW WINES and set it aside.

7. Take one gallon of backet, add your remaining 1 gallon of water to it (in order to cool it down), and mix in your new sugar (5.6 Ibs for our 4 gallon recipe). When this reaches 90 degrees F or lower, mix it vigorously with your bucket.

8. Seal it up with your airlock and set it aside!

From this point forward, all future distillations and fermentations will follow those steps above, EXCEPT FOR ONE DIFFERENCE: we will no longer add low wines to our wash when distilling. We only did that this time, because it was the FIRST TIME.

From now on, you will simply add the WASH to your still, distill it, save the low wines, and ready your fermentation bucket with the backset + new ingredients.

Next we will discuss the SPIRIT RUN.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Sat May 18, 2013 10:24 am

THE SPIRIT RUN

So you have been going through all the steps that we've already covered. You have been distilling, and fermenting......distilling and fermenting.......all the while you've been collecting your low wines and setting them aside.

Now you have enough to fill your still by themselves, so it's time to do a spirit run.

The first thing I did was purchase a bunch of 8 ounce mason jars. I got a 12 pack at Walmart for under 10 bucks.

Then run your still, but unlike a stripping run where you go hard and fast, this time we want to go slow and low. The goal is to get a bunch of steady DRIPS out of your condenser. (Again, I am speaking from my own experience with a 3 gallon stock pot still. Larger stills would see larger volumes and faster streams coming out).

As always, I still collect 100-150ml of foreshots and toss those out.

Next, I collect everything in my 8 ounce mason jars. When one fills up, I switch it out for a new, empty one. I then label each jar with the following:

- Jar Number
- ABV %

For the spirit run, most people will collect everything down to about 40% ABV, keeping in mind that only the middle portion of your jars is going to be the good stuff. All the other jars on either ends (the high > 80% ABV stuff and the low < 65% stuff) will be used either for mixing or for keeping in a separate "FEINTS" jar.

I personally choose to keep my FEINTS, and then pour them into my next distillation to help extract more alcohol and flavor. You don't have to do this though. You can choose to keep the jars you want, and dump all the heads and tails that you don't end up keeping.

If you're anything like me, since I have a small still, it takes me about FOUR to SIX fermentations in order to get enough LOW WINES to do a spirit run. That means by the time I do as spirit run on 3 gallons of saved low wines, that is about 4 to 6 GENERATIONS of this UJSSM that is coming together, and you will get a great tasting final product!
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby TOAD » Wed May 22, 2013 6:28 am

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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby rad14701 » Wed May 22, 2013 7:41 am

The amount of spirits collected on the first stripping run, a 1/2 gallon from a 3 gallon boiler charge, sounds a bit low... :think:

Not to be a prick but it just sounds like a long drawn out repetition of the original UJSSM recipe initial post by someone who has only made it to the second generation... A lot of typing to say the same thing over again in my opinion... There's a lot of fundamental crap in there that novices should already know before attempting UJSSM... I wouldn't consider any multiple generation wash to be a wise choice for a "Newbie", as you put it...

This is more of a heads-up to any novices reading this topic rather than a personal knock against you, StogieFarts, and when things go to shit those novices will have to rely on members with more experience with the original recipe for help... Just a further fragmentation of the forums as I see it...
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Wed May 22, 2013 8:41 am

rad14701 wrote:The amount of spirits collected on the first stripping run, a 1/2 gallon from a 3 gallon boiler charge, sounds a bit low... :think:

Not to be a prick but it just sounds like a long drawn out repetition of the original UJSSM recipe initial post by someone who has only made it to the second generation... A lot of typing to say the same thing over again in my opinion... There's a lot of fundamental crap in there that novices should already know before attempting UJSSM... I wouldn't consider any multiple generation wash to be a wise choice for a "Newbie", as you put it...

This is more of a heads-up to any novices reading this topic rather than a personal knock against you, StogieFarts, and when things go to shit those novices will have to rely on members with more experience with the original recipe for help... Just a further fragmentation of the forums as I see it...


Rad - allow me to explain (and to also reiterate my intentions, as not to mislead anyone). I too am a novice. And yes, I have only made a few generations of this (in case anyone thinks I am a long-time distiller).

Now that I got that out of the way...... :)

I am pretty sure that everything I say in my post is pretty accurate and (hopefully) easy to understand FOR NEWBIES. Why did I create this separate topic? Isn't it just a rehashing of the UJSSM thread? Yes and no.

The UJSSM thread is long. Very long. And I literally took about two weeks to read every single page of it. LOVE THAT THREAD! However, one consistent thing I saw over and over again (in that thread) is the amount of newbies who would ask the same questions, over and over. I noticed they would ask the same questions I originally had, but was able to figure out on my own through my own reading. While I would read that thread, and while I would see these newbie questions, I found myself answering them in my head, almost as a quiz or test to make sure I understood the question and knew the answers.

So as I stated in the first post of this new topic, I created this thread for two reasons:

1. To document my own UJSSM adventure, keeping a record of everything I did on file

2. More importantly, I wanted to write it in a way so that new beginners could read it and understand it, almost like an instruction manual. Sort of my way of giving back to the community through my own experience.

I certainly don't mean to step on any toes, and I am open to the fact that I may even do something WRONG......but that is my process of learning. If I do something wrong, this thread will document it, and it will also document the changes I make to my procedure which could help others who do something wrong.

Bottom line - this thread IS repetitive. You're correct, Rad. I did it that way on purpose. I am trying to hammer in certain fundamental things in the minds of newcomers (like NOT repitching new yeast after each fermentation, which is a question I saw over and over again on the original thread). So I will try to use basic, conversational language to document my own adventures in this FABULOUS UJSSM recipe!

By all means, if someone reading this is a newbie, GO READ THE ORIGINAL UJSSM THREAD! It's great! I am not trying to "fragment" the forums.

The amount of spirits collected on the first stripping run, a 1/2 gallon from a 3 gallon boiler charge, sounds a bit low... :think:


That may be. I am running a basic 16 liter SS boiler, with a small condenser coil attached to it. I was running it hot and fast. I initially didn't have the water cold enough and saw steam escaping from my coil. I also had some problems sealing the SS pot, and had to shut down the operation to apply a better flour/paste seal around it. Perhaps that accounted for some of the low volume.

I also collected down to 20%, but since this was a first time stripping run, it only started to come out at around 60% ABV.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby TOAD » Thu May 23, 2013 2:39 am

I like it, the other thread was getting very difficult to read with the same questions being asked repeatedly. Doesn't mean the same wont happen here.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby pounsfos » Thu May 23, 2013 2:54 pm

I think this is well put, EVERYTHING you will need to know is in here

but I wikll have to agree with rad14701, that if you are attempting a sour mash, you should know what a hydrometer.

I still applaud you fine sir for taking time out of your life to help others, you get a gold star :P
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Thu May 23, 2013 3:28 pm

pounsfos wrote:but I wikll have to agree with rad14701, that if you are attempting a sour mash, you should know what a hydrometer.


Thanks for commenting! I am confused though.....did I indicate in my post that *I* didn't know what a hydrometer was? Rad didn't mention anything about a hydrometer, so I wanted to make sure what you were referring to, in case I need to edit something in my original post.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby NcMoonLight » Thu May 23, 2013 5:28 pm

Im sorry but did you put 4lbs of sugar per 1 Gallon ....
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Thu May 23, 2013 6:34 pm

NcMoonLight wrote:Im sorry but did you put 4lbs of sugar per 1 Gallon ....

No. In my first post, you will see that it says:
For every ONE GALLON of water you use, you will need:

1.4 Ibs of Sugar
1.4 Ibs of Cracked Corn
Yeast (amount varies)


So "ONE point four" pounds of sugar for each gallon of water that you use.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby BentJar » Fri May 24, 2013 3:03 am

StogiFarts, thanks for laying all that out like that. It was easier than when I worked on that recipe and read for days.

So, what a new distiller needs to start with is a vist to a brew store to pick up.
A 6 gal brew bucket with a lid
A air lock
A hydrometer
A alcoholmeter
A stirring paddle
A siphon hose

A visit to wal-mart for
Cracked corn
Sugar
Spring water (optional)
Several packets of hi-active bread yeast
A case of 8 oz. jelly jars
A case of pint jars

A visit to Lowes for some food grade buckets with lids. (used to store grain or siphon off your wash in to settle out)

If you get all these things first, it will save trips back and forth. You will probbly have enough to start making you first ferment.

Good post.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby Sabatour » Fri May 24, 2013 6:04 am

So I made the first mistake by not checking my wash with the Hydrometer at the start.

I used the original recipe for 5 gallons.

Put three gallons of water in and put all the sugar in and stirred till it was all dissolved - I used the raw cane sugar you can get from Walmart that is brown.
Next I added the corn which i got at petsmart that is like bird food - looks like about 5 cracks per kernel.

It has been going for a little over a week now and still bubbling but the last time i checked it had a pretty thick layer of foam on the top - is this supposed to settle at some point? The best way I can describe on what this looks like is if you have ever seen a river after they let water out of the dam and you get those floating piles of foam.

Oh I used California Labs Ale Yeast that comes wet - just followed the instructions on the yeast - shook the thing a bit and added it room temp.

My house is around 68 or so - so I am thinking the temp has slowed the yeast down a bit and I am ok with that - just want to know if that stuff on top will ever settle down.

Edit: Just cracked it open to look at it again and it smells like vinegar - thinking I might have let this one go too long. But the bubbling never really got super fast - just like 5-10 seconds between bubbles.

thanks in advance for any advice on this one :)
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Fri May 24, 2013 9:22 am

Sabatour wrote:So I made the first mistake by not checking my wash with the Hydrometer at the start.


The reason why this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED is because when you check it at the start (the Starting Gravity), you can see how much sugar is in the wash. By knowing how much sugar is in there, you will be able to calculate:

1. Approximately how much alchohol it's going to yield
2. You will know when it's finished fermenting (by taking a Final Gravity reading

That way, if you're ever in any doubt if the fermenting is complete, you just use your hydrometer and take a reading. If it still shows presence of sugar (a reading higher than 1.000), then you know that the yeast still have more sugar to consume.

I used the original recipe for 5 gallons.

Put three gallons of water in and put all the sugar in and stirred till it was all dissolved - I used the raw cane sugar you can get from Walmart that is brown.
Next I added the corn which i got at petsmart that is like bird food - looks like about 5 cracks per kernel.


You say that you followed the FIVE gallon recipe.....but you only mentioned using three gallons of water! Did you use the other two gallons as well and simply forgot to mention that?

It has been going for a little over a week now and still bubbling but the last time i checked it had a pretty thick layer of foam on the top - is this supposed to settle at some point? The best way I can describe on what this looks like is if you have ever seen a river after they let water out of the dam and you get those floating piles of foam.


In my opinion, this could be one of two things:

1. Either your yeast is still working......in which case, take a hydrometer reading and see what it says. That will tell you if you still have sugar left in the wash.

2. Another thing is that some yeasts are TOP fermenting, and others are bottom fermenting. I personally use Distiller's Yeast, as the original recipe called for. When my wash is done fermenting, it's CLEAR. It just looks like yellowish water. No foam or anything.

My house is around 68 or so - so I am thinking the temp has slowed the yeast down a bit and I am ok with that - just want to know if that stuff on top will ever settle down.


My house is roughly the same. Again, when my ferments are done, there is NOTHING on top. Everything settles to the bottom.

Edit: Just cracked it open to look at it again and it smells like vinegar - thinking I might have let this one go too long. But the bubbling never really got super fast - just like 5-10 seconds between bubbles.


How long did you let it sit in the bucket from the time you put it in there?
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby Sabatour » Fri May 24, 2013 10:48 am

Yeah my bad - I added the rest of the water - just kept it a little low at the start to get the sugar all dissolved. Once it was dissolved I added the rest of the water and the corn and yeast.

Actually its been in there closer to two weeks now - but like I said the action has still not stopped on the bubbles. Tasted it and it tastes just like vinegar so I am thinking this batch is trashed - which is fine. Just trying to figure out where it went wrong.

Thinking about pitching the yeast before adding it next time to give it a head start.

Read a ton of good stuff on the boards about that yeast so I wouldn't think that was the problem unless I got a bad batch?
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby Skymike » Sun May 26, 2013 5:41 am

I agree, this is a great post. Even if little to no experience to a few runs. Often when you read something long and wordy you can forget what you were reading about the further you get into it. Taking notes as you read helps. I can tell you have a great talent for detailing possible places one could wonder off the path. You either have kids or lots of experience in management.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Sun May 26, 2013 8:05 am

Skymike wrote: You either have kids or lots of experience in management.


I actually have two kids, and I run my own corporation. You hit the nail on the head on both accounts! Glad I could help with my detailed notes on my endeavors with UJSSM! I still highly recommend anyone reading this to also check out the original UJSSM thread. It took me a couple weeks to read through EVERY POST, but I learned a lot from it, and it helped me to know how to make this recipe on my own.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby 620rossco » Sun May 26, 2013 11:03 am

Hi SF,

Thanks for the recap on UJSSM. When you do something over and over sometimes you develop bad habits.
Sometimes its good to just go back to basics.
Been using the same wash for many generations, I don't bother with a hydrometer but do measure pH,
I just give it plenty of time. Probably measure the next one just for interest sake.
Just started experimenting with pH buffers, seems to make quite a difference.

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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby lampshade » Sun May 26, 2013 12:42 pm

I enjoyed reading your recipe, StogieFarts.

One suggestion, for an otherwise great read: At the very start, advise the reader to first read and mull over UJ's OP, if he hasn't already done so, to get a birds-eye view of the procedure. A diagram would also be helpful. PM me and I might help you with that.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby S-Cackalacky » Sun May 26, 2013 1:49 pm

SF, good on you for writing this excellent procedure. From my limited experience on this forum, I've noticed that UJSSM is one of the most popular tried and true recipes. It also seems to be one of the most recommended recipes for novice distillers. I think you have paid great homage to UJ by developing this easy to follow procedure for the novice distiller.

I'll be copy/pasting your procedure into my document folder for future reference. Maybe I'm overstepping my bounds here, but it would be nice to see well written articles, such as yours, put into an admin regulated "Articles" section of the forum. Not necessarilly forum posts with many, many pages of replys, but standalone articles that can be discussed outside the "Articles" section in separate posts. There are many other well written procedures that are sometimes illusive when doing searches. It would be nice to have a more direct route to them.

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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Mon May 27, 2013 8:41 am

lampshade wrote:I enjoyed reading your recipe, StogieFarts.

One suggestion, for an otherwise great read: At the very start, advise the reader to first read and mull over UJ's OP, if he hasn't already done so, to get a birds-eye view of the procedure. A diagram would also be helpful. PM me and I might help you with that.


I can no longer edit my original post (the EDIT button isn't there anymore). Otherwise, I would be more than happy to add that suggestion go the OP.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby lampshade » Tue May 28, 2013 9:12 pm

StogieFarts wrote:
lampshade wrote:I enjoyed reading your recipe, StogieFarts.

One suggestion, for an otherwise great read: At the very start, advise the reader to first read and mull over UJ's OP, if he hasn't already done so, to get a birds-eye view of the procedure. A diagram would also be helpful. PM me and I might help you with that.


I can no longer edit my original post (the EDIT button isn't there anymore). Otherwise, I would be more than happy to add that suggestion go the OP.

I guess the only option left to you, short of admin intervention, is to start a new thread.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby Gravelier » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:10 pm

Hey SF
My compliments on a very interesting article. I have read it through and then went back an skimmed looking for an answer on a bit of the puzzle in trying to get it in my head. When you add the new corn and sugar wash, do you mix up,everything in your fermenter? The reason I am asking is that if you don't, then you are getting a stagnant layer of corn on the bottom. This may be the case. Just looking for clarification.

Kinda looks like making grape wine after mashing all the grapes. I stir it a couple times a day for the first 4 days until I press the grapes. However, with your yeast bomb, looks like one stir would be sufficient.

Thanks,

G.
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:29 pm

Gravelier wrote:Hey SF
My compliments on a very interesting article. I have read it through and then went back an skimmed looking for an answer on a bit of the puzzle in trying to get it in my head. When you add the new corn and sugar wash, do you mix up,everything in your fermenter? The reason I am asking is that if you don't, then you are getting a stagnant layer of corn on the bottom. This may be the case. Just looking for clarification.


Yes, I mix the HELL out of it. Every time I start another round of fermentation, I always stir everything up, creating as much oxygen as possible. So what happens is this:

1. The day I want to distill, I siphon out all my wash, leaving only the layer of corn and yeast on the bottom of the bucket.

2. I then scoop out the top layer of grayish looking corn, leaving the bright yellow underlayer behind.

3. Since I siphon out roughly 3 GALLONS of wash, that means I need to replace three gallons of liquid. I usually do this by putting two gallons of water back, and one gallon of backset. The way I do that is after I get rid of my spent grayish corn, I put ONE GALLON of water back in and stir the hell out of it for a few minutes.

Then, I put some new corn back in, making up for the little bit that I removed in step #2.

Once I am done distilling and I have one gallon of HOT backset, I take my other gallon of water and pour it into my backset to help cool it off faster. I also mix my new sugar into this backset/water mixture to get it good and dissolved.

4. Once this backset/water/sugar mixture is 90 degrees or less, I pour it into my bucket, and then stir everything up again like crazy!

Once it's good and mixed, seal it up and fermentation will begin. I usually see my airlock going crazy within 12 hours, and it takes 5-7 days for mine to finish.

Hope that helps!
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby StogieFarts » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:47 am

I just wanted to give a quick update on this.

When I do a stripping run on this recipe using my basic pot still, I usually start collecting at around 60% ABV, and I collect all the way down to 20%. I feel EVERYTHING in that range (minus the initial foreshots which I chuck down the drain).

I then save up all these "low wines" until I have enough to run a final SPIRIT BATCH.

After I ran my first spirit batch a couple of weeks ago, I ended up with roughly one GALLON of 78% (156 proof) liquor. (Actually, I got MORE than one gallon, but the remaining stuff was heads and tails.........what I got was one gallon of blended, good stuff!)

Out of that one gallon of 78% liquor, it was enough to take the wrinkles out of your balls! Whew doggies! Strong stuff!

So using the dilution calculator on the parent site, I diluted this down to 55%, and I threw in a small handful of Jack Daniels Wood Chips. I simply put them inside of a mason jar, shook it up with my 55% diluted liquor, and let it sit.

Within a day, it was already beginning to color. After a week, this stuff tastes FANTASTIC! Let me say that again: FANTASTIC! I just had my cousin try some (who is a whiskey afficionado) and he was FLOORED! He couldn't believe that I made it, and said it was better than almost anything he's ever had in a store (Maker's Mark, JD, etc).

I explained to him that the beauty of making your own liquor is that you can custom-make it to whatever specifications you like. If you want it strong, you can make it strong. If you want it weaker, you can dilute to to your liking. Mine is now a comfortable 55% alcohol, with a sweet JD flavor (from the wood chips) but smoooooth! One of the best SIPPING WHISKEYS I've ever tried.

So for those of you who are new (like me) and have doubts that you can make something good, try this recipe out! And after you distill it, try aging it on some Jack Daniels wood chips. It really, really brings out some different flavors and makes a great product into a fantastic product!
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Re: How to Make UJSSM for Newbies - by StogieFarts

Postby thatguy1 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:44 am

Would like you thank you for taking the time to fully detail your procedure. There are a lot of things that are cleared up in your write up, things that newbies would mess up the first time around.

Not to take anything away from the original thread, but that thing is a monstrosity. Nobody likes reading through that many pages just to find answers to their questions because it feels like a Texas longhorn, there's a point here, and a point there, with a whole lotta bull in between.

Thanks again!
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