SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

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SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

Postby Single Malt Yinzer » Sat May 27, 2017 5:07 pm

Copying Der Wo's lead I tried my own infected peat Malt Whiskey. I did 12 lbs of mildly peated malt and ~4oz of English Chocolate Malt. I mashed as normal but ended up having to leave and left it in the cooler based mash tun about 4 hours. The temp went from 145 to high 120's I think. I didn't measure it but it was on the edge of being too hot to touch for long. I ended up sparging to get 6 gallons in the fermenter. I put in a quart of dunder from a run from a week earlier. I did not add anything to the dunder. 13 brix so my efficiency wasn't great. I pitched a packet of US04, which I have never used before. I set the heater to 70, then at day 4 turned up to 74. I let it go for 8 days. Day 8(today) it was 5 Brix. I did a stripping run, have not done a spirit run yet, that probably will be a week or two before I can. As I was makig the run mouthfeel of the distillate was very heavy, but also incredibly fruity with a touch of peat.

Day 0: Light peat and sugary scent
Day 1: Light peat and some light fruit/clove scent
Day 2: Stronger scents of banana/clove, some earthy scents
Day 3: Light scents banana/clove, stronger earthy scents, a spotty pellicle starts forming
Day 4: Light scents banana/clove, light earthy scents, a light pellicle covers the entire top
Day 5: Light scents banana/clove, light earthy scents, pellicle looks "stringy"
Day 6: Weak green apple/pear scent, pellicle looks solid but thin
Day 7: Stronger green apple scent, weak pear, pellicle is fully formed and completely white
Day 8: Very strong green apple scent, pellicle is thick and white

img_20170520_173212.jpg
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Re: SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

Postby Single Malt Yinzer » Sat May 27, 2017 5:11 pm

I'm assuming the pellicle is lactobacillus, but I can't say for certain.

img_20170524_205112.jpg

img_20170525_170421.jpg

img_20170525_215129.jpg

img_20170526_063846.jpg

img_20170527_083921.jpg
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Re: SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

Postby der wo » Sun May 28, 2017 12:19 am

Hi SMY,

I wonder, if the dunder or the open fermentation caused the infection. Was the dunder infected? Was it stored open or sealed the week before? And did you add it to the hot mash or was it cold enough for bacterias to survive?

When at day 3 the pellicle started, was the main fermentation finished? Edit: Looking at the pellicle, yes of course it was finished.

Reading your notes the open fermentation method sounds very promising. Especially condsidering your low abv. A higher abv would rise esterification. But perhaps slow down the infection.

You never had a vomit or cheese flavor?

Great experiment. Especially for me, because the open fermentation is something I skipped in my three infection-threads. I am surprised that the infection happens so fast this way.

What is your feeling after stripping? Considering the fruity flavors of the wash, did you expect more fruitiness in the low wines or less than you got? I always got less than expected. But then (probably you remember) I added infected backset to the low wines. I think this caused at the end by far the most of the fruity flavors.
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Re: SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

Postby Single Malt Yinzer » Sun May 28, 2017 7:40 am

der wo wrote: I wonder, if the dunder or the open fermentation caused the infection. Was the dunder infected? Was it stored open or sealed the week before? And did you add it to the hot mash or was it cold enough for bacterias to survive?


I think the infection was self starting due to the open ferment. Dunder doesn't show signs of any infection. Stored open in a carboy but with a paper towel on top, I think that has limited infection. I don't think I'll do that for this batch, just leave the bung open. I added the dunder after it had cooled down below 100f.



der wo wrote:When at day 3 the pellicle started, was the main fermentation finished? Edit: Looking at the pellicle, yes of course it was finished.


I forgot to measure gravity except on day 8. I should have. I would like to have measured pH, but my test strips suck and I threw them out a while ago. I believe that the lactobacillis crashed the pH and I didn't have enough buffer in the wort to keep it going. I normally get down to 1-2 brix when I open ferment.


der wo wrote:You never had a vomit or cheese flavor?


No - it always smelled ok. The Day 7 the scent was strong, Day 8 it was nearly overwhelming and was all through the house. If I didn't have an issue at work on day 7 I would have run it then.


der wo wrote:What is your feeling after stripping? Considering the fruity flavors of the wash, did you expect more fruitiness in the low wines or less than you got? I always got less than expected. But then (probably you remember) I added infected backset to the low wines. I think this caused at the end by far the most of the fruity flavors.


Tastes great. I wish I wasn't using peated malt as I'm not sure how it will taste as it really does taste fruity. I should do a simple 2 row malt to test it. I tried this same thing a couple weeks ago with US05 and it was the best I've ever made, with less of the fruitiness, but it did not get infected the same as this. I did not record that one.

I'm using the Scottish method of pitching commerical yeast but open fermenting. I think you're doing more Belgium style with wild yeast.
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Re: SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

Postby der wo » Sun May 28, 2017 8:20 am

Single Malt Yinzer wrote:Tastes great. I wish I wasn't using peated malt as I'm not sure how it will taste as it really does taste fruity. I should do a simple 2 row malt to test it. I tried this same thing a couple weeks ago with US05 and it was the best I've ever made, with less of the fruitiness, but it did not get infected the same as this. I did not record that one. The flavors I got with my unpeated experiment (Bourbon) were better identifiable. So the Bourbon was more informative for me.

I'm using the Scottish method of pitching commerical yeast but open fermenting. I think you're doing more Belgium style with wild yeast. This not 100% true. I also pitched every time yeast for the mash. But the backset got no yeast. You infected the mash, I infected the backset.

Probably you haven't got the cheese smell, because alcohol was present while the infection worked . I also had this smell only with (alcohol-free) infected backset. Never after pouring this backset to the wash (and never in the low wines of course).
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Re: SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

Postby Single Malt Yinzer » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:20 pm

I shared a bottle of this with a friend that is a pro brewer. Bottled unaged & unoaked at 100 proof.

His quick review:

Nose: Amazing.
Flavor: Good but too strong, had to cut or use as a mixer. He said it wasn't the alcohol that was too hot, he couldn't tell it was 100 proof except for me telling him.
Body: Great slightly heavy body to it.

I knew it had a very strong flavor too it. It needs aged out. I know it will get better with age but I wonder if it will maintain its strength. I'll try getting a small barrel for batch #2 and cask it at 65%. overall I feel it's a success. I hope aging out batch two will provide a better result.

Live and learn.
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Re: SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

Postby zapata » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:27 pm

Sounds great, and hopefully penomenal with age and oak!
So where was the open ferment done? As in kitchen, garage etc? A room where you grind malt? Just wondering about the local microbial population.
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Re: SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

Postby Single Malt Yinzer » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:57 am

Thanks - Garage with a small window I keep open. I milled the malt in there also. Any local wind-borne microorganism was able to join the party.
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Re: SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

Postby Shine0n » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:29 am

I've found if I ferment in the same area I grind I get a constant lacto whether or not I want it although I often invite them.
As der wo mentioned, as I have found that when adding an infection in the backset/dunder then to low wines I can concentrate the flavors more so than an infection in the wash, plus sometimes a whole wash can go bad vs a 5 gallon pail of dunder/backset.

I also ferment in the open but 9 times out of ten my ferments finish very fast and I run them soon there after, the "pits" on the other hand I leave open but control the pH using pickling lime to raise to around 5.5-6 has grown a great pellicle on it within 12 hours and when I let the pH drop the pellicle falls and I leave for a while to age then repeat again to make "live pits".

Although I haven't seen much of a difference in the live vs dormant pits in their use, I believe that the pits once having formed the pellicle has already created what's needed for the esters wanted in the spirit once added to a spirit run with low wines.
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Re: SMY's Infected Peat Malt Whiskey

Postby Single Malt Yinzer » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:51 am

Dr. Heist said this was probably a mixture of infections bacterial and yeast, but the pellicule was probably Pichia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pichia
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