No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Sugar, and all about sugar washes. Where the primary ingredient is sugar, and other things are just used as nutrients.

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No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Brewstilla » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:11 am

I've seen a bit of tequila attempts using agave syrup, but almost always with extra sugar added. I get it, the stuff is expensive!

A couple weeks back I got an email at the brewery I run from a supplier
"Purchase 25kg 100% Blue agave syrup receive a free 500g brick of tequila yeast and 1kg superfood"

Promptly ordered two 25kg totes :lol:

8/4/17 Mixed each 25kg with approx 20 gallons of water, 35 g superfood, and 100 g Safteq Blue at about 92 F. Put both in closet with a couple heat lamps to keep in the low 90s as per the yeast specs. OG 17.5 P

Started fermenting within a couple hours. A week later down to about 8 P. Slower ferment than expected, especially at those temps, but no worries, still moving right along.

My original plan once its down was to strip it all and then spirit run. However I just finished a double thumper build to play with traditional Caribbean style rum, charging the thumpers with low and high wines.

My question is how would you run this to retain as much flavor as possible?
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Shine0n » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:57 am

I would think it would lack the smokiness of the traditional ways.
Since I have a thumper I would fill both boiler and thumper with the wash and strip.
keep some wash back for the spirit run.
Wash in the boiler and low wines in the thumper.

Sound interesting, keep us informed of the progress.
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Shine0n » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:58 am

Have you checked the ph?
Did you buffer?
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Brewstilla » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:35 am

I'm aware it will be different from a traditionally made tequila. My goal however is to retain as much flavor from a 100% agave wash. Leaning toward using thumper(s) over a strip then spirit run.

Haven't checked pH - nothing added to buffer

http://bsgcraftbrewing.com/Resources/Cr ... 0.2017.pdf

Here is what I am using for those interested
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby NZChris » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:37 am

Seeing as it is the first for both, stick with your original plan and save commisioning the double thumper for when you have some rum.
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Brewstilla » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:43 am

I've run thumpers in the past. The double is new.

Have enough to try both ways. Might have to and compare
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Shine0n » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:18 pm

I'm new to the strip and spirit run thing, because I had enough wash to partially fill my thumper I stripped that way then did my spirit run with boiler only.

I found I lost no flavors, had a large large hearts cut and it was clean.

can't say I won't do a 1 and done again, but now I know you can have a great product by stripping then spirit runs.

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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Mikey-moo » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:18 am

Very interested in how this turns out having just sourced a few kg's of Agave syrup for my own attempt. Not the same brand sadly; and while the BSG syrup has been cooked as per normal tequila methods because they know it's going to be fermented, I've no idea how mine was made. Still it's worth a try :-)

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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Brewstilla » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:02 pm

The wash is finally finished fermenting out - after 4 weeks! Really surprised it took this long, as I maintained temps around 90. Ferment really slowed around 50% attenuation so tossed some more yeast and superfood to kick it off again.

Hoping I can start stripping tomorrow and spirit run sometime this weekend. Should be interesting
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby bluefish_dist » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:53 pm

I just started my third batch using bsg agave. Made a few changes, so will see how it ferments. First batches did not finish dry, but made a nice drop. Sampling it in our tasting room.
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby brat » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:43 pm

I am about to give this a try. I was told by someone to start with a specific gravity of 1.030 which seems a little low to me. I think am going to shoot for .060 or so. Also am thinking of grinding up some roasted maguey leaves see if I can get some extra flavor.
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:19 am

brat wrote:I am about to give this a try. I was told by someone to start with a specific gravity of 1.030 which seems a little low to me. .


If you got the time and patience, you can try step feeding it. Calculate how much you need for .06, and put in half that. Let her get ripping, and then add a little bit more sugar at a time, once a day, twice a day, whatever. It's a rum technique, but that's basically what you're doing with agave. A different type of rum.

Never done it myself, just a friendly suggestion in passing by :wave:
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby brat » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:59 am

I've heard of step feeding. Mostly for making big beers. But I don't really think step feeding would be necessary for a gravity of .060. But again I never used agave nectar before so I don't know how finicky it is. Maybe I'll just add a good amount of nutrients and see what happens.
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Shine0n » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:41 am

Maybe but if you step feed it would insure you get complete fermentation instead of getting stuck at a higher fg.
It would also let your yeasts multiply before adding more agave syrup, having more yeasts will up your chances for full completion.
Keep an eye on the pH and use a buffer to stop a sudden drop.

I don't know about what nutes it has so some more reading is in order for me but some extra won't hurt a thing I'd assume.

Maybe age on some oak that's been toasted to the level of "toasty" instead of the "vanilla" range to age with.

Sky's the limit fellas

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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Brewstilla » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:52 am

Used last weekend to get this all stripped out. Ended up with about 15 gallons of low wines around 70 proof :crazy:
Low wines had some tequila like aromas floating around, so seems promising.
Maybe a bit overzealous, but I figured this might be my only shot at affordable agave.
Just started the spirit run, and starting the long haul of collecting many jars. Will report back once finished
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby raketemensch » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:39 am

Looking forward to hearing the outcome.
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Shine0n » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:42 pm

Seems like I should be seeing some results here, lol

How'd she turn out?
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Brewstilla » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:22 pm

She's got some tequila like character, however seems a bit lighter in taste - think mixing tequila and vodka 50/50 is the best way I can think to describe it. When I get a chance I plan on sitting down side by side with a glass of this and a glass of Espolon blanco.

Early heads were extra stinky, and tails cut was tricky. I've read others saying a month does wonders, so I'm interested to see where she goes with time. Also, I have a boat load of it so I will be playing around with aging on toasted oak and previously used charred oak.

All in all a good, fun experiment. I have about 4 gallons of feints and 6 gallons of backset that I will run again to see if I can squeeze more hearts out of them.
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby NZChris » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:22 am

How did you go about deciding on your final blend? Might the 'extra stinky' bits and some of the tails be the missing flavors, or were they just so obviously wrong that they were not an option?
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Brewstilla » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:06 am

The heads were so harsh and chemically, I couldn't imagine them ever adding anything positive to the final. Some of the early tails had some pleasant fruity aromas, so I blended in a portion of those with the same thought in mind that they may help flavor development down the line. Especially with the portions that will be seeing extended time on oak.

I should also add that I drink almost nothing in the white. Aside from some gin I would say 90 percent of my drinks see oak, generally for a long time. So it could be my tongue and brain looking for more dominant flavors.
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:49 am

NZChris wrote:How did you go about deciding on your final blend? Might the 'extra stinky' bits and some of the tails be the missing flavors, or were they just so obviously wrong that they were not an option?

I met up with RandyMarshCT a couple weeks ago and he had some tequila he had made along with a couple jars of the tails that he had not used.
The tequila was good but sort of like you describe, a little too "clean" for what I think of as tequila flavor.

When I experimented with adding the tails to the tequila I found it to be much more like what I think of as tequila, with that funky bitter undertone. And I was mixing as much as 50/50 tequila to tails.

Many tequilas that I have had also have a bit of "harsh and chemically". Maybe not what we want to blend in since we have the opportunity not to, but a little bit might add something. A little could go a long way.

I've read on here that tequila is a tricky spirit to try to make, the agave syrup alone just doesn't get you the same results as harvesting and roasting a bunch of pinas. But try the tails trick in some small samples and see what you think.
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby Brewstilla » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:37 am

Thanks for the insight! I will play around with that. Unfortunately after deciding my keep, I mixed all the heads and tails back together in a feints container to rerun. But I will definitely keep the tails thoughts in mind when I rerun.
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Re: No Sugar Added "Tequila"

Postby raketemensch » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:55 am

A lot of people will tell you that after you hit your tails cut there’s often another jar post-beginning-of-tails that is pretty good, and that they look for to add some flavor. Maybe 3 or 4 jars later? Anyway, I wonder if agave syrup tequila would be similar.
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