Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

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mash rookie
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by mash rookie » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:50 pm

We all have been there. Starting out greedy and having ferments stall because of too high sugar content. Either run it as is or split into two batches, add water and repitch some yeast at the lower SG.

The hard lesson is that if you want more alcohol use two or more fermenters. It is easier to make two 8% washes than a 16% wash that finishes.

There is no methanol in a BW wash.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Bushman » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:19 am

HawkingRage wrote:
mash rookie wrote:There is no methanol in a BW wash.

What? Please explain. Im curious :?:
The belief that sugar somehow breaks down into methanol is false. If you use pure sugar, water and yeast there is nothing for the methanol to be made from. Sugar contains no methyl groups and therefore can not be turned into methanol.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Hawk_ » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:14 am

Bushman wrote:
HawkingRage wrote:
mash rookie wrote:There is no methanol in a BW wash.

What? Please explain. Im curious :?:
The belief that sugar somehow breaks down into methanol is false. If you use pure sugar, water and yeast there is nothing for the methanol to be made from. Sugar contains no methyl groups and therefore can not be turned into methanol.


And neither does the Tomato paste?

So are you saying with this wash you dont have to do a forshots seperation?
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Bushman » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:52 am

Some people do but not necessary you don't use the heads anyway unless you want to save them with the tails and do an all fiends run. With an AG and a pot still then it's another matter!

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by mash rookie » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:48 am

Methanol occurs in very few ferments. I have read that it is present in grape wines resulting from the grape skins or in fruit wines from hard pits. Wood??

Do you know what the antidote for Methanol poisoning is? If a little got through or if you were stupid enough to drink some? (Usually only done intentionally by severe alcoholics.)

It is Ethanol. My girlfriend is an ER nurse. They keep pure ethanol in the hospital. She actually had to administer some once to a guy that had drank after shave or something.

No, I don’t make a fores cut. If there was any methanol it will be thrown out with the heads (ethyl acetate) that will give you a hell of a headache. It really is not a risk with distilled alcohol. There is a greater risk that you will poison yourself with lead solder, leaching plastic or cleaners people insist on using in a sterilized still. Thats why you get your ass kicked around here when you use plastic.

Now go get some tomatoe paste and get to work.
FORE!!

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by rad14701 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:07 am

Undies wrote:Finally, the question... When mixing up the ingredients, it seems quite important to get the SG pretty close to what you want, but does not the SG change with temperature? So if you're aiming for 1.07 (for example), it will depend on if the mixture is 20deg or 30deg? Hence, if you start SG at X and expect it to and at Y, X might have changed an hour later as the temperature has changed. So should SG be measured adjusted (from 20deg) or not?
Most hydrometers are calibrated at 60F or 68F... Some come with temperature compensation charts and there are also charts here in these forums as well as elsewhere on the internet... However, as Dnderhead pointed out, the compensation is so small that it really isn't worth worrying about for a wash which will be distilled... On the other hand, when making wine or beer you would want to pay more exacting attention... For distillation we just want all of the sugars to be converted to alcohol, whereas for wine and beer you generally don't want 100% of the sugars converted into alcohol so you have some sweetness left in your drink...

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Undies » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:31 pm

I made a little something to help everyone out when calculating their Birdwatchers recipe.

If anyone wants to have a look and let me know if I've made any mistakes (as I hacked it together pretty quickly). Just enter your final wash, and it calculates the recipe in imperial/metric by weight/volume. Good luck!

http://birdwatchers.freewebhosts.com.au/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
Birdwatchers ingredients calculator: https://birdwatchers.info/

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by rad14701 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:08 am

ShipwreckedPirate wrote:An additional 12 hours later i checked and the foam is gone, and i hear nothing. I stirred it and it started to bubble well but then a few minutes later everything was calm again. I checked it and it came up as 8% alcohol...I'm puzzled.

My only guess is the water i used had been in these buckets for several months (I had to go get well water in the country to avoid city water) and had been depleted of O2, causing it to stall???
Are you 100% sure there aren't very tiny bubbles rising that you can't see breaking the surface...??? And airlocked fermenter would tell you whether or not it is producing CO2...

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by rad14701 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:41 am

jasfromnz wrote:I made this today im a turbo yeast user trying to kick the habit so I tried this as seemed simple enough.It started bubbling after about four hours so seem good so far.My question is I made this at 1/4 amount,what is the point of straining of into new buckets?,do i have to do this?,any suggestions would be awesome and Ill report back once complete.

thanks guys
There is no need to "strain off into new buckets" at any time during the process... What you will need to do is to "rack" (siphon) the wash into another container or your boiler once the wash has completed fermenting and has cleared, leaving the trub (yeast and tomato paste) behind in the bottom of the fermenter... You should have already been doing this with your turbo washes all along...

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Fastill » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:58 pm

jasfromnz wrote:I understand what you two are saying,but like i said im newish to this game and i simple answer would have been better,im only asking to be on safe side but thanks for the advise lol
Answer may not be simple but is correct. Volume is not consistant but taste and smell is for heads, hearts, and tail cuts. What they are saying is learn to use your senses to make your decisions on when to cut heads from hearts. It will make you a better distiller with better product. :thumbup:
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Sparhawk » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:07 am

The lemon is to buffer the ph of the wash and help invert the sugars.

The tomato paste is a yeast nutrient.

There are threads on here about the Turbo 500 Still. I read them, thats why I decided not to buy one.

I know its long but your first two questions have been answered in this thread about a half dozen times already.
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All of this is hypothetical or theoretical and is for research and educational purposes only

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Miscue » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:54 am

I made a small batch of this wash but I used lemon substitute instead of squeezed lemons. The substitute contains citric acid, lemon oil emulsion, sodium citrate and sodium benzoate. Can anyone tell me if I ruined this mash?

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by gumbl » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:59 am

Hey guys!

I made my first BW wash about 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have gone as I hoped.
For the past week there has been little to no action in fermenting. I measured the SG and its about 1.050 :-( Not sure of the % but I guess somewhere in the range of 4-6%.

Any idea of what went wrong and how I could get the ball rolling again?

The recipe I used was:
21l water
5kg sugar
1 cup tomato paste
75g bakers yeast
1 lemon.

The temperature is around 20°c.

Will try to find the solution but any help appreciated!

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:01 pm

Miscue wrote:I made a small batch of this wash but I used lemon substitute instead of squeezed lemons. The substitute contains citric acid, lemon oil emulsion, sodium citrate and sodium benzoate. Can anyone tell me if I ruined this mash?
Sodium benzoate is a preservative, may slow the wash, may stall it, might be fine. YMMV
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Sparhawk » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:12 am

gumbl wrote:Hey guys!

I made my first BW wash about 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have gone as I hoped.
For the past week there has been little to no action in fermenting. I measured the SG and its about 1.050 :-( Not sure of the % but I guess somewhere in the range of 4-6%.

Any idea of what went wrong and how I could get the ball rolling again?

The recipe I used was:
21l water
5kg sugar
1 cup tomato paste
75g bakers yeast
1 lemon.

The temperature is around 20°c.

Will try to find the solution but any help appreciated!
I am concerned about why you feel you are at 4 to 6% and your SG is 1.05? What was your OG? The ratio in the recipe seems right but... If you started too high you may have overwhelmed the yeast.
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by rad14701 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:20 pm

Fleischmann's and most other bakers yeast will go dormant in the low 70's to high 60's so that's most likely the problem... Bakers yeast needs to be kept between 75F - 85F for best results... Get some heat into the wash and the yeast will get happy... That goes for both members having problems with this foolproof recipe...

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by BokaBakla » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:37 pm

I was wondering.. The op calls for fresh refrigerated yeast.

Do you guys do thew conversion to active dry yeast (about 1/3 the amount in fresh yeast) or are most of you using active dry yeast like I suspect and putting in too much?
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Gaztops » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:06 am

Hi all, I've just completed my first ever wash and would like to share my experience.
I made a 25 litre wash with the following ratio of Birdwatcher's recipe.

5kg granulated sugar
juice of one fresh lemon
200g of double concentrate tomato puree
75g of dried active bakers yeast
1/4 of a teaspoon of epsom salts

I heated up 12 litres of water to 35 degrees celcius then added the 5 kg of sugar , lemon juice, epsom salts and finally the tomato puree and mixed in well. By this time the liquid temperature went to 42 degrees celcius. After pouring the wash into a 7 gallon fermentimg tub I added cold water to make the level up to 25 litres and checked the temperature which was 28 degees celcius. I then pitched the yeast onto the surface of the wash without stirring in.
The starting SG was 1.072 and after a little over 6 days the final SG is 0.992 which gives me a ABV of 10.6%
I also used an aquarium heater which I bought off Amazon for £7.00, a well worth investment.
I kept the wash at a temperature at 31 degrees celcius throughout the ferment.

This is a brilliant recipe that even I can manage, many thanks Birdwatcher.

edit:- Forgot to mention that the aquarium heater I used was a 50 watt
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Bushman » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:51 am

Gaztops, I do very similar method although With my temp I keep it around 28 C. My wash usually ends up around 12% and takes around 3 weeks to finish fermenting. How long did your wash take?

Also I have done both pitched the yeast and let it go, also have stirred the first 3 days with no noticeable difference.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by BokaBakla » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:11 am

Yeah me too bush.. It takes around 2-3 weeks here. I usually start with a 1.08 to .09 though, lots of sugar in a 40L ss keg. The thing is I use fresh bakers yeast but was thinking of switching to active dry for the price. You can buy 2 lbs for 9 dollars shipped on amazon. The only place around here I can get fresh bakers yeast is $2.50 for 17g cubes. Big difference but I was wondering if it made a difference in the end product.

Really didn't want to go there because this recipe is perfect and if I could find fresh in bulk I wouldn't mess with it. I was wondering too- the amount of active dry compared to fresh. You could probably use a lot less because of all the moisture in the fresh. Read it was 2.5:1 and 3:1 if you use instant over fresh.
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Bushman » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:19 am

BokaBakla wrote:Yeah me too bush.. It takes around 2-3 weeks here. I usually start with a 1.08 to .09 though, lots of sugar in a 40L ss keg. The thing is I use fresh bakers yeast but was thinking of switching to active dry for the price. You can buy 2 lbs for 9 dollars shipped on amazon. The only place around here I can get fresh bakers yeast is $2.50 for 17g cubes. Big difference but I was wondering if it made a difference in the end product.

Really didn't want to go there because this recipe is perfect and if I could find fresh in bulk I wouldn't mess with it. I was wondering too- the amount of active dry compared to fresh. You could probably use a lot less because of all the moisture in the fresh. Read it was 2.5:1 and 3:1 if you use instant over fresh.
I use this chart when making conversions. Dry yeast works great in a birdwatchers recipe!
http://www.theartisan.net/convert_yeast_two.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Offshore » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:34 pm

Hello, I have a 15 gal. BW going right now, the starting SG was just over 1.090 and the SG right now is about 1.010 it is still working but has been very slow for the last two weeks, total time so far is about one month. How long do I dare to let this wash go to finish to at least 0.099? It still smells and taste ok yet, just getting a bit worried about it. I have had a aquarium heater in all the time that keeps it 78 to 80 deg. F.
I would very much appreciate any feed back on my concern.
Thank you.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Durace11 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:38 pm

Once the gravity hasn't changed for 4-5 days in a row, it's done. Might also help to degas it before you measure.
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by dis-still-in » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:29 am

Offshore wrote:
Durace11 wrote:Once the gravity hasn't changed for 4-5 days in a row, it's done. Might also help to degas it before you measure.
Thank you for your reply, not to sure on what you mean by degas it.
A significant amount of CO2 remains dissolved in solution after the ferment. "degassing" would be simply doing anything that would provide nucleation points for the CO2 to come out of solution. This can be as simple as a vigorous stir or agitation. You might be surprised how much CO2 remained...

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Durace11 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:39 am

Lipdog81 wrote:My questions:
1) Is it stuck or finished?
Could be either, wait 2 more days and check the gravity, if it's still at 1.010 then it's done. Stuck or finished it's done.

2) If the bubbles mean that it is still working away, should I expect the SG to get below 1000?? Like around 990?
It could be just degassing CO^2, which is good but can be confused as active fermentation. How low it goes is anyone's guess but 0.990 is freaky low so just wait and see where it goes. Once it stops for 3-4 days it's done.
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by ManimalCrackers » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:22 am

Greetings! After sifting through the ~5 years worth of posts in this thread (!), I'm ready to attempt my first ever ferment and distillation.

Before I begin my fermenting, I have a few questions.

1) I will be using a 6-gallon carboy with an airlock (I'll be getting some buckets in the near future), and want to make sure my formula is correct. I'm shooting for 5-gallons total wash volume, which will hopefully give enough room for foaming. My calculations: 9.5lbs sugar, 6.5oz tomato paste, juice of 1 lemon, ~2oz yeast (super start yeast from a local brew shop), pinch of Epsom salts, enough water to reach 5-gallon mark. Does this sound right?

2) Most folks seem to be recommending keeping the temp between 77F-86F (25C-30C). Right now, I don't have any kind of external heating options (heating pad, etc), so the carboy will be sitting in my kitchen at a near constant temp of 71F (21.6C). Is this going to cause any issues other than a longer fermenting time?

3) I see a lot of folks mentioning they use a reflux still. All I have right now is a Whiskey Still Co. 2.5-gallon pot still. Will I get drinkable product with a single run through a pot still? Or would I be better off making some cuts and sending it through a second time?

4) I hate to waste things, so I was thinking of aging some of the finished product with a bit of the leftover lemon peel or lemon zest. Good idea or bad?

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to share your knowledge!


P.S. Extra thanks to Undies for his Birdwatch Sugar Wash Recipe Calculator! I wish I would have noticed it before reading through 60+ pages of comments! I think I had 6 google windows open there for a while trying to convert all of the metric measurements being tossed around! Darn you foreigners and your wonky measurments! They confuse a poor, simple, imperial-minded Yankee like me! :wtf: :wink:

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:02 pm

ManimalCrackers wrote: 1) I will be using a 6-gallon carboy with an airlock (I'll be getting some buckets in the near future), and want to make sure my formula is correct. I'm shooting for 5-gallons total wash volume, which will hopefully give enough room for foaming. My calculations: 9.5lbs sugar, 6.5oz tomato paste, juice of 1 lemon, ~2oz yeast (super start yeast from a local brew shop), pinch of Epsom salts, enough water to reach 5-gallon mark. Does this sound right?
Should give you a wash with a potential alcohol of 13.4% - perhaps a tad high; loose .5-1 pound for less yeast stress, should work ok otherwise
2) Most folks seem to be recommending keeping the temp between 77F-86F (25C-30C). Right now, I don't have any kind of external heating options (heating pad, etc), so the carboy will be sitting in my kitchen at a near constant temp of 71F (21.6C). Is this going to cause any issues other than a longer fermenting time?
Will be slower, this could marginally increase the chance of infection - overcome this by starting it with a "yeast bomb" (use the HD google search function to investigate this). Otherwise your slightly cooler temp is probably good - less esters created at lower temps (so long as they are not so low they stress the yeast.

3) I see a lot of folks mentioning they use a reflux still. All I have right now is a Whiskey Still Co. 2.5-gallon pot still. Will I get drinkable product with a single run through a pot still? Or would I be better off making some cuts and sending it through a second time?
I would run a strip run first and find out what your ABV of all the alcohol (less foreshots if you want) will be through your still.
Then do enough strip runs to fill your still with 30-38% alcohol (you may or may not need to dilute with water to do this) and do a spirit run on which you should make cuts; higher ABV = more consistent run, diluting and re-running it will give you a cleaner finished product. If you took a fores cut on each strip run you should get slightly more useable hearts on you spirit run but i would still take a fores and a heads cut on your spirit run regardless.


4) I hate to waste things, so I was thinking of aging some of the finished product with a bit of the leftover lemon peel or lemon zest. Good idea or bad?
Lemon vodka can be good - macerate peels and then dilute and re-distill, pure maceration can result in bitterness from the pith (white part) - you would want to be using organic spray free un-waxed lemons (home grown would be ideal). Perhaps do a search on Lemmonchello for info around this idea - there are several good threads on it.


Thanks to everyone for taking the time to share your knowledge!
No worries :thumbup:

P.S. Extra thanks to Undies for his Birdwatch Sugar Wash Recipe Calculator! I wish I would have noticed it before reading through 60+ pages of comments! I think I had 6 google windows open there for a while trying to convert all of the metric measurements being tossed around! Darn you foreigners and your wonky measurments! They confuse a poor, simple, imperial-minded Yankee like me! :wtf: :wink:
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by bigbuck » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:41 pm

ok thanks bushman,at least now i know i am on the right track,and the wash is right,as far as a ferment time at 80 to 86 degrees( i know you cannot tell me exzactly) but what is the ballpark time on ferment,i know sometimes my sweetfeed would be ready in 4 to 5 days

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by braemar » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:36 pm

Hi,
I have been doing this recipe for over 2 years now and have found the following gives me the best results to date, i hope it can help anyone just starting out.

Tomato paste wash 27 ltr wash (version 6)

Ingredients: * 6 kg sugar
*166 gms tomato paste (no preserves or spices)
*1 pinch Epsom’s salts
*1 teaspoon lemon juice.
*90 gms. bakers yeast (amount changes ferment time)
*clean water

Method: *completely dissolve 6 kg. sugar in 12 litres hot water
*dilute tomato paste in warm water
*combine dissolved sugar, tomato paste & Epsom’s salts
*top up to 27 litres with cold water
*aim for 25 to30 deg.c & max. 1.08 sg.
*stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice
*pitch yeast. (wash must be 25 to 30 deg.)
*ferment until finished @ .98 or .99 sg. (maintain 26deg. to 28 deg.)

Clearing: *let settle for at least 3 days then decant into clean fermenter
*let settle for another 4 days then decant again
*let settle for at least another 5 days

Distil: *transfer cleared wash to boiler. (ensure no sediment gets into boiler)
*run still on full reflux for at least 30 minutes.
*spirit run on high reflux, adjust to keep head temp. under 82 deg.
*collect first 100 ml. of spirit and discard (forshots)
*keep all spirit collected after forshots up to 82 deg.
*any spirit collected between 82deg. & 90 deg add to next run.
*dilute to 40% and enjoy

yield: *spirit run should yield around 2.8 litres at 95% per 27 lts wash
*diluted to 40% gives around 7 litres of neutral spirit Per 27lts wash.

I use a home made copper reflux offset head still with a 900 mm column
packed with stainless scrubbers. My boiler is 50 litres and heated by lpg burner,
I normally run 40 litres at a time, I throw the first 150 ml.(foreshots), keep the
next 200 mls (heads) aside for next run. Collect the rest in 700 ml bottles until
temp reaches 82 deg. I always get 6 bottles all at 95 % abv. or better, all spirit
from 82 deg. up to 90 deg. (tails) I keep for the next run. I collect the spirit at
around 20 ml per minute. The secret to this wash is, (1) start sg. (2) Fermenting
temp. (3) Clearing, (4) Discarding the crap, (5) vapour temp, (6) collection rate,
(7) finish temp,

Regards Braemar

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by sumnerd11 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:42 am

Can i use spaghetti sauce as a substitution for the tomatoe paste? I looked at the ingresients and there dont appear to be any preservatives that from what i understand inhibit the yeast grow. Its all natural and things i know of. Enzymes too, thNks

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