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Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:01 am
by Tater
Moderator edit: This is an edited (condensed) version of this recipe. The original version which is available as a normal discussion thread can be found here

{birdwatchers}My recipe for an 80 liter wash. Ingredients as follows:

3 cups tomato paste

Juice 3 lemons

Approx. 18 kg sugar

225 grams fresh regular bakers yeast. Buy in bulk at any good health food store.

water(I use spring well water)

Procedure:

Keep careful notes from start to finish for future reference.

Carefully mix paste, juice, say 14 kg sugar with 60 liters water at 30C. Measure SG.
(you are aiming for 1.09)

Carefully add water and sugar to bring mixture to 80 liter, WITH A SG 1.09.
Temperature of finished mixture should be 30C-35C to start.

You should now have 80 liters of mixed ingredients.

Carefully sprinkle 225 grams of yeast over surface, stirring in.
Place cover loosely, to let CO2 escape, keeping flying nasties out.
There is so much CO2 coming off; there is no need to worry about oxygen coming in contact.

Place bottomless styrofoam box over fermenter. Dangle lit lightbulb through small
hole in lid. Bulb must be strong enough to keep the mixture at a steady range of
30C-35C for entire fermentation. Size of bulb depends on room temperature. Stick
your digital thermometer through side of box to track inside temperature.

{A good idea would be to set up with water a day before you begin wash to determine
the size of light bulb to maintain water/wash in the 30-35C range.}



Check SG and temperature daily

Stir daily

On day three, syphon contents evenly into four 23 liter airlocked carboys.
(This step may not be nessesary and I may at some future date simply take the wash from start
to finish in the unairlocked storage container)

Check SG and temperature daily

Shake carboys gently daily.

After a total of 7-8 days SG should be .995. If not, wait until completion.


Note: After ten years of making 95% ethanol, and fine tuning my recipe after lots of
suggestions from people on this forum, this is what works for me. I'm always fine
tuning and welcome any comments or suggestions.

If any points above are not clear or you have questions, feel free to ask.

Cheers,

G
_________
_________________
PM me if you need a perfect sugar wash for ethanol ( birdwatcher)

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:41 pm
by HookLine
mtnwalker2 wrote:PS. Meant to mention, those yeast activities, breeding etc. are going to produce some extra heat of thier own. Especially if you have a strong starter.

Will definately need some cooling if the ambient temp. is already at the max range.
That is a major part of the problem. One partial solution is to use less yeast, which runs a less active and hence cooler ferment. But it takes a lot longer. The nicest result I have had so far used just 15 grams of yeast (in a starter) for a 40 litre tomato paste ferment, and it took 6 weeks! to ferment out. But damn it was clean. I am leaving the vodka from that one sit and age for as long as I can to get the best from it.

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:08 pm
by mtnwalker2
Hookline,

The faster your ferment can go, and shorter time, while the yeast are all happy, the better and cleaner results you will taste. Higher temp. stresses yeast, and produces off tasts. actually, if your yeast are healthy, and you are at higher temp. you should be fermenting much faster. Your results indicate stress. Cool your wort, and I think you will have a better and quicker result.

Just my dollar, 3 eighty opinion.

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:40 pm
by Ozark Shiner
I also started this recipe for the first time over the holiday weekend. Original SG was 1.076. 8lbs sugar / 12 oz can tomato paste / lemon juice / epsom salts / 5 gal water. Did not get any krausen at all but still a good fermentation going. Drops about .010 per day.

My question is also about the clearing. Mine is defintely opaque. It looks like a thin tomato soup....

Birdwatcher you said it isn't a problem.... I understand that it will clear in distilling but I am concerned about burning on the heating element in the boiler. Is this not going to be a problem ???

Thanks and Happy Holidays to all !!!

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:26 pm
by HookLine
My tomato paste ferments always end up with a distinct red/pink tint to them, but they are also quite clear, I can see to the bottom of the fermenter after they have cleared. You not trying to get rid of the colour, it is the solids (yeast, vegetable matter, etc) you want to settle out.

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:08 pm
by Ankh Watep
can i use ketchup instead of tomato paste?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:42 am
by Dnderhead
I do not thank ketchup is a good idea to many spices yeast do not like,
yeast need vitamins and minerals look threw your cabinets see what
you have (maybe some kind of cereal , old vitamins ) stay away from
spices - preservatives

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:58 am
by Dnderhead
OG-FG is a good way, as it gives "true" content , calculators give a "possible" abv , it is good to compare to see if it has completely
converted/worked out. It is a good idea to git used to doing both . it will be needed when /if doing other washes/mashes.

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:49 am
by birdwatcher
21 C to 23 C is pretty cool for room temp. This means your wash is probably a touch less, In my mind that the reason for the 18 days and not knowing other details.

Adding more yeast is not the answer. Shaking at this stage is questionable at this stage.

I'd say leave it be for another few days. Certainly raise the temperature of the wash to 25C to 30C. Use an aquarium heater

It is nearly finished. If your SG stays put, consider it finished and try again at a higher temperature next time..

Lastly. We've all been there. Be patient.

G

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:16 am
by birdwatcher
Yes. A steady 30C simply speeds up the process. I do 80 liter washes in about a week. I've been using an aquarium heater through a hole in the lid my container. Seems to be working fine.

Enjoy.

G

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:54 am
by Dnderhead
I believe with these recipes everybody is going to have a different answer because every ones water is different, well water "mite have all the minerals
a ferment needs, spring mite not,rain mite be acid and city water,, your on your own.. I believe the only way to make a recipe that whould "fit" everyone's needs
whould be to use distilled/reverse osmosis water,add minerals/nutrients so it works the way you want, these recipes are a good start. but you mite have to "tweak"to fit your situation. once you know what your water "lacks" then it whould make the job easier. some of the more common water
ingredients are calcium, iron,magnesium, phosphorus, nitrogen and even hormones. yours mite have all or part of these, mine mite not.

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:04 am
by birdwatcher
This is an update on my sugar wash. Much simplified.


Equipment:

My fermenter is a Rubbermaid 106 liter opaque white storage container with lid.
In Canada, available at Canadian Tire. Bore hole in lid large enough to accept aquarium heater.

Aquarium Heater

Hydrometer

digital thermometer

Stir stick

Syphoning tube

********

My recipe for an 80 liter wash. Ingredients as follows:

3 cups tomato paste

Juice 3 lemons

Approx. 18 kg sugar

225 grams fresh regular bakers yeast. Buy in bulk at any good health food store.

I/2 tsp Epsom Salts

water (I use spring well water)

Procedure:

Keep careful notes from start to finish for future reference.

Carefully mix paste, juice, say 14 kg sugar with 60 liters water at 23-30 C Measure SG.
(you are aiming for 1.06 to 1.09) My last batch was 1.07

Carefully add water and sugar to bring mixture to 80 liter, WITH A SG 1.07.
Temperature of finished mixture should be 23C-33C to start. My last batch was 24-25 C

You should now have 80 liters of mixed ingredients.

Carefully sprinkle 225 grams of yeast and Epsom Salts over surface, stirring in.
Place cover loosely, to let CO2 escape, keeping flying nasties out.
There is so much CO2 coming off; there is no need to worry about oxygen coming in contact.

Insert your aquariium heater and adjust temperature.

Check SG and temperature daily

Stir daily.

After a total of 7-8 days SG should be .995. If not, wait until completion.

Note: After fifteen years of making 95% ethanol, and fine tuning my recipe after lots of
suggestions from people on this forum, this is what works for me. I'm always fine
tuning and welcome any comments or suggestions.

If any points above are not clear or you have questions, send me a message.

Cheers,

G

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:23 pm
by Dnderhead
tho sodium is for the most part safe Id rather use calcium or potassium carbonate.much more yeast friendly.(I thank)
if you want something fast try potassium bicarb.
(I fiend that sodium leaves a "salty taste)

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:54 am
by birdwatcher
Re My last wash for information and discussion.

I carefully siphoned off the wash from Rubbermaid storage bin to carboys and it fact totaled 85 liters.

Split this into two batches and heated up to 98 C. with pot still. Yield 25 liters of beer + 500 ml of ethanol and heads from my last batch. More about this later.

Put the above into small boiler, attached Column still, cranked contents until steam at top of boiler reached 80C then reduced to lower power. Temperature at top of column at this point around 14.5 C.

Where I live is about 1400 FT above sea level. I'm watching the top of my column for a temp around 78 C and the steam at the top of my boiler around 83 C. It always varies slightly. Barometric pressure, battery power in the digital thermometers etc..

This time I began the process at 2:30 PM April 17 , top of column 78.1C, top of boiler 82 C. I always play it really safe and slowly bleed off about 500 ml at a rate of 3 drops per second for about two hours. The first in teaspoons which I chuck out.
It smells like nail polish remover. When this smell subsides I collect and save the 500 ml of the remaining heads and ethanol. I will re distill this in a future batch, so it doesn't go to waste.

It's 4:30 PM and I have a steady 78.1 C, 83 C. I begin collecting ethanol at 3 drops per second. At 10 PM nothing has changed and I now have 1500 ml collected. Check things over and hit the sack.

This morning at 7 am, April 18, I have another two liters collected. 78.1 C top of column, 85 C top of boiler.

12:30 PM 78.1C, 86 C. I now have 4.3 Liters over a period of 18 hours or 239 ml per hour. This is a conservative withdrawal rate. Stone suggests as high as 270 ml per hour.

Increased the flow a bit.

5:40 PM 78.1 C top of column, 89 C top of boiler, 5800 ml liters collected.

I shut everything down at 11 PM last night 78.3C Top of Column, 94 C top of boiler.

6900 ml of ethanol collected.

I didn't want to let it run all night, so close to end of the run.
April 19
I'm using a stripped out water heater as a boiler. I have a digital oven thermometer inserted at the top which records the steam, not the liquid at the top. On top of my column, I have another digital thermometer.

Propyl alcohol, a fusel oil boils at around 97.2.

Theoretically, I feel that as long as my top of column remains say, under 80 C and my top of boiler say, under 96 I could go on collecting ethanol with no negative effect? Could I have a comment from some of my old colleagues. I could in effect fire my still up today and collect a few more Mls. Is it worth the trouble.

Anyway, I thought I would post the above for newcomers to the site and budding distillers interested in my recipe.

Have a good week.

G

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:01 am
by Fastill
Birdwatcher,
I was wondering if you recycle your yeast from your lees for the next batches or do you just start every ferment with new yeast?
Also what about boiling some of the lees and adding them for more nutrients?? Might give more yeasty off flavors???

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:16 am
by birdwatcher
Hi All,

I run an 80 liter wash once through a pot still. The design is illustrated in the following:

http://www.gin-vodka.com/making-gin.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

The resulting moonshine then goes into my fractioning still designed by Rudy on this site. I started a batch around 8 AM yesterday and is still dripping nicely at 78 C. So far just over 24 hrs so its nearly finished. I have collected about 8 liters of ethanol thus far. I'll probably end up with around 9 liters.
Cheers.

G

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:59 am
by maritime
just finished making some 40% with flavor for the holiday.
Image
first two are straight up, 94%
lemon-yellow
orange-orange
vanilla-amber
coconut-blue
feins jar

i always color my 40%. everything clear is either 94% or feins=not ok to drink straight. my little saftey.

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:28 pm
by maritime
in my area of the word the sweet tea vodka is the latest and greatest.
my wife asked me to see if i could produce something close to store brand.
i made 750ml of 40%, birdwatches
added two tea bags for 48 hours
then added 1/3 cup of white sugar, just kept shaking it up till it dissolved.
it is dead on.
Image
she is very happy. a happy wife is a happy house. :ebiggrin:

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:52 am
by maheel
whats all your thoughts on subbing the "juice of one lemon" with a teaspoon (or 2) of citric acid in a BW wash ?

that would be for me

5kg sugaz
1 -2 tsp citirc
1/4 cup of dry bakers yeast
i small can tomato paste
pinch of epsom salts
23 litres of water


i made a batch today but only had one lemon, i wanted to get two going but needed another lemon.... thought citric might do the job?

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:11 am
by rad14701
According to Wikipedia lemon juice contains only approximately 5% - 6% citric acid, so go from there on how much of one or the other to use... As a general rule, a little citric acid goes a long way... One average sized lemon should be about the same as ~1 teaspoon of citric acid...

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:23 am
by Dnderhead
to clear something up. yeast do not produce acids,rather they use the sugars
and nutrients,thus your wash appears to be more acid.

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:33 pm
by maritime
my take on a birdwatchers.
in you fermentor, mine are 7gal plastic buckets with a o-ringed lid.
1 gallon of water
one small can of tomatoe paste, wisk into the gallon of water
boil 1 gallon of water in a large stock pot on the stove.
dump in 7 lbs of sugar into it, wisk until disolved.
dump the gallon of sugar water into the tomatoe water
juice one lime or lemon into the wash
wash out sugar pot with 3 more gallons of water, one gallon at a time, they go into the wash
pitch two packs of regular bakers yeast on top. the small packs at the suppermarket. i use Flieshmans. no turbos, use regular.
the 4 gallons of cold water will cool the 1 gallon of boiled water.

it will cake up on top, then the mass will sink and start eating.
this will bubble for a week or so. depends on the temp. a foam head will be there. blow the foam away to check the bubbles.
i had one going so fast this week, it looked like a rolling boil under the foam.
after all the bubbles stop, the floaties will sink. taste the wash, should taste dry, no sweetness left.
you will notice the smell changing, first yeasty bread smell, then a beer smell, then the alcohol will take over.
dump into your boiler, trash the dead sediment at the bottom

out of a 2" boka, this gives me between 900ml-1600ml of 94.8%
depends how happy the yeast are.

that is the basic walk through, very basic.
hope that is what you are looking for.

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:33 pm
by schmand
mash rookie wrote:If you follow the recipe it will work off like a rocket. Too easy. No need to modify it. With all my washes, I wake up my yeast, pitch one half, add wash to the other half and pitch it 12 - 24 hours later. I cant put an air lock on my BW it works so hard it blows it off.

MR
So what is the recipe? Do you mean the one on the first page? I dunno the units used for the original one. What unit is meant by cup? The us or the imperial one? Can someone convert the recipe to metric SI units for me? Sry for the inconvenience, but i'm german, i need precise date for the dosage :D

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:36 pm
by rad14701
schmand wrote:So what is the recipe? Do you mean the one on the first page? I dunno the units used for the original one. What unit is meant by cup? The us or the imperial one? Can someone convert the recipe to metric SI units for me? Sry for the inconvenience, but i'm german, i need precise date for the dosage :D
1 cup = 8 fluid ounces = 250 milliliters

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:45 am
by schmand
hey guys,
tried out the BW recipe with a 20l wash 2 days ago now:

- 3kg of Sugar
- 1 tsp. of Epsom Salt
- 200g tomato puree
- filled up to 20l of Water
- 84g of bakers yeast

I also poured in citric acid for the pH value, but the calculator on the homepage told me I had to put in only 0.26g for a ph of 4.2!? That seems a bit too little for me. Is 0.26g right? (annotation: I do not use the cheap super market stuff, but real pharmacy goods, so I guess it is pure enough)
Anyways, here are some pictures from the 12h old wash at that time:
IMAG0160.jpg
IMAG0161.jpg
Now (approx. 48h) later it is still fermenting and you can hear it fizzling.

Maybe I did something wrong at the beginning because it didn't start to ferment right off, it took like 45 mins; so not as fast as some of you had it.
It is slower but steady, some hours ago I poured in another 1kg of sugar. But always when I pour in more sugar the fermentation stops for about 30 mins. Is it because with the action of pouring oxygen got into the wash? Did you experience the same once? How long does it take to start fermenting for your washes? Maybe my wash started so late because temperature is only around 22°C indoors here?


Take care
schmand

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:06 pm
by frozenthunderbolt
Dnderhead wrote:as most ferments id keep it about 10% .you will have better product and have more harts.
the tomato past/lemon is for nutrients.turbos use chemicals.
Lemon is also to adjust the pH - Yeast like a mildly acid environment to grow

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:21 am
by rad14701
Lemon juice, or other acid sources, is also commonly used to invert the sugar for faster and more efficient fermentation... Research "invert sugar" for more information...

nuckles, this is all valuable information that you need to know if you want to successfully improve your home distillation practices... You've been spinning your wheels this past five years using turbo washes...

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:30 pm
by nzl.james
hi guys,

made this wash twice now and the first time I 'started' the yeast in a pyrex jug and added 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons sugar. I waitied for 15-20mins until the yeast foamed up like a loaf of bread before adding it to the wash. this took about 5-6 weeks to ferment out and i didnt know why, i thought it may have been the cold climate.

the second time I just sprinkled the yeast into the wash and stirred it in. this fermented out much quicker.

I decided this time to try both methods side by side to see what happens. i had 2 buckets with identical ingredients and methods, apart from starting the yeast in one barrel and just sprinkling it straight in, in the second barrel.

so....after about 5 hours i found the barrel that had the yeast just sprinkled in was foaming up and had forced foam through the airlock and down the side of the barrel
2011-10-06 23.44.32.jpg
2011-10-06 23.45.26.jpg
the barrel I had started the yeast in the pyrex jug has been relatively slow to start fermenting and only had a gently fizz
2011-10-06 23.45.08.jpg

Sooo..... 2 days later and it seems the wash with the yeast sprinkled in is performing MUCH better than the other. the SG is 1.05, compared to 1.06-1.062 for the other barrel. both barrels started at 1.075


Are these results unusual or expected? based on this experience im not going to bother starting yeast beforehand, I will just sprinkle it straight in??

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:03 pm
by Bushman
Just started a new batch and used my same recipe except I had some organic sugar that was given to me instead of my regular. The SG was a bit higher than usual so I guess I will see what happens.

Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:29 pm
by Dnderhead
" How long did you leave it open to aerate for, before air locking it?"
open ferments and aerating is two different things.
open ferments are generally used for mash/wash that foams a lot.
if put into a carboy/demijohn it is likely to blow out the top,,one big mess :shock:
open ferments also release unwanted gases, like sulphur dioxide/co2 ..

aerating is introducing o2 ,this can be done by shaking,stiring,wiping or with a air stone
and if you have it air stone and o2..this is from the least effective to the most.
aerating is done so the yeast can grow and reproduce.usually only done at beginning of ferment.