Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

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Bubbles2
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Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Bubbles2 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:09 pm

I wanted to get some help or advice on why my whisky is coming out a bit too spicy... Is that because of the no aging?

Background - 95% Malted Rye
5% Malted 2Row
100% efficiency and then I use 4lbs of Sugar to bring it up to 1100 SG. If any thing here, I'd like to have a thinner Wash other than that, I feel it is good since it attenuates using SAF05 down to 998 in a couple weeks. Anyhow ONE Strip run, then a Spirit run. Clear Foreshots, and Heads at about 50ml of each at start of each Gallon Spirit run. No Fuel Smell, No Ratty Tails. I do stop my blended run at 120p or 60T, I am going to do another run and stop at 125p
I then put it in a 1/2 Gal Jar with 3 Charred Oak Sticks (new) The Color is dark like Bulliet or the likes.
One month on Sticks, cut it with Distilled H20 to 103p and it is Crisp, Spicy ( a bit too spicy) a subtle Rye after taste, but not Ratty Tails just like a piece of rye bread would taste when eaten.

Spicy to me is hot. I grow Scorpions, Ghost, and the likes that I make my own hot sauce, and many run around with mouth open fanning when getting into some of Reserve stuff..LOL I got two sauce 4P and N4p
I made a pot of popcorn last night, the usual couple broken up dried Cayenne with seeds in the Oil before popping. Got a bit spicy when munching went to wash it down with some whisky and really noticed the Spice and thought is that just a residual of Rye and need to blend some wheat? OR is it because it is so young?
Thoughts?

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Expat » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:30 pm

From my experience with all whisky including rye, it's an aging issue. Give it more time with the oak and do, regular check-ups every month or so to track the progress. I think it'll come around. Else do a run of all malt barley and use the new make to dilute until you hit the sweet spot for your tastes.

Also, In my opinion you're stopping way too high on the spirit run. Plenty of good flavor to be found further down, and sweet water beyond the tails.

Similar to yourself I love hot peppers, though I don't have the opportunity to grow them myself. It would be interesting to explore, you should open a thread in off topic or similar.
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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by still_stirrin » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:35 pm

I think you’ve carried a bit too much of the late heads into the keeper jar. That most often results in a “spicy & hot” quality, especially if underaged.

More time in a cask may help, but if you age in glass, then you’ll need to air it out (at room temperature) for 24 to 36 hours. Also, what I’ve done for glass-aged whiskey is to shake it vigorously to mix in the ulege air and then open the jar for a few minutes before closing again. This seems to help reduce the volatiles that may still be in the spirit. Do this daily for a week or so until you notice an improvement.

It’s very challenging to try to make cuts purely by collected volumes. You need to use your senses, smell and taste, to decide what goes where.

But, the bottomline is.....experience. You just need to make more and be more critical with your product. Learn your still and understand your processes. Keep practicing...it’ll get easier....and BETTER!
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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Beerswimmer » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:34 pm

I'd say too much oak. If it's that dark after only one month then 3 sticks may be 2 sticks too many. Over oaked jars always taste spicy to me, like hot cinnamon. Use one stick and leave it for 3 months and see what it's like.
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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Bubbles2 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:55 pm

Thank you all for your input. I'm gonna watch the Heads closer. Cut back the sticks ( I do shake it and let it breath out front and again here there when I give it a sniff).
That last cut stop at 120p equates to about 90p still coming out, but that is really pungent on the tails(really smells like fresh cooked rye bread, a staple around here from spent grain) so I stopped. I did grab 150ml of that 90 to cut back in to "try it", but found after "opening it up" with distilled h20 vs cutting in 90p both to 103p the preferred was to just use the h20 even when I tried mixing the two for a 3rd option.

I was going to whip up a White and Red Wheat Berry and 2row with corn Sugar batch and keep all equal and check results against current notes. Thanks again for the thoughts appreciate it.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by shadylane » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:38 pm

Bubbles2 wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:09 pm
I wanted to get some help or advice on why my whisky is coming out a bit too spicy... Is that because of the no aging?

Background - 95% Malted Rye
5% Malted 2Row
100% efficiency and then I use 4lbs of Sugar to bring it up to 1100 SG.
Thoughts?
1.100 SG is too high.
1.060-1.070 ish is better

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by HDNB » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:05 pm

i make 100% malt rye on a reflux, 2x sieve plate. the strip is so strong it tastes astringent, like sucking on a rag.

after the spirit run, it cleans up nice and still has a very strong, spicy flavour. I'm pretty good at cuts, so i'll say without a large amount of heads...in fact it's sweet, then spicy.

time on oak is the only solution i've found. Definitely don't pull it before 6 months. (i believe whiskey has an awkward stage between 6 weeks and 6 months) it really only starts coming into it's own at 2 years. 3 years is really nice, rarely survives much longer, but i have a bit stashed for longer term aging.

sugar is going to add that sugar bite too..which may be perceived as spicy.
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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Bubbles2 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:44 pm

HDNB wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:05 pm
i make 100% malt rye on a reflux, 2x sieve plate. the strip is so strong it tastes astringent, like sucking on a rag.

after the spirit run, it cleans up nice and still has a very strong, spicy flavour. I'm pretty good at cuts, so i'll say without a large amount of heads...in fact it's sweet, then spicy.

time on oak is the only solution i've found. Definitely don't pull it before 6 months. (i believe whiskey has an awkward stage between 6 weeks and 6 months) it really only starts coming into it's own at 2 years. 3 years is really nice, rarely survives much longer, but i have a bit stashed for longer term aging.

sugar is going to add that sugar bite too..which may be perceived as spicy.
Appreciate the details on that one. Good to know about the Sugar. I think I'd need to make 70 liters to get a 2 year age. LOL! New at it and a small Pot does not help get in front of the curve.
Yeah the spirit run is good, just spicy considering it is not aged. I was curious if I was not cutting the heads right, but I thought to ask. Looks like age and oak. Thanks again.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by seamusm53 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:52 pm

Have made a 100% rye and it certainly has a bite to it. But sorry folks, I am a Texan and 'spicy' aint hot. I grow peppers including super-hots like Ghost peppers and Carolina Reapers. I know the difference. I do agree that the 'bite' of 100% rye whiskey does mellow with ageing on oak but it never disappears and rye whiskey without corn in the grain bill never has the signature sweetness of a bourbon.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by HDNB » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:23 pm

re-reading that, i did not want to suggest spicy rye is bad...in fact it's good. i like it white too but the spicy ages really well on oak.

a cigar smoker will get the meaning... you can get a really spicy cigar that mellows considerably to a complexity the young one doesn't have...still spicy but different. my favorite is a rocky patel vintage 1992 in toro.
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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Bubbles2 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:58 am

HDNB wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:23 pm
re-reading that, i did not want to suggest spicy rye is bad...in fact it's good. i like it white too but the spicy ages really well on oak.

a cigar smoker will get the meaning... you can get a really spicy cigar that mellows considerably to a complexity the young one doesn't have...still spicy but different. my favorite is a rocky patel vintage 1992 in toro.
I get it, I am a cigar smoker, AMF..."Everything I Love is Killing Me". A.Jackson.

When I state Spicy, it is not coming from a person with low tolerance. Maduro Toro 50 for me Cuban Seed, Dominican Wrapped. Coffee Black Italian, and heat, I use 6lbs of Ghost to start a 7 qt Hot sauce....

Maybe I have new buds this week? I did revisit the 90p to cut back in last night. Such a science and Art Distilling.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Corsaire » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:03 am

My guess is Shady's right. I think your added sugar gives the hot taste.
Perhaps do the same mash but without the sugar?

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Bubbles2 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:40 pm

seamusm53 wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:52 pm
Have made a 100% rye and it certainly has a bite to it. But sorry folks, I am a Texan and 'spicy' aint hot. I grow peppers including super-hots like Ghost peppers and Carolina Reapers. I know the difference. I do agree that the 'bite' of 100% rye whiskey does mellow with ageing on oak but it never disappears and rye whiskey without corn in the grain bill never has the signature sweetness of a bourbon.
Right, Spicy is not Hot. 150p is Hot, this is Spicy. I am going to take all into consideration, in regards to the sugar, changing up the grain bill a bit. I just cannot figure why rye is so dadgum gummy... Even when making Beer with 1lb it sure changes the viscosity to the Wort.

Interesting that Corn mash is sweet yet corn sugar is Hot. I just ran 5g of Sugar Head for some Apple Pie and that is hot at 150 and 120 smooth, (yet not aired out or aged at all) and the last of the run 80p is sweet. That was 10lbs of Sugar with some adds though.

I just messed with that same Rye and cut back in 90p at 2ml to 100ml not much, just a bit, and it dropped from 103 to 99p that coupled with 2 tsp of honey in 750ml is doable. The Spice is there but not too spicy or that combined with Hot makes it seem TOO Spicy... brought the proof down a bit that helped a bit. I have the more sitting on sticks and will wait and see how that mellows. Appreciate the hints, tips and guess work. cheers.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by HDNB » Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:27 pm

rye has a protein called beta glucan. the key part of that word is GLU.

if you can add the rye to cooler water and heat and hold at 115 -120* F for 30 minutes natural enzymatic action will reduce the slime factor. then heat it to your working temps.
alternately you can use SEB flo, a lab enzyme that does the same thing but at mash in temps.

rye also does not need to be heated as much to release starch. 165 will do the trick for grain... in my all malt rye i add the malt at cool temps, heat slowly to 150 over about 90 minutes and then holding for 90 minutes at 150...finally then cool to pitch over about about a 3 hour span, mixing continuously. it converts very well and finishes dry with only a hint of slimeyness.
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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Bubbles2 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:11 am

HDNB wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:27 pm
rye has a protein called beta glucan. the key part of that word is GLU.

if you can add the rye to cooler water and heat and hold at 115 -120* F for 30 minutes natural enzymatic action will reduce the slime factor. then heat it to your working temps.
alternately you can use SEB flo, a lab enzyme that does the same thing but at mash in temps.

rye also does not need to be heated as much to release starch. 165 will do the trick for grain... in my all malt rye i add the malt at cool temps, heat slowly to 150 over about 90 minutes and then holding for 90 minutes at 150...finally then cool to pitch over about about a 3 hour span, mixing continuously. it converts very well and finishes dry with only a hint of slimeyness.
Glu...haha. :D I do step mash. Maybe I need to hang longer at the 1st step? I start in 80ºF come to 113-121ºF but for 20 minutes tho.Then 150ºF for 90 min. Check Starch, Check 1st Wort. "Fly Sparge" (fancy for Rinse) Attenuate for Desired Gravity Via Corn Sugar and compensate for Boil off. I Boil because I thought that denatures Proteins...? I did a 75min on this last batch, gonna run it tomorrow or in the next few.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by seabass » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:23 am

You're sparging with 95% rye? If that's at all possible, then you've properly taken care of your beta glucans. Also impressive.

Boiling denatures proteins and enzymes. You'll get less attenuation if you boil, but it'll kill any bugs.

If you don't boil, the enzymes will remain active throughout fermentation and you'll get more alcohol, but most likely you'll have a little bit of lacto activity.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Bubbles2 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:56 pm

seabass wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:23 am
You're sparging with 95% rye? If that's at all possible, then you've properly taken care of your beta glucans. Also impressive.

Boiling denatures proteins and enzymes. You'll get less attenuation if you boil, but it'll kill any bugs.

If you don't boil, the enzymes will remain active throughout fermentation and you'll get more alcohol, but most likely you'll have a little bit of lacto activity.
I do Sparge, but I do not have all the fancy stuff many do. I use a large kettle, 8 gal bucket, 5 gal bucket and a large stainless colander, keep all grain loose for mash. The Grain swells up pretty good so the colander catches it, the smaller stuff I catch with a wine making strainer that sits atop a 5gal bucket.
It is not that hard to Mash,(time) dump into colander let wort run off in 5 gal bucket, take same kettle toss grain back in, throw 1 gal of heated sparge, stir and let set 5-10 minutes, repeat previous steps, then let settle for a bit decant wort to 8gal and run the last gallon of it with the smaller grain through that fine mesh strainer used for wine making and catching fruit debris.
I start with an 8 gal for ferment after about a week I rack off grain bed into carboy and let all settle, where I also grab the Yeast from carboy when ready to Run.
My attenuation is Spot on if not deeper than most. I go to 998 - 996. I go from 1100 to 998 which is close to 15% If mem serves. Still thick though, I do a 2.25qt to 1lb -Grist My efficiency according to Calcs is spot on for 100%, but have to go 90 minutes to get it. Never bother with the 2nd wort measure due to the overall is what I am watching coupled with PH 4.8, add Corn sugar to bring to desired SG taking into consideration the Boil off So I might take it to 1080 and boil down to 1100. I think this is where my Glu is coming in from the reduction of h2o making it thicker, where (if making beer) One would add h20 to thin and weaken the beer to 5-6% with a couple gal of H20.
New to this, only a few batches with a 1 gal counter top conversion deal. I call it the Popcorn Maker. It has really schooled me to let me know that I think I know what kind of still I'd like to have. Prob an 8 gal for cost and size, still wrestling with 240 or 120 self element, def a latch top and pot arm that can be attached to a column for versatility. I just made a Double Chocolate Cake with 150 and the ol' Apple Pie with the same. I used a recipe for soda I make called Chocolate Stout and used that syrup to create the Double Chocolate Cake. Going to make some Root Beer in a few. Hence the reflux column for versatility. Thanks for the help and tips, appreciate it.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Bubbles2 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:57 am

I wanted to come back and update. I had another run of the exact same recipe. ( I like to repeat a recipe 10-15 times to understanding variables) My first variable to this 3rd time recipe was to do a 2nd strip run. Which taught me that Proof or Trails means nothing, it is all about the taste coming out. I ran until the flavor began to have a noticeable change, then made a cut. Getting to know the Still is important for ease of not having to stand there and taste every 100-200ml.
The second Variable was to use Olive Oil to reduce my foam up... Where I learned that past the Hearts 157p (this run) the oil's flavor came through even at 136p and more grain flavor came through as well, and more predominate down to 96p (again Proof means nothing, just using it as a gauge or cut point for this scenario)
Those cuts being separate allow a blend if I care to use an olive oil (yuck) or more grain flavor in the final. Yet all my cuts have the Olive Oil (a hint) so using the grain flavor is not in the cards on this run. Future note, I will use Corn Oil to reduce foam... Should have used the Peanut Oil but worried I'd forget and someone with allergies would shock out on me. LOL!
Final variable are the Oak Sticks. Since this run has only just come out, no sticks, just breathing, that too spicy flavor is not there anymore. So the culprit were the sticks. Too many, too fast, allowed too much spice to come out. I compared by using some of the New Hearts and even ran it up to 110p to taste (that gave more burn than 100p for sure) However it settled the Spice the more 157p w/ Distilled h20, watering down the "sticked" spirit. FWIW. Anyhow this is a copy of my notes in the recipe Bible.

Again thanks for the road signs, it helped me narrow down my palette over here appreciate it. Cheers!

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Bee » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:34 am

Corsaire wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:03 am
My guess is Shady's right. I think your added sugar gives the hot taste.
Perhaps do the same mash but without the sugar?
Or maybe use dextrose/corn sugar instead. I wouldn't go for a high OG either.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by MartinCash » Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:47 pm

Bee wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:34 am
Or maybe use dextrose/corn sugar instead. I wouldn't go for a high OG either.
IMO dextrose is a waste of money and completely unnecessary, in my experience it won't give you an improvement if your problem is too high a SG. White sugar will do just fine if you need to up the SG, and cost a small fraction. If you're a purist, then malt extract, but this also is pretty expensive.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Bubbles2 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:06 am

I agree with that most sugars are created equal some have a bit more moisture than another. After all Table sugar is made of corn, as is HF corn syrup. Some of these myths and legends carry on until someone actually looks it up. Like High gravity, all say stress and so forth, but if you create a starter and the harvested yeast is used on another 1100 start gravity, you can direct pitch on another "go around" no starter needed, yeast is ready (if you harvested enough).
It was an interesting "go" but I am prob just going to stick to wine and beer making. Wine starts at 1100, Beer at 1065. Even wine takes 6 months with the racking and so forth. Beer is instant gratification almost, 10 day ferment, 2 day Carbing and you get 5gal that last a month. This distilling takes 4 gal of wash which 'all grain' is quite cumbersome and reduces it to 2 750's which then need a couple years to age.
I think One needs to be able to run 40g to make all the time and aging needed to make sense. So until we can legally do it and not worry about a 40g or storing/aging 20-100 bottles, I'll just have to buy a bottle here and there. So many micro distilleries to try anyhow and at $30-40 on avg, Bottled and aged is not too bad. I do respect the cost now, due to time and aging, and how 4 gallons makes 2 bottles and all the other 'crap' a man goes through to do business in this country. Luck!
Appreciate all the insight and help from this forum.
Regards,
Bubbles

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by The Baker » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:54 am

Our table sugar is made from sugar cane.

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by MartinCash » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:45 pm

The Baker wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:54 am
Our table sugar is made from sugar cane.

Geoff
And when I lived in Europe it was made from beet!

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Re: Spicy and Crisp but a bit too spicy..

Post by Chucker » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:37 pm

I agree with Shady that 1.100 is too high for whiskey and that added sugar is not needed and will contribute to yield at the expense of adding a “hot” edge to the palate.
I ferment on grain and strip the first rack all the way to the dregs. To the settled grain mass I’ll add some water and rerack after settling and then use this, the low wines, any original wash that didn’t fit into the still, and saved feints and run this as a spirit run. I generally collect to around 45% and have plenty of late heads /early tails for blending to age at ~65%.
I age in glass jugs for a minimum of 6 months. The caps are kept loosened and I avoid even looking at them. They sit in the garage where the temperature is at the mercy of the upper Midwest climate. Harvest is generally as I need to free up jug space after that.
I use what many would consider a lot of oak sticks and the color is very dark within a very short time. Who cares about the color? When proofed for serving it cuts to a wonderful deep copper/amber color. If tasted within the first couple of months there are flavors that are most certainly strong or somewhat unpleasant. Time works these out and obtains the fullness from the oak. After a certain time oak sticks simply have no more to give.
When using sticks it is a given that saturation will occur. Tasting too soon is very misleading. Time will allow the full exploration of the sticks. Permitting some breathing will diminish the effects of the unpleasant volatiles. It’s a process that cannot be easily rushed or forced.
Someone else also added that getting corn into the grain bill add some sweetness. I also concur. Corn in the mash along with the rye and getting rid of the added sugar will help clean up the rough sugar “heat” yet provide the characteristic rye spice note. More time on the oak will further mellow it.
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