Curious about rye

All styles of whiskey. This is for all-grain mashes.

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Curious about rye

Post by Justinthunder » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:19 pm

I have a very good recipe that I have been using now that I love.

5 gallons water
8.5lbs flaked corn
1.5lbs malted barley

I just bought some malted rye from a brew store, I am curious to tweak my recipe and get some different taste. Do I replace the barley with the rye? Or do I replace some of the corn with the rye? I live in Canada and rye is our primary whisky, I’m excited to try out the rye, I just want to make sure I do it justice.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by tubbsy » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:56 pm

How much rye did you get?

If it were me I would replace all of the corn with the rye, or if you're up for the challenge do a 100% malted rye.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Justinthunder » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:41 pm

I just bought a 5lb bag I believe it was around 12$, I just wanted to dip my toes into it first

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by tubbsy » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:01 pm

In that case I would replace 5lbs of corn with the rye. It won't technically be a Rye Whiskey as it needs 51% or more of Rye to be classified as such, but there is enough there to make a good impact.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Justinthunder » Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:39 am

Because the rye is malted would you still use the barley in the recipe? Or just all rye? I normally do double batches so instead of wasting the rye I will go out and buy a few more bags

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by tombombadil » Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:48 am

What kind of still are you working with?
What's the heat source?

Rye mashes scorch very easily. I finally gave up on direct heat and started building a steam stripping rig just for dealing with rye.

A pretty traditional bourbon recipe would be:
7# flaked corn
1.5# malted rye
1.5# malted barley

Or double the rye for a high rye bourbon:
5.5# flaked corn
3# malted rye
1.5# malted barley

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by 8Ball » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:22 am

Justinthunder wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:41 pm
I just bought a 5lb bag I believe it was around 12$, I just wanted to dip my toes into it first
I’d replace the corn with your 5# of malt rye. Step mash it all, ferment on the grain, strip and spirit with narrow cuts. Rinse & repeat.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Grappa-Gringo » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:22 am

What would the process be in terms of putting in the mash...? order of ingredients and for how long...I'm very interested in this...
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Re: Curious about rye

Post by zed255 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:54 pm

tubbsy wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:01 pm
In that case I would replace 5lbs of corn with the rye. It won't technically be a Rye Whiskey as it needs 51% or more of Rye to be classified as such, but there is enough there to make a good impact.
Not in Canada. Pass a bottle of whisky through a room with a single rye grain in it and we can call it rye. In fact, many of the older set call ALL whisky (no 'e' either) rye, no matter if there's rye in it or not. Canadian rules for whisky are pretty loose.

Of course, there are some good Canadian examples of true 100% rye whisky too.
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Re: Curious about rye

Post by seamusm53 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:42 pm

I'd recommend that you ease your way into rye. A little goes a long way but it adds a wonderful spicyness to your whiskey. I have made 100% rye and it was too much so I diluted it with corn whiskey to soften the taste. As pointed out rye scorches easily and the mash can be a B to filter.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Justinthunder » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:00 pm

tombombadil wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:48 am
What kind of still are you working with?
What's the heat source?
Image

thats my set up. 12 gallon still with a 2 gallon thump. my heat source is a 200,000 btu propane burner.
Im not sure id want to do 100% rye but I would definitely try the whole 5lb bag in a double batch of my recipe
12Lb corn
5lb malted rye
3lb malted barley
10 gallon water

I have never been a huge whisky drinker but since I have started making my own I love it and I would love to try to add new things to up my game.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Bushman » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:57 pm

I love rye whiskey so I would go along with the all malted rye whiskey.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by zapata » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:08 pm

Canada's liberal usage of the word "rye" is also respected by US law. The above comment that rye must be 51% rye only applies to whiskey made in the US, we let Canadians import their not-rye and call it what they will.

I like rye, in all it's forms. I will note that 99% of the rye in commercial whiskies is not malted. I like malted rye, but I don't think it is as strong in the flavors most associate with rye from rye whiskies. IOW, I don't think you can overdo rye, and I REALLY don't think you can overdo malted rye. Use as much as you want.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by tombombadil » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:08 pm

Justinthunder wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:00 pm
tombombadil wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:48 am
What kind of still are you working with?
What's the heat source?
Image

thats my set up. 12 gallon still with a 2 gallon thump. my heat source is a 200,000 btu propane burner.
Im not sure id want to do 100% rye but I would definitely try the whole 5lb bag in a double batch of my recipe
12Lb corn
5lb malted rye
3lb malted barley
10 gallon water

I have never been a huge whisky drinker but since I have started making my own I love it and I would love to try to add new things to up my game.
That's a nice setup!

My boiler is stainless and I was having issues with rye mashes getting burnt. You might have better results since your boiler is copper. Stirring while it heats up might help too.

I'm running the vinegar run on my new steam injector setup right now.

I'm sure people with more experience will chime in but in the meantime do a forum search for rye and im sure you'll find plenty of trials and tribulations and advice for avoiding problems.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by WithOrWithoutU2 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:33 pm

Just a thought...

You mentioned you are not a whiskey drinking but starting to appreciate it now that you are making it yourself. Rye can be "spicy" and different from corn which can be described as sweet and buttery. So before spending the resources, specifically TIME, you may want to go to your likker store and purchase a small bottle of Rye Whiskey. It will give you a comparison point. Based on how much you like it will give you an idea on how much of your experimental grain bill should be rye.

Just my thoughts at least.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Justinthunder » Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:25 pm

WithOrWithoutU2 wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:33 pm
Just a thought...

You mentioned you are not a whiskey drinking but starting to appreciate it now that you are making it yourself. Rye can be "spicy" and different from corn which can be described as sweet and buttery. So before spending the resources, specifically TIME, you may want to go to your likker store and purchase a small bottle of Rye Whiskey. It will give you a comparison point. Based on how much you like it will give you an idea on how much of your experimental grain bill should be rye.

Just my thoughts at least.
I’ve been drinking rye for 15 years, I’m more of a rum guy, but I love my homemade stuff, I’m Canadian so I’ve had a lot of rye, crown is one of my faves and royal reserve is ones of my least faves lol

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by WithOrWithoutU2 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:52 pm

Justinthunder wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:25 pm
WithOrWithoutU2 wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:33 pm
Just a thought...

You mentioned you are not a whiskey drinking but starting to appreciate it now that you are making it yourself. Rye can be "spicy" and different from corn which can be described as sweet and buttery. So before spending the resources, specifically TIME, you may want to go to your likker store and purchase a small bottle of Rye Whiskey. It will give you a comparison point. Based on how much you like it will give you an idea on how much of your experimental grain bill should be rye.

Just my thoughts at least.
I’ve been drinking rye for 15 years, I’m more of a rum guy, but I love my homemade stuff, I’m Canadian so I’ve had a lot of rye, crown is one of my faves and royal reserve is ones of my least faves lol
Well if you know you like crown then your 12lb corn, 5lb rye and 3lb Barley would be pretty close to your Crown Grain Bill. So I say go for it, and let us know how it turns out for you. :thumbup:

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by tiramisu » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:00 pm

There are a dozen different "Crown" blends now.
When I was a kid there was only one and it wasn't "rye"

Crown Royal was fine with coke and ice but rye you drink straight.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Justinthunder » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:07 am

Would I treat the rye just like the barley? I normally bring my water to 165 degrees and then turn the heat off and add my corn and keep stirring until the temp drops to 152 and then I add my barley. Would I add the rye in at this time as well? Or with the corn?

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Twisted Brick » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:42 am

Justinthunder wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:07 am
Would I treat the rye just like the barley? I normally bring my water to 165 degrees and then turn the heat off and add my corn and keep stirring until the temp drops to 152 and then I add my barley. Would I add the rye in at this time as well? Or with the corn?
It depends on the percentage of rye you're working with. Because of the glucans in rye, a small amount (say 5-10% of total mash bill) then yes. But anything over 15% rye or so, then your mash starts to get really viscous. High rye bourbons (~35%) up to 100% ryes require glucan rests, glucanase enzymes, and a lot of careful stirring if you heat directly.

Corn requires 190-200F to gel properly and if you're not using enzymes you'll need to take care preserving the enzymes in your malt. Research the gel temps of different grains and remember that best flavor comes from subjecting your grains to their optimum temps, and not throwing them all in together at higher temps for convenience.
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Re: Curious about rye

Post by zapata » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:58 am

It's easy to do a protein / glucan rest on rye separately. Since it's a relatively small amount of rye it's fairly easy to do while you cool the gelatinized corn. Just dough in the rye malt (and maybe the barley malt, see below) in a separate pot and aim for a temp of 104 ish. Aim to dough in the rye about 20-30 minutes before your corn cools to strike temp. Then add the glucan rested rye malt along with the barley malt to the corn once the temp is down to 150 ish.
I have done this and it was completely trouble free. Brewing calculators make it easy to calculate strike temps, mash temps, and volumes. Be sure to account for the rye strike water separately from your corn gel water, as well as the increased temp of the malt/s.

Even though I've done it, I'm not sure how necessary it is, or at what % rye malt it becomes prudent. It's so easy and you've got to wait on the corn to cool anyway, there's almost no reason to not do it. BUT, it isn't clear to me if all rye malt even has betaglucanase, or if all barley malts do either (betaglucanase is at least partially used up, the more modified the malt the more it's used up, supposedly). Maybe you can check with your maltster regarding betaglucanase content, or use an exogenous betaglucanase if you're really scared.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by rubberduck71 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:50 am

tombombadil wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:48 am


Or double the rye for a high rye bourbon:
5.5# flaked corn
3# malted rye
1.5# malted barley
I love rye also, but Redemption make a very tasty high rye bourbon! Should be avail in a liquor store near you (in the U.S.).

Thanks for this recipe Mr. Bombadil. Thanks for rescuing those hobbits from nasty wraiths! :wink:
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Re: Curious about rye

Post by tombombadil » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:32 pm

rubberduck71 wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:50 am
tombombadil wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:48 am


Or double the rye for a high rye bourbon:
5.5# flaked corn
3# malted rye
1.5# malted barley
I love rye also, but Redemption make a very tasty high rye bourbon! Should be avail in a liquor store near you (in the U.S.).

Thanks for this recipe Mr. Bombadil. Thanks for rescuing those hobbits from nasty wraiths! :wink:
I'm actually drinking some of the high rye bourbon right now white. It's only a few weeks old and I do already enjoy drinking it. I have 3 gallons of it in glass. I need to get some oak sticks charred up for it but I've been busy... spending time with Goldberry.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Justinthunder » Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:59 pm

tombombadil wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:48 am
I'm actually drinking some of the high rye bourbon right now white. It's only a few weeks old and I do already enjoy drinking it. I have 3 gallons of it in glass. I need to get some oak sticks charred up for it but I've been busy... spending time with Goldberry.
Did you just throw the rye and the barley in the corn together? Do you bring the rye up to temp separately? I’m curious how to add it all together. I use cracked corn that I run through a fine flour mill and then I normally just bring my water to temp and cook it for 20 mins and then shut it off and wait for the temp to come down before I add my barley

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by tombombadil » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:15 pm

Justinthunder wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:59 pm
tombombadil wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:48 am
I'm actually drinking some of the high rye bourbon right now white. It's only a few weeks old and I do already enjoy drinking it. I have 3 gallons of it in glass. I need to get some oak sticks charred up for it but I've been busy... spending time with Goldberry.
Did you just throw the rye and the barley in the corn together? Do you bring the rye up to temp separately? I’m curious how to add it all together. I use cracked corn that I run through a fine flour mill and then I normally just bring my water to temp and cook it for 20 mins and then shut it off and wait for the temp to come down before I add my barley
Good question. I mash in the rye malt and barley malt at 115f to do a beta glucan rest. Then in another vessel I boil some water and add the corn and some alpha amylase enzyme. When the corn drops to 190 or 180 I add them together, adjust the temp to 148 and leave it overnight.

I was doing the extra rest to try to reduce scorching but it didn't work very well.

Since your using malted rye it would probably be fine to add the rye and barley to the cooked corn like normal, around 150f.

I still had issues with scorching even doing the extra rest. Like I said before though, you might have better luck since your boiler is copper. Heat up slowly while stirring and cross your fingers.

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Twisted Brick » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:57 pm

tombombadil wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:15 pm

Good question. I mash in the rye malt and barley malt at 115f to do a beta glucan rest. Then in another vessel I boil some water and add the corn and some alpha amylase enzyme. When the corn drops to 190 or 180 I add them together, adjust the temp to 148 and leave it overnight.
So you're adding the malts to the corn once it's dropped to 180/190F?
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Re: Curious about rye

Post by HDNB » Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:36 pm

i do/have done tons of rye. this advice that follows my rambling is spot on. I'd add rye grain is stronger (more astringent) flavour. malt rye is smoother and more rounded. they both have the "spice"
20% malt rye will get you the flavour you want, if you care to blend.

i do 100% malt because it's easier and faster and i use less heat, never going over 155* with the mash, after dough in at 100-105* i give it 3 hours at to cool from 155* to pitch and let 'er buck. the additional cost is incidental when time and heat is factored in

after stripping i take my spirit run at 78% to get my flavour intensity. and it's full bodied to say the least. lots of time on good oak helps it immensely.

grain is slimier than malt. i agitate the mash continually as i distill on the grain, with a steam jacket. i never had good luck with rye on my direct heat still. yer gonna need to stir it until it's basically boiling and throw the cap on the unit shown in the picture...and be real careful with heat.

i also use lab enzymes for max conversion and viscosity. heat, time/yield and ease makes the cost of them incidental too.
zapata wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:58 am
It's easy to do a protein / glucan rest on rye separately. Since it's a relatively small amount of rye it's fairly easy to do while you cool the gelatinized corn. Just dough in the rye malt (and maybe the barley malt, see below) in a separate pot and aim for a temp of 104 ish. Aim to dough in the rye about 20-30 minutes before your corn cools to strike temp. Then add the glucan rested rye malt along with the barley malt to the corn once the temp is down to 150 ish.
I have done this and it was completely trouble free. Brewing calculators make it easy to calculate strike temps, mash temps, and volumes. Be sure to account for the rye strike water separately from your corn gel water, as well as the increased temp of the malt/s.

Even though I've done it, I'm not sure how necessary it is, or at what % rye malt it becomes prudent. It's so easy and you've got to wait on the corn to cool anyway, there's almost no reason to not do it. BUT, it isn't clear to me if all rye malt even has betaglucanase, or if all barley malts do either (betaglucanase is at least partially used up, the more modified the malt the more it's used up, supposedly). Maybe you can check with your maltster regarding betaglucanase content, or use an exogenous betaglucanase if you're really scared.
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Re: Curious about rye

Post by tombombadil » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:09 pm

Twisted Brick wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:57 pm
tombombadil wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:15 pm

Good question. I mash in the rye malt and barley malt at 115f to do a beta glucan rest. Then in another vessel I boil some water and add the corn and some alpha amylase enzyme. When the corn drops to 190 or 180 I add them together, adjust the temp to 148 and leave it overnight.
So you're adding the malts to the corn once it's dropped to 180/190F?

Sort of.

In one pot:
5 gallons of boiling water
10# corn
1 splash of high temp alpha amylase enzyme

In another pot:
3 gallons water at 115f
7# rye malt
3# 6 row barley malt

I give it an hour or two stirring occasionally and then dump them both in to a fermenter.
By that time the corn is around 190 or 180 and the malts haven't lost much.
It balances out around 145-150f.
If it's too low after combining then I pull a decoction to get the temp back up enough.
I leave it overnight with a lid on, it usually does down to around 100 by morning.
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Then I put it in to my fermentation fridge and follow ale fermentation schedule.

Looking at HDNBs post I might be a little too hot on the beta glucan rest :(

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Re: Curious about rye

Post by Twisted Brick » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:05 am

Thanks. I've read anywhere between 100-113F works, so you're not far off.
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Re: Curious about rye

Post by shadylane » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:18 am

Justinthunder wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:00 pm
tombombadil wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:48 am
What kind of still are you working with?
What's the heat source?
Image

thats my set up. 12 gallon still with a 2 gallon thump. my heat source is a 200,000 btu propane burner.
That's a nice set up. It's similar to what a friend has.
It would be a shame to dent and scratch it up, trying to clean a scorched rye mash out of it.
Best to leave the cap off and stir the hell out of it until it just begins to boil.

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