Sour Corn UJSM

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pintoshine
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Sour Corn UJSM

Post by pintoshine » Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:39 am

For 35 years, I have known that the stuff that most artisan distillers make from corn, and the spirits that the commercial producers make and call bourbon, has had a distinct difference.
Recently I visited Four Roses Distillery, which I only live an hour from, and was happy that they had a tasting of their premium Bourbons.
After the "Official" tasting was finished our host asked if anyone wanted to taste the "White Dog"
For the first time, of all the commercial white bourbon spirits I have been able to sample which have been quite a few, I have to say that the Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge is doing things right.
For those that don't know, Four Roses was split off from Seagram as an independent back in 2004.
A couple days later, on December 3 I was able to sit down with Jim after the Bourbon dinner I attended, with my wife, and have a nice conversation with Jim about recipes and processes.
They have quite a collection of grain bills and specific yeast varieties that they use to make 9 different combinations of flavors. A lot of this is presented on their tour also.

During our conversation I asked about the lactobacillus fermentation and he was reluctant to discuss this point because it is not publicized at all. They do state that they use backset but there is no reference anywhere about the lacto part.
The official answer was " all our yeasts are pure strains propagated for single cells and have no other flora" But he also said that they have been using the same bald cyprus vats for many many years. Even though their sanitary process are up to any in the industry, the lactobacillus is pervasive and is ever present. He said that their lab fermentations in glass are never as rich and full as the ones that are in the wooden vats. They have stainless steel vats also. And there is little difference in the sanitary processes or the beneficial contamination.

Having heard this same answer from 4 other master distillers, I have come to the conclusion that Dr. Crow was on to something.

I am trying to introduce my sour corn lacto prefermented corn into a UJSM style to see if I can get that elusive ethyl Lactate flavoring profile needed for a robust corn flavor.

I put together a photo album to show the sour fermented corn on a small scale to be used as a sour mash starter.
The link is
http://www.artisan-distiller.org/photoa ... JPG&var2=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
There are comments below each photo explaining what is going on in the process. I am going to use those starter jars as the substitute for the corn in UJSM and hope for a truely "Sour Mash" flavor on the first run without having to do 3 or four generations to get the sour mash flavor. I have already gotten the true sour mash flavor using cooked mash but this is a simplified version. I'll be assembling it this afternoon as soon as I go by a couple smaller fermenters.
I'll keep you posted.

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Post by CoopsOz » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:00 pm

Excellent tut, Pint. Is this magical lactobacillus bacteria a regional thing? Or would an experiment down here produce similar results?
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pintoshine
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Post by pintoshine » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:38 pm

I am certain that the corn carries it every where it grow. You notice I did not try to catch it from the air or from the water. It is always with the corn I believe as long as it is not heat treated.

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Post by As-Ol-Joe » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:44 pm

Pint, is that just water on top of the corn?
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Post by pintoshine » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:53 pm

yes it is just water and corn nothing else.
I started my sour corn batch today. It seems strange for me to not have to cook anything. :D
I also started a concord grape wine today also. My wife prefers concord grape to any I've made to date.
It is going to be interesting to see the two ferment side by side.
I only knocked up 11 L batches. I bought me a couple 12 L carboys at the brew supply today too. Since I have been having lots of problems with arthritis in my knees lately, from too many injuries, I decided to do lighter than 50 kg batches. These are nice little carboys.

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Post by As-Ol-Joe » Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:02 pm

How much of this corn/water solution are you going to put in a 5 gal fermenter?

? ferment the corn then add sugar and yeast?

This sounds really interesting to me.
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Post by pintoshine » Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:11 pm

those jars only contained two lbs of corn. I put together:
all four jars of corn and water, 5 lbs of sugar 2 packets Red Star Champagne and topped it up with water to make just under 3 gallons. This was at about 4:30 Pm Dec 16,2007. As of this post 1:30 ago.

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Post by As-Ol-Joe » Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:25 pm

I like the idea. Can't wait to hear how it turns out.
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Post by pintoshine » Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:29 pm

If this works I would probably stick to Uncle Jesse's recommendation of 7 lbs corn and 7 lbs sugar for a 5 gallon batch.

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Post by bronzdragon » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:11 pm

Sounds like a great experiment. But remember, just as with making Belgian beers, once that lacto gets in a bucket ... it's there to stay.

~r~
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Post by mtnwalker2 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:38 pm

bronzdragon wrote:Sounds like a great experiment. But remember, just as with making Belgian beers, once that lacto gets in a bucket ... it's there to stay.

~r~
Whoah, I have sourdough and kefir ferments going in my kitchen big time. They are basically lactic ferments also. How contagious are they and do I even have to worry about them?
> "You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event - it is a
>habit" Aristotle

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Post by bronzdragon » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:42 pm

Well, it's generally held in brewing ... that when you do, say a Belgian beer with Lacto, that it infects the plastic of the bucket. Therefore, you should only brew Belgians in that bucket from then on out, or at very least, beers that you don't mind being soured.

I'm sure that it wouldn't last forever. However, with the life cycles of brewing buckets ... it's cheaper to just get a different bucket to brew in, then to risk ruining an entire batch of beer.

As for the sourdough ferment, the only thing I wouldn't do is have an open bucket of wort near the sourdough (if it were open to the air.) It's not impossible to get a transference.

As for kafir, I'm not familiar with that so I can't comment.

~r~
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Post by pintoshine » Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:00 pm

I've personally never had a problem with cross contamination. I use BTF iodophor disinfectant from the brew shop of the buckets. It remind me of betadine. I learned a long time ago about fermentations. Sauerkraut will give you a goos education about bacterial fermentations.

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Post by Butch50 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:52 pm

!
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Post by pintoshine » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:57 am

Just a short update. As you know I started a concord wine batch and a Sour UJSM ath the same time. The juice had a bit of lag to it because I used Red Star Cotes de blanc for the wine. The lacto corn started right up and was at full ebulliation within 24 hours. I am getting used to using the s-shaped lock and it doesn't bubble as fast as the ones that have the inverted cup.
At 48 hours the UJSM has started to slow slightly but the grape juice is now full speed ahead. It is amazing the difference between the two.
The UJSM should be done before the end of the week. It is very fun to wath all the pieces of corn going round and round with the gas bubbles. For me it is more entertaining that the juice which just has bubble rising and a tall krausen.

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Post by Butch50 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:58 am

I was re-reading the Foxfire Book (number 1) and in the moonshiner recipes I noted the following, it rang a bell this time:

The book is describing the main cooked mash method (no sugar in those days) and went into this aside:

"[Note - one variation on the above process was also popular. Two bushels of mash were put in each fiffty gallon barrel, and cold water added. No cooking was used. This mixutre would sour in three or four days and produce a crust. This would be broken up, stirred in, and the mixutre left for another two or three days until it had soured again. Then a gallon and a half of malt was added to each barrel, and the mixture allowed to work another week. At this point, it was ready to run in the same manner as the other we have been describing.]"

The mash was ground white corn, the malt was sprouted corn that was also ground up. I have read this section of this book at least 10 times and this was the first time this jumped out at me.
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Post by pintoshine » Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:14 pm

I've read that passage a hundred times. It dawned on me about 10 years ago what it meant. I have been trying to reproduce the flavor of my Great Uncle Leo's spirits for a long time. I finally got it with cooked mash using sour corn. I believe you found an a very important fact about the uncooked corn method. Most malt enzymes work at room temperature just slowly. I bet this uncooked mash would work off for a long time.

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Post by mtnwalker2 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:53 pm

Just thinking, cause I have had great results with it in the older way of doing this, But wouldn't ag enzyme be a good addition? I don't think it was availiable back when, but i have gotten a much, much higher corn conversion and flavor useing it in the standard UJSM.

Actually, almost double the grain used if left for just a day or 2 longer to work. Would this work here also. I add it to every backset.
> "You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event - it is a
>habit" Aristotle

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Post by pintoshine » Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:25 am

Update again. The primary fermentation on the grape juice has been complete for three days. The UJSM is still going at its own rate. The SG is down but only about 3/4th finished. It seems there is a nutrient deficiency. But it is not sticking just slow. The average temp is only 70F so it is understandable for the lack of nutrients. A small sample shows it to be corn flavored but not like corn beer. The flavor is more like canned corn. The flavor of mashed corn is distinctly different which is more like corn bread or corn mush. It is carbonated of course but it is distinctly sour and flavorful. I like the flavor and think this is going to make a nice spirit.
The pieces of corn are still going round and round. This is fun stuff to watch.

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Post by punkin » Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:35 am

Pint and others, was thinking on this the last couplea days...

I wanna make a large peach and corn wash/mash. I want the corn to be soured, and i have plenty of soured corn going in small drums of UJSM.

Was thinking, could i add a few handfulls of soured corn (incidently full of yeast :) ) to a sack of corn and water (and peaches and sugar) and would that infect and sour the rest of the corn in there as the yeast ferment went on, instead of having to re-use it and get the sourness after wards.
I have stacks of malt barley here too, but while i'm keen to get the most out of my sack of corn, i'm a bit worried about complicating the flavour even further...

Or, altenatively, could i kill the yeast that's on the corn without killing the lacto, and that way ensure my full bag of corn can be soured before use in a ferment without risking unwanted infection?



edit. Sorry read the thread again and believe i'm getting confused tween the sour caused by backset and the sour caused by lacto..
Will do some more reading.

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Post by Butch50 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:26 pm

!
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Post by new_moonshiner » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:03 pm

Did you punch the cap back down or just cover it and let it set ?

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Post by Butch50 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:06 pm

I just let it sit
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Post by new_moonshiner » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:09 pm

I think Pint advises to keep the cap punched down If im thinking correctly ..sounds like the mold If it is mold could have grown from that .more so if it was kept in a warm climate..

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Post by Butch50 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:19 pm

!
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new_moonshiner
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Post by new_moonshiner » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:23 pm

boiling it wont that kill the bacteria ? I thought that was what you wanted to take over the ferment ..

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Post by Butch50 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:47 pm

I am hoping it kills the blue floating stuff, and I figure it will kill the lacto bacillus as well. But, it is still corn and still sour so maybe it will still do some good. I could of course just toss it out.
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pintoshine
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Post by pintoshine » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:21 pm

The blue floating stuff is harmless. You could just skim it off. Keeping the cap punched down will prevent that just for future references.

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Post by Butch50 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:35 pm

!
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Post by Dnderhead » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:16 pm

AAhh now your bringing back memories
you could try jump start with yogurt or sauerkraut

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