Jimbo's Easy 1/2 Barrel Bourbon and Gumballhead

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Jimbo's Easy 1/2 Barrel Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 am

Ok some explainin I guess on that weird title. There's 2 recipe's in this post, back to back, which is how they are made. The first is an All Grain Wheated Bourbon. Similar in style to Makers Mark, Pappy Van Winkle and some others that use wheat instead of rye in their bourbon. You can also make it with rye replacing the wheat if thats your taste. Im partial to the warm buttery smooth fruity notes from wheat myself. Rye will be similar but with a floral aroma and a little spicier flavor. Allso damn fine, think Knob Creek, Basil Haydens, Four Roses and many others.

The second recipe is a sugarhead made with the spent grains. Since its wheated, and its a sugarhead, and my favorite wheat beer ever is Three Floyds Gumballhead, I stole his name for this. Its a nice drinkin likker but especially good for pantydroppers and flavored stuff.

I call this recipe 'easy' because I dont cook the corn over fire. Lazy bastard that I am. I boil the water, then add the corn and let it steep cook for several hours, wrapped in a blanket. It works great, gelatinizes the corn just fine. Finally, 1/2barrel is in the title because it is tuned for a 15.5gal 1/2 barrel BAP (big ass pot) cooker. Keg with the top cut out. And a 15.5g still.

Ok on with it already.

WHEATED BOURBON RECIPE (Edited April 2015)

Ingredients:
10 gallons water
2 gallons backset (to lower the pH of the mash. Or sub with 2 more gal water and 15ml lactic acid)
4 teaspoons gypsum (calcium sulfate, lowers the pH a tad and yeast like Calcium)
22 lbs cracked corn (washed and drained with warm water in a bucket)
OR 16 lbs corn meal (corn meal converts more efficiently due to much smaller crack size).
5 lbs wheat malt, milled.
3 lbs 6 row, milled (or 2 row, or use 8 lbs wheat malt total)
A good ale yeast (US-04, US-05, Nottingham, Wyeast 1272, WLP023 Burton or similar) 2-3 packets, or a healthy starter.

A note on yeasts, US-05, Nottingham, WLP001 and Wyeast 1272 are very clean fermenting and produce very little esters. Make a great whiskey. US-04, WLP023 Burton and many other English style yeasts produce more fruity esters that will come across in the bourbon. The cuts get trickier and the final yield might be slightly less for these estery English yeasts but it does add a nice interesting touch to the bourbon.

Process:
1 - Bring the water, backset and gypsum to a boil in your half barrel BAP. It takes a while, and helps if you wrap a flame proof insulating blanket around the pot while its heating up. I usually quit at 205F out of impatience, and to avoid boiling the oxygen out of the water (yeast need oxygen).
2 - Turn the heat off and stir in the corn.
3 - Wrap it up in extra blankets, even if you have the flame proof insulator on it. And let it steep cook for several hours or overnight. Note the corn is pasteurized now so nothing funky is gonna grow in there. Helps to stir a few times as the corn will settle.
4 - After 3+ hours (I do overnight) remove the blankets, stir well and check temp. When I make this, I start the process at 8PM, stir in my corn by 10PM and at 9AM in the morning its 155F or so still. So if you wrap it up well it will hold temp just fine.
5 - Point a big fan at the BAP and stir a few minutes, it will drop fast, watch it. at 146F, stir in the 8 lbs milled malt and wrap it back up tight in blankets. Stir occasionally.
6- After minimum 2 hours or up to several hours. Cool to 80F or below and pitch the yeast (Note after mashing, its best to drop temp fast and pitch yeast. Malt carries bacteria that doesnt get pasteurized) Ferment at 65-70. Dont ferment beer yeasts in the 80's too hot for them and they'll get pissed and throw too much crap in your drink.
7 - It will be mostly done in 3-4 days, if you leave it to ferment out dry 5-7 days the yeast will add more fruityness (a good thing). Commercial distillers would like to do this but dont have the time, for economical reasons. Some push to 60+ hours to try and get more fruit. We do have the time :thumbup: But watch it and dont let it go longer than 7 days ever. The corn was pastuerized, the 8 lbs malt not, so the bugs will take off on you and feed on the yeast autolyses products and youll risk ruining a batch of nice bourbon fixens.
8 - When its done, squeeze out the grain through a large mesh grain bag. This isint as hard as some people make out. 20 minutes and Im done, and will get close to 11 gallons to distill. Let it sit overnight to settle out. The cloudyness is yeast. You dont want to distill that if you can avoid it, but if in a pinch for time its fine, Im hard pressed to taste any difference when I have run cloudy washes.
9 - rack the clear wash off the top of the settling buckets into your 1/2brl still. Do a quick stripper run. Pitch 6 oz of fores. I run the stripper until the low wines avg about 30%. You could go a bit longer but youre burning a lot of propane for a little bit of alcohol. (Whiskey distilleries typically go to 20% low wines, economics, and the large steam boilers are already running anyway). Save the backset from the stripper for next time. Its sterile, so stores fine in a sterilized bucket. You can also freeze blocks in gallon ziplock bags. Ive done both.
10 - Run the low wines slower in a spirit run. Pitch another 6 oz fores.

Cuts and Yield:
Make your cuts to taste. This recipe gives me 4 quarts at 56% usually, without feints added to the runs, or a higher yield if you have feints to add.
Age on toasted and charred all around oak. Dont touch it for 4 months, at that point its damn good. And only gets better with more time.
At todays grain prices $11/ 50lbs corn, $48/50lb wheat and $46/50lb 6row, This works out to $11.22 for 7 fifths of 80 proof. Or $1.60 a fifth. :thumbup: :thumbup: (not counting yeast, I use harvested yeast from beer runs).
Why do I distill? My answer in another thread on here - Im a cheap bastard with expensive tastes.

A note on oak aging, according to Jimbo - Oak needs to be toasted at 400-450 for 2-4 hours AND then charred all sides exposed to likker. Lots of ways to do this. Raw wood baked and charred gives more sweetness faster. Used barrels are great. Take a little longer. JD staves from a half barrel planter work great. I cut them into 1x1x5 inch sticks, and char the unexposed 5 surfaces with a torch. They are already toasted so dont need that treatment. Soak charred wood for several hours in water to remove some tannins and grit. For the JD sticks 1 ea 1x1x5 stick per quart. This is 88 sq inches per gallon. A 55g barrel gives about 52 square inches per gallon. I havent done the math on 5 gallon barrels yet but them used Balcones barrels sure are nice, I have 3.


BOURBON GUMBALLHEAD RECIPE Delicious sugarhead drinkin likker.

Instead of dumping that pile of squeezed out spent grain (and goo from the bottom of the settling buckets) in the compost (like I used to do! ugh) cook up 16 lbs of sugar with 2 gallons of the backset from the stripper run above and 10 gallons water. Cool and pour over the spent grain. There's plenty yeast embedded in the grain so no need for more yeast. This baby will start up quick and ferment out fast, 1.061 to 1.000 in 4 days. Squeeze it out like above, let it settle and run it twice, all same as above. You could pull a couple quarts of hearts out of the first run for a sweeter tasting shine. The second run will be cleaner. With the bourbon feints from above added, the yield is about 6 quarts of 56% or so! At the price I paid for sugar at Aldi last time this works out to $0.98 per 80 proof fifth! :shock: Age on oak. Life is good.

Cheers friends.

WhiskeyBourbonWheatedSm.JPG
Last edited by Jimbo on Fri May 17, 2013 7:06 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby shawn2974 » Wed May 15, 2013 8:39 am

I have to say Jimbo its definitley got my attention to give it a try.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Bing-Bot » Wed May 15, 2013 8:48 am

If you were to get yeast from your all grain batch to save for another batch how might you do that? How long will it keep and how do you store it?
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Wed May 15, 2013 9:05 am

halfbaked wrote:If you were to get yeast from your all grain batch to save for another batch how might you do that? How long will it keep and how do you store it?

I dont do that baked, because the AG whiskey ferments are not sterile. The malt is never pasteurized in AG fixins, so the bacteria on the malt is still there. Its a race with the yeast. And in a clean environment with fresh clean yeast, the yeast will win. If you keep cycling something with bacteria, the bacteria will proliferate and youre toast.

Beer is boiled after mashing. So the ferment is sterile.
Last edited by Jimbo on Wed May 15, 2013 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Bing-Bot » Wed May 15, 2013 9:10 am

Thanks. Great post
Last edited by Bing-Bot on Wed May 15, 2013 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby DFitz » Wed May 15, 2013 9:33 am

I have an open barrel atm that might just work out for this recipe. I'll keep it in mind for my next run. First I have a 95% rye/5% smoked barley I have to get through. Looking forward to trying this. :thumbup:
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Antaean » Tue May 21, 2013 12:15 pm

Jimbo,
Noobshine directed me to this thread after asking the question of if I can reuse the grains from an all grain batch and drop some sugar on it. I have to say after reading your post it has my mouth watering, sounds delightful. I have a few days left of fermenting of my all grain before I can try it. Looking forward to it !!
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Tue May 21, 2013 12:41 pm

Antaean, Thanks. I was really pleasantly surprised. Makes a nice drinker. Try that nuclear treatment on some with an oak stick in it. I did on a quart for grins and it's drinkable right away without waiting 4+ months. I wont be dumping my piles of spent whiskey grains in the compost anymore without doing this first, $0.98 a fifth is hard to beat for a nice mixin likker :)

What was your all grain batch?

cheers
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby warp1 » Tue May 21, 2013 5:38 pm

Great thread....very detailed recipe...love it.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Tue May 28, 2013 9:32 am

Just ran the strippers and spirit run from another batch over the weekend. 'Keep' yield this time with fruity high ester Burton Ale yeast worked out to 4.03 lbs of grain per 80 proof fifth. Or 12.4 fifths per 50lbs. Last batch was 4.3 lbs/fifth with very clean fermenting US-05. Too early to say if the fruity yeast does anythign good for the flavor as hoped. Cut it down from 70 to 60% and have it aging on oak till xmas. Cheers.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby singlewhitemalt » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:54 pm

Hey Jimbo, this recipe sounds like just what I need. I was recently converted to a malt whiskey drinker and want to get started making some American style single malt but, I still have about 60lbs of corn to go through (and hey I haven't thrown all my corn likker away yet :lol: ). I also just acquired a really sweet 1/2 barrell mash tun. A trip to the home brew store for some 6 row and some ale yeast and I'll be ready to get mashing on a full batch of this. It's gonna be rye to start as I already have some but, looking forward to trying it with the wheat as well. Thanks for the clear cut recipe. I'll report back on my results.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby tickle » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:26 pm

Jimbo,
All I can find locally is bags of wheat bran (flakes). I assume its not what you use..worth trying you think?
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:14 am

tickle, morebeer is my favorite online supplier. They have 5 and 10 lb bags of wheat malt. http://morebeer.com/products/white-wheat-malt.html

If you spend $59 shipping is FREE. Great barley malt prices too.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby BoomTown » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:06 am

Jimbo wrote:Hi Boom! Just bottled a fifth of cherry panty dropper made with the gumballhead from this run. Its damn fine. No sugar, just the sugarhead fresh sour cherries and 2 charred sticks in a gallon flip top jug.


Thanks Jimbo,

BTW, as for squeesings...I dropped $30US on a plastic mop squeeser that fits into a box. Now I put the mop wringer over a bucket, spread a nylon paint strainer bag over the mop squeezer, and then pour the mash into the mop squeezer till its about 2/3 full. Then pull the handle, and squeeze it out into the bucket. Lets me squees my grains dryer than I could by hand, and does it all in about 5 minutes per 7 gallon bucket of wash.

You might want to spend some of those $$s your saving on a good mop squeezer. Check out the WEBstaurant Store, Item # 274MOPWRINGER. You'll have more time to sip your $.99 Cherry P.D. :thumbup: :moresarcasm:
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby midwest shinner » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:33 pm

Damn good thread Jimbo, very detailed. Even the most novice of stillers should be able to follow. Great job. I love the labels too. As a side note i would love to try your cherry bourbon gumballhead it sounds mighty tasty. My lady isn't a whisky drinker at all but that might be a way to get her interested
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:50 pm

Thanks Mike appreciate that. I try my best in these recipe threads to take the mystery and apprehension away from all grain brewing. They really are not difficult. 2 additional steps and some careful temperature control and youre off. I also intentionally keep them as simple as possible. Some things in life just dont need to be overcomplicated. Mashing grain is one of them.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby midwest shinner » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:18 pm

Mashing is certainly something a lot of folks over complicate and over think, only a few things you need to keep in mind or watch out for to be successful. Anyway, great job breaking it all down.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby flht01 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:30 am

Quick question on the gumball. I squeezed out a 12 gallon mash last night ( thanks BoomTown for the mop bucket tip ) and ended up with 10.5 gallons of wash. To keep the grain from sitting too long, I cooked the sugar, cooled it with frozen backset from the previous run and poured it over the grain bed. This morning the airlocks are working but seem to getting off to a slow start. Since I'm going to let the wash settle a day or so before running it, should I be doing something different to preserve the grain bed until I can pour the trub back in it after letting the wash settle? I hate to reopen the fermenters and add it after they've started fermenting.

Thanks
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:28 am

Checking my understanding, you squeezed out the AG grains and are letting them settle right now. In the mean time you cooked up some sugar and poured it over the grain bed. And it started working again, youre question is, is it ok to dump the gloop from the bottom of the buckets into the fermenter the next day after the grain and sugar already started again? If I understood that correctly, the answer is yes. The gloop is basically mostly yeast, if the fermenter is off to a slow start with the residual yeast on the grain, it sure wont be anymore after you dump pounds of yeast in there. ;)

Ive done it both ways, let the grain sit dry in a sealed fermenter overnight, then added the gloop and sugar wash together, And Ive also done it seperate like youre talking about. Both ways worked out fine
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Black Eye » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:19 pm

Jimbo,

Long time no speak... It's been about 4 months now since you posted on this sugar head portion of your experimentation. Have you had a chance to do a side by side comparison of the gimbal head to all grain?

I'm wondering if I'm going to bastardized a nice all grain whiskey by mixing both strippers into a single spirit run.

I'm highly leaning toward not messing with mixing for fear of cutting down the quality of the all grain run.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:31 pm

Hey Black Eye Mike! Long time, good to hear from you. Hope things are well with you. Yes, my gumballhead is marked May 13th. Good eye Black Eye.

DONT mix them. The gumballhead is aging up nice on oak. Nice caramelly vanilla sweetness from the oak, unfortunately over a thin tasting whiskey with a little graininess, but generally thin, lacking character and the damn sugarbite flavor sitting in there. Its not bad, dont get me wrong, I know 95% of the good folk here make and love sugarheads, Im certainly not slighting that. But the thinness reminds me of Jack (vats of charcoal filtering) and the sugarbite is unmistakable. I like it with coke, makes a pretty damn fine Jack and Coke clone, due to its similar thinness in character. And thats just fine with me, I love Jack and Coke. So Im going through it readily, with a case of coke.

The AG bourbon tho has a smoothness and richness of flavor that just doesnt compare.

Here's a 3rd party unbiased input - last weekend we had a terrific tasting party. Windy City, Midwest Mike and I. We had a ton of different beverages to work through, so I dont know if them 2 even got to the gumballhead (if you did, please chime in). But Windys friend Steve was there, a whiskey drinker. He tasted a couple of mine and got stuck with the bourbon bottle. He drank 1/2 a fifth. He tried the gumballhead and looked at me funny. Said he's having a hard time getting through it. I told him to have no worries about dumping it and enjoying what he likes. He dumped it.

Long story short. Whiskey drinkers are a finicky lot. We can taste the sugar in a whiskey. Its probably why NO commercial whiskey distillers use sugar. At any rate, its fine with me, especially when done creatively. Midwest brought some of Odins Rye Bread recipe which I enjoyed thoroughly! Any my gumballhead Im going through just fine in mixed drinks. And just to be thorough on teh tasting, altho unrelated to this, Windy shared a Pugirum that was wicked tasty amazing.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Windy City » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:12 pm

Jimbo and Midwest Shiner brought over to the the tasting party a great selection of spirits ( and also some really great people). There was not a bad one in the bunch (people and spirits) . As far as the AG to sugar head comparison I again have to say they were all good but the problem comes in when they are side by side you are going to grab for the AG (Damm Good) I have not yet done a AG for distilling (I have done many for brewing) still doing my homework but hopefully in a couple weeks I want to start with this recipie. I wasn't going to follow up with a sugar head buy after reading what Jimbo said about using it as a mixer it really made sense
Keep up the good work Jimbo we all appreciate it

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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby tickle » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:43 pm

guys, this is the good stuff. Made easy. I'm a sugar head guy overall, but I did this. Well worth it. Jimbo strips away all the mystery, confusion, and the snobbery, lol. Easy, great, and sized proportionatly, this this a winner! If you have been running uj stuff and considering trying ag, try this. I don't mean to gush, but jimbo rocks it outta the park here. So...ya, maybe a lil bromance....but well deserved. Step up and give it a shot, worst that happens is you sugar it if the conversion doesn't happen :D
Any votes to see this over in proven? :thumbup: :wave:
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Bushy » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:10 pm

Perfect. This is gonna be my first allgrain wash. Thx Jimbo
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby fiugzel » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:04 pm

Jimbo wrote:... Long story short. Whiskey drinkers are a finicky lot. We can taste the sugar in a whiskey. Its probably why NO commercial whiskey distillers use sugar. At any rate, its fine with me, especially when done creatively. ...


Jimbo - how do you feel about using corn sugar instead of refined white sugar? I'm brand new to the shine bidness, but I know I've used corn sugar aplenty brewing beer. I wonder how different the spirit would turn out if you spiked the Gumballhead with dextrose instead of table sugar.

Anyway, I have a 60/40 cracked corn/2row & wheat wort (using NChooch's method) fermenting away right now, but I was disappointed that 6 hours of cooking then mashing only ran me off a 1.040 wort. Also, I scorched my first 7lbs of cracked corn in my small kettle on the stove, so I had to start over. Ugh. I think I'm going to give your recipe a go. Sounds much better to me. A couple questions, though:

  • Are you less susceptible to scorching using your method (killing the heat once the water gets close to boil then mix in corn)?
  • Do you carry your keggle inside or something once you put the corn in? I can't imagine doing that (both because of the weight and also the skirt is red hot for a while). I only ask because you said you wrap the keggle up with a blanket and leave it overnight. I run my keggle on a burner in the backyard. Doesn't seem like the ambient temps would be the best place to leave the keggle with just a blanket wrapped around it. Do you have a heated garage or something?
  • When you're wringing out the grains and corn in 5g paint strainer bag, are you concerned with being sterile? I imagine it's not such a big deal, since you'll be charging that juice into the still soon thereafter. But I guess you would if you were gonna do the Gumballhead ferment.

Whew. Sorry for the long-winded post. I really do appreciate you spelling out these methods for us.

EDIT: also, do you play banjo, man? I'm a professional bassist, and I've been playing banjo and fiddle a lot lately. learning.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:13 am

Hey jay,

No problem with the long post, very happy to answer any questions. Great to see folks trying more AG recipe's around here.

There's no scorching with my method and no stirring corn constantly over fire. By bringing the water to 205F (dont boil it, yeast need the O's in there), then turning off fire and stirring in the corn it will settle in the high 180'sF. I dont move it, yes its way too heavy, but I do wrap it up with flameproof insulation and then a big old quilt. the quilt has some brown marks from that hot ring but it cools off fast enough to not be flammable, I think :wtf: Keep an eye on it first 10 min regardless. Let it steep for 3 hours minimum, stirring occasionally, and it gelatinizes just fine. Ambient is 70 where I brew.

As far as working sterile. Always, I steriliize everything with Starsan or Iodophor that touches the grains or mash after its below 160F. Buckets, bags, mash paddles, lids, bubblers, hands, everything.

I havent tried doing a gumballhead with corn sugar. Thanks for the idea, Ill try that.

I dont play banjo, but I do play guitar, Been playing in different bands for most of the past 3 decades. Currently in an all original Jamband style deal with some great guys (Govt Mule-ish). Almost have enough songs now with this band of heathens to get out and start playing again. Tested a few of our songs at an outdoor gig in August, went well. Here's a shot of our drummer and I sittin in with a blues solo guy who asked us to join him as he was gearing up to play LOL, same outdoor gig in August. viewtopic.php?t=23698&p=7100616#p7100616 How about you? Standup bass?
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Bing-Bot » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:47 pm

Jimbo Do you prefer US04 or US 05 or Burton or Nottingham for this receiptat 70 degrees or less Why?
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:08 am

I dunno baked. Prolly Burton because it throws more fruity esters. But it doesnt go as dry either so there's a little sacrifice in yield. US05 is nice, clean and goes really dry, maybe brings forward more of the grain flavors and sweetness from the corn. Lately Ive been using WLP041 Pacific Ale yeast. Its a yeast from some Pacific Northwest breweries, mainly just because its what Ive been using in my IPA's lately so i have tons of it. It makes a nice brew and a nice whiskey. I ferment between 66-70, low and slow. Natural esters from the yeast profile are great. Congeners from pissed off yeast not so much. My mashes are 6-8% and fermented slow on nothing but the grain mash and about 10% backset with the bourbons to help with the pH of corn based recipes. (no nutrients, vitamins or other anything else). I run them after 7 days.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Bing-Bot » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:35 pm

You got 7 fifths per 25 lbs of grain. That is a little higher than you would normally get. The average would be 6 or just a tad more, correct? I would assume that you used a US 04 or 05 in the original reciept? I know it might be a little hard to judge but how much less would you say the Burton yield would be in ozs? I have to agree, if I would have a choise between fruity grain flavor or a clean grain flavor I would pick the fruity grain flavor also. Am I assuming right that the fruitiness will more than likely come in day 4-7? I would have to buy a yeast because I dont' make beer. Is there a cost diff in the yeasts or pretty comparable? Availability at the LBH would be an issue also.
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Re: Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead

Postby Jimbo » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:12 pm

halfbaked wrote:You got 7 fifths per 25 lbs of grain. That is a little higher than you would normally get. The average would be 6 or just a tad more, correct? I would assume that you used a US 04 or 05 in the original reciept? I know it might be a little hard to judge but how much less would you say the Burton yield would be in ozs? I have to agree, if I would have a choise between fruity grain flavor or a clean grain flavor I would pick the fruity grain flavor also. Am I assuming right that the fruitiness will more than likely come in day 4-7? I would have to buy a yeast because I dont' make beer. Is there a cost diff in the yeasts or pretty comparable? Availability at the LBH would be an issue also.


Im usually between 3.5 and 4 lbs grain per finished 80 proof fifth after all is said and done, cuts etc.

Packet yeast (US-05, 04, Notty etc) is $1-$2 per packet for 5gal. Liquid yeast is $6-$7 per vial/packet for 5g. Much more variety with the vials or smackpaks but Im not convinced the quality is any better. US-05 makes a damn fine beer, every bit as good as any clean fermenting American fancy yeast like White Labs WLP001 or Wyeast 1056. English strains are known to be estery, US-04 is English, as is Burton and a multitude of other 'boutique' yeasts in vials and paks. It takes some experimentation with your own process to find what you like. Experiment by making something exactly the same way twice and change only 1 variable, like yeast, and see the outcome. Fun stuff. Its easier said than done tho, there's a load of variables to hold steady - malt brand and age, mash temp, backset source and amount, corn grind, grain bill recipe, ferment temp, ferment time, distillation speed, bla bla bla My pseudo- scientific experiments often take a weird turn for mysterious unknown reasons.

Folks here have good luck with distillers yeast or bakers too. My preference has always been beer yeasts for whiskey, Bakers for Rum, and wine yeast for cider, but thats just me. Ive also used beer yeast for cider and liked the result too. It made some nice brandy.
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