Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

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lilye
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:14 am

Thanks guys. I just read these two post by NZ Chris and no I did not taste it yet and by Saltbush Bill and you are correct. I discovered this on my own very early this morning before reading your post. I guess as a newbie I am obsessing a little so I apologize for all my questions. I am now a happy camper this morning and so looking forward once again to good outcome.

I did not taste it as the lid on pale is on quite tight and it is such a struggle for me to remove and since all appears well there suddenly is no need.

We had bought a case of beer about 3 weeks ago ( still have around 18 bottles) and we had 1/2 a bottle of rum in the house. with these blue laws in place down here there is absolutely no chance to purchase ANY alcohol and this is going on indefinitely. It is comforting to think that maybe I can get some goods spirits out of this in a week or 2. Sometimes a girl just needs a good martini when nothing else will do.

I am so grateful for your posts.I think I have a touch of cabin fever so it is really good to connect with other in anyhow. Thanks again and may I keep you posted???

Lily

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:20 am

typos! yikes..sorry!

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by jdetechguy » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:49 pm

lilye wrote:Everything started out just on Sunday but suddenly most activity has stopped. I could see very tiny bubbles surfaces at a very slow rate today before I put the airlock and cover on the ferment-er pail. I am sure you guys have heard this dozens of times. Been looking through pages and pages of information here but cant seem to figure out what went wrong. Has it stalled?? I used the recipe as instructed. the only thing I can think of is I used a natural sugar, sort of very light tanish in color which is what they use mostly here in Panama. It is a cane sugar though.

My ingredients are as follows:

10 pounds of sugar
5 gallons of water
60 grams of bakers' yeast
juice of one lemon
70 grams of tomato pastes (nothing added to tomatoes)

so the yeast had a head on Sunday abut 2 inches deep, yesterday was bubbling and today it has slowed substantially. I hate to give up before I even get started but this is somewhat frustrating. As stated my hydrometer shattered. I have another on order but I really do not want to rely on gadget as per Saltbush Bills advice. Can anyone help? Maybe I should just leave this up to te guys and go back to my sewing. Uh...no I don't think so.
My thoughts are nutrients. Crush up 4 or 5 multivitamins and add some Diamonium Phosphate. Also make sure you have a proper amount of yeast. These high sugar washes need the proper charge up front.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:19 pm

Thanks, only I don't have either of these. We have 2 hours three times a week to shop here in Panama and even if I had more time I don't think I would find diamonium phospahte here. No multi vitamin either, but I do have b vitamins. Could that work??? It is starting to slow down again. I may be getting a burn every 5 seconds.

Thanks again!!

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:21 pm

Can I add more yeast then after day 4?? I do have amalyse..

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Saltbush Bill
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:33 pm

lilye wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:19 pm
It is starting to slow down again. I may be getting a burn every 5 seconds.
As long as you followed the recipe and used the tomato paste it shouldn't need more nutrient.
Don't panic cause it's slowing......my guess is your looking at the airlock again.....pull the top off and have a proper look and a listen.......you won't hurt it doing that

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:57 pm

Thanks for that Salt. I was afraid to open it, so you put my mind at ease. What should it taste like when it is done fermenting. Will put my ears to it tomorrow after getting the lid off (if I am able) and take a look and a smell also. Anything else I should be observing???

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by The Baker » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:04 pm

You don't need the lid tight.
The carbon dioxide resting on top will protect the wash.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:46 pm

Thanks Geoff. Good to know an I know so little . I need all the help I can get. So grateful...

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Saltbush Bill
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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:36 pm

If tastes sweet its still not done.....if it's not sweet / dry kinda sour.its ready. Should see tiny tiny bubbles on the surface if it's still going....or hear them.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by NZChris » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:37 pm

On the rare occasions when I do use a bubbler, I wait until it shows negative pressure in the morning when the ambient temperature is cooler.

If for some reason I can't see or hear what's happening in a fermenter, I borrow my wife's stethoscope. They are a great tool for listing to what's going on in a fermenter.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Saltbush Bill » Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:51 am

Never tried one but Im sure that would work well :thumbup:

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:07 am

Good morning all,

I woke up earlier this morning and the 1st thing I did before attempting to lift the lid off my pale was to remover the stopper that holds the air lock. Had to try this first as my husband was still asleep and has almost zero interest in this or in any spirits and removing the top myself is way too difficult. what I found is a sweet sour smell. and observed Plenty, and I do mean PLENTY of the teeniest tiniest bubbles. Almost like an alka selter fizzing but bubbles were even smaller. Without stirring I took a clean stainless steel knife and took a sample to taste. The taste was not syrupy sweet but it was sweet and I would say sour too. It was almost like an apple cider but with a kick. I do not possess a very discerning palate and don't know how else to describe it.

the "effervescence" is very encouraging and leads me to believe all is going as it should. I believe, but not certain because I do not know what the heck I am talking about, that this will take quite a while longer to ferment out as there is still lots of sweetness to my wash.
No rush though, I am happy to think that this may work.

I found myself a little panicked to think that I would be unable to purchase any liquors for a couple of months in case I want to have some. Sort of irrational thinking I guess to think I couldn't easily do without, but it is not a very good feeling to me to be so restricted. I still am uncertain what this batch will produce...

The only other thing to note is that I did not hear anything. I am a little hard of hearing so says my husband but as a former health care professional I do own a stethoscope, however, all other indicators are pointing in a positive direction so will refer to that later. In the meantime, I remain hopeful.

Comments are welcome and so much appreciated.

Warmly,

Lily

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:20 am

Oh, two more things to add:

I put the airlock back on and I guess I did so tighter (I did no stirring) than before cause it is bubbly away. I get a burp every second or less. I guess I have learned my lesson ( thanks Saltbush, NZ Chris and the Baker) about how not to rely on the airlock.

And, I noted a reminder of apple cider in the taste. Why apple??? There are no apples in the brew. Maybe it is just my imagination but I found that odd.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:02 pm

Now I am curious. I have been reading the post on air stiller, which is what I have. Apparently they do not produce a good tasting neutral spirit. I am not sure I want to invest in a pot/re flux still at his point but I am intrigued.

For now, What are my options then if any for producing a better product with the distiller I currently have, Has anyone out there tried Birdwatcher sugar wash on a Air stiller???

Years ago I tried uncle Remus rice vodka and it really wasn't too great. I tried it first with turbo yeast and that did not go so well. Later I used regular yeast (champagne I think) and it wasn't much better.

thanks for your input

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Yummyrum » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:27 pm

An airstill is a pot still

You won ‘t make a clean spirit with one , thats for sure .
The instructions that come with the Airstill basically say run it , and drink every thing strainght off it .

You will find better results if you run a few batches through like this ( we call this the stripping runs ) and then put them all back in the Airstill of a final spirit run .

But this is where you need to throw away the airstill instructions and collect what comes out in little jam jars . Then you need to only keep for drinking the middle jars . The first 1/3 of the jars will have a chemical smell taste to them , the last 1/3 of them will get progressively more stinky .

Its the middle 1/3 of the jars that will be the cleanest .And I say 1/3 rather loosely .

Heres what I mean about the jars .
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=68702

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:59 pm

So what is the best I can hope for using a pot still and just taking the middle 42 ounces from one gallon (128)? I mean will it be drinkable? Do I really need to collect them in so many jars or can I merely discard the 1st and last 42 ounces. Isn't that what it really boils down to in order to just get the hearts??

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:03 pm

When you say "and then put them all back in the distiller for a final run" do you mean only the hearts collected???? That so much for your answers

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:04 pm

Oops, thanks so much...

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Saltbush Bill » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:46 pm

lilye wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:07 am
and observed Plenty, and I do mean PLENTY of the teeniest tiniest bubbles. Almost like an alka selter fizzing but bubbles were even smaller.
That's exactly what your looking for.......you also now have a bench mark for sweetness when you next taste.....once the fizzing has stopped. :thumbup:
Hands on and making mistakes is how you will learn.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:53 pm

so glad to hear back from you and thanks so much Saltbush. I will be patient then and let things happen as they will.

good night to all!!

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by NZChris » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:35 pm

I have an Airstill in my 'distilling museum', but I've never gotten around to trying to make finished product from scratch with it. If I did, this is what I would try:

Ferment enough of a Tried and True sugar wash from this forum for four charges.
Run each strip discarding a 30ml foreshot then running until the total collection reaches 40% abv.
Combine these Low Wines.
Do a spirit run using Kiwistiller's Novice Guide to Cuts.
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=13261
I would be very surprised if that method didn't make a quantity and quality you weren't happy with.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Yummyrum » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:19 pm

lilye wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:59 pm
Do I really need to collect them in so many jars or can I merely discard the 1st and last 42 ounces. Isn't that what it really boils down to in order to just get the hearts??
OK. You are on a big learning curve here and if you follow our advise you may well get something drinkable that surpasses your initial attemps with the Rice wash .

Did you read what NZChris said above . He is saying the same as me . You need to run at last four washes through your Airstill and collect it all .
In this case , yes you can collect everything . If you want , you can dump the first and last ounce ( butvthe stuff you have collected is not hearts.... its stripped wash heads / hearts and tails all mixed together . The Hearts is in there but we got to seperate it out ..: hence the spirit run and all those little cuts jars .

But when you do your spirit run ( the one where you rerun everything you collected from the first four stripping runs) you do need to collect in lots of small jars .

Your concept of hearts being eveything except the first and last jar is kinda right ( so far as its in the middle) but in practice it’s wrong . Have another look at that Kiwistillers Cuts thread .

Say you had 16 jars . The first is what we call Foreshots . Its got all the Acetone and stuff n it . From jars 2-6 ( the Heads jars ) , there will be a lot of predominantly Ethyl acetate . It will be very strong in the first few jars and get less through progressive jars . At the same time , the Ethanol is increasing from jars 2-6 .

Now lets look at jars 11-16
These will have increasing amounts of tails including things like Butanol and Iso propanol and a decreasing amount of Ethanol .

So Lets look at jars 6-10 These are the Hearts . Mostly Ethanol but containing a small amount of heads and a small amount of tails . . Its the taste of the residual heads and tails that taints your hearts and makes it not Neutral . A desirable thing in a spirit like Whisky but not in a Vodka .

So hopefully you can start to grasp the concept that the closer you get to the middle , the cleaner the drink . The more jars you add either side of that middle jar , the less clean it will be .

Unlearn every thing you read in the Airstill manual and I’m sure you will get the hang if it soon . :thumbup:

At leat you are starting with a good wash

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:12 am

Yes Yummyrum I did read both yours and NZChris references. Wow, it is starting to become a little daunting. I am starting to get that there are cases where some"flavor" is desirable for example in the case of whiskey. I however, really detest whiskey or bourbon or anything really beside vodka and maybe gin. All the rest makes me gag. I can barely take the smell let alone the taste so I am not looking to go there. I appreciate knowing the why and the how but whiskey is not for me. Maybe if my husband liked any of those and with a lot of time on my hands I could consider perfecting the art. That could be fun but that is not the case and so ideally, I am looking for a very clean tasting neutral spirit. I realize that this is not the ideal situation with what I currently have available and am limited to. I will still give it a go.

I have some thoughts on that but have to make a run to town. more later.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:58 pm

I think I am gonna try, as per NzChris, making the four runs, discarding around 30ml foreshot for each run, then take my alcohol meter and collect hearts until my run produces 40% ABV and discard the rest (tail or mostly tails) as I can't be bother to keep the tail for future use. will combine all 4 batches of runs of low wines collected.

Then I think I should do a final spirit run. Right???

I have time since my wash is still sweetish and still bubbling.

I think I really have learned a lot in the last 72 hours. It is pretty amazing and if this works I am very serious considering a reflux still. Any other women on the forum?? Just curious...

Thanks everyone for all your responses so far. I am certain I could not have come this far without them.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by The Baker » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:15 pm

I would suggest you do not discard 'the rest'.
'Waste not want not'.
Store it in a couple of jars labelled 'feints'.
As you learn you will find ways to use the feints and even to re-distil them to produce more of the neutral spirit you want.
Save money and save work.
And you can make alcohol based hand wash, too.
And the really rough stuff (the foreshots, say) is good cleaning alcohol and could be good for wiping down hard surfaces
in this time of nasty virus.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by Yummyrum » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:31 pm

Lilye, sounds like you have got a good game plan now .

Also agree with geoff ( the baker) , save up all the feints.
When you get your reflux still , you will be amazed at how much good alcohol can be reclaimed from them .

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:02 pm

Well, live and learn. good for wiping down surface...great to know as here in Panama very few are stock with rubbing alcohol and if they do have it you are limited to one per customer. now I have no clue if this is legal?? how do you get around that??

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by The Baker » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:30 pm

lilye wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:02 pm
Well, live and learn. good for wiping down surface...great to know as here in Panama very few are stock with rubbing alcohol and if they do have it you are limited to one per customer. now I have no clue if this is legal?? how do you get around that??
Don't tell.

In most countries distilling itself is technically illegal anyway.

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Re: Birdwatchers sugar wash recipe

Post by lilye » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:38 pm

I am so naive sometimes. LOL? I 'lol never tell...

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