uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by Samohon » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:11 am

Over the past few months I have over-oaked my UJSSM intentionally. Time is the secret here. After the oaking was done, the maturation process continues for the next year or so. I can tell you, its looking to be the best yet, but thats for another thread...

Next generation, I'm gonna use 100% backset and adjust the pH accordingly. Cant wait to see what that brings... :ewink:
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by banter_king » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:33 am

Samohon wrote:Over the past few months I have over-oaked my UJSSM intentionally. Time is the secret here. After the oaking was done, the maturation process continues for the next year or so.

Do you remove the oak "after the oaking was done"? some guys do and some don't. Was curious as to your method with the over-oaked stuff.
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by Samohon » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:12 am

banter_king wrote:Do you remove the oak "after the oaking was done"? some guys do and some don't. Was curious as to your method with the over-oaked stuff.
Yes. Tons of stuff on HD about it... To start with, Have a look at this...

Hope it helps... :thumbup:
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by banter_king » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:24 am

Thanks Samohon. I have been reading up. Some guys just leave the oak in until done drinking so i was just curious as to your personal method.
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by Samohon » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:34 am

banter_king wrote:Thanks Samohon. I have been reading up. Some guys just leave the oak in until done drinking so i was just curious as to your personal method.
I have done that BK. Only last week, I went to my mates a few miles away for the weekend. Took a bottle of UJSSM and it still had the oak inside it.
It was 16 months old according to the date on the label. Went down well I can tell ya... :thumbup:

The oak inside the 2L bottle was 1 x 4" x ½" x ½" toasted and 1 x 4" x ½" x ½" Charred... Pulled the oak from the bottle after 5 or 6 weeks and left it to mature.
Maturation is the key here. Just keeps getting better and better. Remember though, it will taste worst before it gets better, but it will get better with age... :thumbup:
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by banter_king » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:50 am

Perfect, yeah all the reading points to you can't go wrong with time haha
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by Stilly » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:29 pm

Samohon wrote:One more thing:

Using backset will lower the pH of the mash. This can greatly be accelerated when using, IMO, anything over 40%. So what to do..?

If you wanted to use 100% backset with no mash water at all, you would need to bring the pH back up to around 5.0 - 5.5...

I picked up some "Five Star 5.2 pH Stabilizer" from the homebrew shop for a few $$$... Have not used it yet, but certainly plan to give it a go in the near future...

Heres some Info:
Five Star 5.2 pH Stabilizer

DESCRIPTION
52 is a proprietary blend of food-grade phosphate buffers (similar to brewer’s salts) that will lock in your mash and kettle water at a pH of 5.2 regardless of the starting pH of your water. 52 is safe for your mash and WILL NOT add any flavors to your beer. 52 will provide consistency of pH in any water conditions, but the most significant gains will be obtained if you are brewing in hard water.
Repeatability throughout the brewing process is the key to producing consistent high quality beer. Of all the ingredients in your beer, water is the most misunderstood component. Water is universal solvent for metals, minerals, cations and anions. The quality, hardness and subsequent pH of your water will affect enzymatic activity, solubility of salts, proteins and sugars as well as hop usage and perceived hop bitterness. In addition, water quality also contributes to scaling and mineral deposited on your equipment. Now you have the ability to control the pH of your brewing water under any conditions.

Samahon,

I purchased some 5.2 Stabilizer a few months back and have had absolutely no success with it. I since have been using Calcium Carbonate with great success. Every run of UJSSM or the like I toss in a TBS or two of it and my ferments are done in 3-5 days with no off flavors. Highly recommended.

cheers
stilly

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by the pure drop » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:55 pm

I don't know about you lot, but I love the way this tastes white, after about 2 or 3 weeks in the jar...with a bit of "airing out" time (coffee filter on top of the jar) from time to time, and then tempered to sippin' strength. I like it clear is rain water. But then again, I've not tried to oak it, and I also can't seem to keep this stuff around long enough to oak it. I'm thinking that I'll have to go from running 5 gallon batches to running 10 gallong batches. Maybe that will help buid my stock up enough to have some for sippin and some for aging. I'm off to the store to find some bigger pots and some copper tubing :D Guess my 5 gallon rig will become my new spirit still lol.

One question, though I've never allowed to become a problem...On my mashes, the corn cap never seems to fall. There is usually about a 2 inch cap of corn sitting on top of my fermentor when it's done fermenting. I know people wait for the cap to fall, but my last experiment I let the whole mess sit for about 2 weeks and the cap would not fall. I had to run it because I was worried about it turning to vinegar and then I'd never be able to use that fermenting vessel again, and I'd lose my corn and backset. Anyway, there was no activity in the airlock. It always turns out fine despite the cap not falling, so I won't let it bother me much, but I am just curious why the hell it's not falling, like everyone else's. I don't bother taking SG readings. I just brew it, run it, run it again and sip. So, can't give you any scientific data.
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by mash rookie » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:05 pm

Samohon wrote:Maturation is the key here. Just keeps getting better and better. Remember though, it will taste worst before it gets better, but it will get better with age... :thumbup:
In my limited experience. It the reason it gets worse before it gets better is the tannins or (woody flavor) You can avoid this by using experienced oak. Some guys soak thier oak in feints to remove the tannins before using it in their best stuff.
It has been said "more oak more time" "Less oak less time" Why is that? Woody flavor takes time to dissipate. By then the oak has done its work to smooth out the alcohol.

I use Jack Daniels smoker chips. Because they have been exposed to alcohol before, the woody flavor is not there. Over oaking works better. There is still a several week period before the oak smoothes out the bite. Not months or years. It does oak.... not flavor.

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by Bull Rider » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:06 pm

I give the cap a stir every day or so. I don't stir the entire mash tote, I just turn the cap over gently and get it back into solution.

I've heard, but I've not seen it, that the cap can get too dry and can get moldy. As the SG changes, the corn becomes less buoyant.

At the end of a mash cycle I will have less than a liter of floating corn that I skim off from a 15 gallon mash.


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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by mash rookie » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:10 pm

Bull, I have never had a floating cap as he discribes. You are one of the few that use 100% backset. Will you describe your methods?

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by blind drunk » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:23 pm

My personal impression is that tannin, while not that great to start, adds to the overall smoothness of the beverage in the longish run. I could be wrong, though.
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by WeeStiller » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:52 am

A silly question maybe, but did anyone ever used popped popcorn? It would seem to give much more surface area to the corn grain than just a cracked kernel. And more surface area means more to nibble on for the yeasties. Or is this a stupid thought?

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by WeeStiller » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:55 am

mash rookie wrote:Bull, I have never had a floating cap as he discribes. You are one of the few that use 100% backset. Will you describe your methods?
I use about 80% backset and my (thin, 1/4 ") corn cap sinks nicely after fermentation. So the amount of backset does not seem to influence the floating. I stir the whole mash daily to get the corn up from the bottom of the bin.

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by rad14701 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:04 am

WeeStiller wrote:A silly question maybe, but did anyone ever used popped popcorn? It would seem to give much more surface area to the corn grain than just a cracked kernel. And more surface area means more to nibble on for the yeasties. Or is this a stupid thought?
Do a search for "popcorn" and you will find that it has been tried but not successfully... Popcorn has a different composition than dent corn, which is why it pops and dent corn doesn't... Plus you'll be paying more per pound for the hulls than with dent corn... If you want the most bang for your buck, stick with dent...

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by the pure drop » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:17 am

Hello all,

I just wanted to share a grain bill that is new for me. Kind of an experiment. I am using the total grain weight/ sugar weight/ water volume as specified in the original UJSSM, with the addition of some pearled barley and some rolled oats. The grain bill was 70% corn, 20% pearled barley and 10% rolled oats. I am VERY satisfied with the original version, and still have a 5 gallon batch going now, but my new grain bill is sitting right next to it, bubbling away happily. I distilled and restarted the original recipe 5 gallons yesterday and the new grain bill 5 gallons today. I probably should have staggered them a day or two more but it's all good. I will keep the stripping runs seperate so that I can continue my successful original UJSSM and that way I can also report the flavor profile of the new grain bill over the next few generations of it. I plan on using the same exact method of scooping out spent grains, replacing and then using 25% backset with sugar dissolved therein...the same way I do for my UJSSM.

Why did I settle on the proportions and grains that I used? Well, I have a wish list of a few different recipes that I will eventually get around to, but this one I really was the most interested in. Corn...well, I friggin love this corn likker, and my friends do, too. Barley? I like single malts (all barley), but the all grain barley batches I've done (no sugar) have turned out really, really firey....way damn hot for my enjoyment. So I figured a small percentage of pearled barley (available at the supermarket) would add a bit of barley flavor hopefully, but not so much that it's too damn firey for me. Rolled Oats? Well, I have them laying around. Actually, I've followed with some interest the thread regarding oat whiskey. It sounds really, tastey...being described as smooth and creamy. That sounds good to me :D I figured that the small percentage of rolled oats in my grain bill would hopefully be just enough to add a tiny bit of that smooth, creamy note that I've read about. My overall goal here is to have that sweet, smooth corn flavor of all-corn UJSSM as the base (a very venerable base, to be sure). Add to that a bit of barley's "zest" or "sharpness" and then smooth it all out with a tiny portion of creamy, smooth rolled oats. Now....that all being said, we'll see if it really turns out that way of the next few generations. My goal is to follow it to 5 generations or enough to collect 5 gallons of low wines for re-distillation, then temper the doubled and twisted corn/barley/oat whiskey and let you all in on how it's turned out. Should be able to run my first 5 gallon batch next friday or so. I'll taste test into the hearts of my stripping run just to get a hint of what I might end up with...and report back. Wish me luck lol.
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by WeeStiller » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:31 am

rad14701 wrote: Do a search for "popcorn" and you will find that it has been tried but not successfully... Popcorn has a different composition than dent corn, which is why it pops and dent corn doesn't... Plus you'll be paying more per pound for the hulls than with dent corn... If you want the most bang for your buck, stick with dent...
Thanks Rad, hadn't thought about the kernel-to-hull relation.

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by mash rookie » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:10 am

Good job Pure drop.
It sounds to me that you are getting close to a sweet feed grain bill without the molasses. The oat flavor is what throws me off on sweetfeed. Dont really like the oats. I am going to do a 10% wheat added soon to see what that produces.

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by the pure drop » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:57 pm

If I may ask, what is it about the parts that throws you that off? What flavors do the oats contribute that you don't like?
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by mash rookie » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:15 pm

the pure drop wrote:If I may ask, what is it about the parts that throws you that off? What flavors do the oats contribute that you don't like?
The taste of Oat. You may love it. Just not my thing. Many people love sweetfeed. We have a new micro distiller close by that is selling their white dog in the liquer stores. I can taste the oat in their grain bill. My girl friend loved it. Thought it was "girl whiskey" Just not for me. Just my taste , my opinion.

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by Odin » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:03 pm

Hi guys,

Wow, I just had a great party, yesterday. A niece of my wife was baptized, her uncle became 60 years old, another niece (cousin? always confused there) had her second birthday and the uncle turning 60 also happened to be married for 35 years. Well all of that within a week time, so partytime yesterday. And I provided the booz! Since I just started on whiskey (if that is what you may call it), I provided them with some scotch (1.5 litres), wheat whiskey based on Rads All Bran recipe (but with Kellogs Special K instead of All Bran): 0,7 liter, and my first generation of sour mashed UJSSM (1 liter). The UJSSM of the first generation only was the favourite. And could I not make some 20 liters for a wedding coming up in 2 1/2 month time? Hey, this is Hungary, where I am right now, and homedistilling is legal up to 50 litres per year! WOW, UJ, thanx again for this great recipe! If they already liked the first generation ... Second gen is now being strip stilled, so by the time my holidays are over, I may be able to leave a few liters of second gen behind.

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by clacker » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:37 am

Odin wrote:Hi guys,

The UJSSM of the first generation only was the favourite. And could I not make some 20 liters for a wedding coming up in 2 1/2 month time? Hey, this is Hungary, where I am right now, and homedistilling is legal up to 50 litres per year!

Odin.
Hey Odin, would the commitment of a plane ticket from Aus to Hungary qualify me for a weekend "family" pass on or abouts the date of the wedding :ebiggrin:

Got my 2nd run on oak now and I'm loving the smell and colour after 3 days! Just in time for my bro's first born so a bottle will go into storage until his/hers 18th.

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by Odin » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:43 pm

Clacker, I am pretty sure it would!
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by the pure drop » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:43 pm

Now, that's a good idea...putting some away for the kid's 18th. I've got two girls. If I put a jug on oak now, it will be 12 years old when she is 18...the other, a jug will be nearly 14 years old by the time she hits 18. I bet that will be some good swill! I say jug, because it will probably be too damned good, and they won't get much more than a sip if it's a regular bottle lol. Now, lets just see if I can leave two bottles alone that long :D
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by waylyn » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:12 am

I use rolled barley from http://www.castlehorsefeeds.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow although I didn't buy it from them I had it from a local retailer who stocks animal feeds, the 20kg bag cost me £8.00 :D which will last a while even with continuing batches, got two going all the time no probs at all :D

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by Uncle Jesse » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:52 am

Every now and then I catch up on this thread and I'm always glad to hear that people are having success with this recipe.

As I've said before, when I first posted this recipe, it seemed to me that almost everyone on the net was distilling neutral spirits and flavoring them to taste like whichever particular drink. I posted this recipe to get folks rolling down the right path - making your own grain whiskeys! It's the only way.

I love the way you guys are playing with this recipe and refining it to your own tastes. I've done many different things with it over the years and rarely come out with a product which I thought was a big step backward.

But, like a few of you, I like it white and aired out for a few days, then watered to drinking strength. No ice, no mixers, just traditional moonshine. I also like it aged in a lightly or medium toasted oak barrel for a year or more. 4 years makes a great product which I prefer to almost any commercial sour mash I've tried. Now, I admit there are some which are better than mine by a good shot, but I'd put mine right up there in the running without shame.
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by mash rookie » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:14 am

Thanks for everything UJ! Its great to see you posting.

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by yankeeclear » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:00 pm

Yes, thanks UJ! I am sipping on some white dog right now.

I went with this recipe out of the gate and after 6 generations and a couple of spirit runs I am happy with the results. Got some on lt, med, heavy and char oak and left some white. Can't wait to see what time will do to the profile! Overall it is a tad sweet and chewy to be my go-to choice but it is a wonderful product for a novice like me!
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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by sizzlnchef 1 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:33 pm

Am gonna try this. Do you have to heat the water first?

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Re: uncle jesse's simple sour mash method

Post by the pure drop » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:46 am

Uncle Jesse, I must say that your recipe really got me on the right path. Sure, it's not all grain and all that, but who gives a fart? It's a damn good recipe, and in my opinion, after some airing out time...the stuff I have oaked, stands right up there with the commercial "all grain" likkers, and oftens times better. Now, of course I'm partial to what I make, but I wouldn't drink it or offer it to my friends if it wasn't good. I've got some that I'm sippin on right now, which I oaked and threw in a few pinches of roasted barley (sold here to make a traditional tea). Some how it tastes like a good single malt. It's the bee's knees. But as you said Uncle Jesse, to me it hits the spot when it's clear, pure, no ice, no nothing....just the way the good lord intended us to drink it :D And my friends agree. So, again, all props go to Uncle Jesse for setting me on the right path. And to pinto for some mentoring as well about two years ago when I first started. I always have two batches going now. And one of those batches is ALWAYS a straight UJSSM. The other is some form of "experimental" variant of the UJSSM.

sizzlnchef 1 , This is a no-cook sugarhead. Now, on from the 2nd generation on, you can dissolve your sugar in your hot backset while your adding a couple of gallons to your fermenter, on top of your corn and yeast etc...then add that backset to the fermenter on top of everything. It's how I do it, just be carefull your not adding it too hot or it will kill your yeast that is still in the fermenter. But if you add 2 or 3 gallons of new water to the fermenter before you add your backset, you should be good as the cool water in the fermenter will offset the hot water coming in as backset. Bottom line, it's an easy no-cook sugarhead. Read all the posts here and you will learn so much about this recipe and what has and hasn't worked for folks...and you'll learn alot about the craft of distilling as well. Can't stress it enough, read the posts.

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