Molasses Wash

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Hutch-
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Molasses Wash

Post by Hutch- » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:22 am

I started a molasses wash hoping to produce some decent rum, from everything I've read these often lead to a stuck ferment. Wanted to get everyone's thought on how to keep it going. I started with the following:

-2 gal. black strap molasses
-10 lbs. sugar
-75 g baker's yeast
-4 oz. tomato paste
-1 tsp acid blend
-6 crushed multi vitamins
-2 tsp ascorbic acid (to dechlorinate water)

I mixed everything in 16 gal of hot water, starting sg was 6.7% was shooting for closer to 10%. It seems to be fermenting, although not vigorously. These are some of the things I'm considering:

-aerate once daily by mixing aggressively with mortar mixer
-adding another 5 lbs. sugar to up the sg
-adding ale yeast to help ferment to dryness

I have it in an open top fermenter, should this type of wash be moved to a carboy with airlock?

rad14701
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Location: New York, USA

Re: Molasses Wash

Post by rad14701 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:45 pm

You should never need to aerate after the initial aeration just before or after the yeast is pitched... Doing so will only introduce the opportunity for infection... Once the yeast colony has switched form the aerobic phase (multiplication) to the anaerobic phase (fermentation) no additional aeration is required... The only exception to this would be if the wash were to stall and additional yeast and/or nutrients were added...

Yes, if the potential %ABV is lower than you had planned a stepped addition of sugar would be alright... Just be prepared for rapid initial foaming as the CO2 in the wash reacts with all of the nucleation points on the sugar... One way to minimize this would be to dissolve the sugar in some water, if you have enough head space in the fermentation vessel (I dislike the word "carboy")...

Hope this helps... Good luck...

HookLine
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Re: Molasses Wash

Post by HookLine » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:28 pm

Hutch- wrote:I started a molasses wash hoping to produce some decent rum, from everything I've read these often lead to a stuck ferment.

Haven't had a stuck molasses ferment yet.

Wanted to get everyone's thought on how to keep it going. I started with the following:

-2 gal. black strap molasses
-10 lbs. sugar
-75 g baker's yeast
-4 oz. tomato paste
-1 tsp acid blend
-6 crushed multi vitamins
-2 tsp ascorbic acid (to dechlorinate water)

The multi vits are not needed, and you only need a very small pinch of ascorbic acid - 1 tsp can do about 1000 gal.

I mixed everything in 16 gal of hot water, starting sg was 6.7% was shooting for closer to 10%. It seems to be fermenting, although not vigorously. These are some of the things I'm considering:

-aerate once daily by mixing aggressively with mortar mixer

Aerate well to start, then leave it alone (if it is running okay).

-adding another 5 lbs. sugar to up the sg

Even if you dissolve sugar in water and put that in, it will still create some foaming. Don't pour it all in at once. Pour a little bit in at a time and wait for any foaming to stop before adding a bit more. Also leave some headroom in your fermenter.

-adding ale yeast to help ferment to dryness

Never had a problem getting baker's yeast to finish dry. But by all means experiment with different yeasts.

I have it in an open top fermenter, should this type of wash be moved to a carboy with airlock?

I don't use airlocks when the ferment is running, just cover the top of the fermenter with clear food wrap, tie it on, and poke a small hole in it near the middle. But once it has finished fermenting and is settling, I seal up the fermenter.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.

Hutch-
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Posts: 71
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 12:56 pm

Re: Molasses Wash

Post by Hutch- » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:46 am

Based on feedback I did a couple of things initially. First was adding some epsom salts, and boiled yeast for protein. Second was adding some ale yeast which are supposed to ferment at a lower temp. All that helped a bit, but I was still concerned with the sluggishness.

I finally added a heating pad increasing the temp from 20c to 29c and it really took off. I was fortunate not to have any off flavors or odor from the tomato paste, think I'll go with a yeast bomb next time.

Dnderhead
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Re: Molasses Wash

Post by Dnderhead » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:45 am

the temp. increase probably did the most good.

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