Getting a strange color and metal flecks

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Getting a strange color and metal flecks

Postby kyle2745 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:52 am

Not sure how to describe what it happening here.
My first batch of bourbon, was 80% corn, 10% Rye, and 10% Barley.
I kept heat to 160 F for an hour with the corn and stirred it well, Added the Rye, and Barley (cracked them all BTW) and let it sit at 160 F for another hour.
Cooled it down to 90 F and added my distillers yeast.
I let it ferment for 5 days then went to distill it. It had started at 8% potential alcohol but I forgot the specific gravity and others, (threw out the paper when I was frustrated.)
After it got to about 170F the smell was awful, then at 180F it was worse. I was getting what looked to be metal flakes in my stripping run, then the smell I couldn't take anymore so I killed it. It had what looked like shiny metal flakes in it.
I totally scorched it! Mistake learned.

Cleaned it all out and did a turbo yeast run which came out ok

So I decided ok now to try the same bourbon recipe again. I did it all the same recipe as above according to my books.
Had a potential alcohol of 7-8%Let it ferment and had a reading of under 1% potential alcohol.
I cleaned my still and everything. When I went to run it I went very slow and very low heat as to not scorch it, this time I even ran the mash through a strainer to get most of the rye, corn, and barley as to not let it happen.
But low and behold as the first bit of the stripping run began there were those metal looking flakes again. There was no smell but the whiskey had a yellow color to it.
I opened the still after it cooled and I saw the metal flakes looking things in the mash also.

This is the still I bought: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M5 ... UTF8&psc=1
I know it's not the best but it was a starter. Kind of wishing now I got a better one up front.
Any advice woudl be helpful. Mainly about the flakes I am getting.
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Re: Getting a strange color and metal flecks

Postby TDick » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:23 am

kyle2745 wrote:Not sure how to describe what it happening here.
My first batch of bourbon, was 80% corn, 10% Rye, and 10% Barley.

Any advice would be helpful. Mainly about the flakes I am getting.

Hello fellow N :mrgreen: :mrgreen: B
I don't know if I can be of any help with the metal flakes or not. Most of the "experts" here have a lot of "Constructive Criticism" about the China Pots.
I had looked at those too. For a little more money I got a 5 gallon copper pot with thumper from Ebay:

I ASSuME you did a vinegar run, water run and sacrificial run. Did you see any flakes then?

As far as your recipe, pretty much everyone here will invite you to the Tried & True Recipes section. Not just for the recipe but for many years of questions, answers and success stories from people just like you.

NChooch's Carolina Bourbon - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=17750 - fits your mash bill and has been up 8 years. While you're getting your rig straightened out, read the whole thread through once and go back and read through NCHooch's comments again until you have a thorough understanding of what to do. I doubt you will have a single question about it. If you do, many members are locked in on it and can immediately tell you what's going on.
Good Luck!
:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Don't think twice it's allright.
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Re: Getting a strange color and metal flecks

Postby Pikey » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:18 am

I can only say that if you're getting colour over, then either there is contamination in the vapour path, or it is puking.

The fact that you got no colour with a sugar wash, means that it is unlikely to be contamination in the vapour path, so it is almost certain it is puking - so you're filling it too full, running it with too much power, or both !.

Again, you got no metal flakes in your sugar wash and you have the flakes in your mash, so it seems they must be in the mash before you run it. I think you must be grinding metal off the machine you use to grind the corn ? Even so, they should not get over into the distillate, unless the still is puking.

Do another sugar wash and carefully inspect the distillate for signs of these flakes. - I think you could put some food colouring into the wash, to see if it comes out coloured or clear (It should be crystal clear).

Then if that is ok, repeat your mash again and be very careful to inspect at every stage to see where these flakes are coming from, then only put 3/4 the amount in your boiler and run it a bit slower - See if that cures it.
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Re: Getting a strange color and metal flecks

Postby ShineRunner » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:52 am

What is your heat source? Are you straining the grains out? You mention kind of straining the grains, but they have to be completely strained out if you’re using aggressive heat. If not, you’re likely scorching and burning the grains.. that would explain the flakes and smell. Possibly puking out your condenser as well?

What is the smell?

You generally need to cook the corn at a higher temperature than 160 to get the starches to be released. I’d have a hard time believing you actually hit 8% potential with that. I guess it depends on your grain to water ratio.. We use specific gravity for measuring these things, so get your measurements in that next time. That will help troubleshoot..

SR
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Re: Getting a strange color and metal flecks

Postby still_stirrin » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:25 am

kyle2745 wrote:...My first batch...was 80% corn, 10% Rye, and 10% Barley...heat to 160 F for an hour with the corn and...Added the Rye, and Barley...and let it sit at 160 F for another hour...

And you measured a potential of 7 to 8%ABV? I’m really surprised if you got any fermentable material from that mash, given the mashing temperatures. Almost all saccharification enzymes would be denatured at 165*F. So, if you got any conversion, you were lucky.

So, what you put into the boiler was mostly unconverted starches, and those will scorch and/or puke into the condenser. It seems you were destined for failure from the start.

I recommend you read up a while on all grain mashing so you gain an understanding of the processes involved. It is way more involved than simply mixing a pot of grains in water and throwing in some yeast.

The “metal flakes” didn’t come from the wash....it came from your equipment, which obviously wasn’t properly cleaned. So, during your mandatory reading, study up on the correct cleaning protocol. And observe the recommendations therein.

I know I sound rough...but you’ve “missed the mark” on many fronts here and we don’t want you to get hurt or cause damage. So, my “tough love” is to strongly urge you to stop now and and read up until you fully understand what you’re doing, how the equipment works, and what safety measures must be implemented.
ss
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Re: Getting a strange color and metal flecks

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:32 am

still_stirrin wrote:
kyle2745 wrote:...My first batch...was 80% corn, 10% Rye, and 10% Barley...heat to 160 F for an hour with the corn and...Added the Rye, and Barley...and let it sit at 160 F for another hour...

And you measured a potential of 7 to 8%ABV? I’m really surprised if you got any fermentable material from that mash, given the mashing temperatures. Almost all saccharification enzymes would be denatured at 165*F. So, if you got any conversion, you were lucky.

So, what you put into the boiler was mostly unconverted starches, and those will scorch and/or puke into the condenser. It seems you were destined for failure from the start.

I recommend you read up a while on all grain mashing so you gain an understanding of the processes involved. It is way more involved than simply mixing a pot of grains in water and throwing in some yeast.

The “metal flakes” didn’t come from the wash....it came from your equipment, which obviously wasn’t properly cleaned. So, during your mandatory reading, study up on the correct cleaning protocol. And observe the recommendations therein.

I know I sound rough...but you’ve “missed the mark” on many fronts here and we don’t want you to get hurt or cause damage. So, my “tough love” is to strongly urge you to stop now and and read up until you fully understand what you’re doing, how the equipment works, and what safety measures must be implemented.
ss


I could see an OG of 1.062, but as you said, without good conversion, I doubt the the FG will be anyway near 1.000. Unconverted starches and dextrins will raise the OG. There is a difference between "potential" alcohol and realized alcohol. It all depends on attenuation, but of course, you know that.
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and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."
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