Bigger toys to mash and ferment in

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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Bigger toys to mash and ferment in

Postby japsinok » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:20 pm

Had to take a break from stillin' in 2018 (work sure gets in the way of fun!!), but having the need for more Carolina Bourbon means it's time to fire up the boiler. I've done 10 gal AG mashes in the past, and have tired of the mash-ferment-distill-repeat routine, so this past winter I assembled the necessary equipment to increase capacity. Picked up a NG double range and several 25 gal pots from a restaurant that was changing from Pho to Thai and no longer wanted the burner or pots. Paid nothing for these. Built an immersion chiller from some 1/2" and 3/8" copper tubing I had on hand (paid nothing for that either). It's ~ 50 ft in total. The inlet into the 1/2" tubing coils to the bottom, where it reduces to the 3/8" coil on the way back up to the outlet. Finally, converted a 50 gal. rain barrel into a fermenter.

Gave it a try this weekend. Cooked up two batches of 28.8 lb TS cracked corn, then added 4 lb 6-row, and 7.2 lb rye at mashing temp to each. Final vols for each mash was 40 lb grain/20 gal. With the large burners, it took 45 mins to get corn and 15 gals water to the 30 min 160F rest for adding the alpha-amylase premash. Then another 30 mins to get to boiling. The nice thing about the double burner is that there was no wasted time. When the first pot came to resting temp, I started the second one. I just kept alternating steps in 30~45 minute intervals. The large burners seem to spread even heat across the pots, which seems to have eliminated any scorching, even though I was not stirring constantly, and no fire escaped around the edges either. The only time both burners were in use simultaneously was the 1-hr simmer/low boil to gelatinize the corn. This is good because our residential NG supply is not sufficient to power both burners at full power. The chiller cooperated too because it took about 25 mins to get from boiling down to 160F for adding the alpha-amylase. Brought the temps of each down to 140 with the chiller for addition of malt grains and gluco. Let both pots sit O/N and in the morning, 1 Brixed at 18, and the other at 17 (1.074 and 1.070). Combined them in the fermenter and chilled down to pitching temp (90F). Pitched 80gm Fleischmanns active (mainly because I did not realize I was out of DADY). It began bubbling this afternoon, 3 hrs after pitching the yeast. I hope the Fleischmann's was not a mistake. All in all, it did not take much longer to mash 40 gallons than it has taken to mash 10 gals in the past.

Updates to follow.
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Re: Bigger toys to mash and ferment in

Postby fizzix » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:26 am

Sounds good, japsinok. Alternate, and keep the "assembly line" going is what I do too.
FREE is a great price, and also your Fleischmanns should work just fine.
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Re: Bigger toys to mash and ferment in

Postby japsinok » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:59 am

Thanks, fizzix. I questioned the Fleischmanns, but did not want to risk infection by waiting a day to pick up brewers yeast from the LHBS. I'll have to say, the patio smells like a bakery. If it finishes out at 8~9%, and doesn't taste like crap, I'll be pleased.
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