what went wrong with this fermentation?

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dgsmooth
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what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by dgsmooth » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:34 pm

cheers again all. so I'm running my first attempt at rum, used a recipe of 4kg sugar, 4kg molasses, one pack of yeast nutrient and two packets of the lavlin ec-1118, filled up to the 23.L etc etc, all seemed to be fine. took a day or so to get rockin and of coarse away went the bubbler hard for 2 or 3 days, then slowed down and stopped on day 9. so I go to put it out in garage to let yeast settle out, and while I'm switching lids I check SG and % and find its basically water still! SG of well over 1, and % so low the meter not even able to float straight, toppling over top heavy as so much of it out of the water! as in right on the 0 mark... so I check temp (after meddling around for 20 min with top off the pail) and its still just over 28 deg.....is it possible it got too hot and burned out? I'm guessing it may have been 30......is that hot enough to stop it? this only my second mash, first was birdwatchers sugar to use as my sac run, and it went like clock work. ended at .995 I think it was, 15%, etc etc, this run got me puzzled. my guess is either the temp, or wrong molasses? used a horse feedstock type, as thats all thats available here. I know some molasses better for taste etc etc, but are there some that just simply won't work? so I took by beaker full that I used for SG and %, and added a pinch of yeast to it and sure enough after 20 min it started to go..... so I guess my quetions and my best guesses right now are:

1. is 30 degC hot enouggh to stop it fermenting?
2. do i have such the wrong molasses that it wont ferment?
3. would my SG and % be different if I let it settle out?

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NZChris
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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by NZChris » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:33 pm

Molasses has non-fermentable sugars that will fool you into thinking it hasn't finished if you use your hydrometer as usual.

I calculate what the SG drop should be, then use that as a guide for if the ferment is over.

Wine yeast ain't that great for molasses. Try bread yeast. Molasses is short on phosphate so needs something like DAP to make happy yeasties.

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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by googe » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:04 am

Plus one on what Chris said. Its more sugar molasses for a 23L wash and will throw out fg. Mine with them.numbers would finish at 1020~30. Just taste your wash, is it dry?. Rum is one of the easiest to do, don't over think it. Try a simple wash like 3kg raw sugar, 3L molasses and 80g bakers yeast. Work on it from there to suit your tastes. I do all molasses now, so.much smoother. I've never needed a yeast nutrient for any rum wash I've ever done, I've tried many different molasses.
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Tokoroa_Shiner
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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by Tokoroa_Shiner » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:15 am

Temp may be a touch high for a wine yeast. As NZChris said, use bread yeast.
Are you trying to measure your wash with an alchometer?
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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by dgsmooth » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:28 am

yes with alcohol meter...... i only did that after i found the SG to be so high. sorry i need to do some research i think - i thought i had figured out that the SG will always end up less than one......obviously not. is there a chance then that it did finish (although recipe not great as mentioned)? i need to dig up some research on how to calculate what SG should be then. if somebody wouldn't mind, check out this recipe/link and tell me what you think:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Making- ... m-Scratch/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

i used that as it was the very first i found when i googled it some 2-3 months ago and started this new hobby. of course, in meantime i've found this site, which appears to be the only one i'll ever need, but i guess still went ahead with that recipe/instruction as i slowly had gathered all the needed things (i in pretty remote area). i'm already half feeling as i type you guys are gonna check that link and say its terrible and forget it, i should have done better research before. so now i'm thinking:

1. maybe, although a poor recipe/yeast combination, it did go through and i'm measuring wrong with alchometer?
2. googe you meant more sugar 'than' molasses, and what is fg?
3. i clearly need to learn more about SG, won't always end up less than 1.000?

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moosemilk
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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by moosemilk » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:23 am

Read here for a bit more info:

http://www.www.homedistiller.org/forum/ ... 40&t=52707" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

You do not use an alcometer/proof and tralle to measure gravity. You use a SG hydrometer. An alcometer is used to check the ABV of your spirit.

I think there is a bit about ferment able sugars in molasses in the hookrum recipe thread in tried and true.

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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by dgsmooth » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:11 pm

sorry meant to say that i used the hydrometer to measure specific gravity, and the alchometer (in attempt) to measure ABV of the mash after fermentation...... i know its for measureing the final spirit but thought it would show 10% or something before distilling

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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by shadylane » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:02 pm

Here's a tried and true rum recipe. But I'd suggest using only 75-80% of the sugar and molasses.
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=47472

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dstaines
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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by dstaines » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:42 pm

dgsmooth wrote: i know its for measureing the final spirit but thought it would show 10% or something before distilling
Nope! That's where you're getting mixed up. The alcohol meter is for measuring the density of liquids that are less dense than water (ie mixtures of ethanol and water), and it is specifically calibrated to return accurate measurements only if the mixture contains no other solutes like sugars. Even if your wash had dropped all the way to a SG of 0.995, that is a similar density to a 2% solution of ethanol and water. The presence of residual sugars and other stuff in the wash renders the alcoholmeter reading completely meaningless on anything but pure distilled spirits
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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by Tokoroa_Shiner » Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:25 pm

dgsmooth wrote:yes with alcohol meter...... i only did that after i found the SG to be so high. sorry i need to do some research i think - i thought i had figured out that the SG will always end up less than one......obviously not. is there a chance then that it did finish (although recipe not great as mentioned)? i need to dig up some research on how to calculate what SG should be then. if somebody wouldn't mind, check out this recipe/link and tell me what you think:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Making- ... m-Scratch/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

i used that as it was the very first i found when i googled it some 2-3 months ago and started this new hobby. of course, in meantime i've found this site, which appears to be the only one i'll ever need, but i guess still went ahead with that recipe/instruction as i slowly had gathered all the needed things (i in pretty remote area). i'm already half feeling as i type you guys are gonna check that link and say its terrible and forget it, i should have done better research before. so now i'm thinking:

1. maybe, although a poor recipe/yeast combination, it did go through and i'm measuring wrong with alchometer?
2. googe you meant more sugar 'than' molasses, and what is fg?
3. i clearly need to learn more about SG, won't always end up less than 1.000?
1. Recipe is not too bad, but bakers yeast would be better
2. FG is final gravity
3. I don't think a rum wash will ever finish at or below 1.000 due to a lot of unfermentable sugars in the molasses. ( I may be wrong on this.)
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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by Mikey-moo » Sat Apr 18, 2015 1:13 pm

dgsmooth wrote:yes with alcohol meter...... i only did that after i found the SG to be so high. sorry i need to do some research i think - i thought i had figured out that the SG will always end up less than one......obviously not. is there a chance then that it did finish (although recipe not great as mentioned)? i need to dig up some research on how to calculate what SG should be then. if somebody wouldn't mind, check out this recipe/link and tell me what you think:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Making- ... m-Scratch/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

i used that as it was the very first i found when i googled it some 2-3 months ago and started this new hobby. of course, in meantime i've found this site, which appears to be the only one i'll ever need, but i guess still went ahead with that recipe/instruction as i slowly had gathered all the needed things (i in pretty remote area). i'm already half feeling as i type you guys are gonna check that link and say its terrible and forget it, i should have done better research before. so now i'm thinking:

1. maybe, although a poor recipe/yeast combination, it did go through and i'm measuring wrong with alchometer?
2. googe you meant more sugar 'than' molasses, and what is fg?
3. i clearly need to learn more about SG, won't always end up less than 1.000?
You/they seem to be aging/oaking the rum in plastic water bottles? I'd stick to glass personally.

Is this your instructible?

Edit - I see this is N1cod3mus' instructible - suprised to see so many plastic botles, measuring cyliders and funnels to be honest - also, I don't think that's water based flux he's using in the one for the still build. C'mon peeps... standards and all that!
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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by dgsmooth » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:21 am

mmmmm, i don't see any water bottles in that procedure, only plastic pails for fermenting.....but either way, for sure i be doing any aging/oaking/flavouring in glass bottles. okay guys thanks for the help, i guess i paniced a little too soon, (based on the fact i was using my tools wrong). i ran this batch through the still last night, got quite a bit of decent smelling white rum. jars are airing out over last night today, then will try my hand at making the cuts etc etc. did the same with my birdwatchers sac run (and yeah i sac'd it all, just went through the cutting process for practise). i think just because my first birdwatchers sugar wash came out below 1.000 etc etc i assumed all wash's worked that way. now i know! thanks again guys

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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by Tokoroa_Shiner » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:24 pm

dgsmooth wrote:mmmmm, i don't see any water bottles in that procedure, only plastic pails for fermenting.....but either way, for sure i be doing any aging/oaking/flavouring in glass bottles. okay guys thanks for the help, i guess i paniced a little too soon, (based on the fact i was using my tools wrong). i ran this batch through the still last night, got quite a bit of decent smelling white rum. jars are airing out over last night today, then will try my hand at making the cuts etc etc. did the same with my birdwatchers sac run (and yeah i sac'd it all, just went through the cutting process for practise). i think just because my first birdwatchers sugar wash came out below 1.000 etc etc i assumed all wash's worked that way. now i know! thanks again guys
Step 7. He uses plastic bottles for aging and oaking.
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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by Paulinka » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:08 am

Alcohol pulls out acetaldehyde from PET-bottles. It can be used for storing low wines a few days, heads will be cut out anyway with distilling it, but using plastic for aging is definitely not a good idea.

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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by Havenor » Fri May 01, 2015 10:27 am

This fermentation is very similar to what I have going on right now. The mash is almost exactly the same, yeast the same, amount the same. My fermentation was noticeable for the first 7-10 days but I'm still getting fizzing a month later. Sounds like I may have the same ec-1118 issue. It works but maybe not as prolific as a bread yeast.

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Re: what went wrong with this fermentation?

Post by Danespirit » Fri May 01, 2015 10:41 am

Paulinka wrote:Alcohol pulls out acetaldehyde from PET-bottles. It can be used for storing low wines a few days, heads will be cut out anyway with distilling it, but using plastic for aging is definitely not a good idea.
+1 Paulinka

Best container to store in are glass, stainless or a wood barrel , if one wants the spirits to benefit from the wood..for example a whiskey.

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