Best method for seperating corn from mash

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby jedneck » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:51 am

I feel that even though the grains only feel damp there is still a fair amount of booze in them. But is it enuf to make it worth the time and energy to get it.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:36 am

jedneck wrote:I feel that even though the grains only feel damp there is still a fair amount of booze in them. But is it enuf to make it worth the time and energy to get it.

Well, here's what I figure:
I've got 20 gallons of filtered ferment in carboys settling. I will end up with roughly 16 gallons of clear beer, and about 4 gallons of trub, of which I know about 75% is recoverable.
I''ve also got the 10 gallons of damp grain. The grain buckets weight about 40# each. I used 50# of corn, so I guess each bucket contains around 15# of liquid, or roughly 3 gallons of whiskey juice.

These are the numbers that keep gnawing at me. 16 gallons of clear beer. 3 gallons locked up in trub. 3 gallons locked up in damp grain.

I can strip 16 gallons of clear beer in one run.
To get everything, I need to do 2 runs.

It's a close call. Do ya mess around with the second run for another 25% of finished product?
I will say that after my last run, I noticed no real difference in the spirit runs between my clear beer, and my all-trub run. Neither tasted better or worse than the other to me.

Another thing to consider is that my clear beer spirit run was very clean, I felt like I could make very wide cuts into heads and tails.
The trub spirit run, while similar in hearts, was much messier at either end. The heads were sharper and the tails retched. I would hate for the messy heads and tails of the trub/grain to pollute the cleaner heads and tails of the clear beer run, if run together.
So it may be best to still separate the runs until the end, compare the spirits after cuts, and then either blend or bottle separately at that point.

Then again, nothing beats just throwing everything in the steamer and cranking out low wines from every ounce available, so simple! (but then I wouldn't get to use my shaker strainer)

I don't think there is a clear cut answer, I think that's gonna come down to individual choices.
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Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby Badmotivator » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:13 am

I have been working on a dewatering machine also (stalled on that project, will pick it back up soon) and needed a baseline for water content. This might be helpful:

Cracked corn, cooked, enzymes, fermented:
500g of drained corn (racked, then sampled top layer of remaining grain) dried to 118g (76% beer content)
500g of squeezed corn (hand squeezed/wrung in a BIAB) dried to 170g (66% beer content)

I'd guess that this FartQuake (EDIT Fart Husker! My bad.) method lands in the upper territory of that 66-76% beer-content range.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby nerdybrewer » Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:43 am

Does anyone do large batches? The only grain I've done for making Whisky was done using 18 gallon food grade barrels.
I'd like to do this in a 90 gallon tote, but not sure about the equipment that will be required.
I could mash 20 gallons at a time and add the beer after filtering out the grain to my big tote.
I've a feeling that's how it's going to go in order to keep it manageable, I suppose I could start it up by adding yeast to the first 20 gallons and then start adding 20 gallon batches until I get there.
Knowing I won't get 20 gallons beer out of a 20 gallon mash means I'd have to run about 6 times to fill the tote.
If there are better ideas I'm interested in learning.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:06 am

nerdybrewer wrote:If there are better ideas I'm interested in learning.

If you are planing to do a bunch of grain whiskey mashes, I suggest you get one of these filters first thing.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby nerdybrewer » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:34 am

MichiganCornhusker wrote:
nerdybrewer wrote:If there are better ideas I'm interested in learning.

If you are planing to do a bunch of grain whiskey mashes, I suggest you get one of these filters first thing.


I have 100 square feet of the GeoTextile stuff that GAFlatwoods talked about, brand new just waiting for grains.
I have time, not in a hurry so I'm willing to let gravity do most of the work for me.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby ga flatwoods » Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:39 pm

Nerdy I use a 55 gallon barrel with screw on lid that I never cinch down on. Are you above using a sugarhead? Either way, the first barrel can be an all grain from which you drain all of the grains of usable wash. I usually get three good 13.5 gallon runs from one barrel with a little left that helps to keep the yeast alive. After that id using a sugarhead, I will add 50# sugar back to the grains after making sucrose with it (cold water added to grains) and add remaining wster for another run along with about ten gallons of backset. If ph gets off, a shot of backing soda will quickly correct the problem.
one of the tall chlorine tab buckets with holes in it as I have shown will hold a lot of grain to drain! Suspend it over a drum or other container to catch the drippins.
Three barrels of reused grain should yield nine cookings if you completely drain most of the liquid and six runs if you only take two runs of the easiest to get. If only using two runs per barrel you could use less sugar and less backset to keep the consistency. Remember we dont want too high of a potential alcohol content.

you could use your 90 gallon tote by picking it up on an angle thus keeping all the grain along one side against the corners. Settlement will tend to go down slope to the area where the grain is and the free run could be readily siphoned or pumped off. I have a small pool pump specifically built to help drain the remaining water from pools below the pump levels that works great of such a task.

At least that is how I might suggest you can do larger ferments.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby nerdybrewer » Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:50 pm

ga flatwoods wrote:Nerdy I use a 55 gallon barrel with screw on lid that I never cinch down on. Are you above using a sugarhead? Either way, the first barrel can be an all grain from which you drain all of the grains of usable wash. I usually get three good 13.5 gallon runs from one barrel with a little left that helps to keep the yeast alive. After that id using a sugarhead, I will add 50# sugar back to the grains after making sucrose with it (cold water added to grains) and add remaining wster for another run along with about ten gallons of backset. If ph gets off, a shot of backing soda will quickly correct the problem.
one of the tall chlorine tab buckets with holes in it as I have shown will hold a lot of grain to drain! Suspend it over a drum or other container to catch the drippins.
Three barrels of reused grain should yield nine cookings if you completely drain most of the liquid and six runs if you only take two runs of the easiest to get. If only using two runs per barrel you could use less sugar and less backset to keep the consistency. Remember we dont want too high of a potential alcohol content.

you could use your 90 gallon tote by picking it up on an angle thus keeping all the grain along one side against the corners. Settlement will tend to go down slope to the area where the grain is and the free run could be readily siphoned or pumped off. I have a small pool pump specifically built to help drain the remaining water from pools below the pump levels that works great of such a task.

At least that is how I might suggest you can do larger ferments.
Ga Flatwoods


Thank you, some good ideas I will ponder as I get closer to buying corn.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby Fart Vader » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:12 am

MichiganCornhusker wrote:My prototype orbital shaker arm worked great at first, but after about 20 gallons of mush, under load, it started to smoke.
So, I'll need to come up with something a little more durable for the surfaces where the eccentric meets the hole in the arm.


Hey Michigan, I've been thinking about this problem, and I think putting a large enough diameter ball bearing might solve the problem. Friction between the "spinner" and the arm should be eliminated.
Can you visualize what I'm trying to say?
A larger hole in the arm, a ball bearing with inner diameter large enough to fit the eccentric inside. The eccentric then sits inside the ball bearing.

Cheers.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby steelmb » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:51 am

Fart Vader wrote:
MichiganCornhusker wrote:My prototype orbital shaker arm worked great at first, but after about 20 gallons of mush, under load, it started to smoke.
So, I'll need to come up with something a little more durable for the surfaces where the eccentric meets the hole in the arm.


Hey Michigan, I've been thinking about this problem, and I think putting a large enough diameter ball bearing might solve the problem. Friction between the "spinner" and the arm should be eliminated.
Can you visualize what I'm trying to say?
A larger hole in the arm, a ball bearing with inner diameter large enough to fit the eccentric inside. The eccentric then sits inside the ball bearing.

Cheers.
Vader.

+1
I believe MCH may have said it best. "It's your hooch, you get to choose."
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:46 am

Fart Vader wrote:Hey Michigan, I've been thinking about this problem, and I think putting a large enough diameter ball bearing might solve the problem.


Ha, you and I are of one mind, Fart, ordered one yesterday.
McMaster-Carr, $9.
Has about a 1-1/4" ID and a 2-1/4" OD.

I think I'm going to weld a small steel disc to the inside, and put a 3/8" bolt, offset, through that.
Before things started smoking it was working pretty well with about a 1/4" offset, placed midway between the anchor bolt and the center of the filter.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby Fart Vader » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:16 am

MichiganCornhusker wrote:Ha, you and I are of one mind, Fart, ordered one yesterday.

There's a scary thought!

:D
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby shadylane » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:52 am

At least there's plenty of room under your helmet :lol:
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:09 pm

The ball bearing works great.
I made a plywood plug for the center of the bearing with slightly tapered sides and hammered it tight into the bearing. Then I drilled the off-centered hole for the bolt.
I cut the 2-1/4" hole in the plywood arm with a hole saw. The bearing fit is close but still lose enough that I can take it our by hand if I want to move it to another location on the arm.

Everything works very smooth, looking forward to being able to try this out on my next mash.

In the photos, the white part is the old arm with the melted areas around the old holes cut out. I screwed the old white arm down to the new plywood arm so that I wouldn't lose the larger shape that attaches to the bottom of the filter.
It's confusing in the image to see the circle cut out of the white plastic arm so close to the edge of the bearing, but that just happens to be how it got attached to the new plywood arm below. The white arm has nothing to do with the motion at this point.

bearing arm.JPG

Bearing.JPG
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby steelmb » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:40 pm

Not to criticize but why did you not get a sealed bearing? They are no more money from my experience.

EDIT: Ok I just went and looked at McMaster Carr and and the sealed bearings there are prohibitively expensive. If you live in or near a rural area got to an agricultural shop for this kind of stuff.
I believe MCH may have said it best. "It's your hooch, you get to choose."
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:04 pm

Actually, they offer sealed just as cheap. I was originally thinking I might be doing some welding to the bearing and I was thinking the heat might drive the lubricant out of a sealed bearing with no way to replace it.
As it turned out, I did no welding and I agree a sealed bearing would be a better choice long term.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby steelmb » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:12 pm

Just for future reference, if you take a dentist's pick and carefully put it under the inside lip of the seal you can pop the seal out. Then you can re-lubricate if you want and pop the seal back on. If done carefully you would never know it was taken out.
I believe MCH may have said it best. "It's your hooch, you get to choose."
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:22 pm

steelmb wrote:Just for future reference, if you take a dentist's pick and carefully put it under the inside lip of the seal you can pop the seal out. Then you can re-lubricate if you want and pop the seal back on. If done carefully you would never know it was taken out.

Lol, I started out twirling a plywood circle in a plastic hole,... Baby steps.
I really thought a bearing would be overkill. And I still think there are simple materials that could work without catching fire, but the bearing are so cheap, why not use them, eh?
Last edited by MichiganCornhusker on Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby steelmb » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:40 pm

The bearing should last forever with the slow speed and light load.
I believe MCH may have said it best. "It's your hooch, you get to choose."
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby shadylane » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:12 pm

I've been experimenting using a DA sander to shake the screen.
I'll post some pic's once I figure out how to, after windows 10 hijacked me. :roll:
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:04 am

MichiganCornhusker wrote:It's a close call. Do ya mess around with the second run for another 25% of finished product?

I stripped the whiskey ferment and here's what I got.
From the 16 gallons of clear racked ferment I got 14 quarts @ 45%, 6.3 quarts alcohol.
From 4 gallons of trub combined with two 5 gallon buckets of damp grains I got 8 quarts @ 35%, 2.8 quarts alcohol.

I've done this experiment a few different ways, and I'm seeing quite a bit of booze locked up in the solids, both the trub and the damp grains.
Because the trub/grains strip is dirtier, my gut is pretty comfortable with 25%ish as the additional amount of final keep alcohol that can be pulled from the solids with steam.

This batch was special being blue corn, so I was happy to go after every drop. But it did take an hour and a half of propane to heat up the trub/grains and the water in the boiler for stripping.
My plan now is to do a spirit run with the clear strip, make my cuts, and rerun those feints with the trub strip, and bottle the runs separately.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby DAD300 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:20 pm

I saw a commercially made version of what you have done...

SWECO Vibro-Energy Separator
Vibratory Seperator.jpg
Vibratory Seperator.jpg (48.71 KiB) Viewed 606 times


Liquid goes out bottom/side and solids out other side.

Only advantage I see to this, if screen ruptured the solids would drop into wash immediately.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:37 pm

Yep, that looks like a similar type action for keeping the filter from loading up.
I like the idea of the springs. My setup is a little rattly with plastic on plastic vibro-energy action.

These drum filters that I'm using are very durable. I don't think they would come apart short of cutting them with a knife.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby Fart Vader » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:37 pm

Hey, simpler than springs. Put a piece of plywood on an inflated inner tube or a kids pool toy.
That's what I'm planning on trying as a vibration isolation mount.

:)
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby bilgriss » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:57 am

vibration isolation mount


Directly coupled to the flux capacitor. Requires aligning the warp core matrix and plasma conduits.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby Fart Vader » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:33 am

LOL.
Funny.
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby DAD300 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:52 pm

Another commercial version...
Bakery Sieve.jpg
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby WIski » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:03 pm

Dad,

Another commercial version...


What do they get for that??
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby nerdybrewer » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:39 pm

DAD300 wrote:Another commercial version...
Bakery Sieve.jpg


That motor is most likely a larger version of this:

Image
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Re: Best method for seperating corn from mash

Postby skow69 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:02 pm

Didn't I see that in one of my GFs toys?
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