Sweet Tator Experiment

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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jog666
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Sweet Tator Experiment

Post by jog666 » Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:20 am

Another one of those sleepless nights some how turned into reading about sweet potato again. Last time I was reading into them, I felt that I was to green to try them and end up wasting more than my time. Now that I have done alot more reading, malting grain, all grain mashes and what not, I stood a chance at making something work.

I was given 3 pounds a week or so ago and we didnt have any plans to use them. Went through some saved links on here and other forums. The beer guys pretty much tried to work it like a grain with mixed results. About the same on here. I didnt want to take the time of cooking them in the oven then mashing since I have plans to build a steam cooker for corn. Loosely planned to cook the shit out of them, smash and add some malt. Let work and if the starches converted, throw some yeast to it and walk away.

Below is just about a carbon copy of my notes. Sorry if it seems like a mess.

3# sweet potato - 1/2'd and sliced to 1/4"-3/8" thick with skins
1 gallon tap water, on high, no lid
178*-180*f add pieces & stir
Stir regularly and bring to a boil
Flame down to a simmer. Timer set to 10 minutes for stirring and 30 minutes to smash. Pieces softer and dont "snap"
18 minutes at simmer iodine black
Smash and stir after the 30 minutes
simmer 10m and stir
heat down a bit
10m and stir
heat off
In blender, fine grind wheat malt 12oz
Tators at 168*f, stir in wheat (still cold from freezer). I had the oven on for a few minutes to get the heat up before I put the pot in there.
30m wait
Stir 153*. Iodine was a dirty red color.
Put back into oven.
20 min in oven
Stir and 144*f Iodine - red & disappears
1 tbl bakers yeast in 86* water to re-hydrate. Used spoon from pulling iodine samples to stir.
Put pot in cold sink water til it hit 96*f
I had to split the mash between two 3L jars. One got a bit more because I rinsed out the fines from the pot with water.
Let them settle for a bit
The first one, no rinse water - 1.052 @ 85*f (dirty). Corrected 1.055.
Add yeast and cover.


Told you, a mess. I dont know how good the malt is compared to commercial malt plus its been in the freezer for a while. It seemed to work and kept me busy for a little while. Im not sure what I will do after it ferments since 1 gallon is much at all even for my small keg. I might treat it like a wine until I get around to trying a barrel of it. Either way, I will keep this updated.

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zed255
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Re: Sweet Tator Experiment

Post by zed255 » Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:11 am

As I understand the sweet potato, it actually has an appropriate enzyme package for self conversion. You might have been able to cut / shred into small pieces and cook at about 145F for a couple hours to get conversion and increase the temp to make the potato flesh softer. I haven't tried it yet because I would work with something like 50+ pounds of raw ingredients and just haven't bothered to source them in quantity.
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If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

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Re: Sweet Tator Experiment

Post by Bushman » Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:21 am

I have never done a potato run and not sure about sweet potatoes but have read that it takes a lot of potatoes to do a run. If I might give some advice when sharing a recipe. Mixing the directions and ingredients together makes it harder to follow. It is easier if you first list ingredients so people that want to try the recipe can easily figure out everything in the recipe. Then follow with the directions.

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Re: Sweet Tator Experiment

Post by Bushman » Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:24 am

Here is another old thread that was recently posted on sweet potatoes.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=23478

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jog666
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Re: Sweet Tator Experiment

Post by jog666 » Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:19 pm

Bushman, I think that thread was the one that restarted reading about them. Snowballed from there.....
I completely understand about a recipe layout but I was in a bit of a rush while typing and a bit scatter brained. Round two will be better. ;)

Zed, I think everything I read said they have plenty of enzymes to convert themselves. I want to try a couple different ways if I can. Use a percentage like we would malt & just cook the shit out of the rest or keep it all low temp to keep from denaturing the enzymes.

Anymore I dont mess with anything smaller than 10 gallons or so. I did this just to do something. Likker seems to be better by the barrel of mash VS buckets. I would have to make a small trip to check on the supply of tators I used to get. As long as nothing has changed, I can get all that I can haul a few times a week. I could probably make quite a bit of likker that would be very light on my wallet but a bit time consuming.

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Re: Sweet Tator Experiment

Post by TDick » Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:20 pm

True Confession: I watch "Moonshiners". It was what got me interested in the "craft".
To be more accurate however, actually I record it so I can fast forward through a lot of the "stories".
I know it is what it is and above all - DON'T SELL, DON'T TELL!

One reason I watch is I do like Mark & Digger who have "gone commercial".
A season or two ago (I went back and looked - Season 8, Episode 10) they tackled sweet potatoes.
In one episode, they tested sweet potatoes with white sugar, with brown sugar, and one with molasses.
They found they did NOT like the molasses AT ALL- "I don't know what a monkey's ass taste like but if I was guessin it would be very close to that."
The brown sugar run came in second - "better but it ain't great. It's not horrible"
The winner was simply boiling it down with white sugar.
They didn't really go into whether the starches were converted or if they were just along for the ride.
My personal, UNEDUCATED opinion would be, if volume allowed, roasting the potatos to carmelize the sugars, BUT that might lead back to the tastes like the brown sugar or molasses.

Again, for informational purposes only and DON'T SELL, DON'T TELL!

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Re: Sweet Tator Experiment

Post by jog666 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:25 pm

tator 2.jpg
13 days so far. They both have a very good smelling infection. Cap had fallen by 21st. I think it was the 24th or 25th when I noticed it starting to grow. My work schedule and a spur of the moment hunting trip kind of screwed me on getting them racked off a few days ago. Oh well, something to stay busy with.


Damn technology..... Stupid f'ing picture wont turn correctly. Ive tried editing and resaving and uploading 4 times so far. Sorry folks.

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