The journey begins, first steps.

Many like to post about a first successful ferment (or first all grain mash), or first still built/bought or first good run of the still. Tell us about all of these great times here.
Pics are VERY welcome, we drool over pretty copper 8)

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The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:30 am

Somewhere in a cave, in a land where the haggis roam free and the bagpipes sound like constipated sheep in pain, there lives an auld balrog. One day, a wicked witch decided to put a poison tax on the whisky well at the back of the balrog cave and the balrog, with the rest of the population of Whiskyland was not very happy about this. This is how the auld, (starting to go bald too!) balrog decided to start an adventure and dig a new whisky well to be free from this poison tax.
The auld balrog got digging and digging, then he made an amazing discovery, he found the Home distiller forum and other liked minded 'spirits of the forest' digging other whisky wells.
At the bottom of this well, the auld balrog (still farting away happily :lol: ) made another discovery. A magical device called an air still. Not the best magical device to be found in Whiskyland but the safest magical device for making the fire water to start with as the auld balrog digs deeper for fire water.

In amongst the stale fart gas and detritus of modern living, there can be found two primary fermenting bin in a cave.
One contains a cider brew, a kit from a homebrew shop, it should have been 1.5Kg of sucrose added but the auld balrog could not read well the instructions and added 3Kg instead, as the daft balrog followed the wine instructions and not the cider (No excuses, cannot even blame alcohol or prescription medication for that). Nearly fermented out now, the balrog had a brain fart of an idea and decided to keep some back for 'research purposes', a demijohn of one gallon of this brew was collected and now awaits further brain fart developments. Does the balrog just bung it in the magic air still device as is, with fermentation still going on or does the auld balrog add some turbo yeast to finish the job first then bung it in the contraption of magical transmutation of weak booze to fire water? The balrog is thirsty, just wants to rack off as is and move onto the next phase of the alchemy process. Is this wise :?: should the auld balrog be patient and let nature get on with it and let it ferment naturally while the balrog reads up on the witchcraft on fire water making :?: or does the balrog just rack it off and bung it in, must it be fermented right out first for safety reason :?: The auld balrog would have to catch from the fridge and freezer his own dinner for many years if the balrog cave suddenly turned into an open air quarry pit as residential carbon dioxide in the magical fire water making device caused a sudden, unexpected, exothermic reaction

The other fermenting bin with a turbo yeast kit from a friendly homebrew shop has 8Kg of sucrose in 29 litres of brew, no activated carbon. It is now on day five of fermenting, the SG has dropped to 1.010 or about, it did have originally 8Kg in 26 litres but the balrog decided to dilute the brew to try and make a better, cleaner brew rather than something tasting like it was brewed in the bowels of the balrog. The SG was dropped from 1.060 to 1.040 when the extra 3 litres of water were added. The original kick off SG was 1.120 or about. So from a rough calculated end ABV of about 19%, it should now be roughly 15% when fully fermented out. No space left to add more water.
The auld balrog now knows to use other yeast to make the fire water sprout forth from the new whisky well to taste better than the fire water from the old, taxed to death, whisky well. Common knowledge to the inhabitants of the ethanol forest who live there happily for many years with magical brew recipes passed down and over again and again. The ecosystem in the ethanol forest works very well.

Once upon a time, the living fossil of Whiskyland tried to work out how to take and post pics, more research is needed in this sector. Please remember the the auld balrog belongs to an era when long ago there were no home computers, pics were taking on film of silver salts and you had to get them developed by an alchemist far away fromthe ethanol forest.
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby fizzix » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:05 am

May sounds of the auld balrog fill the caves and valleys where the woodbine twineth.
This auld saill balrog certainly wishes his brethren success! Would love to sip a drink with you if the seas us did not part.
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:02 am

Ahhhhhh, the lovely sound of fellow booze balrogs wandering in the ethanol forest and the sound of slurping in the valley vodka mines.
Good day Fizzix, what a braw day to get hydrometers out and test the brews and see if anything is at the next stage.
Maybe in time, the creatures of the forest shall have a gathering when whisky wells shall meet.

Now do I rack this cider demijohn anyway and hope for a start tomorrow or be patient and see what the air lock bubble rates says tomorrow :?: Life is full of difficult decisions, time to hunt dinner from the cupboard, will take a decisions after a munch. I have that balrog instinct that it is getting racked in two hours if the sediment level is low enough. I think that a whole demijohn is more volume than the air still, gives the balrog a bit of room to play with. As long as it is clear, it is OK to use. See what happens in a couple of hours.

Must hunt food, auld balrog hungry, and thirsty. Balrog must eat before racking. Time to think about coffee filter paper as a plan B to filter sediment from demijohn. Balrog need fresh firewater, balrog impatient. Balrog grumpy auld git. Balrog still needs to research how to post pics today also.

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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby fizzix » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:10 am

Here's a great post for putting up pictures: https://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=66849
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:49 am

fizzix wrote:Here's a great post for putting up pictures: https://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=66849


Cheers Fizzix :thumbup: More reading but it must be done. I must go back to the very basics and start at the very start. I do have a digital camera but I get the younger family members to do the rest, obviously, that is not an option for this hobby. Is about time I moved out of the dark ages and learned about modern technology.

Took me years to get used to the wheel and fire when they first were invented back in the day :lol: Then the square wheel became round, wow, that was amazing, the possibilities :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:40 am

Well just racked the cider brew into another demijohn. Appears particle free but is very dark, cannot see through to the other side of the demijohn, even against a white background. Fills to about an inch below the shoulders, not sure if I need more for the full level for the air still. Will leave it still for a few hours then pour into a white bucket to see if I can see the base through it. If so, then it is a go.
I am hopeful that somehow (witchcraft or magic maybe :o ) the extra air space and some serious shaking every now and then will help ferment it fully out. The air lock is still bubbling away but slowly. The hydrometer say SG about 1.000, but should it not read about 0.997 for the more sucrose used in the brew :?:

Demijohns, one gallon volume :idea: these would be great for a simple brew to test yeasts variants. Make the same sugar mix, only difference between the demijohns being the yeast used. Perfect for the small volume of the air still.
Then there is wines, from my knowledge mining on this site, I see that the air still keeps some essences with the distillate, more possibilities to think about. Banana wine distillate, raspberry wine distillate, wild changes from the normal ' Flowers of the forest'

That is the problem for newcomers to this hobby, every question answered just asks more questions in a chain reaction to get enlightenment. More ideas appear like magic, more horizons to map out and investigate. Do I research this or that first, remember what happened to Icarus for flying to close to the Sun, a bit of research would show that flying too close to the Sun is a bad idea. Got to remember to crawl first, then walk, not to rush things, but not so easy with a new toy to play with and a thirst for my first batch of fire water.

I was going to research how to post pics, from clicking the camera button to getting them to the computer, then on to the site. Now I better do a three hour crash course into cider wine distilling. I have read over and over how to use this air still, how to do cuts from it, what to keep and what to chuck out but now I got to do it for real.

New plan is to edit in pics as I work out how. Please bear with me on this, might be a few days before the auld balrog gets round to this. Primary mission is to get air still set up and in use in a few hours time. Try to get at least a stripping run done today then a spirit run tomorrow morning.

Once again, the auld balrog of Whiskyland would like to say a big thank you to everyone for helping the balrog to get to this stage. :thumbup: :) My salutes to you all.
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Manc » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:26 am

Hi SAB

Good luck not that you will need it.

Lee
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby TDick » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:05 am

Scottish auld balrog wrote:In amongst the stale fart gas and detritus of modern living, there can be found two primary fermenting bin in a cave.
One contains a cider brew, a kit from a homebrew shop...

First thing sir. I am proud of my Scottish (& Irish) heritage, but never learned to speak the language. Only American with a little Spanish out of necessity.

Second - Everything I write is CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Also I am writing as a fellow noob and will leave the technical aspects of your questions to more experienced hands.
Balrog has made a very common mistake in bringing a kit or a recipe from another source to the Forum. It is frowned on and you may be chided or worse by others, but there is a reason for them doing so. As I point out ad nauseum, find a Tried & True or even Experimental recipe you like. Read it several times, then follow it. It's probably cheaper than a kit, you will be more comfortable in what you are doing and the questions you are now asking will certainly be covered in your reading.
If not you can easily ask the member who developed it, or the last one who ran it, any questions about that.

Scottish auld balrog wrote:The balrog is thirsty.
Should the auld balrog be patient and let nature get on with it and let it ferment naturally while the balrog reads up on the witchcraft on fire water making ?

Yes :!:
Scottish auld balrog wrote:The other fermenting bin with a turbo yeast kit :oops: from a friendly homebrew shop ....
SAB

See above ^

Just one other suggestion from these bleeding eyes.
Read Til You Bleed.gif
Read Til You Bleed.gif (24.78 KiB) Viewed 470 times

One of the MANY helpful things I read was to make enough mash for 3 stripping runs followed by a spirit run.
I don't know what you are making but it certainly makes sense to me.
Gur math a thèid leat!
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:10 am

Manc wrote:Hi SAB

Good luck not that you will need it.

Lee


Cheers Lee, always best to have luck on your side for the beginner, I can be so short sighted about the simple things, just one overlooked mistake is all it takes.
Not nice when the manure fairy is sitting on a cloud and dumping bad luck from a great height on the balrog cave. I think I have read enough of the basics to get a safe start, at least this site has given me enough ammunition to blast away at the manure fairie's cloud with anti manure fairy cloud ammunition till said fairy goes and pesters the wicked witch of Holyrood.
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:06 am

TDick wrote:
Scottish auld balrog wrote:In amongst the stale fart gas and detritus of modern living, there can be found two primary fermenting bin in a cave.
One contains a cider brew, a kit from a homebrew shop...

First thing sir. I am proud of my Scottish (& Irish) heritage, but never learned to speak the language. Only American with a little Spanish out of necessity.

Second - Everything I write is CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Also I am writing as a fellow noob and will leave the technical aspects of your questions to more experienced hands.
Balrog has made a very common mistake in bringing a kit or a recipe from another source to the Forum. It is frowned on and you may be chided or worse by others, but there is a reason for them doing so. As I point out ad nauseum, find a Tried & True or even Experimental recipe you like. Read it several times, then follow it. It's probably cheaper than a kit, you will be more comfortable in what you are doing and the questions you are now asking will certainly be covered in your reading.
If not you can easily ask the member who developed it, or the last one who ran it, any questions about that.

Scottish auld balrog wrote:The balrog is thirsty.
Should the auld balrog be patient and let nature get on with it and let it ferment naturally while the balrog reads up on the witchcraft on fire water making ?

Yes :!:
Scottish auld balrog wrote:The other fermenting bin with a turbo yeast kit :oops: from a friendly homebrew shop ....
SAB

See above ^

Just one other suggestion from these bleeding eyes.
Read Til You Bleed.gif

One of the MANY helpful things I read was to make enough mash for 3 stripping runs followed by a spirit run.
I don't know what you are making but it certainly makes sense to me.
Gur math a thèid leat!


Thank you for your post TD, The auld balrog is very thick skinned, no need to sugar coat constructive advice, I am here to learn, however the advice is given. Please point out any mistakes the balrog makes, it is only way the balrog will learn to hopefully not make them again.

Auld balrog has logged and stored the words of wisdom and will act on the words of the population of the ethanol forest. The ecosystem works in the forest, best to follow what works. The cider kit was for going into a Corny keg for carbonation, something to watch the fitba (soccer) on the TV with this summer, just a brain fart idea to try some for a quick blast of fire water, impatience is a big issue for the balrog but it must be conquered, time appears to be the distillers best ally and friend.
I shall take heed and just watch the demijohn for now, let them bubbles bubble away. Not sure if it is a good idea to add it back to the cider brew bin or just let it go in the demijohn. Contamination cannot be ruled out, so I shall just leave it and experiment with it later. It does appear to be too cloudy anyway to use at this stage, maybe trying a clearing agent like turbo klar or similar, when it is ready to do so.

My only defence (and a crap one at that too :!: ) is that I bought the kits before discovering this site, I know better now, I know what road and path to follow for the future. The plan is to start with basic sugar brews then build on that, see how all the different yeast work, see how nutrients in the yeast mix help things. I think it would be a good idea to get some working knowledge with turbo yeast, just to see the effects and results before leaving that road for good. I have one packet of turbo yeast/nutrient mix left, will use it up on a split brew, but at the minimal sucrose dose, try to get 50 litres instead of 25 litres from it. Try to get some hands on experience with the air still with it. See how it smells and taste (and why it is frond upon :!: )

It would seem that it would be wise to now look up how to correctly make these brews, time I get my head around how to go about making them, getting the ingredients in, what basic equipment is needed, more reading but normal life for the creatures of the ethanol forest.

At least, it has saved me the hassle of firing up the air still, wondering how to get the best from a small initial stripping run. More time for researching then :)
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:34 am

TDick wrote:First thing sir. I am proud of my Scottish (& Irish) heritage, but never learned to speak the language. Only American with a little Spanish out of necessity.

Gur math a thèid leat!


TD, I must admit (and I hang my head in shame to admit it :oops: :oops: :oops: ) that I can only speak a few words (nearly all are swear words :!: ) and very basic phrases in Gaelic and Doric. My paternal grandmother was from the west coast, her family side could speak some Gaelic. My grandfathers side was from the northern regions, Doric is from them parts.
I have no excuses now I have the time to learn the language of Alba, I had to look up what "Gur math a thèid leat!" means :oops: :oops: :oops: . I should remember even that phrase. :oops: :oops: :oops:

Just not enough time in a single lifetime to research all I want to learn, here is hoping for reincarnation.

Gur math a thèid leat! (Good luck!)
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby TDick » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:43 am

Scottish auld balrog wrote:I have no excuses now I have the time to learn the language of Alba, I had to look up what "Gur math a thèid leat!" means :oops: :oops: :oops: . I should remember even that phrase. :oops: :oops: :oops:
Just not enough time in a single lifetime to research all I want to learn, here is hoping for reincarnation.
Gur math a thèid leat! (Good luck!)
SAM


:lol: I ASSURE you I had to look it up!
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Pikey » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:33 am

Hi from south of the border SAB.

I skimmed this a few times but I can't see what volume of Cider you have. All I can see is 3 kg sugar and One demijohn. (1 gallon ?)

Nowadays demijohns are usually 5 Litres (A gallon is 4.55 litres in "Our money" - 3.** Litres if you're talking to our overseas brethren because our "Pints" - are 20 fluid ounces and theirs are 16 ! That is confusing until you get your head around it. SO watch the measures on the recipes !

Now "Normal yeast" will ferment 2 1/4 lb sugar to dryness in one of "OUr" gallons (I use a rule of thumb of ikg in 5 litres) any more than the yeast can cope witghh just makes it sweeter.

So as I said I didn't find a volume for the cider brew - If it is more than 3 gallons you'll be ok, but if it really is 3 kg in One demijohn, you'll need to spit it into three gallos one way or another or yu'll end up with syrup with perhaps some acohol in it - which may gum up your airstill.

Lang may your lume reek !
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:48 am

Took TD's advice and done a bit of research on the recipes page. All bran by Rad, so easy to get the stuff, so easy to make the brew. Only question to research are the USA volumes of cups, are they the same as the good old imperial UK measurements, shall use the oracle called the Google to ask this to after this post.

Points to note: Bakers yeast, it is mentioned over and over again, obviously, it works well, otherwise another type of yeast would be mentioned to use. Now are all bakers yeasts the same, are American bakers yeast any different from the bakers yeast available in Whiskyland :?: See what I mean about more questions leading to more questions, means more reading, no short cuts here.

Looks like the auld balrog is venturing to the shops tomorrow. Only problem is, Bran flakes are classed as a health food here, do McDonalds possibly sell them :mrgreen: :D :lol: or do I need to mail order in from England :?: :D
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:02 am

Pikey wrote:Hi from south of the border SAB.

I skimmed this a few times but I can't see what volume of Cider you have. All I can see is 3 kg sugar and One demijohn. (1 gallon ?)

Nowadays demijohns are usually 5 Litres (A gallon is 4.55 litres in "Our money" - 3.** Litres if you're talking to our overseas brethren because our "Pints" - are 20 fluid ounces and theirs are 16 ! That is confusing until you get your head around it. SO watch the measures on the recipes !

Now "Normal yeast" will ferment 2 1/4 lb sugar to dryness in one of "OUr" gallons (I use a rule of thumb of ikg in 5 litres) any more than the yeast can cope witghh just makes it sweeter.

So as I said I didn't find a volume for the cider brew - If it is more than 3 gallons you'll be ok, but if it really is 3 kg in One demijohn, you'll need to spit it into three gallos one way or another or yu'll end up with syrup with perhaps some acohol in it - which may gum up your airstill.

Lang may your lume reek !


Hi Pikey.
Thank you for the reply, the cider distilling experiment is cancelled, it was just one UK gallon, 4.5 litres, skimmed from a 5 gallon cider brew, then racked into another demijohn, about 3 litres to use in total. A bad idea as I realise that a 5 gallon brew would be needed to make a few stripping runs to make one decent spirit run. I was just very impatient about getting fire water.
Very good point about US to UK volumes, I am just looking up US cup to UK cup volumes. I prefere imperial units but metric is clearer once you get your head around it. No mix up then on the exact volume to use.
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:31 am

Pikey wrote:Lang may your lume reek !


Forgot to mention that phrase last night Pikey, has been an 'affy lang time since I heird that'. My ex father in law used to use it a lot.
It is strange but I have to actually think about what words and phrases to type out, I do use the Scotch dialect everyday, have done so for basically my whole life, like use the word 'to' instead of 'tae' and the phrase 'don't know' instead of 'dinny ken'.

I cannot understand a single word of the new language that the kids from around Glasgow speak now, It is called Wegie or Chav, it sounds like a drunk Chinaman asking for directions mixed with some Nepalese Buddhist chanting. The army should use it for secure crypto communications, nobody can understand it, even the locals.

We live on the same Island, yet so many dialects, Welsh, Cornish, English, Scottish, Irish, Gaelic, Doric, Yorkshire, Kentish, the list goes on yet somehow we can communicate with each other. (Sometimes with the aide of sub titles :lol: ). There used to be a local TV show on years ago called " RAB C NESBITT" It should be on U tube or similar sites. Try to find the one with the 'heebie jeebies' in it. (For those not used to the phrase 'heebie jeebies' , you could call it a ahem 'work related injury' for serious drinkers). Well worth watching folks, really funny. People like Rab actually do exist, role models for balrogs :lol: :lol: :lol:
SAB

Time fur Balrog tae tak hydrometer readings, dae hoose work,
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:13 am

I see why there are so many post mentioning about having to learn patience with this hobby. Airlock is still bubbling away on the cider bin, the turbo brew is still fizzing away, no need to bother taking hydrometer readings, see what tomorrow's results bring. I know now it is best to let all ferment dry, get them sugars used up as best can be done. I might have just went for it, bunged it in the air still once the SG reached 1.000, even though the fizzing sound and obvious bubbles plainly show it is still fermenting.

So that means another day researching, do I look into a new field like aging and flavouring or stick with repetition and go over the basics again :?: Tempted to fling a few bottles of cheap plonk that are to be found about the cave in the air still, just to get started, see what happens, even though the final output will be neglectable. See what I mean about patience. No getting around that today shall involved hours of reading.

So points to research today: How to clear your turbo brew and prepare it for the air still. Does mouth saliva with various inclusions affect racking. How best to rack the brew, just how much to take, how much to leave behind. One racking into another bin or do it in stages into demijohns to make sure it clears and no sediments gets into the racked brew. How long does it take to settle after fermenting? I have so much to learn, but I suppose everyone here, even the long time veterans of the ethanol forest are still learning.
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:03 am

Found this on my travels about the ethanol forest.
Taken from ' White sugar nutrients information by Pintoshine from here: viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5230

Noted relevant points for the balrog to ponder: :think:
ph 4 to 5. 4.8 being optimal sugar no higher that 1.100 with 1.080 preferable.

Nutrients must have nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, magnesium, foliate, niacin, riboflavin, protein (about 10 different amino acids) in the appropriate quantities.

Sucrose does best if inverted. Citric acid inverts faster than malic, tartaric, or lactic acid. Phosphoric acid is hard to get hold of except in hard candy and soft drinks but this is the magic sucrose inverter and adds a hint of soft drink to the spirit.

Maltose is a yeast favorite. Yeast is a super producer of maltase so it readily cleaves the maltose.

The acidity added by hops makes yeast go crazy, and probably adds lots of other nutrients but are impossible to seperate the hops flavor from the distillate.

DAP works better than ammonia nitrate which work better than urea for nitrogen.

Additional nutrients for the pure sugar fermenters are B vitamin supplements.

a. 5 tsp DAP from the brew shop. I am having trouble finding this now. It always a blend of DAP and Urea.
b. 5 tsp 26-0-0 agricultural grade urea and ammonia nitrate.
c. 10 tsp 10-10-10 general purpose fertilizer.(note: some of the general purpose has sulfur coated urea. It usually won't dissolve and can be tossed after cooking)
d. 5 tsp 26-5-5 agricultural fertilizer. "

And this taken from the same thread but posted by HookLine:

As to fertilisers. Hydroponic fertilisers are very clean. They are also complete fertilisers and contain all the fert salts you listed (nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, magnesium), plus a bunch of other trace elements that are useful if you a continuing on a yeast cell line indefinitely (according to The Chemist).

viewtopic.php?t=2597&highlight=hydroponic


Lots and lots of details to go through there, the chemistry definitely is interesting, it gets the fire going in the balrog without drinking ABV 95% ethanol.
Water chemistry for brewing in, council juice, also known as tap water with all the other additives and metal ions in it, descaler, bleaching agents like chlorine or chloramide, added alkaline pH to raise it above 7.3 to make sure it does not eat copper pipes away The tap water here (TDS fresh out the tap is 55ppm) is excellent in the way that it has to have lime (approx. 30ppm) added to it, local bedrock is volcanic lava, low in Calcium but it does have some Iron in it. The volcanic rocks do provide pratically all other needed elements for yeast to use but the iron bit, even in very low concentrations, raises alarms.
I remember from a trip to the Tennants brewery in Glasgow (admititally it was over 25 years ago), that they used RO filtered water to remove all ions and other stuff from the start. But they were brewing larger and beer, not distilling material. Glasgow's local water is different from the water here.
I do have RO filters in the cave, balrog like tropical fish, loaches that need very fresh water, I have to add some certain salts for normal tropical tank metabalism processes, sounds like a similar process for the yeast in brewing.

Now to try and find out just how much of each element, vitamins, minerals are needed for yeast to do the best work for the selected cause. What does having excess certain minerals do to the brew :?: :think: I place a lot of hope in the oracle called The Google for this search

Also, bicarb is mentioned a lot for the distilling stage, it appears to be to raise the pH up to around a neutral pH 7.0. Now bicarb means the hydrogen carbonate anion, with no metal cation added like sodium, potassium, etc. Would the sodium from bicarb leave an aftertaste :?: What about using another base like potassium hydroxide :?: Looking at the reactions taking place to neutralise the excess acid, the excess acid being positive charged hydrogen ions (H) from the carbonic acid produced by the yeast farting out Carbon dioxide, the hydroxide ion, being oxygen and hydrogen (OH) with a minus negative charge. Now we all know that neutral water is H2O, that is two hydrogens and one Oxygen bonded together. The chemical name for water is dihydrogen monoxide. So the hydroxide ion (OH) with a negative charge is neutralised with the positive charge of the hydrogen ion (H) to make two Hydrogens and one oxygen, surprise surprise, H20 or dihydrogen monoxide with a neutral charge to cancel out the acidity. The potassium part of potassium hydroxide is very soluble, it would remain in the brew but maybe not leave any aftertaste :?: :idea:

Balrog will be doing some experiments with the next brew, A turbo yeast (I know, I know :oops: , but I got to use it up), but the packet also states that there is micro elements in with it, nutrients, vitamins, so I shall split it into two brews. One shall be RO water, maybe the odd CO2 molecule in it from the air, the other shall be council juice only, no pH adjustment or anything, just left out for a day with a cover over it to let the degas out.
Add equal amounts of sugar, weight out equal amounts of the packet contents, add the stuff and see what happens.

I have to work out how to get some bran flakes without been seen. The family would put me in a home for dementia if they seen me buying healthy food. :lol: They would ask way too many questions if you catch my drift :shh: .
SAB

EDIT: add this to the list to read through again: viewtopic.php?f=40&t=43252
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:01 am

Another day dawns in the forest. Patience is again the keyword.

SG readings for the turbo brew are 0.994 and 0.900 (two hydrometers were used). For the cider, 1.000 and 0.996, again two hydrometers used. Both still are fermenting away, no racking today then. :cry: Put an airlock and snapped shut the bin lid on the turbo brew to see the bubble rate on the airlock, shall open it up to the air once I get an idea of fermentation rate with airlock bubble rate.
Conclusion: Balrog needs to buy new hydrometers :!: :idea: and learn patience

Point to ponder. I notice that the turbo brew states not to use an airlock, I presume that is because it is undergoing aerobic fermentation, with Oxygen. Will that cause other reactions within the yeast to produce the nasty unwanted products over time, relative to anaerobic fermentation, without Oxygen :?: :idea: More research is needed, more reading to do. More questions with more questions, the more I read, the more I realise just how great my lack of knowledge actually is :oops: .
I really could do with doing a science course with the Open University or similar outward learning courses :think: .
SAB
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Pikey » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:51 am

Scottish auld balrog wrote:......
Point to ponder. I notice that the turbo brew states not to use an airlock, I presume that is because it is undergoing aerobic fermentation, with Oxygen.


I don't think so, the CO2 will form a blanket and stop O2 reaching the brew in any case - I think it's just that the ferment is so violent that you'de be likely to either pressurise the vessel or just blow the water out of the lock.

Tbh I haven't used an airlock in years. Screw the cap on then back it off a little, Loose lid, towel over, piece of a plastic bag over the top with an elastic band just on the tight side of loose. Depending on what the fermenter looks like !

All of those will "do the job"

I don't know much of the Scottish dialect either - my old man dragged us down south when I was 5 ish (used to live in Perthshire) - in fact my mum has asked ofor her ashes and my dads to be scattered in Glen Lednock (He was working on the "hydros") when the time comes. (He's in the bottom of my wardrobe atm ! ) :shock:
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:37 am

Pikey wrote:
Scottish auld balrog wrote:......
Point to ponder. I notice that the turbo brew states not to use an airlock, I presume that is because it is undergoing aerobic fermentation, with Oxygen.


I don't think so, the CO2 will form a blanket and stop O2 reaching the brew in any case - I think it's just that the ferment is so violent that you'de be likely to either pressurise the vessel or just blow the water out of the lock.



Upon some pondering, that would make sense, CO2 is heavier than air so will build up from the surface and push upward, and outward any air. I thought aerobic fermentation meant the yeast would grow more quickly, hence why they brewed up more quickly than standard yeasts, hence the turbo. I have so much still to learn :oops: .
SAB
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby jon1163 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:00 am

If the Auld balrog adds turbo yeast to any of his whiskey Pitts the villagers will take up with pitchforks and other farming instruments and hunt him down in his caves
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:14 am

jon1163 wrote:If the Auld balrog adds turbo yeast to any of his whiskey Pitts the villagers will take up with pitchforks and other farming instruments and hunt him down in his caves


I know :oops: , I know :oops: , I bought it before I found I discovered this site.
One of them ' It was a good idea at the time' like marriage, or joining the military, or that dodgy haggis supper.
Balrog plans to see what it tastes like then try Rads bran flakes recipe to see the difference.
Balrog understands that the ecosystem in the ethanol forest works great, has worked well since before the invention of turbo yeast. The auld balrog plans to follow the ecosystem. It is how it all works. We all have to learn from our mistakes.
SAB
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Manc » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:28 am

Hi SAB

Regarding your hydrometer readings your wash should be finished at a reading of .994 or .990 the way to check your hydrometer is put in normal water at 20°c it should read 1.000

Hope this helps


Regards
Lee
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:06 am

Manc wrote:Hi SAB
Regarding your hydrometer readings your wash should be finished at a reading of .994 or .990 the way to check your hydrometer is put in normal water at 20°c it should read 1.000
Hope this helps
Regards
Lee


Cheers Lee, very helpful information :thumbup: . Can I ask please how you worked it out :?: Is there a chart or diagram that helps to show final SG in a brew.
The two hydrometers both read 1.000 with RO water, it is when added to a brew that they then do not give concorde readings. I think the scaling must be wrong on at least one of them.
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Manc » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:30 am

Thanks for your kind words but I'm no genius it's all in here waiting to be read start at the beginning NEW DISTILLERS READING LOUNGE and see where it takes you. It sounds like the party line but it really is the best way,( I did it my eyes are still bleeding but worth it find it hard to ask questions now)

The usual way with an hydrometer is that when it hasn't moved for 24/48 hours then it has finished not all washes finish the same so many different factors some of which you've already mentioned. Once you get your procedure down you'll know how yours work's, Don't forget I was turbo boy I still have 4 packets left won't use them not worth the sugar [FACE WITH TEARS OF JOY]. But we all must find our own way.

Regarding two meters two reading reminds me of the Chinese proverb about a man with two watches.

Hope this helps

Lee
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:13 pm

Manc wrote:Thanks for your kind words but I'm no genius it's all in here waiting to be read start at the beginning NEW DISTILLERS READING LOUNGE and see where it takes you. It sounds like the party line but it really is the best way,( I did it my eyes are still bleeding but worth it find it hard to ask questions now)
The usual way with an hydrometer is that when it hasn't moved for 24/48 hours then it has finished not all washes finish the same so many different factors some of which you've already mentioned. Once you get your procedure down you'll know how yours work's, Don't forget I was turbo boy I still have 4 packets left won't use them not worth the sugar [FACE WITH TEARS OF JOY]. But we all must find our own way.
Regarding two meters two reading reminds me of the Chinese proverb about a man with two watches.
Hope this helps
Lee


Cheers Lee for the wise words of wisdom :thumbup: . I have read up on the basics of a hydrometer, the basic calculations to get rough %ABV from start SG to finish SG, but I have yet to find the finer details on how to workout how far it will ferment to, like will it go to for example 0.994 or 0.990 or 0.880 for x amount of sugar used.
Would a vinometer or similar device be of any use :?: If used on a flat brew sample, devoid of CO2.
I can here your words already (and others) saying to 'seek and you shall find'. No substitute for reading and learning.

I suppose starting with a turbo brew, things can only improve as my knowledge increases.

Good news at least is that the airlock on the turbo brew has not moved today at all. I shall test tomorrow and see if hydrometers give same values. Would using turbo klar be of any use here, or keep it for the cider that is going into a Corny keg for carbonation :?: How long would it take to clear for racking stage without it :?: It has had 8 days ferment to get to this stage, I am very eager, maybe too eager to get started proper.
No short cuts in this hobby.
SAB
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Manc » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:31 pm

Would a vinometer or similar device be of any use [BLACK QUESTION MARK ORNAMENT] If used on a flat brew sample, devoid of CO2.

Hi sorry can't help you with that never heard of one you seem to have a very good knowledge of chemistry etc. Should stand you in good sted

I'd use your clearing agent tomorrow it should be ready in 24 hours some use some don't. Personally I don't normally but in this warm weather we're having it takes longer and beginning to change my mind.

Look forward to hearing about your stilling wish you all the best

Lee
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:56 pm

Manc wrote:Would a vinometer or similar device be of any use [BLACK QUESTION MARK ORNAMENT] If used on a flat brew sample, devoid of CO2.
Hi sorry can't help you with that never heard of one you seem to have a very good knowledge of chemistry etc. Should stand you in good sted
I'd use your clearing agent tomorrow it should be ready in 24 hours some use some don't. Personally I don't normally but in this warm weather we're having it takes longer and beginning to change my mind.
Look forward to hearing about your stilling wish you all the best

Lee


Cheers again Lee :thumbup: very helpful.
I have a very basic knowledge of chemistry, it lights my fire, but a limited knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. I think experience has a much higher rank above theory. I want to learn both, and with the help of knowledgeable people like yourself from this site's help, I shall, in time.
Any good books you could recommend please Lee, I find it easier to read a book than a computer sceen. Also no internet away in the wild parts of the ethanol forest, books are handy then.
Thanks again for helping out Lee, it all helps at this stage where patience is the key factor, so much to learn and you can only read so many pages each day.
I should stick to the basics for now but there is just too much couriosity about all the various facets of this wonderful hobby. I need to slow down and try to plan what to build upon instead of jumping into this or that, i nned to get the basics autopilot first. At this age, I should know that but kids with new toys eh.
SAB
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Re: The journey begins, first steps.

Postby Scottish auld balrog » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:46 am

Balrog is happy, airlock on turbo brew still level, dawn raiding party with hydrometers reports same reading. Shall add the turbo klar and see what happens. I presume, but we all know about presumptions, that this turbo klar works like finning agents in winemaking but it states to rack first to remove any sediment, not just add and stir. It would be most wise indeed to follow the instructions, the makers know best how to use their product.
This racking off first has given me a great idea :idea: ( Excuse more like :!: ). Clean mouth out with whisky first, got to have a good taste first in case it is an old urine sample the auld balrog forgot about :esurprised: . Balrog got a bottle somewhere that the wicked witch of Holyrood has not poisoned with her evil poison tax. Just add to morning porridge if any left :lol:
Plan is to rack this off, add turbo klar, then try to wait the magic 24 hours for it to work. At least tomorrow is fire it up for real day. I got to have worked out pics for this moment. Another tick off the bucket list :ebiggrin: .

Interesting reading on hydrometers maths: https://www.avogadro-lab-supply.com/con ... drometer/2
It explains the maths for working out concentrations but not how to work out how low below 1.000 a brew will go. I think this may be because many factors affect this, below 1.000 shows there is alcohol, maybe a rough value can be calculated but not an exact value to aim for. It will stop fermenting when it is ready to stop fermenting, till then, you leave it alone. Balrog learned that part 8) . No need hydrometers to work that out.

Points to ponder today. Adding bicarb. Should I use it first time :?: , maybe best to keep it all very basic and add bicarb another time, once I have the experience to tell differences. Slow down, go over the basics of a stripping run with a air still, read it again, watch football, read it again, watch more football, then read again. Think that it will be an all day mission to complete the full 29 litres, or what volume of that I get from racking off the sediment, 4 litres per shift, then cooling time to change and clean air still, repeat say 6 or 7 times, looks like dawn to dusk mission tomorrow.

Quick in head calculations show that using less than 400 Watts power air still, 4 litres liquid in still, heat transfer rates to heat up from room temp to say roughly 80 degrees C, liquid ethanol concentration at roughly 15% so removing 15% from 4000ml (4 litres) = 600ml ethanol at 100% concentration. Looking at realistic still outputs, say roughly 35% to 40% collected stripping run, stopping short of full ethanol collection due to diminishing returns. Roughly then, 1.5 litres collected each stripping run, but shall let the alcoholometer tell me when to stop, not the collected volume. Aim at stopping at 20% output, will leave lots but a safe starting point for the spirit run the next day.
Depending on heat transfer rates, heating element through to brew liquid, say at 350 Watts, that will take about an hour or so just to heat up. An other hour or longer to collect the goodies, probably much longer as a lot of heat will be lost as the fan removes the heated air above the liquid. Will need to record start and finish times but these will surely vary as so many factors will change each use.
SAB (Back to reading some more).
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