EC-1118 issues

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EC-1118 issues

Postby LondonDry81 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:42 pm

Hi All, I know there has been a lot written about 1118, and I think I've read most of it, but I'm still stumped on my first two sugar washes using 1118.
Here are the details:
#1 55gal., O.G. 1.108
#2 55gal., O.G. 1.074
Both held somewhat steady at 18-25deg, PH steady at 4-5
Pitched each 50g EC-1118, re-hydrated as per package instructions
Added generic yeast nutrient at pitching
After just over two weeks, the sg read 1.102 and 1.068, with the airlock activity seemingly tapering off to nothing.
Agitated both washes at this point which produced a little activity for a day or two, then tapered off again.
Two days ago, I re-hydrated another 80g of 1118 for each wash and pitched while aerating, adding a little more nutrient and being careful not to cold shock.
Initially after pitching for the second time, there was some renewed activity in the airlock, but it has since tapered off again.
It has been a month total now and the SG reads 1.096 and 1.066
I have read that 1118 is somewhat slow, but this seems like something is wrong.
Can anyone suggest what I might be missing?
I've been careful about sanitizing all equipment. How sensitive might these washes be to contamination?
As for the large volumes, I was originally running a 6 gal boiler with a reflux column, but I came across a bigger, all stainless double boiler at a scrap yard that I just couldn't resist! I've since modified the column and condenser to work with the larger setup.

My overall goal is to produce a clean wash, fully fermented that I can distill into vodka and gin ultimately. I haven't been happy with the turbo yeasts so I really want to get this 1118 working, unless anyone has a suggestion for a different strain.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Dave

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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby acfixer69 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:06 pm

I know you said sugar washes but can you tell us a bit more. I have used ec1118 in UJ 2-3 gen in similar temperatures take longer then that 3 months and more so don't get alarmed. Don't agitate that's just trapped co2 releasing gas. I would taste it when it settles again if not sweet run it.

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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby LondonDry81 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:12 pm

Thanks AC, my wash is pretty plain; granulated white sugar and nutrient (diamonium sulphate etc) added by package directions. It's still really sweet when settled, confirmed by the high SG...
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby Fruit Squeezer » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:28 pm

Try warming it up.
18°C / 64°F is kinda cold for EC1118
It is said to perform best a 70-90°F. (21-32°C)
Warming it with a space heater for an hour, then wrapping a blanket may help bring them back from dormancy.

You could draw off 1 gal and airlock it and set it atop the fridge for warmth. If it starts back up, theres your answer.
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby acfixer69 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:53 pm

Best temps are 57.2 F - 64.4 from the site
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby LondonDry81 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:57 pm

If I have the recommended dosage per volume initially (ie. 40g/hl from the site), it should take the same amount of time to fully ferment 50 gallons as 5 gallons, correct?
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby acfixer69 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:59 pm

DaveSharp wrote:Thanks AC, my wash is pretty plain; granulated white sugar and nutrient (diamonium sulphate etc) added by package directions. It's still really sweet when settled, confirmed by the high SG...


I would throw it out and you got no money in it and start over with a simple UJSSM from tried and true

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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby Fruit Squeezer » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:33 pm

acfixer69 wrote:Best temps are 57.2 F - 64.4 from the site


Based on wine criteria like esters, flavor, co2 production, etc. In the wine world, a year of fermenting and racking is not unheard of, and a slower ferment is sometimes preferred for taste, bouquet,etc.

Google yeast chart and check the temp ranges.
Some go to 90°F
I have a hell of a time trying to size pics to 200x200 and still be readable.
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby acfixer69 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:47 pm

try 800 x 800 will work find
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby cede » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:56 pm

This strain works fine at low temp for wines.
For sugar wash heat the mash up to 28C/82F if you want to speed up things a bit.

At low temp, it can take a few days for some activity to start.
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby LondonDry81 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:07 pm

Thanks guys. I suppose slower ferment / lower temps makes a cleaner product eh?
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby cranky » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:18 pm

I use 1118 frequently because sometimes I ferment as low as 45F and 1118 still works at that temp. 82 is too high, it likes cold, don't go over 75. Yes it may go a little slower at colder temps but that's what it likes. I'm thinking you just lack too much nutrients, throw some tomato paste or ground up cereal in there, aerate the crap out of it and sprinkle in some more yeast, don't re-hydrate it first. I have had 1118 fail completely because I followed the directions on the package for re-hydrating, just sprinkle it on top and let it do it's thing works best for me. At 15.5-16% potential alcohol you are really kind of trying to push it with the recipe you are trying.
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby LondonDry81 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:24 pm

Thanks, yeah I agree on the high OG, so I made up the second wash at around 1.074
What kind of time frame to ferment dry at those temps are you seeing? I'm not in a huge rush, but also don't want to wait months to get distilling...
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby cranky » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:41 pm

I never run anything before a month is up regardless of how soon it finishes. I don't keep track of time very well, I often go months before running something and don't worry too much about time it takes to finish. 50 gallons is going to take some time, especially with the recipe you did. I would really recommend using the All-Bran recipe, it provides the yeast with a nice balance of nutrients that keeps them happy. If you can, try to keep the temp around 70f and it will go as fast as it can but I would really recommend that tomato paste and aerate.
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby zapata » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:02 pm

I had a helpful post typed up and referred back to the op to check something and noticed the scale. 55 gallon boiler? Not only is that against the rules, it's absurd for a reflux still. How long you planning on sitting by this still, 3 days non-stop around the clock? No sleep, no pooping, just gonna sit there and babysit it?

Your ferments show you were going for about 16 gallons total etoh at 100%. Assuming a 60% hearts cut and then dilution you are looking to make 24 gallons of 40% sugar shine? Sounds commercial to me. Even if it's not, it sounds that way, which is why we have rules about boiler size.

I can sympathize with thinking the 30 gallon boiler rule is a bit limiting when it comes to whiskey. A 55 gallon stripper boiler is actually perfect to feed a standard keg spirit still, and even then won't net but a few gallons of whiskey, not even enough to fill a 5 gallon barrel. But sugar shine at this scale? Maybe it isn't bad, but looks bad and smells bad.
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby LondonDry81 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:24 pm

You're right, it does sound bad. And sorry all, I didn't pick up on the 30gal limit rule. This unit of mine sort of evolved into an excessively large boiler by the chance find of this nice double boiler which I though could be a good mash tun, brew kettle etc . I haven't run it yet, so it remains to be seen if it would even work with a small enough volume in it so that, as you say, I wouldn't have to sit there for thirty hours...
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby Shine0n » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:05 am

Just refer to it as "my boiler" lol

A constant 75°f will get you finished up and ready to run sooner than later.
Try an aquarium heater and like Cranky said add some tp or all bran cereal for nutes.

Feb of 2016 I did a 50 gal sugar wash with 1118 and it took 3 months but was clean and made a nice neutral ran 3 times in my pot still.

Don't dump it!!! Just let it finish on its own time and start stripping it to low wines for a spirit run, nm you said reflux colum. :oops:

As mentioned, take a 1 gal sample and put it in a warmer location and see if it picks up, if so you'll need to warm up the ferments.
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby thecroweater » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:44 am

Firstly a 50 gallon still kettle is not up for discussion , end of story. A 50 litre (13 gal) leg takes all blenky day to run with a standard two inch reflux capable of extracting azeo, that's not a guess I've done it , too much bigger than that would make for a ridiculously long run.
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby Pikey » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:06 am

I use EC1118 often and yes it is a bit slow. It "Will ferment" at low temps like 64 F ok but when I am struggling, I find 23 C (73 dF) suits it pretty well and gets the ferment done in a few weeks.

You say you put 80 g in there ? That's a lot of cash ! - Did you aerate the wash ? Yeast needs oxygen at the beginning - I use an airstone and aquarium pump.
Yeast also needs an ACID wash- 1 tsp citric acid per 25 litres is a bit mean, but should get 'er goin' if that's the problem. (Just lemon juice without the flavour).

A plain sugar wash has all sorts of stuff Missing, but a general yeast nutrient should have most of it in.

Yeah give it a dose of citric acid and raise the temp to 23 C (73 in old money) - then I reckon you should be ok.

Then you just have to run it through your 6 gallon boiler and use teh big one as a mash tun for AG and you'll be fine with the rules. :)

[Edit - you can give it some more oxygen - if those 2 don't get it going properly, but I don't like to After the ferment is under way.]
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby butterpants » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:02 pm

1118 is a cooler temp champagne yeast. It eats sugar like a fat kid. The alcohol tolerance is amazing. You're missing a co-factor for growth... a nutrient. If it's happy and pitched correctly it will ferment vigorously.

Bread yeast if you want to go hot. You'll still need nutrients though.

I've seen a mixture of Gypsum, Epsom Salts, Fermaid K, DAP and crushed up B complex vitamins power through washes with nothing but sugar and water.... assuming the pH was right.
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Re: EC-1118 issues

Postby Scott817 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:29 pm

The only thing I ever added to a sugar wash using bread yeast is a few cans of tomato paste. I do use 1 or 2 aquarium heaters in the winter to keep the mash warm.
EC-1118 is great though for apple or grapes and I never needed any additional nutrients.
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