Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Sugar, and all about sugar washes. Where the primary ingredient is sugar, and other things are just used as nutrients.

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CharliePattonsSon
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Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by CharliePattonsSon » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:18 pm

Alright,
So will be doing my 3rd run of old fashioned Corn Whisky next weekend.
I love the flavour, love the smoothness of it. The only thing that I'm wondering now is what difference does the addition of sugar to a mash make?
Does it change the flavour? How so?

My starting alcohol of my Corn Whisky mash is averaging around 9% after 3 days fermentation. Run slow through an 8 gallon pot still.
Just flaked corn and malted crushed barley and regular bakers yeast to ferment. Nothing added.
I can only mash about 20 liters at a time though as I'm limited by space, equipment etc.
Which yields only about 1.5 - 2 liters of whisky per run that I actually can enjoy the flavour after making my cuts and diluting down to 80 proof. I average a drinkable body of about 55% if I add the feints from the last run and before I dilute with spring water.

I'd like to get a bit more out of it by raising the TG by adding sugar
So my question is twofold I suppose; at what phase do I add the sugar to my corn mash? I would assume after aeration, then add sugar, let settle a bit to drop the solids and then take an OG before pitching my yeast?
and then my other question is how much sugar should I add to a 20 liter mash and what are the effects on flavour?
Hope that isn't too long winded but I bet I can get better information if you all at least know what I'm working with lol
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by Monkeyman88 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:41 pm

9% is a real good OG. I wouldn't dare take it any higher. Adding sugar can make it "harsher" and with more bite. Especially if taking the OG over 10%

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MichiganCornhusker
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:47 pm

You are making a good whiskey, with a good yield. Don't change anything.
Adding sugar will get you more bottles filled, but will absolutely change the character of your spirit.

Early on, when I first started out, I wondered the same thing. I added about 30% sugar to a corn whiskey recipe. It did make quite a bit more whiskey, and I still have almost all of it.
I just don't enjoy it as much as my AG runs.
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by moered » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:17 pm

CharliePattonsSon wrote: My starting alcohol of my Corn Whisky mash is averaging around 9% after 3 days fermentation. Run slow through an 8 gallon pot still.
Just flaked corn and malted crushed barley and regular bakers yeast to ferment. Nothing added.
Sounds like you're making a pretty decent corn whiskey, what recipe are you using at the moment?
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by StillLearning1 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:46 pm

Try making a small batch of uncle Jesse from the tried and true recipe section on this site. Its a simple corn sugar head recipe. Its cheap to make so you won't loose a lot by trying it. But as others have said I doubt you will like it more than what you are already making.
But what the heck do I know.....I am still learning.

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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by Brutal » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:21 pm

The consensus is that it will not have the same taste as the true all grain mash you are doing now. I would say try it though. Some here really enjoy a sugar based likker. I've had some semi-AG that had sugar added that really impressed me. It had been aged about 6 months on oak though. Never know till you try.
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by robb » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:39 pm

Remember not only the sugar bite (that you need to taste to understand) but when you push your OG it makes the yeasties unhappy and they will puke in your wash. I am trying to keep my fingers out of a fresh Gumball Head that is smooth, but I only go 1.060 or so. Greedy for alcohol and you might as well buy $10. blends.

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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by woodshed » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:20 pm

Last time I said anything about sugar on here I was threatened with bodily harm. :crazy:
I agree with Brutal. Gotta try it to know.

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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by CharliePattonsSon » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:53 pm

lol I know some people are purists to the core ;) I kind of am but am curious about the taste of sugar added and always open to experimenting a bit.
Current recipe is this:
9 lbs of Flaked Corn.
1.5 lbs of 2 row Canadian well crushed malt barley
20 litres of bottled mountain spring water.
40 grams of Fleischers common Bakers yeast (just regular Wal Mart store brand)
I boil the water to around 165 F then stir in the corn, stir until I reach around 150 F then add my crushed malt barley. Let her sit for about an hour and a half. Then into the kitchen sink full of ice water (still in the pot obviously) or I just put it outside now, it's averaging -14 C at night now so that chills it down right quick (January in Canada ;))!
At 100F or a bit lower I heat a cup of spring water up to about 100F then add 2 TBSP's of sugar and the 5 small packs (40 grams) of bread yeast to it, stir it and let it get growing while I take an OG and start pouring it back and forth between my fermenter and mashin' pot. I pitch my yeast on top of the bucket, put on the lid and let her sit for about 3 days, never much longer than that, as soon as my bubbles start around 3-4 seconds between in the air lock I start taking TG readings off the top.
If I mash at night after the kids go to bed and the wife is distracted with the button box I am usually ready to strain and still 3 days later. I'm averaging around 9% first time was 8.5% then let it sit a little longer on the second run and she came out at 9.2%.
Starting gravities of around 1.068 and TG of around 1.00
Using a home made 8 gallon stainless steel old school pot still. Copper coil cooler and propane burner for heat. Nothing fancy but I'm putting out a damn good whisky for an amateur if I do say so myself. I find my friends asking to break it out every time they come over for a visit lol Hard to keep a couple jars around to mellow!
I don't leave it longer because I don't want the hard sugars to start getting eaten by the yeast and ruin the flavour/produce the off flavours.
I may give the Uncle Jesse Sugar shine a try. You all are talking about the Sour Mash Uncle Jesse recipe?
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:05 pm

CharliePattonsSon wrote:You all are talking about the Sour Mash Uncle Jesse recipe?
Yep, the UJSSM.

Robb's suggestions to try a Gumballhead, using the spent grains from one of your whiskey mashes is another good way to experiment with sugar.
And remember, you might need to mess around with it a bit. I'm reasonably happy with the few sugar runs that I've done, but I have tasted spirits by other members using sugar that have been much much better that any on mine.
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by woodshed » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:19 pm

I have also had a few sugarheads from members that were very nice.

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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by CharliePattonsSon » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:19 pm

I've done some reading into using the leftover slop post run from the still and adding sugar and yeast to it then running it after a fermentation.
Would this be worth trying? Get some of the corn and grain flavour and still pump out a decent product if I cut tight during the run?
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by firewater69 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:10 am

CharliePattonsSon wrote:I've done some reading into using the leftover slop post run from the still and adding sugar and yeast to it then running it after a fermentation.
Would this be worth trying? Get some of the corn and grain flavour and still pump out a decent product if I cut tight during the run?
most folks don't go over 25% on the backset, you'll need to keep an eye on the ph as well. plenty of reading here on the use of backset.
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by corene1 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:26 am

woodshed wrote:I have also had a few sugarheads from members that were very nice.
Any member that gives a person whiskey is very nice. :D

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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by Brewbuddy1999 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:05 am

Wow I know this thread is old but I’m interested to hear about the last comment the OP made.? About using the leftover grain not from the boiler but from the fermentation is what I can gather he was asking about and I’m curious aswell. Can you make a great quality all grain whiskey distill it then use those same grains from fermentation and use them to flavour a sugar wash and use the sugar for the alcohol percentage not going over 9-10% abv of course

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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by still_stirrin » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:27 am

Hey Brewbuddy,

Use the search tool and look for “gumballhead”....you’ll find a lot of reading to “fill in the blanks”. Help yourself.
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by kpex72 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:24 am

Brewbuddy1999 wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:05 am
Wow I know this thread is old but I’m interested to hear about the last comment the OP made.? About using the leftover grain not from the boiler but from the fermentation is what I can gather he was asking about and I’m curious aswell. Can you make a great quality all grain whiskey distill it then use those same grains from fermentation and use them to flavour a sugar wash and use the sugar for the alcohol percentage not going over 9-10% abv of course
I ran into this old thread as well, but since you ran across it, and I did as well in a search, I'll add my .02 cents for anyone else searching.

Yes you can do that, but you don't get the same flavor. I actually disliked the result. I did a similar procedure. I use a double wall boiler, so I ferment and distill on the grain. I did a nice AG run that came out great, then turned around and calculated the % of alcohol extracted from distillation and added the same back into it with a (sugar wash run) neutral spirit. I let it rest a week and agitated often. Ran it again and would not recommend it to anyone. I, in essence, ruined a good neutral trying to go cheap to keep the flavor of my AG run. The flavor was flat an one dimensional. Lesson learned is that there are no good shortcuts in this hobby.

To add to other parts of this thread. If you run AG, you will learn not to add sugar as it adds a harsh bite. If you want to bump up gravity for what ever reason, use malt.

Keep sugar for neutrals.

Just my opinions.
Last edited by kpex72 on Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by 6 Row Joe » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:39 am

Traditional moonshiners used sugar in just about everything. Yep, give it a try but if you are already making a good corn liquor I bet you won't use sugar long.
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by still_stirrin » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:09 pm

6 Row Joe wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:39 am
Traditional moonshiners used sugar in just about everything. Yep, give it a try but if you are already making a good corn liquor I bet you won't use sugar long.
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Re: Adding Sugar to Traditional Corn Whisky Mash?

Post by jonnys_spirit » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:13 pm

Distilling on the grain would be different than running a gumballhead on spent grain (not cooked/distilled).

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