Sugar wash and vinegar

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

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Stig
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Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by Stig » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:40 pm

I have a large amount of 2-1 (16 pounds sugar to 1 gallong water) sugar syrup left over from feeding my bees this fall. Its used to feed bees when not enough forage available. It has about two cups of apple cider vinegar in it per 20 gallons to keep from spoiling. I'm trying to ferment it after watering it down. starting at 1.10 specific gravity and having an issue getting it rolling. Added distiller yeast as well as some wine yeast i had. Also added yeast nutrient. Wash is about room temp of 50 degrees.
I usually don't have to work too hard to get a wash going but this just starts and then stops a few days later. Measured alcohol and its at zero. Could that amount of vinegar be killing the yeast? I used about 5 gallons of sugar mix and diluted to about 30 gallons so the vinegar should be pretty low.
Any ideas?

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NZChris
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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by NZChris » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:59 pm

1.10 is a bit on the high side if you want an easy ferment with not many off tastes.

What is the SG now?

StillerBoy
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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by StillerBoy » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:22 pm

Temperature of 50 degrees is very cold for the yeast are using..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

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Stig
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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by Stig » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:23 pm

NZChris wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:59 pm
1.10 is a bit on the high side if you want an easy ferment with not many off tastes.

What is the SG now?
Hasn't moved from 1.10 from when i started it 3 days ago. Not much bubbling so i don't think its fermenting. I can dilute more if you think it will help. Below 1.00?

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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by Stig » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:27 pm

StillerBoy wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:22 pm
Temperature of 50 degrees is very cold for the yeast are using..

Mars
I put a heater in it this morning and its up to 83 degrees now. I'll see if it starts rolling now. Perhaps that was all it was. I was concerned about the vinegar killing the yeast.

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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by StillerBoy » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:48 pm

Stig wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:40 pm
Added distiller yeast as well as some wine yeast i had.
You have two different yeast strain, which could be fighting themselves right now.. and wine yeast are slower to start than distiller's yeast.. who know what going on right now between them..

If after a few more days and no further progress, I would re-boil the whole mixture, and start afresh with distiller's yeast.. the re-boil will kill some of the yeast mixture in there now, and maybe it will dissolve some the ac vinegar..

Here something you may want to try.. try about 500 - 750 ml of the fermenting liquid, reduced it with half as much with water, warm it up to 100*F and sprigle about 2 table spoon of yeast on top.. something like if you were doing a yeast starter.. and see what happens.. if it start to foam, it is an indication the vinegar is not the problem..

Who know, just some thoughts

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by StillerBoy » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:51 pm

Stig wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:23 pm
I can dilute more if you think it will help. Below 1.00?
Yah.. diluting it down to about 1.070 - 1.080, would help the yeast..

As to the temperature, aim for 85 - 90*F..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

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NZChris
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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by NZChris » Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:31 pm

What is the pH?

Stig
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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by Stig » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:10 pm

OK all good suggestions to rule out. I used the wine yeast as that bag of distilling yeast was not refrigerated and old so did the wine as insurance. I just grabbed some of the wash and added different distilling yeast and it was foaming fine after 30 minutes. I added it to the bucket.
Will try to get the temp up to 90. at 76 now after adding water to dilute down to 1.070.
PH should be tap water from municipal water source. whatever that is.

I started 4 carboy's of wine right next to this at the same time and even those have no extra heat and started at 1.080 they are almost done initial ferment. Hence me looking for the problem. I'll keep it at optimal temp for a few days and see if it starts foaming up. Appreciate the feedback.

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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by Stig » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:15 pm

StillerBoy wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:48 pm
Stig wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:40 pm
Added distiller yeast as well as some wine yeast i had.

Here something you may want to try.. try about 500 - 750 ml of the fermenting liquid, reduced it with half as much with water, warm it up to 100*F and sprigle about 2 table spoon of yeast on top.. something like if you were doing a yeast starter.. and see what happens.. if it start to foam, it is an indication the vinegar is not the problem..

Who know, just some thoughts

Mars
Had the same thought and used the wash at the new diluted strength. Looks to be foaming up so think that rules out the vinegar.
Probably not worth the effort of boiling this if i can't get it going.

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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by StillerBoy » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:06 pm

Stig wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:10 pm
PH should be tap water from municipal water source. whatever that is.
Ph of tap water is normally held in the range 7.2 - 7.4 which is of a neutral state.. for fermentation, the Ph needs to be on the acidic side, by start the wash in the range of 6.5 which is done by using lemon juice or citric acid..

But sugar wash has a major problem, they drop in acidity quite quickly, which for most time within the first 6 - 8 hrs after pitching the yeast, and need to brought back to a level of 4 - 4.5.. this can be done by using calcium carbonate, calcium hydroxide, or potassium carbonate..

So your issue is starting to look like it's a PH one, as Chris ask..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by NZChris » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:42 pm

It has vinegar in it, so it is unlikely to be the same as your tap water.

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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by Stig » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:28 am

NZChris wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:42 pm
It has vinegar in it, so it is unlikely to be the same as your tap water.
Good point. I measured it and it has in fact dropped like a rock. This would explain why the fermentation started and then stopped.

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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by Stig » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:30 am

StillerBoy wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:06 pm
Stig wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:10 pm
PH should be tap water from municipal water source. whatever that is.
Ph of tap water is normally held in the range 7.2 - 7.4 which is of a neutral state.. for fermentation, the Ph needs to be on the acidic side, by start the wash in the range of 6.5 which is done by using lemon juice or citric acid..

But sugar wash has a major problem, they drop in acidity quite quickly, which for most time within the first 6 - 8 hrs after pitching the yeast, and need to brought back to a level of 4 - 4.5.. this can be done by using calcium carbonate, calcium hydroxide, or potassium carbonate..

So your issue is starting to look like it's a PH one, as Chris ask..

Mars
Thanks for the explanation. I should have remembered this. Explains the start and stop. Its below 5 for sure. Out of those 3 items what is the most cost effective solution? I will have a couple of hundred gallons to run after this.

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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by StillerBoy » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:15 am

Stig wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:30 am
Out of those 3 items what is the most cost effective solution? I will have a couple of hundred gallons to run after this.
Calcium hydroxide.. I buy my from the building supply store, as they sell in bays of 10 lbs for about 12$.. will that's up my way, have no idea what the US side would be..

You might be able to find some at Walmart or some of the other bigger stores also, in the pickling select under the name pickling lime..

Also you can use calcium carbonate known as oyster shell sold in feed store under the name of chicken oyster shell feed.. if you are using oyster shells, make sure the brake then up some.. power is best, and any size up take more..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

Stig
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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by Stig » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:55 pm

Got the ph up and its cooking away. Thanks for your help.

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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by StillerBoy » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:53 pm

Super.. learned some.. next time start the Ph in the range of 6.5, and check it about 6 - 8 hrs after it has started fermentation as that when the majority of acidity occurs.. adjust and check again at the 24 hr mark, and should be good to go to the end..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

Stig
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Re: Sugar wash and vinegar

Post by Stig » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:21 pm

Follow up question. Since that time I had fermented out about 45 gallons of sugar wash that was left over from feeding honeybees last fall. After the above first problem batch i got a better ph meter and not another problem. Thank you again! I double distilled it on a reflux still at the beginning of Covid just in case i needed it. Turns out i did not so now i have about 7 gallons of about 180 proof liquor. Each run of 15 gallons i took off 600ml foreshots on every run as well as the 2nd running. On the 2nd run i collected the product as i would on a pot still just in case there was some differences.
I took a jar in the middle and proofed it down to 100 to drink. Believe i'm getting a headache from it. Not usual for me. Question-is there any way for me to test if there are foreshots in it? Even if i missed on one run it would have been caught on the 2nd right? and would be in the beginning of these jars not middle right?

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