Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

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

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CasperH
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Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by CasperH » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:24 pm

hi All

I’m in a bit of a hurry and cannot wait 2 weeks for the wash to settle. As the wash is 100 liters, I cannot move it outside - a cold crash would work best :)

the temperature is 20 C where the fermentor is places - so what will work here?

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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by still_stirrin » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:53 pm

CasperH wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:24 pm
hi All

I’m in a bit of a hurry and cannot wait 2 weeks for the wash to settle - so what will work here?
Steam. If you have the right equipment any situation can be overcome.

Where’s the fire?
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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by cayars » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:15 pm

Is this for the commercial distillery mentioned in your "hello" thread?
What size still?
Electric, steam or electric element?
Can you run dirty or must it be clean?

Can you not move that by way of 5 or 6 buckets outside to cold crash it if that is what you want to do?
Any pumps and hoses?
What are you using sugar washes for if for commercial use? Is grains not cheaper to mash from and produce better spirits?

What's the current SG of the wash?
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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by StillerBoy » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:23 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:53 pm
Where’s the fire?
Yah.. where's the fire..

If you really want to clear that sugar wash in a few days.. it needs to be racked off its lee, and I mean rack and not siphon.. then once it's transfer to another holder, degas it well by giving a good stir with a drill and stirer, then you can add a 2 part clarifier and it should clear within 4 -5 days..

Mars
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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by Saltbush Bill » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:43 pm

If we knew what sort of sugar wash it was we might be able say if it really needs clearing or not. There is every chance you don't need it perfectly clear prior to stripping.

CasperH
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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by CasperH » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:15 am

Hi all :)

Sadly we cannot move it outside, as it's not permitted where we are - we are hoping to move soon, but then what in the summer if we need a bit of holiday ? :)

The SG is now 1.020 and very soon ready to be distilled. About a week ago I ran a batch that had not settled and even though the product taste like heaven, there is a small smell of yeast ( not a pleasant smell )

These batches are only for us - trying to have a good base to make "snaps " for the Christmas dinners in our families and with friends :)
The still i'm using for these small batches is a 100 liters 4 plate still with a heat element inside.

Is is possible to use gelatin or simialr to catch the yeast and force them down ?

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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by cayars » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:05 pm

Sorry CaperH, I misunderstood your first post and thought you were asking how to move it outside since you "can't do it".
Got it "not allowed" to do it so looking for other methods.

I'd say since the SG is still 1.020 (pretty high) and this is a sugar wash it's not done fermenting yet let alone cleared. You still have another 2.6%+ potential ABV left in the wash to ferment which is a decent amount.

I'd be more worried about running this with all that sugar left in the batch then the yeast as far as taste goes.
You need to give it TIME to properly finish fermenting and then a bit of time (if you want) to settle.
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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by still_stirrin » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:11 pm

CasperH wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:15 am
Is is possible...to catch the yeast and force them down ?
Try it...you’re commercial, right?

Obviously you have a working knowledge of processes and tools available to produce your products. It would appear that you’re seeking a solution here to resolve your urgency. So, if you want to run it early...run it. If you want to fine/clarify it, then do it. You don’t need approval from this site how to produce your (commercial) product. Use your experience and just do it.

If this is too succinct, sorry...you’re not a novice. You’re a commercial producer. You should know what to do already.
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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by CasperH » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:26 pm

We are very small and in some ways novices and in others not :)
Vodka I can make, some gin - but thats about it. We do have a bit of commercial stuff, but it's not our day job - we all have very normal very boring jobs. It started out with a hobby that grew, when a friend of ours called ud: Hey guys, we have 300 events a year and we need vodka, we need a bit of gin and we need alot of those " shots " we like - you know - those sour strawberry shots, that mango peach shot and those damn good liquorice shots!

So I do feel more like a chef than a distiller - as I mostly do neutral and mix it with extract made in the kitchen - but it's very fun.
And we are no way close to going solo - taxes on spirits are crazy, rent is insane and prices are low. But that is ok, as we want to learn, we want to explore and most of all - we just want sit on a friday evening and enjoy something we made by our own hands.

Anyways - Normally i let it ferment dry and then let it rest - if possible cold crash it.

But as Christmas is comming fast and if we are going to be serving nice x-mas snaps, green walnut snaps and other fun things - at the traditional christmas lunches - I kinda need some neutral as soon as it fermented dry.

The family have been looking at my walnut solution for 2 years now and I promised a taste this year - and now I'm out of neutral. Oh boy!

So if anyone have a good idea please share - i'm sure it would be good info for others at the forum :)

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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by NZChris » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:41 pm

You may have been sold unrealistic expectations of what your plater is capable of, in which case, spending a lot of effort to clear the wash might not give you the improvement you are hoping for. Stripping the wash with a pot still before it goes into a plater works well, but you still have to get the cuts right.

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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by Kizzerd » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:22 pm

What does cold crash mean and how do you do it?

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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by cayars » Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:19 am

Cold crashing is a simple process of exposing your ferment (when done) to cold temps. You could rack to 5 or 6 gallon carboys and place it outside in the winter or a refrigerator. The cold (not freezing) temps help the wash to settle much faster. As just an example what could take 2 or 3 days to settle on it's own might take 1 or 2 hows when cold crashed. If freezing out just moderate it from outside to inside in 30 or 60 minute increments (ie inside the door to outside the door). :)

If you set it outside in freezing weather then you'll end up doing freeze distillation where the water will freeze put not the alcohol, so if this happens by accident just flip the container and drain into another container. The ice and trub will be frozen so just watch when pouring back out and stop the pour when only the trub and water is left (will be lots of ice crystals). This will concentrate the alcohol and flavors. 8% mash will end up 15 to 20% after one freeze distillation, maybe up to 25% after a second freeze distillation, etc... I will sometimes do this on purpose in the winter for some spirits to concentrate flavor and ABV and do this instead of strip runs to save time.

But cold crashing is just using cold temps above freezing to get the yeast and other particles to settle much faster.
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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by Bigvalveturbo » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:53 am

StillerBoy wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:23 pm
still_stirrin wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:53 pm
Where’s the fire?
Yah.. where's the fire..

If you really want to clear that sugar wash in a few days.. it needs to be racked off its lee, and I mean rack and not siphon.. then once it's transfer to another holder, degas it well by giving a good stir with a drill and stirer, then you can add a 2 part clarifier and it should clear within 4 -5 days..

Mars
What's the difference between racking and siphon?

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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by cayars » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:00 am

That's a good question. :) Siphoning is just a typical method of doing the racking from one container to another leaving the trub/lees behind.

Mars, care to clarify what you meant?
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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by The Baker » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:52 am

Yeah I thought rack and siphon were the same thing...

Though there may be an implication in the word 'rack' that you draw from clear of the sediment.
Which I would do anyway...

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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by cayars » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:43 pm

I'd consider racking the overall separation of the liquid from the lees/trub. This could be moving the liquid leaving just the lees/trub behind using a bucket, cup, pump, siphon, etc OR if using a conical style fermenter the opposite is done where you open a valve slowly at the bottom and drain off the les/trub leaving just the clear liquid.

I was just wondering what Mars was getting at my making the distinction the way he did.
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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by 6 Row Joe » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:03 pm

cayars wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:43 pm
I'd consider racking the overall separation of the liquid from the lees/trub. This could be moving the liquid leaving just the lees/trub behind using a bucket, cup, pump, siphon, etc OR if using a conical style fermenter the opposite is done where you open a valve slowly at the bottom and drain off the les/trub leaving just the clear liquid.

I was just wondering what Mars was getting at my making the distinction the way he did.
Just curious as to what type of a fermenter you use. I have a few 6 gallon food grade buckets.
I don't drink alcohol, I drink distilled spirits.
Therefore I'm not a alcoholic, I'm spiritual.

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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by cayars » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:03 pm

I've got a few different things I use.
2 - 7.9 gallon conical fermenters I use mainly for wines/brandy but if not making wine will likely have malted barley (off grain) in them for making scotch. These have a drain valve at the bottom and I've got them mounted on the wall. So these you "rack" by removing the crud and leaving the liquid. NICE

2 - 44 Gallon & 1 - 32 Gallon Brute trashcans for open top ferments. I have these on wheels so I can move them around. These I use for different whiskeys or my vodka ferments. I've got a ball valve at 6" and also at about 18" marks on these. So if fermenting off grain I can drain using the lowest valve and if on grain can use the higher valve to drain off the clear liquid, then pull off the dirty for putting in a thumper or cold chilling.

A bunch of 5 gallon plastic water carboys and home depot/lowes buckets - Typically I use these only for non grain stuff like Rums or neutral sugar wash mashes. These all have airlocks like the conical fermenters. I also use these when "racking" from the brutes or to cold chill in or to use to fill boilers.

So I can sort of juggle what goes where based on what I'm making.

I'm likely to try and retire the brutes this spring summer and replace them with 55 gallon plastic barrels you can usually find cheap. I want the sealed ones so I can get away from open top ferments. I had a tough time with fruit flys this past year. Those are some nasty little suckers!

My basement temps run 65F to 80F (winter to summer) so a different choice of yeast solves any temp issues.

I'd really love to have a bunch of bigger conical fermenters but they get pricey. Come spring I'll be ramping things up across the board since I'll be able to process a lot more spirits with the newer system I'm building with 26 gallon boiler and keg thumpers for stripping. I should be able to process a brute trashcan ferment in one stripping run. The 3 brutes will give me 3 strip runs then 1 spirit run. I've had to do some rewiring for electric. Tired of running the bigger keg still in the garage using propane (to hot or cold most of the time and no water supply, tv or internet). This is going to be a "automated" still when I get done with it similar to an iStill or Genio. I've got multiple stills so I will be able to run a couple at the same time as well. Most likely stripping on one and spirit runs on the other or heating water while running one still, etc
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kyolic
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Re: Clearing sugar wash - any tips and tricks?

Post by kyolic » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:04 pm

CasperH wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:24 pm
hi All

I’m in a bit of a hurry and cannot wait 2 weeks for the wash to settle. As the wash is 100 liters, I cannot move it outside - a cold crash would work best :)

the temperature is 20 C where the fermentor is places - so what will work here?

Bentonite of course.

Dissolve 80 grams (for 100 liters of wash) of it in warm water, add to the wash and stir well. Wash will clear in a couple of days. No after-taste or whatsoever. Actually it will taste better after bentonite as the sediments in the wash settle down.

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