White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

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

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LabDistiller
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White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:57 am

Hello everyone,

So after getting the still ready I made my first wash, for economical reasons I chose sugar wash but I hate for my spirit to be neutral and boring.
What I ended up doing:
750g sugar;
4.5 L water (bottled);
170g barely flakes;
20g loose black tea;
3g active dried yeast;
a pinch of boiled to death yeast;
a pinch of salt (probably not needed) ;
the juice of 2 small limes.
First I inverted the sugar in 1L of water and added the lime juice and let it simmer for around 1.5 hours. Then I let it cool down a bit.
Next I boiled the barely with 1L of water, simmered it for 5 minutes after then let it covered for 20 minutes. After that I filtered it and used the sticky water, then rinsed the flakes with more water to get as much barely flavor.
I also steeped the tea in 1L of water and let it cool down with the tea leaves in to get some more flavor out of it.
I then topped the jar off with more water (in total I used 4.5 liters, 3 bottles. Barely absorbed some so I may have gotten around 4 liters total.)
While waiting for it to cool down I added the dead yeast as a nutrient (active dried yeast that I boiled in water for 10 minutes), and then I noticed I started getting a layer on the bottom from the barely water I mixed it a bit but it separates easily after.
I took gravity reading before adding the yeast and the dead yeast and it was 1.101960784313725 (I used a 51ml pycnometer with 1 scale that goes to the hundreds decimals.)
Then when it was cool enough I sprinkled my 3g of yeast on top, then shook the jar to mix it a bit. The taste of the mash is like cookies, but a bit too sweet, yummy nonetheless.

24h after the reading was 1.088235294117647 (1.80% ABV)
87h after the reading is 1.08 (2.88% ABV total) the alcohol production slowed down a lot since, I got a bit worried about PH crash but the fermentation is really active, lots of bubbles. The interesting part is the flavor, the nose is fruity and nice, it is like a cider or a white wine with a hint of cookies.
As for the flavor it tasted very similar to white wine, I bet it is because of the tea as it can give kombucha apply/ grape notes. I am really looking forward to distilling this thing, and even if it doesn't turn out the best I would still do it as a drinking beer/ wine as it really tastes good on its own and is really cheap to make.
Will keep this post updated as I go along, and if someone tries it out on a small scale lemme know! :))

Hügelwilli
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by Hügelwilli » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:37 am

I suspect the measurement didn't work.
What is the raw data of the pycnometer? Weight empty and full, exact volume and temperature of the sample. Is the balance precise enough? You need minimum a resolution of 10mg, better 1mg. What is the measuring range of the balance?

With this recipe you get an OG of something like 1.06. So something must be wrong.

And perhaps it had fermentation problems:
- no oxygen because of the cooking for inversion.
- the bottled water perhaps doesn't contain any calcium. So the pH will drop very early too low.

Did it still taste sweet after fermentation?

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:43 am

Hügelwilli wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:37 am
With this recipe you get an OG of something like 1.06. So something must be wrong.

Nothing is wrong HugelWilli, I did add unconverted starches and tea to the wash so it is throwing off the reading (I am messuring the difference between the readings)
The water had around 40mg per liter calcium, 7.8mg Mg and 132mg Bicarbs.
My scale is accurate to 0.02+- g.
The wash is much less sweeter and as I said the fermentation seems to be going good.

Hügelwilli
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by Hügelwilli » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:02 am

You added 170g grain. Your OG is simply wrong with this recipe. The amount of grain is by far not enough for such a high OG.
From 1.102 to 1.088 is not a good fermentation and 1.088 should not taste "much less sweater".

40mg/lt Ca is low. But probably not the problem here. But better add next time a bit calcium carbonate.

Please write me the raw data of the pycnometer measurements. I have programs to calculate pycnometer measurements. Perhaps I'll find a mistake.

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:06 am

24.3g when empty and dried
51g is the weight of distilled water at room temp.
SG in 80.50g (with the weight of the glass)
3rd day 79.80g
87 hours 79.38g
As for the taste I tasted the 1.08 (this is the reading I got today, 1.088 was after 24h of fermentation) not the 1.088 and I used the wrong term by saying it was much sweeter, it is just less sweet. First day it tasted too sweet now it tastes sweet but good.

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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by Hügelwilli » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:20 am

If room temperature means 20°C, your pycnometer has a volume of 51.103ml.
And if the OG measurement was at 20°C, it was a SG of 1.1019 (density: 1.0999).
And this is simply impossible with your recipe.

And 79.83g means a SG of 1.0888.

Either you have made a mistake like adding 1kg instead of 750g sugar (and then the yeast was not able to ferment well at this gravity) or the weight measurement is wrong.
Or perhaps someone else has a different idea.

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:24 am

I calibrated it the same temp I measure so I don't think there should be a problem. Again, I DIDN'T taste the sweetness of 1.088, but 1.08! (around 1% ABV difference).
Also I think you are miss understanding how thick the water from the flaked barely was, it was practically mucus thick so it did for sure affect the gravity. I will do some tests to see the gravity of the flakes water and the gravity of unsweetened tea, just to get some peace of mind.
Another thing we aren't taking into account is evaporation and absorption. I used 4.5L but the sugar syrup simmering for an hour so I must have lost a fair bit of the water.

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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by Hügelwilli » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:33 am

The SG of solved grain is similar to solved sugar. So normally you get an OG like if you count the grain as sugar. Like if you had added 750g + 170g = 920g sugar. This should give an OG of 1.07.

And if you had problems to fill the pycnometer with this thick liquid without bubbles, it would lead to a lower OG reading not a surprisingly high one. So I think the problem is elsewhere.

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:43 am

So you say the gravity of non converted grain is the same as converted one? I never worked with grains, but when it is starches it is very thick and gelatinous, and when the enzymes work it becomes much more fluid so this must affect the gravity, right?
I didn't convert any starches as I used the grain for flavor only.

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NZChris
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by NZChris » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:49 am

Because you have released starch into the wash by boiling the barley, there is a high risk of it burning onto the pot, or element, when you distill it, so be careful.

Hügelwilli
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by Hügelwilli » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:56 am

A different viscosity does not necessarily change the density.
Solved unconverted grains rise the gravity similar like converted grains. Unsolved grains of course don't. But if your grain wasn't solved, you should get a lower OG not a high one.

If your grain would rise the density in this amount, your wash must have a smaller volume, because the weight of the grain stays the same inside or outside the wash of course. So by adding grain, the wash would have to get smaller.

And conversion is not a chemical reaction like fermentation, where something like CO² leaves the wash. It is not possible to check by density, if starch is converted or not.

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:10 am

NZChris wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:49 am
Because you have released starch into the wash by boiling the barley, there is a high risk of it burning onto the pot, or element, when you distill it, so be careful.
Thanks I will keep an eye on it, I use an oil bath with a round flask so I hope it doesn't go wild.

as for the gravity thing maybe something is causing it, I see small particles in the liquid, maybe they are affecting the reading.
Another 2 things that can be culprit, 1 I may or may not used 790g of sugar (I am actually doubting myself now lol) and I read that when you invert sucrose(1.59 g/cm³) you get 50/50 mix of fructose(1.69 g/cm³) and glucose (1.56 g/cm³) so this is maybe increasing my reading too.
All in all even if the reading is missleading I think it is ok, as I am just measuring the difference between 2 readings and not calculating alcohol potential so I think it will be alright. in a few days I will check it again to see how much the reading changes.

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:55 am

Here is a video of the ferment, the bottom layer isn't a yeast cake, it is from the barely. The top has a foam head like bear, but the bubbles are much bigger. Sorry can't post a better view for safety reasons.

Hügelwilli
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by Hügelwilli » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:02 am

Yes, the density of the sugars is different. But in solution the difference is not so strong like the numbers you posted suggest. There are density tables of solutions of the different sugars.

Another idea: What is the total volume of the wash? Perhaps while inverting much water evaporated?

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:06 am

The problem is I can't do that, my big scale goes up to 5KG only and I don't know the weight of the glass jar. Another thing is the flakes absorbed so much water, so it did definitely throw the numbers off (I didn't grind them, used them as is and didn't squeeze them, which in hindsight wasteful).
I think I will leave it as is, the flavors I am getting are nice and no off flavors so I will just wait for it to finish fermenting.

Hügelwilli
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by Hügelwilli » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:24 am

The weight is not needed to check, how much has evaporated. I was asking for the volume of the wash. The volume after and before fermentation is quite the same by the way.


Another way is to distill it after fermentation down to 0%abv and you can calculate how much alcohol was in the wash.

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:44 am

Yeah I know what you mean, but to check volume I will need to transfer containers, which is a risk of infection that I would rather avoid. Also thanks for the reminder about the evaporation method, will do it to double check now.

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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by Hügelwilli » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:26 am

All right. So please measure the volume directly before distilling. Perhaps it clears up then.

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:39 am

I just tried to do the boiling method, epic fail lol.
I burnt some on the edge of SS glass I used to boil it in, spilled some. Result can't do the comparison anymore. Will stop thinking about the abv for a while, I don't want to waste more as my batch size is already small.
The measurement I got before boiling was 79.30g so 0.08g(+0.21% ABV) less than it was 6 hours ago. Will do a final test once the bubbling over and will see how much alcohol I can distill after.
Cheers.

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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by Hügelwilli » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:07 am

I don't know, what "the boiling or evaporation method" means. I only wanted to mention, that the density rises if you boil off water while making your wash and that you will find out more about the alcohol content of the wash by distilling your wash.

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:07 am

Oh I miss understood you then, I thought you meant boil half the water off then add distilled water then check mass change in the same volume.

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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:45 am

Yesterday the ABV was around 3.5% so today I added some eggshells (1.5).
I removed the membrane, washed them, boiled them for a few minutes, washed them again then baked them for 5 minutes or so on 150C and finally crushed them. Hopefully this will raise the ABV.
On a side note please ignore all the above readings and just use it to measure the delta and the ABV. It seems I miss calibrated my pycnometer (51.7 with tap water) and will need to get/ make some distilled water to re-calibrate it, this time writing it down ASAP so I don't mess it up.

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:05 am

Adding the egg shells helped a lot, first day I got 0.5% abv and things seemed to slow down, the day after I got a whooping 1% ABV.
I will distill in 3-4 days if the fermentation continues this well.
The smell now is much sharper and clear, still very nice smell, looking forward to see what will get carried over in distillation.

LabDistiller
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Re: White Wine Tasting Sugar Wash

Post by LabDistiller » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:07 am

So today I distilled this bad boy, 6% ABV (could have waited more for 1-2% but I got inpatient lol, also I have free time to distill today).
I did 2 batches, each is 1.7 L (approx), I got 550 ml from the first one, not sure about the abv as I don't have thermometer (hopefully will get it tomorrow) and the other batch 500 ml.
I mixed them together and did a final run, around 220 ml of alcohol, will check the abv later, but the left over droplets on the the flask I used to check the volume did burn in a nice blue flame (so around the 50%). I did a small foreshots/ heads (around 10ml) and stopped the run once it started smelling not so good and tasted bitter.

On the nose it is very floral with a hint of apricot. As for the taste it was slightly bitter, floral and a hint of sweetness. (I never had any commercial alcohol so my pallet is very limited.)
Also I think the floral notes are from the yeast as the failed run had kind of similar nose (but this time it is better).

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