FermCap

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Re: FermCap

Postby CatCrap » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:34 pm

Alright... 3 hours of mashing. Temp is at 139. I'll give it another 30 min, then check the SG and do an iodine test.
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Re: FermCap

Postby butterpants » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:08 pm

Have you done any research on your Igloo cooler and basically holding boiling water in there for 3 hours? That bothers me. Sure lots of people use them for mashing/brewing beer but that's a sustained 140-150 for 60-90 minutes only.

Get a real pump Mr Crap. Worth every penny. Cost you 150$ but you'll have it a long time. My stainless chugger is 4 years old and I constantly use it to pump chill water to the condenser on spirit days which are 12 hours long. Oil it a bit and no hiccups. You could even opt for the polymer head to save 50$.

In a false bottom stainless keggle I heat up 10 gallons of fairly hard tap water with 2 tsp of Calcium Sulfate to boiling (200F at my elevation).

I add 26# of cheapo TSC cracked feed corn that has been run through a wide gapped. mil once. Just breaks up whole pieces.

After this addition, temps fall to about 170F. I crank heat back up until it all boils again then throw on some refletix insulation. False bottom keeps it from scorching. Let it sit about 3 hours till it's around 180F, add hi temp enzyme to the brick of porridge. Stir alot

Button back up with insulation and allow thermodynamics to do its thing. Come back in 12 hours and it's about 130-140F. Add low temp enzyme. Add 2 gallons backset. Stir alot.

Button up again a final time and return when the temp is 90F. Lauter by draining through false bottom via pump (why I don't crush fine). Usually get 8 gallons out without squeezing. Hand remove corn to mopbucket / strainer bag and you'll get another 2-3 gallons depending on how much energy you've got.

Pitch yeast right into this after adding a small charge of DAP, Epsom and FermaidK.

Since I adopted this protocol it's 1.065-1.070 for 26# of corn and 10-11 gallons. I end up loosing about 1.5 gallons to yeast and trub that I refuse to put in my boiler post cold crash but that's me.
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Re: FermCap

Postby CatCrap » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:26 pm

Here we are. Just shy of 5 hours after addition of the 2nd enzyme. Strained enough for a sample. It was still very thick, but i got an SG reading on the hydrometer.... 1.100!!! quite high... higher than expected. This will still get watered down some, so hopefully the final SG ends up around 1.08.

Iodine test succesful. NO starch present. The liquid was a super golden color. Far more than last time. This batch already seems a bit different from the last time i did it. So... i have high hopes!! If this turns out the same as the last.. well.. heck.. i dunno.

Using 2 packs of US-05 yeast. I put both 11.5G packs of yeast into a pint of 98 degree water. Let it hydrate for 15-20 min, with a tbsp of Go Ferm Protect. Then i added about a half cup of warm water with some sugar dissolved in it, to keep the yeast happy/make a sort of starter, until i'm ready to pitch it unto the mash. I won't be adding any nutrients this go around.
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Re: FermCap

Postby CatCrap » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:18 pm

Hmm.. well, you do make an interesting point about the igloo cooler. I do know that a lot of folk are using them, i'm just not sure who many are cooking in them, especially at the high temps i'm doing. I did have mostly successful runs and ferments with my batch of NC Hooch. Did 3 rounds of 50L ferments in it, and as mentioned, strangely, only one of the 6 strip runs had that strange burning smell. In reading today, someone mentioned (may have been an excerpt from the parent sight) that fermenting at higher temps than the yeast likes can result in heavy "solvent" like aromas or flavors. I think solvent would be as close a description as i could get for the result i had. Now, the liquor itself still did have a nice corn flavor, and the backset smelled fucking heavenly. Intense corn flavor. So, assuming i can get this recipe right, i know Booner's will make a great whiskey.

Currently both 25L ferments are chugging away. Like i said, i didn't add any yeast nutrients this go round, only the Gypsum for mash salts and a tsp of citric to bring the PH down for the GL enzyme. After adding to the fermenters and watering down, my SG was right at 1.06. So, that seems good. All in all, i think this mash was a success... but.. then i thought that the last time at this stage, and didn't find my issue until the stripping run. But, my gut tells me this ferment went as good as it could have. I did everything right and the ingredients cooperated. Other than that slight issue with the PH meter. It could have been i didn't stir enough to get accurate readings, or who knows... i find the stupid PH meters to be semi-unreliable. They seem to create more questions than answers.

I do not know what the material the IGLOO is made of. Ill have to look into it (first by looking at the cooler to see if it's HDPE, hopefully it is. LDPE isn't supposed to have those high temps. So, i'll do a little digging and try to figure it out. Overall i like the igloo quite a bit. It holds heat really really well, and is a good manageable size that i don't have too much trouble with giant batch sizes. I have debated with upgrading to a large brute trash can for AG mashing like this.. but, that creates new challenges.

For me, i like to ferment on the grain and squeeze after. I did install a ball valve on the cooler instead of the spigot, so if i want to attempt a false bottom at some point i can. I originally put a bazooka filter off amazon on it. ON the first run it was full of corn, so i don't think it would work for shit with a corn heavy mash bill. I also fucking cut myself good on my finger trying to unscrew it. Fucking sharp ass wires on that screen and one was stray. Got my index finger pad real good.

I'll keep an eye on progress. ONce done, i'll squeeze it off, let it clear well, throw it in the boiler and cross the shit out of my fingers.
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Re: FermCap

Postby CatCrap » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:31 pm

YESSSSSSS!!! YEs guys!! YES!!
Finally got around to stripping my next batch o booners. Success!!!!! No burning smell, no watery eyes. Just pure delicious corny goodness. And good it is... the flavor is really nice and smooth.. even at my light-speed stripping run. Shoot.. this one's going 7-8 Min to the quart.. gotta love that speed (and the shotgun condenser :ebiggrin: )

But.. we still don't know what it is that caused my issue. While that's not good... i can only replicate the process i used this time and try to avoid whatever misteps i took on that original fucked up batch. I have to say it was on the ferment side. I really don't think it was in my distilling process or equipment. but, we don't know for sure. I also used a different yeast this time. Used US-05 instead of DADY. It's farrrrr more expensive, but that's quite alright.. because even at 3 bucks a pack, the cost of a batch of booners is still only like 6 bucks for 50L. A very small price to pay for some top shelf sheet. I'm very excited about this!! Can't wait to collect up enough strip to do a spirit run.. fill up some big ass jars n char some dang oak. Then wait months and months lol. But.. i can't wait!! Maybe this is the recipe i'll go with for my first barrel. It's going to take a fair amount, and a fair amount of time, to fill up a 5G barrel, but i know it would be worth it . I am very tempted to use UJ for my barrel the first go around... i can crank that stuff out with ease... but.. an AG would probably be more worth it overall. Hell, if i'm forking over $200 ish for a barrel.. i ought to use that resource well. Maybe UJ can be the second go in the barrel, then onto some rums.

So, if i had to guess what the cause was.. I'm leaning toward temperature. I know DADY likes high temps, but i think in this case the high temp, or the ferment conditions were to blame. Probably caused my yeast to throw off all sorts of awful flavors, and that came forward on the strip run. I still have a gallon jug of the strip run that had the awful burning smell... it seems to have settled down a little bit.. but i'm a little scared to sniff to deep off of that jug. It's so unpleasant that feeling. It did seem to improve a little.. But.. gosh man... i don't know if i wan't to include it on the spirit. Probably better to just call it a loss. Idk.. i guess i could hang onto it.. but i don't know for what. I don't want to ruin any spirit run with it. My only thought is to save it for an all feints run. But again.. it could have the effect of ruining whatever batch it goes into. I did have a similar, although not as strong/bad strip with my batch of NC hooch.. and it didn't come through, that i know of, in that spirit run, and it was 1/6th of that run. but.. i ONLY want the very best. this is about high standards. That's why i'm doing All Grain. So, the idea here is to do the very best spirit i can, regardless of work, time or expense.. so that's my goal n i'm a sticking to it.

Thanks to those who have followed along. And thanks very much to all who have helped me to diagnose and contributed expertise. I truly appreciate it, and love our community here on HD. I will pay it back by doing the same. When i have advice to pass on, or my experience to share, i will do so here on the board.. and so the cycle continues.. hopefully for a very very long time. Long Live Homedistiller!!!!!!
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Re: FermCap

Postby butterpants » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:02 pm

Throw out whatever shitty DADY monkey yeast you scored for cheap.

I'm glad you got it fixed!
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Re: FermCap

Postby CatCrap » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:05 pm

I get the DADY on Brewhaus. I don't think it's bad yeast, i just mean its around 10 a pound, where as US-05 is like 4$ for a 11g packet. I tend to pitch heavy, so the economics of the DADY is nice. I've had pretty much nothing but success using it so far, other than this one issue. I'm happy with it overall. I meant more that US05 is expensive, than that DADY is cheap. It's still more than Baker's anyway.

And yeh.. i'm very happy i got it straightened out too!! :ebiggrin: :ebiggrin: :ebiggrin: :ebiggrin: :ebiggrin: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: FermCap

Postby butterpants » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:49 pm

Got any small nano or craft breweries by you? See if any of them are using US-05 or a big brand analog then ask to fill a sanatized bucket of their sloppy extras. Most breweries produce more yeast than they can deal with.

If that doesn't work get some USW-6 in 500gr brick. I get it for 30$. 500 gr is alot of yeast even if you pitch heavy.
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Re: FermCap

Postby CatCrap » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:15 pm

That's a great idea to buy in bulk. I'll go through it eventually. Only thing is, i like to test a few different yeast. I've been meaning to try a few different ones and check the results.

Funny that you should mention asking breweries... I've been on a few brewery tours, but never asked about yeast. I live in one of the beer brewing capitols of the world so we do have a plethora of breweries. But, the 3 distilleries i've toured.. as soon as you bring up yeast, the motherfuckers clam up. Like it is their most closely guarded secret. The owners at Jim Beam supposedly bring the yeast home every day or some ridiculous shit. It's just that, to me, ridiculous. No one is going to be able to replicate your end product, even if they wanted to. Yeah.. cuz i TOTALLY want to knock off jim beam or your half-ass shit whiskey and sell it as my own. Sure. I DO understand the impetus.. sort of.. that it's a lot of work and intellectual property that goes into developing the recipes at a distillery. A ton of hard work goes into building a successful product and brand. But, to me, it goes against the spirit of (haha like the pun?) the industry. It's like cooking... it's about sharing what you love to do with others. I don't guard my recipes closely.. if you ask me how to cook something i would be more than happy to give you the recipe. I'd be more than happy to show you how to cook that dish. I do it every day with my cooks... and i don't fear that they are going to open a rival restaurant using my recipes. I heard a funny term on a craft distiling podcast.

" Oh yeah, of course we did a lot of R&D. Rip off and Deny" :ewink:
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