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Thread: Home distilled

  1. #161
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    for those of you that make rum, I did my first 100% rum wash this past week, but it appeared that the ferment had stalled at 5% sugar still left.
    Only had a starting SG of 10% so I doubted it was because there was too much alcohol, tried adding water, heating the mix, adding more nutrient and adding more yeast but nothing
    made it ferment any more.
    My previous rum washes with molasses were about 50/50 molasses & sugar and they had all gone down to 0%
    Have any of you that do pure molasses washes ever noticed something like this?
    I read an article claiming that pure molasses washes don't go down to zero due to "carmalized" sugars in the molasses which yeast can not convert, but not sure if it is true.
    Do you buffer the pH? A sugar fermentation drops pH rapidly. I'm also in the same boat now. Got a wash that refuses to finish. I've added sodium bicarbonate (koeksode) twice now that lets it pick up for a day or two, but it results in a huge mess every time I add it. To counter this, I got some potassium hydroxide yesterday, so I'll be boosting the pH in my future washes with that.

    I see what people recommend is oyster or egg shells in a hop sock straight in with the wash. It'll get "eaten" as time goes by. You can apparently get crushed oyster shells at animal feed stores as chicken grit, but I'm lazy and KOH is a super strong base that I think will work just as well.

    Also - the remaining sugar in molasses depends on the type. You get 3 types, Treacle #1, #2 and #3. #1 is typically the one used in cooking and baking. It's expensive and sweet. #3 is the opposite, also called "blackstrap" sometimes. It's used mostly in animal feeds, mixed with hay in order to make it more appealing for animals (specifically horses) to eat. It's cheap, messy and works very well. It contains less fermentable sugars (about 40~50% of the sugar in there is NOT fermentable), but it's cheap and LOADED with flavour. Makes an amazing rum. #2 is a bit in between the two. I just get #3. You buy it for like R75 for a 5kg tub at the local animal feeds stores. I use 1 part molasses to 2 parts sugar in my washes.

  2. #162
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    Do you buffer the pH? A sugar fermentation drops pH rapidly. I'm also in the same boat now. Got a wash that refuses to finish. I've added sodium bicarbonate (koeksode) twice now that lets it pick up for a day or two, but it results in a huge mess every time I add it. To counter this, I got some potassium hydroxide yesterday, so I'll be boosting the pH in my future washes with that.

    I see what people recommend is oyster or egg shells in a hop sock straight in with the wash. It'll get "eaten" as time goes by. You can apparently get crushed oyster shells at animal feed stores as chicken grit, but I'm lazy and KOH is a super strong base that I think will work just as well.

    Also - the remaining sugar in molasses depends on the type. You get 3 types, Treacle #1, #2 and #3. #1 is typically the one used in cooking and baking. It's expensive and sweet. #3 is the opposite, also called "blackstrap" sometimes. It's used mostly in animal feeds, mixed with hay in order to make it more appealing for animals (specifically horses) to eat. It's cheap, messy and works very well. It contains less fermentable sugars (about 40~50% of the sugar in there is NOT fermentable), but it's cheap and LOADED with flavour. Makes an amazing rum. #2 is a bit in between the two. I just get #3. You buy it for like R75 for a 5kg tub at the local animal feeds stores. I use 1 part molasses to 2 parts sugar in my washes.
    Well it was the first time using molasses from a brewing supplier, my blackstrap in the past was from clicks / health shop and it always went down to zero.
    This molasses was very salty compared to the stuff I had used before (but significantly cheaper).
    I do suspect ultimately that there were sugars that could not be converted which is why it showed 5% left.
    Ended up with 3L @ 50% of end product on a 20L wash so relatively happy.
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  3. #163
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryFrank View Post
    Attachment 612059Attachment 612060

    Attachment 612061

    I prefer this to copper scrubbers
    What style of still are you making that you place the RC in the sight glass? Are you making a VM still with variable flow through the RC coil to control reflux?
    Last edited by Andrew Leigh; 2021/04/13 at 09:05 AM. Reason: spelling

  4. #164
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Just playing with a standard boka

    I’ve built quite a few beer keg pot stills since the “COVID” party started.... busy with a 100lt keg at the moment

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  6. #165
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryFrank View Post
    Just playing with a standard boka

    I’ve built quite a few beer keg pot stills since the “COVID” party started.... busy with a 100lt keg at the moment
    What is the advantage of a Boka? I have never researched them.

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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    This molasses was very salty compared to the stuff I had used before (but significantly cheaper).
    I do suspect ultimately that there were sugars that could not be converted which is why it showed 5% left.
    Ended up with 3L @ 50% of end product on a 20L wash so relatively happy.
    Correct. That cheaper molasses, IMO, also contributes a WAY nicer flavour to the end product. You'll see. I also made one with store-bought molasses before but it's just not the same.

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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Alrighty, did a spirit run today (will also be the last time I do spirit/stripping with rum). This still is incredible. From two stripping runs I ended up with 5 litres of 72% ABV hearts. Blending will happen this weekend. Can't wait!

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  10. #168
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    Alrighty, did a spirit run today (will also be the last time I do spirit/stripping with rum). This still is incredible. From two stripping runs I ended up with 5 litres of 72% ABV hearts. Blending will happen this weekend. Can't wait!
    How much wash did you put in to get that out? 50L ?
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    How much wash did you put in to get that out? 50L ?
    I did three batches. One was 20 litres of 50/50 rum/sugar wash that put out 8% ABV. Then I poured a full sugar solution straight onto that one's yeast cake, resulting in 20 litres of sugar wash at another 9% ABV. The sugar wash had to be babied a bit because the pH dropped to the floor, and it took a good while to complete. These two washes together gave me 7 litres of low wines that I oaked while I fermented the bigger batch.

    I saw the 20 litre stuff was going too slow, so I decided to fermenter straight in my still's kettle. I used some backset from a previous stripping run, used 2.5kgs of Treacle 3 molasses and I can't even remember, think it was something like 7kgs of brown sugar, dissolved into 20 litres of hot liquid. I topped it off with cold water to around 50l and then pitched yeast. This surprised the crap out of me and the yeast fermented this wash all the way to 12.5%. I used that cheap-ass NCP Superbrew High Foam yeast that you buy for like R4 a 20g packet from Makro. I kept the pH up using KOH and kept the kettle really warm with an electric blanket, and fermentation completed in a week.

    I then tapped the wash out of the kettle into buckets, washed the kettle (don't want to distill yeast), and poured back around 35 litres of the wash. I stripped this wash, and the collective stripping of all these stripping runs was mixed with the leftover 15l of wash I didn't strip and poured into the kettle for a spirit run.

    I mixed the stripping run's results with raw wash to boost flavour, and it worked. I also decided that when I'm making rum or whisky, unless I'm chasing ABV, I won't be doing stripping and then spirit runs again. You lose a lot of flavour in the second distillation.

    Anyway, the total result after checking the aired jars this morning looks to be around 7 litres of rum over 70% ABV, and then the feints come on top of that. I made conservative cuts before and after the big hearts cut, and I'll be adding more to it to boost flavour. I'll be saving the feints and run them with future runs. The rum is fantastic, even white and raw out of the still. I had a small taster yesterday with some cola and it's really, really nice.

    This weekend I'm giving the jars all a little taste, blending it all together and then I'm oaking it on virgin American Oak, toasted to Med+ toast. That should give great colour and impart that sweet flavour I'm hunting for. I'll oak this for as long as possible (the competition is coming). I'll also be adding glycerine to smooth it out faster, and I'll also be adding some spices:

    Per liter of spirit, I'll be adding:
    2 Allspice berries
    1 Clove
    1/2 pinch of Aniseed (I prefer a full, big pinch, but I've had people question the "liquorice" in my rums so I'm dialling it back)
    Dash of cinnamon (very sparingly used)
    1/2 teaspoon of Bourbon Vanilla extract (not vanilla essence, the proper stuff)
    Some raw molasses and some backset I saved, for more molasses flavour (will have to mix and blend to find the perfect level here)

    I'm strongly considering adding a tiny bit of orange peel (just the zest) for a citrus boost, but I'm still in two minds about this. I intend on oaking this at 65% ABV.

    I'm aiming for a sweet, but not cloyingly sweet rum with strong molasses notes and a hint of spices, but not overbearing. I'll be calling it the Lazy Pirate rum, and bottle at 43% ABV when I'm done. By all accounts it looks like I should be getting close to 15 bottles out of this batch once all is done, maybe a tiny bit less. Can't WAIT. Finally something worthy of bottling that's not just going to be killed in a single weekend.

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  13. #170
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Good grief, and I though cooking meth was complicated

    Boet, that sounds awesome, can I put my name down for a bottle if you selling?

    Buy some cardamom, crush one and see what you think of the aroma and tatste. I use it in my IPA on the basis that if they shipped IPA around the Cape to India, there is a good chance the barrels came back with something in them, herbs and spices. Cardamom is used in Indian dishes, particularly sweets and puddings. It gives a warm pudding background note. Anyhoo, get some and see what you think.

    Cheers
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  14. #171
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Yeah Cardamom is a common addition to rums, but I don't have any. Ideally I'd like to get whole pods, to perhaps I'll just have to go take a look at the spice rack in the supermarket this weekend. It blends well with cloves, anise, vanilla and the sweetness from the oak, apparently.

    Also, less is more, typically.

    Oh yes, and I can't sell, at all. I'm not legally allowed to, unfortunately.

  15. #172
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Gee toxxyc thats some serious work going on there.
    FYI I have come to believe that the "brewers yeast" packs are rubbish, I have had 2 stalled ferments when trying to use brewers yeast this past month, only when I did a starter with distillers yeast and then threw it into
    the stalled wash did it get going again.
    So no more brewers yeast for me.
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  16. #173
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    I also didn't expect much for that yeast, but it really surprised me. I bought a 500g pack of general "yeast" for R150 off TAKEALOT yesterday and when it arrives I'll take a look to see what that can do, but otherwise I'm going back to this NCP yeast. It works. It works really well. Perhaps it's because I kept the pH of the solution up, I don't know, but it really worked well. It ate to 11% ABV in 4 days in that solution. I'm guessing the heat helped as well.

  17. #174
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    Yeah Cardamom is a common addition to rums, but I don't have any. Ideally I'd like to get whole pods, to perhaps I'll just have to go take a look at the spice rack in the supermarket this weekend. It blends well with cloves, anise, vanilla and the sweetness from the oak, apparently.

    Also, less is more, typically.

    Oh yes, and I can't sell, at all. I'm not legally allowed to, unfortunately.
    But you can donate .

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  19. #175
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Leigh View Post
    But you can donate .
    Oh indeed. That's never been a problem though :P

    I think of the last 5 litres of rum I made, I might have consumed no more than 250ml, max. The rest was...donated. :P

  20. #176
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    Oh indeed. That's never been a problem though :P

    I think of the last 5 litres of rum I made, I might have consumed no more than 250ml, max. The rest was...donated. :P
    Trade system, a packet of biltong for some rum
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  21. #177
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Haha I typically work on the "you buy ingredients and I'll give you some booze" principle. It works really well. Allows me to keep brewing and distilling, and the other dude gets his booze as a result.

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  23. #178
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Wag ek gaan gou chekkas toe - watse ingredients moet ek koop?
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  25. #179
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Vir rum? Bruinsuiker, melasse, die goedkoopste diere-voer melasse wat jy kan kry. Enigiets oor R95 vir 5kg is te duur. Bruinsuiker, sommer 'n groot sak, 10kg gewone bruinsuiker. Dis wat ek maar gewoonlik koop.

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    WAJ

  27. #180
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    So, where does one buy this molasses ? Kooperasie?
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