GeekSpirits

Looking for suggestions on separating grain after mashing

58 posts in this topic

21 hours ago, GeekSpirits said:

..............  I am not worried about the screen collapsing because of the construction.  Hendrick Manufacturing did a really nice job on the construction.  I do think a larger pump and shorter hoses could help.  You are 100% correct on the retina tanks being thin so definitely need to keep and eye on it.

Dehner is quite correct, with a more powerful pump as you suggested you could easily do some serious damage.

From the photo's I guess your screen has a diameter of about 5 feet, that is 2,800 square inches.  A very good pump could pull a negative 12 PSI, that is about 34,000 pounds pushing down on that screen. It will collapse. Also there is 34,000 pounds pushing up on the bottom of your nice, thin bottomed, Latina tank and it will crumple like a piece of aluminum foil. (please post photos when you collapse the tank)

 

 

 

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On 2/12/2017 at 7:26 PM, PeteB said:

I know that a lot of USA distillers distill "on the grain". As many of you would know, Single malt distillers in Scotland only distill a clear wort. They do not want any grain husk in an water above a maximum of 80 deg C which is the hottest they will sparge their grain bed. Hotter than 80c extracts too many tannins.

Not necessarily. pH plays a major factor in tannin extraction as well, in fact, it's more important than temp. German brewers have been doing decoctions for centuries - boiling the crap out of mashes. 

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You mean they boil grain, not at clear wort stage?   I assume some Germans like that tannin flavor in their beers, I know I like it in my tea, but I have been told the Scots do not like it in their whisky.

 

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If you are going to spend the money on a centrifugal sifter, why not spend it on a jacketed still so that you can distill on the grain.  Personally I prefer corn based spirits distilled on the grain.  I have tasted corn based spirits distilled off the grain and to me it tastes like it is missing something.

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Geekspirits,

 

Dehner and PetB are both right.  That false bottom and your tank will both be destroyed if you use a pump like that and the screen clogs.   

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5 hours ago, Southernhighlander said:

 

If you are going to spend the money on a centrifugal sifter, why not spend it on a jacketed still so that you can distill on the grain.  Personally I prefer corn based spirits distilled on the grain.  I have tasted corn based spirits distilled off the grain and to me it tastes like it is missing something.

 

We process the stillage post grain-in distillation so our local farmers will take it. There's such a glut of breweries here they can be picky about what they take and wet stillage doesnt cut it.

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16 hours ago, PeteB said:

You mean they boil grain, not at clear wort stage?   I assume some Germans like that tannin flavor in their beers, I know I like it in my tea, but I have been told the Scots do not like it in their whisky.

Correct. The decoction process removes a percentage of the mash, boils it, and returns it to the overall mash to reach the next target mash temp. This is typically done on pilsners and the sort so tannins definitely wouldn't fly. Commercial brewers will also tell you pH is the key, where they're trying to extract every brix from a mash.

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Thanks 3d0g. I will have to have a discussion with the distillery that told me not to get grain sparging too hot.

I have a couple of video's on my phone of grain separation. When I work out how to reduce the size I will post.. One is through the window of a lauter tun, the other is of my vibroscreen.

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Oooh, yes please. Love to see the vibroscreen in operation.

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17 hours ago, 3d0g said:

The decoction process removes a percentage of the mash, boils it, and returns it to the overall mash to reach the next target mash temp.

Two thoughts -- firstly, most (if not all) large breweries control step mashing via application of heat (steam) to their mash tuns, not by removing / boiling / adding wort (decoction).  When I have seen this done (only twice to be fair) , it's lautered wort that's removed for decoction simply because it's easier (he was using a dairly tank w/o steam jacket).  Today's  highly modified malts make this possible.

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1 hour ago, indyspirits said:

Two thoughts -- firstly, most (if not all) large breweries control step mashing via application of heat (steam) to their mash tuns, not by removing / boiling / adding wort (decoction).  When I have seen this done (only twice to be fair) , it's lautered wort that's removed for decoction simply because it's easier (he was using a dairly tank w/o steam jacket).  Today's  highly modified malts make this possible.

I never said "most" did a decoction. In truth, it's quite unnecessary with modern highly modified malts. That said, it's still done by tradition in some breweries and no, they don't lauter out wort for decoction - that would be quite difficult if not impossible with the high starch content. Take a trip to Germany and see for yourself.

Point still stands, tannin extraction from barley husk is primarily a factor of pH, not temperature, and there's plenty of published brewing science that supports it.

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Indyspirits,

 

Cattle farmers can't use the wet stillage, but hog farmers like the wet stillage best.  Advertise the wet stillage in your local paper for hog farms and I bet you will get multiple replies and they will probably pay you more than the cattle farmers are paying.  Otherwise you can give the wet stillage to row crop farmers for organic fertilizer.

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2 hours ago, 3d0g said:

Point still stands, tannin extraction from barley husk is primarily a factor of pH, not temperature

 

It seems it's a combination of both:

http://beerandwinejournal.com/tannins-in-the-boil/

Not to belabor the point (or hijack a thread) but I don't know of a single single malt producer that employs a grain in approach making lautering a necessity.

 

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2 hours ago, Southernhighlander said:

Cattle farmers can't use the wet stillage, but hog farmers like the wet stillage best.

Hmm. That's not the impression we've gotten. Wonder if it's that a barrel full of dry-ish stillage is a helluva lot easier to move around than a barrel of wet.  I'm definitely going to make some calls.

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13 minutes ago, indyspirits said:

Hmm. That's not the impression we've gotten. Wonder if it's that a barrel full of dry-ish stillage is a helluva lot easier to move around than a barrel of wet.  I'm definitely going to make some calls.

We raise cattle and have used fuel ethanol stillage in the past. There are several reasons we like it dry. First, we bought it by the semi load and didn't want to pay for water. Second, we mixed it with dry feed in a ration and the dryer it was the better it mixed. Cows can bloat fairly easy with wet product where-as pigs have a better time digesting it.

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31 minutes ago, indyspirits said:

 

It seems it's a combination of both:

http://beerandwinejournal.com/tannins-in-the-boil/

Not to belabor the point (or hijack a thread) but I don't know of a single single malt producer that employs a grain in approach making lautering a necessity.

 

Which is precisely what I said :)

Also, I'll just leave this here: http://pilsnerurquell.com/se/article/pilsner-urquell-triple-decoction

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On 2/13/2017 at 8:21 PM, PeteB said:

Dehner is quite correct, with a more powerful pump as you suggested you could easily do some serious damage.

From the photo's I guess your screen has a diameter of about 5 feet, that is 2,800 square inches.  A very good pump could pull a negative 12 PSI, that is about 34,000 pounds pushing down on that screen. It will collapse. Also there is 34,000 pounds pushing up on the bottom of your nice, thin bottomed, Latina tank and it will crumple like a piece of aluminum foil. (please post photos when you collapse the tank)

 

 

 

If it every collapses  I will post a picture of it.  First use had no problems and the screen didn't deform at all and I had the pump pulling pretty negative but no pressure gauge so no idea how much pressure.  I will be using it for three more batches this next weekend.  

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Indyspirits,

 

My grandfather raised hogs and he fed spent mash for years.  His hogs loved it.  They would slurp it right up and they always had a good buzz from the residual ethonal in the corn mash.  Happy hogs make good bacon.  I have some notes from my 6th great grandfather from  1794.  He fed his hogs wet stillage.  he found that if he fed it too them hot in the winter that it was a problem, so he would let it cool before he fed it.  

The best way to handle it is to pump it strait into 270 gallon plastic totes.  When the farmer shows up unload the empty totes and load the full ones onto his trailer.  You can do the same for row crop farmers using it as fertilizer.  This is how we will be doing it at my distillery here in MO.  

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I did my second run on single malt today and I find I only need to pump not the tank with the screen and let it drain from gravity.  I move the grain/liquid mixture a little with a shovel to keep it draining but worked out fine.  

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Here's a little gem we found on ebay. Made an offer for $2k and they accepted....I think this one was on there for close to a year. Based on the tags, it may have been used to sift phosphorus at a Kodak plant??? Anyway, we had to get a new screen made for it that ran us about $30. We have since mounted it on top of a new tank and it works like a charm. In the whole setup for about $2,500. Some of the best money we've spent since we're on septic.

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I didn't get good pictures, but I used the screen this weekend on the bourbon and it worked good.  I actually didn't even need to use the pump.  I just filled the tank with the front open and the used my shovel to move the grain around and let the liquid drain off.  I then scooped it into barrels.

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I finally worked out how to post the video of my vibroscreen (I hope) For my process it still left too much liquid in the solids. I was trying to salvage as much liquid as I could because this was pre fermentation

 

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Love your work Pete - always inspirational

Do you treat the grain for any further recovery after this screen?

What is the screen um size - would you go any finer?

What is your run-time on this per `100L or 1000L?

 

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I don't use it any more for rye. It was very messy and took up too much space in my small mash room.

Grain solids fed to my sheep without further processing. It needed pressing somehow to get more liquid out.

Next experiment is to take some mash to local winery and put through their belt press, once they have finished current harvest.

I still use the vibroscreen to separate fermented apricots and cherries to keep solids and especially pips out of the still. Does a fantastic job for that.

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I filmed this close-up through the sight glass, of a well setup grain bed on a lauter screen in my Son's brewery. See the small particles working their way through channels between the larger chunks of barley, they eventually get trapped after re-circulating several times. A very fine filter bed is gradually formed then the rest of the clear wort allowed to drain off. The grain bed is then sparged (rinsed) with hot water to wash out the last of the sugars. If too much vacuum is pulled on the bottom outlet the grain bed can collapse and the channels between the grains get squashed shut and filtration stops. Too fine a grind will not lauter well because the channels between the grains are too small

 

 

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