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SpiritedConsultant

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Everything posted by SpiritedConsultant

  1. Pith on the lemon peel can contribute astringent off-flavors. Low quality caraway can give harsh chemical flavors. What type of still are you using? What is it made of and how is it heated? How long is your run? What abv are you charging at? Are you crushing and/or macerating your botanicals?
  2. I would imagine fresh corn being a nightmare to mill and difficult to mash. It is definitely doable to work with sun-dried corn though.
  3. Something similar used to be common in the scotch whisky industry. Distilleries would supplement their distiller's yeast with spent yeast from nearby breweries, mainly to save money (at least that's how it probably started). The spent brewers yeast wouldn't last too long, but it would contribute some flavor and EtOH and then undergo autolysis. LAB is naturally present in most whisky washes, and can metabolize some of the autolysis byproducts, creating novel flavors. I can did up some research out of Japan on this. Send me a PM if you are interested. When I make bourbon, I often use a combination of low attenuating, low abv tolerance yeast strain with a high/high strain, for similar reasons. Generally pitch a lot more of the high than the low.
  4. Hi All, I am an experienced consultant and former head distiller available for work on a variety of projects. I have experience building new distilleries and helping existing ones. I can assist with equipment selection, buildout, recipe development, operations, troubleshooting, cost forecasting, staff selection and training. I also provide writing and education services for the beverage, aroma, flavor and cannabis industries, including copy, blogs, articles and proposals. Additionally, I have an experienced graphic designer that I work very closely with who can create great labels, logos and merchandise (she also did the suit in my profile pic). I am based between New York and Baltimore, but am happy to travel domestically and internationally. I just returned from Italy, where I taught a workshop on The Favor Science of Distilled Beverages to students at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo and will be presenting on similar material at the ADI conference in Denver next week. For more information, please see my attached resume. References and writing samples available upon request. Cheers, Matt Matthew Seán Spinozzi The Spirited Consultant +1 917.693.8684 spinozzi9@gmail.com Matthew_S_Spinozzi_CV.docx
  5. I am also surprised that all of your changes have not fixed the problem. Could be that your yeast is simply very stressed. This could be due to low viability at pitching, under-pitching and/or insufficient oxygen at the start of fermentation (yeast need oxygen to produce some essential sterols and to multiply, so DO at the start of fermentation is beneficial). It is also possible that the problem could originate with your grain. Have you tried doing any batches with grain from a different source? Grain might not be rotten, but could still have residue or contaminants that cause off flavors.
  6. Bit late, but I'll throw in my 2 cents (disclaimer, I have not read every post on this thread, so apologies if I am repeating others). As Silk City pointed out, your water and mashing protocol are likely both causing problems, which are having a knock-on effect on your fermentations. - You should definitely be remineralizing water. - You need to completely revamp your mashing protocol. Not sure what enzymes you are using, but they are not working because you need to gelatinize your starch (corn has a high gelatinization temp) before they can do their job. If you have a bit of good malt and a good protocol, you shouldn't need any exogenous enzymes or nutrients at all. I would expect your current mash to have very poor conversion. You can confirm this with a simple iodine starch test (should also be evident by just tasting it). Your mash pH is on the high side, but not necessarily problematic on its own. - There is likely lactic acid bacteria in your ferments, but that is not usually a bad thing, and it's not what's causing that pellicle. Your ferments are a very inhospitable environment for most bad bacteria due to the acidity, alcohol and minimal O2. Microbial problems are more likely fungal, not bacterial. That pellicle also does not look bacterial or like kahm yeast. It looks like textbook Brettanomyces, which is a different genus of yeast (standard distillers, brewers and bakers yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae, including Red Star DADY). This would be consistent with your mashing problems, as many strains of Brett are capable of producing amylase enzymes, allowing them to use some of the longer chain saccharides left from the poor mash that S cerevisiae cannot use. Depending on the strain(s) and conditions, Brett is capable of producing some lovely flavors, but also some terrible ones. I would also recommend lowering your starting fermentation temp, not letting it get up to 90F, and possibly aerating it a bit, but more data on it would be useful. If you are still having issues after correcting your water and mash problems and really want to dial in on the faults, I would take gravity, pH and temperature readings every 8 hours, also noting the aroma, flavor, appearance and vigor of the fermentation each time.
  7. I usually do my best to get a spec from the supplier. If I can't, I usually just estimate based on typical values for that substrate and an inspection of the grain. If you really want to test it, look up the ASBC's or EBC's Methods of Analysis. High moisture and protein are not desirable because they are inversely correlated with yield and don't really add anything beneficial (high FAN has been associated with greater fusel oil production during fermentation, for better or worse). Looks good to me (I think Sebamyl GL is good at 160, but would need to check spec sheet). That is the liquor to grist ratio I would use. The only thing is I doubt you will be able to lauter that without adding something for a filter bed, but I've never actually tried. Why do you want to lauter?
  8. Yeah. Checked my spreadsheet for the last one I did and I used 75%, so 34.5 points. As you said, it varies.
  9. Yes, with a very generous amount of rice hulls (don't remember the % I used). It's much easier if you have a separate lauter tun. I had best results when mixing in half the hulls with grain and laying the other half down as a filterbed over the false bottom of the lauter tun before filling from the mash tun. Produced a nice whisky on a direct fired alembic.
  10. First thing to consider when looking at lower than expected yields is the moisture and protein content of your substrate. Unless your moisture content is very high, 20lbs is a lot for 7G. I agree with the other posters that alpha alone is not sufficient. Alpha is a endoamylase. You also need an exoamylase like beta-amylase. For a rough guide to adding enzymes, I would use something like the below: Enzymes: Amount per lb (ml) When? SEBstar HTL 0.45 At mash in SEBAmyl GL 0.41 Once temp is at or below 140 F
  11. My reply is a bit late, but yes, it is possible as long as you do not intend to lauter. The 25% malted rye should have sufficient DP and I have seen recipes use less. The main trouble makers in a rye mash are the beta-glucans, but xylans can also cause some problems. Malt xylanase and beta-glucanase have optimal temps of around 38 C (100 F) and 45 C (113 F) respectively, and rye is around the same, so a your rest would help somewhat with the viscosity but don't expect too much. Depending on your equipment, it might also be hard to get up to mash temp with even heating. I have done several tests using both SEBFlo-TL and ViscoSEB (which contains xylanase in addition to other enzymes) individually and in combination, mostly on 100% malted rye mashes for fermentation and distillation off the grain in a traditional pot still. If you need to further reduce viscosity, I would recommend using these together. The supplier (Specialty) will give you samples.
  12. Looking to buy hot and cold liquor tanks for a distillery on Long Island, NY. Both must be well insulated. HLT will run on 250F steam, CLT will run on glycol. Desired size range is 1000-1500 gallons. Willing to consider converting mashtuns (HLT) and fermenters (CLT) if the specs are suitable. Please email matt@matchbookdistillingco.com Thanks, Matt
  13. Just do a google image search for amylose and amylopectin. https://www.google.com/search?q=amylose+and+amylopectin&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj56u3t9sDMAhWG6iYKHZkqDtAQsAQIGw
  14. It's probably long chain esters that are causing the haze, but it's just a cosmetic issue. I agree with PeteB about the note: Chill filtering would very likely fix the haze problem, but you might lose a bit of flavor and body, particularly at the back. Not really worth it in my opinion. These compounds are more soluble in EtOH than H2O, so you bottling at a higher abv would also mitigate the haze.
  15. To echo Bluestar, there are a lot of variables, but the general range is 2-5 days. For example, higher temp will generally result in faster fermentation, but also more congeners, such as esters and higher alcohols. Another thing to consider is microbes other than your distiller's yeast. Lactobacillus, for example, takes longer than distiller's yeast to hit its stride, so tends to have a more impact in longer fermentations. Get a bench scale kit and do some test batches as part of your recipe development.
  16. The most likely bacteria is lactobacillus, but your low wines should still be clear, not yellow. Did your still puke?
  17. Strange. I don't have a problem getting a hold of them and Tory has been very helpful.
  18. Give Tory at Corson a call. He is really helpful and I know that he has done custom stills larger than 1000G. Corson is based out of Idaho. http://www.corsondistilling.com/
  19. Welcome! Where in TN are you? I've got family in and around Memphis.
  20. Hi Guys, A few quick questions for everyone: What percentage of your maximum production capacity are you currently operating at? What is the limiting factor in your maximum capacity? What is your production capacity in LPA (liters of pure alcohol) per annum or other volume measurement? As part of a project that I am working on, I am trying to come up with an estimate for latent production capacity within the US craft distilling industry, preferably broken down by region if I have enough data. If you would prefer not to post on the forum, you can PM me or email me at matt@spiritedconsultant.com. Any data that that you give me will remain confidential. Thanks for the help, Matt
  21. I don't really have much to add to the previous comments. My first instinct would also be a lack of firepower. Pictures and specs of your system would be helpful.
  22. Assuming we are at the standard temp of 20 C, it is impossible to achieve 98% ABV by traditional fractional distillation.
  23. All starch is fermentable by standard distiller's yeast if it is fully hydrolyzed during the mash. 55% sounds low to me, but I've never used #2 dent. What is the breakdown of the other 45%? Starch content is usually given on a dry basis, so if your lab's analysis includes moisture content (~15% typically), that could lower the overall reported starch content. There are a lot of varietals of corn, and a lot of variety within each. For example, a heavily fertilized crop will generally have a higher protein content (and thus lower starch) than a moderately fertilized one, all else being equal. That being said, I believe feed corn is generally #2 dent, so you could have purchased a high protein corn - not necessarily crap corn, but better suited to pigs than yeast.
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