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mvierth

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About mvierth

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  • Birthday 06/28/1985

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    www.tenthwarddistilling.com

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    Male
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    Frederick, Maryland

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  1. Hey, everyone! I'm in the market right now for a steam-jacketed 600-gallon mash tun. No need for a false bottom, as we ferment and distill on-grain. Something $20,000 or less would be amazing. Feel free to respond or DM. Thanks!
  2. Thanks for the input, everyone. After a weekend of testing I was able to narrow it down to an issue of dying thermometers giving wildly different readings. As such, I failed to convert a large portion of the mash. Dosed the gluco, heated, cool, repitched and we're back in business!
  3. Someone elsewhere had suggested doing a iodine starch test to see if perhaps I had missed conversion during mashing. The iodine test was non-reactive, meaning conversion was achieved.
  4. So, because rye loves to ball together so much, it floats to the top and sticks together over the entire fermentation, creating a barrier that the CO2 can't get through. As the yeast starts to produce and release CO2, it starts producing acid that then kills off the yeast. Boom - stuck fermentation. By suspending the PVC pipes in the grain crown, it essentially works as a snorkel and gives the fermentation a chance to "breath" Keeps the pH level nice and steady and the yeast healthy enough to complete fermentation!
  5. Hey folks! Any insight on a stuck rye fermentation? Some details: 264 gallon fermentation. 350 lbs malted rye and 90 malted pounds barley. Mashed in and cooked at 155 F. Usual amount of conversion - 17 Brix/1.0698 SG. Original yeast pitch of 134 grams at 80° F. Agitated for oxygenation. Once rye forms crown on top, added sanitized PVC snorkels to give CO2 release and prevent acidification. This is my standard mashing procedure with no deviations from procedure. Fermentation consistently has taken five days from yeast pitch to full attenuation and into the still. Maybe six with the colder weather. However, after two days this fermentation only dropped 2 brix and then completely stopped. I checked pH and we're sitting at 4.5 (which usually hasn't given me any problems in the past). I re-pitched 100 grams of yeast and re-agitated. No change. I'm now at day 8 and it's still just sitting there. No change in Brix or SG. The pH has dipped down to 4.1. The grain crown has completely collapsed now with the grain settling on the bottom and the wash floating the top. The first photo is of the fermentation's brother - happily bubbling away. The second one is my stubborn fermentation.
  6. Also - Sincere shoutout to StillDragon. Once we let them know our condenser was leaking they shipped a new one out immediately!
  7. SOLVED - We did end up having a leak in our condenser. Thanks for everyone's feedback!
  8. Some more perspective: After exiting reflux it will hold steady at 190.5 for about half an hour. After that, with nothing being tweaked, the proof starts creeping downwards. Another sign of a leaking dephlegmator?
  9. Hey, Bluefish! Thanks for the feedback. It's looking like it may be a leak in the dephpleg. Reflux has been steady and there hasn't been any sort of indicator other than the sudden drop of proof. Next step is pressure testing. Thanks so much for the help!
  10. Hey, everybody! Quick question to ponder (and any help is appreciated): We've been running a 18-plate Crystal Dragon StillDragon with 100 gallon kettle for our vodka/NGS production. We've had this setup since August of last year and have been able to consistently hit 95.625% ABV on each of our 100% wheat low wine runs. However, the past two days, for some reason, we're struggling to even hit 95% ABV. Here's our basic rundown: 500 Gallon, 100% wheat mash typically at 1.088 SG. Fermentation to 1.000. Stripped to approx. 125 gallons of low wines at 36% ABV. Proofed down to 25% ABV with tap water then fed into the kettle. Full reflux for one hour, then slowly exiting reflux into heads. This typically gets us to 95.5% ABV by the time we hit hearts (about an hour into distillation). However, these past two runs, we've done the exact same thing we've always done. The temperature of the kettle is the same, amount of water and temp of dephleg is the same. The only thing that's changed is the proof is struggling to get over 94.5 and there's a slight cloudiness in the final distillate. Any help is greatly appreciated!
  11. Thanks, nabtastic! I'm hoping we can avoid a massive upgrade to our filtration system, but definitely worth a look at. We kind of hoped to be able to just bottle as is (being a classic 1800s, Old West recipe), but you're absolutely right that for many clear = quality.
  12. Right now we're proofing down over hours. The fogginess is present even before proofing down however (mostly chunks of the botanicals it seems). It doesn't look so much like louching as it does just bigger chunks of sediment. Thank you!
  13. Good afternoon, everyone! Quick question when it comes to clarifying potable bitters (amaros). We have a bitters that we're getting ready to release here in the next few weeks. We have the formula approved, labels and bottles in hand, and some excellent early reviews that we can use to promote it. However, we're still struggling to get the bitters a pleasant clear look. How we produce it: House-produced wheat NGS. Distilled to 192 Proof. Proof down to 80. Fill stainless steel mesh bag with the botanicals and place in the NGS. Macerate 24 hours. Filter large chunks out via paper filter. Proof down to 70 Proof. The end result has the flavor we want, but ends up being cloudy with some sediment that settles. We tried running it through some one micron filters and while that cleared the bitters up, it did reduce the intensity of flavor, which is what I was afraid of. Any suggestions on ways to clarify a potable bitters without sacrificing flavor? Thanks in advance! Mark A. Vierthaler Boot Hill Distillery Dodge City, KS
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