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JonDistiller

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  1. I'm not at all a fan of on grain distillation for single malt. To my subjective perception, there's quite a lot more tanin extracted via that process. When distilling a recipe that will likely be placed onto used oak, those flavor components have the opportunity to come even more to the fore of the palate.
  2. Actually... earlier I responded that I already knew about the vids... and it was true... he's the source that I purchased my enzymes from. Nevertheless, I started thinking about IT and how sometimes "turn it off and turn it on", or "is it plugged in" is the answer. I went back and re-watched his vids. There were one or two bits that I've been handling differently. The biggest seems to be that I've waited to add my enzymes till I reached 170.. I figured holding above that, and up to 190 was all good, but his protocol was a little different, and involved adding them right from the initial warm up. I gotta say, thanks for reminding me to go back to basics. Making that "minor" change, made all the difference, and now I'm getting what the math says I should.
  3. Gotcha, I misunderstood the question. I'm using 1.8 lbs per gallon.
  4. This is excellent advice and I'd like to add agreement to give it weight. Mashing at the higher temp range, is generally when you want to leave unfermentable sugars, which doesn't have as much of a role in the production of a whiskey.
  5. I'm pretty small. Generally doing either 60 gallon or 120 gallon batches.
  6. I was referring to the flavor compounds that (in my own limited experience) seem to make it across when grain husks are included in the still. I grant I don't fully understand (yet) everything that's happening there, or why there's a difference to my taste in distilling on grain, when obviously we also raise the temps during the gelatinization/mashing process. Nevertheless, to my own subjective mind there's a difference in flavor... just a bit extra bitter/tannin in the flavor profile, and my preference has tended towards the bourbon where sweeter elements are stronger in the total profile.
  7. It's interesting... I actually fermented on the grain during my learning period in classes and was happy with the results. I haven't tried it since we opened officially because I'm not willing to distill on the grain due to taste impacts that I learned I don't personally like, but I haven't found a way to manage drawing the material to be distilled out of the grains in an effective way. Have you found an effective way to pull the fermented product off (and out of) the grain/yeast bed? How about recycling yeast? Cleaning the fermenter?
  8. @Hudson bay distillers I appreciate that, I am aware of Pintoshines vids. I've been reading the stuff on homedistiller.org for a while, both during my learning process and during the few years I've been in process of opening up. @slick city distillers, thanks much! that would make a lot of sense. No, my tun isn't heat jacketed. I'm using converted stainless steel barrels, so I have direct heat, but the thinner walls of stainless barrels means I have to use a bit of insulation to keep temps within the gelatinization range, when I attempt the longer time frames compared to purpose built stainless in a nearby friendly location that has been willing to talk with me. I have 2 tuns, 1 with a finer mesh and the 2nd with a wider mesh. I do have the ability to cook, but only via 2 methods.... either I can keep a rapid spin going via a stainless stirrer powered by a 1/2 inch drill so that I can keep direct heat on, or else I can insert a copper coil filled with heated water into the mash tun. Thus far in my experimentation I haven't yet tried the second... just built what is needed for it. So far I haven't had trouble keeping temps... which is a point of discouragement on why I'm not getting the results I'd expect from the math.
  9. Hi All, I'm not getting to the OG that I would expect from my Bourbon. I've tried a few variants on technique, and soak time, but still haven't managed to quite get where I want to be. Currently I'm using the corn in a cracked level of grind... some flour with the remainder being approximately the size of a normal barley grind used for beer. I chose that, planning on trading some efficiency for ease of working. I'm steep cooking it, raising the water to 210 and then adding the corn which brings it to 200 while stirring to avoid clumping or dry spots. I've been experimenting with various soak/cook times, including 1 hr, 90 minutes, 2 hrs, and even an overnight insulated cook of 9 hours I read about on another site that resulted in a stuck sparge and a very long day. My first runs I was trying to use just the enzymes in the malt... the math said there should be enough diastatic power, but I ended up with a 1.02 which was frankly unacceptable so I purchased high temp alpha and beta, as well as regular temp alpha. (suspecting the malting of the grain was happening a few degrees too high and denaturing some enzymes) I'm fairly consistently getting 1.04 with the enzymes, but I'd be expecting to be more in the 1.05/1.06 area if everything was happening properly. My next avenue of improvement I can think of, is that I need to be grinding more finely. That leads me to my first question. How large a hole do you guys use in the filter on your mash tun use when working with the more fine grinds? Did you have to make modifications to your equipment compared to mashing malt based whiskey? My second question... is there anything obvious I'm missing? I've been a brewer for my whole life, but not worked with corn till much more recently. I know unmalted corn is more of a challenge, but I'm really hoping to dial in my efficiencies a bit.
  10. TBH, probably you should chalk 1 more mental commission up! I also am a new distillery, going through all the shocks of discovering I've been thinking in terms of apparent proof when it came to sweetened drinks, and having to gird up my big boy pants and learn to do it correctly. I appreciate you doing a bit of spoon feeding.
  11. Hi there, Relatively new distiller, from Upstate NY. Our company "Main Street Distillery" just recently began setting product down into barrels.
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