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Silk City Distillers

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  1. Silk City Distillers

    Sourcing bacterial strains for rum fermentations

    Perhaps Lutein is the magic Xanthophyll? https://repositorio.ucp.pt/bitstream/10400.14/2762/3/Study of major aromatic compounds in port wines.pdf
  2. Silk City Distillers

    Sourcing bacterial strains for rum fermentations

    Don't have access to this one, but also indicates β‐Damascenone formation from precursors during distillation, in a way that is aligned with the Shochu paper above. Influence of the Production Process on the Key Aroma Compounds of Rum: From Molasses to the Spirit https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.jafc.6b04046 Perhaps the specific pathway? Xanthophylls naturally occurring within sugar cane, as well as in corn. Thermal degradation of a neoxanthin-like xanthophyll to the potent aroma compound beta-damascenone https://www.researchgate.net/publication/295324888_Thermal_degradation_of_a_neoxanthin-like_xanthophyll_to_the_potent_aroma_compound_beta-damascenone
  3. Silk City Distillers

    Sourcing bacterial strains for rum fermentations

    Potential microbiological basis for carotenoid precursors in cane and rum can potentially be due to Rhodotorula. This has been implicated in Cachaca and Tequila/Agave spirit as well. beta-Carotene production in sugarcane molasses by a Rhodotorula glutinis mutant. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11571614 EFFECT OF SOME SUGARS AND AGRO-INDUSTRIAL BY- PRODUCTS ON CAROTENOIDS PRODUCTION BY SOME YEAST STRAINS OF RHODOTORULA SPP. http://srv4.eulc.edu.eg/eulc_v5/Libraries/UploadFiles/DownLoadFile.aspx?RelatedBibID=ODQ2ZDQ0NDAtM2U0OC00ZjMzLTkyMTgtOGU5MWQ1MGI3NGZkX2l0ZW1zXzEyMTIwNzM3XzM1Mjg5MV9f&filename=1097.pdf Microbiology and physiology of Cachaça (Aguardente) fermentations https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1010225117654 Did Fahrasmane and Ganou-Parfait simply miss it in "Microbial flora of rum fermentation media"?
  4. Silk City Distillers

    Sourcing bacterial strains for rum fermentations

    On the degradation of β‐Damascenone during fermentation: Investigation of the β-Damascenone Level in Fresh and Aged Commercial Beers https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jf020085i
  5. Silk City Distillers

    Sourcing bacterial strains for rum fermentations

    Just reviewing some of the literature on β‐Damascenone formation. Clearly not something unique to rum, it would be considered the most significant constituent of Bourbon as well (by FD/OAV), as well as in Shochu. However, it's OAV is so stratospheric, it merely has to exist at all for it to top the chart. So you have it existing across three very different fermentation feedstock: grain, cane, and potato. Not to mention three products produced in very different ways, especially the koji fermented sweet potato. Found in both wine and beer as well. The Shochu paper seems to be incredibly insightful, since β‐Damascenone exists as a component of sweet potato, but does not even remotely account for the total β‐Damascenone in the distillate. It appears that β‐Damascenone is not at all formed during fermentation, and is actually negatively impacted by fermentation. However, it's not the β‐Damascenone in the feedstock, or the production process, but the necessary (Carotenoid?) precursors to be available during distillation to form it by acid hydrolysis. The Formation of β‐Damascenone in Sweet Potato Shochu - Yoshizaki - 2011 - Journal of the Institute of Brewing - Wiley Online Library https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/j.2050-0416.2011.tb00464.x The researchers found that: "most of the β‐Damascenone in Shochu is formed by acid hydrolysis during distillation." "As the distillation period lengthened, β‐Damascenone levels increased moderately, suggesting that lengthening the distillation period is one method that may be used to increase B-damascenone" "Furthermore, whether the β‐Damascenone level in shochu was affected by the pH of the second mash during distillation was investigated. The β‐Damascenone level in second mash at pH 3.5 was greater than in the second mash at pH 4.0 and 7.0."
  6. Silk City Distillers

    Filtered Gin?

    You don't charcoal filter gin. If you want to treat your neutral with carbon first, go right ahead, but you simply can not do it after you infuse the alcohol with botanicals.
  7. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    This thread has gone way too long, so some random thoughts. 1. Try using the top jacket for heating, and the bottom for cooling. It's highly likely that the corn was sitting on the very bottom of the tank, despite the mixer running, insulating the tank contents from the undersized bottom jacket. The top jacket will not see the same kind of insulated blinding that the bottom would. Undersized jackets work fine, they just take longer. By reversing these, once you've gotten to the point of needing to cool, you'll have solids well into suspension with lower viscosity - so the tank should mix better. Honestly, at start up, I bet that mixer is just pushing the corn around on the bottom. 2. My comments about replacing the incorrect plumbing the top jacket port MUST BE DONE, whatever the approach. PRV, Vacuum Breaker, Air Vent, Gauge. No Chinese stuff, get the appropriate parts from a reputable steam trim manufacturer (Armstrong, Spirax Sarco, etc etc). Honestly, I'd replace the traps too, but that's just me. PRV - Vented to Safety, Air Vent - Vented to Safety, Vacuum Breaker, Gauge - on every jacket - this means 2x for the mash tun. 3. Do not plumb both jackets for dual duty heating and cooling. It's highly unlikely that this tank was built to handle the thermal stresses involved. While it would probably work for a while, the continual thermal shock would eventually tear welds and deform the tank. While you can reduce the risk by introducing tempering control to the jacket, we are talking about fairly complex systems here. 4. There is a possibility you can retrofit direct steam injection into the tun, and use the jackets for cooling. This is what I do. Keep in mind, this can be very stressful for your boiler, and it means no boiler additives - aka reduced boiler life. The drawing has what looks like a bottom port into the kettle directly, this might work, or you could retrofit a steam line through the top dome down into the mash for an injector. DSI is the most efficient and fastest form of heat transfer. 5. Throw those pretty poppet valves out. The picture posted shows that they are 1.5 bar, that's 22 psi - so they are both questionable in quality and reliability, as well as being entirely useless at 22psi.
  8. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    Thanks Paul, I'll go ahead and make the change.
  9. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    One side is the PRV and inlet, the other is the Vac breaker, air vent, gauge, and also my pressure sender for the controller.
  10. Silk City Distillers

    steam eductors

    Sits around 12 at the boiler. Looking to upgrade our boiler and our steam guy is recommending going to 50psi - high pressure territory. Says the eductor really needs pressure to shine.
  11. Silk City Distillers

    steam eductors

    We are using a single 3/4" Jacoby Tarbox TLA Eductor in a 600g mash tank. 16hp boiler, going through a 2" 5 micron Spirax Sarco CSF16 Clean Steam filter. The injector is slightly undersized, but we would likely top out the max flow rate of the filter going any larger.
  12. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    Sure, as soon as I get in later today. This is the Bible of steam kettle plumbing. https://www.armstronginternational.com/files/common/technical/864-EN.pdf
  13. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

  14. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    Ask them to install proper air vents and vacuum breakers at the tops of both of those jackets. Installing vacuum breakers without corresponding air vents will cause significant inefficiency in heat transfer. Depending on the jacket geometry, air can get trapped in a way that's not easily pushed through the trap. I would not trust those jackets without vacuum breakers, and you will not maximize jacket efficiency without air vents. Looking at the bottom jacket, with the steam port and condensate drain at the bottom of the tank, it's highly likely that you are trapping air at the top.
  15. Silk City Distillers

    1,000 Gallon Mash Tun (750 Gallon Working Volume)

    What ports are up top?
  16. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    Paul said something before that was interesting, about insulated tanks. I know other folks that have had issues with bad tanks from China where the welds between the steam jacket outer wall and the insulation were bad, and when they poured in the two part insulation mix, the insulation expanded into the steam jacket area. Likewise, steam was able to escape into the insulated area. Pressure test ain't going to catch it. That's why I asked about the insulation before. Hoping you don't have insulation, and this ain't the problem, because they ended up scrapping the tank. They were able to get a bore scope into the steam jacket, but based on those triclamp elbows, I'm not sure that's possible - maybe from the top.
  17. Silk City Distillers

    Mash tun/stripping still combo

    Why did you write all of that when you could have just said you agree with me?
  18. Silk City Distillers

    Mash tun/stripping still combo

    Mashing, fermenting, and distilling in a single vessel? Bottleneck. Reconsider.
  19. Silk City Distillers

    Sourcing bacterial strains for rum fermentations

    Distilling is far more forgiving than brewing with regards to negative bacterial contribution and need for sanitization or sterilization. This is evidenced by the lack of a tradition of boiling wort or wash to sterilize, antibacterials (hops), and distilling's longer tradition of open fermentation. What brewers are only today beginning to embrace about wild yeast, bacterial contribution, open fermentation - these have been standard procedures in distilling, whether the distillers knew the benefits or not ... or even knew why. Keep in mind, though something like an acetobacter infection is a disaster in beer or wine, it's a nuisance in distilling that results in a larger heads cut (lower yield). What might be applicable to brewing or wine, might not be to distilling, and vice-versa (brettanomyces comes to mind, which I think is a disaster for distillers). The exact same procedures for wild yeast capture for brewing directly apply to distilling, spend some time with brewing communities like Milk the Funk (Facebook Group). While it's easy to isolate the yeast strains out of these, it's very difficult to match the bacterial strains. There are some brilliant, brilliant, backyard biologists involved there (and plenty of PhDs too). Like Lloyd says above, and he's right, replication becomes very very difficult. During fermentation, bacteria will die out, certain yeast strains will dominate, others will die. We've fermented with lots of yeast that you would never find in the traditional distilling world. Torulaspora, Metschnikowia, Hanseniaspora, and others. We have a few test batches that were co-pitches of the above plus traditional yeasts alongside some interesting bacteria that I absolutely love. Two things I've learned that are a bit of a disappointment. Distilling is a rather coarse process, it's very easy to lose some of the subtle flavors created during fermentation. Esters tend to bunch together, meaning if you take a heavy heads cut, you lose everything you worked to create. I concur about acetic acid and ethyl acetate being a major problem. It's very easy for high ethyl acetate to "crowd out" the other esters during distillation. You are forced to take a wider cut, and by doing it, you cut away too much of many other esters. I too tend to review the literature on specific bacterial strains to understand which tend to be the lowest acetic producers, this is really really important. The other is that aging is a double-edged sword, and probably the most disappointing - subtle flavors tend not to survive aging. Almost three years back I did some incredible higher-ester whiskies using English ale strains. Fruity, floral, very interesting. By the two year mark, it became very difficult to distinguish between traditional whiskey strain batches. Based on the glide path, by year 4 it might be completely indistinguishable. They may evaporate off, they may form other more complex compounds or longer chain esters, but they don't stick around. I've considered doing test batches with miniscule heads cuts, in order to create aged blending stock that hopefully retains some of these flavors after maturation. Again, too many projects, too little time. That said, blending is key key key here. Especially talking high ester and heavy rums, back to the original topic. Keep in mind the goal of these processes IS NOT TO MAKE FINISHED RUM IN ONE SHOT. It is to make blending stock, to be blended with other, lighter, cleaner, other rums, to produce a finished product. Hell, even if high hogo funk town is your goal, you are still blending. Nobody is drinking Hampton DOK and enjoying it. The other factor that favors blending, it's very difficult to establish tight consistency with some of these bacteria. Certain strains of clostridium are strict anaerobes - good luck managing strict anerobic starters, purging with nitrogen to eliminate all dissolved oxygen is a requirement). Consistent starting cell counts would be very difficult outside a lab. The end result is going to be a fairly wide range of ester concentrations. Creating a wide range of mono-culture (bacterial) aging stock is probably the safest approach - eg. Lactic acid ester based blenders, propionic blenders, butyric blenders. Same could be done with heavier alcohols in the tails (isoamyl alcohol makes beautiful esters). Want a rum that tastes like buttery, nutty, banana bread? Lactic esters are your friend, as are the isoamyl alcohol esters. - Go ahead and build it from the ground up. Again, no lack of projects, complete lack of time.
  20. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    Steam doesn’t need baffles.
  21. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    Is there an air vent on the topmost port of that jacket? Air is a very good insulator. The port locations do not appear condusive to forcing air our the condensate drain.
  22. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    Is the mash tun insulated or not?
  23. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    And keep the mt jacket on when the hot water goes back in. This will help keep temps up, hopefully long enough to gel that corn fast. Order a pizza it’s going to be a long night.
  24. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    Dump the water - or pump it over. Heat water to boiling in the still and pump it back over.
  25. Silk City Distillers

    Mash Tun not Heating

    Ball trap, dang. Ok well I was really hoping for an easy fix.
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