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SafSpirit Amer whiskey yeast and pH

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I just started my whiskey program and its developing slowly.  Ive been playing with lots of variables in 40 gal batches, cook temp and time, timing on enzyme additions, when to add grains...  Ive been getting fairly low yields, averaging around 3-4 PG per bushel of grains.  Im still tweaking the process so I won't go into it too much as of now but I did have some questions on SafSpirit American whiskey yeast for those of you using it.  Im pitching it at around 100F (might be a little too high?) at a pH around 4.6 plus or minus as my starch converter enzyme likes pH around 4, no more than 5.  I can't find any recommendations from fermentis on pH conditions for this yeast.  Is 4.6 sounding about right or do I need to move it up or down.  I read on some home distiller forum about raising the pH after a few days but I don't like to disturb my fermentation once the yeast is pitched.  Thoughts?

 

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4.6 is a little low, but your yeast should be fine.

Wouldn’t say the same about pitching into 100f though, that’s problematic.

Your enzyme, if HTAA and GA, are perfectly fine closer to 5.0.  You should not need to screw around with adjusting pH once you’ve pitched.

Your yields don’t look low, imho.

 

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I cooked a batch and pitched at 90 F.  Its cooking right along 12 hrs later.  What temp d you pitch?  I also read some poor reviews of safspirit amer whiskey saying that it gave some sulphur funk.  I haven really noticed it during the hearts so think its fine.Your experiences?  I have so many variables to play with Id like to rule out a poor yeast strain...

Thanks for the input

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I think the SafSpirit American Whiskey is now called the USW6. If so, you can pull the technical sheet online which recommends an optimum max ferment temp of 89.6. You may want to try pitching at around 85 and seeing the difference. 

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Dang, CountrySeat, with ferments would decide on a name and keep it.  I looked it up and got the info, thanks.  Ill try pitching at a lower temp today and try to keep ferment temp below 90.  It says "may produce lower yields at higher ferment temp", thats probably my issue.  Back to the cooker!  I appreciate the help

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Hi @Dry Point Distiller This yeast works great if you tailor your mash to the yeast.

A few questions

What is your starting gravity/brix?

What is your mash bill and mashing process?

Ive used this yeast extensively and here are the optimal conditions ive found for it.

PH of 4.5-6 is ideal

Starting at a cooler temp and letting the ferment free rise will maximize yield. We pitch at 70f and let it free rise to 85f

We mash with a beer gallonage of 27 which yields a starting brix of 18.

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Sorry its taken me a while to reply, holidays are making me crazy.  

My cook process is this in a nut shell:

Bill:

45# corn, 10.5 malted barley, 7.5 rye and 5.25 wheat.

Add corn to 140 F water under agitation, heat to 190-195F, add flaked wheat and rye, add BA enzyme to thin.  Cool to 155F, add Barley and GA, seal and sit for 2 hrs.  Temp around 140 after 2 hrs. cool to 90F, pitch 60 g yeast.  Temp on ferment never above 90 F.

Pitch yeast around pH4.

Im metering my SG and brim with an edrometer which Ive grown to mistrust.

OG around 1.06

Brix around 15

Last barreling we got around 1 PG to 21# of grain. Super low but there were a few fiascos in there too...

Any tips would be immediately implemented:)

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We have run this yeast a few times. Mash is a bit bigger but the process isn't so different. No setback going in? 

Im also curious why the enzymes? We run about 20% of our malt in with the corn as pre-malt to help with gelatinization, Rye  on the cool down, malt in at 150. 

Set pH is usually around 5.2 with about 20% setback utilization. Dry pitch or hydrate and pump over dafter cooling has yielded similar results, however dry pitch shows a delay of about 2-3 hours in activity. We cool to 85/86 and allow to ramp to 90 for 36 hours then cool back to 87. Were getting ~5.2 PG/BU right now, be we have dialed in on our operation slowly. 

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One other factor I have neglected to mention is that IM using an heirloom blue corn.  Ive tried to do some research around here and on the web on available starched in heirloom blue corn but haven't found much.  Maybe its just not as starchy as the yellow dent?  Anyone else have experience?  Im planning on cutting the blue corn 50 50 with some flaked yellow corn to see if I see a bump in yields.

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