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We have imported blue agave nectar for distilling. Can provide specifications and details. Available in pails, drums and 275 gallon totes. Also malt extract and distiller's grade molasses.

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We have tried to ferment some of the blue agave nectars available in 5 gal containers, and found it to get stuck soon after starting. Something was different from the larger container sources. Nominally raw.

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Bluestar, I just bought some totes, and one had about 8 gal of agave left in it. Mine are also stalling out. Any thoughts? The tote label says enriched with calcium...I was wondering if maybe there is a metabisulfite or sorbate in it as preservative?

I'm going to try boiling some before fermenting and see if that helps.

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Yup, plenty of nutrient. One of them is going pretty good now, but it took a lot of babying. Lag time was crazy...and the ferment is really slow. I'm dropping about 7 points a day, which is going to be a 2 week ferment. However, this agave syrup is enriched with calcium, so I don't really trust my dissolved solids reading. I'm very curious to see where it goes to. I'm a virgin with agave...

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Hello. I would like to ask you about the agave. If I do agave, What gravity should it be? Also how long usually will take to finished fermentation? Should it be mix with water? and how much nutrients should be add it per Gallon?

I like to thank you very much for your help.

Gracias

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Natrat- how did it turn out? I had some finished agave product tonight from a local distillery and it was great!

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Worked out really well, once I figured out what it likes to ferment. The beer is super clean no matter which yeast you use, and the distillate has enough residuals in it to be worth aging. We don't have room in our line up for an agave product at the moment, but we liked it so much that we're trying to fit it into our future plans. It's very cheap where we are. I'm toying with the idea of using it with corn for a moonshine type product.

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Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I am having difficulties with this specific batch of Agave I am working on. I have had dozens of successful batches of agave in the last 2 years but I cant seem to get this one batch to work at all. I have spoken to the manufacture about it and he claims that a lot of people use this exact product to ferment for an agave spirit. After working my way through consulting with the manufacture, ETS, Scott labs, and a few other sources I am still struggling to get a fermentation going after putting all of the info given together and building a decent protocol of nutrient and fermentation conditions. 

Lets just say that my normal protocol for the successful batches isnt working and after multiple attempts at this batch I am getting frustrated. Anyone have any tricks, tips, or ideas for me, it would be much appreciated?!

 

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What's the pH. What yeast did you use. Who supplied the agave. 

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21 hours ago, Sudzie said:

What's the pH. What yeast did you use. Who supplied the agave. 

Ph, 6.5 at pitching, current batch using V1116 from Scott Labs (yeast well suited for higher fructose levels.)

At the moment I am going to leave the supplier out of this because I do not want them to take this as a public bashing on their product. Sudzie I will PM with the suppliers name. 

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On 7/1/2017 at 7:39 AM, Sudzie said:

What is your pH 24 and 48 hours after pitch?  

The 48 hour pH after pitch was 6.1

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@RBDistiller - Curious as to how this turned out. We're considering dipping our toe into the agave game but have read, well, nothing positive regarding ease of fermentation.  The word "mead" comes to mind. 

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We tried again, and no go. While meads are slow, we have no difficulty with them, rarely a half stuck fermentation, but always can be restarted. We do a lot of mead. We never tested the agave syrup for sulfur, that could explain it. Because we also found that we could not get a 50:50 mixture of the syrup with honey to ferment either.

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I've seen the agave syrup at Costco, etc but have never taken not as to whether or not it has preservatives. Our molasses supplier has agave but I'm uncertain as to whether it's intended for sweetening (sulphured) or distilling (hopefully un). I'm tempted to buy a bucket.

 

 

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On ‎4‎/‎12‎/‎2014 at 11:28 AM, Natrat said:

Worked out really well, once I figured out what it likes to ferment. The beer is super clean no matter which yeast you use, and the distillate has enough residuals in it to be worth aging. We don't have room in our line up for an agave product at the moment, but we liked it so much that we're trying to fit it into our future plans. It's very cheap where we are. I'm toying with the idea of using it with corn for a moonshine type product.

Would you be willing to elaborate on "...once I figured out what it likes to ferment?" I am running into the same issues as most on this thread-slow start/stuck ferment with my first experimental batch. I have added DAP as well as a b-vit supplement, reheated ferment and still doesn't seem to taking off as expected. though, currently it is more active, its just not working as I would expect. Any other insight?

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@indyspirits I have not made any more head way on it and had to move on to bourbon for a little while. I have done far to much research and work on this agave for this base to not be fermenting. I have done everything the producer has instructed that other distilleries are doing, I have done everything the yeast manufactures have suggested, and tried what other distillers have suggested and still cant get this stuff to ferment. One semi-successful fermentation I got to finally do something took over 3 months and a lot of work. I was close to giving up and one day it started to move out of nowhere, but still couldnt get it to finish anywhere near dry. 

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We didn't experiment enough with it to know, so like Round Barn, we gave up. But keep in mind that one of the things that distinguishes agave is that it is like the fructose version of corn: corn starch is primarily converted to dextrin that gets converted to dextrose (glucose), which is most easily consumed by the yeast for conversion to alcohol; agave primarily contains inulin that gets converted to fructose (mild heat will do it). So, agave syrup or nectar is primarily fructose, with some glucose and maybe some residual inulin, depending on how the syrup was processed. Yeast will consume both glucose and fructose, but efficiency of conversion of fructose to alcohol varies depending on the yeast strain. And inulin needs conversion. There can be a lot of variation in the content of the agave syrups, so even if you processed the same way each time, supplier or batch can affect the result. Sufficient glucose in the syrup will get a yeast started that might initially consume glucose and eventually fructose. Too little glucose, and some yeast may never start up. We notice this with honeys, where there is wide variation in sugar content depending on the flower source. We see that reflected at times in the speed of fermentation, startup, or even stuck fermentations. So I suspect that could be another factor in difficulties with agave syrup. Round Barn is right, that V1116 is specifically intended as a yeast for wine fermentation in extreme conditions, including high residual fructose due to stuck fermentations. I don't know how that compares to something like SafTeq Blue or Silver, which are specifically formulated for use with agave.

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All of what @bluestar says is true about the sugar and the inconstancy between 2 different suppliers. What you do for one product will most likely not work for the next product, as I have discovered the hard way. Im not sure what SafTeq is but my go to yeast for the successful batches with an different base was DistillaMax LS, but I have tried that and DV10, V1116, and EC1118 and have yet to find something that will work on this product. 

My suggestion is once you find a product that you get to work stick with it, but even then you could run into the issue of their product not being consistent. 

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Hey @bluestar,  isn't Tailwinds up in the Chicagoland area a big agave spirits producer? Sure would be interested in how they do it.

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