Jump to content
ADI Forums
Hewnspirits

Rye Mash Protocol??

Recommended Posts

Ok so I'm going to see who's willing to share their super duper top secret Rye mash protocol's. Any ball park numbers on temps, rests, etc. would be great if you're feeling neighborly. I'm about ready to start playing with our locally grown rye and any insight or tips would be mucho appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have anything to share for success, but I will share a not-so-fun stories.

We usually run a wheated bourbon or a wheat whiskey. Occasionally, we run some experimental stuff...it's all over the board. Early last year we made an experimental rye whiskey and tasted it about 14 months later - sometime this summer. It is delicious. So, we tried to do it again, with a few small adjustments, most of which was to add even more rye. Everything was fine until we decided to strip it. It would NOT boil. Usually we have a 45 minute heat up time on our stripping runs, but after 3 hours...NOTHING. I first thought it was a bad steam trap since we've had that create slow heat up times before.

What I found was that I had burned the proteins to the bottom of the pot (top of steam jacket) and wasn't getting heat transfer into the mash. I pumped it out of the still back into a fermenter, scrubbed it like hell, and put it back in. Only this time I came up to temp VERY SLOWLY. A long, 14 hour day, to strip that day and the rest of the week was long too. But we got through it and learned a lesson. Gotta take that rye up to temp slowly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I first thought it was a bad steam trap since we've had that create slow heat up times before.

I should probably be posting this in the screw-ups-you-have-made-and-are-willing-to-admit thread, but this just reminded me. When I got my black pipe cut for the steam lines the guys cutting it would frequently shove a paper towel in the end to keep the cutter oil from dripping all over the place. Somehow I managed to not remove one of these paper towels, and it eventually clogged in my steam strainer on the condensate return line. I had no idea why the jacket was not getting hot. Took me a day before I finally took the condensate line apart to check the trap/strainer/valve and found this "stuff" in the line. It took me another two days to figure out what is was/how it got there.

What I found was that I had burned the proteins to the bottom of the pot (top of steam jacket) and wasn't getting heat transfer into the mash.

Did that happen with or without a mixer/agitator on your still?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to have a Mash bill of approx. 65% Rye, 25% corn and 10% malted rye or barley.

Well, since you already have to expend the energy to boil the corn...

Hammer mill the rye and corn, bring to a boil. Cool to saccharification temperature, taking at least one hour for cooling, add 10% distiller's malt, and rest. If you try and add only 10% of malted rye or brewer's malt, imho you won't get complete conversion.

Happy and safe distilling to you....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you try and add only 10% of malted rye or brewer's malt, imho you won't get complete conversion.

Happy and safe distilling to you....

Why is distillers malt better than brewers malt? I assume it is to do with kilning temperatures but I would appreciate your explanation, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best thing ever invented for rye production is beta glucanase. And unless you want a mess on your hands, do not take rye above 150 degrees. I am convinced rye is the main ingredient in super glue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is distillers malt better than brewers malt? I assume it is to do with kilning temperatures but I would appreciate your explanation, thanks.

Distiller's malt is made using high protein barley (protein levels are the building blocks for enzymes), and is cured with very low temperatures in an effort to ensure that enzymes aren't denatured during kilning. So the finished malt has a very high Diastatic Power (DP), and very little flavor.

Brewer's malt is made using low protein barley, which means the total potential DP is relatively low, and then it is cured at higher temperatures, which denatures a portion of those enzymes in an effort to create a malty flavor in beer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best thing ever invented for rye production is beta glucanase. And unless you want a mess on your hands, do not take rye above 150 degrees. I am convinced rye is the main ingredient in super glue.

The 25% corn that this poster is using should help to suppress that. I've personally had no difficulty boiling rye with corn. You can always add stillage to the mash to help with foaming issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Denver Distiller, I was fairly sure about the lower temperature but was not aware of protein differences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently I'm using a 30 gallon testing still and equal sized boil kettle that utilizes my arms and a paddle as the agitator. Our larger 130 gallon still has an air driven agitator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can spray veg oil on the fermenting rye to keep it from foaming, I learned that at siebel. also lard was traditionally used. rest period is essential, so would using iodine tests to see where you are with the mash rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never heard of the veg oil trick. If you sour mash, foam is not an issue. There is also a great degree of secondary conversion of starch in the fermenter. So long saccarification rests are no needed as they are in brewing beer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So here's the latest regarding my Rye mashes....hoping some of you have some good tips of the trade..

I ran the rye wash after it had cleared and all I got was some tails....very strange but I figured that I hadn't gotten much in the way of conversion even though I had what appeared to be a decent ferment going on. I had used both malted rye and some malted 2 row and still got the same weak conversion which seemed to dribble on slowely for over a week. My temp rests were 100F for an hour, 120F for an hour and then slowely brought it up to 160F and held for another hour, Cooled to 140-150F and then added the rye malt or 2 row. Two of the four batches made this way seemed to convert and an iodine test confirmed no starches left. The other two kicked off bubbling away at 120F and got some freaky smells and mildewy looking bubbles. I was feeling cocky when I saw what I thought was active conversion and fermentation so I didn't feel the need to check the SG...guess I learned my lesson the hard way. Any reccomendations would be greatly welecomed and appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You must have never got it to ferment right. Good rye will ferment completely in 48 hours. Do this. Take you temp to 120 and hold it while you add fist your malt, then add the rye. Grind it into flour. Use a good beta glucanase. After you get the grain in, hold 120 15 mins. Then start raising your temp. Take it to 145 and hold it for 15 mins. Do not worry about checking it with iodine. At this point if your grain was good you want to have about 17 to 18 Brix. Drop it to about 90 or 95 degrees. Add water or backset preferably good fresh backset, to thin it down to about 12 Brix. Ph of around 4. If you used water, use citric acid to adjust ph. Use a good strong yeast and plenty of it. Aerate it for say an hour after you add the yeast. This will make a good rye.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hewn, I am curious what type of rye you are using? Coarse grind, flour, flaked? And did you pitch your yeast at 120F or am i mis-reading that? That seems high for the recommended pitch temp on most whiskey yeast I have seen. Is it possible that adding the yeast at that temp killed many of the cells off and left you with only ones that will convert a smaller sub-set of sugars? So possible you had a good mash/convert, but a bad ferment/pitch?

We just ran our first test batch yesterday (i am using finely ground rye and wheat) and it seems to be bubbling away happily now. I re-pitched my yeast after 3 hours of no activity and re-reading the recommended temps for the type of yeast I used. I had initially used the suggested temps/instructions for another type of yeast I had and think I pitched it too cold. After warming up the mash and re-pitching i had nice action within 30 minutes. My mash times/temps where pretty far off from what you did, or from what fldme suggests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rye ferments better hot. And if I read right it started fermenting by itself. If left long enough, rye will catch wild yeast and do that. No need for long hold times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pitched at 70F (Ale yeast) so that should have been fine. I believe what may have been the culprit is not enough conversion due to too coarse a grain milling. I'm also not using any supplemental Beta G. but think I'll see how that plays out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeast ale will add good flavor to corn based whiskey, not so much rye. A good strong yeast like red star whiskey, ethanol red , etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×