Jump to content
ADI Forums
roots

Dextrose to improve yields

Recommended Posts

So I am looking at different ways to improve yield and sugar content without actually forcing a change to the definition of "corn whiskey". I have been doing research on beer production and commonly dextrose can be added prior to fermentation to improve potential alcohol.

Since dextrose (corn sugar) is a 100% corn product, if I add 1/2 lb per gallon, can I call my product "corn whiskey".

http://www.amazon.com/Corn-Sugar--50-lbs/dp/B0064OACFO/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1391302120&sr=8-9&keywords=corn+sugar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm interested in the same question, trying to improve our yields and wanted to add sugar.

We are doing an " American Whiskey " but our production equipment is lacking currently and I need to get better yields ASAP

But could not find a outright definition of what this type of product would be considered

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whiskey is by law to be made out of grain. The corn sugar may pass, but damn if I would do it. Figure out what your current bushel yeild is and then find out if it is where it should be, and if not, why and what to do to fix the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will make it hot.

I disagree that it will make it hot (you are possibly thinking of cane sugar?), but otherwise agree that it must be more cost effective to better convert the grain you are using, surely?

As to whether it would be allowed, you must ask the arbiters of such things directly. I would be hesitant to presume that all "corn sugar" is always made from maize, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both are expensive shortcuts, that will make poor whiskey. Use grain. We are talking craft Distilling right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just trying to help out here and help you make smart choices. The cost of extract vs rye grain is very great. Be hard to make money that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding these small amounts of dextrose doesn't significantly change the character or flavor of the whiskey in the experiments I have done. It *does* improve both the original gravity and potential alcohol of the wort by around 10% which is meaningful and is not expensive. Actually adding dextrose is cheaper than the amount of grain I would need to add to accomplish the same Original Gravity. So far I have not seen hot fermentation or esters or bad congeners being introduced with this method. Really. It still makes great whiskey as long as you don't get greedy and add too much. I consider experimentation with these choices part of the craft (all may not agree).

I have seen legal definitions of whiskey indicating that adding any amount of sugar even one grain, means that it is not considered "corn whiskey", I am wondering how strict this is.

Just my opinion and approach, I respect yours too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1/2 lb per gallon doesn't sound that small to me.

Seems like a slippery path to start down. Seems like a shortcut, and one of questionable integrity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I'm wondering how strict this is." That's kind of a funny question. Of course it's strict, it's not just someone's opinion, it's the law on the matter. It's not about telling you what to make. You can make what you want. There are laws that say what you can call something. It protects the consumer from being misled. Whiskey isn't made with sugar. You can't say pretty please, it just isn't made with sugar. If you enjoy what you are making, and want to try and sell it, then you be up front and honest about what it is. Find out how you need to label it and be proud of your product. I get why you wanna add the sugar, but then your bypassing all the hard work and research and development that you need to do to get your yields to a happy place, if it is whiskey your wanting to make. And if not then just call your product what it really is. It's simple really. Not trying to be rude, just keep it simple and honest. Scrounge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. I am pretty sure all of you are correct, and the legal definition will not allow it to be called whiskey if dextrose is added. This is the root of the original question

2. This distinction seems arbitrary because really all dextrose is is corn sugar extracted from corn starches using enzymes, which is is what we do when we mash.

3. If 1/2 lb per gallon isn't acceptable to this group exactly how much is? My guess is 0.

I will be talking with my regulatory consultant on this and probably do whatever they say which is most likely 0. Clearly this approach is controversial, it just seems like the distinction isn't a meaningful. I don't think doing extra work with no clear impact on the taste or quality of a product makes my craft better, or the product. I want to be agile, I want to use chemistry and I want to innovate. If I can make great whiskey that people love with less cost and great quality that means I can have a better chance of survival. That's part innovation, creativity and experimentation.

It would be my urging to caution us from adopting "dogmas" (outside of the law of course) or self imposed restrictions that constrain our agility or our ability to innovate. While adding sugar is no innovation, its been a staple of american moonshine for over 100 years, it is a symbol of the american history to innovate while you are entitled to argue that it was no improvement.

Another interesting innovation example is Cleveland Whiskey, is it really aged whiskey?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2013/05/29/cleveland-whiskey-ages-bourbon-in-one-week/

In terms of honesty, I don't think that I would be posting on a public forum about this topic if honesty and visibility we not paramount to me. Not doing it the same way as everyone before me, or trying new things does not make me dishonest. It makes me an experimenter and a maker. If this is a slippery path, what is the lubricant and where is the destination? Making rum and calling it whiskey? Trying to get credit for making whiskey, which *should be hard*, cheating and it is now easy for this unfair cheater? If it tastes like corn whiskey, is made from corn and barley malt, yeast, enzymes and water and *nothing else* why do you care? I respect all of your opinions and approaches, I am honestly curious about your perspectives on this issue.

Respectfully.

Clay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Clay. I respect your opinion and approach as well. And I here all of what your saying so passionately. Id love to sit down and share a drink of your what-ever-you-get-to-call-it. I bet it's a nice drink. I was only trying to say, make what you want-call it what it is. The honesty comment was not aimed at you per se. I don't know you. I just ment in the broad sense that one could spike there grain ferments with sugar and not say, and claim it to be all grain and label it as that way. And the keep it simple part is that I don't understand all the hub -bub about it. You or I didn't make the rules and we don't get to change them(or at least I got other shit to do besides trying to change them). Make your product, it's your business. Sell the shit out of it. It's what we all aim to do. You just can't call that mash bill whiskey. Simple. Can't you call it moonshine? Nothing wrong with that name. It's pretty popular right now.

Respect

Scrounge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang Roger, that's some scientificness going on there. So if you we're suspected of doing it, you certainly could get caught. Doesn't sound worth it. Call it moonshine. Scrounge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this is a slippery path, what is the lubricant and where is the destination?

Respectfully.

The lubricant is that if 1/2lb dextrose per gallon (2-3% abv?) equates to an increase in the %abv of your wort of 10%, it means your wort is something like 20-30% abv. Pretty lubricious!

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

×