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Mashbill in pounds

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So how do you calculate how much water? i get the 2lbs grain per gallon. But lets say you want to make a 600 gallon mash. how much strike water to start with? if you start by heating 600 gallons then you add 1200lbs of grain , you will have much more than 600 total gallons in that tank. in the brewers world there are calculators for this. i have not found one for mashing corn, rye and barley. Am i missing something?

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On 8/22/2018 at 8:50 AM, Georgeous said:

So how do you calculate how much water? i get the 2lbs grain per gallon. But lets say you want to make a 600 gallon mash. how much strike water to start with? if you start by heating 600 gallons then you add 1200lbs of grain , you will have much more than 600 total gallons in that tank. in the brewers world there are calculators for this. i have not found one for mashing corn, rye and barley. Am i missing something?

I had the same question, my plan was to add grain and warm/hot water simultaneously with a flow meter on the water, then cook it with the steam jacket. That way, in the future, if it is better to add your grain to a certain amount of water, you will know the amount. From what I understand, there is no harm in steeping then cooking as opposed to getting the water to temp then adding grain(correct me if I'm wrong!!). Best of luck.

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This is a very rough calculation and the number will vary widely based on grain grind and mash bill 

on average for me a 100 pounds of grain cooked takes up the water volume of 12 gallons.

50 gallons of water

100 pounds of grain 

Yields about 62 gallons of mash

Some volume will be lost to vapor if you are bringing your mash to a boil

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so let me ask it like this, i have a 600 gallon mash tun. i am told the standard for a 10% wash is 2lbs per gallon. That said i will need 1200lbs of grain correct? now with a quarts per pound ration of 1.25  that will require 375 gallons of water 

according to rackers.org can i mash it, my 600 gallon fermenter can handle 1500 lbs of grain and at 1:25 qts/lb i will have a 588 gallon capacity. now the question is. What would target OG be of that mash? 

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Depends on the grain being mashed and your overall mash efficiency.  If you are talking corn, with solid mash efficiency, maybe 1.13 or 1.14.  Keep in mind that's more than 3 pounds a gallon ...  not a fun mash.

 

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On ‎8‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 4:01 PM, Silk City Distillers said:

Depends on the grain being mashed and your overall mash efficiency.  If you are talking corn, with solid mash efficiency, maybe 1.13 or 1.14.  Keep in mind that's more than 3 pounds a gallon ...  not a fun mash.

 

So before my 600 gallon system i was doing a 75/21/4 ~ corn/rye/barley on a smaller 50 gallon system. My background in mashing came from the brewing industry where we mashed at 150°F for 60-90 minutes. i used promash to calculate my mashes. so now that i have moved into the big boy world i am having issues scaling with this. Knowing this grain ratio, having it hammer milled, and wanting a target of 600 gallons:
1. what specific gravity should i target? previously i been targeting 1.076 OG after mash to get to a 10%ABV after fermentation

2. What do most of you target for your mash for whiskeys

3. How would you design this above? Promash and Beer Smith is for Beer. Is there something similar for Distilling. i use HoochWare and they have a recipe section but no calculators to help me with mash design. In beer we did not mash corn only grains. there is a grain entry in promash for flaked maize, flaked rye, and flaked barley; is that the same for target specific gravity calculations?

4. See my attached screenshot from promash based on 3lbs per gallon with these potential specific gravities at 75% brewhouse efficiencies i should be at 11%ABV

Any help advice would be greatly appreciated

 

BourbonRecipe.PNG.9059087f69c471568d828c71b41feb6c.PNG

 

 

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so according to https://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml 's can i mash it, this will not fit in my 600 gallon mash tun at 1.25 qt/lb . 1800lbs of grain at 1 qt/lb would require 594 gallon mash tun capacity. A grain in mash is thick, will it be ok to do 1 qt/lb???

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Georgeous - The American whiskey industry uses the term "beer gallons" to describe mash thickness for grain-in fermentation and distillation of things like corn, rye, wheat and malt. The reason for this, is most equipment and process can handle one level of mash thickness, and scaling up or down or comparing yields from plant to plant or recipe to recipe is much easier done this way. 

A beer gallon is the total volume of liquid per bushel. Big distilleries typically run a 28 to 35 gallon beer. We run a 30 gallon beer, and hit a starting gravity around 1.065.

So, for 500 gallons of finished mash, we start with 16 and 2/3rds bushels. This is important as bushels are a measure of volume, not weight, and we are working in volumes here. So this means my mash with 61 lb/bushel corn has more pounds of corn than if I used 56 lb/bushel corn, yet it has the same thickness so I know my pumps, agitators, exchangers and hoses can handle it.  We start with about 380 gallons of 90 degree F water, and use live steam inject to add about another 55 or 60 gallons worth of water getting it to high temp. With the grain we hit 500 gallons +/- 5 or 10 every time.

So for your 600 gallon recipe, as a 30 gallon beer, would be 20 bushels.

  • (20*75%) 15 bushels of corn times its test weight (56 is average, but you should test your grain) = 840 lbs
  • (20*21%) 4.2 bushels of rye (54 is average, again should test) = 227 lbs
  • (20*4%) .8 bushels of malt (38 is average) = 30.4 lbs of malt
  • Use about 528 gallons of water (less the appropriate amount of steam if using steam sparge)

These weights are for field grains, not flaked. I'd also recommend starting with a 30 gallon beer and see how your equipment runs it, and thicken/thin it out based off experience. We test all of our grains upon receiving, and update our mashbill in pounds to match the new test weight.

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On 8/31/2018 at 11:55 AM, Tom Lenerz said:

Georgeous - The American whiskey industry uses the term "beer gallons" to describe mash thickness for grain-in fermentation and distillation of things like corn, rye, wheat and malt. The reason for this, is most equipment and process can handle one level of mash thickness, and scaling up or down or comparing yields from plant to plant or recipe to recipe is much easier done this way. 

A beer gallon is the total volume of liquid per bushel. Big distilleries typically run a 28 to 35 gallon beer. We run a 30 gallon beer, and hit a starting gravity around 1.065.

So, for 500 gallons of finished mash, we start with 16 and 2/3rds bushels. This is important as bushels are a measure of volume, not weight, and we are working in volumes here. So this means my mash with 61 lb/bushel corn has more pounds of corn than if I used 56 lb/bushel corn, yet it has the same thickness so I know my pumps, agitators, exchangers and hoses can handle it.  We start with about 380 gallons of 90 degree F water, and use live steam inject to add about another 55 or 60 gallons worth of water getting it to high temp. With the grain we hit 500 gallons +/- 5 or 10 every time.

So for your 600 gallon recipe, as a 30 gallon beer, would be 20 bushels.

  • (20*75%) 15 bushels of corn times its test weight (56 is average, but you should test your grain) = 840 lbs
  • (20*21%) 4.2 bushels of rye (54 is average, again should test) = 227 lbs
  • (20*4%) .8 bushels of malt (38 is average) = 30.4 lbs of malt
  • Use about 528 gallons of water (less the appropriate amount of steam if using steam sparge)

These weights are for field grains, not flaked. I'd also recommend starting with a 30 gallon beer and see how your equipment runs it, and thicken/thin it out based off experience. We test all of our grains upon receiving, and update our mashbill in pounds to match the new test weight.

Tom, 

that is a lot for me to digest and learn. I really appreciate this explanation. i really need to test my system once finished hooking it up. Just need to finish glycol lines and electric then will see if i can make all this work as well as it does on my 50 gallon system 
So back to my original question is there a program that will do this for me? 

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On 8/31/2018 at 11:55 AM, Tom Lenerz said:

Georgeous - The American whiskey industry uses the term "beer gallons" to describe mash thickness for grain-in fermentation and distillation of things like corn, rye, wheat and malt. The reason for this, is most equipment and process can handle one level of mash thickness, and scaling up or down or comparing yields from plant to plant or recipe to recipe is much easier done this way. 

A beer gallon is the total volume of liquid per bushel. Big distilleries typically run a 28 to 35 gallon beer. We run a 30 gallon beer, and hit a starting gravity around 1.065.

So, for 500 gallons of finished mash, we start with 16 and 2/3rds bushels. This is important as bushels are a measure of volume, not weight, and we are working in volumes here. So this means my mash with 61 lb/bushel corn has more pounds of corn than if I used 56 lb/bushel corn, yet it has the same thickness so I know my pumps, agitators, exchangers and hoses can handle it.  We start with about 380 gallons of 90 degree F water, and use live steam inject to add about another 55 or 60 gallons worth of water getting it to high temp. With the grain we hit 500 gallons +/- 5 or 10 every time.

So for your 600 gallon recipe, as a 30 gallon beer, would be 20 bushels.

  • (20*75%) 15 bushels of corn times its test weight (56 is average, but you should test your grain) = 840 lbs
  • (20*21%) 4.2 bushels of rye (54 is average, again should test) = 227 lbs
  • (20*4%) .8 bushels of malt (38 is average) = 30.4 lbs of malt
  • Use about 528 gallons of water (less the appropriate amount of steam if using steam sparge)

These weights are for field grains, not flaked. I'd also recommend starting with a 30 gallon beer and see how your equipment runs it, and thicken/thin it out based off experience. We test all of our grains upon receiving, and update our mashbill in pounds to match the new test weight.

Tom, 

so most mash calculators are designed for making beer not spirits and do not support or give yields for corn. 1st question does a calculator exist for distillers? Also what you wrote here for my 600 gallon system should that yield me a 1.065 starting gravity? if so that only has an alcohol potential of 8.58%ABV. i want to have a 10%ABV potential, so how to scale that? 

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19 hours ago, Georgeous said:

Tom, 

so most mash calculators are designed for making beer not spirits and do not support or give yields for corn. 1st question does a calculator exist for distillers?

I am not familiar with one, but the math isn't that hard.

19 hours ago, Georgeous said:

Also what you wrote here for my 600 gallon system should that yield me a 1.065 starting gravity? if so that only has an alcohol potential of 8.58%ABV. i want to have a 10%ABV potential, so how to scale that? 

I'd recommend starting with the thickness I suggested and see how well your equipment handles the thickness. If it handles it fine, then you can try thicker, just lower the number of your beer gallons, maybe by increments of 2. So try a 28 gallon beer (600/28 ~ 21.5 bushels) and if that is OK up the thickness. Keeping in mind, what you "want" and what you "can do" might be different things. For us, especially with rye, 30 gallon beer is plenty thick.

In addition to being more difficult to move, a lot of thick beers might have a hard time converting or fermenting out, leaving you to loss of yield. We see this with high gravity rum washes on the forum all the time. People have really high starting gravities and struggle to finish, have long fermentations or stress their yeast. 

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On 1/16/2017 at 2:54 PM, Stumpy's said:

Depends on how high of an alcohol content you want your wash to have. This is always a nice reference if you are trying to build a recipe from scratch: https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/calculator/

If you are going to shoot for a 10-12% wash, I'd guess that you are going to be in the neighborhood of 1,750-2,000 pounds, depending on what kind of efficiency you are expecting. Please keep in mind that there are may variables in the above assumptions....other things you are going to want to think about are yeast attenuation, grist profile/size, enzymes or malt only, will you cereal mash, etc..

Cheers and good luck!

Adam

Adam,

when using brewers friend, what do you select for the corn? do you use the flaked corn as reference and if so how accurate is it.There are several of the programs out there but none seem tailored for distilling. yes the rye and barley we can use to calculate but the corn is the odd thomas

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my goal is a 600 gallon mash of 75/21/4 Corn/rye/barley and an OG of 1.076 which when fermented out all the way will yield me a 10% ABV wash

my problem is i don't have a calculator for corn

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On 12/28/2018 at 9:25 AM, Georgeous said:

my goal is a 600 gallon mash of 75/21/4 Corn/rye/barley and an OG of 1.076 which when fermented out all the way will yield me a 10% ABV wash

my problem is i don't have a calculator for corn

There is no value for field corn in these calculators because it varies, and it can vary by a lot. 

Again, I stand by my recommendations above. You may want a 10% abv mash, but start thinner and see if your equipment handles it OK before committing to a thick mash that could plug your pumps, valves, HEX and not stir well with your agitators. And if it doesn't ferment out all the way so you are throwing money away anyway.

If you want higher yields, but are limited by thickness, look for higher bulk density/test weight/bushel weight grain. We use a corn that averages 61 or 62 pounds per bushel versus the average 56, that's a full 10% more weight (and therefore starch and alcohol) than we had with the 56 pound bushels. Yet the thickness of the mash is the same, and therefore my equipment is unaffected.

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Hey Tom

again thanks and your advice makes great sense. i am buying locally sourced Texas grain and the corn is 56lbs per bushel. i will scale as i go. i do have huge agitators on my mash tun and fermenters so i should be able to scale, but will tread the waters first. Check us out 
https://www.facebook.com/ShireDistilling/videos/1151935854947206/

Thank you again for all your help
CHeers!!! 
btw what distillery are you and where? would love to check you guys out some day

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1 hour ago, Tom Lenerz said:

I'm at Wollersheim just north of Madison, WI 30 minutes or so. We have been making wine for over 45 years and distilling since 2010.

https://www.wollersheim.com/distillery/

We are in Brookshire, TX just outside of Houston, we will be headed up to Milwaukee area soon for wife's high school reunion, will try to come check you guys out. 

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On 12/19/2018 at 1:43 PM, Georgeous said:

Tom, 

so most mash calculators are designed for making beer not spirits and do not support or give yields for corn. 1st question does a calculator exist for distillers? Also what you wrote here for my 600 gallon system should that yield me a 1.065 starting gravity? if so that only has an alcohol potential of 8.58%ABV. i want to have a 10%ABV potential, so how to scale that? 

Tom

one thing not in your description is amount of water. were you basing this on 2lbs per gallon?

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Tom, 

disregard previous i see you said start with 528 gallons of water. i am not steam injecting, we have steam jackets heating from outside in. i am just curious how you came with the 528 gallons as 2lbs per gallon should be 548? 

 

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3 hours ago, Georgeous said:

Tom, 

disregard previous i see you said start with 528 gallons of water. i am not steam injecting, we have steam jackets heating from outside in. i am just curious how you came with the 528 gallons as 2lbs per gallon should be 548? 

 

It was scaled based off of what we are doing here in-house for our 30 gallon beer, but we run direct steam so I added in the volume of water added by steam. It's pretty close to the 2 lbs per gallon, so you can use that number if you want, but that thickness won't scale up.

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