Jump to content

Silk City Distillers

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Silk City Distillers last won the day on July 6

Silk City Distillers had the most liked content!

Profile Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

10,030 profile views

Silk City Distillers's Achievements

Active Contributor

Active Contributor (3/3)



  1. I'd really love to lay down a barrel of whiskey, with no heads cut at all, right off the still, just to see what happens over a few years. I suspect, that by 4 or 5 years, it doesn't at all come across as an overly heady whiskey. This would answer my question though, how far into the heads do you need to go to retain the yeast ester contribution (or does it even matter).
  2. Agree, but I think the impact on aging is different across yeast and malt. I think that aging is far more detrimental to yeast character, than it is to roast/Maillard flavors. Sure, yes, over time oak dominates and overpowers, especially over the more subtle flavors, but the difference here is, the yeast contribution esters - they are clearly gone by 3-4 years. The roast was still clear as day, even if overshadowed. I think the counterbalance to this is different as well. To maximize yeast contribution longer term, you need to cut deeper into late heads. To maximize the roast contribution longer term, you need to cut deeper into the tails. In both cases, there is a limit too that. While it's easier to increase the roast contribution by simply adding more, that's not necessarily easily done on the yeast side. Sure, you can ferment a bit warmer, or under pitch to increase yeast contribution, but those impacts tend to be minor.
  3. IMHO, on the raw/malt ratio - it's varying the level of clean/congener, with raw grain generally producing a cleaner, less distinctive spirit compared to it's malt equivalent. It's not a better/worse type difference here, but it is a difference.
  4. My 2 cents. Just a few weeks back I mashed and distilled a "chocolate" bourbon , 30% overall dark roast malt: 10% Midnight Wheat (black as coffee), 10% Chocolate Malt, 10% Caramel Malt Was clearly in stout territory during the mashing process, huge coffee/chocolate flavor profiles. Deep, dark, bitter, complex. We pushed this further than we did with a previous "chocolate" wheat whiskey, which was about 20% dark roast malts. I thought this was still fairly positive (I am not afraid of bitter profiles). With the previous wheat - the coffee/chocolate was still fairly prominent at 2 years. We followed that up with a 7 grain bourbon (ALL THE GRAINS!!@!) - Roast Oat Malt, Biscuit Rye Malt, Caramel Barley Malt, Dark Wheat Malt, Flaked Rice, Briess Sorghum, and of course plain ol' corn. This one was about 40% roast malt, again, though nothing as dark as the Midnight Wheat or Chocolate Malt in the other batch. Wow wow wow, amazing toasted nut flavor profile, roast toasty. Really didn't know what to expect with this batch, but it was 51% corn to keep it bourbon-ish. There were some old threads here and there talking about keeping the percentages on the low side. If you stay in the lighter roast category, I don't see why you couldn't go 100%, even in some of the mid-level roasts, 50% is in no way too much. Even on the very dark side, it's not at all "too much" at 20-30%. I see absolutely no reason why you wouldn't just substitute caramel malt for 2 row barley in just about every situation, and yield a far better result.
  5. Keep in mind restrictions around plastic IBC - since you didn’t specify: https://www.dalkita.com/prohibition-on-flammable-liquids-in-plastic-totes/
  6. This process is generally executed within a single tank, as a single batch, where time, temperature, pH, and tank contents are varied depending on the process steps - see Foreshot's links. Pressure cooking is very uncommon, and largely unnecessary, at craft scale. This actually has more to do with speeding up gelatinization time, as opposed to increasing starch conversion. You don't really see this anymore, as many large scale (fuel) plants, have moved over to inline starch gelatinization (continuous mashing). Realistically, almost any vessel can be used since we don't lauter corn or rye. We only need mechanisms to heat, to cool, and to be able to easily clean. Having a built in mixer is very nice to have, but you can stand by with a paddle getting a steam facial too. What you'll find working with 100% raw mashes, is that they are indeed a bit more "stubborn" with regard to gelatinization and overall handling than malt. This generally means having to cook them at a higher temperature, for longer, and possibly milling finer, and it usually means dealing with a thicker, higher viscosity mash (higher glucans, etc etc).
  7. At that scale, an interesting option would be to oversize your product condenser (to run a slower flow rate, higher exit temperature), and reclaim the hot water in a stainless IBC tote - reuse the hot water for mashing and cleaning. Less expensive up-front outlay, more economical. Even with a chiller you'll need a large storage tank, and IBC totes are very convenient. On the plus side, having bulk hot water on tap will reduce your mash times.
  8. Ethanol and Methanol form an azeotrope, no? Isn't that one of the primary requirements for a denaturant (so that it is not easily removed)?
  9. High and low wines refer to tails cuts in this application, not heads.
  10. There is a greater risk of denaturing enzyme by adding it directly to the water, as opposed to adding it after mash-in, after pH was adjusted (if necessary). Thicker mashes are generally more protective to fragile enzyme. For maximum fermentability and yield, you should always pitch enzyme into the most ideal condition possible - this means ideal temp, ideal pH, and ideal timing from a step mash perspective. If you consider how to design your workflow to ensure tighter batch-to-batch consistency (making great whiskey once is easy, making great whiskey every time is hard), you'll likely need to consider these parameters in that. Not to say that once you get into a production "groove", hitting your targets becomes far easier. Worked in an Italian restaurant as a kid, there was this brilliant old Italian pizza guy, the only guy in the place allowed to make the dough. While there was probably a recipe at one point in time, he did everything by look and feel because he could, and because he probably did it ten thousand times before. I worked with him on the weekends for something like 5 years, and I couldn't ever come close.
  11. Wow, where to start. Milling is absolutely necessary, everyone mills their rye (not sure where you got the idea it wasn't required). Grain is grain, there is nothing wrong with the grain. 158f is not hot enough for unmalted rye. Try holding above 200f for maximal conversion. Total time will be based on your mill, coarse or fine. Alpha Amylase alone will not yield a fermentable wash when mashing 100% unmalted grain, that's only half the conversion. Do not add enzyme to water, it's added to mash. You need to mash in, get your pH, adjust pH, and then dose your enzyme. While your pH could be a bit lower, but that's not your problem. You need to also use glucoamylase, and that will have a pH and temperature range that is very different from alpha. Not surprised about your 2 brix, probably an optimistic guess since your recipe basically just makes dirty water. Suspect your other brew store batches were made with malted rye (having all the necessary enzyme, and far easier to mash than unmalted rye). Why are you adding rice hulls? There is no way you are lautering a 100% raw rye mash, not without a far more complex step mash method and additional enzymes (beta-glucanase and xylanase), and even then it'll still be miserable.
  12. You say mash pump, but what type of pump are you using? Asking because a 1.5" lobe pump will have no problem moving juniper berries, but a a 1.5" air diaphragm pump will likely have issues with the berries causing the diaphragms to stay open, losing suction.
  13. Was a fun post over at Stilldragon a year or so back with some interesting legal strategies around aligning to the “syrup” requirement in the EU regulations. I mean, you are simply reconstituting dehydrated cane juice into syrup as a precursor to actually making the rum.
  14. What @JustAndy says above is the crux of this. Some countries specifically state molasses, and don't include the broader set of cane sugar types like the US does.
  15. I think Adam nailed it. As long as you don't have major clumping problems when mixing in fine milled grain, the higher temp does keep solids suspended better. We mash in rye with a colder starting temp, as we use a step mash process. In our old tun (lacking serious agitation), the rye would sit in a pile at the bottom of the tun at the start, and as the temp moved upwards, began to gel and thicken the liquid, it would finally hit a point where it would stay in suspension. Was a frustrating process as it required going in with a mash paddle to stir up until you hit that point. Our new tun has a big mixer, so we don't at all notice this happening.
  • Create New...