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Mashing 100% Rye Whiskey


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Contemplating a 100% rye whiskey

first has anyone done one and what do you like or dislike?

so from my past life as a beer brewer i have done many rye beers and mashed at 150°F for 60-90 minutes for full starch conversion to fermentable sugars. This is the ideal temperature and time it takes for roller milled grain to convert. Know in my distilling world and equipment i do grain in mashes like most of us. When making a bourbon after high temp cooking my grain i chill down my mash to 150° and add my 21% of rye and 4% of barley. i liquefy really well and hit my numbers i am targeting. 
But with a 100% rye grain bill that has been hammer milled to a rye flour, will it liquefy at the 150°F temp ? Do i need to convert sugars first at 150° then raise the temp? Will i need enzymes? 

Anyone willing to share their mash schedule for an all or very high rye?

 

thank you again in advance

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Is any part of the rye going to be malted? That will determine if you will need enzymes (what type) and/or how much.

Have you ever distilled rye whiskey before to know what to expect?  If not, have you ran a 51% rye before?  If so how did you handle foaming issues if you had them.

I myself would not grind to a flour, but that's just me.  Try a small batch first time to get a feel for running rye.  Some people find it a non-event while others have a lot of trouble with rye.

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I have done 21% rye whiskeys not true 51% or higher. i am aware of the foaming and planned on using antifoaming agents. We will be using unmalted rye so will be adding enzymes. As our mash tun does not have a false bottom we need to liquify the grain. it will not liquify if just cracked in a roller mill, at least i dont think it will. 

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We do a high (un-malted) rye (92%). We use a high temp alpha amylase that does its thing best around 180F, but we pitch it with our initial grain at around 110F, so it's in there for the whole cook. Really achieves a nice, workable consistency. After the crash we pitch a gluco amylase as we fill the fermenter. Great consistency, conversion, and overall results. I use a dab of no-foam right after the alpha add, and a bit on each stripping run. Foaming has not been an issue.

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There is a distillery in NY that was known to do 100% green (unmalted) rye whiskey without addition of enzymes. It is hard to do, but possible, because rye is one of the few grains that has some enzyme available in the unmalted grain and is one of the easier grains to convert.

We do our "rye" whiskey with 100% malt rye.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Everything on here previously stated I agree with. We cook a lot of Rye every week and cycle between 95% R and 51%R mash bills, as well as a 44% Rye bourbon once a year. Viscosity and protease enzymes 👍

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/14/2020 at 5:04 PM, SlickFloss said:

Everything on here previously stated I agree with. We cook a lot of Rye every week and cycle between 95% R and 51%R mash bills, as well as a 44% Rye bourbon once a year. Viscosity and protease enzymes 👍

 

 

are you using malted or unmalted rye? what are advantages / disadvantages of each?

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We cook raw rye flour here for main production we have had fun with malted rye in the past but only a super sack here and there. The only local malting house we know that can support our volume is briess and they can't provide organic Rye from home state. Beyond enzymatic activity yeah the malts will have different character than raws in terms of flavor. All depends on what it is and how it's done. If you re trying to make your bread on the fact that you converted with no enzyme go for it but personally I feel results with it so I  use enzyme and I mash in a way that depends entirely on enzyme for conversion. I believe malts functionality from an enzyme perspective in a high corn rye mash bill is better geared toward liquefaction than conversion. Cook it all hot, convert it with enzyme, mate it with wood, intelligently blend it, rinse repeat

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1 hour ago, SlickFloss said:

We cook raw rye flour here for main production we have had fun with malted rye in the past but only a super sack here and there. The only local malting house we know that can support our volume is briess and they can't provide organic Rye from home state. Beyond enzymatic activity yeah the malts will have different character than raws in terms of flavor. All depends on what it is and how it's done. If you re trying to make your bread on the fact that you converted with no enzyme go for it but personally I feel results with it so I  use enzyme and I mash in a way that depends entirely on enzyme for conversion. I believe malts functionality from an enzyme perspective in a high corn rye mash bill is better geared toward liquefaction than conversion. Cook it all hot, convert it with enzyme, mate it with wood, intelligently blend it, rinse repeat

slickfloss what size batches are you doing? do you use fermcap s and if so when do you add and how much? directions say 1-8 ml per hl which in my case is .5 cup to 600 gallon batch. But is that added to the mash or the fermenter after cooling?

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we run 3-3.5k gallon ferments. Don't use Ferm Cap S specifically but do use anti foam- 5 star Defoamer 880 for the column 51 and 95 you can purchase in 1, 5, and 55 gallon larger formats. Rye is going to foam whether it be in fermentation or distillation. Depending on the mash bill and the method you can ditch it and just be more careful. If I'm running the pot for shits on a rye mash and I had a good ferment did have some foaming but it was well mitigated with head space etc f it ill run it and just be careful on my hot break but if I were running commercial runs only on a single pot trying to make as much Rye as possible (maybe trying to strip twice in a. day) antifoam is gonna be your best friend to shorten the stripping runs a touch once your other issues are all dialed in.  Antifoam in fermentation can prevent foaming but it can also interfere with your Krausen layer which depending on who you are and what you believe in may impact your willingness to add it. If you're running a column for money I say always use it because that what I do. If you make money not using it rock on don't do it.

 

Edit: In rereading what you said I would not add it during mashing. It is more common during fermentation to mitigate over foaming ferms, or in distillation to keep from fouling your still head/column. If it's for the latter you can wait until you need it to use it, but I've never heard of any harm using it during fermentation, we just don't because we have about 4k gallon capacity so we have head space for this reason. We ferment em hot and heavy (in Rye percentage), foam away we will contain it! Add AF pre distillation while circulating.

 

Right now running keg beer in column, recircing on high with antifoam to Degas. Shits crazy.

Edited by SlickFloss
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17 minutes ago, SlickFloss said:

we run 3-3.5k gallon ferments. Don't use Ferm Cap S specifically but do use anti foam- 5 star Defoamer 880 for the column 51 and 95 you can purchase in 1, 5, and 55 gallon larger formats. Rye is going to foam whether it be in fermentation or distillation. Depending on the mash bill and the method you can ditch it and just be more careful. If I'm running the pot for shits on a rye mash and I had a good ferment did have some foaming but it was well mitigated with head space etc f it ill run it and just be careful on my hot break but if I were running commercial runs only on a single pot trying to make as much Rye as possible (maybe trying to strip twice in a. day) antifoam is gonna be your best friend to shorten the stripping runs a touch once your other issues are all dialed in.  Antifoam in fermentation can prevent foaming but it can also interfere with your Krausen layer which depending on who you are and what you believe in may impact your willingness to add it. If you're running a column for money I say always use it because that what I do. If you make money not using it rock on don't do it.

 

Edit: In rereading what you said I would not add it during mashing. It is more common during fermentation to mitigate over foaming ferms, or in distillation to keep from fouling your still head/column. If it's for the latter you can wait until you need it to use it, but I've never heard of any harm using it during fermentation, we just don't because we have about 4k gallon capacity so we have head space for this reason. We ferment em hot and heavy (in Rye percentage), foam away we will contain it! Add AF pre distillation while circulating.

 

Right now running keg beer in column, recircing on high with antifoam to Degas. Shits crazy.

so not sure i understand, do you put anti foamer in your mash, if so at what point?

do you put it in your fermenter? 

Do you add it to your still?

Thank you again

 

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I use defoamer 880 which is available in the sizes I mentioned

 

I prefer to add it to my fermenter post fermentation before I start drawing out of it to feed the column because I don't like its impact on fermentation, I leave enough head space where I don't care about a little (multiple feet) of foaming. Other operators in our facility would argue it doesn't matter and pitch it for fermentation. I am on an ester quest. Others are not.

 

If you or anyone else reading this doesn't want to use antifoam thats fine if you have a pot still and you're mindful of your hot break, I would never reccomend a high rye mash go through a continuously fed column without anti foam

 

I would not add it when mashing (cooking of grains for conversion)

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  • 3 months later...

I make a 100% Rye mash with no malt with decent yields. The trick is to add enough water so it doesn't get so thick. We bring the temp up to 90c and add high temp enzymes, which I understand is hotter than most people take it, but it works for us *shrug*

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very cool, are you using malted or un malted rye or combination of both. We ran six 600 gallon 90% un malted rye mashes and for most part all went well. The last two we added another bioglucanase addition in the dough in ground water temp to reduce viscosity and that helped make cooling a breeze. Rye was most challenging mash but we hit our numbers on all runs. Either we studied right or someone above gave a litlle help 
We will next try 100% unmalted rye, i cant see how 10% would change much. Thank you for your feedback, look forward to coming to check you guys out some time. 

 

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On 8/20/2020 at 6:45 PM, Georgeous said:

very cool, are you using malted or un malted rye or combination of both. We ran six 600 gallon 90% un malted rye mashes and for most part all went well. The last two we added another bioglucanase addition in the dough in ground water temp to reduce viscosity and that helped make cooling a breeze. Rye was most challenging mash but we hit our numbers on all runs. Either we studied right or someone above gave a litlle help 
We will next try 100% unmalted rye, i cant see how 10% would change much. Thank you for your feedback, look forward to coming to check you guys out some time. 

 

Unmalted. Yeah come on by, thankfully we are open.

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On 8/20/2020 at 4:44 PM, Cosmic.Distiller said:

I make a 100% Rye mash with no malt with decent yields. The trick is to add enough water so it doesn't get so thick. We bring the temp up to 90c and add high temp enzymes, which I understand is hotter than most people take it, but it works for us *shrug*

Same, we take 100% unmalted up to around 90c as well.  We tried lower, but yields drop precipitously.

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4 minutes ago, Silk City Distillers said:

We cook at 90c - 100% unmalted - all exogenous enzyme conversion - Beta glucanase, High temp alpha amylase and Glucoamylase.

60 minutes in a rush, but holding at temp for 90 minutes give us yields that are a touch better (2-3%).

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12 minutes ago, Georgeous said:

Silk, what does that mean you take it up to 90c

Centigrade

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17 minutes ago, Silk City Distillers said:

We cook at 90c - 100% unmalted - all exogenous enzyme conversion - Beta glucanase, High temp alpha amylase and Glucoamylase.

exactly what we do, but thats because we learned from you. however we only did 90% unmalted rye 10% barley. going forward all our ryes will be 100%

thanks 

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On 8/23/2020 at 8:24 AM, Silk City Distillers said:

We cook at 90c - 100% unmalted - all exogenous enzyme conversion - Beta glucanase, High temp alpha amylase and Glucoamylase.

We do the exact same. Nothing better than 100% rye :)

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Question for the brain trust - we're looking to do some variants of our 100% rye.  Working with a local farmer, we're looking to smoke some raw rye.

Anyone ever gone down this path?  It's not very typical to smoke raw grain, but we don't see any reason to malt, if what we are really after is the smoke.

 

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3 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

Question for the brain trust - we're looking to do some variants of our 100% rye.  Working with a local farmer, we're looking to smoke some raw rye.

Anyone ever gone down this path?  It's not very typical to smoke raw grain, but we don't see any reason to malt, if what we are really after is the smoke.

 

We have smoked all type of stuff raw and malted grains and botanicals. Depending on how much you want to do we do it on a Traeger grill! Could do it on any smoker, Just put trays on your smoker like its Mac and cheese!

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