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sparge water, with Brettanomyces.....yummmm


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At the brewery we are making beer at 3500L per batch and I have been collecting the leftover sparge waters about 600L and fermenting them to capture the alcohol after I distill it to fill a barrel with a mix of different all grain spirit. I only get about 20L per run as the abv is low and I do not want to add sugar to boost it up at this point.

My question is the last time i did this my mash cooled naturally and picked up a Brettanomyces, yes it smells like horse sweat not bad but not good, I pitched my yeast anyway to see what would happen.

The SG started at 1.025  has not changed much after a week it is 1.020 and nothing appears to be happening apart from some froth on the top of the mash the ph is 3.8 low as heck...

any ideas, would be helpful, however I may dump it and that would be no real loss, only time and yeast.

 

cheers

workpress

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For your direct question I don't have any advice. For the sparge water in general do what the Scots do and use that sparge water as the first water for the new brew. Then you're not wasting it. Getting 20l isn't really worth the time & energy usage is it?

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So an update... I bumped up the PH to 5.6 and added 25 KG of sugar to the mix then I added 10 Gal of great yeast from the cone of a beer that is fermenting, so this morning the fermenter is warm and it is rolling beautifully.

 Foreshot I totally agree it would be really great to use the sparge water in my next mashes and in the near future i will try to see if I can do so.

thank you for your comment.

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I am almost positive that the Brettanomyces contaminated my wash because i let it cool naturally out in the open air, in the brewery and outside in the snow, but it was mostly uncovered for almost 24 hours...

The next batch I ran through the chiller and pitched yeast within 2 hours of collecting the sparge water.

The entire process is an exercise in recycling and testing ideas, it is not efficient at all but I am learning and that is good

 

thank you

Workpress

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10 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

Brett and distilling don’t mix

How does it come across? Concentrated horse?

 

2 minutes ago, Workpress said:

I am learning and that is good

Yeah I do the same. Not everything I do works but it leads to something better - even if that better is not repeating what I just did.

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1 hour ago, Foreshot said:

How does it come across? Concentrated horse?

 

Surprisingly no, it's the phenol off-flavors that dominate and smear straight through hearts in a way that's uncuttable.  While there might be lots of interesting characteristics, how to access them without the off flavor?  I have similar complaints with yeast strains that are POF (phenolic off flavor) positive - like traditional hefeweizen strains.  In some beer styles that clovey spice is desirable, in distillation it morphs into a kind of burnt bandaid, medicinal, plastic.  You might be able to make it work in a smoked whiskey style, as some of those flavors are complimentary (or characteristic) to smoke.  I did notice that it does get tamed a bit on oak, but not sure if it's just being masked by more dominant flavors, still highly recognizable.

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Do you have a hot liquor tank you use for sparge water for the next batch? If so the last runnings could get blended into there, and the temp would kill any microbes. Pretty interesting idea, but I wonder how much sugar you would actually reclaim, and if it would be worth gumming up the hot liquor tank.

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the Brew Master here would kill me if I did that LOL

The smell has mellowed but it still smells like my horse Jack after a good run...

Distilling the Brett fun today, we will see how it goes...

 

cheers

Workpress

 

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After distilling the slight nose of some  barnyard smell is still there however the taste is pleasant enough, so I am adding it to my mixed run barrel to age for a few years and we shall see what we get. 

cheers 

Workpress

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