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My protocol for a 100% whole raw wheat mash, critique sought


needmorstuff

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Hi,

I have sourced local Winter Wheat, the variety is KWS Firefly which is a group 3 Soft wheat.

I plan to mill it myself to a coarse grain and then use DISTILAZYME AA, DISTILAZYME® GA, DISTILAVITE® HY and DISTILAMAX®HT.

This is my protocol, I'm looking for criticism and comments if people have time. Also wondering how much PH correction will be needed in peoples experience. I was planning on using citric acid and Sodium bicarbonate to adjust ph. 

I plan on 183 litre mash, made up of 120l of water and 33.6kg of wheat.

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You're going to form dough balls adding wheat to water above 140-150F, you should add the wheat and AA while heating. Enzymes other than a high temp alpha are going to be most effective resting around 130-140f. There is a whole post on which acids to use to adjust PH you should search for. I use lactic.

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You mash sounds very organized, as they should be when you are starting out and I suspect you'll need to do a bunch of them to dial in something that you can rely on. I would say this has some potential. However, it's going to be a lot of work. Grinding grain sucks up time - you'll likely need to double or triple grind it to get it fine enough to use. You mash will be thick and un filterable, which means, getting rid of it at the end of the process is going to be an ongoing headache. Not to mention the cleaning of hot sticky grain is not fun. The aforementioned grain particles will cause an insulating factor which will cause the fermentation temp to rise above 40*, so you'll need cooling and in the end you won't have much finished product to sell - so you'll need to be doing a lot of mashes. So, you'll get good at them fast. I know that because that's pretty much what we went through. My final tip is ph can get you into trouble with such small mashes and yeast will create their own conditions. Don't adjust for ph when you are starting - let nature take its course. If you mash is too acidic off the top, the yeast will never thrive. And, you are still missing a key ingredient element - which, I'll let you figure out.

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Also I wanted to coarse grind and use high temps.. coarse grind so I can remove the grain with a straining bag and hoist. Reason for not distilling on the grain initially is a don't have an agitator and it's direct heat elements in the still.

In a few months I will scale and have both an agitator and indirect heating... So then I can grind fine for better conversion. 

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No amount of ingenuity will allow you to remove wheat grains from your mash. Once they are in part of the mash, you simply won't be able to remove them. Cost effectively, anyway. Grinding flour fine is great - however, you probably won't realize much improvement in yield for the extra work. High temp conversion leads to complex sugars which you don't want in distilling.

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2 hours ago, Glenlyon said:

No amount of ingenuity will allow you to remove wheat grains from your mash. Once they are in part of the mash, you simply won't be able to remove them. Cost effectively, anyway. Grinding flour fine is great - however, you probably won't realize much improvement in yield for the extra work. High temp conversion leads to complex sugars which you don't want in distilling.

Thanks for the advice,I I was simply following what llalemand were saying about temps Always good to get the truth from people who have actually done it.

So coarse grind, forget being able to remove grain and figure out a disposal route and mash at 130 to 140.

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Dude..... I didn't realize you're try to lauter as well. As mentioned, that doesn't work well with all wheat because it has no husk, even when you have an engineered mash tun and use rice hulls, instead of a brew in a bag. At a larger scale you're going to kill yourself. I also assume the wheat isnt malted. The AA mostly just keeps things from clumping when it cooks at the high temperature, the Gluco amylase is doing the main work of converting starch to sugars, and also needs to be rested at the right temperature. Glucanase should also help with wheat. You need to read up on starch conversion to develop a feasible mash schedule.

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1 hour ago, adamOVD said:

Dude..... I didn't realize you're try to lauter as well. As mentioned, that doesn't work well with all wheat because it has no husk, even when you have an engineered mash tun and use rice hulls, instead of a brew in a bag. At a larger scale you're going to kill yourself. I also assume the wheat isnt malted. The AA mostly just keeps things from clumping when it cooks at the high temperature, the Gluco amylase is doing the main work of converting starch to sugars, and also needs to be rested at the right temperature. Glucanase should also help with wheat. You need to read up on starch conversion to develop a feasible mash schedule.

Lautering might be too kind a description, I was going to try remove some of the grain to avoid scorching.

Re conversion, and this is new to me, the llalemand GA is added after the yeast and converts in an operating temp of 25c to 32c.. simultaneous sacrification and fermentation. Weird right! I've always believed the GA is added at a much higher temp and that the higher temp aids in conversion of starch to sugars.. whereas this is cold.

The AA breaks doesn't just stop clumping "DistilaZyme® AA is an alpha amylase enzyme selected especially for its ability to break mash viscosity caused by gelatinization of starch and converting it to dextrin chains."

I'm not fully convinced and will be performing a very small trial mash and ferment.

The high temp suggested by Llalemand for adding AA must be down to a lack of care, i did tell them i was mashing raw wheat, they simply suggested the highest temp possible, and in the pdf details it says "After the DistilaZyme AA is added to the mash/cook tank, a hold time of 60 minutes is recommended at 75 - 85°C to complete the breakdown to dextrins (dependent on grain/starch type and amount in recipe)." but even 75c 167f) seems way too high for Wheat.. with it's optimal range being 136f to 146f (58c to 63c)

At large scale, which will still only be 300l mash I will be stripping on the grain in a still with both indirect heat and an agitator.

The problem is I don't have access to that and want to use the equipment I have right now, which is a 100l still with internal element and no agitator.. hence wanting to clarify the wash as much as possible by using BIAB.

What I am being told is BIAB isn't going to work. So either I perform the stripping run and distill on the grain with direct heat and no agitator or something else? it's the something else I'm trying to figure out.

Maybe I'm overthinking it and a stripping run on the grain will be ok with a spirit run after.

TDS-DistilaZyme-GA-1.pdf

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I'm about to open, so I don't have much time. We started small and it took us a year to figure things out. Enzymes are like magic, you have to know what you are doing to make them work. With a 100L still your yields will be very small and will not cover a basic overhead much less much less the overhead you'll be facing should you become successful. This month I've spent 30K in overhead. I have to sell hundreds of bottles every week to stay open. The math tells the truth. You need to do at least 3000L of mash a week to even get to the players table.

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22 minutes ago, Glenlyon said:

I'm about to open, so I don't have much time. We started small and it took us a year to figure things out. Enzymes are like magic, you have to know what you are doing to make them work. With a 100L still your yields will be very small and will not cover a basic overhead much less much less the overhead you'll be facing should you become successful. This month I've spent 30K in overhead. I have to sell hundreds of bottles every week to stay open. The math tells the truth. You need to do at least 3000L of mash a week to even get to the players table.

Hope you have a successful day!

It is true it is a small yield, it is only one aspect to my business with Gin being the main one. This is more an add on to my portfolio. I can scale later.

I have worked with enzymes in the past and yes they are amazing.. hence me not even entertaining malt this time around.

I'll go back to llalemand with my concerns around the high mash temp and report back what they say, purely for educational reasons.

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2 hours ago, needmorstuff said:

Hope you have a successful day!

It is true it is a small yield, it is only one aspect to my business with Gin being the main one. This is more an add on to my portfolio. I can scale later.

I have worked with enzymes in the past and yes they are amazing.. hence me not even entertaining malt this time around.

I'll go back to llalemand with my concerns around the high mash temp and report back what they say, purely for educational reasons.

Reach out to Ferm-Solutions. They offer superior fermentation solutions including a high temp AA.

Dr Pat Heist and his partner also own Wilderness Trail Distillery in Kentucky.  No lab-coat BS, real world experience. They started 8 years ago doing one barrel a day and now produce 260+ per day.

https://ferm-solutions.net

 

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1 hour ago, Golden Beaver Distillery said:

Reach out to Ferm-Solutions. They offer superior fermentation solutions including a high temp AA.

Dr Pat Heist and his partner also own Wilderness Trail Distillery in Kentucky.  No lab-coat BS, real world experience. They started 8 years ago doing one barrel a day and now produce 260+ per day.

https://ferm-solutions.net

 

I will, but I'm based in the UK so that may put a damper on things

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For the record, I'm not telling you to not cook your grains at a high temperature with the AA, just to add then as you are heating up. 

Also I think you are missing a step. Dextrins are still unfermentable. If your enzymes can convert unmodified grains at fermentation temperature though, more power to you.

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10 hours ago, adamOVD said:

For the record, I'm not telling you to not cook your grains at a high temperature with the AA, just to add then as you are heating up. 

Also I think you are missing a step. Dextrins are still unfermentable. If your enzymes can convert unmodified grains at fermentation temperature though, more power to you.

Gotcha,

I add the AA at whatever temp is best, the mash gelatinizes the wheat. The AA breaks down viscosity and the long chains and makes them available for the next stage.

The sacrification step happens when adding the GA after the yeast and takes place throughout fermentation apparently. Yes this is at fermentation temps according to the spec sheet.

It was @Glenlyonwho said "high temp conversion leads to complex sugars which you don't want in distilling"

I was merely following that advice and assumed your (adamovd) 130 to 140f was backing that statement up, but then you did state none HT enzymes.

but maybe I am taking everyone too literally and just need trust what the enzymes can do for me. Worse case I've lost a few pounds of wheat and have a mess to clean up.

I have since found quite a few threads where wheat is cooled at high temps, but also plenty talking of step, conversions. The plot thickens.

 

 
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On 4/29/2022 at 9:40 PM, Glenlyon said:

You mash sounds very organized, as they should be when you are starting out and I suspect you'll need to do a bunch of them to dial in something that you can rely on. I would say this has some potential. However, it's going to be a lot of work. Grinding grain sucks up time - you'll likely need to double or triple grind it to get it fine enough to use. You mash will be thick and un filterable, which means, getting rid of it at the end of the process is going to be an ongoing headache. Not to mention the cleaning of hot sticky grain is not fun. The aforementioned grain particles will cause an insulating factor which will cause the fermentation temp to rise above 40*, so you'll need cooling and in the end you won't have much finished product to sell - so you'll need to be doing a lot of mashes. So, you'll get good at them fast. I know that because that's pretty much what we went through. My final tip is ph can get you into trouble with such small mashes and yeast will create their own conditions. Don't adjust for ph when you are starting - let nature take its course. If you mash is too acidic off the top, the yeast will never thrive. And, you are still missing a key ingredient element - which, I'll let you figure out.

@Glenlyon Is the missing key element beta-glucanase? To help with an all raw wheat mash's viscosity

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Re temps.... Reply from the enzyme company.

The optimum temperature for gelatinising wheat starch when relying on endogenous (naturally occurring) enzymes is as you say 58-64 C. This conversion temperature allows the enzymes in the endogenous malt addition (typically around 8-10% of the mash bill) to break down the glucanases and amylases in the grain into more accessible sugars. Gelatinised starch is available for enzymic saccharification whereas non-gelatinised starch is not.

 

If you are not making a malt addition and relying on exogenous (added) enzymes, then the optimum temperature range for the enzyme that you are using will be the vital parameter. You can also work with a combination of endogenous and exogenous enzymes to maximise extract if you wish; this will be particular to your process.

 

The main function of the higher initial cook stage is to break the hydrogen bonds linking the starch molecules and to separate the starch from the protein matrix. This step releases and solubilises the starch ready for the enzymatic breakdown.

 

So, where you have read that a higher initial cook temperature can leave unfermentable complex sugars, I suspect this was referring to the reliance of natural enzymes with no further malt or enzyme addition downstream – this higher temperature would then denature and dramatically decrease the effectiveness of these natural enzymes.

 

As you can see from this graph on the TDS for our DistilaZyme AA:

 

11

There is enzymic activity from 50-110 C recorded, however the optimum activity is in the 70-85 C region. So, the product will work best at 70-85 but still have activity outside this range. What you don’t want to do is add it in at a much higher temperature as this will begin to deactivate it (so ideally only add at 85 C and below).

 

You mentioned Beta Glucanase in another e mail, we can certainly supply a DistilaZyme BG beta glucanase enzyme. Wheat tends naturally to have lower beta glucan levels than malt/barley/rye etc. and you may or may not need this addition depending on your raw material and mash bill.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't use citric and sodium bicarb to adjust PH. Search for citric Ph adjustment if you want/need more info on why not to do it we've talked about it a few times in the last year or two.

In general, this isn't as finicky of a process as people first make it out to be and without the right tools and experience adjusting PH in production volumes can lead to cacophonies of disastrous errors. Given you're only using wheat, I would mash out without PH adjustments and see where you end up when you get to your enzyme/yeast pitch steps as well as through fermentation. It's something you just need to do yourself on your equipment with your water, everyone will be different in their brew house based on water coming in and grain. Once you're a rockstar on the mechanics of mashing as well as real world batch sized production I would then recommend worrying about mash efficincies and ph adjustments, but only with the appropriate tools for the job. First thing to worry about is clumping and burning, master those then move on.

 

Just my .02, take it or leave it

cheers

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2 hours ago, SlickFloss said:

Don't use citric and sodium bicarb to adjust PH. Search for citric Ph adjustment if you want/need more info on why not to do it we've talked about it a few times in the last year or two.

In general, this isn't as finicky of a process as people first make it out to be and without the right tools and experience adjusting PH in production volumes can lead to cacophonies of disastrous errors. Given you're only using wheat, I would mash out without PH adjustments and see where you end up when you get to your enzyme/yeast pitch steps as well as through fermentation. It's something you just need to do yourself on your equipment with your water, everyone will be different in their brew house based on water coming in and grain. Once you're a rockstar on the mechanics of mashing as well as real world batch sized production I would then recommend worrying about mash efficincies and ph adjustments, but only with the appropriate tools for the job. First thing to worry about is clumping and burning, master those then move on.

 

Just my .02, take it or leave it

cheers

Good advice and kind of where I was at, who knows maybe my mash will be in PH tolerance with no adjustments needed. I'll know soon enough.

I'll hunt out those thread now on PH so I am armed with the info in advance. **edit - citric acid not being preferred, sulphuric or malic seem decent choices. I will be adding calcium in any case so my PH will dictate if i add gypsum as that will lower the PH - or calcium carbonate as that will raise PH**

Clumping, I have a drill mounted stirrer I plan to use. Maybe I can use some AA whilst heating to help with viscosity. 

Burning, I am going to use the BIAB method and ferment in the bag. Hopefully this will get me relatively solid free after fermenting. If necessary I'll let it settle out more before transferring to my still for a stripping run.

I need to just get on with it now, lessons to learn, mistakes to make. Small scale so not too costly. Once protocol is dialed in I can consider scale.

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