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Sour mash


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Does anyone have any experience with leaving mash from a previous run in the tank for a new run? I'm looking for ratios that you use to add new grain. For instance, does the spent grain replace some new grain going in or do you add grain just like you would normally?

Also I'm using flaked corn, roasted rye and barley. Does anyone have any ideas on how to reduce cost? Has anyone used corn meal?

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  • 3 weeks later...

On your first question: In a previous life I have seen that done with sugar washes with corn added to them (no cook method) that were not distilled on the grain. The grain left over stayed in the fermenter and was reset immediately with more sugar/water or a combination backset left from the run & sugar / water.

There are some good threads on here talking about sour mash methods so maybe search for them for more details.

Since I don't have a true mash cooker, I add water to my stillage inside the still, heat to where I want it, screen / pump the backset over to my open top fermenter / mix in my grain. Once everything is mixed and my iodine test is good, then I'll add cold water to bring it down to pitching temp.

I end up with 31 to 33% backset on a 500 gal fermentation. All the spent grain is used for pig feed.

Hope that helps a little.

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>> Also I'm using flaked corn... Does anyone have any ideas on how to reduce cost?

Are you able to carry out a cereal mash on the corn? I can get miled corn for a bit over a dime / lb here in Indiana. Last time I checked flaked maize was just north of a buck and a quarter a lb. Conducting a cereal mash with enzymes is really simple. Bring it down to temp and add your malt & rye. Voilà!! Inexpensive bourbon mash. And then you can use the backset to sour subsequent batches.

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