Forum Replies Created
February 29, 2016 at 8:49 pm in reply to: First Time Question aka I may have goofed up HELP PLEASE! #5030
Did you by chance take a starting gravity reading?
With just the sugar (not counting for any sugar you will get out of the other ingredients) if you ferment down to 1.000 you will yield around 6%.
I’d just let it ferment and then run it. It will be fine.
I am not worried about a leak or two as long as it doesn’t explode!
It only takes one leak for an explosion. Open flame and flammable vapor is not a joke.
I would look into the 1 gallon kit from clawhammer- $150 bucks and all copper. I personally don’t trust those cheap stills that are made in china. It is a good starter unit- all copper. You can add a thumper if you have some fab skills. I’m sure you could modify the column to go into a thumper if you are into that.
If you get one of those I would love to hear how it works for you- report back with what you buy
Let it sit for a few days and take another reading.
That is strange.
Did you add more yeast? What temperature is the fermenter at currently?
I have no experience with any of those units– but they don’t look all that well made. I would be concerened about a vapor leak. I think you would be better off with something like this which is in the price range– http://www.clawhammersupply.com/products/5-gallon-kit
I use the 10 gallon still from them and love it.
of if you are not into DIY I’d save up for something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/291613940459?ul_noapp=true&chn=ps&lpid=82
I personally have never used a thumper- I know a lot of folks love them though.
I personally use a pot still with a column – I pack the column pretty darn well and get a really good product.
The thumper will give a 2nd distillation in one run.
If you pack a column it can mimic the thumper action pretty well as it causes a lot of reflux in the column.
It comes down to personal preference. I learned on a column still and that is what I am used to and what I like. I feel the setup is a lot easier-(I could be wrong) I also like that most column stills use an inline condenser for cooling instead of a worm. It is way easier to cool with an inline condenser.
What size units are you looking at? Have links?
It should read like 1.010 or something like that.
check this out and report back.
Did you take a gravity reading of the mash?
Distilling will remove quite a bit of the fruit flavor– but you will retain a bit of it…and usually you get a bit on the nose.
Here is my standard fruit brandy recipe
for fruit: First, select the best, ripest fruit. The better the fruit, the better the wine, the better the brandy. Cut out any brown spots or other discoloration. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t ferment it.
It takes about seven pounds of cleaned fruit to make a gallon of puree. I cut my fruit up into chunks and fill my Ninja blender up, and puree it.
I’ll give you this recipe in ratios so you can make as much or as little as you want.The recipe is one part fruit puree to two parts water and 2.5 pounds of cane sugar per gallon of mash. I have eight gallon fermenters and do six in each. I put two gallons of fruit puree, add 12.5 pounds of sugar and stir it in, then get a gallon of water up to 200°F and stir it in until all sugar is dissolved and let it set for 30 minutes. Then I top it up to six gallons with cool water. I let it cool down to 80°F and pitch my yeast.
I use Lalvin K1-V1116 for fruits. I don’t use yeast nutrients. The fermentation goes fourteen days and gives you an ABV of about 16- 18%. When the fermentation is finished, let it settle for a week and siphon it off into clean, sanitized fermenters and let it settle for a month, siphon it off, then another month and siphon. Now your wine is perfectly or almost perfectly clarified and ready to run.
I do twelve gallon batches, which ends up being about ten gallons of wine. I reserve a gallon and a half of the wine and run the rest. I get about a gallon and a half of 120- 140 proof booze from that. I blend all of the booze together in a carboy and age it with un-toasted white oak chips for two to three months.
Then I siphon off the reserved wine one last time and blend it with the aged booze. Then I drink it. Yes, that is about five to six months total time from blender to belly. It’s well worth it, though. You can cut the time down by settling for just a week and running it. But you do have to settle the wine you reserve before you blend it, because it will end up with yeast sediment on the bottom of the bottles. This will make it taste like shit over time. And you don’t have to blend it. You can just run the whole batch of wine and have straight booze if you want. But if you do the long process, you’ll be blown away by the flavor.
A 5 gallon run with a starting alcohol of 10%, a final proof of 100, and a collection efficiency of 85% will yield .85 gallons.
I always add fruit after it is distilled- that way you get more flavor — distilling will remove most of the flavor from fruit.
Just put some fruit in the jars and let them soak in the goodness.
Do you have a brewing hydrometer?
Two weeks it should be done and the yeast should be nice and settled. It will most likely be done fermenting in 1 week. The only real way to know for sure is to use a hydromter and take readings of the mash- when the gravity does not change for 2 consecutive days it is finished.
So for a 5 gallon mash:
5 gallons of water
5 pounds of corn meal
5 pounds of sugar
Heat the water to around 90-100 degrees
Turn off the heat to the burner
Add the corn meal to the water and stir very well
Add the sugar and mix until completely dissolved
Add yeast once the mash has cooled to the high 70’s
Propane is harder to regulate in my opinion- unless you are running a pretty large still.
Electric elements with a control panel are the best way to heat smaller stills– no cycling.
21 years is a long time to age whiskey—-I think that is a fantastic idea but you you will want to use a large barrel- I would follow what commercial distilleries are doing that age for 21 years. They are all using 53 gallon barrels for long term aging.
I would use an old barrel whatever size you decide on:
The spirits in a barrel expand in the hot summer and get pushed into the porous wood. In the winter, the spirits contract due to the cold, and wash back out of the wood. Through this process, some of the distillate evaporates- the angel’s share. you will lose about 2% of the barrel each year. However, it varies from state to state and environment to environment. In the south it can be as high as 6%.
longer age times don’t always produce better spirits. Most of the aging is taking place in the first two years. Most distillers would never age an American whiskey for more than 8 years. It’s really between 2-8 that you get a perfectly aged American whiskey.
Scotch can last much longer in oak because the barrels aren’t new, the spirit needs more mellowing, and it can stand up to a longer period of time in the barrel.
I like the idea…I just don’t know how practical it will be— you could use a smaller barrell (5 gallon or less) and age it for a shorter time and then bottle it…storing it in a cool dark room until he is 21.
Ajax will work… but can leave behind reside
I recommend picking up some brewing cleaner and sanitizer.
I recommend PBW as a cleaner
and StarSan as a sanitizer
Any homebrew shop or amazon will have these.