Modern Moonshine Techniques by Bill Owens

Modern Moonshine Techniques by Bill Owens

Author:Bill Owens [Owens, Bill]
Language: eng
Format: azw3
Publisher: White Mule Press
Published: 2015-09-29T16:00:00+00:00

It will take about 30 minutes of sparging to collect 45 gallons for a 40 gallon wash. As 10 gallons of wash will be lost in cooling fermentation and pumping.

Grains sparge differently, and corn is the most difficult to work with. Use rice hulls in the mash to provide a pathway for the sparge water. I suggest your corn whiskey mashes contain 20 percent malted barley and 10 percent rice hulls. The barley will ensure good enzyme action and the rice hulls will create mash that is thin enough to allow the wash to run.

5. Cooling: The 45 gallons of wash has been collected, pumped, or bucketed into the fermentation tank. If possible build a 4-foot platform for the mash tun. This way, the wash from the tun can flow directly into a fermentation tank and there is no need to collect or pump it.

The wash coming into the fermentation tank will be over 100ºF. Use the infrared temperature gun to check the temperature of the wash. As soon as

the wash starts running to the fermentation tank, insert the copper coil and

start cooling.

Pitch the yeast when the wash has cooled to 70ºF.

[Note, wineries use flat stainless steel plates to control temperature during fermentation.]

6. Fermentation. Before pitching the yeast, record the original gravity of the wash. A 125 lb. malted barely mash should produce a wash with an O.G. of 1.070. After fermentation the F.G should be 10.10, yielding a wash of 9-10% abv. Again, keep notes so that you can correct any mistakes on the next mash-in. No one gets it right the first time.

In 4 to 6 hours after pitching the yeast, tiny bubbles will appear in the wash. In a few more hours, fermentation will be “rolling” and you will be able to see that the wash is moving around. As the wash ferments, it will give off heat. Use the copper coil to hold the fermentation temperature at 70-75ºF. A high-temperature fermentation will create esters in the wash. During distillation, these esters will create off-flavored spirits.

Do not cover the tank with a tight lid. A barley wash fermentation is very active and the foam will push the lid off the tank and onto the floor, making a mess to clean up.

Once fermentation has slowed, you can use a loose lid to cover the tank. Use your eyes and watch fermentation. When the fermentation bubbles have stopped (5-7 days), a bright clean wash can be pumped directly to the still for fermentation. Try to not carry over any yeast into the still.

7. Clean-up: Leave the lid to the mash-tun open for a couple of hours allowing the grain to cool. Leave the false bottom drain open so the grain bed drains.

Once the grain bed has cooled, use a small plastic or wooden shovel and dig it out. Spent grain can be fed to pigs or cows. However, it needs to be cut with 90% commercial animal feed. Cows have multi-chambered stomachs and the sugar in the grains will ferment, bloating and killing the cows.


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