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My findings for Fermenting Sugar

I would expect this topic to have multiple posts by the same person showing us how to do something. If there are pictures, let pint_o_shine know and he can host them for you.

My findings for Fermenting Sugar

Postby pintoshine » Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:12 am

Here is a general rule for a good, fast, and clean fermentation, with your choice of yeast.

ph 4 to 5. 4.8 being optimal
sugar no higher that 1.100 with 1.080 preferable.

Nutrients must have nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, magnesium, foliate, niacin, riboflavin, protein (about 10 different amino acids) in the appropriate quantities.

The sugars are a whole topic.
Sucrose does best if inverted. Citric acid inverts faster than malic, tartaric, or lactic acid. Hydrochloric acid is extremely fast but kills yeast. Sulfuric acid is the best by far but the sulfur compounds eat the copper fast. I prefer to stick to the edible acids. Acetic acid is a wonderful sugar inverter but really makes nasty heads. Phosphoric acid is hard to get hold of except in hard candy and soft drinks but this is the magic sucrose inverter and adds a hint of soft drink to the spirit.

Maltose is a yeast favorite. Yeast is a super producer of maltase so it readily cleaves the maltose.
Glucose and dextrose, which are nearly identical but for some reason the chemists in the world love to qualify them by the source, ferment directly and easily.
Lactose isn't fermented too well by bakers, brewers or wine yeast. Wild yeast will eat this stuff up. The trouble with lactose is that so many bacteria will also eat this stuff up too. Every time I have gotten hold of a quantity of whey it was already sour.

The acidity added by hops makes yeast go crazy, and probably adds lots of other nutrients but are impossible to seperate the hops flavor from the distillate.

DAP works better than ammonia nitrate which work better than urea for nitrogen. I mean better as in the amounts required to get the same results. Ammonia does not work at all at first, but once the wild yeast and bacteria start converting it to urea it works ok. The urea always gives the tails a lot of acidity. Deathwish claims to be able to taste the urea in the spirit. Yeasts do funny things to urea or visa versa.

The proteins in fruits, grains and yeast are all suitable. Molasses has none. http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c21Ru.html

The water soluble protein from malted barley obtained from a good protein rest at 120° F makes an explosive fermentation, but causes the foam to puke horrendously. Malt beer and a pot still without a puke box is a bad idea if you are in any kind of hurry. Every time I have tried this I have had to let the alcohol chill in the fridge and filter it twice to get it clear. I guess that is my bad luck. The protein in tomato paste is nice and balanced. Needless to say, almost all fruit juices are complete as they are. My favorite protein source is wheat germ. A combination of sucrose (inverted with citric acid) and wheat germ will ferment as well as anything I have ever tried and tastes real good kind a like a wheat malt whiskey.

Additional nutrients for the pure sugar fermenters are B vitamin supplements. These can be pharmacy B mixes, complete one a day or the yeast nutrient kind from the home brew shop. I have never found any difference in these except that most of the pharmacy types have coloring and give the wash a tint. I grind all the pill type with a mortar and pestle.

One that I recently added to my nutrient list of super enhancers if magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts), It seems yeast need a bit of magnesium.

I did back-to-back fermentations of high fructose corn syrup, HFCS55 to be exact, with black strap molasses, in a couple different combinations.

The HFCS recipe was pretty straight forward. 10-10-10 at 1 tsp per gallon, 1/8 tsp citric acid per gallon, 1/5 a one a day per gallon and 1 tsp yeast per gallon boiled with the other nutrients. I pitched 11g dry champagne yeast.
This had a nearly complete fermentation in 14 days at 12% abv.

In another batch I used 1 gallon of 65% DSS black strap molasses in 6 gallons of water. I pitched 11g dry champagne yeast. This fermented to 9% abv in about two weeks.

I looked up at some site about the nutrient content of blackstrap. No nitrogen, no B vitamins, no protein.

I adjusted the recipe. I added DAP, one a day and boiled yeast to the 6 gallon batch of blackstrap. I pitched bread yeast. Bang, it was 9% in 32 hours.

I was stumped. What was it in the molasses that was not in my HFCS concoction? It turned out to be magnesium.

I redid the HFCS and added 1/4 tsp Epson salts for the 6 gallon batch. I pitched bread yeast and Bang! Same results as the molasses.

Deathwish did a large batch of 150 gallons with 55 pounds(5 gallons) of HFCS and 48 pounds(4 gallons) of Blackstrap with an adjusted ration of 26-6-6, boiled yeast, b vitamins, Epson salt. Again the same results, but in 48° F weather. Two days for full attenuation to 9%. The molasses seems to add the needed acidity and some needed minerals.
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Postby wineo » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:37 pm

Your post on sugar wash was great! Ive read all kind of stuff out there,
and you hit the nail on the head. So many books just beat around the bush,and dont cover this subject in a way that makes any solid truths.
I have been trying to figure out just what needs the yeast have in a all
sugar wash,and just didnt get it till i read your post.Thanks for shareing
in your knowlege,cause I know you have done a lot of work to gain it.
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Postby Harry » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:44 pm

pint_o_shine said:
I was stumped. What was it in the molasses that was not in my HFCS concoction? It turned out to be magnesium.



You have stumbled on a little secret. :)
Magnesium prevents agglomeration (clumping) caused by calcium, thus allowing yeast cells to reach full working potential. Here's the skinny...

<extract1>
Grit formation by agglomerating cells of baker’s yeast is an idiosyncratic phenomenon of irreversible cellular aggregation that is detrimental to yeast quality. Agglomeration results in failure of rehydrated dried yeast to evenly resuspend and has economic consequences for both yeast manufacturers and bakers.
</extract1>

<extract2>
Magnesium counteracted calcium promotion of agglomeration and it
was found that high c(Mg)/c(Ca) ratios in molasses reduced levels of yeast grit by 36–60 %. By increasing magnesium concentration in molasses growth media, a reduction in cellular calcium was observed and this concomitantly reduced the tendency of cells to aggregate and form grit.

Magnesium thus acted antagonistically against calcium-induced agglomeration, possibly by blocking calcium binding to yeast cell surface receptors.
</extract2>


Full paper here (pdf)...
http://jagor.srce.hr/ftbrfd/40-199.pdf

You might also pay particular attention to the list of nutrients and amounts they use when breeding yeast. They use a 19 litre breeder. Also mentions a computer prog for control.

Much is learned by a little snooping. :D
.


Slainte!
regards Harry
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Winning the hearts & minds; one post at a time.
(you will be assimilated. resistance is futile.)
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Postby mtnwalker » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:42 pm

Pint, Harry and all you other loveing people,

Increadable thread and great imfo. knowledge is phenomeinal, the little nuances make product better. I have read 3 or 4 Hidden secrets revealed in the last several weeks, it gets my goat. So here it is, if you have something that works better than something else, quaranteed, post it in the proven recipie site along with the imfo. It shouldn't be just a discussion on why it works, how it works, but why we should do it this way, and the only answer to that is it will be better than the other way. A recipie shouldn't be too hard to post.

I want to learn myself, and teach my kids, all adults. But if all this phenomenal imfo. was incorporated into artisan recipies, start to finish-whooplah!

I will apologize for this post tommorrow, but being a Patrick, on St. Patrick's day and this being my birthday, I celebrated a wee bit with the family. Meanwhile, I'll go check theres no snakes around my fermenters.
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Postby Harry » Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:27 am

mtnwalker said:
if you have something that works better than something else, quaranteed, post it in the proven recipie site along with the imfo. It shouldn't be just a discussion on why it works, how it works, but why we should do it this way, and the only answer to that is it will be better than the other way. A recipie shouldn't be too hard to post.




Mate, we just can't win, can we. If we post info in the "Teach Us" forum, we get told to dictate a recipe. If we post info that just tells you to 'do it', we get accused of dictating & not explaining the 'whys'.

Artisan distilling is all about teaching & learning. Use what you discover in these forums to educate yourself, not just 'what to do', but also 'why it's done'. It'll stick better that way. Ya can teach monkeys to gather nuts, but ya can't make 'em learn 'why'.

A toast;
Here's to our wives and girlfriends:
May they never meet! :wink:
.


Slainte!
regards Harry
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Winning the hearts & minds; one post at a time.
(you will be assimilated. resistance is futile.)
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Postby mtnwalker » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:50 am

I have just stumbled on another little secret :oops:

Never post after partying! :arrow:
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Postby triggernum5 » Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:20 pm

A good source of phosphoric acid is actually hydroponics stores.. I wish there was one that carried it here.. I think a brand I saw was "Dutch Nutrient Formula":) or DNF.. (Might wanna get a buddy without anything legally questionable to grab that though..).. I knew a guy who knew a guy who heard some other guy talking about this dude he knew who used the 10% solution to buffer an 80L resevoir at 5.7 from its natural 6.8 with anywhere from 0.5-1mL.. Phosphoric acid will keep your pH WAAAAY more stable throughout the fermentation..
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Postby bushido » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:30 pm

85% phosphoric acid is used for ph down in hydro. Very stable for 2-3 days, then it has a tendency to veer off sharply. The more often it is used in a batch, the quicker it becomes unstable. Does not effect the nutrient chemicals adversly, but in the application of distillation, it will leave a crystalline salt in your boiler. $20 can, per 26oz at hydro shops, overheard from the same conversation Trigg overheard :P
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Postby triggernum5 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:21 pm

Something to consider is that plants use phosphorus in large amounts, so that might explain any sudden alkalinity when used in gardening if the plant were to leave oxygen radicals from the phophates? (But I think roots take up oxygen). Also, its a 3phase acid.. Its first disassociation reaction is strong relative to acetic acid, but the others are much weaker
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Postby msrorysdad » Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:39 pm

So, by all logic, if the molasses I get has propionic acid in it, and I add sugar to my wash it should help, right? I would just not use citric acid to invert with? You super brain guys aught to have this down. I'm stillin 10 gal of the wash I made with the acid molasses today, we'll see
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Re: My findings for Fermenting Sugar

Postby bstinga » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:47 pm

Hydrochloric acid is extremely fast but kills yeast


Is this correct? Or is this perhaps only if adjustments are made during the ferment when yeast is active? This seems to contradict information I have read such as that Bundaberg Rum uses Hydrochloric acid which contributes to a metalic flavour (I think Harry stated this). I have not found any other information on the use of Hydrochloric acid with relation to this but a few references of sulphuric acid being used in commercial operations. Sorry it is hard to find accurate info (not heresay), this forum seems to be the most "on to it" one and I just want to clarify this as I have ample hydrochloric acid to use.
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Re: My findings for Fermenting Sugar

Postby eternalfrost » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:02 pm

great write up, learned a few things

i use "5.2" pH stabilizer. its made for beer and is designed to keep the pH in optimal starch conversion territory but also seems to work great for fermenting.
Citric acid crystals also work great for me


my neutral recipe is roughly
10 lbs white sugar
5 gallon water
1 tsp citric acid xtals
1tsp epsom salt
1 b12 vitamin
small can of tomato paste
bakers yeast starter beefed up on the stirplate

its far from a ideal mix but... it is dirt cheap and makes a very clean product with no puking problems. no solids to worry about scorching/settling out and no boiling or inversions etc necessary so it works great for big batches. I usually make it up in 50 gallon batches and just let it sit till im ready for it. itll keep fine after its done fermenting for weeks easily...
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Re: My findings for Fermenting Sugar

Postby Harry » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:58 pm

bstinga wrote:
Hydrochloric acid is extremely fast but kills yeast


Is this correct? Or is this perhaps only if adjustments are made during the ferment when yeast is active? This seems to contradict information I have read such as that Bundaberg Rum uses Hydrochloric acid which contributes to a metalic flavour (I think Harry stated this). I have not found any other information on the use of Hydrochloric acid with relation to this but a few references of sulphuric acid being used in commercial operations. Sorry it is hard to find accurate info (not heresay), this forum seems to be the most "on to it" one and I just want to clarify this as I have ample hydrochloric acid to use.



If you want accurate info about using Hydrochloric Acid in distilling, specifically in molasses preparation, read this chapter from the experts... The Alcohol Textbook by J. E. Murtagh,
http://distillers.tastylime.net/library ... /index.htm



And if you want more info on sugar in distilling, read this...
http://distillers.tastylime.net/library ... /sugar.htm
.


Slainte!
regards Harry
http://distillers.tastylime.net/

Winning the hearts & minds; one post at a time.
(you will be assimilated. resistance is futile.)
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Re: My findings for Fermenting Sugar

Postby bstinga » Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:05 pm

Thank you guys. I have read those in the past but it is good to go back and re-read things with a particular question in mind.

So in summary to this point; Murtagh recommends the use of hydrochloric acid over the use of sulphuric acid when using molasses (which has been limed, >10% Ash, assuming todays extraction methods are similar and use as much lime). so as to avoid calcium sulphate (gypsum) build up in the column due to its chemical peculiarities, as it where. This is actually quite an interesting point to keep in mind (well maybe only to me and most will use citric acid?) in relation to wineos basic sugar wash which is a popular nice clean wash in which it is recomended to use some gypsom (depending on your local water).

It would be interesting to hear from nolarumy if they encounter scaling problems using sulphuric acid in their commercial rum wash runs...

Was a great summary post by Pinto and the library ref on your site Harry, it's always helpful when someone takes the time to put together info like this. Cheers.
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Re: My findings for Fermenting Sugar

Postby Fester » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:19 pm

When pintoshine takes the time to write something, anything, I take the time to read it... at least twice. He nails the subject with lots of info with as few words as possible.

Pint, if you ever put it all together in a book, I'll pay extra for a signed copy.

I have a notepad document named PintoShine. When I come across tidbits and words of wisdom from pinto, I copy and past it there. Except for mashing corn, that's the only one that keep adding to.

Keep it up, Mr Pint. I'm always wanting to add to my stilling knowledge by absorbing it from folks like you.
Best fermenting sugar explanation I have found.

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