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What's your yield?

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What's your yield?

Postby SuburbanStiller » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:31 am

Out of each gallon of mash or wash, how much drinkable hooch do you get?

I feel like I'm doing something wrong because I just don't seem to be getting much good booze for all the work I put in. Let's say I do a 7 gallon bucket of corn mash, I get about 1.25 gallons of low wines give or take a couple quarts depending on how hard I run and how good my conversion was and how much sugar I juiced it with and how much lees I left in the bucket after racking into the kettle.

I gather up about 5 gallons of low wines, do a 2nd run and wind up with maybe 4 or 5 pints of good stuff, the rest is all tailsy. I guess I'm real sensitive to tails, the slightest hint of that bitter wet cardboard taste and smell, I reject it. My wife doesn't mind it, says it tastes too corny (as if there is such a thing!) but she drinks it all the same. It gives me the acid reflux. I have a long range experiment with some tailsy stuff on very heavy oak to see if that makes it tasty; I'm not optimistic.

3 hours for a stripping run times 3 of those, 6 hours for a spirit run, not counting time spent fussing with mashing and racking setup and teardown and cleaning, is like 15 hours. For 2 quarts, watered to drinking strength, so double that. Seems low, makes me frustrated.
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby kiwi » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:00 am

How long do you age?
Specialization is for insects.
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby Fester » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:23 am

I've been told that max yield is about 2 gallons of ethanol per bushel of corn, if everything is PERFECT.
It sounds like you have done very well indeed.
I did what you are doing. Several times. Each time I felt defeated because I was spoiled to fermenting sugar.
Sugar is easy, corn is hard. Everybody know this after they mash corn.
Its your decision to follow the best possible flavor with a tiny yield or cop out and be a sugar wimp like me.

Cry on my shoulder, fellow wimp, and dump a 50 pound sack of sugar in the trash can fermenter.

Out of each gallon of mash or wash, how much drinkable hooch do you get?

Assuming a 6% potiential ABV mash then 1 gallon = .06 gallons of ethanol potential. About 60% of that will be good stuff.
So .06 gallons times 60% = a tiny piss in a cup. OK, more scientifically... .06 gallons = about one cup
At best, about 60% of that is the keepers so about 1/2 Cup of high proof per gallon of 6% mash.
Cut to drinking strength = about 1 cup of finished booze per gallon of mash.

Stop me at anytime so we can cry together.

You did 7 gallons of all-grain and are bitching about low yield? No, no, my friend, you did good.
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby dellae » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:58 am

+1 on what Fester said.

I used to do AG barley - just so I could say 'been there'.
Dump the sugar in, don't be greedy (<10% abv) and no one will know.

I've not had any bad feedback from the whiskey drinking mates that have tried it.
Just do it!
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby Fester » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:09 am

dellae wrote:...Dump the sugar in...


tode jah!
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby hard times » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:24 pm

So a sugar wash, a can of cream corn or
cornflakes to flavor makes a good factsimily
without all the conversion headaches as I understand it?
I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good
as they're going to feel all day.

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Re: What's your yield?

Postby Fester » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:44 pm

Yes, the corn - especially in an UJ kind of wash - is for a flavored sugar liquor.

I'd say do both, all grain and sugar washes.
Then you can have lots of homemade booze (sugar wash) and a few precious liters of true whiskey (all grain).

I doubt you will be giving any of the all grain whiskey away.
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby pintoshine » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:04 pm

I have analyzed this problem many, many times. The number I seem to always arrive at is 42% by weight.
What I mean by this is that there is a theoretical yield of a certain weight of sugar should get converted to a certain weight alcohol. At 60F ethanol is .789 g/cm3. I have calculated the maximum possible yield at 54% alcohol being that one sucrose yields 4 ethanol molecules. After separating heads, tails and drinkable alcohol I bottle 42% by weight. That is a 77% yield.
So if I started with 1.0 kgs sucrose it should yield 0.42 kgs drinkable alcohol. divide that by 0.789 and this will give me a volume of 0.532 L pure ethanol or 1.064 L at 50%. I usually round to 1 L 50% per kg sugar.
converting to gallons an pounds, this is 0.12 gallons per lb. or 1.2 gallons of 50% from 10 lbs of sugar.
Some one check my math but I am pretty sure it is accurate.
Now if I calculate the total ethanol yield adding what is in the heads, hearts and tails, I get about 97% efficiency.
Distill safe. Make good cuts. Enjoy yourself. Give as much as you take. Have fun doing this incredibly hard work. Be a good example. It's your hobby.
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby big worm » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:21 pm

this is why you need a beer keg sized boiler that holds 13-14 gal., and a fermenter that holds 55.

ujssm might give you the corn flavor, and the sugar yeilds you'r looking for.
edit..
3 hours to strip 7 gal or 9 hours for 21 gal?? what size pot and heat source? that seems a bit long for that small amount on a striping run.
"It is wise to learn how to ferment local products that are cheap and abundant."
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby Azframer » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:44 pm

You sound like you are on par with what I get out of mine, like worm says get a keg ASAP. Don't feel bad I go through the same here, just don't worry about a headache next day drinking my own stuff. :8)
Friends call me Rick
Drank all night and I am still thirsty!
But I don't feel like I got to much blood in my alcyhol.
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby SuburbanStiller » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:41 am

kiwi wrote:How long do you age?


A month or two if oaking. A few days to a week if drinking white dog. I had some panty dropper that I did with strawberries and home grown cherries that stayed for a few months before it was gone. I haven't got yield up high enough to really set some hooch down for a good long rest. I get thirsty!
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby SuburbanStiller » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:47 am

Fester wrote:I've been told that max yield is about 2 gallons of ethanol per bushel of corn, if everything is PERFECT.
It sounds like you have done very well indeed.
I did what you are doing. Several times. Each time I felt defeated because I was spoiled to fermenting sugar.
Sugar is easy, corn is hard. Everybody know this after they mash corn.
Its your decision to follow the best possible flavor with a tiny yield or cop out and be a sugar wimp like me.

Cry on my shoulder, fellow wimp, and dump a 50 pound sack of sugar in the trash can fermenter.

Out of each gallon of mash or wash, how much drinkable hooch do you get?

Assuming a 6% potiential ABV mash then 1 gallon = .06 gallons of ethanol potential. About 60% of that will be good stuff.
So .06 gallons times 60% = a tiny piss in a cup. OK, more scientifically... .06 gallons = about one cup
At best, about 60% of that is the keepers so about 1/2 Cup of high proof per gallon of 6% mash.
Cut to drinking strength = about 1 cup of finished booze per gallon of mash.

Stop me at anytime so we can cry together.

You did 7 gallons of all-grain and are bitching about low yield? No, no, my friend, you did good.


OK good. Those are numbers I guess I can live with if that's in line with what others are getting.

And no, I have not done a full set of honest corn mash, stripped and distilled. I do one or two, get frustrated with how much damn work that is, then use some of the spent corn with sugar to juice up enough low wines for a spirit run.
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Re: What's your yield?

Postby SuburbanStiller » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:59 am

big worm wrote:this is why you need a beer keg sized boiler that holds 13-14 gal., and a fermenter that holds 55.

ujssm might give you the corn flavor, and the sugar yeilds you'r looking for.
edit..
3 hours to strip 7 gal or 9 hours for 21 gal?? what size pot and heat source? that seems a bit long for that small amount on a striping run.


It's usually about 6 gals of mash/wash (7 gal fermenter pail with 1 gal of lees left behind), 40 mins to boil, take off at 2 quarts an hour, average of 5 quarts total, so yeah about 3ish hours.

I have an 8 gal stainless turkey friar with propane. Time to step up to a keg I guess!
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