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Problem with molasses wash

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Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:46 pm

Hi, I could do with picking a few brains, started a molasses wash for rum 28 hours ago, 25l of molasses of which 44.3% sucrose 15 kg of sugar and 93l of water, total of 115l added 25 vit b tablets ,10 multi vits ,25 tea spoons of nutrient and a heap tablespoon of Epsom salts, 2 packs of lavins ec1118 pitched at 24 degree c, estimated 13.3 % final gravity.
Now my problem is it's only bubbling every 30 seconds, when I do whiskey I add all the same stuff apart from the Epsom salts as this is the first time I have used it, and by now the whiskey mash would have blown all the water out of the air lock, my whiskey is finished in 4 days, has any one any idea what the problem may be as I can't test the ph because the colour is molasses black ?????? Help
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby punkin » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:08 pm

That is a massive amount of nutrient. I have found nutrient to be uneeded on a home scale for whiskey.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Harry » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:40 pm

More info on the molasses is required.
Source?
Did you prep it? (ie clarify it).
Punkin is correct re nutrients. Not necessary for molasses worts. Molasses IS a whole-food nutrient.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Mud » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:52 pm

Not that you asked this...but the gravity is probably really high too. you have 13% potential alcohol from fermentable but the trash in the molasses is going to push the SG higher yet. I'd suggest you add 40 liters of water and warm it up to 85 degrees F. That'll give you ~8% abv when it's (quickly) done. It'll probably taste better.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:03 pm

The molasses is naf animal feed no additives, I did not clarify it, as for the nutrients probably over did the Epsom salts but the rest is very similar to pints fast fermenting molasses wash, it's has started to get faster now 1 bubble every 7 seconds, I was panicking as the my whiskey just blasts air out of the air lock constantly after 12 hours, fingers crossed it'll be ok now, one thing that is bugging me is how the hell do you guys take the ph of a molasses wash my test strips just turn the colour of the wash and my pond ph kit is the same.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:13 pm

Mud wrote:Not that you asked this...but the gravity is probably really high too. you have 13% potential alcohol from fermentable but the trash in the molasses is going to push the SG higher yet. I'd suggest you add 40 liters of water and warm it up to 85 degrees F. That'll give you ~8% abv when it's (quickly) done. It'll probably taste better.

I was going to add more water to my 150l fermenter but after aerating with my plaster mixer it had 4" of foam on top, I had also read it will foam like mad while fermenting to so I just wanted to make sure I wasn't mopping up.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Harry » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:40 pm

If you don't have yeast activity, you need to figure out why, one step at a time. Look for...
Dead yeast.
Gravity too high.
killer chems in the molasses.
That's just a place to start.
Prepped right, molasses is one of the easiest worts to do.

EDIT: re measuring pH... Get a pH meter. More here...
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=127062
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:51 am

Good news it's bubbling continuously, it seems the yeast just needed time to multiply for the task inhand, 13.3% shouldn't push the ec1118 to much as it's good for 18%, another thing I failed to mention is that when I do a whiskey mash I only do a 9% wash usually ends up about 8% when I strip it, after having a good read up about yeast I reckon 2 packs of lavins ec1118 was no where near enough for 13.3% wash it's been multiplying for a couple of days for the task, I will have to start to use starters for the yeast so I can add more to the wash, I intend to use all the backset that's left in the still after fermentation to do another mash, that will be allowed to cool and then sugar added then dumped back onto the yeast bed, it should start fermenting straight away with the big yeast bed :D
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Saltbush Bill » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:33 am

Personally I think your wasting good EC1118 using it in a molasses wash, A 280 gram tin of bakers yeast in a wash that size would have kicked it off a lot faster and resulted in more flavour. As the others have already mentioned the amount of nutrients you have used is way over the top.
Be careful using to much backset as it can have a negative effect unless you want to start mucking around with PH meters and such.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:01 am

Saltbush Bill wrote:Personally I think your wasting good EC1118 using it in a molasses wash, A 280 gram tin of bakers yeast in a wash that size would have kicked it off a lot faster and resulted in more flavour. As the others have already mentioned the amount of nutrients you have used is way over the top.
Be careful using to much backset as it can have a negative effect unless you want to start mucking around with PH meters and such.

I don't think 2x £1.25 for the lavins ec1118 will brake the bank, and as for the nutrients it's almost identical to pinto shines fast fermenting molasses wash volume for volume, I just saw that recipe and followed it, wot else can I do :doh:
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby punkin » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:00 pm

Pints recipe is heavy on nutrients already and uses the same level (or a bit less) of dap as you used but where pints recipe calls for about 7 multi vitamins in your scaled up version, you have used 36!

You can hardly claim you have followed the recipe.

You may have underpitched the yeast too which would explain the long lag time as they struggled to build up numbers. A starter may help you next time if you want to use the same initial pitch rate to save some money.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:59 am

Well it's been going like a steam train for 4 days now, I am so glad I was cautious about the head room needed as I have a little molasses coming through the air lock on one of the barrels, I did two mashes both 115l in 150l fermenting drums, I intend to dump all the backset in again and referment, should I add all the nutrients again or less this time ??
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:07 am

By less this time I know you all said I used to much nutrients but wot I am meaning is does it all get used up or does some hang around?
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby punkin » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:44 pm

It gets used up.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:54 pm

In that case punkin it's going to be same again and a couple of tablespoons full of sodium bicarbonate, I've made myself a 50l thumper to go with my 100l boiler, seems I may need to use it as a puke box for the stripping run.
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