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Problem with molasses wash

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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby punkin » Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:35 pm

Yep, mollasses can puke pretty easily. It's good to use some antifoam with it and to bring the heat up slowly.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Eucyblues » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:24 pm

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 agree with the EC1118 comment- in my experience the fla vour is better when using bakers yeast
The 1118 strips flavour-ends up with a 'harder' tasting product than the 'warm' yeasty nature spirit coming from the bakers yeast
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:03 am

Defiantly going to use bakers yeast next time as I've never made a mash with it before, I will be getting some more molasses as soon as this has finished and been run as I like to fill a barrel for ageing :D
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:41 am

Well i ran one barrel of the wash today its really very good, i was going to strip it first then do a spirit run, i put my newly build thumper on incase it puked, then i thought sod it i will fill the thumper quarter full and do a strip through thumper, im glad i did, i changed my mind there and then and ran it as a single run, as the heads came off at about 78% collected about 4 1/4l of heads and then started collecting harts, its so good and where does that lovely sweetness come from all the way through to the tails :8)
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Doogie » Sat May 23, 2015 9:14 pm

Molasses is one of those keep it simple recipes. I run animal feed molasses, dunno the sugar level, add 14kg/100L of sugar. Add 1 large can of tomato paste, and then shred a potato or sweet potato for mouth feel and pitch bakers' yeast. In warm weather, I can get to 1.00 in about 5 days. Cooler weather 8 days. Never had a cap form, but in warmer weather at the beginning I get the rolling boil type fermentation.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby apoplectic epileptic » Sun May 24, 2015 3:53 pm

Two things, there is no need to use that much nutrient in molasses wash. Large commercial brewers that grow their own strains of yeast use molasses as the nutrient in their grow vats.

2 packets of 1118 is a very small amount of yeast for 100 litres. I preferred bakers yeast at about 1/4 pound for that volume. This is a good inoculation to ensure that no errant strain of yeast gets hold and spoils the flavor before your strain multiplies enough to take over.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Eucyblues » Mon May 25, 2015 3:35 am

Coincidentally with this topic - I've just managed to get an EDV493 brew to cooperate after several failures - at least I think it's OK - it's bubbling away atm

I ditched clarifying for this batch

Used for 42L batch

6L Bundaberg refinery molasses
6L dunder complete with various mould/bacteria+a banana or two chucked in some time ago
3L raw sugar
skins of 3 bananas

2 stage operation (aim was/is to try and get some bacterial action going to start with - need to keep pH at about 5.5 and initial sugar below 13g/100ml- don't know if it's happening)

Stage 1 -
3L Molasses
6L dunder
Hot water to 25L
4 Tbsp of bicarb to get pH 5.5
Add EDV493 (hydrated) after cooling to about 30C
1 Tbsp DAP

Next day
3L Molasses
3kg raw sugar
12L hot water
2 Tbsp bicarb
Mix - let cool to about 32 deg C

Pour in

Add warm water to make up to 42L - Brix 20.6
+1 Tbsp DAP

Aquarium heater to keep it happy

Smells unsurprisingly somewhat bananary... :lol:
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby pintoshine » Mon May 25, 2015 6:26 pm

I always use boiled yeast as one of the nutrients along with DAP. The boiled bread yeast( really cheap) is a better nutrient than chemical nutrients.
Pugi's yeast bomb is another example of a good nutrient blend.
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: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Eucyblues » Thu May 28, 2015 12:56 am

pintoshine wrote:Pugi's yeast bomb is another example of a good nutrient blend.

Except for the chemicals :!:

2 vitamin B, crushed with mortar and pestal
5 teaspoons of 20-0-0, agrcultural fertilizer (Urea) :roll:
1/4 teaspoon of epsom salt

I have been known to use 20-0-0 in the past but have stopped my wicked ways....... :)
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Stanna » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:40 pm

Bit of a update I ended up with 50l of hearts eventually as I just kept refermenting all the backset with some more sugar and nutrients, the 50l of blackstrap went along long way in the end and as far as I could tell each run tasted just as good as the first, it's in a barrel now with about 15 1"x1"x 8" toasted oak sticks, will try it every 12 months or so to see how she's doing, the barrel was already spent so may take a good few years to mature :shock:
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Casper » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:36 pm

Woa! On the bicarbonate and urea. Read kiwistiller on this, it makes your alcohol blue, copper ammonium salts or something more nasty as all your copper gets corroded. The ammonia comes from urea or DAP so hold off on those too. You can use potassium carbonate. Don't use sodium in the wash. Yes in low wines, even better is washing soda (sodium carbonate).

Far better result if you take the trouble to prep the molasses.
For this you must have a refractrometer, less than 20usd. It measures sugar in °Brix or grams per litre
I dilute raw feed molasses to about 2:1 or Bx 35° as my stock Molly. Thats 2l water to 1l molasses gives 350g sugars per litre. When making wash with white sugar, I go half and half, it has enough flavour for me but you might want more or less.

Sometimes it's sulfured. Sometimes it may need clarified. Always the pH is too acid.
You need a pH meter. 30usd, get one that temperature corrects.
Backset or Dunder is a good flavour enhancer. It is always far too acid. Yeast wants 5.2 not the 3.8 of dunder or Molly. If the raw Molly needs clarified then add milk of lime(slaked or builders lime in water) , adjust pH with sulfuric acid then heat to 90°C. This removes the Calcium as insoluble sulphate. Yeast tends to floc with Ca.

If the raw Molly can be used without treatment, just dilute with water and adjust the dunder instead, much easier. Set the pH of your dunder to 5.8 or 6 to allow for the Molly acids. Don't use bicarbonate! Milk of lime as above, or Potassium Carbonate (a food grade additive).

Making the wash now is easy. When you strip the last wash, leave several inches of beer in the bucket. That trub is full of yeast cells (a source of vitamin B) which if boiled will feed and flavour your next batch. I boil it with the sugar and dunder. For 25l Throw in around a gal Molly, 5kg white sugar (I boil that first in about a gal of prepared dunder). No DAP nor vitamins needed. As well as dunder, the trub adds nutrient and flavours.
This is where the refractrometer is really handy. Dilute the mix down to Brix 18° (18% sugars) This will yield 8% ABV beer and ferment out in 3 days. Bakers yeast likes above 25° Up to 33°C


Yeast. Fresh bakers yeast cost 5usd per kilo. Use plenty, it won't keep longer than a week so use a quarter or half per 100l. Or use the whole thing up. It's not always enough to make a starter. You may need to keep doubling the starter with more wash several times, starting half a pint until you are adding a gallon of starter.

I strip all down to 10%. There are really nice tails around 35%. There are really awful fusels between 60% and 38%

Spirit run (VM) I blend the fractions. There are almost nil fires, every bottle from heads to mid hearts are good, every one tastes different and fun to blend. I put all rejects, late hearts all tails into my next strip. Take out the strong tails this time ( I keep and treat with washing soda). Keep the precious weak tails, more golden oils with each run.


Ageing
Before ageing I run thru washed activated charcoal. 1kg will strip all organic flavours from 10 l in one hour. So try for 0.5 kg with 20 l in half an hour. I put my charcoal on 1m of 2" ss pipe.
To the undiluted spirit, in a glass jar, add raisins.
After a while, a few days/weeks by colour or to taste, then dilute to 55%. Not 63% like whiskey. Add pencil cuts of charred oak. Maybe JD chips. Colour and vanillas are drawn out at 55%. Sugars are drawn out at 49-51%.
You may add spices like cassia, clove, sliced fresh pineapple....
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Saltbush Bill » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:21 am

What a lot of fuss to make some Rum, hell its not rocket science folks.
8L of Stockfeed molasses
4L of Backset/ Dunder, what ever you care to call it. Put it in real hot to melt the molasses. Put more in at your own peril , eventually your generations will slow down if you do.
a good pinch of Epsom Salts
one x Vitamin B Capsule, add this after adding water, Im told putting it into a hot wash wrecks the Vitamin B. don't quote me on that.
Top up to 28-30L with good water...squirt it in hard to oxygenate the wash.
all of this should give you a pitch temp of about 38c...yes that's hot.
Throw in 60-70 grams of bakers yeast...yes that's a lot.
The whole shebang should be bubbling within half an hour.
Try and keep the ferment in higher figures as far as temp goes rather than low. It should ferment out fairly hard and fast.

make tight cuts, age it on Medium Toast American oak for 4 months, 8 months and its twice as good.
That,s just my take on it. We all do it different.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Casper » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:49 am

I note you don't add sugar SB. some folks do add white sugar for a lighter rum. I also add the trub from my last beer. Why add vitamin B? Them vitamins are made from yeast, so the trub is full of it, use it, don't throw it away, it's full of rum flavours.

1. The copper ammonium hydroxide is not just a rum issue. Adding sodium bicarbonate and urea or DAmmoniumP to any wash, sugar Molly or AG is not a good idea in the presence of copper. It IS safe to use potassium carbonate to raise pH.

2. The use of Backset (boiled beer) or dunder (Backset aged outdoors & infected by good bacteria) adds acid. Yeast likes acid some, but not a lot. So if you want to add the dunder for acid, use a little. For flavour, add a gallon but it needs neutralised some, NOT with bicarbonate.

3. Boiling white sugar 15' in the presence of some acid breaks it up to fruit sugars (sucrose to dextrose and fructose) which yeast likes better. Since sugar and raw molasses both need diluted, boiled, made good acid level for happy yeast, do it right and prepare, or chuck it in and hope. If you are doing 8 or 10 batches as I do then I prep the ingredients. If it's a one off then buck it in and hope for the best. Many folks think sugar feeds yeast. It doesn't, sucrose and alcohol are toxic to yeast but it learns to tolerate them. So don't add too much sucrose.

4. Some molasses has been processed with sulfuric which kills yeast. That stuff needs cleaned. Raw Molly is thick and needs diluted anyway, doing it early or when making up the wash, Dilute it about 2 water to 1 Molly for 350g sugar per litre. That way when you are adding white sugar you know how much of each to get to 8% ABV (180g per litre)
It's all about how you like the taste. I like half and half. What is "half" unless you measure the sugars, it's easy to do. You can add too much unfermentables. Molasses only has 46% fermentable sugars. The dunder is used to break up the unfermentables and create more flavours. Those microbes, like bakers yeast, are fussy on T° (29° -33° max) and get killed by alcohol (keep below 8%). The easy way to do consistent ferments is to know how much sugars are in there.

5. Be slapdash with the wash and keep your fingers crossed the ferment is all in balance. Why fuss? Because you will be fussing and spending so much time and money on the stilling so you want the best start. 5$ ingredients, 25$ propane

6. I set up the charcoal filter for corn whiskey which came off the still a bit rough. Just as JD does, making it instant sweet, a bit light on flavour but ready for soakin the BBQ chips. Rum is amazing straight off the reflux run, each pint bottle has subtle differences from light white thru floral sweet to liquorice. It improves aged on charred oak but a quick drip thru charcoal just as Bacardi does takes out any harsh or fusel taints leaving it really sweet and smoothe.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Saltbush Bill » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:29 pm

Casper wrote:I note you don't add sugar SB. some folks do add white sugar for a lighter rum.

I don't want a light rum, I prefer the taste of all Molasses.
Casper wrote:I also add the trub from my last beer. Why add vitamin B? Them vitamins are made from yeast, so the trub is full of it, use it, don't throw it away, it's full of rum flavours.

Ive tried both ways for quite a long time, I find I get faster and more consistent ferments by not using the trub from the previous batch.
Trub is mainly yeast and unfermentable matter that has settled out of the wash, I doubt that it adds much in the way of Rum flavors.
Casper wrote:It IS safe to use potassium carbonate to raise pH.

If you stick to using sensible amounts of backset there is no need for PH adjustment.
Casper wrote: Since sugar and raw molasses both need diluted, boiled, made good acid level for happy yeast, do it right and prepare, or chuck it in and hope. If you are doing 8 or 10 batches as I do then I prep the ingredients. If it's a one off then buck it in and hope for the best. Many folks think sugar feeds yeast. It doesn't, sucrose and alcohol are toxic to yeast but it learns to tolerate them. So don't add too much sucrose.

All I can say is you seem to be going to a lot of trouble, Ive been making rum for quite a while now and know what works and what doesnt. Sometimes the KISS principle works as well as more complicated methods. Over a period of time Ive tried white sugar, brown sugar, differnt ratios of sugar of both types to Molasses, different yeasts, different temps, different amounts of backset. the above works for me. At the end of the day we all end up doing things the way that works for us, and what tastes good to us. It would be a sad world if everyone's Rum tasted the same.
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Re: Problem with molasses wash

Postby Casper » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:49 pm

Thanks SB. I am about to start another set of Molly ferments so will follow your path and see.

2q:
is your stock Molly the same as mine, treacle thick such that it takes me a dilution of 5:1 to ferment out at 8%ABV. I make 25l tubs at 18° Bx sugar content for an 8%ABV. 8l of my raw Molly would dilute to 40l, or to 25l and give me over 12%abv if it doesn't get stuck

What is Epsom salts for? I have been adding willy nilly dap, Epsom, Gypsum, multivitamins. Folks tell me to do it, but nobody says what for....
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