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Jimbo's EASY Wheated Bourbon & Gumball

This is for the "What in the world is that?" category. You have something different, something odd or just putting things together in a different way?. Tell us about it and let us comment, laugh, or puke....

Jimbo's EASY Wheated Bourbon & Gumball

Postby Tdick » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:16 pm

I thought I had posted Jimbo's recipe before.
Fellow "Craftsmen" that know me from other forums know I'm kind of a nut about it.
The first time I read it, it just makes sense to me.
You can do your own mashbill if you prefer rye, and the Gumball gives you all sorts of options.
And getting two washes for (almost) the price of one makes sense to me.
I hope it gets used & get's moved into the Proven Recipes Section.

Here it is from Jimbo:

"Ok some explaining I guess on that weird title.
There's 2 recipe's in this post, back to back, which is how they are made.
The first is an All Grain Wheated Bourbon. Similar in style to Makers Mark, Pappy Van Winkle and some others that use wheat instead of rye in their bourbon.
You can also make it with rye replacing the wheat if that's your taste. I'm partial to the warm buttery smooth fruity notes from wheat myself.
Rye will be similar but with a floral aroma and a little spicier flavor. Also damn fine, think Knob Creek, Basil Hayden, Four Roses and many others.

The second recipe is a sugarhead made with the spent grains.
Since its wheated, and its a sugarhead, and my favorite wheat beer ever is Three Floyds Gumballhead, I stole his name for this.
Its a nice drinkin likker but especially good for pantydroppers and flavored stuff.

I call this recipe 'easy' because I don't cook the corn over fire. Lazy bastard that I am.
I boil the water, then add the corn and let it steep cook for several hours, wrapped in a blanket.
It works great, gelatinizes the corn just fine.
Finally, 1/2 barrel is in the title because it is tuned for a 15.5gal 1/2 barrel BAP (big ass pot) cooker, Keg with the top cut out, and a 15.5g still.

Ok on with it already."


10 gallons water
2 gallons backset (to lower the pH of the mash. Or sub with 2 more gal water and 15ml lactic acid)
4 teaspoons gypsum (calcium sulfate, lowers the pH a tad and yeast like Calcium)
22 lbs cracked corn (washed & drained with warm water in a bucket) OR 16 lbs corn meal (corn meal converts more efficiently due to smaller crack size).
5 lbs wheat malt, milled.
3 lbs 6 row, milled (or 2 row, or use 8 lbs wheat malt total)
A good ale yeast (US-04, US-05, Nottingham, Wyeast 1272, WLP023 Burton or similar) 2-3 packets, or a healthy starter.

A note on yeasts, US-05, Nottingham, WLP001 and Wyeast 1272 are very clean fermenting and produce very little esters.
Make a great whiskey. US-04, WLP023 Burton and many other English style yeasts produce more fruity esters that will come across in the bourbon.
The cuts get trickier and the final yield might be slightly less for these estery English yeasts but it does add a nice interesting touch to the bourbon.

1 - Bring the water, backset and gypsum to a boil in your half barrel BAP. It takes a while, and helps if you wrap a flame proof insulating blanket around the pot while its heating up. I usually quit at 205F out of impatience, and to avoid boiling the oxygen out of the water (yeast need oxygen).

2 - Turn the heat off and stir in the corn.

3 - Wrap it up in extra blankets, even if you have the flame proof insulator on it. And let it steep cook for several hours or overnight.
Note the corn is pasteurized now so nothing funky is gonna grow in there. Helps to stir a few times as the corn will settle.

4 - After 3+ hours (I do overnight) remove the blankets, stir well and check temp.
When I make this, I start the process at 8PM, stir in my corn by 10PM & at 9AM in the morning it's still 155F or so.
So if you wrap it up well it will hold temp just fine.

5 - Point a big fan at the BAP and stir a few minutes, it will drop fast, watch it. at 146F, stir in the 8 lbs milled malt and wrap it back up tight in blankets.
Stir occasionally.

6. After 90 minutes cool to 80F and pitch yeast. A starter is recommended to get a good healthy start to fermentation. Note: The typical whiskey mashing process does not involve pasteurization, and this is fine if you're careful about sanitizing equipment and not delaying the cooling from mash to pitch temp.
Bacteria thrive in that range between 80 and 150. So its important to give the yeast the head start, not the bacteria.
For bakers or distillers yeast (DADY) ferment at 80F, for Beer Ale yeasts ferment at 65-70F.

7 - It will be mostly done in 3-4 days, if you leave it to ferment out dry 5-7 days the yeast will add more fruitiness (a good thing).
Commercial distillers would like to do this but don't have the time, for economical reasons. Some push to 60+ hours to try and get more fruit.
We do have the time. :rkn:
But watch it and don't let it go longer than 7 days ever.
The corn was pasteurized, the 8 lbs malt not, so the bugs will take off on you and feed on the yeast autolysis products and you'll risk ruining a batch of nice bourbon fixens.

8 - When it’s done, squeeze out the grain through a large mesh grain bag. This isn't as hard as some people make out. 20 minutes and I'm done, and will get close to 11 gallons to distill. Let it sit overnight to settle out. The cloudiness is yeast.
You don’t want to distill that if you can avoid it, but if in a pinch for time its fine, I’m hard pressed to taste any difference when I have run cloudy washes.

9 - Rack the clear wash off the top of the settling buckets into your 1/2brl still. Do a quick stripper run. Pitch 6 oz of fores.
I run the stripper until the low wines avg about 30%. You could go a bit longer but you’re burning a lot of propane for a little bit of alcohol.
(Whiskey distilleries typically go to 20% low wines, economics, and the large steam boilers are already running anyway).
Save the backset from the stripper for next time. It’s sterile, so stores fine in a sterilized bucket.
You can also freeze blocks in gallon ziplock bags. I’ve done both.

10 - Run the low wines slower in a spirit run. Pitch another 6 oz fores.

Cuts and Yield:

Make your cuts to taste. This recipe gives me 4 quarts at 56% usually, without feints added to the runs, or a higher yield if you have feints to add.
Age on toasted and charred all around oak. Don’t touch it for 4 months, at that point its damn good. And only gets better with more time.
At today’s grain prices $11/ 50 lbs corn, $48/50 lbs wheat and $46/50 lb 6 row, this works out to $11.22 for 7 fifths of 80 proof.
Or $1.60 a fifth (not counting yeast, I use harvested yeast from beer runs).

Why do I distill? My answer in another forum - I’m a cheap bastard with expensive tastes.

A note on oak aging, according to Jimbo - Oak needs to be toasted at 400-450 for 2-4 hours AND then charred all sides exposed to likker.
Lots of ways to do this. Raw wood baked and charred gives more sweetness faster. Used barrels are great. Take a little longer.JD staves from a half barrel planter work great. I cut them into 1x1x5 inch sticks, and char the unexposed 5 surfaces with a torch. They are already toasted so don’t need that treatment.

Soak charred wood for several hours in water to remove some tannins and grit. For the JD sticks 1 ea 1x1x5 stick per quart. This is 88 sq inches per gallon.
A 55g barrel gives about 52 square inches per gallon. I haven’t done the math on 5 gallon barrels yet but those used Balcones barrels sure are nice, I have 3.

BOURBON GUMBALLHEAD RECIPE Delicious sugarhead drinkin likker.
Instead of dumping that pile of squeezed out spent grain (and goo from the bottom of the settling buckets) in the compost (like I used to do! ugh)-
Cook up 16 lbs of sugar with 2 gallons of the backset from the stripper run above and 10 gallons water.
Cool and pour over the spent grain. There's plenty yeast embedded in the grain so no need for more yeast.
This baby will start up quick and ferment out fast, 1.061 to 1.000 in 4 days.
Squeeze it out like above, let it settle and run it twice, all same as above.
You could pull a couple quarts of hearts out of the first run for a sweeter tasting shine. The second run will be cleaner.
With the bourbon feints from above added, the yield is about 6 quarts of 56% or so.
At the price I paid for sugar at Aldi last time this works out to $0.98 per 80 proof fifth! :!:
Age on oak.
Life is good.
Cheers friends.

It just seems great for those wanting to do their first AG with a bonus so I hope you give it a try!
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