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Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

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Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

Postby Swede » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:45 am

I’d like to document my adaptation of the ujssm method that’s used by many for producing fine bourbon. I do a few things different with the wash to make it work well, and have added a twist to the distillation method too.

For a 70L batch (fills a keg boiler);
• 20lb sugar,
• Roughly 10lb cracked corn to start
• Switch out a couple pounds of grain every few months (I use a blend of crushed malt barley and corn after the wash is well soured using corn only)
• Pitch ec1118 first time only.

When it stops bubbling, it’s ready to strip.

The reason I use 70L ferment size when a keg usually only holds 50-55L is that I drain the wash to the top of the grain bed, and leave the rest there while I strip the wash. This gives me one strip run per ferment, no fussing around.

It’s a fine product, and it only gets better the more generations you run it. I’ve used the same yeast/grain bed for over a year now and have lost count of how many generations it’s at. I use backset at a ratio of 1/4 to 1/6 wash volume, if the wash is fermenting slow, use less backset next time, if it’s okay, use close to 1/4 backset.

Also, I’ll add in some dap and Epsom salts, 2tbs dap and 2 pinches Epsom(1tsp) every second or third batch. This mild nutrient treatment livens up the wash and keeps a vigorous ferment going.

Once the wash is attenuated (no more bubbling), i strip it, and save up low wines for a spirit run. I always strip with an empty thumper on, it acts like a slobber box. So far, things are pretty much standard.

Here’s the interesting twist, I can’t recall this method being documented in the major recipes. I decided to use backset in the thumper, something I’m sure the old timers here are likely familiar with, yet it’s not widely written about. You'll notice that after enough generations, the backset is actually really nice and clean/sour tasting, quite pleasant actually. This was my inspiration.

I filled the thumper about 1/3 full with backset and charged the boiler with low wines. As soon as I was past the heads, WOW, great flavour. It’s was like the flavour from a single run, but the cleanliness of a double run. This made a definite improvement.

There ya have it, hope this helps out someone :) :beer:
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Re: Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

Postby Fester » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:51 am

Very well written, Swede. Great tip.
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Re: Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

Postby Rebel_Yell » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:18 pm

Thanks for documenting your method. It works a treat to add a flavor layer.
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Re: Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

Postby punkin » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:56 pm

Sounds exactly the same as the way i do it, cept for the nutrients.

I don't have a thumper, and for others who don't you can achieve the flavour boost by adding 10% wash to your low wines.
So just siphon 10l of clear wash from the middle of racking into the boiler and add it to your feints/low wines tank. The high alc strip will protect it.

Then when you go to charge for your spirit run, the flavour is already there. :8)
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Re: Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

Postby Odin » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:20 pm

Punkin,

I don't have a thumper, so do as you. Or did. I made one wash and then stripped it. Made another wash. Racked that into the boiler, added the strippings from the previous generation and distilled everything together, making cuts. "Distilling 1.5" I call it. Added enormously to taste. In itsself and because there is less need to dilute afterwards to get to aging / drinking strength.

Now I re-adjusted my CM and I can do a single run whiskey. So far a barley run (yesterday). Great in abv and taste, just went a bit into tails. Now I am doing a single malt (UJSSM style). What comes out right now is quite incredible to me. Smells good, tastes better.

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Re: Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

Postby Bull Rider » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:59 pm

Thanks Swede:

I just brought my thumper on line. It's a five gallon Sanke keg, and the boiler is a 15 gallon Sanke keg. I'm running my second UJSM run now, and I used wash in the thumper on a strip run, about half a gallon.

The Thumper never really "thumped", it did rock and roll and made a lot of noise. I think more liquid in the Thumper would have made a difference, I'm thinking the liquid level probably was only two or three inches above the bottom on the inlet pipe.


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Re: Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

Postby Dan P. » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:32 pm

An interesting twist, using the backset in the thumper.
Pertaining to punkin's 10% wash in the spirit run, I use 50% or around that.
I would be interested in what backset would bring to the table, though. I don't have a thumper, but I could always just chuck it in the boiler, I suppose.
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Re: Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

Postby Odin » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:42 pm

Dan,

I sometimes use backset to lower the abv of my strippings. Depending on the output abv-wize I want to reach on the spirit run. Mostly, though, I use some left over wash I have for that. That's even better in my experience. No experience with thumpers though!

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Re: Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

Postby 620rossco » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:24 am

I don't have a thumper, and for others who don't you can achieve the flavour boost by adding 10% wash to your low wines.
So just siphon 10l of clear wash from the middle of racking into the boiler and add it to your feints/low wines tank.


Punkin I have a keg boiler 50litre, does that mean 10% which would be 5litres?
Or is your boiler 100litres? Otherwise 10litres would be 25% in a 40litre wash.
This is a really good idea, interested in doing the same just trying to work out how much. :mg:
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Re: Swede’s simple sour mash adaptation

Postby punkin » Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:17 pm

Try both and see how you go. I reckon 10% would be a minimum to add a flavour addition. I would normally use closer to 10 shengs than 5.
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