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Econowash

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Econowash

Postby pintoshine » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:14 am

This recipe is posted on the distillers main site.
It is also called econowash.
I have adapted it a bit because of new knowledge I have obtained over the years.

I prefer rain water or well water but tap water will work also. If you have creek water that is OK too.

10lbs (4kgs is close enough) white sugar. It doesn't matter if it is beet or cane sugar as long as it is cheap. If you have access to HFCS then use a gallon and a quart. 5 liters is close enough

1/4 cup dry yeast (60ml) . Bulk from Goodies, Sam's, GFS or any other place that sells bulk packages of active baker's yeast.

1 generic, Walgreens, Rite-Aid whatever multivitamin. One a day Brand would be fine. Ground to a powder. I prefer to find ones with no coloring. If it does have coloring yellow is pleasing. If it is in a gelatin capsule discard the capsule and use the contents.

Here there are variations.

Your choice:
a. 5 tsp DAP from the brew shop. I am having trouble finding this now. It always a blend of DAP and Urea.
b. 5 tsp 26-0-0 agricultural grade urea and ammonia nitrate.
c. 10 tsp 10-10-10 general purpose fertilizer.(note: some of the general purpose has sulfur coated urea. It usually won't dissolve and can be tossed after cooking)
d. 5 tsp 26-5-5 agricultural fertilizer.
(I'll discuss all the fertilizers later in the post)

1/2 tsp USP Epsom salts. Make sure the ingredient list has nothing except magnesium sulfate.

Your choice again:
a. 1 tsp citric acid
b. 2 tsp acid blend
c. 1 cup steep liquor from lacto-fermented corn or wheat flour or milo, sorghum millet or any other starchy seed.(adding the seeds or dough is OK too)
d. whey from making cheese
The idea here is to get the pH down to about 4 to 5.

So we will have accumulated in a big pot:
1. sugar of some sort to make alcohol.
2. dry yeast to provide protein.
3. multivitamin to provide b vitamins
4. a nitrogen source
5. magnesium
6. acid.

Procedure:
A 20 liter stock pot is the most common among brewers. It will only allow you to boil about 4 gallons comfortably. If you have boil everything then boil as much as you can in a single pot and top up with boiled water.

Depending on your selection of ingredients.
If you used any of the chlorinated water, creek water, cane or beet sugar, put everything in a pot, top up to 4 gallons with sugar completely dissolved and boil for an hour or two. A simmer should be sufficient. The long boil is to help drive off the chlorine, invert the sugar, or kill any nasties that might be in the creek water.

If you used only rain water or well water and HFCS then you do not have to dechlorinate the water or invert the sugar.
In this case just boil the yeast, vitamins, magnesium and fertilizer in a gallon of water for 30 minutes and combine with the HFCS and top up to 6 gallons.

A tip for using tap water. If you can set the tap water out in the direct sunlight uncovered in a shallow container, you can dechlorinate it in about 4 hours. This is cheaper than boiling. The UV from the sun causes the chlorine to combine with the free hydrogen in the water and it gases off really fast. My pool will dechlorinate 15000 gallons from 10ppm to nothing in a day without stabilizer. Tap water has no stabilizer.

So here is the cheapest combination.
Ferment a hand full of whole corn meal in a quart jar for three days.
Combine this with the 26-6-6 fertilizer, the HFCS, cheap one a day multivitamin, pinch of Epsom salt, solar dechlorinated water, rain water, or well water.

Hint. if you want cheap fertilizer year round buy lots in the spring (USA). It becomes unavailable in the fall and winter or it is very expensive then.

Fertilizer discussion
Since this is not for the new distillers, a small discussion on some non-food grade ingredients. First of all, don't drink this wash. An occasional taste won't hurt. I taste everything I ferment and sometimes the wash is worth bottling, such as a nice apple or grape wine. This wash won't hurt you but ingesting some organic salts will give you diarrhea, especially Epsom salts.

The US government has become quite strict on fertilizer manufacturers. Chemically produced fertilizers are pretty much limited in available ingredients to organic and inorganic salts. Heavy metals and volatile chemicals are strictly controlled because of environment controls. There has been a lot of focus on ground water contamination lately. Such chemicals are not included anymore at least not officially. I will not include it here, but a Google of fertilizer regulations will show you more than you could read in a month.

I have stated this many times on other forums and I hope there is no argument with this physical fact. Salts do not evaporate at the temperatures we distill at. It is impossible for the organic or inorganic salts in fertilizer to end up in the spirits provided there is no foam or puking into the condenser. The salts remain in the wash.

Because of the remaining salts and nutrients, I have reused the wash many times just by adding sugar to the hot slop and pitching yeast after the stuff cools. This is the true economic advantage of the Econowash. Most of the time there will be enough nutrients for about three rounds. Each round will be slower than the last. The yeast depletes the B vitamins quickly and ties them up into the cells. Boiling seems to release the protein but not the vitamins. The autolysing of the yeast eventually makes the stuff smell like sewage. The smell has not carried over into the spirits yet.
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Postby mtnwalker » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:02 pm

Thanks pint, this is exactly what I was seeking last night, though too much birthday party to express it well. Couldn't ask or desire a bettet b-day gift, than this recipie. in over a hundre ferments a generic rum wash was my very first stuck ferment. I now understand why. One of the last things I need to order is a quality ph meter, any one have a suggetion to the best for our use?

Please forgive me for last nights post, but do appreciate so much this post of yours.
';
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Postby pintoshine » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:00 pm

I've tried a couple of pH meters and they all have not worked well. I have been using a wide spectrum color indicator I buy locally at a hydroponics store. It comes from http://www.genhydro.com/genhydro_US/phcalibration.html
It is the indicator towards the bottom. I think it is available directly from them via their 800 number.
The thing I don't like about pH meters is that they require constant calibration. The calibration solution is not real expensive but it is time consuming. I haven't found a nice cheap pH meter that works well.
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Postby mtnwalker » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:37 pm

Thanks so much, every one seemed to think the meters were a minerva, and so I wanted one. I will get both stage ph papers and work with them till they come out with a good meter.
3" X 54" SS reflux column with copper, a pot column, and a quarter and a half keg pots, propane fired.
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Re: Econowash

Postby Tdick » Mon May 07, 2018 1:34 am

pintoshine wrote:This recipe is posted on the distillers main site.
It is also called econowash.
I have adapted it a bit because of new knowledge I have obtained over the years.

Hello Chief!
I just read this, wanted to give it a bump and blow the dust off of it.
JMO it should be required reading for noobs. Even if they decide to do something else, it is an excellent thought process of making a mash
I mean WASH :mg:
and also points out while some things are set in stone, there are a LOT of choices to be made.
Also had a question, because if we didn't like to experiment we wouldn't be here.
It makes sense TO ME, if I have to heat up sugar to melt it, I may as well make invert sugar while I'm at it.
There are a lot of Youtube how-to videos that are safe for this. One suggests for 4 kg sugar you would add 2 L of water. 10 pounds to a half gallon of water.

Then you add your lemon or citric acid let it simmer and you have your invert.
As usual there are many many opinions about invert. Most prevelant against is that it doesn't affect the taste.
If that's true, no harm right?
:D
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