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Using DME/LME for whiskeys

If you made it and you liked it, please share. Questions about the recipes are welcome. Modifications should be placed in seperate topics.

Using DME/LME for whiskeys

Postby ZeroGee » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:31 pm

I’m here in “Proven Recipes” because that’s what I want… a proven recipe (or at least a recipe that’s worked well).

I’m looking for a DME/LME recipe with which to make a 20 liter sample ferment to try out for various whiskeys: light barley, medium barley, dark barley, wheat, corn or rice – or any combination thereof that worked well.

What I don’t want to do is spend a lot on various DMEs and find out I could saved money by asking first.

So, for a 20 liter ferment:
    X pounds DME/LME
    X pounds sugar (?)
    X type yeast
    X amount yeast nutrient (?)
    X amount cracked adjunct grain

Deathwish’s Wheat Germ (DWG) recipe provides an excellent light whiskey flavor with a single pound of well cooked wheat germ cereal added to a basic sugar wash.

I can guess. Does anyone know for sure?

ZG
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Instead, it provides a list of mistakes you hope, profoundly, never to repeat.
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Re: Using DME/LME for whiskeys

Postby punkin » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:18 pm

This was hand written for one of the forum members by a local guy i built a pot still for. His ideal was a Fine Scotch Whiskey and he set out to do it with extract. I tried it a year or so ago when this was written and truely is a fine drink. he is ageing in barrels the same as my ones. Shy bugger, but a nice guy, he prefers to remain very quiet about it all.

You won't go wrong with this and it's extremely detailed.


Fine Scotch Whisky (produced at home - adopted from Harry's Glenmorangie clone recipe ...Ref: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1062&p=13084&hilit=glenmorangie#p13084)
Be sure to consult Harry's posting.
At its outset, coming off a base of continual disappointment distilling neutral spirit from dextrose washes and flavouring with essences, all of which resulted in flavours comparable with cough medicine, I admit to once being hesitant when considering producing this (Harry's) whiskey. The cost and effort involved here exceed that of the dismal essence experience however, to end any hesitation, the result is replication of authentic scotch whiskey.
My whiskey, now entering its 2nd year is at 52%abv and developing rich malt with beautiful, warm amber colour and medium to strong peat smokiness, not unlike an Islay malt, it is already higher end quality.
From Harry's invaluable information, the following is the outcome of my interpretation of this and how I implemented his method (less the famous Glenmorangie 1/5 cut) to produce, as it is titled, Fine Scotch Whisky.
Equipment:
• Pot still & parrot beak with 50L boiler capacity
• Feints/strip collection vessel (50L)
• Above vessels are of stainless steel, air tight capable with drain fitted
• White oak ageing barrel (50L charred)
• Extra white oak off cuts ($50 per wheelie bin full)
• Stainless steel buckets 12L x 2 (for mashing and collection of distillate)
• Strainer - robust (I use an un-coloured plastic bucket with many 3/16 holes drilled)
• New garbage bins 40L x 2 (these receive mashed & strained grain liquid)
• Fermenters 30L x 2 with air lock and drain - thermometer attached
• Glass jar with lid


Plus the usual home brewing essentials - stainless spoon, pyrex measures, wine thief, auto syphon, appropriate hydrometers and sampling / measuring vessel.


Ingredients:
(per fermenter x 2) the eventual total wort of 40L well matches the 50l still boiler, filling the boiler beyond this may cause foaming still contents to spoil the spirit....
• 2kg Bairds malted barley (peated medium)
• 6kg Coopers light malt extract (4x1.5kg cans)
• 5 teaspoons baker's yeast
• 1 sachet ale yeast (Fermentis Safale US-05)
• Water to fill to 20L level
• Demineralised water for adjusting hearts to 65% ABV

These yeasts are vital in producing authentic scotch whisky flavour. (see Harry's posting)
Prepare the wort - remember amounts are for 1 fermenter, you're making 2 batches.



Mash & sparge the grain.
Begin by mashing the grain, place dry grain (2kg per bucket - rough cut) add 6L tap water (hot as you can get it) wrap a good quilt tightly around the buckets to hold heat in. Leave 1 hour.

Alternatively, use slow cookers or large boiler to more efficiently mash your grain, hold temp at 65°C for 30 minutes.
Next strain liquid from the grain into a sterilised (new) garbage bin. With a couple of litres of very hot to boiling water, do a final rinse over the grain. Keep water usage to a minimum as your final fermenter level should not exceed 20L based on a 50L still boiler.

I squeeze dry mine, collecting nearly all moisture. This grain is now spent but you have (in your liquid) the all important peat smoke and some barley malt. In lieu of preparing an all grain ferment, the full maltiness, call it cheating, comes by adding light malt extract.

The temperature of the strained malt liquid is sufficient to fully liquefy the extract, add 6kg per fermenter. I used Coopers Light Malt Extract. Your level may now be around the 12L mark.

Aiming for a final fermenter temperature of around 25-30°C. (these years are temp forgiving, however, extremes will compromise quality) other than in mid winter, top up to 20L using cold tap water. In cold weather, wrapping Fermenters with a quilt over an electric blanket will maintain good temperature to complete the fermentation. Aim for an initial gravity of around 1070 and a final gravity of 1000 or less. Be aware that initial fermentation is quite aggressive, for this period it is unlikely that the electric blanket will be turned on.

Always, pitching yeast takes precedent over perfect wort temp. Your valuable wort is a t risk of wild yeast infection the longer it stands un-inoculated, don't become consumed with exacting temps.
Into a clean jar, extract some wort using the wine thief and add both yeasts, shake well to hydrate, stir the hydrated yeast blend into the wort.
Repeat this process for the 2nd 20L of wort.


Distil the Fermented wort (strip run)
With a hydrometer reading of 1000 or less, the fermented wort is ready for the still, charge the still with no more than 40L and bring to the boil. Once the condenser began to flow, I found strip runs ran smoother when the burners were kept below high, this prevented foam reaching the condenser and entering the collected strip. For final spirit quality, discard the initial 200ml of flow, then collect all strip down to an alcohol level of 20% or even slightly below, you can expect to collect up to 8 litres. Note the already scotch like taste and aroma of the strip or low wines, I stored this in a 50L beer keg.

Malt strip runs leave plenty of deposits within still components so be sure to clean equipment thoroughly following this procedure.

Repeat the fermentation and stripping process until you have collected at least 40L of strip.


Spirit Run
Charge the still with 40L of collected strip and bring to the boil, once flowing, again, I collect and discard the initial 200ml of spirit however, in the name of clean spirit this may be overkill anyhow, beginning at 85% ABV or higher, direct all flow to the strip collector.

Approaching 82% ABV, you are soon to be collecting the hearts of your spirit run. Reduce the burners to medium to avoid getting flecks in the final spirit. At 80% ABV down to possibly 60% are, as a guide the hearts, collect these separately. Below here down to maybe 40%, flavours may change from good to bad and good again, at 500ml collection intervals for me if it smelled and tasted good, it was kept as hearts, the bad was collected as feints to return to the strip collector.
From 40% down to 20% it is probably faire to say - direct all flow to the strip collector, these are flavoursome additions to future strip run collections.

Collected hearts were adjusted to 65% ABV using demineralised water then placed in large jars containing charred white oak. Jars served the purpose of storage with ageing capabilities until several spirit runs were collected. I had a new charred L barrel on hand but I'm told these don't like to be less than half filled when new.
Other than a few sample bottles which were adjusted from 65 to% ABV after being in a charred barrel only a matter of a few months, a few bottles taken later responded best when the ABV% was reduced in stages over time of small increments, my cuts were kept below 10% at around 8 week intervals. Use only demineralised water when making your cuts.

I kept the barrel contents at 65% for nearly 2 years before beginning the cutting process, I've not yet produced the final product.
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Re: Using DME/LME for whiskeys

Postby sugarcreek » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:40 am

To make a whiskey-like spirit from LME you could do the following:

8.5 lbs. Light Malt Extract
5 gallons water
I sachet US-05

And you'll get a a wort of about 1060 SG. Pitch US-05 (no nutriets are necessary) and ferment in low 70s (around 65F is optimal) or if you can find distillers yeast you can ferment a bit warmer.

Ferment as usual. I would avoid liquid based extracts as they are a mess to work with and I believe result in a wort with a tinny twang.
What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? ~Jack Handey
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Re: Using DME/LME for whiskeys

Postby Kapea » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:26 am

I disagree with your thoughts on liquid malt extracts. The ones I use have very good flavors. If they are old and stale they can develope funky flavors, especially if they are canned.

Messy-wise, no more so than honey. But, that is the opinion of a beekeeper/meadmaker. YMMV. :D

Briess makes a very nice liquid rye malt extract (in addition to many varieties of barley malt). It comes in HDPE containers. Their liquid malt extract is aka concentrated brewer's wort (CBW).
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Re: Using DME/LME for whiskeys

Postby ZeroGee » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:33 pm

Punkin – thanks for the quick response. Your shy friend’s recipe is lovely and will be wonderful after a few years of barrel aging. It might even be drinkable after using FullySilenced’s nuclear aging methods.

Sugarcreek – thanks also for a quick response. 8.5 lbs (4 kilos) of dry malt extract (DME) per 5 gallons (20 liters) of water, no sugar added. I can buy liquid malt extract (LME) in 5 gallon HDPE buckets from Homebrew Heaven to avoid the tinny twang of the un-hopped canned stuff usually used for baking. However, without refrigeration I worry about getting infected LME.

Kapea – as a half-Canadian (dual citizenship) I’ve developed a taste for rye whiskey, so your suggestion was excellent!

I’m working on a monograph for the “Apartment Stiller,” so the restrictions on space are pretty severe. No shed, basement or spare room space, no garden or any of the other extras enjoyed by a home owner. Having just moved into a condo, I can easily appreciate the difficulties of small space distilling. Fortunately, I’m a mere ten minutes to the border of a US state that licenses micro-distilleries, so I can rent commercial space to work on building and testing designs. Building any kind of distiller (including water) without a permit is illegal in BC but not in the US.

Using a 15.5 gallon keg (thanks for the Geemacher link, SC) and a modified VM, I’ve been able to collect fore-shots and heads as it they were in a pot still and then switch over to (variable) reflux for the hearts. Tails are collectable either as pot still taste/smell or simple reflux for the next distillation. The thing is to do away with the re-distillation required by a pot still without having to build a plate column. Not as pretty, to be sure, but seems to work quite well and minimizes time and space. Odin loves it and set up his distillery around this mod concept. It also works perfectly as a straight VM.

I’ve also been thinking about adding various crystal malts either crushed as adjuncts or sparged in a 5 gallon double insulated drink cooler (wrapped in Reflectix, fits in the bathtub). There are lots of cool space reduction tricks from beer makers.

But if you have DME/LME recipes, this is the time to put them forward! :8)

ZG
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Re: Using DME/LME for whiskeys

Postby mlb68 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:08 pm

ZG this comes out with a good taste to me anyway.
1 3.3 can of pale ale LME
2lbs of corn meal
4lbs sugar
2 vitamin B+C
1 pack ec-118
6gls water total

boil 2gls of water add the corn meal stirring in slowly to avoid clumps. stir constantly for 15 minutes then cut off the heat. Add 1gl of water then the rest of the ingredients. Rehydrate the yeast and make the happy. I usually do this over night with a tea spoon of molasses and some warm water. Aerate top up to 6gls and pitch the yeast. It will finish for me in 10 days or so.

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Re: Using DME/LME for whiskeys

Postby sugarcreek » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:41 am

Kapea said:

I disagree with your thoughts on liquid malt extracts. The ones I use have very good flavors. If they are old and stale they can develope funky flavors, especially if they are canned.


Fair enough and thanks for keeping me honest. My experience (which I regrettably neglected to mention) is from literally decades ago when I first started to extract /partial mash brew. Im sure top-tier producers (Breiss as you noted) are not the same as the generic kits I used back in the dark ages of home brewing.
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Re: Using DME/LME for whiskeys

Postby Kapea » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:34 am

Blue Ribbon malt extract and sugar beer?
That recipe goes WAY back... pre-Jimmy Carter or Fred Eckhardt! :D


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Re: Using DME/LME for whiskeys

Postby sugarcreek » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:42 am

I wasnt thinking about THAT long ago but I did make some pretty rank batches using Coopers hopped "Extra Special Bitter" extract kits. Even the unhopped I used back in the day were, well, not so great (but I drank them!)
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Re: Using DME/LME for whiskeys

Postby amaark » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:33 am

DME Malt Whisky (using an Airstill)

The Wash

6 kg Dried Malt Extract
30 gram Bakers Yeast
34 litre Wash Volume

SG 1.066
1.5 week fermentation, Room temperature 19 to 21 deg C
FG 1.006
Abv 7.74% (SG-FG) x 129

Strip Runs

3l per strip run to allow for puking, collected to a volume of 1 litre. Due to work constraints I have to use a time based solution. (this was 4.5hrs) I have a 220v AC supply, this means my Airstill is operating at around 280w instead of the 320w with a 240v supply.
Managed to get 11 runs at 3 litres each. Final run was very cloudy but passed with no issue.
Stripped Quantity was 11 litres at approx. 22%.
Due to the constraints of the Airstill and wanting to follow Harry’s Glenmarongie Cuts I had to carry out a “spirit strip” run. Basically I charged my still with 3 litres of strip and distilled it, no cuts to an output of 10%.
This produced 1.40 litres at approx. 45%.

Spirit Runs

Using Harry’s guide I fully charged the still 4 litres - 60/40 with strip / spirit strip.
Again using a mix and match to keep as close as I could to the guide I wanted emulate I cut as follows:

Foreshot - 50ml
Heads – down to 75% ouput
Hearts – 75% - 60%
Tails – 60% and below
Heads and Tails from each run were immediately recycled into the spirit with the 60/40 being relaxed.
Final output was 2.00 ish litres at 67%

Aging

The spirit has been cut to 56% and is currently on oak. 10 grams per litre. It is taking on a beautiful amber colour with a distinctive vanilla smell.
It is my intention at monthly intervals to cut to 48, 44 and finally 40. The spirit will be left to rest at 40% for a further month before bottling and consumption.
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