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Sour Mash

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Sour Mash

Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jan 16, 2005 5:55 am

Trying to make some home stuff. Can't seem to get the mash right. Anyone know how to do it?
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Postby SasquatchMan » Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:38 am

What's wrong with your mash? Whisky on one hand is dead simple to make, much simpler than beer, for instance. All you are doing is fermenting some grain and then distilling. So really, if you can figure out a way to get yeast to eat the sugars in your mash, you get alcohol. Getting pure, good tasting alcohol is different, and your still setup is going to matter as much as the initial product. Even then, you're going to end up with undrinkable "screech" unless you've got a line on a nice barrel and lots of patience.

There are lots of books on beer and whiskey making. Check em out.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:11 am

How can whisky making be easier than beer? You've got to
make beer first, and then distill it to get whisky!
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Postby SasquatchMan » Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:07 am

Admiral, the idea I was trying to get across was that the distillation process if carried out by a chemist, would yield ethyl alcohol and a little water with it, no matter if you started with corn, barley, or sugar cane, or grapes.

Making beer is really difficult - if you move it too much, aerate it too much, etc etc etc it comes out nearly undrinkable. I'm not saying whisky requires no care, but the distillation process is kind of a buffer. The original question being loosely phrased "my mash sucks", the original answer is "Well, what do you think mash is supposed to be like?" It isn't drinkable per se.

So a guy trying to whip out some home brewed lightning better think real heavy about whether or not he has any idea how to distill (assuming he manages a worthwhile mash).
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Postby Aidan » Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:20 am

I think distillation is quit tricky. The first stuff that comes off the still is poisonous, and so is the last stuff. At least I think that's the case.
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Mash

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:04 pm

I have a Complete Copper Still my father gave me and the receipe to go with it. I can't get my mash to ferment well though. Either I don't have the temp. right or not enough yeast or some thing. Every time I try to run it all I get is about a Tablespoon of prue and then just water. What do you think.
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Postby Admiral » Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:58 am

I brew my own beer, and certainly temperature and yeast are critical for the process to work.

If it's too cold, the yeast becomes inactive, and if it's too hot, the yeast can die.

20 degrees celsius (about 68 degrees fahrenheit) is about right.

There are different strains and varieties of yeast too. Some are ideal for alcohol production, whereas others are more suited to breadmaking, etc.

A local homebrewing beer store might give you some assistance?

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Ed » Thu Jan 20, 2005 4:37 pm

Hello All,
I am no expert, so I won't presume to advise you. I will ask some questions though! :) I have brewed some beer in the past though. It might help if you told us just what you were doing when brewing your mash. Also, have you tasted your mash before distilling it? Can you taste alcohol in it? One book I have says that after brewing the mash should be about 8% alcohol so you should be able to taste it. If you can taste it and aren't getting any out of the still the problem may be in the distilling process rather than the brewing.
Ed
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:33 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong--it's been a long time since I brewed--but oughtn't alcohol content be measurable by before-and-after hygrometer readings?
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Sour Mash

Postby RandyTheLockheadMonster » Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:40 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I think your right about the yeast.
I'll check out a brew store and see if they have anything better.
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Postby Ed » Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:03 am

Hello All,
I was wondering, is the mash warm when you add the yeast? If it is too warm then you might be killing the yeast when you add it.
Ed
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