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Mashing and the most common numbers

Mashing and the most common numbers

Postby Jersey Jericho » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:19 am

Hey there guys,

as I said in my introduction Im mainly a beer homebrewer. Since Im familiar with every step of homebrewing knowing effects of my actions from mashing to bottling my final product, I lose my confidence while making whisky.

Im going to make my first batch of all grain single malt next week.

My humble questions are:

1) What is my target original gravity?

2) What are my target temp rests? (I suppose 38°C mash in 30 mins., 50°C for 15 minutes, 62°C beta amylase for 90 minutes, after that temp raise over alfa amylase without rest up to 78°C to end up the enzyme process)

3) What is the ratio of water to grains (For beer I usually do 3 litres for 1kg of grains)

4) Since the final product is made, I want to age it in glass demijon with some good quality barrique dominos - How much of it should I use per litre of product and how long should I leave it there for aging? (is it the same like in barrel - 3yo,...)

- Im sure I can make it technically, I just could not find the pieces of information I seek. Thank you very much!
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Re: Mashing and the most common numbers

Postby the Doctor » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:18 pm

Jersey the information you seek is best explained by Inge Russell in his wonderful book "Whiskey"...i believe it is available online. The chapter you are looking for is called Sacharification from memory...
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Re: Mashing and the most common numbers

Postby Jersey Jericho » Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:10 pm

Thank you very much sir! Im going to study it a bit :)
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Re: Mashing and the most common numbers

Postby the Doctor » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:35 pm

if you get stuck let me know I will try to find a link.
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Re: Mashing and the most common numbers

Postby Jersey Jericho » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:46 pm

So I have found a book written by that gentleman: Whisky - Technology, Production, Marketing. Im not sure if that is the one you mentioned Doc.. I ran through the book yesterday and I think it goes more in depth in an industry production manner. For instance there is a really nice chapter about malting. But still I couldn´t find exact numbers... Well I guess this hobby is also about experimenting, so I will try some scheme and will see what the results would be.

I suppose Im looking for a wash with original gravity around 1.060 to 1.070 to get around 8% ABV (Since Im beer homebrewer and dont know how it would effect my product, it really tortures me :) I would love to know my numbers in whole process like: Hey Jersey, you need to aim for 8% ABV because... (I dont know why - taste profile maybe?), so you can get to 70% proof in your finall product)

Now the mashing: I´ve read many people go for: mash in around 40°C, then 50°C, then 62°C (I still get it :) ), but then people dont stop the enzymatic process by heating up to 78°C to mashout... Why is that? I think I dont need any enzymes whatsoever since I´ve done the rest on 62°C for 90 minutes and then mashout on 67°C ? Why is that...?
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Re: Mashing and the most common numbers

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:37 pm

8 percent is a good number for healthy ferments and flavor profile from a potstill, and no, you wont get any distillate collected at a total 70%, although you may collect a small amount at 70%, right at first.

When I want complete starch conversion, for both drinking beer and distiller's beer, I mash at 65C; of course it'll work at 62C, but it'll take longer. As far as mashing out, the only reason to do it is to reduce tannin production, but tannins don't go through stills, so I don't worry about mashing out for distiller's beer.
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/

You can make whisky in a reflux still, you can make vodka in a potstill,
and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But..
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Re: Mashing and the most common numbers

Postby rgreen2002 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:06 am

Jersey Jericho wrote:So I have found a book written by that gentleman: Whisky - Technology, Production, Marketing. Im not sure if that is the one you mentioned Doc.. I ran through the book yesterday and I think it goes more in depth in an industry production manner. For instance there is a really nice chapter about malting. But still I couldn´t find exact numbers... Well I guess this hobby is also about experimenting, so I will try some scheme and will see what the results would be.

That text is a great read btw...keep at it and you will find some great info. As far as experimenting I agree. Since home distilling isn't a legal thing in many countries it has not been "formalized" lets say. This leaves many roads to explore. I do recommend taking copious notes though... you want to replicate the good stuff and avoid repeating the bad!

I suppose Im looking for a wash with original gravity around 1.060 to 1.070 to get around 8% ABV (Since Im beer homebrewer and dont know how it would effect my product, it really tortures me :) I would love to know my numbers in whole process like: Hey Jersey, you need to aim for 8% ABV because... (I dont know why - taste profile maybe?), so you can get to 70% proof in your finall product)

These numbers( as ZB has mentioned) are great for an all grain mash. 1.060-1.070 is a great SG and aiming for "around" 8% makes for a healthy yeast profile in fermentation. This will limit yeast stress and potential off flavors. Your beer experience will serve you very well in your new distilling career.

As far as what "numbers" to give you it would not be possible. You have not told us how you plan to distill this mash. Will you use a pot still or a reflux still? This palys a role in final product along with many other things. As ZB mentioned you will not get a specific ABV but you can later blend cuts together to reach a final desired ABV. Again, take notes on your still and this way you will be able to better predict its actions in the future.


Now the mashing: I´ve read many people go for: mash in around 40°C, then 50°C, then 62°C (I still get it :) ), but then people dont stop the enzymatic process by heating up to 78°C to mashout... Why is that? I think I dont need any enzymes whatsoever since I´ve done the rest on 62°C for 90 minutes and then mashout on 67°C ? Why is that...?

I feel like mashing can be really however you want it to be. By that I mean you can certainly use the process that you have been using for beer to make a whisky wash. I do not stop the enzymatic process because i am looking for a more complete conversion - get the most sugar for the buck. I also use liquid enzymes so my mash will be different than that of a grain based mash. In my experience you want to pick a recipe that you can replicate a few times. This will give you a better understanding of the process. Then you can begin to branch out. Experiment and good luck :mrgreen:
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Re: Mashing and the most common numbers

Postby tuner » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:12 am

the Doctor wrote:Jersey the information you seek is best explained by Inge Russell in his wonderful book "Whiskey"...i believe it is available online. The chapter you are looking for is called Sacharification from memory...
Doc

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