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Will this work for a Bourbon

edited October 2016 in Recipes

Hi Guys

I'm looking to make Bourbon but I don't want to mash the corn, rye and barley, it's messy as everyone knows and enzymes are not so easy to get hold of over here in the U.K.

My plan is to make a standard UJSSM with just cracked corn, also on the side mash some rye and barley together in a separate wash, then combine the two strips together for the spirit run.

I'll try and keep the ratios correct for Bourbon, just wondering if anyone's tried it this way, do you think it will work?



  • why not crush the rye and barley and chuck it in with the corn in the UJSSM?

  • I know that works croz.
    Is this a commercial undertaking or for drinking with mates?

    You can make a very passable drink with UJSM, especially if adding some specialty malts, but it's a long cry from allgrain. If you are serving it to people who mix with coke then alls fair.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • @punkin, That's why I raised it - do that myself for my wife's quaffing and apple pie ;)

    Like you say, all grain is a different product

  • Cheers Guys, it's just for me and a few select friends.

    I had a go at an all grain with corn, barley and rye last year, got a very low yield, only 2-3 litres of strip off a 25 litre wash, I didn't add any additional sugar, maybe I should have also added a 2-3kg of sugar.

    Would you normally add sugar for an all grain Bourbon wash?

  • Sugar? Heck no.

    Keep trying and keep stripping.

  • Cheers @grim, I thought not, it was just a bit disappointing for all the work I'd put in, that's why I was wondering if I could cheat using UJSM.

    I will mash the Rye and Barley properly in my Grainfather, I just struggled trying to gelatinise corn in the Grainfather.

  • Why not just say to hell with the ratios?

    Have you tried using pregelatinized corn?

  • Not sure that Pregelatinized Corn is readily available in the U.K. I've done a bit of searching but everything I find is in the States, plus I've got a feeling it would be very expensive if I did find a supplier.

  • Racehorses eat it.

    As Croz said, try the ujsm all together, you may really like it. I know a lot of people who do and Bourbon Girl lives on it.

    If you think somethings missing, then try and make it more difficult on yourself.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • I use torrified/flaked maize here in the U.K. @anavrin

    It's starch is ready to go

    60% maize 30% barley 10% wheat

    All goes into a fermenter with hot water at mashing temps with a blanket around it overnight.

    Next day I starch test, check temp and pitch yeast. When it's done working I seperate the grain from the liquid by squeezing through a big sieve basket.

  • I've got here as 'flaked', 'rolled', 'steamed and rolled' cheap from stock food suppliers or expensive from health food shops and bakery suppliers.

  • edited October 2016

    I can get flaked, it's often used as an adjunct in beer mashes, I'll have to look what the bulk prices are, do you know if it has the same starch conversion as Corn? Or do you need to adjust quantities?

  • edited October 2016

    Maize is just what we call corn in England.

    I don't get quite as much out as I would with an all malt mash but it's not low enough for me to want to change anything or try and source enzymes.

    If you are using 25 litre buckets of some description just use about 4kg maize with 3kg pale malt.

    My first corn whiskey (not really bourbon, the only thing bourbony about it is the heavily charred oak and % of corn) was distilled 3 months ago today. It tasted great white, then tasted a bit like burnt wood for 2 months but has suddenly lost that completely and has a familiar American whisky taste.

    By the 12 months mark I think il have something I can be really proud of.

    Edit: if I kept better records and wrote more down I could be more helpful but I'm pretty sure 33kg flaked maize by crisp malting and 23kg malt resulted in 20 litres of aging product at 62% after cuts

  • Cheers @mark85, I've found somewhere locally, a horse place that sells it by the 25Kg sack, not too expensive either.

    I'm doing 40 litre ferments but I'll try a smaller one as a tester, I'll mash it in my Grainfather so I can remove the grain and sparge, it'll give me an idea of the conversion efficiency.

  • It's over 10 years since I've last did a full grain bourbon but from what I recall it'll got pretty thick before it thinned out so it may not recirculate.
    I was doing it in a big pot. I might have even cooked it a bit before letting it cool to add the malt which would explain the thickness. The memory is a touch hazy :)

  • Yeah, I got into a right gloopy mess last time I tried with cracked corn, I tried to boil it in the grainfathers malt tube before letting it cool to add malt but the only bit that boiled was the water around the tube!!!

    Lesson learned with that one, maybe the only easy way is to get a gas burner and a big stainless stockpot.

    I have an old 30 litre electric home brew boiler, 1.8kw I think, I only use it these days as a HLT, maybe that will get pressed into action

  • I haven't don't it yet but the lesson I took away was to use high temp enzymes to break down the gloop as it forms.
    Perhaps you can get away with raw grains doing it that way to convert them as they gelatinize but like I said I never acualy tried it.
    I've got kg's of enzymes sitting in the fridge waiting but my setup got dismantled.

  • It's the lack of available enzymes over here in the UK that makes it harder than it needs to be I guess

  • Same here. I got them from somewhere in the states but you won't be able to pick up a few grams.

  • edited October 2016

    Pretty sure Sherman ships worldwide.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • edited October 2016

    Amazon UK looks like they have options available.

  • I tried to go through them punkin but their payment system wouldn't accept international cards. It was a bit of a dick around actually.
    Maybe they got their shit together since.

  • don't forget to stir constantly if cooking corn. I learnt that one.....

  • Flaked maize gets real gooey too, especially if you don't keep it moving till it's properly mixed with the malt. I tried it with a false bottom mash tun the first time I used it but I ended up just tipping it all into fermenter with a "il deal with this later" attitude.

    Maybe you'll have more luck. Let us know

  • edited November 2016

    Well it's been a month since I embarked on my UJSM Bourbon mission, I have the strip from the first 3 generation, I'm going to run this as a standard UJSM.

    For my 4th generation I mashed some barley and rye and added it to my corn with the backset, I'm going to use this strip and the strip from the next two generations that will just be plain corn/sugar again for the next spirit run.

    Hopefully it will have more of a Bourbon flavour.

    Having never run it before I have a question if anyone can help, how many plates would you use and roughly what range of %'s would you expect to find the hearts cut?

    I have 4 plates available (2x procap, 1 standard bubble cap and a perf plate with downcommer)

  • I'm playing with one too.
    I threw in a heap of enzymes as well. Looks like it bumped up the ABV by 5%.

  • On a strip - 2 plates, but depends on what you are looking for.

    Depending on your charge proof, 3 plates is going see a hearts cut starting above 160, 2 plates slightly below. I'd imagine a total hearts cut proof in the 158-150 range with 3 and maybe something like 155-145 on 2. That's not cut points but proof of the total cut.

  • edited November 2016

    Cheers guys, I've already stripped the first 3, have approx 24 litres at 50% off my pot still, that should give my keg boiler a 40 litre charge @ 30% for the spirit run, I'm thinking 3 plates but tempted to use just two.

    Would it be worth starting a UJSM feints jar to use in future spirit runs?

  • Remember there are lots of roads to get to the destination.

    @grim has good advice for where you are at.

    I don't do strip & spirit runs for UJSM anymore, just run the wash through 4 plates. after cuts, it ends up around 87%ABV. add all of these into a single storage container to mix before aging or using for pie.

    All feints regardless of product go into a common collection container that i process for neutral when I save up enough.

  • edited November 2016

    I've had a little trouble pasting my notes onto this thread as all the formatting of my table was lost so I took a screen shot on my phone anyway

    I run my first UJSM today, not made any proper cuts yet so the heads, hearts and tails in my notes are just preliminary, also the T Coll column is just a calculation of how much alcohol is in each jar based on the ABV and volume, helps me keep track of how much alcohol is left in the Still, it took 6 hours in total and I recon I'll have about 8 litres of feints once I've made my cuts.

    Has a nice soft corn smell and the tails smell a little spicy!!

    Here's my run notes

    UJSM run notes 27/11/2016

    40litre charge at 30% 3kw power 2 x pro cap plates Big baby dephlagmator on full flow throughout

    ABV was way to high throughout for my liking, next time when I make my Bourbon style UJSM I will maybe only use one plate or just pot still it.

    See photo on next post

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