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Increasing ABV of my Wash

Hi,

It's my first post..... I am looking to increase the ABV of my wash. Up until now I have been using a tomato paste wash. This have been yielding about 10.5% ABV. Rather low but it have been coast effective up until now. I have recently build a 200ltr fermenter. My production has increased and I am wanting to get the ABV of my wash up to cut some time out of my production. As in if the was going into the still has a higher ABV then I should have a greater put out.

Anyway all help would be appreciated.
Cheers Cliffy :)

Comments

  • You will see a decrease in quality with an increase in ABV. It's all about yeast health. A lot of people would say a 10% wash is already a very good yeild, especially the all grain guys.

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

  • edited September 25

    There is a topic named Newbie wanting help with recipe and in there there is a Dual Yeast recipe from Mickiboi. I have done this and had a really good result of 14.4 % abv - which is pretty high. Excellent flavor. Quite cheap although it looks complicated. The only problem is that it is fermented around 18 degrees C and slow to finish. I do that in a 180l batch and i seem to remember Mickiboi scaled it up for my quantity in his post. I used to do tomato paste wash but found this better. I was tempted to do the kale recipe for a trial though not sure what the ABV was on that.

  • @punkin said: You will see a decrease in quality with an increase in ABV. It's all about yeast health. A lot of people would say a 10% wash is already a very good yeild, especially the all grain guys.

    Thanks @punkin maybe my expections are too high. I have only used dextros at this point. I am yet to source a supplier for and all grain wash. But I would be keen too.

  • @GD50 said: There is a topic named Newbie wanting help with recipe and in there there is a Dual Yeast recipe from Mickiboi. I have done this and had a really good result of 14.4 % abv - which is pretty high. Excellent flavor. Quite cheap although it looks complicated. The only problem is that it is fermented around 18 degrees C and slow to finish. I do that in a 180l batch and i seem to remember Mickiboi scaled it up for my quantity in his post. I used to do tomato paste wash but found this better. I was tempted to do the kale recipe for a trial though not sure what the ABV was on that.

    Cheers @GD50 ill have a look. I'm still figuring out how to get around all the different posts.

  • edited September 25

    Most commercial guys will tell you that you can turn over fermenters faster at a lower gravity, giving you overall greater yield per equipment capacity.

    Not only time, but as you push gravity higher, your heads and tails cuts become wider as well, especially if you don't have jacketed fermenters as high gravity washes are already operating under high yeast stress. Likewise your cost increases as your product yield/fermentatables ratio drops, and you need to account for additional costs like larger yeast pitch, more expensive nutrients, etc.

    10.5% is plenty good.

  • @grim I was also going to add that a quick and easy 10.5 is probably more effective than a slower more worked higher abv. I agree with your 100%. Mind you Mickiboi recipe is still worth a try if you can manage the temperature and time aspects

  • edited September 25

    Commercial all-grain guy chiming in: I do like me some 10% ABV washes.

  • Thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it. Seems like I'm doing allright. Can I ask a couple of more questions? Still in the theme of making the most of what I'm doing.

    I am wondering what folks do with there heads and tails?

    I run a reflux striping still the product that comes out of that either getting turned into an everyday drinking bourbon whisky. I do this by bringing it down from 90abv to 60abv then soaking with charged American oak for 2 months. Then cut it down to 40abv so It's a pleasant easy drinking product that's cost effective.

    Or I cut it down to 40abv to make gin using a different reflux still with a cooper head and botanalicals. Basket. Of which I make further cuts of heads and tails.

    It seems like I end up with a lot of heads and tails just wondering what would be the best use for them?

  • edited September 25

    You can experiment with recycling your late heads and early tails in your next whiskey spirit run (or all your heads and early tails). Otherwise, if you don't want to recycle early tails, don't even bother collecting tails - see I cut that problem in half for you.

  • Running at 90, I think you can get by with recycling feints. I think you'll get more mileage this way, than attempting to do an All Feints Run, which might be great to do when running a pot still, gets mixed reviews running plates/reflux.

  • Yeah imo there is such a small window of useable feints when running the plates/reflux. Fact I'd simply say late hearts is as "feinty" as I would go.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • I like recycling them into ferments. We're collecting about 20% more total feints each run than we were before pitching the feints in at the start of fermentation, but it's not building up past that. Before that, we were recovering about 50% of our whiskey feints as gin stock with the column still and disposing of the concentrated heads.

  • On a plated column @RobertS ?

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • That sounds like a very bad practice @RobertS and i wouldn't advise anyone to pitch that much alcohol into a fermenter and then expect the yeast to work in that alcohol soup.

    Refer back to the start of the thread and the reason not to boost fermentables is to not cause stress on the yeast and therefore have them making unwanted byproducts.

    I just can't see a benefit in that practice of tipping feints in before fermentation. Lots of negatives though.

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

  • @Smaug

    For re-running the feints? Yes. Whiskey is being done on a pot still with dephelgnator but no plates.

    @punkin

    It was recommended to me by other professionals and hasn't bit us yet if it's a bad idea. My understanding is that many heads components are metabolic intermediates that the yeast didn't get to before fermentation ended, and are used when pitched back into the next run. We're adding about 1.5% ABV at the start, ending around 11.5% instead of 10%. Still in the comfort zone.

  • Certainly sounds counter intuitive to me.

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

  • I've heard of people adding heads back to the fermentation, but I've never heard a good explanation as to why.

  • I can understand adding back a measure of alcohol after fermentation to stave off the likelihood of infection if the distiller is going to sit on the beer for a prolonged period of time.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • That makes sense, if you need the time.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

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