Moving Larger Volumes of Wash - Fermenter to Dash

Hi - I'm currently speccing my dash order and realised as I'm starting to make rum, that the volumes of liquid I need to support quickly escalates! Currently I've been using a 25L boiler in the out house, but doing the 25L ferments in my house (where it's warmer - I live in UK where it's cold 10 months of the year!) Not sure if I can afford the 120L pot belly yet (but it will be the 100L milk can otherwise), I'll be making nearly 5 times the volume I do currently - then repeating it for multi-generational rum fermentation.

Currently I lift the fermenter onto a table and siphon 23L (ish) into my boiler (which I've brought into the house) then carry the boiler with wash into the out-house for distilling. When I go to 100L+ washes, clearly lifting a fermenter onto a table isn't practical, nor is carrying a filled boiler from one building to the other. It seems to me that either I have to fit new windows/doors to the out-house and properly insulate, so that I'm able to ferment outside or I'm stuck with many short siphon / shuttle runs from house to out-house. Sounds a bit crap. Am I missing something?

Is there a product where I can siphon and pump to the boiler in one go? I've seen the conical fermenters, but I don't think that will work for multi-generations of rum, so I seem to be stuck with siphoning these larger volumes. I'd appreciate any advice please.

Comments

  • edited April 12

    You can put a plastic tank fitting on any plastic fermenter and just run it out the bottom. Not that it applies to rum, but it's not difficult to put a grain filter in there either.
    Then a small pump will sort you out. Just have the fermenters up on a couple of bricks.

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

  • edited April 12

    Thanks @Punkin. As I'm not the most practical of individuals ... apologies in advance for the most basic of questions:

    • Would I get these tank fittings from a garden pump / pond shop? Is that what you mean?
    • I think you mean the filter sits on the bottom of the fermenter (and comes out the side). Even if I sit it 1 inch off the bottom, I'm guessing this is going to pump a very cloudy wash to the boiler - yeast 'n' all, as it's fine enough to go through the metal filter?
    • What do you mean about the grain filter for rum please? The stuff left in the bottom of my fermenter was thick but no solids to speak of. Whatever filter I use for rum, won't the leftovers get pumped out with the wash, which means I won't have the yeast bed for my next gen ferment?
  • You can get them at tank/irrigation shops here in Australia so i assume the same in your neck of the woods.

    You can mount it as high as you like, but if you use an external pump it shouldn't disturb the yeast bed too much.

    I mean you wouldn't need a filter at all, but if you wanted to stick, say a green kitchen scourer up the pipe it would probably filter it just fine.

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

  • Or you could just ferment in the boiler. You could keep it warm by using an aquarium heater.

    Personally I never clear my rum and have always distilled with the yeast in. I feel this contributes to the mouth feel and long finish of the flavour.

  • edited May 3

    Spirits distilled on yeast have a notticable flavor to them, and not in a good way, IMHO.

    As a little fella who used to hang out around these parts used to say back in the day, “The further you are from the yeast the better.”

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • @Kapea said: Spirits distilled on yeast have a notticable flavor to them, and not in a good way, IMHO.

    As a little fella who used to hang out around these parts used to say back in the day, “The further you are from the yeast the better.”

    @Kapea Can I ask what you distill where you noticed the bad flavour?

    Yeast in or out of the boiler seems to generate such polar responses. It's interesting how the opinions are such extremes.

    For neutrals I agree and would never argue or speculate this point. Less yeast in the boiler the better.

    For my Rum I personally find it works great. I have seen interesting debates for both sides dependent on yeast stain too. Maybe the yeast strain I use it ok for distilling.

    As a further side point how many large scale commercial distillers leave there mash to settle? Also what about all the continuous stills? Pretty sure most of the big boys who make flavour rich (Rum, Bourbon) etc leave the yeast in.

    For the OP, maybe give it a try and make your own decision. Personal experiments are always the most valuable. Be it a good or bad outcome, you only learn by trying. If you find you notice no negative impact to flavour this could solve your problem. If it turns out shit, then back to the drawing board :)

  • edited May 4

    @lumpany said: As a further side point how many large scale commercial distillers leave there mash to settle? Also what about all the continuous stills? Pretty sure most of the big boys who make flavour rich (Rum, Bourbon) etc leave the yeast in.

    As far as I know, all commercial whiskies (yes, even including off-grain whiskies like scotches) and rums are distilled with yeast.

  • edited May 4

    For neutral, it's probably good practice to reduce the yeast if possible.

    For an unaged white rum or an unaged whiskey, it probably makes sense to attempt to reduce the yeast, since you are going for a cleaner flavor off the still.

    Distilling with yeast increases the long-chain carboxylic acids and corresponding esters, increasing flavor complexity.

    So decreeth the good apostles of distilling in the year of our lord 1966:

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  • edited May 4

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  • But decreasing the yeast is then distilling off the grain, othrewise how are you going to get that yeast out. That's if it is bottom fermenting. Top fermenting ought not pose the same problem ????

  • We distill our malt whiskey from uncleared, very yeasty wash, and I treasure the rich flavor. Customers seem to like it also, both white at 110 proof and oaked at 86 proof. Of course, we don't use immersed elements.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • I no longer use immersion elements either as I distill on the grain for bourbon etc. For the OP I previously used to distill my rum, yeast in and with immersion elements.

  • What @Kapea said.

    Use the yeast to ferment the wash then be rid of them. You will end up with at least 1" of muck on the bottom and I wouldn't ever want to do a run with that crud in the tank. This is for rum, whiskey is a whole nother story because of the grain.

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