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BASF
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[*] posted on 13-5-2004 at 23:38
wodka-brewing


Does anyone know an extremely cheap, non-toxic sedimentation-agent that helps in precipitating the yeast?
-The fermentation has stopped since 1 week, and CO2-evolution has subsided, but the yeast won´t accumulate to bigger particles so that it can settle.
(If i would like to distill the alcohol to get the usual 35-40%, i would first have to remove all the yeast.)

I have also tried (the ridiculous idea) of filtering..what a frustating experience(it gets clogged immediately by the fine yeast-particles).
I´ve thought of using water glass with some acid, or FeSO4 with Na2CO3 => coprecipitation of yeast.
I know that heating aids in accumulation of the particles, but if i would do that, the sensoric quality of the wodka would decrease!

I think the two methods would work, but i would rather like to use something non-toxic or an alternative method.

[Edited on 14-5-2004 by BASF]
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[*] posted on 14-5-2004 at 01:01


How would heating affect quality, most people brew together with yeast.. though I'm not an experienced brewer..

After giving it like 50*C and then letting it stand for some day it'll become clear. I guess that yeast precipitates when it dies, so try to kill em in some other way.. that wouldn't be toxic to a human.. like rising or lowering pH... :o
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[*] posted on 14-5-2004 at 02:30


Filter through a linen sheet and wring this out. Thats the traditional way it was done for a few thousand years so it might still work.

A pillow cover in an old spin dryer work wonders if bigger batches are to be processed.

Dont forget to pay the thy tax moonshiner!

[Edited on 14-5-2004 by Organikum]
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[*] posted on 14-5-2004 at 23:00
Feed it more.


frogfot is quite right: the yeast will sink when it dies, and you will be able to decant a fairly clear wash from this. What you must do to make it die is simply feed it more sugar, so it makes more ethanol - which will kill it. When I moonshine these days, I always add extra ammounts of sugars, so that the yeast is always dead and buried at the end of the ferment. What you have to watch out for here is autolysis, which ruins the taste of any spirit - try adding floccular matter. Such things as orange pulp, paper pulp, and even grass have been used - I reccomend orange pulp.

This is cheap, but not what you asked for. It sounds as if you want "finnings" - which are (were) added to beers to precipitate most of the yeast and clear it ready for bottling. Most beers these days have very pure hops and don't need finnings - the guiness I bottled yesterday was very clear (ie. not muddy).

Sincerely
-Ramiel

ps. @ Organikum - usually taxes apply only to spirits sold for consumption. Where the beurocrat sees fit to restrict the happiness of the average man, he is defeated by his own beurocracy. Hooray for loopholes.




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[*] posted on 15-5-2004 at 03:57
Yeast issues.


BASF, i struggle to comprend your problem.
I realise you have a problem(obviously) but you shouldnt becasue fermentation is usually a straight-forward process.
For me to understand better, I will require some more information :D
What kind of yeast are you using?
What type of sugar are you using and how much did/do you add?
How much water did you add to the mix?
You say your next step is to distill for the usual 35-50%?! This is terrible, are you using scientific equipment or have you a traditonal pot still or what? These are very ordinary figures, either your distilling method is ineffective and/or your fermentation is letting you down and only producing a limited amount of ethanol! :(
Btw, i have found that distilling spent yeast residue can add a unique flavour to neutral spirit, especially if you plan to flavour using commercial essence. try it someday, maybe even tomorrow because i suggest you start over with a new batch of yeast because i think you can do better :)
To get back on track and to answer your questions directly, my opinion is that you are either:
(a) Mixing your ingredients in the wrong ratios.
(b) using the wrong type of yeast for your climatic conditions.
(c) Not thoroughly mixing your yeast prior to fermentation, and/or you are not adding your yeast to a pre-warmed mixture of sugar/water..this affects EtOH production!!
(d) Adding too much yeast or too little sugar, this relates to ratios.
I hope i didnt seem too abrasive with this post, i really do wish you luck with your endeavours. with my help, you will have high yields of 80%abv spirit :D
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[*] posted on 16-5-2004 at 14:38


Why bother to remove the yeast? It won't distill.
35 to 50% is not terible, it's about the range you get for Vodka. There are more than a few hints that this stuff is for drinking and getting above 50% is a waste of time for that.
I'm told;) that running the product through charcoal does wonders for the flavour
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[*] posted on 16-5-2004 at 20:52
EtOH


As far am i'm concerned, distilling spirit over 50%abv is not a waste of time at all.
The ethanol that trickles out of my condensor ranges from 70-85%abv, of course i do not consume the alcohol as is!!
A simple mathematic equation and you can dilute the ethanol to any desired concentration. Therefore, higher percentages just results in larger volume of 35-50%abv spirits!
For polishing ethanol destined for use in neutral spirits, activated carbon performs the best. However, it addds no flavour as its role is to remove impurities and to render the ethanol 'neutral', ready for flavouring.
Charcoal is lovely for flavouring whisky and darker siprits...mmmm :D
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[*] posted on 16-5-2004 at 21:26


With regards to the distilling camp: there is generally one school of thought only on the matter - for neutral spirits, pass it through a pot still a number of times (Why are you using a pot still for neutral spirits!), or pass it through a reflux still once or twice with a high reflux ratio. Basically, you want to pass it through roughly 6 to 8 plates of distillation. I can confirm that adding activated charcoal to the 'wodka' does remove flavors as unionised and Prince said.

Go ahead and still, I can almost garuntee that wodka will be swill if it comes off at 40% the first time - especially if the yeast hasn't been removed prior to distillation.

This isn't just a matter of opinion; If you need high purity ethanol, you must go as high as possible (or feasable), and then dilute with clean wather.

Respect
-Ramiel




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[*] posted on 17-5-2004 at 02:56


First at all: Thanks to the brewing camp :D

@Prince_Lucifer:

1)I used turbo yeast for wodka-brewing:
http://turbo-yeast.com/turbo_pure_48.html

2)I used the proposed ratios on a 10L batch and followed the notes on temperature and the like.-So i think no grave errors here, at least.

I noticed then that fermentation seemed to proceed much too slowly...after 5 days @19-21 deg C (this is said to be the ideal brewing temperature for this kind of yeast) only 5% EtOH or so and still very sweet. - And yes, the solution of sugar was prewarmed(40-50deg C).

Lateron i noticed that the cover of my bucket was not completely airtight(that was the reason there were no bubbles in the U-pipe). - Although there was no smell of vinegar, i don´t know how much this also affects the formation of EtOH.

I did a comparative 30ml-batch in a measuring cylinder, with oil on the cover for air-exclusion, and it fermented as it should, with the 18% it should have had.
But similarly to the bigger batch, the yeast did not sink, not even after a week!
(milky liquid)

-So i think possibly there is at least a slight difference in beer-yeast and turbo-yeast.
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[*] posted on 17-5-2004 at 04:14


try aluminium sulfate, about 0,5-1,0g/L.
let it stand for about a day. majority of yeast should precipitate.
(of course, you'll take some probe as culture for next brewing, Al3+ isn't really something good for the yeast;)

[Edited on 17-5-2004 by FritzHaber]
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[*] posted on 17-5-2004 at 04:32


I had a very similar experience with turbo yeast (big packet, rather expensive, claims amazing timeframe). The yeast failed to ferment through the sugars, and did not settle.

Try using champagne yeast (that is what I use these days for my cheapo ethanol). I was most disappointed when i found that a cheap run of the mill champagne or wine yeast would deliver in 7 to 10 days what a turbo yeast would never do. I s'pose I’ve grown to bear the pain or something... the 90% spirits help a lot.

Ooh, I just thought of a joke.
Q. Why are so many chemists alcoholics?
A. They think it'll solve their problems.

Good luck in the future, all you homebrewmeisters.
Sincerely
-Ramiel

edit: On the topic of biochemistry: clearly the yeast has gone from multiplying it's numbers (using all available oxygen in the water and atm.), to the anerobic produciton of ethanol (well, it's a byproduct of metabolism, not the endproduct, but anyway) - so it hasn't stalled. It would be interesting to diagnose the reason for the yeast shutting down.

Perhaps someone with a more intimate knowledge of these amazing microbeings can identify the situations which make yeasts ceace metabolism. It probably has something to do with an unstable metabolism in these super-yeasts (or man made gene-freaks if you ask me...)

[Edited on 17-5-2004 by Ramiel]




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[*] posted on 17-5-2004 at 15:36


Prince Lucifer;
if I ferment a kilo of sugar I get about half that weight of alcohol. It doesn't matter if I distill it at 50 % or I distill it at 100% then water it. Given that the losses are likely to be less with fewer distillations...

Anyway, I "heard somewhere" that you can usefully freeze out some of the water before distilling.
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[*] posted on 24-5-2004 at 04:56


I don't know if this question is to be put here or not so kindly excuse me if it's not.

Sugars are primarily used to be as a fermentation reagent.

What other compounds can you use ? Do you need special yeast for it in that case ?
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[*] posted on 24-5-2004 at 09:47


Does anybody know where i could get glucose-syrup(rather than hydrolizing starch with HCl i would just like to buy it:P)....i suppose this could be cheaper than always using crystallized sugar.
I hear that coca cola for instance uses glucose-syrup as cheap sweetener(?).
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[*] posted on 24-5-2004 at 18:02


Glucose syrup is quite easily found at either pharmacies, health food stores and some supermarkets. Used as a sweetener and it has medicinal applications for infants.

Glucose being the sugar that is primarily used in the human metabolic cycle to produce energy. Most sugars that are easily absorbed are first converted to glucose in your body before being implemented. Thus it also found a use as a quickly absorbed energy suppliment.

You should not have much trouble finding it.
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[*] posted on 25-5-2004 at 00:23


Thanks for the reply....the problem is that this glucose-syrup has to be dirt cheap to be used as main-glucose-source for brewing.
So brands used as sweeteners for cakes and energy-sweets usually sold in supermarkets in multi-100g-amounts are definitely too expensive.
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smile.gif posted on 25-5-2004 at 08:22


I have used a special kind of yeast...killer yeast for porto wine...it can go as high as 18% alcohol what means than for 10 liters fermented juice one can get 2 litters 90-96% alcohol.
:P:P:P:P

Then it is worth to distillate.

About the yeast decantation usually one use bentonite clay...this is used for clarification of fermented juices.
Al(OH)3 is also good.

The main problem with yeast is that it floats because of the CO2 bubbles...
so you have various alternatives:

-To do nothing about it :o:o:o and simply do the distillation in a large enough container sothat it can foam and boil without too much troubles of going over the distillation settup.Usually one will to make a comfortable distillation and get as much control over it as he wants...fill the recipient with 1/2 to 2/3 fermented juice, not more...the critical step is the first 1/2 hours...but you have to stay arround; after an half hour, all the CO2 is away, the enzymes desactivated and refluxing enriched alcohol/water drops from the distillation collumn that will kill the foam.
One could use as sudds depressant silicone anti-sudds or more conveniently a natural oil like almond, corn,olive oil.

-Filtration through a cotton tissue (like socks - yeah it sucks ;)) it has worked nicely for me.

-The use of ultrasounds generator inside the batch will implo/explode yeast cells and so they will sink...foam might go up since the enzymes that are in the cell is set free in the surrounding.
Bubbles of CO2 will go out and foam will be killed by utrasonic waves.
--> bentonite or Al(OH)3 to go faster on decantation. Or filtration.

:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:
Final info:
For your next uses of fermentators, use alginate balls...you make a 1-2% sodium alginate solution in temperated and aerated tap water.Then gently admix 2% milk and 3% suggar with yeast at 25°C. Allow to rest then mix again by incorporating air in it.
Prepare a 1% CaCl2 solution at 25°C...the allow teh first batch to fall dropwise into the CaCl2 batch...upon contact Ca alginate gel forms imediately and you get gel dropsize balls full of activated yeast....No without too much delay introduce those balls inside the juice to be fermentated at the desired temperature and without air.
Once fermentation is done simply filtrate the balls and get the juice.Balls can be used inside the next batch after reactivation inside aerated/milk/suggar/temperated water.Those balls are reusable 3-5 times.

Last option is the continuous like process...yeast is grown into a porous inert media with air, physiological serum/suggar/milk...this porous media is then introduced in a tube with a filter at one end.You then get a flow of juice at one end at such a rate that the residence time in the reaction tube is >24 hours...fermentation occurs in the tube while the fluid goes by...oxygen gets very fast depleted and fermentation goes on..the front yeast evolves and is in favourable conditions to give activated offsprings that flows further.
Then you have filtration and fermentation at the same time :):D;):P:o:cool:
This process is used for some pils beer of low alcoholic %...but it has the advantage of being continuous and so continuous distillation setup can be introduced.

:cool::cool::cool::cool:




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[*] posted on 26-5-2004 at 00:17


Quote:
Anyway, I "heard somewhere" that you can usefully freeze out some of the water before distilling.


Yes, and it works very well... you toss the ferment into the coldest freezer you can find in a metal bottle, and continue filtering out any ice until it won't freeze at all anymore. It's great for ferments you already like the flavor of (as it concentrates much of the flavor, not just the alcohol), and it also helps remove much of the dead yeast and other icky particles (the ice crystals tend to form around those).




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[*] posted on 26-5-2004 at 20:32


I did that once, with cheap rum. Tastes kind of "funky". Just decant the liquid into another vessel, I used stoppered erlenmyer flasks. And be patient, it takes longer to freeze the water out than if it were freazing normal water, but you knew that. And is it just me or does it really take longer for high concentration alcohols to "burn" your throat? I took a shot of my dads store bought 40% vodka and I noticed the burning right away, but with my other more potent stuff it took a while, did it numb my senses or something?
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[*] posted on 26-5-2004 at 21:09


Quote:

other more potent stuff it took a while, did it numb my senses or something?


Most probably. I've drunk pure 96% industrial ethanol with denaturating agents; acetone, ethyl acetate and bitrex --- and gulping down 0.1 liters in one gulp was like swallowing burning thermite. Don't know if it was the ethanol or the other stuff. In hindsight, it was probably quite stupid, but hey, it was late and the beer was depleted....




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shocked.gif posted on 27-5-2004 at 05:15


Man, you could at least DILUTE it!
:o:o:o
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[*] posted on 27-5-2004 at 07:35


Haha! I love the taste and smell of really neutral undiluted spirits. Just in small quantities. You are more deserving of your name than I would ever have imagined axehandle :P bitrex :o

maxke:
I don't know how much you know about chemistry, so don't be offended if I sound condescending.

Most sugars can be digested by yeasts, including dextrose, hydrolyzed starch ;), regular day to day table sugar, etc.
At a more chemical level, I think that pretty much all types of sugars (mono, di and poly-saccharides) can be metabolized (both the Aldoses and Ketoses of each of these groups), along with the Sugar alcohol.

I'm not too sure about sugar acids (gluconic acid) and amino sugars. I believe an excess in amines is bad for fermentation (just as a complete lack of any will result in no ferment (e.g. fibrin, egg yolk (people have been known to spit into their brew! :( ) etc.)). Certain mutant strains have been documented that digest (but probably not ferment) lipids, or so I hear.

Generally, however, industrial alcohol is made from corn... stuff. You could either hydrolyze the corn starch from your corn plantation, or just buy "High Fructose Corn Syrup", which is probably easier (you know, this division of labor thing! wonderful idea)

I believe also that hydrolysis is the function that 'Koji' (a mould culture introduced to the cooked rice prior to fermentation) performs on rice for the fermentation of rice-stuff to sake.

I know this post is badly written, I’m tired.
I know it probably doesn't belong here either.
But you can bite me.

- Ramiel

ps. The logical song! the birds, watching me! aarg.




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smile.gif posted on 27-5-2004 at 09:12


Tired so am I arround 2 am in front of my PC in the dark, laying on my bed...less convenient than at work to type my texts....that's the main reasons I make so much typos :(

Anyway, yes Axehandle the burning feeling comes mostly from the other components that are designed to avoid people like you ;) to drink cheap alcohol :P.
No just kidding...but I have had my lot of pure 90-96% ethanol since I always taste the distillat to have a feeling of its concentration and aroms...first fraction is often very bad taste and burning of taste (it contains aldehyds, cetons,and traces of methanol...) then you have the ethanol good taste (72-89°C)...You can drink it without troubles as compared to J&B or Walker Johnny because it has almost no taste...the moderate burning taste is only at the first swallowing...but you have to keep it a little in the mouth to feel all the aroms...I personnally did various fruits fermentation and I'm quite proud of my banana-passion-peach-mirabelle elixir....everybody that has tasted it say hey it is fruity...and indeed drinking it pure isn't a bad experience at all people ask for more...I can drink at ease 25 cl of the stuff...and it is 100% of what passes on second distillation at 75°C.

Fermentation of other stuffs yeah but you have to know what microorganism and under what conditions since it can give completely different results following the type of stress you induce on the environement of those tiny microorganisms...you are their god ;););)...fermentation has been used in some chemical synthesis...
For example you can get D/L separation because bacterias only treat one of the forms.
Even petrol oil, polynitroaromatic explosive have their predators...those are used in bioremediation steps for ground/soil or water...




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cool.gif posted on 27-5-2004 at 09:14


If it is good taste, doesn't mean it is good for health...so don't abuse.

:cool::cool::cool:




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[*] posted on 27-5-2004 at 10:01


Quote:

Man, you could at least DILUTE it!

I've tried that too, diluting it only makes it burn slightly less, it still tastes just as bad and you have to drink more....

I think that I, purely hypothetically since it's very illegal, am going to build a new still. If I have 3 batches of 30litres each fermenting in series and being fed to 2 or 3 Fantastic Still (r) devices, I should get about 20 litres of 98% alcohol/week. Now, that will barely suffice for my consumtion, so I'll probably have to use 4 or 5 fermenting tanks, and 4 passive stills...

Still, the industrial ethanol is lovely, just look how the artistically designed exclusive PE plastic bottle makes you CRAVE a sip...:


[Edited on 2004-5-27 by axehandle]




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