CFW - Backset

Sugar wash info and questions

CFW - Backset

Postby Kenster » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:59 pm

Just about to finish my first CFW...any day now... bit excited really ( and dont want to stuff it up)
I am a bit confused and unclear as to the real effect of the backset...
When transferring the wash from the fermenter into holding jars, to let it clear for a few days (as with TPW), the aim, i gather is to precipitate/reduce the solids, excess yeast and grungy stuff prior to the strip run. If this is the aim, then, after the distillation all that is left is kind of stinky water with very little 'nutrient/flavour' in it ? OR... do we not filter/clear the wash too much so as to retain the body of the wash which is to be transferred to the boiler.
Where my confusion lies, is that if this is the case, where there is a very clear wash,and most of the sediments are not transferred across,then what real flavour does this impart on the next generation, if some is transferred as a starter to the next ferment? OR, would it not be as effective to just start afresh with a completely new batch of ferment, flakes/yeast etc. I have read that each generation seems to get more and more flavour as you go to the next gen... but how? Is the real extra flavour generated by using the partly existing yeast bed from the original ferment? Surely, the backset cant have too much impact...
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby rumdidlydum » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:47 pm

Kenster wrote:Just about to finish my first CFW...any day now... bit excited really ( and dont want to stuff it up)
I am a bit confused and unclear as to the real effect of the backset...
When transferring the wash from the fermenter into holding jars, to let it clear for a few days (as with TPW),Called Racking the aim, i gather is to precipitate/reduce the solids, excess yeast and grungy stuff prior to the strip run.Yep If this is the aim, then, after the distillation all that is left is kind of stinky water with very little 'nutrient/flavour' in it ?Yes it is a bit smelly but there isn't a huge amount of flavour but enough to make a difference, also the ph will be acidic which is sought after (to an extent) OR... do we not filter/clear the wash too much so as to retain the body of the wash which is to be transferred to the boiler.Enough so that the yeat wont burn onto the elements unless you like that flavour
Where my confusion lies, is that if this is the case, where there is a very clear wash,and most of the sediments are not transferred across,then what real flavour does this impart on the next generation, still flavour in it and reduced ph if some is transferred as a starter to the next ferment? OR, would it not be as effective to just start afresh with a completely new batch of ferment, flakes/yeast etc. I have read that each generation seems to get more and more flavour as you go to the next gen... but how? by the increasing amount of dunder being concentrated each generationIs the real extra flavour generated by using the partly existing yeast bed from the original ferment? No but you can try and use that to restart the ferment in the new washSurely, the backset cant have too much impact..Try it and find out.


:handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Dig Brinker » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:49 pm

The leftover yeast and corn flake bed is called the lees, when you siphon off your wash you leave the solids at the bottom. When you distill your wash, the stuff left in the boiler when you're finished is called backset. The lees contains live yeast & flavourful corn flakes, which starts the next wash fermenting when more sugar is added. The backset adds flavour and lowers pH of that next wash.
You have a couple of days, read the whole CFW thread so you know what all the ingredients do. :think:

Posted same time as rummy :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby EziTasting » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:59 pm

G'day Ken,
I'll have a crack at answering your question, if I got it correct then you seem to have confused yourself; if I'm wrong, I'll learn something new!

So, I don't syphon off my wash - I let it settle in the fermenter. Then I drain/syphon/pump the cleared wash from the fermenter into the boiler. Nothing wrong with what you're doing, just more work.

The part where I think you're confused is the next step. The backset is what is left in the boiler. So by boiling you've separated the alcohol from the rest of the fluid; keeping in mind that this would usually be beer. Beer without alcohol is a flavour some wash without the kick. The idea is to compound the 'beer' flavour from the first wash to subsequent washes making it taste more, be more 'complex' (love that word! Don't know what they mean by it... Almost sounds like they can't explain it so its "complex" :)) ), you're continuing to develop (read make more/more complete, more varied, just more) the flavour of the eventual product because some of the flavour flows thru to the distillate. It's with the cuts on the spirit run that you decide just how much goes into what you bottle, and that, my friend, is down to personal taste!

Does that help?

Haha, was waiting for someone to respond; in the end we all did at the same time!
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Kenster » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:11 pm

DB... thx for the definitions...kind of knew that, also did a fair bit of CFW thread, eyes glazed over a bit after a while... a lot there.
Suppose i just wanted clarification from experts, and i appreciate it.
The whole PH thing makes sense, and Rum, given the knowledge of others, i will err on the side of caution and NOT re start each gen from fresh coz you blokes know best. And that was what i was trying to achieve by asking, a sharp concise direction... achieved..thanks heaps.
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Kenster » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:23 pm

Ezi... thx for the clear def...
The reason i decant the wash from the fermenter (so far with TPW's) is to free up my 60 lit fermenter, so i can get another one happening with no down time,and to clear the TPW over a few days .
There is obviously a differing strategy when it comes to CFW and gens... all brand new to me so far.
I get now, what u say about 'intensifying' flavours with the backset, as opposed to a 'clear as possible' TPW... two different ball games.
I understand backset, as such, but till now, with TPW, the backset smelled like shit but served a different purpose to what i am now looking to achieve.
Thanks for the heads up... one day, i too, may have a nice drop of 'ski.
Cheers..Ken
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Zak Griffin » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:47 pm

You're well on your way mate. As you've picked up, the difference is that with TPW you're trying to remove all flavour, with CFW and other whiskeys/rums etc you're trying to increase flavour :handgestures-thumbupleft:

If you want to work on whiskey, a dedicated fermenter won't hurt :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Kenster » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:11 pm

Zak, am currently using an 85lit esky... so far so good... could be the dedicated unit me thinks.
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Dig Brinker » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:24 am

Should be able to find a 60 litre food safe plastic barrel for under $50 :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Zak Griffin » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:07 am

I use the 60L wheelie bins from cheap as chips for $15 each, with pallet wrap to seal the top.
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby EziTasting » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:47 am

Zak Griffin wrote:I use the 60L wheelie bins from cheap as chips for $15 each, with pallet wrap to seal the top.



I have heard this before... How do the wheelie bins stack up on "food grade" plastics?
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby wynnum1 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:07 am

If you can buy a legal 50 L keg cheap can use that as a fermenter .
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Zak Griffin » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:41 am

The ones I found were HDPE - food grade plastic. Check the little triangle with the number, I can't remember what number you need but google knows.

A stainless keg would make a terrible fermenter... Hard to clean, hard to move, hard to fill, hard to empty.
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby WTDist » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:44 am

lol :text-+1:

unless you put a large ferrule on it it would be hard and expensive to ferment in. I would just go for a 200L+ olive drum for 40 bucks. gold coast has them if your close. on gumtree
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Homemade » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:23 am

Zak Griffin wrote:The ones I found were HDPE - food grade plastic. Check the little triangle with the number, I can't remember what number you need but google knows.



High density polyethylene (HDPE) is aparrently #2, from what I can find on Google.

As far as I can tell, AS 2070-1999 is also the Regulation that covers plastic for storage of food, etc but I went round and round and stopped caring because probably nobody else does either apart from what to look for on the label, so that's all I'm giving yas.
:teasing-blah:
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Kenster » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:26 pm

DIG.. seriously get what you mean by the 60lit fermenter...have one but gave it the flick (need for insulation)...My son had (mine now) a new 85lit esky just sitting around... perfect, insulated, nice lid, dedicated fermenter... seems to make sense to me..as we get a summer? i will re introduce the 60lit jobbie into the fruit scene.. as i have a heap of trees.
ALSO, nearing the end of my 3rd Gen... do i do more? another one maybe...
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Dig Brinker » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:23 pm

5 generations is normally the go :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Zak Griffin » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:28 pm

I go 5 gens on the yeast bed but keep using the backset in a new wash ;-)
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby Kenster » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:19 pm

well, now completed the 3rd gen...BUT cant for the life of me get the FG down below 1.10.
I added more yeast a week ago, bubbled up nice, still the same reading... smells nice though...WTF do i do...strip or not, ABV/yeild will be crap, yeah?
Has been sitting on 26C for 27days???
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Re: CFW - Backset

Postby scythe » Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:02 pm

Check the pH and adjust to around 4.5-5.2

When using backset you need to watch the pH level, if it drops too low the wash will stall because it kills off the yeast, or at least changes to an environment that the yeast don't like to male ethanol in.
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