whisky all grain

all about mashing and fermenting grains

Re: whisky all grain

Postby ThePaterPiper » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:46 pm

Just had a look at the DP requirements and unless you’re lookin at using adjuncts that don’t contribute to their own conversation, you only need a DP of 50. Any more just speeds up the process, so I don’t think your low yield has anything to do with that. Having said that, does DP diminish with time? Would it be worth your while adding some alpha and beta amalayse to your next mash like some brewers do to make a low carb beer. It might just be a bit of a crappy batch of malt. :think:
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby Dyno » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:18 pm

bluc wrote:No idea.. but would like to get the hang of mashing it with its own enzyme first..

Yeah, I hear ya mate. Just got back from ibrew with a sack of gladfieilds smoked manuka malt and 5kg of toffee malt. Hopefully have something decent to report shortly. Either that or it will be in the F#*up thread .. :laughing-rolling:
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby bluc » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:09 pm

:laughing-rolling: manuka smoked sounds good. I got one more whiskey mash then on to bourbon for now then back to some sort whiskey might try some of the manuka smoked :handgestures-thumbupleft: big fan of smokey flavour in food just discovering it in my drink...
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby bluc » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:03 pm

Just realised I used my safspirit american whiskey yeast instead of my malt yeast in my current ferment.. :angry-banghead:
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby markus » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:41 pm

bluc wrote:Only thing when i got 67% effeciency i started mashing at 64. This time i started at 63..

What thermometer do you have?
I have 3, one digital 2 dial. And one is about 4 degrees different.
Maybe one thing to look at
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby ThePaterPiper » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:11 pm

With temp being so critical with mashing, we went for a thermocouple. this one in particular.

https://www.jaycar.com.au/digital-therm ... e/p/QM1602
(mods please delete if link is inappropriate)

accurate to +-1degC so at least anything you do is repeatable. Dial thermometers can be put out of calibration with the slightest of bumps and many of the small digital probe thermometers are questionable at best.
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby bluc » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:26 pm

I have a dial one mounted in the tun. A little digital spike one. Like bear brewers often use. And a digital one that works off an arduino. Maybe i should look at a better quality one..whats a thermocouple
That dallas one wire temp sensor on my arduino Is a DS18b20 like this https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11050 supposed to be accurate +-.5c but I have no way of checking it..
Last edited by bluc on Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby ThePaterPiper » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:32 pm

Its two wires made of different metals that are welded at one end. As temp changes, a different voltage is created and this is read at the other end and converted to a value. Very accurate as far as the voltage is concerned so when calibrated, stay's accurate.

What kind of probe is the aduino using? it may well be a thermocouple
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby bluc » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:35 pm

Edited my previous post..
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby ThePaterPiper » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:42 pm

that should be accurate enough!!! You could try putting it in the kettle and boiling it. If it isn't 99 or 100 that could be your issue. The main thing is repeatability. It doesn't really matter if it reads 7deg, as long as it reads 7 every time. I haven't used arduino stuff but I have never heard anything bad about it, especially for the price.
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby bluc » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:45 pm

Yea its frustrating as hell but super rewarding when something works...
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby markus » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:38 pm

One of my dial thermos is out. Well according to my digital which I’ve done the boiling water and fridge water test. I always double check while I’m mashing, but there are some cheap digitals out there. Mine is a mid range one probably $30 worth
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby bluc » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:39 pm

Found this on beersmith site.
1. Improve the Milling of your Grains
The crush of your grains makes a significant difference in the efficiency of your mash and sparge. Grains should be finely crushed, but the milling should leave the hulls largely intact to act as a filter bed. A dual roller mill such as the Barley Crusher is ideal for achieving this. Note that if you crush your grains too finely you will plug up your filter bed resulting in a “stuck mash”. If you get a stuck mash, your filter bed will clog up and the wort will stop flowing.
2. Mash Out or Sparge with Hot Water
Hot water during the mash out and sparge helps the sticky wort flow more freely. Ideally you would like to raise the mash temperature to about 168F and then use 168F water to sparge. A mash out infusion addition can be used to help raise the temperature of your mash as you sparge.
3. Sparge Slowly
Most beginners attempt to sparge their mash much too fast. Sparging too quickly leaves insufficient time for the hot water to extract the sugars in the grain bed. Limit the flow out of your mash tun to just above a trickle. It should take 30-50 minutes to fully sparge a 5 gallon all grain batch (about 6 gallons of wort).
4. Minimize Losses in your System
Losses anywhere in your brewing system, including deadspace in the mash tun, transfer lines, pumps, and trub at the end of the mash result in lost wort. The lost wort takes sugars with it, reducing your overall brewhouse efficiency. Use a properly sized mash tun, and work to eliminate deadspace in the system.
5. Pick a Properly Designed Mash Tun
The design of your mash tun and false bottom or screen can have a huge effect on the efficiency of the mash process. A round, cylindrical mash tun is generally considered best, as it leaves the depth of the grain bed about equal to its width. This is one reason cylindrical water coolers are popular.
The false bottom ideally will cover the entire bottom of the mash tun but have minimal deadspace underneath it. This will provide an even flow across the entire grain bed giving better efficiency.
If you have your own suggestions on how to improve brewhouse effiency, feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks again for visiting the BeerSmith Home Brewing Beer Blog. Don’t hesitate to subscribe for regular delivery. Have a great holiday and happy brewing.


Two things that jump out at me "sparge with hot water" also sparge slow should take 30-50mins to sparge 5gallon batch. I doubt it was taking me 20mins to sparge double that. From memory first mash i sparged at 80c got 67 effeciency second time about 63c and got 61% effeciency. Perhaps the temp and time to sparge are my problem. Next lot will go back to orcys suggestion also will sparge real slow. I think all other boxs are ticked..
Friday will boil some water and check my thermometers :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby ThePaterPiper » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:00 pm

bluc wrote:Just realised I used my safspirit american whiskey yeast instead of my malt yeast in my current ferment.. :angry-banghead:


Could you grab some out and aerate it bluc? Would be essentially a starter wouldn’t it?
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby bluc » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:10 pm

Made a starter with the american whiskey yeast(by accident) and put it in was well and truly bubbling by the time I realised. Will be interesting to compare it to first batch.. :laughing-rolling:
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby Sparrow » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:20 am

bluc wrote:From memory first mash i sparged at 80c got 67 effeciency second time about 63c and got 61% effeciency. Perhaps the temp and time to sparge are my problem. Next lot will go back to orcys suggestion also will sparge real slow. I think all other boxs are ticked..
Friday will boil some water and check my thermometers :handgestures-thumbupleft:


Don't sparge at 80, in that range you will be pulling tannins from the grain apparently and 63 is too low. From all my reading and the homebrew beer guys I've talked to the ideal is 72-75 degrees. I haven't heard of a 50 minute sparge before, mine are usually about 15 mins and that seems plenty. I run that while doing a mashout.

Mind you every method is properly different and all work just as well.
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby Minpac » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:46 am

Do the tannins matter with whiskey though? I don't think they carry over with distillation, does it somehow still influence the ferment?
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby Sparrow » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:06 am

Minpac wrote:Do the tannins matter with whiskey though? I don't think they carry over with distillation, does it somehow still influence the ferment?


Good question, I don't know the answer to that.
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby bluc » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:30 pm

Minpac wrote:Do the tannins matter with whiskey though? I don't think they carry over with distillation, does it somehow still influence the ferment?

Some say it does some say it dont I have 80c sparged and 63 sparged I will compare and make my own desicion :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: whisky all grain

Postby bluc » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:48 pm

Think lot 3 is done will check over next few days. Is on 1.010. Gives me abv 6.45% :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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