How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

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How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby neservice » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:26 pm

Hi all

I tried a new wash last week being Teddysads fast fermenting vodka wash, i made a 50 liter batch that has already fermented and been taken of the fermentation fridge about 1 week ago, it ha been sitting on the bench in the fermenter since then.

How long can it sit in the garage ambient temps (as low as 4c upto 16c) in the plastic fermenter?
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby Minpac » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:31 pm

I've just ran a wash that had been sitting in a 25L fermenter for 4 months. No issues. I did have an all-grain that sat for 3 months, that developed an infection after sitting for 2. Ran it anyway, apparently some infections can improve flavour.
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby Sam. » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:35 pm

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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby Wineleader » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:25 pm

In winemaking I would typically rack the wash a week or two after the fermentation is complete. This will remove the majority of solids and minimise any bacterial spoilage.
As the others have mentioned the wash will need to be stored in an airtight container with virtually no ullage.
Also, I may consider adding 10ppm free sulphur to the wash if it was going to be stored over a number of Months.
All that being said others have just sealed the wash taking a no fuss approach with success.
If it's a 30ltr wash and you lose it... No big deal, though if you consider a 200ltr or 1000ltr wash always best to take precautions.
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby Zak Griffin » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:35 pm

Some of my best whiskey sat in a sealed ish fermenter for nearly a year before I ran it.
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby neservice » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:52 pm

Thanks you everyone, as usual the best information that can be had has been got from you all :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby db1979 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:23 pm

Zak Griffin wrote:Some of my best whiskey sat in a sealed ish fermenter for nearly a year before I ran it.

I had a BWKO that had been sitting in the fermenter for about 18 months and the water had well and truly dried up from the airlock. I opened it up a few weeks ago and it looked alright so I ran it. Unfortunately I wanted to drink vodka so instead of putting the cuts on oak I added it to low wines from a stripped weetbix wash. Anyway the cuts smelt and tasted fine... Wishing I'd oaked it now after your comments Zak.
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby Zak Griffin » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:36 pm

Mine was a CFW, and you could see the individual cornflakes at the bottom of the fermenter it was that clear!

I'm sure yours made a nice neutral too :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby orcy » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:33 pm

I always prefer to get the wash off the trub after its had a little time to clear. But thats probably more a beer habit than anything and the yeast is reusable immediately too. Once its off the trub id keep it as long as needed.
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby Sam. » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:36 pm

Wineleader wrote:In winemaking I would typically rack the wash a week or two after the fermentation is complete. This will remove the majority of solids and minimise any bacterial spoilage.
As the others have mentioned the wash will need to be stored in an airtight container with virtually no ullage.
Also, I may consider adding 10ppm free sulphur to the wash if it was going to be stored over a number of Months.
All that being said others have just sealed the wash taking a no fuss approach with success.
If it's a 30ltr wash and you lose it... No big deal, though if you consider a 200ltr or 1000ltr wash always best to take precautions.


That's great for winemaking but no where near sensible for distilling.

Don't need to rack. Don't need to add sulphur. It's going to be boiled at the end of the day :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby db1979 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:15 am

Zak Griffin wrote:Mine was a CFW, and you could see the individual cornflakes at the bottom of the fermenter it was that clear!

I'm sure yours made a nice neutral too :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Yep mine was crystal clear too, just figured it would have had maximum flavour from the grain bed by then. Anyway, it wasn't a loss as I'd completely forgotten about it so any product that I got from it was a bonus.
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby Huntsman96 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:42 am

:text-+1: on what the others have said. I had an FFV sitting for 3 months before I ran it and it was crystal clear and made some top neutral. On the other hand I've also used FFV the day after it hit 0.998 without clearing and that was good too so either way it's hard to mess up.
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby Lowie » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:33 pm

Wineleader wrote:In winemaking I would typically rack the wash a week or two after the fermentation is complete. This will remove the majority of solids and minimise any bacterial spoilage.
As the others have mentioned the wash will need to be stored in an airtight container with virtually no ullage.
Also, I may consider adding 10ppm free sulphur to the wash if it was going to be stored over a number of Months.
All that being said others have just sealed the wash taking a no fuss approach with success.
If it's a 30ltr wash and you lose it... No big deal, though if you consider a 200ltr or 1000ltr wash always best to take precautions.


I agree with you mate. Regardless of whether its wine, beer or for the still. the cleaner/purer your wash then the better your booze. It's pretty clear to me - unless of course you're happy drinking high grade metho... :happy-partydance:
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby hillzabilly » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:03 am

In my opinion its safe ta leave it for an extended period ,but I would avoid opening and checking too often as you will loose the protection of the Co2 and possibly introduce contamination ,keeping it cooler will be better as well.It's not something I would plan ta do regulary, but we have all been caught out by lifes little hicups and on occasion ya wash may need some time ta clear well ,and a very clear wash is allways gonna still better than a murky one . cheers hillzabilly ;-)
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Re: How long can a wash sit in a fermenter

Postby tipsy » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:21 am

FWIW I reckon for a wash with corn in it benefits from sitting around for a while.
The most flavourful UJ I made was sitting for months and the corn had gone sort of gooey.
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