Ferment Stirrer

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Ferment Stirrer

Postby Russ » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:31 am

Just a thought I've been having, I am setting up a column, but in the meantime I had a 50l keg fitted with a 6" ferrule/cap to use as a fermenter for both my beer brewing and also spirit wash's.

When I do my beer I never boil the stuff in the tin as most do, I find being in the tropics it can overheat the ferment, so I just mechanically stir it all in by hand, including the sugar and pitch yeast. No issues ever.

I have been looking at spirit recipes and I wonder if I could do the same thing. I realise that there are a lot of recipes that cook ingredients so they mix properly but if there was a mechanical stirrer running for either the whole ferment time or as long as needed things could be easier.

My idea is to attach a geared motor or stepper to the 6" cap, and just let it go. Not fast spinning, just about a revolution every couple of seconds.

The stirrer would be stainless with a simple paddle on the bottom, and I am thinking another paddle, possibly height adjustable on the top level, to keep mashing the floaties as they soak in and get soft.

Any thoughts on this? I like it for the beer as I can just tip everything in and close up and walk away, especially doing double beer brews, less time stirring and mixing means more time for more important things, like drinking the end result!!

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Re: Ferment Stirrer

Postby RC Al » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:06 pm

Generally your looking to get the wash as clear as possible for neutrals and a bit less so with the flavored washes, a stirring setup may speed things up on the ferment, but I think you would have to let it clear longer, less floaties - less chance of scorching the wash

A faster ferment can overwork the yeast producing off flavours, Another one of those patience things. Up north there, you are going to be able to smash out the washes during summer anyway, plan accordingly

If you make it so you can use the stirrer while running the still, you can do "on the grain" commercial style - I'll let you work that one out :D
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Re: Ferment Stirrer

Postby db1979 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:59 pm

There's no need to stir during ferment as there's plenty of motion in the wash anyway with bubbles of CO2 moving up and yeast being dragged along for the ride (before sinking and then repeating).

I do pretty much the same as you and don't bother boiling any ingredients before hand, I don't even heat them up, I simply drop them all into the fermenter (excluding the yeast) and blast them with the jet attachment of the garden hose. Does a great job of stirring the ingredients together, dissolving the sugar and oxygenating the wash. Then I pitch yeast. Never had a problem.

In my 60 L fermenter the turbulence from the garden hose jet makes it all the way to the bottom of the fermenter even when filled close to the top, this can be seen through the wall of the fermenter. In the past I've had washes where I tried to stir by hand (no heating) and I hadn't done it properly and a cake of sugar was leftover at the bottom of the fermenter, unfermented. But with the hose this has never happened.

I'm not worried about infections from using the garden hose, we use so much yeast that most other microbes don't stand a chance. Plus, we run the wash through the still.

I reckon if you're doing an expensive wash (like MacWhisky ) or doing generations then you'd want to be less carefree about it. Generations is easy, just dissolve the next lot of sugar into the hot backset, allow to cool and then add to the fermenter. Garden hose for weetbix wash every time :handgestures-thumbupleft:

I like the KISS principle.
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Re: Ferment Stirrer

Postby Russ » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:13 pm

Righto sounds like Ill just stick to the trusty old large plastic spoon and some elbow grease.

Cheers for the reply's.
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