A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

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A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby Flow » Wed Jun 26, 2024 7:50 pm

This is my first adventure out of sugar washes so thought I'd share my adventure.

No idea how this will go but here is the ingredients.
4kg wheat malt (they didn't have flaked wheat)
1kg flaked barley
2kg rolled oats
1 cup chocolate malt.
Angel yellow label

Ground everything up and added 4ltrs of boiling water and stirred what I could. Topped up to 30ltrs with cold water
Stirred it to remove any dough balls set temp to 32.
Can my understanding is og is pointless? Anyways it's tucked away I just have to rember to stir it twice a day.

Will update when I run it.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby Flow » Thu Jun 27, 2024 7:38 am

Morning 1. Going nuts and created a massive cap. Knocked it all down and gave it a cook mix with a paint mixer.
Smells very similar to something but I can't pick what it is yet.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby oddian » Thu Jun 27, 2024 10:19 am

Angel yellow is just enzymes and yeast so it'll work fine with malted wheat as well as long as you grind it up. It'll probably work unground but not nearly as well or as fast.

32 is pretty high, AY will work and I've run it that hot but it'll work quick and stress the yeast a little giving it a more off flavour.

What are you planning on doing with the output? I've only used AY to produce neutral spirits (I use an oat base) because I find it produces a bit more of an off flavour but then I'v enever done anything as intricate as yours.

Keen to see how it goes.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby The Stig » Thu Jun 27, 2024 11:09 am

Smell like bubblegum ?
Or upchuck/vomit ?
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby Flow » Thu Jun 27, 2024 12:02 pm

oddian wrote:Angel yellow is just enzymes and yeast so it'll work fine with malted wheat as well as long as you grind it up. It'll probably work unground but not nearly as well or as fast.

32 is pretty high, AY will work and I've run it that hot but it'll work quick and stress the yeast a little giving it a more off flavour.

What are you planning on doing with the output? I've only used AY to produce neutral spirits (I use an oat base) because I find it produces a bit more of an off flavour but then I'v enever done anything as intricate as yours.

Keen to see how it goes.

Yeah going to run it as a neutral. Might drop the temp aittle tonight.
The Stig wrote:Smell like bubblegum ?
Or upchuck/vomit ?

Nah it's a random one. I think it's from the choc malt.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby Flow » Fri Jun 28, 2024 11:13 am

Day 2. Still going hard. Cap not as thick today.
Weird smell has gone now too.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby howard » Fri Jun 28, 2024 1:36 pm

oddian wrote:Angel yellow is just enzymes and yeast so it'll work fine with malted wheat as well as long as you grind it up. It'll probably work unground but not nearly as well or as fast.

32 is pretty high, AY will work and I've run it that hot but it'll work quick and stress the yeast a little giving it a more off flavour.

What are you planning on doing with the output? I've only used AY to produce neutral spirits (I use an oat base) because I find it produces a bit more of an off flavour but then I'v enever done anything as intricate as yours.

Keen to see how it goes.

the official temp range for YL is 28-36°C, i usually run it at 32°C without any off flavours.
i also find that YL is slow and steady, probably something to do with it converting and fermenting simultaneously?
flow - let us know how it turns out as vodka.
i reckon that grain bill could be pot stilled into a nice whiskey as well :smile:
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby oddian » Fri Jun 28, 2024 5:38 pm

One thing I will suggest with AY is that after about 4-5 days (probably less at 35C) it'll go quiet but still have a bit of a head. Suggest that you leave it until all the head has sunk to the bottom and then 2 more days to get the greatest yeild. I found this extra week yielded quite a significant amount more than previous runs.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby Flow » Fri Jun 28, 2024 5:46 pm

Yeah I have also read that. It will be sitting for a couple weeks I think.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby howard » Fri Jun 28, 2024 6:25 pm

oddian wrote:One thing I will suggest with AY is that after about 4-5 days (probably less at 35C) it'll go quiet but still have a bit of a head. Suggest that you leave it until all the head has sunk to the bottom and then 2 more days to get the greatest yeild. I found this extra week yielded quite a significant amount more than previous runs.

i agree about ferments producing more yield and cleaner wash if they are left for 2 weeks.
for me, probably to do with the beer making process which we crossover with.
just because you've reached the expected FG doesn't mean it's finished.
after the vigerous ferment is over there is the acetyladehyde clean up and the diactyl rest.
not to mention fusels, sulphur and phenols.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby Flow » Sat Jun 29, 2024 4:48 pm

Still going strong. Thought it may have calmed down now but nope.
Just a question though. There's no real way of telling the alcohol percentage in the wash is there?
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby Flow » Mon Jul 01, 2024 10:21 am

Calmed right down now. Very little activity and a gravity of just under 1.01

Will let it sit and settle for the rest of the week. Probably take heat off it tomorrow.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby oddian » Mon Jul 01, 2024 10:50 am

Flow wrote:Still going strong. Thought it may have calmed down now but nope.
Just a question though. There's no real way of telling the alcohol percentage in the wash is there?



I've not found a way. It's got too much junk in it as you're fermenting on the grain to get an ABV reading and the gravity readings don't mean much as the enzymes are producing sugars as you go. The only REAL way to work out how much was in it is to do a stripping run. Based on my stripping runs I get what I would equate to an OG of about 1.090 (similar to my rum), so I guess about 12-14% or so depending on your grain bill?
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby Flow » Thu Jul 04, 2024 5:24 pm

Day 8
Stil little bubbling a little bit but cap has dropped now so probably guessing weekend it will be ready.
Smells has totally changed smells amazing now
Last edited by Flow on Thu Jul 04, 2024 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby Flow » Sat Jul 06, 2024 8:38 pm

Ran the wash tonight. Did a stripping run and then a full reflux run.

Struggled to identify cuts with this mix not sure why but the key indicators weren't there.

Initial thoughts it has a unique taste still to hot to really identify anything.
I believe with a pot still this might make a interesting whiskey
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby bluc » Sun Jul 07, 2024 4:55 am

I find cuts on all grain to be less "pronounced" but still very dissernable. Also generally less heads tails in relation to amount of mash proccessed as compared to sugar wash wich is always kinda harsh to me,(rum aside)my 2c Always taste cuts from middle jar out in each direction look for change rather then flavours qs others describe them qll though "nail polish remover" for heads and "wet cardboard/dog for tails pretty much nail the description for me.

But at the start it all smelt awesome. I gag when I taste heads now :puke-huge:
Last edited by bluc on Sun Jul 07, 2024 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby Flow » Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:16 am

bluc wrote:I find cuts on all grain to be less "pronounced" but still very dissernable. Also generally less heads tails in relation to amount of mash proccessed as compared to sugar wash wich is always kinda harsh to me,(rum aside)my 2c Always taste cuts from middle jar out in each direction look for change rather then flavours qs others describe them qll though "nail polish remover" for heads and "wet cardboard/dog for tails pretty much nail the description for me.

But at the start it all smelt awesome. I gag when I taste heads now :puke-huge:


Yeah it seemed to take a long time for the nail polished remover smell to go.
But I think I know why. My sugar washes only come out at about 85%abv.
I just checked the jar I believe to be hearts and it's 95%. So guessing that's why I struggled. Never dealt with such a high output.

I did do a striping run though so that could be why it's a lot higher.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby B-Man » Tue Jul 09, 2024 5:48 pm

oddian wrote:
Flow wrote:Still going strong. Thought it may have calmed down now but nope.
Just a question though. There's no real way of telling the alcohol percentage in the wash is there?



I've not found a way. It's got too much junk in it as you're fermenting on the grain to get an ABV reading and the gravity readings don't mean much as the enzymes are producing sugars as you go. The only REAL way to work out how much was in it is to do a stripping run. Based on my stripping runs I get what I would equate to an OG of about 1.090 (similar to my rum), so I guess about 12-14% or so depending on your grain bill?


doing corn my abv seemed to be around 6-7%abv

but that isn't nearly as vigorous as running crushed wheat.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby bluc » Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:14 pm

Flow wrote:
bluc wrote:I find cuts on all grain to be less "pronounced" but still very dissernable. Also generally less heads tails in relation to amount of mash proccessed as compared to sugar wash wich is always kinda harsh to me,(rum aside)my 2c Always taste cuts from middle jar out in each direction look for change rather then flavours qs others describe them qll though "nail polish remover" for heads and "wet cardboard/dog for tails pretty much nail the description for me.

But at the start it all smelt awesome. I gag when I taste heads now :puke-huge:


Yeah it seemed to take a long time for the nail polished remover smell to go.
But I think I know why. My sugar washes only come out at about 85%abv.
I just checked the jar I believe to be hearts and it's 95%. So guessing that's why I struggled. Never dealt with such a high output.

I did do a striping run though so that could be why it's a lot higher.

Thats exactly why the abv is higher. Running low wines is always good practice instead of wash for vodka.


With the cuts once your smell taste is tuned in it shouldn't take ages for acetone(nail polish remover) smell to go. If it still smells like that after 12-24hrs dont put it in your hearts jar :handgestures-thumbdown:

Personally only air over night 12ish hours... After that if it smells tastes like heads it goes down the sink.
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Re: A bit of a vodka experiment with grains and angel yellow

Postby bluc » Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:18 pm

And I stand by what i said concentrate less on what flavours others have said should be there and concentrate more on looking for a change in flavour. Your middle jar will always be the cleanest spirit. Start in middle work way out...look for "change in flavour".

When i started everything tasted good this was best way to get it right.

Now I gag whenever i taste heads even just enough to wet my finger....
Last edited by bluc on Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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