Brewing is going well at das brewhaus. I’ve finished distilling the last of my second wash with the new run, and I’m getting a reasonable yield to the Still Spirits Turbo yeast, so I’m extra happy.
I managed to pick up a beer hydrometer on the weekend and the second wash came in at a respectable 990 Specific Gravity, which means that most of the available dextrose was consumed by the yeast.
This was just in time to get thrown together into some more Irish Cream mix, about 750mL of which was once again consumed the night of production - leaving me with about 1.25L. I’ve noticed (accidentally) if you freeze the irish cream mix then thaw it out again that it goes a lot thicker, and I’m wondering how the taste compares to one that hasn’t been frozen. I’m wondering if any breakdown/dissolving of sugars/etc from freezing/thawing might improve the taste. I’ll keep you all posted.
I spent a few hours last night re-distilling 4 Litres of 40% distillate I had on hand down to 2 Litres of 70%. This translates to a loss of 14% of the ethanol content, but a huge reduction in the amount of non-alcoholic content - meaning I’ve got a cleaner spirit base to play with.
I’m thinking some of it will be diluted down to 40%, filtered and put into a proper little oak barrel to make some nice bourbon. I’d really like to do a batch of 20 little 1L containers and put them away for a year or so until they’ve matured.
The other wash I’ve put together has failed somewhat, it looks like the weird weather (extremely hot days, extremely cold nights) killed the yeast, I’ve already racked the wash off, so I’ll probably just toss it or throw some more yeast in there to reactivate it. This will involve re-sterilising the fermenter, it might just be too hard ™.
My housemate is thinking about getting into Beer brewing at the moment, which is good because it means I don’t have to feel bad about having space in the garage for my spirits stuff. I did have an interesting conversation with his Dad on Saturday though, he swears by brew kits (the syrup and dry yeast kits you get at the supermarket) and is recommending Cameron to not bother with grain based mash at all. I think I might have to intervene and get him to join Joe and I on a brew so he can get some other input. Sure thing he can do a kit brew first, but to do it properly (and there’s a lot more to Beer than meets the eye), he should really get his own mash happening.
Next: Buy a second fermenter, fix the other storage cube I have for storing wash, set up a ginger beer plant (next week), and dabble in wine fermentation. The good thing about doing spirits as the primary interest is if I stuff up a Wine, Champagne or Beer - I can distill it and still have something useful at the end of the day.
After that: Get a big boiler setup like Joe :)