sugar mash question

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pappa joe

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Iam very new to distilling...Made a few small 5 gall batches....My first was a whiskey kit..with corn in it..
Then my others were just sugar mashes..I turned all into whiskey..Well i think it is.I aged in a small oak barrel.
My question is...Why did all my batches come out tasting the same? Came out like a jim beam to me? Iam not complaining but see all these recipes using corn and rye and ect which brings the cost way up vs a just a simple sugar mash..
Thanks for any good or bad replies....
 

Stormcrow

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I don't know if you brew beer too or not, but I remember an episode of Basic Brewing Radio (podcast) where a distiller was being interviewed. To my surprise he said that he used some crystal or caramel malt in his mash and that it absolutely added to the flavor of the finished product. Didnt seem to me like that flavor would come through the distilling process, but he's a pro. May be something to think about. Sorry, I don't remember the episode number. I'd love to try distilling someday, but haven't yet.
 

doug293cz

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Iam very new to distilling...Made a few small 5 gall batches....My first was a whiskey kit..with corn in it..
Then my others were just sugar mashes..I turned all into whiskey..Well i think it is.I aged in a small oak barrel.
My question is...Why did all my batches come out tasting the same? Came out like a jim beam to me? Iam not complaining but see all these recipes using corn and rye and ect which brings the cost way up vs a just a simple sugar mash..
Thanks for any good or bad replies....
Are you using a column still or a pot still? You get a lot more flavors from the wash ingredients if you use a pot still. A column still strips much more out of the wash, including flavor components. So, with a column still everything will taste more similar than with a pot still.

You may have left it on oak too long. The more time exposed to the wood, the more prominent the wood flavor becomes, and the more the flavor of the original white spirit fades into the background. Also, if you use a barrel that previously contained whiskey, you will get flavors from the previous contents of the barrel in the new spirit. This is often desirable, but if you want to taste the new spirit only, then you should only use a barrel that has been used for the same spirit (or a new barrel.)

You also might want to train your taste buds a bit. Keep non-oaked samples of all the different spirit types you make, and try to discern the flavor differences among them. This will help you know what flavors to be looking for in addition to the oak.

Brew on :mug:
 

bracconiere

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Are you using a column still or a pot still?

+1, i have combo one....not sure if it matters, but you said good and bad...what's the temp at the top condenser? :mug:


and i've found with a pot still a good wheat germ sugar wash tastes just fine....molases has realy been the only thing that REALY carries over in my experience....and it'd probably be cheap for you then a sugar wash. just remember it's only like 60% fermentable.
 
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pappa joe

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small pot still...it runs a bit hot and i have to keep playing with the temp..up to 190s.
 
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that's really hot....i use a fan speed controller for temp control with my hot plate. you might be boiling to hard? i'm not sure?
Agree. Probably too many BTU's running too hard. OR REALLY low ABV of the wash. or both.
small pot still...it runs a bit hot and i have to keep playing with the temp..up to 190s.
SLOOOOOOWWWWW Is the key here. Lower your BTU down till it stops running. Then slowly raise the BTU's till it starts to run. Make sure your condenser water is on, running and cold. Pot distilling is super simple and really there is no "NEED" for a thermometer at all. It can assist for sure but a keen eye, a sensitive nose and learning how it should "sound" in the end you will find you pay almost zero attention to the thermometer. Now a reflux, TOTALLY different story.

Have fun! BE CAREFUL! Run EVERYTHIG twice and always toss them foreshots on the fire. :)

Cheers
Jay
 
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