Weird question....distilling beer

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I read somewhere that in old times, German brewers would occasionally get an off batch.

They had arrangements with local distillers who would make Peppermint Schnapps out of the beer.
Every town and village has locally made herb liquor, 'Kräuterlikör' i.e. Jägermeister, made with whatever fruits, berries, and herbs grow locally. At the smaller neighborhood Schänke, they would offer several options to suit different tastes, many in unmarked bottles. A shot is the traditional way to end a meal or drinking session. Its an outdated practice, but at the end of a meal at such a place, the guest can say that the meal was very rich or fatty and so a shot of 'liver glue' is required to digest it. According to tradition a shot of herb liquor would be provided 'on the house'. I only had the nerve to try it once, the old Frau had a belly laugh and brought shots for the entire table :)
 
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HVCBrewing

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On a few occasions when the kegerator started icing up, the keg closest to the chilling plate would start to freeze. As the process began, the beer seemed to have more flavor and depth. At first I thought the beer was aging well. It would continue to improve, but only to a point. As the ice content grew, the beer would eventually become harsh. After pulling the keg, I would discover that a meaningful portion of the beer volume had frozen, which is a mild form of freeze distillation. It won't get to 40% abv (and if did would be harmful for human consumption), but when done on a small/accidental scale produces beer with flavor and abv amplified a bit. When it turns the corner on flavor/harshness - it's time to pull the keg. It's not a technique I try to use.
 
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JPA

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Distilling a 10% dopple bock resulted in having a slightly off taste. filtered through activated charcoal. it can be done.
 
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Distilling a 10% dopple bock resulted in having a slightly off taste. filtered through activated charcoal. it can be done.
Run once? What kind of still? I use a pot still, first run takes it from 5-10% up to ~40%, second run takes it up to ~85% with plenty of flavor. I have distilled things 3+ times to really clean the flavor but beyond that it's basically vodka so what's the point? I don't filter at all because proper distillation compresses the undesirables into the heads and tails where they can be isolated, diluted, and distilled yet again to yield even more clean, smooth hearts. Every run is the same, high% and heads up front, good stuff in the middle, low% and fading into wet cardboard tails at the back.
 
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bernardsmith

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Won't you be my neighbor? Next door house gets listed in a week, you should buy it. Then teach me. I never even considered fermenting whey. The only time I heard of such a thing was in a history podcast which mentioned that the Mongolians circa 1300 (Khan times) would ferment horse milk ("airag").
The Scots and the Norse would ferment buttermilk (whey left over from making butter). In the north of Scotland this was still done to the early part of the 20th Century. The wine was very low alcohol (about 2-3 %) and was called blaand (as in blond, not bland). and was carried in kegs by fishermen and crofters. I have heard an old recording of someone talking about their memory of blaand telling the anthropologist who was interviewing that blaand was both the very first drink a baby would know - yes, before it tasted its mother's milk, and was the last taste the dying would know before they passed away. When dairies replaced cottage industry blaand was forgotten but it is slowly, slowly making a comeback and I see that there are now a few distilleries that specialize in using whey as their "mash or "wash". Not sure if they transform the lactose into glucose by adding lactase (there is about 20 points of gravity in my whey.. or they simply add sugar to the whey and ferment ON the whey - for flavor - and then distill that wine. (I add about 2 lbs of sugar to the whey after I have a) boiled it to stop any additional bacterial activity changing lactose into lactic acid, and b) after I have added about 5 lactase tabs to convert the lactose.

In the Urals, folk still ferment horse's milk . That's called khumis.
 
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The Scots and the Norse would ferment buttermilk (whey left over from making butter). In the north of Scotland this was still done to the early part of the 20th Century. The wine was very low alcohol (about 2-3 %) and was called blaand (as in blond, not bland). and was carried in kegs by fishermen and crofters. I have heard an old recording of someone talking about their memory of blaand telling the anthropologist who was interviewing that blaand was both the very first drink a baby would know - yes, before it tasted its mother's milk, and was the last taste the dying would know before they passed away. When dairies replaced cottage industry blaand was forgotten but it is slowly, slowly making a comeback and I see that there are now a few distilleries that specialize in using whey as their "mash or "wash". Not sure if they transform the lactose into glucose by adding lactase (there is about 20 points of gravity in my whey.. or they simply add sugar to the whey and ferment ON the whey - for flavor - and then distill that wine. (I add about 2 lbs of sugar to the whey after I have a) boiled it to stop any additional bacterial activity changing lactose into lactic acid, and b) after I have added about 5 lactase tabs to convert the lactose.

In the Urals, folk still ferment horse's milk . That's called khumis.
This is super fascinating, please share any findings.
 

bernardsmith

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Two quick "findings" .
1. When I use cultures to ripen the milk - which is what I do for 99% of the cheese I make, the whey is known as sweet whey, but the blaand can take a couple of years to develop fruity flavors, I enjoy. When I use lemon juice or citric acid to make a quick soft cheese, the whey , which is called acid whey , takes on the fruity flavors much , much sooner. Sidebar note: I never use dried cultures but always use a quarter of half cup of whey from my kefir.
2. These days, given the number of wines I make to bottle, I have not made blaand to put in my "wine -cellar". I allow the whey to actively ferment for a few days in a bucket and then rack into a carbot and allow the whey to finish fermenting. After about a month I pour the blaand into a gallon sized air still (designed for distilling water) and after about 2 hours, and setting aside
about 40 ml of foreshots and heads, I get about 400 ml of hearts at about 70% ABV (140 proof). The tails I compost... The spirit I let age and sometimes oak but more often I use to make liqueurs such as a version of kahlua, or mulberry or raspberry liqueur and the like... Going to be making a star anise liqueur , my version of ouzo...
 

kimajy

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Most distilleries won't distill beer made with any hops. Truth be told, I have never tasted an eau-de-vie-de-biere, and my sense is that Scotch whisky is made only using pot stills but my knowledge of distilling is less than basic. I make cheese, Ferment the whey that is leftover into a 12% wine and then make a batch of "vodka" from the whey wine at about 63% ABV (126 proof), using a pot still designed for distilling water. (I get about 400 ml of hearts from about 1 gallon of the wine) from which I make liqueurs I give to my friends and family.

A pair of dairy farmers not that far from me in UK have done similar commercially ... Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka | The World's First Pure Milk Vodka

... except it's only 80 proof and about $30 for a 700ml bottle, even at the current appalling exchange rate !

Not exactly a "world's first" clearly ... maybe commercially !
 

Lampy

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When I use lemon juice or citric acid to make a quick soft cheese, the whey , which is called acid whey , takes on the fruity flavors much , much sooner.
Do you think the whey left over from straining yogurt would be good for this use? I occasionally have made greek style yogurt and usually end up using the whey to make rice, but I would be game to try fermenting it too!
 
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