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  1. #11
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2011
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    Sutton, Massachusetts
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    1,197

    Re: Short Mountain Distillery TN

    My understanding is that yeast need other micronutrients to survive, divide, and efficiently convert sugar to ethanol, esp. as the conditions get more difficult for them (higher temp, increasing ethanol concentration). Pure sucrose does not provide these other nutrients; a grain mash would. If those nutrients become deficient in the mash, the yeast become "stressed" and produce other less desirable by-products.
    Mark

  2. #12
    Novice
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    Nov 2011
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    DFW, Texas
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    7

    Re: Short Mountain Distillery TN

    I definitely agree with you sutton. Amino acids, proteins, sulphur compounds, trace metals, etc are all needed for healthy yeast growth.

    I was pointing to the idea of glucose vs. other sugars causing undesirably high concentrations of ethyl acetate. Since corn starch derived sugars are mainly glucose (in the form of maltose before being incorporated into the glycolytic pathway), and cane sugar is sucrose, I'm having trouble with the logic behind the statement.

  3. #13
    Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Jackson, MS
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    11,713

    Re: Short Mountain Distillery TN

    I suspect those who make mash and still whisky for a living have a pretty good idea of what works.

  4. #14
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Leopold Bros. Distillery
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    107

    Re: Short Mountain Distillery TN

    Quote Originally Posted by Rarnold View Post
    Not sure I understand your reasoning behind "When you feed yeast a bunch of glucose, the glycolytic pathway is such that you get massive amounts of ethyl acetate" Do you have a source?
    Not on hand as I'm in Europe just now.

    It's a common understanding. So much so that both the brewing schools I attended (long ago, I'll admit) made mention that I can recall. One, located in N. America, in the context of adjunct brewing, and the practice of adding corn sugar at places like Miller for flagship brands, as well as for malt liquor. Dr. Power explained using processed sugar quite simply.... paraphrasing, that it's like feeding your 5 year old nothing but candy for dinner, rather than the balanced meal that is a mix of sugars that the yeast breaks down slowly, internally, when consuming an all-malt wort. I was told table sugar was the worst of all choices, leading to a mess of esters, including ethyl acetate.

    The other was at a German brewing school in the context of a question I had on the bottle conditioning of hefeweizen, or in the case of my question, using the much easier corn sugar to bottle condition weizenbock. I was warned against it because of elevated ethyl acetate and higher alcohols. Urged instead to use first wort.

    But, that doesn't deflect your good question. I'll get to it when I get back and find you a cite.
    Last edited by Leopold; 07-11-2013 at 13:53.

  5. #15
    Novice
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    Nov 2011
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    DFW, Texas
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    7

    Re: Short Mountain Distillery TN

    Well that's actually why I'm interested, squire. I'm the Head Distiller at the F&R Distilling Co. in Ft. Worth, TX and also a former Ph.D candidate in Biochemistry (I left with my Masters degree to join F&R).

    Thanks Leopold. I'd be interested to read the citation and understand more about how different classes of carbohydrates may, in some cases, affect congener production. I definitely understand why pouring in just table sugar with no nutrients will create a very unbalanced fermentation.

    But what has me curious now is what if you have all the identical, necessary nutrients (aside from the carbohydrates) in 2 different mashes. In one mash, though, the primary carbohydrate is sucrose. In the second mash, the primary carbohydrate is maltose. Chemically speaking, both sucrose and maltose will be hydrolyzed into their constituents and incorporated into the same pathway. But, if in fact these two carbohydrate sources result in different congener profiles, I'd be really intrigued at understanding the science behind that.

    Thanks again.

  6. #16
    Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Jackson, MS
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    11,713

    Re: Short Mountain Distillery TN

    I take it you're Rob then, if I haven't already greeted you welcome aboard. I've been reading the reviews on your TX Blended whisky with interest.

  7. #17
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,560

    Re: Short Mountain Distillery TN

    I can't address the science but I sure enjoy reading about it. I can say that the only distilling 'tradition' that uses refined sugar is the moonshine tradition, where the principal objective is to produce as much alcohol as possible as cheaply, easily, and undetectably as possible. Most people don't understand that moonshine isn't a type of spirit, it's any spirit produced illegally.

    Legitimate cane sugar spirits aren't made from refined sugar. Rum is properly made from molasses and cachaša is produced from even less refined sugar cane juice.

    The irony, of course, is that if you want to play on the romance of moonshine, refined sugar is the most authentic thing you can use.

  8. #18
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    927

    Re: Short Mountain Distillery TN

    Having seen moonshine produced with sugar first hand, what I have seen is soured whole corn and sugar is the ingredients. The first run works slow. Then the next run gets a lot better cause they empty the still into the fermenters, sour mash. The dead yeast cells I know now gave the yeast the needed nutrients. The old timer just knew it worked, not how. And good stuff made from a mash like that tastes like a good tequila or sotol.

  9. #19
    Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Jackson, MS
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    Re: Short Mountain Distillery TN

    So that's how they did it, thanks Tom.

  10. #20
    Taster
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Knoxville TN
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    70

    Re: Short Mountain Distillery TN

    One thing I found interesting during the tour. Mr Kaufman told me when he was starting the company, he brought together at least 3 of the old time shiners in the county. They had all jealously guarded their process and formulas over the years, yet when they finally did compare, the formulas were the same (70% sugar, 30% corn). Of course Mr. Kaufman went on to tell me that's because Al Capone got a lot of his whiskey this county and had all the shiners use the same formula. I'll take the Capone part as perhaps embellishment, but it was very interesting to find they all used the same formula.
    http://whiskeylist.blogspot.com/ downloadable spreadsheet of over 2000 North American Whiskies

 

 

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