Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Grainfather Making Whiskey Part 1

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Hi and welcome to episode 554 with Whats4Chow.com and anothe episode in our series, Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
In our previous distilling episode we unboxed and assembled the mighty Grainfather.
Today we’re going to put it through its paces as we mash a full load of grain to make a classic all-grain whisky.
To make this simple whisky, we need 3 kilograms of peated malt and 4 kilograms of pale malt.
You will also need a sachet of Still Spirits whisky distillers yeast, a Still Spirits Turbo clearing kit and 4 kilograms of sugar or dextrose.
Before starting, make sure the thermometer housing is properly fastened and that the joint at base of the recirculation riser pipe is secure.
Add 20 liters of water to the pot. Set the temperature on the controller to 68c and flip the switch for the element to the boil position. To get everything going, switch the main switch on at the base of the unit.
Pour the sugar into the pot and give it good stir until totally dissolved.
Position the extendable overflow pipe in the boiler sleeve, place the sleeve in the boiler and fit the overflow stopper to the top of the pipe. This prevents grain from spilling into the overflow pipe as we pour it into the pot.
Pour the grain into the pot in small batches, stirring between each addition to make all of the grain is wet and there are dry clumps.
Once all of the grain is added, remove the overflow stopper and insert the top mesh plate. Press the plate down until it just touches the mash. Don’t go any further as compressing the mash will impede circulation of the wort through the grain.
Seat the overflow inlet sleeve onto the overflow pipe. This will keep the perforated plate level.
Place the lid on the boiler and attach the recirculation bridge making sure the tube goes through the hole in the lid.
Turn on the pump. By this stage the temperature will have stabilized at around 68c and this process needs to continue as is for 60 minutes. Set the switch at the base of the unit to the mashing position.
At first the overflow will be very apparent. As the grain gets saturated, more and more of the wort will drop through the perforated plate and will filter through the grain instead going directly through the overflow.
After 60 minutes, turn off the pump, allow the recirculation bridge to drain and remover the the recirculation bridge.
Remove the lid and use the stainless steel handle to lift the boiler sleeve upwards. Swivel the boiler sleeve and rest the small triangular feet on the rest inside the top of the boiler.
at this stage the grain will have settled considerably. Press the upper perforated plate down until it sits on top of the grain.
Pour in 5 liters of water to rinse or sparge the grain. Do this a little at a time, as flooding the top grain will cause the process to block.
Once all of the water has been added, allow the grain to drain for 60 minutes.
Once the draining has completed, re-attach the recirculation bridge with the bridge facing outwards.
Place the plastic tube in the fermentation vessel and turn on the pump.
Allow the wort to cool to 35c then add the Still Spirits ewhisky yeast.
Give it a good stir, then screw on the lid with the airlock in place.
Transfer the fermentation vessel to a warm shady place to ferment. Depending on the ambient temperature, this could take anything from 7 to 10 days to complete.
To purger the pump on the Grainfather, fill the boiler with 15 liters of water. Place an empty container under the recirculation pipe and switch on the pump. This will effectively wash out the pump and the recirculation riser and bridge.
Rinse out the boiler and wash the inside with a mild detergent. Rinse again and you’re done.
Join us next week for part 2 of this whisky saga when we clarify the wort and distill this in the Grainfather using the alembic lid.

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