How to Make Coffee Wine – Homemade Coffee Wine

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With festive season just upon us, today we’re going to make a batch of amazing coffee wine. This project started some time ago as an experiment, and the initial results were so pleasing that it warranted further investigation. In the preliminary experiment, I used a generic champagne yeast which produced a very drinkable wine comparable to a good sauvignon blanc.
In light of this, I contacted Anchor Yeast, a subsidiary of Lallimand Yeast in South Africa.
The specialists in the wine yeast division were very helpful in isolating 4 different wine yeasts in order that I could find the very best yeast for this purpose. At this point I would like to make this very clear… this is not a yeast competition, it is an exercise to find the best yeast for making coffee wine.
In addition, the reason I went with Anchor and Lallamand is purely based on their expertise, knowledge and reputation in this field. They were kind enough to supply with 4 sample batches of yeast and all of the relevant data sheets, however I was in no way financially rewarded for using their products. This is a purely scientific endeavour, and in no way meant as an advertisment for Anchor Yeast or Lallamand. In addition, I really wanted to use products that are available world-wide in order that you can give this a try yourself.
I started with the generic champagne yeast as my control batch.
This first of the Lallamand yeasts is the Vin 7. This is yeast developed specifically for the production of Sauvignon Blanc wines. At this stage of the project, I thought this would be my most promising prospect.
Next up is the Vin 13. This yeast has been developed for the production of both Sauvignon blanc and chardonnay.
Then there is NT 202, a yeast developed for the production of aged red wines like Shiraz.
And last but not least is the NT 50, a yeast developed for fruity red wines like Pinotage, that are short aged, and released fast to the market.
To make this project more manageable, I am making small batches of each variant usin 2 liter bottles and Pat Mack’s brew caps. These caps have a built-in pressure release valve in the lid, and for this exercise they are just much easier to use than fermentation bubblers.
The fact that wine in this instance will start off carbonated is immaterial as it will be degassed during the clarification process anyway.
The coffee of choice is a product made by Nescafe’ in South Africa, called Ricoffy. This a blend of pure coffee granule, chicory, dextrins and dextrose. The dextrins and dextrose are yeast friendly, and will ensure a good strong fermentation. This coffee blend is available world-wide through numerous international South African food product franchise outlets. I will leaves links to these in the description. Once again, I would like to stress that this is not and advertisement for Nestle’ or Ricoffy.
Each of 5 bottles receive 90g of Ricoffy granules and 200g of white sugar.
500ml of hot water is added along with a further 500ml of cold water.
Give each bottle a good shake to dissolve the coffee granules and sugar entirely.
Top each bottle up with a further 750ml of cold water, give them another shake, then measure the temperature.
If the temperature is higher than 30c, wait until it drops to 30c before pitching an eighth of a teaspoon of yeast into each bottle.
Place the brew caps or fermentation bubblers on the bottles and place these in a warm but shady place to ferment for 30 days.
The primary reason for this long fermentation is that I want the wines to be totally sugared out in order that we can taste the absolute essence of each variant in its driest form. After this, the wine can be back-sweetened to taste. In addition, in a controlled experiment of this nature, every variant must be treated in exactly the same way.
After the 30 days, each batch was tasted to ensure that all of the sugars had been consumed.
The wine was then poured off into clean sterilized bottles, taking care to leave the majority of yeast and sediment behind.
At this stage, if you opt to use brew caps, the wine will be very fizzy and the racking will require a good deal of patience. This will not be a problem if you use a fermentation bubbler.
The wines will still be almost totally opaque, due to microscopic coffee sediment and yeast in suspension.
To clear the wine, transfer the bottles to your refrigerator for a full 24 hours.
After this time, measure 160ml of water and add 5ml or a teaspoon of gelatin. Allow this stand for about 30 minutes until the gelatin has bloomed in the water.
Microwave the mixture in short bursts until it reaches 150f or 66c, and you’re ready to go.
Pour 30ml of the gelatin solution into each bottle and give it a gentle top-stir with a swizzle stick.
Return the bottles to your refrigerator to clear. The gelatin solution bonds the proteins and particulates in the wine making them heavy enough to precipitate to the bottom of the bottles.
This clearing process can take up to a week to complete.
After this time, pass each wine through a fine filter, or a ceramic filter if available, to keep the coagulated sediment behind.
The wine can be treated with sulphite in the form of Camden tablets to kill any remaining yeast, however I opted to simply bottle and refrigerate.
We live in the heart of the R62, the longest wine route in the world. As a result we have no shortage of wine officianados, and I took full advantage of this. I invited a whole bunch of them to a formal wine tasting, and these are the results.
The Vin 7 which seemed to be the most likely candidate turned out to be a bit thin and lacking in aroma and flavor, however it was still very drinkable.
The Vin 13 was a little more robust, with more coffee aromas coming through, along with a slight cranberry flavor.
The NT50 was again more robust with stronger coffee and berry flavors and aromas. It was very similar to the generic champagne yeast used as the control.
The tote favorite was with no dought, the NT202, which was far ahead of the other wines in aroma and flavor.
The clairty and appearance of all of the varieties was absolutely brilliant, and overall the tasting was met with much interest and enthusiasm.
At this stage I would like to thank Anchor Yeast and Lallamand for supplying the yeast variants and expertise.
Thats it for today folks, please like, subscribe and share this with your friends and family, and we’ll see you again real soon.

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Grainfather Making Whisky Part 2

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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Grainfather Making Whisky Part 2

Hi and welcome to episode 559 with Whats4Chow.com and the penultimate episode of our short series Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
In our previous distilling episode we used the Grainfather to mash a batch of grain to make whisky. The resulting mash has completed fermenting and it is time to clear the fermentation and distill it using the Grainfather armed with the alembic dome lid. This is the very same alembic dome we used on the Still Spirits distiller, and it is available as an optional extra from Brewcraft when you purchase your Grainfather.
To clear the mash we’re going to use the Still Spirits Turbo Clear 2 part kit.
Start by giving the wash a really vigorous stir to degas the liquid. This stage is quite important as the carbon dioxide is one of the elements that is keeping the micro-particles in suspension.
Once you have degassed the liquid, add Part A of the kit and stir this in thoroughly. Replace the lid of the bucket and allow this to stand for 60 minutes.
After the standing time, sprinkle Part B over the surface of the bucket. Use your stirrer top-stir Part B across the surface.
Replace the lid and leave the bucket undisturbed for 24 hours.
The following day, rack the cleared liquid off into the Grainfather boiler.
Add 5ml of Still Spirits distilling conditioner… this prevents foaming and improves the quality of the run.
Pour the boiling enhancer saddles into the boiler. These will give you nice even boil, instead of violent bubbling.
Undo the large nut from the condenserand attach the condenser to the dome lid.
Make sure the silicon seal is in place by crimping it firmly into the surround of the lid.
Place the lid on the boiler and fasten the spring clips to hold it in place.
Attach the water inlet pipe to the lower connector, and the outlet pipe to the upper connector.
Drop the probe thermometer into the thermometer housing at the top of the condenser.
Attach the distillate outlet pipe to the end of the condenser.
Turn on the main switch to the boil position at the base of the boiler, followed by the switch on the control box, also to the boil position.
Press the set button and adjust the temperature target to 95c using the plus button. To confirm the setting, press the set button again.
As the temperature reaches around 45c, the first drips will start emerging from the distillate outlet. Turn on the water flow.
As the temperature reaches 60c the flow will increase. Collect the first 100ml of distillate. This is made up of methanol and acetone and is discarded.
Collect the distillate in batches, measuring the ABV of each batch as you go. This will start out in the 80’s and gradually decrease as the run progresses. When the ABV drops below 40% it is time to call it a day.
The distillate up to this point will be the base for your product.
Blend your batches as discussed in our blending episode and if necessary, dilute the resulting blend to 60% ABV.
This is the optimum strength for oak aging.
Place the distillate in suitable bottles and add a teaspoon of French wine barrel oak chips per liter of distillate. I am using 500ml bottles and adding about a half teaspoon to each one.
There is no formula for how long it will take to age. When you are happy with the color, aroma and flavor of the whisky, it is ready to strain and bottle.
Next week, in our final distilling episode, we will discuss the equipment, a whole bunch of distilling tips and tricks and my personal views on Still Spirits and Grainfather.
Thanks for joining us today, please subscribe to our channel, give us a thumbs up and share this with your family and friends, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

Visit the Brewcraft website at http://Brewcraft.co.za

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.

Grainfather Unboxing and Assembly – Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather

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Grainfather Unboxing and Assembly – Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather

Hi and welcome to episode 548 with Whats4Chow.com and the next episode in our short course, Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
Up until now we have covered everything with regard to the Still Spirits equipment and products. Today we move on to look at the Grainfather brewing and distilling system, as we find out what comes in the box and how it all fits together.

The core of the system is an excellent quality brushed stainless steel boiler, the cooler coil, the computer controller, all the necessary flow pipes and filters, and the stainless steel boiler sleeve.
Step 1 in assembly… attach the hose to the recirculation bridge. Also make sure that the silicon seal is seated correctly on the threaded side of the bridge. Put this aside for now.
Unwrap the ties from the power cable and thermometer probe attached to the computer controller. On the back of the controller you will find 2 large studs. Feed the power cable and thermometer lead through the cage on the side of the boiler.
Insert the studs into the face plate and lower the computer module into the cage to secure.
You will notice that the lid has a built-in self closing mechanism which is a nice touch.
Unwrap the cables that emerge from the pump housing and the base of the boiler. The cables are clearly marked… plug these into their corresponding inputs on the underside of the computer module.
Insert the thermometer probe into the thermometer housing near the base of the boiler.
Next up is the recircultion system. This pipe rising from the pump module is the riser for the recirculation system.
Make sure the end-cap is securely fitted to the filter. Press the silicon T-connector from the filter onto the nipple that leads to the filter located next to the thermometer receiver inside the boiler.
Make sure that all of the shipping packaging has been removed from the boiler before doing this.
Take one of the perforated filter plates and the internal flow drainage pipe.
Make sure the silicon seal is seated correctly on the surround of the plate.
Insert the plate into the boiler sleeve. It is a fairly tight fit, but with a little patience, it does go in. Push this all the way to the bottom of the boiler sleeve.
Unscrew the threaded nut from the one end of the overflow pipe, insert the threaded end of the pipe through the plate from the inside of the boiler sleeve and secure this with the nut.
Place the extendable riser onto the overflow pipe and cap this off with the end stopper.
Insert the boiler sleeve by rotating it until the little triangular feet at the bottom of the sleeve fit past the sleeve rest at the top of the boiler. We will only insert the second perforated once the grain has been added to the boiler, which will be covered in consequent episodes.
Place the glass lid on the boiler, screw the recirculation bridge onto the recirculation riser pipe, with the flexible hose dropping the hole in the center of the lid.
Please take heed that the spring clips are not used to secure the glass lid. They are only used when distilling with the alembic dome lid.
To attach the cooling coil for cooling the mash, unpack all of the tubes from the center of the cooling coil.
The blue tube attaches to your cold water tap and a collection of different fittings is supplied to achieve this.
The top clear tube attaches to the recirculation riser pipe, while the bottom clear tube runs the mash back through the glass lid into the boiler.
The red tube runs the waste water to the sink or drain.
Unscrew the recirculation bridge from the riser pipe.
Run the lower clear tube up the outside of the cooling coil and drop it through the center hole of the unit.
Place the cooling coil on the lid of the boiler making sure to run the clear tube through the lid.
Attach the upper clear tube to the recirculation riser.
Attach the blue tube to your tap, and place the red tube in your runoff and you’re done.
Just note before we close, the recirculation bridge is used to circulate the mash during mashing or cooking, and the cooler is used to cool the cooked mash. This will be covered in episodes to come.
Thanks for joining us today, please give us a thumbs up, subscribe to our channel, and share this with your family and friends, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather – How to Make Flavoring Essences

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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather - How to Make Flavoring Essences
Author: 
Recipe type: Home Distilling
 
In our previous distilling episode we looked at the range of Still Spirits essences used to create commercial grade liquor products. Today we're going to get creative and look at how to make these essences from scratch, and flavor the high quality alcohol batch from the Still Spirits T500 reflux distiller. This technique can be used to extract essence from any liquid, including fruit juices, herb infusions, coffee, tea and spice infusions. Today we're going to use coffee to make an amazing coffee essence.
Ingredients
  • 800ml Strong espresso
  • 20g Gelatin
  • 5ml Vanilla extract
To Make "Kahlua" Coffee liqueur
  • 250g Corn syrup
Instructions
  1. To start, we need to brew 4 double shots of really strong espresso.
  2. Pour these into a large heat proof jug.... the total volume will bee 800ml.
  3. Pour the gelatin into the hot espresso and stir it thoroughly until dissolved. You can use either bovine or plant based gelatin.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and stir this in.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool and transfer it to your freezer for a full 24 hours.
  6. The following day, place a colander over a large bowl. Line the colander with cheese cloth, or use a new kitchen wipe as I am doing.
  7. Remove the frozen coffee mixture from the freezer. Dip the bottom of the jug in a sink of hot water and turn the frozen block out into the colander.
  8. Allow this to stand and drip for a few hours. Once the block is soft and spongy, lift the edges of the cloth and squeeze out any remaining liquid trapped in the gelatin.
  9. The yield from 800ml of espresso will be 500ml.
  10. This is the essence. From this point you can reduce and sweeten the essence, or use it as is.
To Use it As Is
  1. Dilute 375ml alcohol to 40% ABV.
  2. Mix 375ml of the coffee essence with the alcohol.
  3. Bottle the alcohol in suitable bottles and you're done.
To Make Kahlua-Style Coffee Liqueur
  1. Dilute 250ml of alcohol to 60% ABV.
  2. Place 500ml essence in a small saucepan, bring it to a simmer and allow to continue until it has reduced by 50%
  3. Combine the alcohol and reduced essence with 250g of corn syrup. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  4. Bottle the liqueur in suitable bottles and you're done!!!

 

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Blending Still Spirits’ Essences

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Hi and welcome to episode 540 with Whats4Chow.com and the next episode of Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
Over our 2 previous distilling episodes we distilled a batch of wash through the Still Spirits Turbo 500 reflux distiller, then filtered the product through the Still Spirits Carbon Filter System.
Today we’re going to look at some important points regarding using the Still Spirits essences or flavor packs.
The essences come packaged in sachets and all of the blending instructions are clearly printed on each pack.
This makes it really simple to blend your favorite drinks, however there are a few points to look out for.
The first point is that not all of the packs make the same quantity of product. so you do need to read the instructions and yield quantities really carefully otherwise you may end up with an end product that is either too strong or too weak… be this in alcohol terms or flavor.
The second and most important point to keep in mind is the alcohol content of the drink you are making. For instance, if you are blending a whiskey, then the target alcohol ABV is 43%. This is easy enough, however, some spirits like spiced golden rum is only 37%. If you inadvertently mix it to 43%, it will be far stronger than it should be in alcohol terms. You can find the target alcohol contents on the labels of the original drinks you are emulating, or simply Google the respective drinks to find this information.
This point becomes particularly relevant when blending the liqueurs and cream based liqueurs. These can have an alcohol content spanning anything from 13% to 33% ABV. So as you can see, it is good to do your homework before mixing.
That said, Still Spirits make dozens of different flavoring essences, and you see these on the Brewcraft website… Brewcraft.co.za
Now you ask, “Just how good are the Still Spirits Essences?”
I mixed up a range of these including the Spiced Golden Rum, the Bourbon, a Single Malt Whiskey and a range of the liqueurs. I bottled these up and I was ready for the big test.
We live on a golf range, and the clubhouse is literally 500m from my front door. I dropped the load off with the owner, Frans Hartshorn, and asked him to conduct a blind taste test with a dozen of his high-end customers. Note that I gave them to him…. selling the stuff is illegal, unless you have the license to produce for resale.
After a few days, I checked back with him. No-one could distinguish the difference between the single malt whiskey and the corresponding famous commercial brand, and the same result came back for every single spirit and liqueur.
In summary, these essences are absolutely outstanding.
Some distillers who are more into alembic distilling, blending and aging do comment that this takes all of the art and fun out of distilling, however if you want to make super-high quality spirits and liqueurs comparably to high-end commercial brands, with no frustration and no aging time, this is a sure winner. For those wanting to get a little more creative, our next distilling episode will cover making a homemade essence and blending it with a T500 alcohol batch.
Thanks for joining us today, please give us a thumbs up, subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already done so, share this with your family and friends, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

The Still Spirits Carbon Filter System for Reflux Distilled Alcohol

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Unboxing and Assembling the Still Spirits Carbon Filter System

Hi and welcome to episode 537 with Whats4Chow.com and another episode in our short series Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
Today we’re going to look at the Still Spirits Carbon Filtering system which has been specially designed for filtering the spirits distilled using the Still Spirits Turbo 500 reflux distiller.
When reflux distilling, you can expect an alcohol purity of between 94 and 97%. The 3 to 6 percent disparity is comprised mostly of water, however sometimes a few volatiles can sneak through along with this and adversely affect the flavor of your product. Using a carbon filter will remove these troublesome elements and give you a superior product.
An important note before we start…. this filter should not be used with wines, ciders or alembic distilled product. The filter will remove most of the color and flavor from these drinks. The filter is only for processing reflux distilled product.
Let’s have a look in the box.
The set comes with an upper an lower bucket. The upper bucket has a hole in the bottom where the filter is fitted, while the lower bucket has a hole in the side to receive a tap fitting.
There is a good quality lid for the upper bucket, and a receiver ring which will join the 2 containers together.
In addition there is a decent quality tap fitting, the disposable carbon filter, two seals, a central bolt and a sturdy plastic nut.
To fit the tap, remove the nut and one of the silicon washers from the thread.
Insert the thread into the hole on the side of the container. Replace the silicon washer and screw the nut on firmly.
To install the filter, insert the bolt through the hole in the container, from the inside.
Place a foam seal onto the bolt, followed the carbon candle, followed by the second seal, and finally the nut making sure that spacer ridge on the nut is facing inwards.
Tighten this up firmly.
For final assembly, place the receiver ring onto the lower container. Press the upper container into the receiver ring and you’re ready to go.
Dilute your reflux distilled alcohol to below 50% ABV and pour this into the upper container.
Within a few minutes, the batch will have run through the filter and your spirits are ready for blending with the Still Spirits flavorings. This process will be covered in the distilling episode.
Thanks for joining us today, please give us a thumbs up, subscribe to our channel, and share this with your friends and family, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

 

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Still Spirits Water Flow Regulator

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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Still Spirits Water Flow Regulator

Hi and welcome to episode 534 with Whats4Chow.com and the next  in our series serious distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
In our previous distilling episode we ran a batch of sugar wash through the Still Spirits T500 reflux distiller. As promised, today we are going to have a good look at the Still Spirits flow controller, what it does, and why you need it.
The distilling setup is comprised of 2 parts, the muscle and the brain. The boiler and the condenser are the muscle, while the thermometer and the flow controller are the brain. Anyone who’s been on earth long enough knows that muscle does not work too well without brain.
In previous versions of the T500, the flow controller was a simple micro tap that fitted to your tap. This has evolved into the most ingenious piece of equipment that we’re looking at today.
Before we continue, why do you need a flow controller? Why couldn’t they just make a preset valve at the optimum flow rate?
The answer is quite straight forward. Tap water from different taps, and in different geographical locations is not at the same temperature. The guidline of 500ml per minute given in the instruction manual is just that…. a baseline starting point. Once the still has heated up and the thermometer approaches the target temperature, you need to make small adjustments to the flow rate to achieve the optimum temperature of 60c.
If the temperature fails to reach 60c, the flow rate is too high. If the temperature overshoots 60c, the flow rate is too low and must be increased.
So you ask, “what was wrong with the previous flow controller?”
Unfortunately, just like temperatures vary from tap to tap, so do water pressures…. and water pressure can vary on a single tap from one minute to the next. This makes the optimum range very difficult to achieve when there are so many variables.
Let’s have a look at what comes in the box. First out is the power supply unit with mains cable.
Then comes the unit. All the necessary pipes and tap connections are supplied, including good quality hose clamps.
On the main unit the power plugs into the black cable on the side.
Inside the unit is a variable submersible pump and a float valve which controls the inflow of water from the tap.
Water enters the chamber from the tap through the white connector on the side of the unit. Once the chamber is full the float valve closes and will not allow any more water though until the pump has depleted enough water to open the float valve again.
The water is pumper out at constant flow rate through the silver outlet to the inlet of the distilling column.
The flow rate is controlled by adjusting the silver dial on the lid of the unit.
In conclusion, even if you’re not using the Still Spirits T500, any reflux distilling setup will benefit immensely by adding this incredibly simple and reliable unit to the arsenal.
Please take some time to check out the Brewcraft website by clicking the link in the description below the video.
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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Running the Still Spirits T500 Refl

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Running the Still Spirits T500 Reflux Distiller

In our previous episode we cover the process used to make invert sugar, then went on to make a batch of sugar wash using the invert sugar.
Today we’re going to put the Still Spirits T500 Reflux Distiller through its paces when we distill this batch of sugar wash.
First we need to assemble the T500.
Unscrew the large nut from the base of the column taking care not to spill the saddles that fill the column. Insert the threaded end of the column through the boiler lid and screw the nut back on. Tighten the nut firmly.
Attach the water inlet pipe to the inlet. This is the thinner of the 2 long pipes supplied with the T500.
Attach the thicker pipe to the water outlet.
Use the supplied adapters to attach the inlet, or thinner pipe to your flow controller, and position the outlet pipe in your sink.
Attach the pipe from the flow controller to the tap.
Our next episode will look at the operation of the flow controller in detail.
Attach the short transfer tube to the top of the column.
Pour the sugar wash into the boiler and add the packet of boiling enhancers and the distilling conditioner to the wash.
The ceramic boil enhancers give a smoother boil, while the conditioner prevents foaming in the wash.
Pop the lid on the boiler and secure the 4 clips.
Turn on the thermometer by using a toothpick to depress the tiny switch on the back of the unit.
Clip the thermometer on to the column and place the thermometer probe into the recess in the water outlet elbow.
Finally, attach the alcohol outlet pipe to the laterally orientated pipe just below the thermometer.
Start the water flow and set the flow rate to 500ml per minute.
Turn the boiler on. After some time the temperature on the thermometer will start to climb. As it approaches 50c, the first drips of alcohol will emerge. The first 50ml is comprised mostly of acetone and is collected and discarded.
As the temperature approaches 60c, the target temperature, the alcohol flow rate will increase and you will continue to collect alcohol until the boiler shuts down or the alcohol flow ceases.
If the temperature does not climb to 60c, your flow rate is too high and needs to be reduced, and if it spikes past 60c then the rate is too low and needs to be increased on the flow controller.
From this particular batch of sugar wash, I collected just over 5 liters of 94% pure alcohol. This is higher than usual owing to the invert sugar used in the wash. With regular sugar wash, you can expect about 4 liters of product.
Stay tuned for our next episode where we’re looking at the Still Spirits flow controller.

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – How to Make Invert Sugar

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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather - How to Make Invert Sugar
Author: 
Recipe type: Brewing and Distilling
 
Today we're going to look at a refinement that can be implemented to ensure a good strong fermentation that will consistently and will yield above average results, and higher alcohol volumes. Yeast feeds on sugar to stay alive, multiply and produce alcohol. If the yeast has a supercharged food, it goes without saying that it will produce the alcohol faster, and more of it. The food I am talking about is invert sugar.
Ingredients
  • White sugar (regular household sugar)
  • 2.5ml Citric acid per Kilogram of sugar
  • Water
Instructions
  1. Hi and welcome to episode 529 with Whats4Chow.com, and the next episode in our epic series on serious distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
  2. Today we're going to look at a refinement that can be implemented to ensure a good strong fermentation that will consistently yield above average results, and higher alcohol volumes.
  3. Yeast feeds on sugar to stay alive, multiply, and produce alcohol. If the yeast has a supercharged food, it goes without saying that it will produce the alcohol faster, and more of it.
  4. The food I am talking about is invert sugar.
  5. Invert sugar is a combination of glucose and sucrose and is manufactured by splitting the disaccharide sugar (regular white sugar) into these two components. This makes the invert sugar more readily available to the yeast resulting in a more reliable, efficient and complete fermentation. Think of it as rocket fuel for your fermenter.
  6. This amazing substance can be made quite easily at home, and works brilliantly with any of the Still Spirits yeast varieties.
  7. To start, add the white sugar and citric acid to a medium size pot. Citric acid is available off the shelf at any store in the baking section. You can also use tartaric acid, however this is more difficult to find. Cream of tartar is not recommended, as you will only achieve a partial conversion to invert sugar.
  8. Pour in enough water to cover the sugar.
  9. Place the pot over medium high heat and stir this until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  10. Our target temperature is 130c or 266f.
  11. As the temperature climbs, the process will stall at 110c or 230f until all of the excess water has been evaporated. If you poured in too much water, don't panic, the process will simply take a little longer.
  12. When the excess water has evaporated, the temperature will start to climb again.
  13. While you wait for the target temperature, fill a small jug with water at room temperature. It is important that the syrup does not spike over 135c or 275f or the process is ruined. Adding small amounts of water will keep the temperature in check.
  14. Once the syrup has reached the target temperature, turn the heat down to medium. We need to boil the mixture for 20 minutes for the process to complete.
  15. Keep a keen eye on the temperature and add about 50ml of the cold water every time it spikes towards 135c. This will bring the temperature back into line.
  16. You will have to add water 4 or 5 times over the 20 minute period. Make sure to stir the water in as you add it.
  17. Also, be aware that the water will give of a puff of steam as it goes into the hot syrup, so make sure your hands are away from the top of the pot.
  18. At the 20 minute mark, turn off the heat and your invert sugar is ready.
  19. I am going use this homemade rocket fuel to ferment a batch of sugar wash using the Still Spirits Classic 8 Turbo Yeast.
  20. The batch pack calls for 8kg of sugar. I have used 2kg of this to make the invert sugar.
  21. Add the remaining 6kg of sugar to your fermentation bucket and fill this to 2 thirds with hot water. Pour in the 2kg batch of invert sugar and stir everything thoroughly until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  22. Top the fermenter up with cooler water to attain a target temperature of between 38 and 40c.
  23. Add the Still Spirits yeast pack and stir this in.
  24. Add the Still Spirits Turbo Carbon and stir this. Put the lid on and allow the fermentation to complete over the following 2 to 4 days.
  25. Use the Still Spirits Turbo Clearing pack to clear the fermented wash and it is ready.
  26. Stay tuned for next serious distilling episode where we're going to distill this batch through the Still Spirits Turbo 500 Reflux Distiller.

 

Pat Mack’s Brewing Caps – How to Make Ginger Beer – Real Alcoholic Carbonated Ginger Beer

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Pat Mack's Brewing Caps - How to Make Ginger Beer - Real Alcoholic Carbonated Ginger Beer
Author: 
Recipe type: Home Brewing
Serves: 3 liters
 
Just before the festive season I stumbled across a rather unique product called Pat Mack's Brewing Caps. The kit comes direct from Pat Mack, and it allows you to brew carbonated alcoholic beverages in regular soft drink bottles.
Ingredients
  • 250ml Sugar
  • 3 Liters water
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g Fresh ginger, chopped
  • 5ml Cream of tartar
  • ⅛ tsp Brewer's yeast
  • 30g Sultanas or raisins
Instructions
  1. Just before the festive season I stumbled across a rather unique product called Pat Mack's Brewing Caps. The kit comes direct from Pat Mack, and it allows you to brew carbonated alcoholic beverages in regular soft drink bottles.
  2. The kit comes in various different options, however the one I chose includes 5 of the caps, enough high quality brewer's yeast for 300 liters of brew, a full instruction manual with a load of recipes and a download eBook, with recipes and information.
  3. Anyway, today I am going to make batch of real ginger beer to show you how it all works.
  4. Let's first have close look at the caps. These are standard size bottle caps and inserted into the cap is a flexible diaphragm type valve. This allows some of the CO2 to escape in order that the bottle does not burst. The remaining CO2 remains in the bottles adding the carbonation to the contents.
  5. To start, add the water, roughly chopped ginger, sugar, zest and juice of one lemon and cream of tartar to a large pot.
  6. Bring this to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes.
  7. Strain the mixture through a large sieve and allow it stand and cool to 30c before adding the yeast.
  8. Add 1 eighth of a teaspoon of the supplied yeast and stir this in.
  9. Add the sultanas to the bottles and pour the mixture into bottles.
  10. Screw on the brewing caps and transfer the bottles to a warm, but shady place to ferment.
  11. Note how low the valve is sitting before fermentation.
  12. Allow these to ferment for 3 to 5 days. The longer you leave them, the higher the alcohol content will get, and the dryer the drink will get as eventually all of the sugar is consumed.
  13. After 3 to 5 days you will notice the valves in the caps bulging outwards due to the CO2 buildup in the bottles.
  14. The instruction manual supplied gives a very good indication of what alcohol content to expect with various fermentation times and sugar quantities.
  15. Notice the slight sediment of yeast at the bottom of the bottle.
  16. I have allowed mine to ferment for 5 days. Now it is time to clear the ginger beer.
  17. To do this, place the bottles in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. The fermentation will stop and most of the particulate in the beer will precipitate to the bottom.
  18. At this stage the ginger beer is ready to consume.
  19. Open the bottles very slowly to avoid spraying your precious cargo all over the kitchen, and serve.
  20. Notice how fizzy, clear and fresh this looks..... and it tastes great as well.
  21. This has come out at about 8 percent ABV, while a 3 day fermentation would probably come out at between 3 and 5 percent.
  22. You can find Pat Mack's website by clicking HERE

 

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still spirits and Grainfather – Making Gin, Part 1 and 2

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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still spirits and Grainfather - Making Gin, Part 1 and 2
Author: 
Recipe type: Distilling
 
In this distilling episode we're making gin from start to finish. Starting with the sugar wash, clearing the wash, and distilling the neutral alcohol. This is followed by the actual ginning process where there are 3 different methods to choose from to infuse the gin flavors into the alcohol.
Ingredients
  • 1 Pack Still Spirits Fast Turbo Yeast
  • 1 Pack Still Spirits Turbo Carbon
  • 1 Pack Still Spirits Turbo Clear
  • 6kg Refined white sugar
  • 21 liters water
For the Ginning Spices
  • 2g Star anise
  • 3g Cardamom
  • 15mm Cinnamon stick
  • 6 Cloves
  • 4g Coriander seed
  • 20g Juniper berries
  • 5g Fennel seeds
  • 2g Lemon zest
  • 2g Orange zest
Instructions
To Make the Sugar Wash
  1. Gin requires a base of neutral spirit, and although we have covered sugar wash previously, we're going to do it again, this time with the textbook recipe using all of Still Spirits products resulting in a batch of really clear, quality wash.
  2. To do this we need a pack of Still Spirits Fast Turbo Yeast. This yeast is specially developed for sugar wash and will ferment a batch of wash in as little as 24 hours. The yeast already contains yeast nutrients and anti-foaming agents which make it incredibly easy and reliable to use.
  3. You will also need a pack of Still Spirits Turbo Carbon. This thick liquid carbon absorbs most of volatiles and unwanted flavors that often accompany very fast fermentations.
  4. And finally, you will need a Still Spirits 2-part clearing pack which includes chitosan and kieselsol to clear the wash.
  5. To start, pour 6kg of refined white sugar into a 25lt bucket and fill the bucket to one third with hot water. Stir this thoroughly until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Continue filling the bucket with cooler water, adjusting as you go to achieve a target temperature of between 36 and 38c.
  7. Pour the yeast over the top of the sugar solution and stir this in thoroughly.
  8. Give the carbon a good shake to break down any lumps, cut it open and pour this in. Stir this in thoroughly.
  9. Put the lid on loosely and let this ferment for 24 to 48 hours.
  10. The time the fermentation takes to complete will be largely dependent on the ambient temperature.
  11. Once the fermentation has ended, which will be quite apparent by the subsiding of the sizzling sound it makes while fermenting, we need to clear the wash.
  12. Use your paddle to stir the wash vigorously. This gets all of the yeast and carbon into suspension and well as degassing the wash. This may take a few minutes of stirring, but be sure not to skip this step.
  13. Cut open part A of the clearing pack and pour this in. Give it another good stir then leave this for 60 minutes to do its work.
  14. Snip the corner off of part B and sprinkle this gently over the surface of the wash. Use your paddle to distribute this across the surface.
  15. Cover the bucket loosely with the lid and let this clear for 24 hours.
  16. The following day, the wash will be amazingly clear and ready to rack off into the distiller.
  17. Distill the wash twice using the alembic setup. On the first run you will achieve about 50% ABV, while on the second you will end up with a neutral, almost flavorless spirit of over 80% ABV.
  18. Please go on to the second part of this demonstration to see the 3 different techniques for ginning the alcohol.
Infusing the Gin Spices into the Alcohol
  1. To continue with gin.... we have fermented our wash and double distilled it to above 80%ABV.
  2. We need to measure out and assemble the ginning spices and botanicals. This includes star anise, cardamom, cinnamon bark, cloves, coriander seed, juniper berries, fennel seeds, lemon zest and orange zest.
  3. Cut a square piece of cotton cloth and place the spices in the center of the square. Gather up the edges of the cloth to enclose the spices. Tie this closed with a length of twine.
  4. This is where you choose which method you're going to follow.
  5. The first, and easiest method is to dilute your neutral spirit to 43% ABV. Pour the spirit into a large non-reactive container and drop the spice bag into the spirit.
  6. Let the spices steep in the spirit until you are happy with the aroma and flavor of the gin.
  7. The second method is to calculate the quantity of water required to dilute the spirit to 43% ABV and pour this into a pot. Add the bag of ginning spices and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Allow the liquid to cool and add it to the neutral spirit. In both of the aforementioned techniques, the resulting gin will end up pale golden in color.
  9. The 3rd method, the traditional method, the undiluted spirit is placed in a non-reactive container. The spice bag is added to the spirit and left to steep overnight.
  10. The following day, the bag is removed from the spirit and tied to the vapor outlet in the alembic lid of the distiller.
  11. The spirit is poured into the distiller and distilled a third time. The vapors which are already flavored, pass over the spice bag on their way to the condenser and extract even more flavors from the ginning spices.
  12. The result is a very strong aromatic gin. Dilute this to 43% ABV and you're done.
  13. Bottle the gin in suitable bottles, and voila, you have a batch of magnificently aromatic and flavorful gin.
  14. Click Here to visit Brewcraft's website.

 

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