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Gert Strand AB

Box 50221

S-202 12 Malmoe. Sweden Fax.: +46 (0)40 18 30 25 Internet: www.destill.com

Prestige essences, Prestige activated carbon, Turbo yeast, Raschigrings and more. Manufacturer of essences. Wholesaler for German quality laboratory instruments. .

Franz Widder GmbH

Lengfurterstr. 35

D-97889 Kreutzwertheim am Main, Germany

Fax: +49 9342 21 122 Stainless steel stills ofGerman super quality. Glass instruments.

Mash fermentation s 1 '

In principle, mash is cheap wine with no demands concerning taste. Only the alcohol is required, but the mash must contain as few impurities as possible, in order to give good results. Later the alcohol is removed by distillation. The purest and most simple mash is comprised of sugar, baker's yeast, yeast nutrient salts and water. The yeast "consumes" the sugar and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. The carbon dioxide bubbles out through the fermentation lock and the alcohol remains in the mash. But the yeast cannot "consume" endless quantities of sugar. If the concentration of sugar or alcohol is too high the yeast cannot work. Ordinary baker's yeast, which we use, can ferment the mash up to 13%, then fermentation stops. Baker's yeast cannot work in a higher concentration of alcohol. To add more sugar than can be converted by the yeast is nothing but wasteful.

Mark the quantity of mash to be fermented on the outside of the fermentation vessel. Allow a headroom of 20 cm, otherwise the mash will foam over.

So that the sugar is fermented properly it must be completely dissolved in the water. 17 grammes of sugar gives 1% alcohol in one litre of mash. A 200 mm space should be left above the mash to allow for foaming. A 25 litre container cannot ferment 25 litres, but nearer 20-22 litres.

During fermentation the yeast consumes the sugar, leaving two by-products, alcohol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide "plops" out through the fermentation lock and the alcohol remains in the mash. So that the yeast is able to last as long as possible, it must be given optimal conditions. The yeast starts best when it is given oxygen-rich water from a nozzle. It is then given the best possible nutrition in the form of a yeast nutrient salt and a temperature of between 20-25°C. The fermentation process adds heat of about 5°C. If the temperature falls below 18°C fermentation will stop until the temperature rises once more. A large surface area for the fermentation helps the carbon dioxide to leave the mash (so don't fill demijohns up to the neck). Fermentation can be speeded by shaking the mash to get rid of the carbon dioxide, but do not shake rapidly fermenting yeast or the mash will leave the container. A bigger fermentation, for example in a container of 100 or 200 litres ferments more rapidly than a smaller fermentation. At 1113% alcohol, the yeast rests and sinks to the bottom. This can be speeded up by using a wine clearing agent. The clear mash is then transferred to the distillation apparatus and is distilled. Cleared mash must not stand on its lees for more than 3 weeks. It should be removed from the lees before the lees cause souring or oxidization. Where a mash does not ferment violently a fermentation lock filled with water must be fitted.

The fermentation lock prevents air from coming into contact with the mash. If this happens the oxygen in the air will oxidize the alcohol to acetic acid. During fermentation the carbon dioxide, which is heavier than air, protects the mash like a protective cover.

This is again a reason to leave 200 mm of space between the cover and the surface of the mash.

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