Author Topic: how to make the least flavorful fermented alcohol of at least 5% ?  (Read 647 times)

Offline fredthecat

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Re: how to make the least flavorful fermented alcohol of at least 5% ?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2020, 03:32:53 AM »
Secondaried it today. Just tasted from the sample tube, gravity 0.997

Colour is near-opaque greenish white, uncarbonated. taste is watery and mild, limey, very light juniper, herbal, some weirdness but for an as of now murky brew that will now be chilled for clarity, it is REALLY clean. very little alcohol taste at all.

step 1 - not a failure. complete


i recently purchased a citric acid solution intended for making homemade pop and lemon oil. might add both in small amounts just to give it some kind of bite, again its very watery tasting.



Will take a pic when it's really done and describe it further.

The bentonite did not yet succeed at clearing it up. Anyone have another suggestion? Gelatin for sugar alcohol?

Offline fredthecat

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Re: how to make the least flavorful fermented alcohol of at least 5% ?
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2020, 04:39:14 AM »
Final post, unless anyone is interested enough to reply.

i won't bother to take a pic because of an issue that ill explain.

result: successful in most regards - a very drinkable nearly free alcohol

recipe:
20litres distilled water (16 litres first then 4 litres for addition)

k1v-1118 wine yeast
bentonite

~12 grams crushed juniper berries
-1 tiny tiny black pepper
 5 grams coriander (1.5 tbsp)
 3 small lime rinds--
 1 lime's juice
 1 cardamom pod crushed
 1 bay leaf
 1 2.5cmx1cm bit of cassia

boiled for 20 min

1kg dextrose added at 20 min

5 grams magnum hops at 20 min
botanicals at 15min in a metal bag
1/2 whirfloc at 10min
2g flaked yeast nutrient at 5min
2.5g DAP at 5 min

added yeast when cooled, two days after visible signs of fermentation boiled 4 litres of water with 1kg dextrose and same nutrient/DAP additions

OG of about 1.048

added bentonite in primary directly, fermented pretty cool around 60F

relatively slow seeming ferment and FG 0.997

carbed with 150g dextrose




appearance: almost crystal clear with a yellow-greenish tinge, some bubbles but not comparable to beer and zero head formation at all, even for a second

aroma: none, maybe slight lime/citrusy acid

taste: overall perception is like flat diluted lime juice in water with very small resiny/bitterness tinge, some lemongrass. no alcohol taste at all. earlier after bottling i did taste juniper and some more of the herbs and botanicals

body: feels really flat


issue #1 weird botanicals, too bland - earlier on the cassia and whatever other botanicals were creating odd tastes. i did not want alcohol lime juice or skeeter pee, but a kind of gin and tonic taste. solution: find a better botanicals suggestion (i just used what i had) and probably triple to quadruple the dosage of them, while removing cassia, cardamom and black pepper. of course you can use whatever other flavour you particularly like your hard seltzers to be - cranberry, rootbeer, etc

issue #2 incorrect yeast nutrient - i was trying to go really cheap and picked up my dextrose from a bulk food product store, they had "flaked nutritional yeast" - i assumed - 'hey it's dead yeast, i'll boil it and it will just be vitamins.' well i found out after i had already boiled, that no, it is not. it has a flavour described as 'cheesy' and is used as vegan MSG, adding lots of umami taste. in the end i dont taste that weird umami flavour in it now at all, but it was present earlier on. solution: use a proper yeast nutrient duh

issue #3 no carbonation - this is the biggest problem by far. i added enough bottling sugar to reach a high (~3.0) degree of carbonation. i never have problems with bottle-carbing my beer, but this one seems like it is not going to. maybe it was the bentonite stripping out yeast? not really sure what happened. if this was carbonated the way it was intended it would be extremely crushable. this is the crucial failure and i unfortunately don't even have a solution. solution: ??? don't add bentonite ?? anyone? or of course keg it

considering how super mild this is in taste at ~6.5% ABV, my next goal is to take this and make a pseudo cheap-variety korean soju. this will again probably be very confusing for some of you as to why i want to make garbage, but i am simply too used to being able to get nearly free ~15% alcohol shots at any time. korean green bottle soju is 10 dollars a bottle here in canada, its $1.50 in korea and i can make it for about 50cents a bottle.



Offline erockrph

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Re: how to make the least flavorful fermented alcohol of at least 5% ?
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2020, 03:08:34 PM »
First of all, thanks for sharing you details here. It's always cool to see someone's recipe development process, and it's great to reference back to when I get similar crazy ideas.

I've tried similar experiments in the past (Hard Tang, and Hard Pepsi come to mind), and after my results I've just decided that if I ever do this again I'll keg with a neutral spirit, quality flavor extracts to taste, and some acid or something like TrueLemon. I've just never had good luck with a clean enough ferment by yeast. There is always some flavor that I'd rather not have in my finished product. It's unfortunate that you can't get a handle of cheap rum or vodka up your way, because that is really the best way to go, I think.

How long did you let your bottles carb up for? I suspect that the bentonite removed most (but not all) of the yeast. You might need to give it a few weeks longer than usual - stash this batch and come back to it in a while. Next time maybe add a pinch of dry yeast to each bottle at packaging to replace what was stripped out.

I think you will get much better results adding flavor extracts to taste. Apex Flavors makes a Gin blend if that's what you're shooting for. I haven't used their stuff yet, but they come highly recommended and I have several flavors en route as they speak for home soda/hard seltzer making. If you want to DIY it more, then I'd make tinctures from each of your botanicals, start dosing a glass of your clear product until you have the right ratio, then scale it up to a full batch.
Eric B.

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Offline Visor

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Re: how to make the least flavorful fermented alcohol of at least 5% ?
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2020, 05:16:29 PM »
   Ya, ditch the bentonite, as far as I'm concerned that stuff should be used for cat litter and drilling mud, and not much else.
   I won't try to guess why your juice didn't carb worth a squat, the few batches of seltzer I made carbed up nicely, no head retention to speak of but still nice and bubbly. I think it was my 1st batch that I added some maltodextrine to help with the head, IIRC it did hold a little better than the later batches, but the ladies it was brewed for didn't like the very slightly heavier mouthfeel so it was deleted subsequently.
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline fredthecat

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Re: how to make the least flavorful fermented alcohol of at least 5% ?
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2020, 04:20:14 AM »

Thanks for the interest and advice.

Yup, I understand completely just using vodka. This is an experiment in cost primarily. If I wanted a drink or two, i'd just buy a small bottle of vodka (200ml is minimum $8.95 here) and add it to water.

Again, this stuff tastes super clean, i fermented low on this wine yeast, and it is slowly, slowly continuing to carbonate, if i raised the temp in my beer storage room to mid 60s im sure it would carb quickly. But i'll just wait, its super drinkable as is now.


Yup, no more bentonite. BTW this ended up at around 6.5% ABV and it feels full enough, i wouldn't want it any heavier I think.


I think I'm going to go ahead and make the modern soju style stuff using the same yeast, double the dextrose and just using hops and some juniper. Again, this is probably really confusing and seems pointless for someone who isn't korean, but having soju at any time of day and without caring about the price is kind of a right of the korean male in exchange for putting up with a bunch of other stuff. It's not even good tasting, but its as cheap as water, whereas in canada its 10 bucks a bottle.

I'll see how it tastes and might add activated carbon if I can find it.


To summarize, I want to make a clear example that kilju can be successful.


Offline fredthecat

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Re: how to make the least flavorful fermented alcohol of at least 5% ?
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2020, 05:19:25 AM »
so i made kilju finally


+steeped 1/2lb crystal 10
+2kg dextrose
+12g magnum hops
+fermaidO, DAP and 1/2 whirfloc

boiled 20 mins, cooled


will add K1V-1116 tomorrow

Will add more nutrients/DAP and 2kg more dextrose in 2 days after signs of fermentation.

OG will end up being 1.102, FG likely 0.999-1.001 - around 14.5-15% alcohol

What do you think?

Offline erockrph

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Re: how to make the least flavorful fermented alcohol of at least 5% ?
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2020, 01:45:37 PM »
I think you have a solid plan with the staggered nutrient addition. It might not hurt to hit it with a little more O2 at 12-18 hours given the gravity/ABV you are targeting.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Visor

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Re: how to make the least flavorful fermented alcohol of at least 5% ?
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2020, 06:09:25 PM »
   The tips I got from a brewer who specializes in seltzers is very high pith rate - 4M cells/ml/P*, 5 times as much FAN as you need for beer, zinc @ 2-3ppm and at least 10ppm magnesium. I realize you're not exactly making seltzer, but like seltzer your project is essentially devoid of the stuff yeast needs to be happy. As for the Fermaid O and DAP, aren't they basically the same thing?
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline fredthecat

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Re: how to make the least flavorful fermented alcohol of at least 5% ?
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2020, 07:12:28 PM »
Thanks for all the advice.

This is the last brew I'm doing until fall I think. In fall I'm going to get some more equipment, I've always wondered about 02 stones and stuff.

I'll use two yeast packets then initially. I'll just see how it goes.

How bad could it be? (Famous last words)