Birdwatcher. Oct 2007 (HD)

My recipe for an 80 liter wash. Ingredients as follows:

3 cups tomato paste

Juice 3 lemons

Approx. 18 kg sugar

225 grams fresh regular bakers yeast. Buy in bulk at any good health food store.

water(I use spring well water)


Keep careful notes from start to finish for future reference.

Carefully mix paste, juice, say 14 kg sugar with 60 liters water at 30C. Measure SG.
(you are aiming for 1.09)

Carefully add water and sugar to bring mixture to 80 liter, WITH A SG 1.09.
Temperature of finished mixture should be 30C-35C to start.

You should now have 80 liters of mixed ingredients.

Carefully sprinkle 225 grams of yeast over surface, stirring in.
Place cover loosely, to let CO2 escape, keeping flying nasties out.
There is so much CO2 coming off; there is no need to worry about oxygen coming in contact.

Place bottomless styrofoam box over fermenter. Dangle lit lightbulb through small
hole in lid. Bulb must be strong enough to keep the mixture at a steady range of
30C-35C for entire fermentation. Size of bulb depends on room temperature. Stick
your digital thermometer through side of box to track inside temperature.

{A good idea would be to set up with water a day before you begin wash to determine
the size of light bulb to maintain water/wash in the 30-35C range.}

Check SG and temperature daily

Stir daily

On day three, syphon contents evenly into four 23 liter airlocked carboys.
(This step may not be nessesary and I may at some future date simply take the wash from start
to finish in the unairlocked storage container)

Check SG and temperature daily

Shake carboys gently daily.

After a total of 7-8 days SG should be .995. If not, wait until completion.

Note: After ten years of making 95% ethanol, and fine tuning my recipe after lots of
suggestions from people on this forum, this is what works for me. I'm always fine
tuning and welcome any comments or suggestions.

Answers and comments to Birdwatcher Recipe by various members that may be helpful!

Re the temperature range 30-35C. This is simply the range recommended in Jone Stone's book.

BTW, Stone recommends a starting SG of 1.06 rather than 1.09 as stated in my recipe. I increased the SG after someone on this forum suggested it. Then I read starting at 1.06 gives better quality. I'm seriously thinking of changing back. This really speeds up the process.

Why go to that expense. If your aim is to create 95% ethanol
in the quickest, least expensive manner, buy fresh refrigerated bakers yeast
in bulk at any good health food store.

Smaller amounts of yeast will work in any wash/mash . it just takes longer to start (lag) but more it is safer as then it can help prevent infections.

So, let me see if I got this right. I can actually start with any amount of yeast. From what I start with that yeast will grow till either it runs out of "food" or untill the alcohol "kills" it. If I start with a low quantity of yeast it will just take a longer time to get there. Is this the issue.

Tomato paste IS pureed tomatoes... Just make sure you get the kind without any other added ingredients like oils or spices...

The citric acid/lemon juice can be used for two separate purposes... It can be used to invert the sugar prior to mixing the wash and it can be used to drop the pH of the wash prior to pitching your yeast... I'll leave it to you to search for information on inverting sugar here in the forums if you have questions about that process...

"Proofing" the yeast, or creating a "starter", is optional... Most here simply "pitch" (sprinkle) the yeast into the wash and either let it be as-is or stir it in...

As most ferments id keep it about 10% .you will have better product and have more hearts. The tomato past/lemon is for nutrients.turbos use chemicals.
If your going to "dry pitch" yeast dont needs to become accustomed to its new environment. then it will fiend own its place in life.

I run all washes with airlocks installed within an hour or two of pitching my yeast and have never had an issue... Leaving ample head space to account for potential krausen is the main thing to consider... I have even left my wash a bit light on water and then topped off once the most aggressive phase was completed, about 12 - 24 hours later... Never had an issue with osmotic stress on the yeast using this method as the colony is quite resilient during the aerobic to early anaerobic phases...

I have found that if i pitch the yeast on top and leave it alone without stirring it at all it ferments out just fine.
I reckon just let the yeast do what it has got to do
Dicussion here