Mash inoculation - a critical moment in alcohol production

Mash inoculation - a critical moment in alcohol production

Vaccinating or, more professionally speaking, mash inoculation, seems a trivial process, but it has some serious pitfalls - one mistake is enough, so that the entire batch of potentially tasty alcohol goes to waste.

The simplest variant

In the simplest variant, only three ingredients will be needed: yeast mother (about that, how is it prepared, the manufacturer informs on the yeast packaging, it is worth mentioning right away that the distillery yeast does not require the preparation of mother yeast or is not hydrated), water and sugar.

When it comes to home-made alcoholic beverages, it is often necessary to first answer a basic question: whether the water for the setting needs to be boiled. And here comes a serious problem, because there is no right answer to this question. On the one hand, the water should be boiled well, because thanks to this, bacteria and the spores of many of them die, the fungal spores or their living cells that are naturally present in the environment are also killed, so the whole setup will be safer. However, there is also the other side of the coin: the solubility of oxygen in water decreases with increasing temperature, so at a hundred degrees it is practically gone. Admittedly, fermentation itself is an anaerobic process, but hundreds of oxygen processes take place simultaneously in the vat, so set it on boiled water, it will have to be artificially ventilated, which is sometimes technically difficult to do. To achieve a biocidal effect without boiling water, you can add potassium metabisulphite to the setting.

There are also problems with sugar. First, basic thing, this place. Each kilogram of sugar will increase the setting volume by approx 0,6 liters. This is actually not a problem, you just have to remember about it.


The second thing related to sugar is its solubility. Of course, sugar dissolves easily in the amounts used to produce alcohol, but recently most of the sugar on sale is second-class sugar, which means, that there is also a large amount of dirt in the package. These, in turn, can adversely affect the taste of the alcohol, but they can also become a breeding ground or habitat for bacteria, which should not be in the setting. The same will happen with undissolved sugar crystals, so take care, so that they do not appear. In practice, settings are often prepared not from water and sugar, but from water and syrup, of course, this requires a few additional calculations - all the time you should take into account the capacity of the vat and the final strength of the alcohol obtained.

Something to add

This should be the goal, to keep your settings as simple as possible. So if you want to add some further substances, then you may usually consider adding their stock solution or sugar replacement syrup. It's just about that, that the chances are less this way, that you will waste all settings in case of a mistake - for the same purpose, yeast mother is added as the last ingredient - its preparation requires a lot of time and attention, because, before adding it, you should check several times, that everything is fine. Otherwise, a lot of hard work could be wasted.

Math complications

Keep in mind when designing the setting, that a large amount of sugar will translate into an increased amount of alcohol, but on the other hand, high sugar concentrations inhibit the work of yeast. So if you want a strong drink, you have to reckon with the need to add sugar in batches, so as not to exceed the allowance 200-300 grams per liter setting. When to add sugar? This is the hardest thing - if the yeast uses up all of it and doesn't get another serving, they will die (even turbo yeast). If the second dose exceeds yeast tolerance, they will lose their fermentation power and the whole process will be desynchronized, so you will lose control of it. Of course, it's all just a matter of experience and trying different solutions, therefore you will not receive any ready-made recipe from me.

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