What flavours come through from a wash of beer?

Discussion in 'Mashing, Fermentation, and Yeast' started by likefully, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. likefully

    likefully New Member

    I am new here so the terms I use may be a bit off...and I am sorry if its in the wrong forum.

    A bit of background - I am mates with guys who have an artisanal gin distillery http://www.woodstockginco.co.za/

    Their gin is superb. They distill from white wine made specially for them (with no sulphites) and from craft beer.

    I am keen to make a beer (as a wash) for them that they can distill. I will take a bottle of the gin as payment.

    So before I make the beer I am hoping someone here can help me with the following:

    1. Is it necessary to counter the sweetness of the malt with bittering hops or can you ditch them and just use aroma hops at the end? I.e. will that sweet flavour go into the distillate?
    2. Does using sugars/honey/syrup in the beer to increase the alcohol content decrease the flavour that comes through after distilling?
    3. Is it best to use one or two malts, or use a combination of a few to create a complex beer/wash? E.g. would the biscuit flavour from certain speciality malts come through in the distilled product? Will the raisin flavour in Special B come through?

    I am thinking of using a lot of pale malt to get the ABV up, jam in a whole lot of aroma hops and using WLP 001. Any thoughts?
  2. Sconie_Shiner

    Sconie_Shiner Old Timer

    I realize this is not a recent post but ...
    If you are making a beer to be distilled, DO NOT add hops unless you actually want to taste the hops in the distillate. I'm not saying that distilling a hopped beer/mash is a bad idea. I have done it on purpose with favorable results. Adding hops is an unnecessary expense if you are going to distill the beer and don't want a hops flavored distillate. If you have done your mashing correctly there will be very little residual sweetness to be countered in the finished distillers beer, anyway.

    Mashing for distillers beer requires different temperatures than mashing for a drinking beer and will produce fewer unfermentable sugars. That's a different thread.