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Offline young gun  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, March 06, 2013 7:41:52 AM(UTC)
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I'm not sure if anyones done it or not, but I got the idea from the show moonshiners to try a banana mash. I get them for free so it was worth it. I mashed in by mashing up 33 bananas and put them in about 150 degree water for two hours. I strained out all the banana mush and stirred in some extra sugar. After it cooled down I mixed in the yeast and then threw it in a 5 gal bucket with an air lock. Its been two days and it hasn't started bubbling. Its about 65-70 degrees in the room where the bucket is. I've taken off the cap a couple times to check on it. When I stir it again it really starts to bubbling again. But instead of foam its more of a solid, like a thick, airy cream almost. Don't know what to do. Advice is very appreciated and welcome!
Offline heeler  
#2 Posted : Thursday, March 07, 2013 2:39:02 AM(UTC)
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"Hmmmm, what's the definition of mashing????? heating did melt the sugar though. And speaking of sugar --how much sugar did you use? What yeast did you use?? I'm sure if constructed properly you would get something from this endevor but we need more info.
You say its really thick, you may need to add that bucket to a 10 gallon container and add more water to get a liquid not a gel, so to speak!!! It can be done with a few variations in the process so dont toss it yet.
Again I think it needs to be more liquid and maybe a little warmer, maybe some nutrients and enzymes for the yeast health. Then when its done fermenting you'll have a wash that will be brandy once distilled."
Offline young gun  
#3 Posted : Thursday, March 07, 2013 2:56:23 PM(UTC)
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by mashing i literally meant mushing up the bananas putting all of it on enough water to create 5 gal and heating it at 150 degrees for two hours. After i strained it all and put in 2-3 lbs of sugar and stirred it in for 20 min and after it cooled i stirred the yeast in. i used half grocery store yeast for fast rising dough and also half distillers yeast which came in a 1lb bag and calls for 1-2 grams per 5 to 10 gal of mash. I put the whole .25 packet of yeast in. I just watered down the (4 ish gal) of thick mash i had with 1 gal of water to make one 5gal bucket full of liquid. i did that about two hours ago, still no bubbling from the airlock yet
Offline Bushy  
#4 Posted : Thursday, March 07, 2013 8:20:30 PM(UTC)
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Sounds like you have inadvertantly made some banana jelly. You need some pectinaze to break down fruits for fermentation, Beano will also work pretty well. Get yourself some Beano, crush up 3 or 4 tabs, dissolve them in some hot water, toss it in and mix it up real good.

Don't know if that will work at this point but it's worth a try.
Offline heeler  
#5 Posted : Friday, March 08, 2013 2:09:56 AM(UTC)
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"
Originally Posted by: young gun Go to Quoted Post
I'm not sure if anyones done it or not, but I got the idea from the show moonshiners to try a banana mash. I get them for free so it was worth it. I mashed in by mashing up 33 bananas and put them in about 150 degree water for two hours. I strained out all the banana mush and stirred in some extra sugar. After it cooled down I mixed in the yeast and then threw it in a 5 gal bucket with an air lock. Its been two days and it hasn't started bubbling. Its about 65-70 degrees in the room where the bucket is. I've taken off the cap a couple times to check on it. When I stir it again it really starts to bubbling again. But instead of foam its more of a solid, like a thick, airy cream almost. Don't know what to do. Advice is very appreciated and welcome!


Ahhhh, I see, you said --I mashed in by mashing up--thats where my confusion came from, but still not mashing its more like smashing...hehehehe!

And you also said 150 for two hours - what was the reason for 2 hours of 150 temp? The sugar would not need that much time to melt, I'm not knocking what you did just wondering how this process is supposed to work, but I know why it did'nt. With a little tweaking to the process you can still make something like this work for your brandy so dont give up on the idea."
Offline muadib2001  
#6 Posted : Friday, March 08, 2013 4:15:49 PM(UTC)
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I bought bananas yesterday for the purpose of doing what YG is doing, but I will be fermenting "on the grain". Hopefully, I'll put the ferment together tomorrow or Sunday and see what I get. My main worry is that it doesn't overflow during the ferment!
Offline young gun  
#7 Posted : Sunday, March 10, 2013 7:36:33 AM(UTC)
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"Shoot, I had to leave my mash unattended for a week and won't be able to check it until this Saturday. The mash is predominately liquid but also has an inch of something that looks like a thick foam. The mash has definitely fermented because I can taste and smell the alcohol. As for cooking the bananas, I only boiled them for that long because I had the time. I figured it wouldn't hurt and could only draw out more sugar. I also added about 2-3 lbs of sugar at the time I cooked the bananas. Hopefully everything will be kosher when I get back to check it.

PS. If i put beano in wouldn't that mean I wouldn't get any gas? I want gas. CO2! Tongue"
Offline muadib2001  
#8 Posted : Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:31:13 PM(UTC)
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I put my banana "blend" together on Sunday night.

~10 gallon ferment

  • Just shy of 20 lbs of bananas (unpeeled weight)
  • ~16 lbs sugar
  • 4 oz Fleichmans yeast
  • 5 tsp yeast nutrient


Boiled my water and poured it on the sugar to dissolve. Peeled and blended the bananas with a little water with a stick blender, poured into the sugar & nutrient solution. Started pouring in room temperature water until I got my SG down to an acceptable level. Then I cooled it down to almost pitching temperature, rechecked the SG and added a touch more water. My SG was at 1.0844. Temp was about 86*F.

The ferment took off. I capped and went to bed. Next morning, I checked it. The foam cap came to within 3" of the top of the 20 gal container. Whew! Dodged that mess...

I've stirred the cap back in twice a day since then.

Now all activity has ceased and my SG is at 1.040.

Tonight, I put in some lemon juice (I forgot to include it in the boiling water to help invert the sugar), and some Beano (to help convert starches to sugars). Then I pitched some yeast I had laying around. 15 minutes later and I had activity again.

Here's hoping...
Offline Farmin in the woods  
#9 Posted : Sunday, March 17, 2013 4:15:52 AM(UTC)
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"YG, I swung over to HD and according to their info Bananas have 20 to 25% of the yield of sugar, so that tells me you should have LOTS of nanners or add alot of sugar...Just my thoughts.

Farmin"
Offline young gun  
#10 Posted : Sunday, March 17, 2013 6:25:32 AM(UTC)
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Hell, that would help explain a lack of activity. Thanks
Offline heeler  
#11 Posted : Sunday, March 17, 2013 8:16:33 AM(UTC)
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"
Originally Posted by: young gun Go to Quoted Post
Hell, that would help explain a lack of activity. Thanks


No worries mate, if you didn't toss it out yet go ahead and run it, I think you said it smelled of etoh. Run it and see what you get. Live and learn, I bet it'll make something pretty good just not an over abundance of nanner flavor. But still thats ok you can get a little jug of food grade extract from Publix or whatever grocery store you have close and add that so that should jazz it right up, no what I mean???
When you cook it run it a little on the pushy side - like a little faster (or hotter) to push that flavor through to the distillate and see what happens, I dont think it will hurt anything.
Remember this is a trial and error hobbie untill you become a hoochologist and then its loads of fun - so dont give up yet.."
Offline young gun  
#12 Posted : Monday, March 18, 2013 6:14:27 AM(UTC)
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Don't worry, it already is fun! Yesterday, I mixed in more sugar (maybe 3-4lbs) into the mash and let sit over night. I just checked and its got a nice head of foam on top and is bubbling up nice.

It appears I'm on a bit of a brandy bender and have made up some strawberry mash using store bought frozen strawberries. Can't wait til they're done! I'll be sure to let y'all know how they come out.
Offline muadib2001  
#13 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:30:26 PM(UTC)
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My ferment ended Sunday night. The foam cap I'd been stirring back in twice a day just disappeared. No more activity. I'm racking now to get ready for a Saturday morning run.

I started out with a SG of 1.0844 and ended with 1.005, so I think i got ~10.2%. Even though I got a decent ferment, I believe I should have brought down the original SG to 1.080. I would have had more liquid at the end of the ferment Sad.

My run on Saturday morning will confirm or deny that thought.
Offline Bushy  
#14 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2013 6:00:11 PM(UTC)
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Hi maudib, sounds like you should have a good run.

If your worried about not haveing enough liquid you can always add some water to the boiler before you run it.

Let us know how the run goes and how it tastes.
Offline muadib2001  
#15 Posted : Friday, March 22, 2013 12:38:27 PM(UTC)
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Well, I have the wash racked and in the boiler. I'm ready for tomorrow.

You can imagine the trub at the bottom of the fermenter for this wash. YUCK! Funny thing is, I poured the rest of the trub from the fermenter to a bucket and left it overnight. Durn thing had a foam cap on it the next day! It was still going!

However, I figured out a way to get the most liquid from the wash. I went to Wally World and bought a yard of fabric interfacing. It's a fabric that people put behind another fabric that makes it stiffer when they sew up a garment. It's a polyester mesh and is relatively porous. I got the "sew-in" type so I didn't have any chemicals on it (some interfacing irons onto the fabric). I cut the yard length in half and folded one into a cone shape and dropped it into my funnel. I started pouring in the liquid and trub and it would drain out fairly quickly. Once the trub started making it go slower, I picked up the ends of the fabric and started rocking it back and forth. That made the liquid come out quicker. When the trub started separating from itself (getting chunky), I'd rinse it out and do some more. You can squeeze the trub a little in the fabric, but it does have its limits (I know...). I used the fabric again when I poured the liquid into the boiler and got a tiny bit more of trub. I'm real pleased with the stuff. $1.66 per yard.

And, since I was a little short on liquid, I poured in a gallon of Graham Cracker SMOP 90 proof to make the ETOH content at ~13.68%. :)
Offline Tracyman0111  
#16 Posted : Friday, March 22, 2013 1:04:59 PM(UTC)
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Hurry up and run that stuff dude, the suspense is killing me!!!!!!!!!! Hell with sleep, just pull a night owl run!! BigGrin
Offline muadib2001  
#17 Posted : Saturday, March 23, 2013 4:42:17 AM(UTC)
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I just finished my run. 7.8 liters
56.4%. Very light on banana smell and taste. Airing the jars now.
Offline young gun  
#18 Posted : Sunday, March 24, 2013 7:21:51 AM(UTC)
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Just finished the banana run and ended up with a gallon of 50%. Only did one long run to try and preserve as much fruit flavor as possibly. Pretty damn good if I do say so myself. Already on to the next one with a strawberry mash
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