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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Sour Mashing which stillage

Hi to all,

First post. So please bear with me!

We're interested in trying sour mashing... I'm pretty sure about the answer but I'd like to confirm. I've looked around but didn't find a clear answer.

The stillage used in sour mashing is from the stripping run only? Is there anything that can be done with the spirit run stillage? Or is that just plain waste. EI: what do you guys do with this?

In the case of a single malt style whisky. Would we add the backset when adding the malted barley or before. And, should we include grains (from the backset) or just liquid.

Thanks for the help!

Charles B.


Hi Charles,

The sour mash process is typically utilized in corn based distillers beer ie bourbon or corn whiskey. the addition of backset helps to lower ph and shorten the fermentation time. with a barley based beer for whiskey you would want a ph around 5 for a healthy ferment adding backset may bring your ph too low


Thanks CaptnKB! What I was also wondering os of there was any use for the spirit run backset...


we just run the spent stillage from a spirit run down the drain


Be careful dumping down the drain as each municipality is differently equiped to handle the massive influx of BOD you would be putting down the drain. We were told explicitly not to dump stillage down the drain. It goes to a local farmer who enjoys it as feed for cows.