What Effect Does This Have On The Final Spirit
What you put into the mash can have a huge effect on thefinal spirit. Peated whiskies, for example, get their peaty taste from themalted grain that went into the mash, which was smoked using peat. Some of theeffects that the different grains can have are:
· DarkGrains : Darkgrains have a range of roasty flavours, like coffee and chocolate. Some of thiscomes through into the finished spirit as a clean, crisp roasted flavour andcan round a whiskey off nicely. Dark grains also help to acidify the mash,making it easier to meet the target pH and get best extract efficiencies.
· SmokedMalts : Love them or hate them, smoked malts addthat peculiar dank taste that characterises certain brands and styles ofwhiskey. Adding these flavours from the malts themselves is the proper way ofdoing it.
· MaltyMalts: As any all-grain brewer knows, there are many different base maltswhich contain the enzymes necessary for a mash to work. They are malted andkilned in different ways to produce different flavours and intensities. Fromthe home-distillers perspective, this is important for the malt character theywill add to the finished spirit . Alight, neutral malt like Gladfield Distillers Malt will add slightly sweet andmalty but generally very mild cereal flavours to the spirit, whereas amore-heavily toasted base malt like Munich can add much stronger and moreintense malty flavours. The choice is all down to personal preference and thetarget whiskey style.
Getting Started: Picking Your Whiskey Mash Ingredients
Like we mentioned above, whiskey is a spirit which has many different varieties and styles. The biggest variations between different whiskeys lie in their mash ingredients. A whiskey mash can be made with corn, rye, wheat, oats, maize or barley. By mixing percentages of these ingredients you can create a range of different tastes and flavors. Bourbon, for example, must contain at least 51% corn in order to be called a bourbon whiskey, while Rye Whiskey must have 51% rye included in its mash to be classified as a Rye Whiskey.
For this distilling guide, and keeping with an American tradition, well be using the same mash bill that George Washingtons distillery used to create his Rye Whiskey at Mount Vernon. It consists of 60% rye, 35% corn, and 5% barley. Rye gives the whiskey a range of spicy notes including pepper, nutmeg, clove, caraway, and cinnamon. These flavors are all intensified during the aging process, which gives the whiskey its bite. Corn is responsible for the sweeter tones in the whiskeys flavor. The barley is added to the mix as a way to help convert starches to sugar for the fermentation process and also provides an underlying malty and chocolate flavor.
Is It Legal To Buy Or Own A Moonshine Still
Copper stills which were used for moonshine are a tradition in Americana and in most states, you do not require a permit to buy or own a moonshine still as in the example above. There are no size restrictions either just as its not ok to brew whiskey in small batches with a still below 1 gallon in size , there is no upper limit as to the size of the still you buy as long as you do not use it to manufacture whiskey or other spirits.
The use of copper stills is permitted for a number of legal purposes starting with decoration and distilling water or non-alcoholic matter. If you want to move one step further, you can manufacture alcohol based fuel for home use by obtaining a Federal Fuel Alcohol permit which is inexpensive, easy to obtain and maintain.
However, you cannot distill, distribute, consume and sell any alcoholic products made from your copper still, unless you have a Federal Distilled Spirits Permit.
There are some state level exceptions. For example, Florida does not allow residents to own or operate stills for legal purposes even without obtaining a license. They are not hard to get, but something that will fetch a fine if the law is violated.
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Before You Begin Legal Considerations
Before purchasing any ingredients or equipment, its important to remember that distillation of spirits at home is illegal in some areas of the USA . Check your federal, state, and local laws to confirm home distillation is legal.
You should also remember that distillation is a potentially dangerous process. There will be a lot of heat generated and alcohol vapour is flammable.
If you dont use a well-maintained still, there is a risk of a blockage occurring, which can cause alcoholic vapours to leave the still and be ignited.
Aging Bourbon At Home
You should now have a nice white dog that you can drink or age. I HIGHLY recommend aging your concoction in one of the small barrels listed above. Why? Because un-aged spirits are for un-aged drinkers.
The aging process takes a lot less time since there is a smaller bourbon to barrel surface area. Add charred oak chips and voila. You are aging bourbon like a boss!
Good homemade bourbon takes time to age. Youll want to age your bourbon batch for at least three months. If youre the extra patient type you could age your bourbon for years. This will allow the oak flavors from the barrel to fully saturate your bourbon distillate. For instance,Bookers Bourbon is aged 6 to 8 years and it is an absolutely astonishing bourbon. Either way you wish to experiment, youll be happy that you decided to make your own homemade bourbon.
This isnt the easiest process, and you will have to trust yourself and your The Joy of Home Distilling. But once you take that first sip of your very own concoction, the effort and the wait will be worth your while!
If you have any questions, comments, advice, or if you have tried your hand at home distilling, leave us a comment below.
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How To Make Whiskey From Beer Turn Beer Malt Into Whiskey
In accordance with distillery traditions, quite a few different techniques have to be employed in order to make whiskey, such as malting, distilling, and prolonged aging in oak barrels. Various grain ingredients can be used to create this elite Scotish liquorâwheat, barley, corn, and even rye. But skilled craftsmen have found a way to make whiskey from beer at home.
Distilling Your Rye Whiskey
Youve made it this far! At this point, youve completed the heavy lifting of producing your whiskey mash water for your rye whiskey! Now its time to distill and separate all of that alcohol content into a purified form. Just like making mash, distilling is as much an art as it is a science.
The best way to master the art of distilling is to hone your skills with practice. We recommend taking detailed notes throughout this process so you can become better with each run. If youre in need of any distilling equipment or supplies weve got you covered.
The process of distilling the fermented whiskey mash will make for a purer and more concentrated spirit. This step separates out all of the undesirable types alcohols such as acetaldehyde, acetone, and methanol .
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When Should I Carbon
Never, ever. Carbon filtration removes flavours andaromas from the spirit, which you need to do if youve produced a sugar washwith a fuel yeast , but this is not justunnecessary but even detrimental in a whiskey wash. If you have tocarbon-filter a whiskey to make it taste better, youve done something horriblywrong and might as well throw it out. There is a very slight exception to thisrule , which is outlined in the next section under OakTreatment.
Are You Allowed To Make Whiskey At Home In America
If you live in the US, there are two sets of laws guiding the production of alcohol Federal Law and State Law . Federal law in this regard is administered by the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau , which was formerly part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Trade and Firearms but split out into a separate body in 2003. State laws are administered by specific state agencies. In addition, there may be county, parish, city or township laws that require local certifications, permits or licenses to be maintained in order to operate a moonshine still at home.
While a handful of states do allow their residents to make whiskey legally , it is important to know that Federal law trumps State law on the question of whether it is legal to operate a still and make whiskey at home. So, the upshot is that even if you happen to live in a state which allows you to produce whisky at home, you are in violation of Federal Laws and in danger of facing tax and other charges that could be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and lead to the forfeiture of all property used to manufacture whiskey at home.
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Homemade Whiskey Recipe And Technology
The following recipe will let you make homemade whiskey according to a classic technology, which is used in Ireland and Scotland. It resembles usual moonshining quite a bit, but also includes one additional stageâoak infusion, which lasts 6 months or more. This time is necessary to make a good alcoholic drink.
To make homemade whiskey which is very similar to Scottish or Irish original drinks, youâll have to travel a long way, but the result will be worth the effort.
Bringing It All Back Home With Barrel Aging
If you want to call your fresh new batch of alcohol real “whiskey,” you need to let it age in a barrel first. For a smaller volume batch of alcohol, barrel size definitely matters. “A smaller barrel means a decreased surface area. So the alcohol will be able to absorb the qualities of the wood, like the notes of oak, cedar, or other components that come directly from the wood itself,” Katz said. So, small batches require smaller barrels to be fully effective. You can leave it in as long as you want, but if you are making your own small batch, you probably want to try it sooner than later, right? This will give you the most flavor, in the shortest amount of time.
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How Is Whiskey Aged
Even though it doesnt take long to distill a barrel of whiskey, it does take time to achieve that peaty, golden whiskey profile that whiskey connoisseurs typically relish. The high wine when first distilled is clear, and tastes more like the grain its made from.
But things start to get interesting when the high wine goes into the wooden barrel. Most whiskies are aged in wood barrels, but corn whiskey can be aged or unaged. There are two major factors that dictate how each batch of whiskey will taste like decades into the future.
First is the type of barrel used in the aging process, and second is the environment the barrel is stored in. Water is added to the high wine to reduce the alcohol content down to 65 percent or more for Scotch whiskies, and 50 percent to 60 percent for American whiskies.
For Scotch whiskies to become less alcoholic, they are aged in warmer drier conditions, whereas American whiskies are aged in drier, warmer conditions to lose water, and boost their alcohol content.
It takes approximately between two to four years for whiskies to mature, but many premium whiskies are aged much longer, some more than 15 years. Each year of the aging process takes away two percent of the spirit due to natural evaporation.
The fact that theres less whiskey in the cask to bottle explains why older whiskies are a treasure, and much more expensive. Whiskey is always bottled in glass bottles, because the golden liquid doesnt react to glass to alter its flavor.
How To Make Your Own Beer
home brewing equipment beer equipmentbasic homebrewing kitHome beer making bookletProcedure Steep Your GrainsBegin the BoilAdd Aromatic HopsCool the WortTransfer the Wort to the Fermenter Determine Your Original GravityPitch the YeastLet the Wort FermentDetermine Your Final Gravity and Calculate ABVKeg or Bottle Your BeerHow to Bottle BeerAnnArborBeer.com
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How Do I Start Distilling Whiskey
So What Yeast Should I Use
There are numerous good yeast options whenfermenting a whiskey wash. You couldalso use a generic yeast like bakers yeast, but youre selling your whiskeyshort and really not saving much money . All good yeast options are listed in the WhiskeyYeast section of our website, including many beer yeasts that live adouble-life.
Its important to choose a yeast with an alcoholtolerance high enough for the wash you want to ferment. Our basic whiskey maltpacks target a wash at 14% ABV, which can be a bit too high for some yeasts.For beginners, its best to start with a Whiskey Distillers Yeast*.
*Note 1: If the yeast doesnt come in a pack withnutrient and glucoamylase enzyme, its important to add these separately.
*Note 2: Our own Bourbon / American Whiskey yeastpack contains nutrient and glucoamylase, but it has a slightly lower alcoholtolerance and may struggle with 14% ABV. This is best matched to our AmericanWhiskey malt packs.
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The Juice Of The Barley
Making whiskey from barley malt is merely a modern twist on the centuries-old art of brewing and deserves to gain its rightful place in present society.
Jackson, the noted author of a definitive book on Scotch whiskey, took an analytical sniff, then tasted it without the slightest hesitation. He pronounced it good and asked a question or two about how it had been aged, noting its oak-derived aroma. I was as happy to provide what details I could on the whiskey as I would have been had he praised a homebrewed IPA or Imperial Stout. And why not? This was my own single malt stuff, just as carefully crafted as a good beer would have been.
Ive always felt a kinship between brewing and distilling. In the case of malt whiskey, the ingredients are virtually the same. Distilling simply adds one more step to the post-fermentation process.
In fact, the making of whiskey from barley malt is a modern twist on the centuries-old art of brewing and an equally inseparable element of civilization. The enjoyment of distilled spirits, long celebrated romantically in verse and song, is an important human tradition. From such diverse countries as Poland and Mexico, the making of spirits has been considered as much a part of the agricultural household as the growing of the grain or fruits from which they are derived. It follows, then, that in many agricultural countries , noncommercial distilling is perfectly legal. One very significant exception is the United States.
How To Brew Your Own Whiskey At Home
Simple as that. Making beverage alcohol at home is against the law in the United States. Taxes on distillated spirits like whiskey are the highest of all alcohol taxes. This is far more than either beer or wine. (In fact, spirits taxes were the first taxes ever imposed in the U.S.
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A Guide For Making Great Whiskey
***Before we get started, let me get this out of the way: It is illegal to distill spirits at home. Not because it is dangerous to do so, but because over half the retail price of a bottle of distilled spirits consists of taxes.
Taxes on beer and wine are low compared to the very high taxes imposed on whiskey, vodka, gin, and all other distilled spirits, and the government doesnt want to lose any of the many billions of dollars it receives each and every year by letting you make your own bourbon. The law will come after you if they think you are making bourbon or any other spirits. Therefore, this article is for entertainment purposes only. Its only wrong if you get caught.***
One of the most frequent questions we get from our Bourbon Of The Day email subscribers is whether its possible to make bourbon at home. Beer is going crazy right now, with previously unknown operations creating their own funky-named brews on a damned near daily basis.
While any old college kid can make a batch of stout, it takes a little more time, effort, and some specialized items to make bourbon at home. For starters, you may want to pick up a copy of The Joy of Home Distilling. This book provides most of the information that you will find below.
If you want to go above and beyond the beer boys, roll up your sleeves and try your hand at making bourbon at home!
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Prepping And Cleaning Your Whiskey Still
*DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
Keeping up on prep-work for your still is mission critical. Even if you cleaned your whiskey moonshine still after your last run and let it sit for a while, it is still recommended to clean it before transferring your whiskey mash water. This is especially the case on copper stills that are starting to show a salt buildup.
If you want to add packing to your column, this is the time to do it. Pack your column with the amount of copper packing that is appropriate for your setup.
If your still setup has a condenser, hook up your water input and output.
Finally, its time to add your mash water to the whiskey still. Again, you can use a cheesecloth or auto-siphon to transfer the mash water into your still without including solid material. Its very important that you dont allow any solids or sediment to be included in the still.
If this is your first run ever, below is a great walkthrough of how to set up your pot or reflux whiskey moonshine still.
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