How Do You Make Grain Moonshine
The very first method of making moonshine is described here.
Corn: Bourbon And Corn Whiskey
All bourbon is predominantly made from corn . Aficionados of this style tend to prefer it for its sweeter, robust flavors of vanilla and maple syrup. It can give way to a pleasant, leathery finish with further aging. Whiskeys labeled as corn whiskey are either unaged, or aged in used barrels. In these whiskeys you can really taste the influence of the corn as there is little or no barrel flavors involved. The rich, syrupy corn sugars really shine in such bottlings as Georgia Moon and Mellow Corn. For something more shall we say sophisticated, Balcones True Blue.
Balcones True Blue 100 Proof / Photo Credit: Balcones
Scotch Grain Whisky Rules:
Column stills at Loch Lomond, used for making their grain whiskies
Scotch grain whisky must follow all the same rules as Scotch whisky production. That is, it must:
- Be fermented, distilled and aged in Scotland
- Be aged in Scotland in oak casks for a minimum of 3 years
- Contain no additives
There are actually 5 different sub-categories of Scotch whisky. These are: single malt, blended malt, single grain, blended grain, and finally, just blended whisky. Some of these sound very similar, so it can get very confusing very quickly!
If the whisky is made from 100% malted barley in a pot still, it can be called malt whisky. Itll either be a blended malt or a single malt . Single vs. blended grain whisky follows exactly the same rule, but it can be made from any grain, not just malted barley. Its usually distilled in a column still rather than a pot still as well, as thats easier for processing some types of tougher grains. You can make a 100% malted barley whisky in a column still, but youd have to call it a single grain whisky under Scotch whisky rules!
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Which Grain Is Best For Making Alcohol
Considerations of a General Nature When it comes to choosing your grains, barley is the grain that is most commonly used in the production of alcoholic beverages. As a result, barley is used in the production of the 2-row and 6-row malts, as well as the distillers malts. Wheat has a milder flavor than barley, whereas barley has a stronger flavor than wheat.
How To Drink Whiskey
Whiskey can be served neat, on the rocks, or as part of a cocktail or mixed drink.
When served neat, the whisky is served without ice and is not chilled. It is meant to be sipped to enjoy the flavor, aroma, and richness of the whiskey.
When served on the rocks, the whiskey is poured over a single or several ice cubes and also enjoyed by sipping.
Alternatively, it can form part of a mixed drink such as a whiskey sour, or a cocktail such as a Manhattan cocktail.
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What Type Of Still Is Used To Make Bourbon Rum Or Whiskey
For whiskeys, rums and bourbons a pot still should be used to distill the mash. This is because a Pot still leaves flavors in the final product. Whereas a reflux still will strip the majority of the flavors from the moonshine. To learn more about the differences between a pot still and a Reflux check out Types of Stills Explained
Is Gin Made From Whiskey
Gin isnt made from whiskey, but is made in the same way as whiskey, and distilled to a higher ABV. Further, gin and whiskey are made from the same grain mash, but are distinct from each other owing to the aging process.
Whiskey is aged for several years in oak barrels, but gin sits in barrels until it picks up flavors from the barrels i.e., between three to eight months until finish.
This is why some of the biggest brands of gin are produced at Scotch whiskey distilleries, as they can produce finished gin while they patiently wait for their whiskey to mature.
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What Brand Of Bourbon Or Whiskey To Buy To Make The Hard Apple Bourbon: Signature Bourbon Cocktail
It all depends on what you like in your cocktails because every brand is different. I used Makers Mark for a couple of reasons. We had it and I like the taste of it. But let me highlight for you some of the options you can look for when making your Hard Apple Bourbon for your Holiday Cocktail
Note in the picture here the rimmed glasses, I found that raw sugar had bigger crystals and looked so much more festive on the glasses It worked just as well with regular sugar, but I really liked the way the raw presented.
This drink does need to be made one by one. The cider has a slight effervescence and if you make it too far ahead it kind of goes flat. The drink is shaken and then the ice is strained out but its delicious when served ice cold!
Serve this with the Cranberry Pistachio Spread for an easy appetizer to go with this signature cocktail treat!
Is It Whiskey Or Whisky
You may have noticed before that sometimes its spelled with an e at the end and other times without it. When using whiskey or whisky, it will depend largely on where the spirit has been produced. In Ireland and the United States it is spelled with an e as in whiskey, while in Canada, Japan, Scotland, and other parts of the world, it is spelled without the e as in whisky.
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Enzymes And Diastatic Power Explained
Diastatic Power is when enzymes are completely activated to transform starch into fermented sugars. There are specific enzymes that help to achieve the end result and they are known as limit dextrinase, alpha-glucosidase, alpha-amylase, and beta-amylase. DP refers to the amount of enzymes that are available to transform the starch into fermented sugars.
The US measures DP in degrees Lintner. Malts that are able to convert themselves will sit at 30 degrees Lintner.
What Types Of Grains Can Be Used To Make Whiskey/whisky
When it comes to whiskey, the secret lies in the grains that are used to make the whiskey. There are four main types of grain that may be used in the production of whiskey. Some types of whiskey may only contain one type of grain, while others may contain a variety of grains. Here are the best grains for making whiskey:
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Whiskey : A Quick Guide To Grains
Ingredients matter. And regardless of where you are on your whiskey journey beginner or connoisseur you gain precious insight when you know what went into the glass you just poured. Understanding exactly what youre sipping heightens your ability to recognize, appreciate, and savor.
Each whiskey starts with a base of corn, rye, barley, and/or wheat grain. These grains along with the oak barrels theyre aged in define the taste and aroma of the spirit.
Most whiskeys are made with a blend of these grains, to create texture and depth and fully bring out the best flavor of each grain.
The question is, which whiskey grain will best satisfy your taste buds?
CornCorn whiskey is your best bet if you want an easy-drinking spirit. Its sweet honey, browned butter, and creamy flavors create an alluring base to keep you sipping, while its notes of toasted marshmallow derived from the use of charred American oak barrels add a top note that sets you over the edge.
To be considered bourbon, the whiskey must be made in America and contain at least 51 percent corn base. For the integrity of the spirit, this is a rule whiskey makers dont want to break.
RyeIf youre the type who prefers some heat with your whiskey, get a little spicy with rye. It boasts the same ripe and dried fruit flavors as corn-based whiskeys, but with some extra nuttiness and spiciness, and an inherent richness that makes it undeniably unique.
A Definition Of Whiskey
Technically, whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage produced from fermented grain mash. The grain mash is then aged in a wooden container, which gives its distinct brown color and taste. Whiskeys are usually distinguished by their place of origin, grains used, and the ageing process. While each whiskey is unique in its own way, they are generally described as warm, spicy, sweet, toasty or caramelly.
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Mash Bill: What It Is And What Grains Are Used To Make Whiskey Like Bourbon And Rye
One of the words you hear all the time in the whiskey world is mash bill, but what does that mean? The short answer: Mash bill is the initial blend of grains selected to create the distillate. As you well know in the United States by law, Bourbon must contain at least 51% corn, rye whiskey must contain at least 51% rye in the mash bill and wheat whiskey must have a mash bill composed of at least 51% wheat.
And these are usually the grains that make up the mash bill: corn, considered the base rye and wheat considered the flavorings and then there is also malt, which adds toasted and biscuit notes, although it is mainly used to trigger fermentation thanks to its voracious enzymes, not so much for the flavors. But this is only the beginning.
The world of American whiskey and grain whiskey is very diverse and more complex and multifaceted than Scotch single malt or Irish whiskey. However noble it is and however much the types of barley may vary, it is always the same cereal. When it comes to whiskey, the balance changes.
There are many more variables to manage, especially when it comes to ingredients. And here comes the concept of Mash bill: finding the right blend of cereals is difficult, once chosen there is no turning back and it will heavily influence the flavors and aromas of the whiskey. Now lets see more specifically the characteristics that derive from the use of each cereal.
Whiskey Grains : Barley
The best place to start is with traditional single malts. Historically speaking, Scotland and Ireland produce them but so do Japan and Australia. Regardless of where they are made, the common thread here is that they are all made entirely from barley . Comparing a light, unpeated single malt from Scotland, such as Glenfiddich, a Japanese single malt such as Nikka Miyagikyo, and Knappogue Castle and youll see that they all share a roasty, toffee-flavored cereal quality. Of course, other flavors and textures come through as their methodologies and environmental factors come into play. They do, however, share that benchmark flavor characteristic.
Knappogue Castle 12 Year / Photo Credit: Knappogue
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Rye Whiskey Vs Canadian Whiskey Mash Bills
Much ado about rye.
There is a lot of confusion among newcomer whiskey fans regarding the terminology around the word rye. In addition to confusion about high-rye bourbon, in the United States rye whiskey describes a specific product type, while in Canada any type of whisky can carry rye on the label if it has even a tiny bit in the mash bill.
American Rye whiskey must use a mash bill that contains at least 51 percent rye grain.
Some popular rye whiskeys include Old Overholt, Rittenhouse Rye, Pikesville Rye, Wild Turkey Rye, Jim Beam Rye and many other bourbon-brand extensions.
Canadian blended whisky often combines whiskies with different mash bills some with extremely high percentages of rye and others with zero rye grain. One product, Alberta Premium 100% Rye was named world whiskey of the year in Jim Murrays 2021 Whisky Bible. It is made from 100 percent rye grain and originally started out as a flavouring whiskey for the popular Canadian Club brand.
Which Grains Are Used To Make Whiskey
There are different types of grain used to make different kinds of whiskies. In spite of this, all whiskey contains small amounts of malted barley. whiskey is mostly made from barley and other whiskeys are made from barley plus corn, wheat, rye, and other grains. More rye is present in a whisky, the spicier it will taste.
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Scotch Single Malt Vs Irish Copper Pot Vs Blended Malt Mash Bills Vs American Malt Mash Bills
There is a reason malted barley is such a revered grain. Without it, yeast wouldnt be able to ferment grain, brewing would never have been possible and the world would be left with only wine to drink. *shudders*
As a result, the earliest whiskey cultures used malted barley primarily or exclusively in their grain bills. This allowed for maximum alcohol content in the resulting beer, which led to higher alcohol strengths in the distillate.
Single malt whiskey requires the mash bill to contain 100 percent malted barley. While Scotland is synonymous with the term single malt, Ireland also has a long tradition. There are at least 130 distilleries in Scotland making single malt whisky, and an example of a well-established Irish Single Malt is Knappogue Castle.
Irish single pot or pure pot is a style of whiskey that has a long history and has benefited from a recent resurgence. Single Pot whiskey has a mash bill that is a combination of malted and unmalted barley grain. The unmalted barley gives the whiskey a rich and complex character. Examples of well-known single pot whiskeys are Redbreast, Green Spot and Yellow Spot.
Blended malt whisky is a sub-category of scotch that also has a rich history. Until the 1980s, it was more often referred to as vatted whisky. Blended malt whisky products blend barrels of single malt whiskies produced at separate distilleries together. Examples include Johnnie Walker Green Label and Peat Monster from Compass Box.
Scotch Whisky Cereals Technical Note: 4th Edition
Scotch Malt Whisky must use 100% malted barley and be distilled in a pot still. Preferred barley varieties are those which produce high alcohol yield, easy and consistent processing, no glycosidic nitrile and high enzymes for grain distilling malts. Barley for pot distilling requires a high starch content . A nitrogen level of about 1.5% in the barley is considered optimum and will be the maltsters target, if the crop quality allows. Malt specifications are agreed upon by distillers and maltsters on an individual basis and are subject to change as a result of commercial trading issues, availability and harvest quality.
Grain Scotch Whisky is normally made from unmalted cereals with the addition of around 10 % high DP malted barley and is typically distilled in a continuous column still. High DP barley will normally exceed 1.80 % nitrogen to achieve the required level of enzyme activity for conversion of the whole mash to fermentable sugars. Grain whisky is most commonly used as a component part of blended Scotch Whisky, which accounts for around 90% of all Scotch Whisky sales.
Sustainability has increasingly become a major consideration for distillers for both grain and malt distilling. The Scotch Whisky industry, supported by the SWA, has adopted a comprehensive Environmental Strategy with a view to reducing progressively the impact Scotch Whisky companies and their supply chain have on the environment.
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A Brief History Of Moonshine:
The depression, prohibition, and limited access to the mountainous region of Appalachia gave rise to an almost forgotten yet legendary beverage called moonshine. Moonshine used to be a generic term for homemade whiskey. The term was coined due to the fact that early bootleggers often made their whiskey in the middle of the night, under the light of a full moon out of sight of neighbors and the law. These days it actually refers to a robust commercial market of high proof, unaged, and often flavored spirits, such as the products made by Ole Smoky. There is no standard recipe for moonshine it can be made from any combination of grains in any type of still. However, moonshine made in the mountains of Appalachia was traditionally un-aged corn whiskey and was made in copper pot stills.
How To Make Whiskey Still
6. Distilling your whiskey. Whiskey is traditionally distilled using a pot still, however modern reflux stills and flute towers can also be used to make high quality whiskey at home. As with any type of distillation, on the first run you will want to throw away the first 50 milliliters for every 20 liters of mash in your still. For example, if you are using a 100 liter still, you will discard the first 250 milliliters. After that it is your choice of how to blend the heads, hearts, and tails cuts to your liking.
7. Aging your whiskey. Once you have decided on the cuts of whiskey that you would like to keep, you can either drink it unaged like a traditional moonshine, or age it. Aging will drastically improve the flavor and smoothness of your whiskey. Traditionally, whiskey is aged in charred oak barrels, however if you dont have any barrels, you can emulate this at home by aging your whiskey on toasted oak chips. We recommend putting your whiskey on oak at 60% ABV or less. Putting your whiskey on oak at a higher ABV than 60% will bring out unpleasant woody flavors, while 40%-60% ABV will bring the more desired notes out of the wood. Whiskey generally needs to be aged for a minimum of three years before it can legally be sold at stores with Whiskey on the label.
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