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(Scientific American)   In the bourbon and whiskey business, the barrel is everything. That's why distillers are experimenting with new barrels and aging processes, including putting the barrels on a boat and letting them sail the seven seas for four years   (scientificamerican.com) divider line 112
    More: Cool, Makers, cellulose, low-pressures, straws, distillates, caramel  
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8065 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Mar 2013 at 3:31 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-19 07:55:10 PM  

hstein3: Bruxellensis: Careful.  You want white oak, not red oak.

I'm curious about the wood choices.  Is it that you don't get good flavor from other woods?  Do any introduce harmful impurities?

/Dreaming of becoming a distiller
//Start up costs . . . damn expensive


Making barrels out of red oak would be kinda funny.  The stuff is so porous they'd leak like sponges.  As a flavoring agent inside another container it will have some similarity to white oak (it certainly has a somewhat whiskey-like aroma when you cut it), but I'm sure it will also have some distinct differences, and those may not be entirely pleasant.
 
2013-03-19 10:10:45 PM  

hstein3: Bruxellensis: Careful.  You want white oak, not red oak.

I'm curious about the wood choices.  Is it that you don't get good flavor from other woods?  Do any introduce harmful impurities?

/Dreaming of becoming a distiller
//Start up costs . . . damn expensive


I've read that red oak can be poisonous, but haven't verified that.  I have aged one of my IPAs on a small amount of cedar that turned out great.  I've also made whiskey with French and Hungarian Oak with O.K. results.  The best by far is charred American White Oak.   Other than that, I wouldn't stray too far out of the norm unless you know the wood and its effect on the product.
 
2013-03-19 10:14:05 PM  

Cerebral Knievel: hstein3: Bruxellensis: Careful.  You want white oak, not red oak.

I'm curious about the wood choices.  Is it that you don't get good flavor from other woods?  Do any introduce harmful impurities?

/Dreaming of becoming a distiller
//Start up costs . . . damn expensive

Yep, a start up sized "craft" level tower starts around $20k thats without all the support equipment. You would be good to have a couple hundred grand in backing, and hope those investor's can wait 10+ years for any kind of return. The first five years or so yer cranking out young liqueurs and vodkas to pay the bill.

Its a fools errand, and it could take 15 years to make enough money to personally survive on.


You could start small and supplement the business with another avenue.  You could build a decent reflux still with a 15 gallon wash capacity for a couple grand.  That won't yield a whole lot of spirits at a time, but could get you started while you recuperate your (low) start up costs.  It would be expensive, fairly difficult, and very risky to start a full scale distillery on borrowed coin.  It certainly can be done, if you know what you're doing going into it.
 
2013-03-19 10:17:21 PM  

Professor Science: hstein3: Bruxellensis: Careful.  You want white oak, not red oak.

I'm curious about the wood choices.  Is it that you don't get good flavor from other woods?  Do any introduce harmful impurities?

/Dreaming of becoming a distiller
//Start up costs . . . damn expensive

Making barrels out of red oak would be kinda funny.  The stuff is so porous they'd leak like sponges.  As a flavoring agent inside another container it will have some similarity to white oak (it certainly has a somewhat whiskey-like aroma when you cut it), but I'm sure it will also have some distinct differences, and those may not be entirely pleasant.


From my research and experience, there really is no replacement for charred American White Oak.  Over the centuries, it has been selected for its flavor contribution, filtering capability, porosity, and utility in cooperage.  IMO, you really can't get much better than that.  I've dabbled in French and Hungarian Oak, with adequate, but mildly disappointing results.
 
2013-03-19 10:25:07 PM  

Tsubodai: FTA:
The former fortified wine barrels had wine soaked into the wood and are larger than standard whiskey barrels, giving the Woodford Reserve a larger surface-to-whiskey ratio....

I read this and immediately thought "someone didn't pay enough attention during their HS math classes". I was happy to see that the first few comments at the bottom of the article pointed this out. With a barrel, the volume will increase faster than the surface area, thus producing an inverse relationship of what the article suggests.


I missed this first time around the comments.  You're absolutely right.
 
2013-03-19 10:33:00 PM  

Cerebral Knievel: dc0012c: telkinsjr: Wife got me a bottle of this for Christmas. I'm in love with it . . . (and her)

[www.whiskyadvocateblog.com image 400x1024]

Ooh-hah! Love Pappy.

As far as the ship-aged craze, I would be interested in trying some of the IPA that was hopped to hell and put aboard for the duration of a London-to-Mumbai trip.

Ah, part of the history lesson I give when i do the brew tour! Look for any IPA done in the English style rather than the american style. Should be hoppy upfront, and malty in the finish and around 7.5 to 9% abv.

The hops and alcohol are there as preservatives. So they will be dry and boozy. Good bitterness, but not a tremendous amount of hop flavor, should get a decent fusal burn, but not much, it is beer after all.

Keep in mind that hops were used as a perservative and acid blend to balance out the malt sweetness of the brew. If you were to take a colonial brewer and put them in front of a modern hophead, the brewer would be confused about the hophead gushing. For, to the brewer, what the hop head would be gushing about would be like someone for now times gushing about how the thing really brings out the character of the potasium sorbate.

There would be enough booze and hops to keep the stuff anti microbial and sanitary depending on the length of the journey. Colonial era IPA was designed to keep colonists and sea men of dieing of waterborne disease than to get them drunk.
So, what yer looking for is something that has nothing but mild boozy ness, and basic bitter, but overall, kind of watery believe it or not.


They made it at a higher ABV to be diluted once they reached port.  Of course, they didn't always do that, and noticed that it was just fine the way it was.  For the English, that was something tantamount to heresy.  Thus, the higher strength and higher bitterness palate was born and spread.

/same thing with Brandy
 
2013-03-19 11:47:48 PM  
Bruxellensis:
They made it at a higher ABV to be diluted once they reached port.  Of course, they didn't always do that, and noticed that it was just fine the way it was.  For the English, that was something tantamount to heresy.  Thus, the higher strength and higher bitterness palate was born and spread.

/same thing with Brandy


of course, but the original poster was wondering what that colonial era stuff would've tasted like. in general practice, it would ahve been diluted at destination.. that was.. kinda, my round about way point.. I didn't get to finish my point because one of my long suffering co workers was trying to eat up my ear, and thengot pulled into give a tour of the brewery to ALL of the chefs that work in Colonial Williamsburg. then dealing with the sainted estranged bride once I actually got home..

its been an entertaining evening..

But yes... I have been giving the distilate avenue much thought.. and it is of my opinion that one would have to make a name forthem self with small spirits to keep the name and revenue going while waiting for the good stuff to mature. but to the point, if one were to start up a distilation operation.. one needs to think 30 years into the future, brewing, making, blending the entire time. you gotta think that no bourbon or whiskey can be counted as such unless it's spent at least two years on the wood.

during that time, you gotta house that stuff, and keep adding to it untill you have enough to be able to blend it off to make it something consistant and interesting..

marketing
marketing
marketing

in the meentime, you gotta come up with SOMETHING that can be cranked out in the down time to fund the operation, at least pay the rent,

its a long haul operation that one must be willing to dedcate themselves to and be able to weather not only a few years of lean times, but a few years of burning money with no return unless you can get creative.

If I were to do something like that... I would be running around the virginia wine country and buying up the crushes wine must and making american Grappa out of it. because.. well, no one else is doing it and it can be cranked out fast and easy, and it is useing a waste product that some folks are paying to get rid of. I could offer the service to rif them of it, if they want to pay me to do it ,then,  so be it..

but then.. you could probably make the shiat cheap, get people to pay you to take the raw ingredients away, perhaps even get some farmers to pay you for YOUR waste product. then you gotta educate the public into exactly what in the hell grappa even IS, get label approval from the ABC,the BATF, and the TTB,  and find  a distributer, who wants to deal with something that has no guarentee of availabilty when and where wanted.


it really is a lot easier to start a winery or a brewery and go from there when it comes to spirits
 
2013-03-20 04:46:40 AM  
Another tasty one: scotch finished on Playmate boobies.

http://whiskeyreviewer.dive-gear-reviews.com/2013/02/gspirits-scotch -f inished-on-a-playmate/

whiskeyreviewer.com

It's... salty :-P
 
2013-03-20 08:53:33 AM  

Cerebral Knievel: it really is a lot easier to start a winery or a brewery and go from there when it comes to spirits


Yep.  And that's the way some are doing it now.  Although, with some of the samples I've had, they had better stick to brewing and work on their distilling before they sell their boil kettle.  coughRoguecough
 
2013-03-20 03:31:33 PM  
marked
 
2013-03-20 08:29:57 PM  

Bruxellensis: Cerebral Knievel: it really is a lot easier to start a winery or a brewery and go from there when it comes to spirits

Yep.  And that's the way some are doing it now.  Although, with some of the samples I've had, they had better stick to brewing and work on their distilling before they sell their boil kettle.  coughRoguecough


y;know.. I know John, I wouldn't call him a close freind or anything like that, but we've hung out and chatted a couple or more times. and I hope once again to share a pint with the good man at CBC next week...

but I don't think he has anything to do with the distilates, and most of the stuff being cranked out of the place are products of marketing. and Mr. Mair is quite happy just coming into work every morning and cranking out beer..

and it is also of me personal opinion that there is not much point in buying anything from Rogue East of the Mississippi.The beer really doesn't travel well at all.

Dead guy ale is more or less a Maibock and tastes incredible no further east of the rockies, here on the east coast.. its damn decent.. but it has shown it miles.
 
2013-03-20 09:04:58 PM  

Cerebral Knievel: Bruxellensis: Cerebral Knievel: it really is a lot easier to start a winery or a brewery and go from there when it comes to spirits

Yep.  And that's the way some are doing it now.  Although, with some of the samples I've had, they had better stick to brewing and work on their distilling before they sell their boil kettle.  coughRoguecough

y;know.. I know John, I wouldn't call him a close freind or anything like that, but we've hung out and chatted a couple or more times. and I hope once again to share a pint with the good man at CBC next week...

but I don't think he has anything to do with the distilates, and most of the stuff being cranked out of the place are products of marketing. and Mr. Mair is quite happy just coming into work every morning and cranking out beer..

and it is also of me personal opinion that there is not much point in buying anything from Rogue East of the Mississippi.The beer really doesn't travel well at all.

Dead guy ale is more or less a Maibock and tastes incredible no further east of the rockies, here on the east coast.. its damn decent.. but it has shown it miles.


My experience matches yours.  I wasn't impressed with anything I was able to get my hands on (beer wise) in the midwest.  I don't doubt that the miles subtract from the quality, as with most unpasteurized beers.  I have had some of the spirits they're making, which don't suffer from the distance like beer does, and all but one were just awful, and the one exception was O.K., but nothing I'd ever pay to drink.  I still have respect for the establishment, but they need to work on their spirits if they are to be taken seriously in that market.
 
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