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Old 07-21-2006, 08:50 PM   #1
Todd
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Default What is whiskey?

I'm trying to understand this whole process, fermented malt and hops is beer, so what is just fermented malt? Anything? Does whiskey or other malt liquer start out as beer and then distilled down further?

How about moonshine? that is made from corn right? Do they make a corn wort and add yeast?

It is Friday so if these are stupid questions just indulge me.
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:09 PM   #2
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Over my head Todd, but I do know that fermentation occurs, then the liquor is heated until the alcohol boils off, where it is captured and condensed - it's then cut to strength and aged in charred oak barrels, in the case of whiskey. Can't drink the stuff.....

the smoothest vodka I ever drank was a french called Ciroc or something like that - it was actually a grape product with multiple distillations - very smooth.

Take the alcohol, flavor it with juniper berries and cardomon and it's called gin.....

Skol!
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:15 PM   #3
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Moon shine is basicaly, high alc drink, , people youse a sugar mix basicaly yeast, lots of sugar, water yeast nutrients.... u want yer brew to be really hi alc content B 4 you distill it. not like you got a still in yer base ment... its not Illegal to have a still, lol well i dont think so, as long as u aint stillin alc... gotta love distilled water. http://homedistiller.org/theory.htm
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:17 PM   #4
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I think for moonshine they essentially make a corn beer ferment it with yeast and then heat this to whatever temperature alcohol turns to gas. The still captures the steam into another vessel.

something along those lines
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:26 PM   #5
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Thanks guys that is what I was thinking happened, I just wanted to confirm it. I'm not looking to make it or anything, just my brain going crazy like always. I'm brewing my first this weekend and the last two nights I've been dreaming about fermentors.. ha!
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBN
...the smoothest vodka I ever drank was a french called Ciroc or something like that - it was actually a grape product with multiple distillations - very smooth...
Since it was a grape product you sure it wasn't a grappa?
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Since it was a grape product you sure it wasn't a grappa?
No, it's vodka and it's delicious. It's my fave vodka.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:23 PM   #8
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Interesting...http://www.travellady.com/Issues/April03/spirits.htm
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd
I'm trying to understand this whole process, fermented malt and hops is beer, so what is just fermented malt? Anything? Does whiskey or other malt liquer start out as beer and then distilled down further?
Beer and Scotch whiskey start out pretty much the same. For the whiskey, unboiled and unhopped wort (100% 2 row base malt, no adjuncts) is fermented out with distillers yeast and is then sent through a distiller at least twice raising it's alc/vol to about 52%. This liquid is then put in used Sherry or Bourbon casks with enough airspace to dilute with water to final proof which is about 40%.

It can only be called whiskey after it's aged in the cask for at least 3 year IIRC. You wouldn't want to drink it any earlier than that.

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Old 07-22-2006, 03:14 AM   #10
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Whiskey is kinda of a generic term as well. Bourban has to be made from 51% corn mash or more, aged in charred oak barrels, and produced in the US. The best bourbans are produced in the west Tennessee and Kentucky area do to the fact that the water table contains high levels of calcium and low levels of Iron. This is considered to be ideal water for producing Bourban. The Oak trees in this area are also ideal for aging Bourban do certain sugars and enzymes that they contain.

All "whiskey's" start out as a clear liquid that is similar to Moonshine, but it is the aging of the oak barrels that imparts the colors and flavors that Bourban is known for.
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