How to Make Whiskey
by XuCharles on Feb 17, 2023
Lean to make Whiskey by yourself Step-By-Step
Background Of Whiskey
Whiskey is a kind of strong distilled spirits made from barley and other grains that are aged in oak barrels for many years and distilled to about 43 degrees centigrade. The English call it the "Uisge Beatha." According to the origin,it can be divided into four categories: Scottish whiskey, Irish whiskey, American whiskey and Canadian whiskey.
General classification of Whiskey
- the different raw materials: whiskey can be divided into pure wheat whiskey, grain whiskey and rye whiskey.
- how long the whisky has been in the oak barrel: whiskey can be divided into varieties ranging from years to decades. All Scotch whisky has a requirement that it must be aged in the oak barrel for at least three years.
- ABV(alcohol by volume): whiskey can be divided into 40 to 60 degrees of alcohol.
Base Ingredients & Materials
Wheat (barley, wheat, rye, malt)
Step 1: Germinate
Firstly, Malt or Grain after impurity removal is soaked in hot water to germinate. The time required during this process varies according to different wheat or cereal varieties, but generally it takes about one to two weeks to germinate. After germination, malt or grain is dried or smoked with Peat. After cooling and storing for about a month, the germination process is complete.
Step 2: saccharification
The germinated wheat or grains stored for a month are mashed into special stainless steel tanks and cooked into juice, which takes about 8 to 12 hours. The control of temperature and time is usually a very important part in the grinding process. Too high temperature or too long time will affect the quality of wort (or grain juice).
Step 3: Fermentation
The cooled wort is added to the yeast for fermentation. Since the yeast can convert the sugars in the wort into alcohol, the liquid with an alcohol concentration of about 5%-6% will be produced after the fermentation process. At this time, the liquid is called” Wash" or “Beer". So different whisky brands keep the type and amount of yeast they use as a trade secret.
Step 4: Distillation
Generally speaking, distillation has the function of concentration, so when the low-alcohol "Beer" formed by the fermentation of wheat or grain is formed, it needs to go through the distillation process to form whiskey. At this time, the alcohol concentration of whiskey is about 60%~70%. The distillation method used for wheat and grain raw materials is different. Malt whisky made from wheat is a single distillation method, that is, a single distillation vessel is used for the second distillation process, and after the second distillation, the distilled liquid is cut off the head and the tail, and only the "Heart" part in the middle is taken to become a new whiskey.
In addition, the continuous distillation method is adopted for the whiskey made from grain. Two distillation vessels are used in series to carry out the distillation process for two consecutive stages at a time. Basically, each distillery has no fixed and uniform proportion standard for screening the "core" amount, which is completely determined by the distillery's requirements. Generally, the proportion of each distillery to take the "heart of wine" is more than 60%~70%, and some distilleries in order to make high-quality whiskey, take the highest purity part to use. Such is the case with the world-famous Macallan single malt whisky, which uses only 17% of the "heart" as a new spirit to make whisky.
Step 5: Age
The new distilled liquid must be aged in oak barrels to absorb the natural aromas of the plants and produce a beautiful amber color, while gradually reducing the strong kick of the high alcohol concentration. In Scotland, there are laws governing the age of spirits, Scotch whisky must be kept in wooden casks for at least three years before it is ready for sale. With such strict measures, on the one hand, the rights and interests of consumers can be protected, and on the other hand, the replacement of Scotch whisky has established a high-quality image in the world.
Step 6: Mix
As there are many varieties of wheat and grain raw materials, the whisky produced also has different flavors. At this time, the mixologists of each distillery will mix and blend their own whisky with different tastes according to their different experiences and the requirements of the brand's spirits quality. As a result, the process and contents of each brand are considered an absolute secret, leaving it up to tasters and consumers to determine the quality of the resulting whisky.
Drinking& tasting method
Some people think that you have to drink it straight to get the true meaning of single malt. Pour the whisky directly into the glass, and quietly feel the amber liquid flowing through your body.
Many people believe that adding water will destroy the original flavor of whiskey. In fact, adding a moderate amount of water does not make whiskey lose its original flavor. On the contrary, it may dilute the alcohol taste and bring out the underlying aroma of whiskey.
- On the rock
It is intended as an alternative for drinkers who want to reduce the thrill of alcohol without diluting their whiskey. However, although whiskey with ice can suppress the alcohol taste, but also because of cooling, it is difficult to taste the original flavor characteristics of whiskey.
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