The whiskey production procedure consists of standard steps, followed by leading beverage manufacturers. But there are some features and nuances that will be interesting to learn. We will talk about this in our expert review, which will be useful both for gourmets concerning whiskey and those who have not had time to try whiskey.
Malt for whiskey tour is the foundation. The procedure for its preparation begins with barley (corn, rye, wheat and other crops) entering the plant, which is carefully sorted, cleaned and dried. The malting process involves the mandatory soaking of the malt, which should sprout for one or a half weeks.
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How is whiskey made? Features of phased production technology
The classic whiskey production process consists of eight steps. First, preparation of malt (malting procedure), then drying of the malt (making of wort); This is followed by the process of fermentation and distillation, followed by aging, blending. And the final stage is laboratory control and the final bottling of the drink.
The process of making malt
During this time, the water periodically changes; in the cereals, the fermentation process occurs. Next, is drying of the malt.
It is important! The main task at this stage is to suspend the grain malting process in time so that they do not take on all the starch necessary for the implementation of the following steps for the production of an alcoholic beverage.
Malt Drying Procedure
Ready malt is removed from the water and placed in special chambers for thorough drying. Each country, where whiskey manufacturing takes place has its tradition of drying malt; This greatly affects the final taste of the drink. For example, in Ireland, drying occurs naturally without fumes to preserve the authentic scent of whiskey. But in Japan, on the contrary, the malt is dried by smoke obtained from the combustion of peat rocks. The Scots have a similar tradition, thanks to which the drink has a characteristic “smoked” flavor.
Getting ready wort for whiskey – features of the procedure for its preparation
The process of preparing the wort is traditional: dried malt undergoes a thorough cleaning process, followed by special laboratory tests for damage to grains by insects and compliance with the required moisture level. Germinated and dried grains are crushed to the state of a loose powder of coarse grinding and combined in certain proportions with previously purified water. Then store the wort in a large wooden tub, where it is gradually heated, and the composition undergoes several important processes. First, at relatively low temperatures, flour and water combine to form a thick mass. Then the protein breaks down, and starch turns into sugar, which is ideal for yeast. When the wort gets heated to a temperature of about 76-78 degrees, the final sugary substances forms. Aging of The flour tales places in a vat for 8-10 hours.
The next stage – the wort is poured into a tub of steel or wood and combined with alcoholic yeast. Fermentation lasts about three days at a temperature of slightly less than forty degrees.
Note! Some manufacturers take yeast to mix with must from their batch. Thus, a circular process takes place, which can last for tens or even hundreds of years.
At this stage, the yeast feeds on oxygen, against which the volume of the composition increases. When depletion of the oxygen reserves in the Braga occurs, the sugar gradually broke down, and the stage of natural fermentation begins. Wort is no longer fermenting due to yeast, but thanks to beneficial bacteria. A weak five is the formation week of percent mash, which in its taste resembles beer, but without the hoppy notes. And such a mash is ready for further distillation.
Distillation or distillation process
Depending on the characteristics of the distillery, the mash undergoes a double or triple distillation procedure. It is important that at this stage, the mash is in special tanks made of copper or high-quality stainless steel. Vats are reminiscent of laboratory vessels with an elongated neck. Thus, the metal will take on a characteristic aftertaste of sulfur; under the influence of oxidation, other chemical reactions will occur that are important for obtaining an additional taste “color” of whiskey. Also, copper and steel are heated relatively evenly, as a result of which the mash will not “burn” in any particular zone of the vessel.
In the first stage of distillation, the mash turns into a weak thirty-degree wine, and after the second stage of distillation, its strength increases to about 70 degrees. Next, the resulting distillate is diluted with pure water to obtain a composition with a strength of 50-60 degrees.
It is important! In the second distillation process to select the middle fraction, and the initial and “tail” (those that leave the distillation apparatus at the beginning and the end of the process) are merged.
Whiskey aging procedure
The classic aging procedure takes place in special oak barrels. By the way, purchasing of this container is common in Spain according to a tradition known since the 18th century. Even then, the practice of insisting whiskey in sherry barrels imported from Spain turned out to be very successful and profitable from an economic point of view.
At this stage, the final formation of the taste and aroma bouquet takes place. The liquid acquires a characteristic golden-caramel hue due to the “pulling” of certain pigments from the wood. Other, equally important chemical reactions also occur in barrels.
Note! Premium whiskey ages in fortified wine barrels and more budgetary – in oak bourbon containers or new clean wooden vessels. American whiskey is aged in a new container, and Scottish and Irish – in already used barrels for brewing port or sherry.
The estimated aging time of the drink is from three to five years. Some varieties are aged for ten or even thirty years.
This procedure is not strict in the production of whiskey, but it significantly increases the preparation time of the drink – blending requires additional aging in oak barrels for several months so that the distillates form a single bouquet. For comparison, in the production of single malt whiskey, this process is excluded.
The essence of blending is to provide the buyer with a consistent and authentic taste of the original strong whiskey. This procedure also helps to diversify the line of whiskeys produced, only changing the proportions of the distillate blending.
Blending is a procedure for mixing distillate of different aging times. There is no standard procedure – each manufacturer has its format. For example, the volume of mixed varieties can be fifty, and they can vary both in aging time and in taste.
At this stage, sometimes the drink is additionally diluted with water so that its strength meets factory requirements. After that, the whiskey is bottled and sent to retail outlets.
The composition and benefits of whiskey
The classic composition of whiskey is a grain component, purified water and sugar. As a grain base can use various components:
- for Scotch whiskey – barley;
- for the Irish, rye and barley;
- for bourbon, rye, wheat, and corn, respectively.
Preferably, the water for the whiskey is spring. Whiskey is considered a drink of average calorie content – a little more than 230 kcal per hundred grams.
It is important! The unspoken rule for the production of whiskey – it should not contain artificial impurities, flavors or flavors, as this is a natural product.
The benefits of whiskey are undeniable:
- improves the gastrointestinal tract;
- cleanses blood vessels, promotes active blood circulation;
- the ellagic acid in its composition neutralizes free radicals, thereby preventing the aging process of the body;
- activates the work of mental activity;
- low sugar reduces the risk of diabetes;
- suitable for external use as a reliable antiseptic.
After the final exposure, the beverage still passes through the filtration stage through special membrane filters to give the liquid crystal clearness and to separate it from small fractions; This is all that goes behind the production of the magic that you get in a fine shot of whiskey