How do you make whisky ?

by | Feb 17, 2020 | whiskey

Gin Basil Smash

Gin Basil Smash is for lovers of gin and… basil. This very fashionable cocktail was created in 2008 by Jörg Meyer at the Lions Bar in Hamburg.

Why our still doesn’t look like a still

In the world of distilling not all stills are made equal. So why didn’t we go for a “traditional” copper one? Find out in this article.

Mizuwari

Mizuwari is a mixture of whiskey, its double volume of water and ice (s). The name of this cocktail speaks volumes about its “genre” since it literally means “mixed with water”.

Gin and Tonic : history and recipe

Today there are a large number of relatively simple Gin Tonic derivatives and mixologists like that !

The different types of whisky

The types of whisky : Single Malt, Blend, Scotch … for beginners who want to come in the universe of whisky, it is not uncommon to be a little lost when you start to look at what exists in "Whisky". A little reminder on the different types of whisky and their names,...

Ice Ball

Ice ball is not just an ice cube! Contrary to what you might think, whisky and ice do not necessarily go well together. At the risk of attracting the wrath of purists, ice can exalt certain aromas of whisky.

Brewing

Brewing, if you ask the question: what is whisky? The answer is simple: it’s the distillation of a beer! Simple question, simple answer but by the way, how do you make a beer?

How do you make whisky ?

It is interesting to note that if the spirit “whisky” is complex, this is in total contradiction with the number of starting ingredients : 3 !

Mixology, what is it?

During your evenings or even during your wanderings in trendy districts where trendy bars and clubs display the word “Mixology”.

Malting

We are here in the first step of whisky making (see our article on this subject). Malting is the extraction of starch from cereals. We talk about barley because it is the ingredient of Single Malt but it is quite possible to malt wheat, rye or buckwheat. 4 steps for...

It is interesting to note that if the spirit “whisky” is complex, this is in total contradiction with the number of starting ingredients : 3 ! Barley (or another cereal), yeast and water. That’s all ! We could add barrel aging, which brings all its organoleptic qualities to the future whisky, and for a minimum of 3 years. Only 6 steps for making whisky before finishing in the bottle and in your glass! We explain all that …

1 – Malting

The first step in making a whisky, malting consists of extracting starch, which is a fermentable sugar, from barley. In the past the distilleries also took care of this stage, today they prefer, for reasons of space and competence, to outsource this service to malt houses.

2 – Mashing

This is to grind the malt to make a kind of flour that we will call “grist“. A thick paste is obtained by mixing this grist with hot water. This stage in the manufacture of whisky extracts the sugars for fermentation.

3 – Fermentation

After mashing, we will incorporate yeasts. Yeasts are microscopic single-celled fungi that transform sugar into alcohol. It’s a relatively short step that will take just over 48 hours. We then obtain an acidic beer which we call the “wash“.

4 – Distillation

This is the heart of whisky making. The principle of distillation is that by heating the wash to a certain temperature, we will be able to concentrate and recover the “good” alcohol. This operation is carried out at least 2 times to extract what we will call the distillate.

5 – The cask

Once the distillate is recovered, it is lowered by dilution to 65% alcohol. The liquid is translucent and we don’t have the right to call it whisky yet. The barrel is operated at this stage and the final product will depend heavily on choices such as the type of wood, the volume, whether new or not…

6 – Barrel aging

Once placed in the barrel, aging in the barrel will last 3 years minimum. Many things will also influence the final product such as the cellar temperature, being more or less close to the sea …

Conclusion

We can never repeat it enough, we will have to wait for at least 3 years to call that whisky. Once this time has elapsed, we will be able to perform bottling. It’s just before bottling that we can dilute the whisky again with water. It will be reduced to a lower percentage of alcohol, generally between 40% ABV and 46% ABV. The bottler can decide not to dilute his whisky. He can then indicate “Strengh Cask” on the label. But be carreful … it’s strong !!!

If you are intersted by mixologythen this is it!

If you are intersted by our spiritsthen this is it!

In general, are you interested in the world of alcoholdistillation and the Valour + Lemaire universe ? Then subscribe to our newsletter to receive our articles and follow our blog.

Credit photo : Martin Kníže on Unsplash

by | Feb 17, 2020

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