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first batch o' scotch

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  • gatesbox
    Hello all, I have not kept up with posts since I started working for a gov. contractor. I am a little paranoid that big brother is lurking over my office
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 1, 2004
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      Hello all,

      I have not kept up with posts since I started working for a gov.
      contractor. I am a little paranoid that big brother is lurking over
      my office computer. Following are results and questions on my first
      batch o' scotch.

      I made a 6 gal liquid mash using 12lbs of extract and steaping over
      a half pound of peat smoked malt (a little too much I think?). I
      stripped to an average of 45% and did a spirit run at about 75 to
      85%. Scaling down to this small batch I used the run results from
      smiley's book I decided to keep just under 2L which when diluted
      left me with under 3L at 45%. I set aside 300ml 75% for the next
      run. I liked the fragrance but a bit strong on the peat smoke. I
      threw in a couple of oak steeping bags from the homebrew shop. The
      next day I pulled one out as it seemed the color was darkening a bit
      too fast. I liked the suggestion to add a few pepper corns to
      bourbon so I threw a couple in this batch to age on and spice it up
      a bit.

      My question is: Any suggestions on other finishing touches to add to
      the flavor and appeal? Any input on the next run? I plan on
      repeating this method with another 5-6 gal batch.
    • Harry
      ... over ... first ... over ... The ... bit ... up ... to ... Scotch, as most people drink it, is actually Blended Scotch , a blend of single malts and grain
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 1, 2004
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        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gatesbox" <gatesbox@y...> wrote:
        > Hello all,
        >
        > I have not kept up with posts since I started working for a gov.
        > contractor. I am a little paranoid that big brother is lurking
        over
        > my office computer. Following are results and questions on my
        first
        > batch o' scotch.
        >
        > I made a 6 gal liquid mash using 12lbs of extract and steaping
        over
        > a half pound of peat smoked malt (a little too much I think?). I
        > stripped to an average of 45% and did a spirit run at about 75 to
        > 85%. Scaling down to this small batch I used the run results from
        > smiley's book I decided to keep just under 2L which when diluted
        > left me with under 3L at 45%. I set aside 300ml 75% for the next
        > run. I liked the fragrance but a bit strong on the peat smoke. I
        > threw in a couple of oak steeping bags from the homebrew shop.
        The
        > next day I pulled one out as it seemed the color was darkening a
        bit
        > too fast. I liked the suggestion to add a few pepper corns to
        > bourbon so I threw a couple in this batch to age on and spice it
        up
        > a bit.
        >
        > My question is: Any suggestions on other finishing touches to add
        to
        > the flavor and appeal? Any input on the next run? I plan on
        > repeating this method with another 5-6 gal batch.



        Scotch, as most people drink it, is actually 'Blended Scotch', a
        blend of single malts and grain alcohol. The single malts (about 35
        or 40 of them) are blended together to form the base. The base
        makes up around 30-35% of the finished blend, the other 65-70% is
        grain alcohol (mostly barley, but sometimes corn and/or wheat).

        What you have is 'technically' single malt whisky (not Scotch).
        From here you've got a couple of choices:
        1) Get used to the heavy peat taste
        2) Make your next batch a neutral spirit and blend with the peated
        batch @ 70:30 ratio.

        You can use your extract, or if you think there's already
        enough 'malty' flavour in the first batch, use Dextrose (it's grain
        based glucose).

        HTH
        Slainte!
        regards Harry
      • closetdistiller
        Sorry Harry, I m having a bit of trouble following this so lets see if I understand. When you say you mix in a ratio of say 70 neutral: 30 single malt whiskey,
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 2, 2004
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          Sorry Harry, I'm having a bit of trouble following this so lets see
          if I understand.

          When you say you mix in a ratio of say 70 neutral: 30 single malt
          whiskey, you then just dilute that blend out to your ~40% final
          drinking level with water? What sort of %ABV would you be looking at
          for the 70 spirit (I'm guessing 95% here) and the 30 whiskey (75%
          here)?

          Hmmm, I don't know if I'm explaining this very well here. Ok. So to
          make your final product would you be adding say 700mls of 40%
          neutral to 300ml of 40% whiskey, or would you be adding say 7 parts
          of 95% neutral to 3 parts 75% whiskey, then diluting this out to
          your 40% drinking strength? (If my brain was working today I could
          probably work out if this is exactly the same ;) )

          Basically I'm a bit confused, would you mind explaining this a bit
          better. I'm planning to do a whiskey very soon and I was going to do
          it as gatesbox did, I think I may have been surprised by the
          intensity and strength of the flavour. ;)

          Thanks, much appreciated.

          CD

          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@y...>
          wrote:
          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gatesbox" <gatesbox@y...>
          wrote:
          > > Hello all,
          > >
          > > I have not kept up with posts since I started working for a gov.
          > > contractor. I am a little paranoid that big brother is lurking
          > over
          > > my office computer. Following are results and questions on my
          > first
          > > batch o' scotch.
          > >
          > > I made a 6 gal liquid mash using 12lbs of extract and steaping
          > over
          > > a half pound of peat smoked malt (a little too much I think?).
          I
          > > stripped to an average of 45% and did a spirit run at about 75
          to
          > > 85%. Scaling down to this small batch I used the run results
          from
          > > smiley's book I decided to keep just under 2L which when diluted
          > > left me with under 3L at 45%. I set aside 300ml 75% for the next
          > > run. I liked the fragrance but a bit strong on the peat smoke.
          I
          > > threw in a couple of oak steeping bags from the homebrew shop.
          > The
          > > next day I pulled one out as it seemed the color was darkening a
          > bit
          > > too fast. I liked the suggestion to add a few pepper corns to
          > > bourbon so I threw a couple in this batch to age on and spice it
          > up
          > > a bit.
          > >
          > > My question is: Any suggestions on other finishing touches to
          add
          > to
          > > the flavor and appeal? Any input on the next run? I plan on
          > > repeating this method with another 5-6 gal batch.
          >
          >
          >
          > Scotch, as most people drink it, is actually 'Blended Scotch', a
          > blend of single malts and grain alcohol. The single malts (about
          35
          > or 40 of them) are blended together to form the base. The base
          > makes up around 30-35% of the finished blend, the other 65-70% is
          > grain alcohol (mostly barley, but sometimes corn and/or wheat).
          >
          > What you have is 'technically' single malt whisky (not Scotch).
          > From here you've got a couple of choices:
          > 1) Get used to the heavy peat taste
          > 2) Make your next batch a neutral spirit and blend with the
          peated
          > batch @ 70:30 ratio.
          >
          > You can use your extract, or if you think there's already
          > enough 'malty' flavour in the first batch, use Dextrose (it's
          grain
          > based glucose).
          >
          > HTH
          > Slainte!
          > regards Harry
        • Harry
          ... see ... at ... to ... parts ... do ... CD, look at it this way. The single malt whiskies that make up the base of a blended Scotch, are all drawn at cask
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 2, 2004
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            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "closetdistiller"
            <closetdistiller@y...> wrote:
            > Sorry Harry, I'm having a bit of trouble following this so lets
            see
            > if I understand.
            >
            > When you say you mix in a ratio of say 70 neutral: 30 single malt
            > whiskey, you then just dilute that blend out to your ~40% final
            > drinking level with water? What sort of %ABV would you be looking
            at
            > for the 70 spirit (I'm guessing 95% here) and the 30 whiskey (75%
            > here)?
            >
            > Hmmm, I don't know if I'm explaining this very well here. Ok. So
            to
            > make your final product would you be adding say 700mls of 40%
            > neutral to 300ml of 40% whiskey, or would you be adding say 7
            parts
            > of 95% neutral to 3 parts 75% whiskey, then diluting this out to
            > your 40% drinking strength? (If my brain was working today I could
            > probably work out if this is exactly the same ;) )
            >
            > Basically I'm a bit confused, would you mind explaining this a bit
            > better. I'm planning to do a whiskey very soon and I was going to
            do
            > it as gatesbox did, I think I may have been surprised by the
            > intensity and strength of the flavour. ;)
            >
            > Thanks, much appreciated.


            CD, look at it this way. The single malt whiskies that make up the
            base of a blended Scotch, are all drawn at 'cask strength' i.e. 53-
            55% abv. So is the 'neutral' grain whisky. Remember it's watered
            down to 65% before barrelling and aging. Remember also that the age
            of a blend, as stated on the label, is the age of the 'youngest'
            whisky in the blend. This includes the grain whisky.

            So the 35 or 40 malts are mixed together i.e. 'vatted', and the
            resulting overall abv is about ~53%. No water has yet been added.

            Now you add to this the aged grain alcohol (53-55%) in the ratio
            70:30, grain whisky to single malt blends, BY VOLUME. THIS you cut
            to your drinking strength with water. Personally I prefer 43% final
            abv but most commercial blended scotches are 40%.

            Blending and diluting is the last act that the master distiller
            performs on the malts and grain whiskies. The resultant scotch
            whisky blend is then 'married' for about 6 months in old used casks
            (no additional flavour or colours) and then bottled.

            In the home distilling environment, I find that the aging
            and 'marriage' can be speeded up by judicious use of an aeration
            system. See my previous posts #22159, #22161.

            HTH
            Slainte!
            regards Harry
          • Maxime Belair
            Hi, I m very surprised that blended scotch is diluted with neutral spirit. Making scotch at home might be twice less expensive than I though if a ratio of
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 2, 2004
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              Hi,

              I'm very surprised that blended scotch is
              diluted with neutral spirit. Making scotch at home
              might be twice less expensive than I though if a ratio
              of 70neutral/30whisky gives enough flavour.

              But when you buy a bottle of single malt, is it
              diluted with some neutral alcohol?

              Is it the same for bourbon, irish whisky, rhum,
              cognac, brandy...?

              Thank you,

              Maxime Belair


              __________________________________________________________
              Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
              magasinage.yahoo.ca
            • Maxime Belair
              Hi again, I forgot to talk about these neutral grain alcohol they use for the blend. If this neutral grain alcohol is made from barley, it means that
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 2, 2004
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                Hi again,

                I forgot to talk about these "neutral
                grain alcohol" they use for the blend. If this
                "neutral grain alcohol" is made from barley, it means
                that there is some spent flavour? This because they
                don't take the tails, they only take the clean middle
                run.

                Right?

                Maxime Belair

                ---------------------------------
                Hi,

                I'm very surprised that blended scotch is
                diluted with neutral spirit. Making scotch at home
                might be twice less expensive than I though if a ratio
                of 70neutral/30whisky gives enough flavour.

                But when you buy a bottle of single malt, is it
                diluted with some neutral alcohol?

                Is it the same for bourbon, irish whisky, rhum,
                cognac, brandy...?

                Thank you,

                Maxime Belair


                __________________________________________________________
                Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
                magasinage.yahoo.ca


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              • yttrium_nitrate
                A lot of scotch whisky is aged in barrels that have been used to age sherry. If you add a wee bit of sherry to the whisky, it can simulate part of aging in
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 2, 2004
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                  A lot of scotch whisky is aged in barrels that have been used to age
                  sherry. If you add a wee bit of sherry to the whisky, it can simulate
                  part of aging in used barrel.

                  > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "closetdistiller"
                  > <closetdistiller@y...> wrote:
                  > > Sorry Harry, I'm having a bit of trouble following this so lets
                  > see
                  > > if I understand.
                  > >
                  > > When you say you mix in a ratio of say 70 neutral: 30 single malt
                  > > whiskey, you then just dilute that blend out to your ~40% final
                  > > drinking level with water? What sort of %ABV would you be looking
                  > at
                  > > for the 70 spirit (I'm guessing 95% here) and the 30 whiskey (75%
                  > > here)?
                  > >
                  > > Hmmm, I don't know if I'm explaining this very well here. Ok. So
                  > to
                  > > make your final product would you be adding say 700mls of 40%
                  > > neutral to 300ml of 40% whiskey, or would you be adding say 7
                  > parts
                  > > of 95% neutral to 3 parts 75% whiskey, then diluting this out to
                  > > your 40% drinking strength? (If my brain was working today I could
                  > > probably work out if this is exactly the same ;) )
                  > >
                  > > Basically I'm a bit confused, would you mind explaining this a bit
                  > > better. I'm planning to do a whiskey very soon and I was going to
                  > do
                  > > it as gatesbox did, I think I may have been surprised by the
                  > > intensity and strength of the flavour. ;)
                  > >
                  > > Thanks, much appreciated.
                  >
                  >
                  > CD, look at it this way. The single malt whiskies that make up the
                  > base of a blended Scotch, are all drawn at 'cask strength' i.e. 53-
                  > 55% abv. So is the 'neutral' grain whisky. Remember it's watered
                  > down to 65% before barrelling and aging. Remember also that the age
                  > of a blend, as stated on the label, is the age of the 'youngest'
                  > whisky in the blend. This includes the grain whisky.
                  >
                  > So the 35 or 40 malts are mixed together i.e. 'vatted', and the
                  > resulting overall abv is about ~53%. No water has yet been added.
                  >
                  > Now you add to this the aged grain alcohol (53-55%) in the ratio
                  > 70:30, grain whisky to single malt blends, BY VOLUME. THIS you cut
                  > to your drinking strength with water. Personally I prefer 43% final
                  > abv but most commercial blended scotches are 40%.
                  >
                  > Blending and diluting is the last act that the master distiller
                  > performs on the malts and grain whiskies. The resultant scotch
                  > whisky blend is then 'married' for about 6 months in old used casks
                  > (no additional flavour or colours) and then bottled.
                  >
                  > In the home distilling environment, I find that the aging
                  > and 'marriage' can be speeded up by judicious use of an aeration
                  > system. See my previous posts #22159, #22161.
                  >
                  > HTH
                  > Slainte!
                  > regards Harry
                • Zarklan Zhaphedoix
                  I went to the Scotch Heritage Museum in Edinburgh Scotland and saw that the blended scotch was blended from Pot Still Products and Coffee Still products. The
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 2, 2004
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                    I went to the Scotch Heritage Museum in Edinburgh
                    Scotland and saw that the blended scotch was blended
                    from Pot Still Products and Coffee Still products.

                    The tourguide, an American, gave the impression that
                    the blended scotch was essentially good scotch cut
                    with industrial type alcohol.


                    --- Maxime Belair <maxime_belair@...> wrote:

                    > Hi,
                    >
                    > I'm very surprised that blended scotch is
                    > diluted with neutral spirit. Making scotch at home
                    > might be twice less expensive than I though if a
                    > ratio
                    > of 70neutral/30whisky gives enough flavour.
                    >
                    > But when you buy a bottle of single malt, is it
                    > diluted with some neutral alcohol?
                    >
                    > Is it the same for bourbon, irish whisky, rhum,
                    > cognac, brandy...?
                    >
                    > Thank you,
                    >
                    > Maxime Belair
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    __________________________________________________________
                    > L�che-vitrine ou l�che-�cran ?
                    > magasinage.yahoo.ca
                    >


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                  • Harry
                    ... age ... simulate ... There s no doubt that a wee splash of sherry in your home-made poteen will give it a lift. However there s some debate about
                    Message 9 of 11 , Aug 2, 2004
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                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yttrium_nitrate" <incatare@h...>
                      wrote:
                      > A lot of scotch whisky is aged in barrels that have been used to
                      age
                      > sherry. If you add a wee bit of sherry to the whisky, it can
                      simulate
                      > part of aging in used barrel.



                      There's no doubt that a wee 'splash' of sherry in your home-made
                      poteen will give it a lift. However there's some debate about
                      whether sherry barrels (specifically Oloroso sherry) from Spain
                      actually do anything for the profile.

                      Some sources say that the barrels are imported into
                      Scotland 'complete' with a half litre of sherry still in the cask.
                      Other sources say the barrels are broken down into staves for
                      transportation, and re-cut and reassembled by the coopers when they
                      take delivery.

                      As to the 'sherried' finish that scotch whisky afficionados speak
                      of, this post on Riannon's Celtic Malts forum is interesting...

                      <quote>
                      American oak and European oak have a significantly different impact
                      on maturing whiskies.

                      Much of what is commonly called a 'sherry' flavour actually derives
                      not from a cask's former content, but from the European oak effect.
                      I have tasted samples from European oak casks that had previously
                      held no sherry or other fortified wines, yet the whisky had very
                      obvious 'sherried' characteristics.
                      </quote>
                      (Source:
                      http://www.celticmalts.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=25
                      the last post on that page.

                      Slainte!
                      regards Harry
                    • Harry
                      ... all the whisky was distilled at the same distillery, and is not combined with grain whisky. ... Max, you need a crash course in Scotch. :-)
                      Message 10 of 11 , Aug 2, 2004
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                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Maxime Belair
                        <maxime_belair@y...> wrote:
                        > Hi again,
                        >
                        > I forgot to talk about these "neutral
                        > grain alcohol" they use for the blend. If this
                        > "neutral grain alcohol" is made from barley, it means
                        > that there is some spent flavour? This because they
                        > don't take the tails, they only take the clean middle
                        > run.
                        >
                        > Right?
                        >
                        > Maxime Belair
                        >
                        > ---------------------------------
                        > Hi,
                        >
                        > I'm very surprised that blended scotch is
                        > diluted with neutral spirit. Making scotch at home
                        > might be twice less expensive than I though if a ratio
                        > of 70neutral/30whisky gives enough flavour.
                        >
                        > But when you buy a bottle of single malt, is it
                        > diluted with some neutral alcohol?

                        >>>>>>>>>>>>> No. A Single Malt Scotch is an unblended Malt Whisky;
                        all the whisky was distilled at the same distillery, and is not
                        combined with grain whisky.
                        >>>>>>>>>>>>>

                        > Is it the same for bourbon, irish whisky, rhum,
                        > cognac, brandy...?

                        >>>>>>>>>>> No, níl, no mon, non.
                        >>>>>>>>>>>


                        > Thank you,
                        >
                        > Maxime Belair


                        Max, you need a crash course in Scotch. :-)

                        http://0url.com/www.whiskyweb.com-R

                        http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Scotch_whisky

                        HTH
                        Slainte!
                        regards Harry
                      • yttrium_nitrate
                        It seems like it would be expensive to break apart a barrel and then reassemble it. Something that would not appeal to scotish sensibilities. I agree that the
                        Message 11 of 11 , Aug 2, 2004
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                          It seems like it would be expensive to break apart a barrel and then
                          reassemble it. Something that would not appeal to scotish
                          sensibilities. I agree that the oak can have a tremendous inpact on
                          the flavor, but American/European oak is not the only variabile when
                          it comes to oak. The age of the tree, the location of the tree, and
                          the part of the tree that is used to make the barrel all have an
                          impact on the final taste. The time of year that tree was cut down may
                          even change the flavor.

                          > There's no doubt that a wee 'splash' of sherry in your home-made
                          > poteen will give it a lift. However there's some debate about
                          > whether sherry barrels (specifically Oloroso sherry) from Spain
                          > actually do anything for the profile.
                          >
                          > Some sources say that the barrels are imported into
                          > Scotland 'complete' with a half litre of sherry still in the cask.
                          > Other sources say the barrels are broken down into staves for
                          > transportation, and re-cut and reassembled by the coopers when they
                          > take delivery.
                          >
                          > As to the 'sherried' finish that scotch whisky afficionados speak
                          > of, this post on Riannon's Celtic Malts forum is interesting...
                          >
                          > <quote>
                          > American oak and European oak have a significantly different impact
                          > on maturing whiskies.
                          >
                          > Much of what is commonly called a 'sherry' flavour actually derives
                          > not from a cask's former content, but from the European oak effect.
                          > I have tasted samples from European oak casks that had previously
                          > held no sherry or other fortified wines, yet the whisky had very
                          > obvious 'sherried' characteristics.
                          > </quote>
                          > (Source:
                          > http://www.celticmalts.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=25
                          > the last post on that page.
                          >
                          > Slainte!
                          > regards Harry
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