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Scotland and its different regions

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  • burrows206
    Hi Harry, That posting below was excellent. As an ex- plumber /articulated truck driver I have had the pleasure of driving extensively around, to and through
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 29, 2006
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      Hi Harry,
      That posting below was excellent. As an ex-
      plumber /articulated truck driver I have had the pleasure of driving
      extensively around, to and through most of the mainland places you
      mentioned in Scotland in all seasons. And I can confirm that it
      rains not torrential rain but more of a bone chilling, steady wind
      driven mizzle most of the time much like it is in the west of
      Ireland.
      Always overcast and bloody depressing to tell you the truth,
      but as they say in Scotland and here in the west of
      Ireland,"there'll be rain between the showers" or "If you ken' see
      yon' mountain oer' there it's goin' to rain, and if you canny see
      yon' mountain it is bloody raining".
      When you stop and try to put yourself in the position of the
      early distillers in Scotland or Ireland they would work with, and
      use what ever natural resources they could. And start at the time
      of year that was best suited for them. Not that I would know but
      I'm only surmising from what old timers have said to me
      They usually started in the late summer early autumn when the
      still balmy summer days are over and there is a chance of a breeze.
      This ties in nicely with the turf being fully dried saved and ready
      to be brought home. (heat source for you pot still). I know because
      I have dug my own turf with a slane, see this link http://www.pcl-
      eu.de/virt_ex/detail.php?entry=05 it'll give you an idea of what I'm
      talking about. Plus all the midges, blood sucking ticks crawling up
      your legs and getting into your private parts, blood sucking horse
      flies and all the excessive handling and of each piece of turf that
      goes with it, (kind of losses it's romanticized image at this stage)
      plus the corn (not the US type corn but knee high barley type corn)
      has been dried and saved and can now be used for stilling.
      Set the pot still up at the bog, (those Scottish and Irish bogs
      are usually windswept desolate and devoid mainly of trees and you
      can see someone coming from miles away and that can come in very
      handy at times) malt the corn in a wooden barrel of bog water (your
      peat flavour). When ready for drying a flat metal plate or even a
      36" square flat ¼"copper plate for more even heat distribution over
      a smouldering turf fire, this is where your turf smoke swirls around
      onto your grain and gets into your corn/grain at the drying stage.
      This all happens on site at the bog. Carry on and ferment as usual
      a local well not too distant of potable drinking water/ stream is
      handy.
      I know from digging my own turf that my turf cut (The length
      and depth of the hole dug into the bog) was cut eleven spits (a spit
      is one slane/spade depth/layer deep) and 10 slane widths wide (I
      know it was too wide but I was greedy real green and on my own). You
      end up in a nice square cut 8 foot deep x 5 or 6 foot wide and 80
      foot long hole, open on two sides and sheltered from the wind.
      If you diagonally cover the closed corner with leafy sage
      branches the turf smoke from your still is disseminated better and
      whatever slight breeze there is up on top of the cut takes it away
      better. From a distance you can hardly tell anyone is stilling.
      Your safety requirements of a well ventilated work area are met
      I have to emphasises that this is how I would imagine old
      timers would have proceeded

      Geoff


      Harry wrote:

      > Whisky and water
      > Dr Stephen Cribb
      > Carraig Associates
      >
      > It has been estimated that over nine hundred billion litres of
      rain
      > fall on Scotland annually and of this around nine hundred million
      > litres are used in the manufacture of whisky of all types, both
      > grain and malt.
      >
      > The character of a malt whisky, in particular, results from a
      > combination of four important factors:
      > � the degree of peating of the malt (peat reek);
      > � the shape of the stills;
      > � the type or combination of types of barrel that are used for
      > maturation;
      > � the chemistry of the water involved in the extraction of
      compounds
      > from the malted barley (mashing).
      > If any of the four factors is dominant, such as the heavy peating
      of
      > the Islay malts or the use of Oloroso barrels for Macallan, then
      > that character will predominate. However for many whiskies it is
      the
      > subtle combination of all four factors that is definitive.
      >
      > This article looks at the sources and nature of the water used by
      > distilleries, primarily in the mashing process, but also refers to
      > water used for cooling, the latter being between four and six
      times
      > greater than the former.
      >
      > Distillation is Scotland's largest tax generator and export
      > commodity in terms of value and just as importantly is an industry
      > that cannot be moved elsewhere. Water is an essential resource for
      > both the brewing and distilling industries but even the largest
      > distilleries maintain their own specific water sources, each of
      > differing chemistry, and have not gone down the road of the major
      > brewers who find it easier to deionise mains water and
      reconstitute
      > the water chemistry to one deemed suitable for a particular brew.
      In
      > other words, whereas beers of any type may now be brewed virtually
      > anywhere, the malt whisky from a particular distillery is unique
      and
      > represents a combination of the ingredients (barley, yeast, and
      > water) and the local environment: a truly green product.
      >
      > An oft-quoted statement about the best water for whisky
      manufacture
      > is "soft water through peat over granite". This may well be
      > applicable to the area centred on Dufftown in central Speyside,
      > where around fifteen distilleries take very soft water from
      springs
      > in the granite hills of Ben Rinnes and the Conval Hills, but there
      > are over 80 distilleries elsewhere in Scotland where this is not
      the
      > case. In fact there are quite a large number of sources where the
      > water chemistry varies from slightly to quite heavily mineralised
      > (i.e., hard) and the distillers who use those sources stand by the
      > chemistry as an important feature of their product. Among these,
      > well-known distilleries include Glenmorangie, near Tain, and
      > Highland Park and Scapa on Orkney. Mineralised water also
      > characterises the sources for the distilleries on the volcanic
      rocks
      > of the west, such as Talisker on Skye and Tobermory on Mull.
      >
      > The early stages of the whisky making process are similar to
      > brewing. Indeed apart from the lack of hops and, by design, a
      higher
      > alcohol content, the liquid which enters the still after mashing
      and
      > fermentation is to all intents and purposes a beer. Brewers have
      > long recognised that the presence of the calcium ion in particular
      > is important in optimising the brewing process. Calcium helps in
      the
      > effective extraction of sugars from the malted barley and promotes
      > fermentation. Beneficial effects are also seen in the presence of
      > the magnesium, carbonate and sulphate ions.
      >
      > Distillery water sources vary enormously from rivers and burns,
      > lochs, lochans and reservoirs to springs and boreholes. Each
      source
      > is unique and, even where similar source rocks occur, each has a
      > subtly different trace element chemistry.
      > As mentioned above, substantial amounts of water are also utilised
      > in other processes �particularly cooling but also for cleaning.
      > Twenty years ago, the ratio between other water use and process
      > water could well have been over ten to one. More effective
      > processing technology and a response to pressure on the companies
      > from the regulatory authorities have reduced this ratio down to
      less
      > than five to one in many cases.
      >
      > Newly proposed abstraction controls are of great concern to the
      > industry. The very uniqueness of the water sources mean that there
      > is no substitute and, whilst all efforts are being made to reduce
      > water use for "other" purposes, it is essential that sufficient
      > cognisance is taken in assessing the volumes of process water
      > necessary for whisky production to continue successfully and
      > effectively. Anything that affects the ability of a distillery to
      > operate directly affects the economy of the nation.
      >
      >
      > Slainte!
      > regards Harry
    • Harry
      ... Never ceases to amaze me what mankind will put up with for a drink. :- )) That s a very interesting link, BTW. Worth reading. Thanks. Slainte! regards
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 29, 2006
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        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "burrows206" <geoff@b...> wrote:
        >
        > I have dug my own turf with a slane, see this link http://www.pcl-
        > eu.de/virt_ex/detail.php?entry=05 it'll give you an idea of what I'm
        > talking about. Plus all the midges, blood sucking ticks crawling up
        > your legs and getting into your private parts, blood sucking horse
        > flies and all the excessive handling and of each piece of turf that
        > goes with it, (kind of losses it's romanticized image at this stage)
        >
        > Geoff


        Never ceases to amaze me what mankind will put up with for a drink. :-
        ))

        That's a very interesting link, BTW. Worth reading. Thanks.


        Slainte!
        regards Harry
      • Andrew Bugal
        Think I will stick with the Whisky Profile kit. Bwyze ... Never ceases to amaze me what mankind will put up with for a drink. :- )) That s a very interesting
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 29, 2006
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          Think I will stick with the Whisky Profile kit.

          Bwyze

          Harry <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "burrows206" wrote:
          >
          > I have dug my own turf with a slane, see this link http://www.pcl-
          > eu.de/virt_ex/detail.php?entry=05 it'll give you an idea of what I'm
          > talking about. Plus all the midges, blood sucking ticks crawling up
          > your legs and getting into your private parts, blood sucking horse
          > flies and all the excessive handling and of each piece of turf that
          > goes with it, (kind of losses it's romanticized image at this stage)
          >
          > Geoff


          Never ceases to amaze me what mankind will put up with for a drink. :-
          ))

          That's a very interesting link, BTW. Worth reading. Thanks.


          Slainte!
          regards Harry





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        • Harry
          ... Hmmm...Artificial flavourings. That could be the next Info Article. lemme see what I ve got stashed away in my 30gig of files. Slainte! regards Harry
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 29, 2006
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            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Bugal <bwyze44@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Think I will stick with the Whisky Profile kit.
            >
            > Bwyze



            Hmmm...Artificial flavourings. That could be the next Info Article.
            lemme see what I've got stashed away in my 30gig of files.


            Slainte!
            regards Harry
          • Andrew Bugal
            Now that, Harry my lad, would be VERY welcome. It is one thing to follow the instructions on the additives but quite another to hear from those who have cut
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 29, 2006
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              Now that, Harry my lad, would be VERY welcome. It is one thing to follow the instructions on the additives but quite another to hear from those who have cut corners or added something to make the outcome special.

              Also, storing (aging) for 6 months is too big an ask for some of us.

              Regards,

              Bwyze

              Harry <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Bugal wrote:
              >
              > Think I will stick with the Whisky Profile kit.
              >
              > Bwyze



              Hmmm...Artificial flavourings. That could be the next Info Article.
              lemme see what I've got stashed away in my 30gig of files.


              Slainte!
              regards Harry





              Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
              FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
              Yahoo! Groups Links










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