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44114RE: [new_distillers] scotch mash with peat moss

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  • Robert Hubble
    Aug 30, 2013
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      Comments inline in blue.

      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
      From: zapatavive@...
      Date: Fri, 30 Aug 2013 17:00:54 -0400
      Subject: Re: [new_distillers] scotch mash with peat moss


      1.  If buying smoked malt, be careful to get the scottish peat smoked malt, not the german wood smoked malt, huge differences.
      2.  You have read up on harry's essence of peatreak, yeah?  If not a search should show you a lot. 
      I've used Harry's essence of peatreek, and it was my first really successful peat-smoke-flavored single malt. Essemtially, it just heat peat and oak shavings to smoking temperature,a nd then extracts the flavor with distillate. I highly recommend it.
      3.  I have read of people using harry's peatreak or similar in a mash instead of doctoring the finished product with it.
      I've never tried it that way.
      4.  If you want to just put peat in the mash, I doubt it'll do much.  Some todo has been made about scottish water flowing through peat and thus imparting some peaty character, but a lot of experts have dismissed this as being negligible to pointless in regards to the spirit.  Most people are talking about the peat smoke character when they say peat, so at the very least smoke your peat before you add it to the mash.

      All that said, I'd go with Harry's peatreak.  Much easier to experiment with the degree you want in the bottle without risking over or under doing it.  Or, experiment with adding smoked peat to the mash on a tiny scale, like a tea kettle still, to find a ratio that works well...

      Also worth pointing out that lots of reports indicate that none of the peated barley available to homebrewers is peaty enough to make an Islay style scotch, even if comprising 100% of the grainbill.

      After I had made my first lightly-peated whisky from a percentage of peat-smoked malt (Munton's), and mentioned that I'd like to try a stronger smokey note using more Munton's, Harry told me that was a dead end, and that I'd not be satisfied. He was, of course, right. My whisky tasted like sucking on fried circuit boards. In fairness, there is one commercial single malt that also sucks those same circuit boards. I don't care for that one, either.

      Be careful when acquiring peat that you get real peat, and not the dried sphagnum moss sold in American garden stores. I got my good Irish peat from another stiller on this forum years ago.

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