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View Full Version : Testing the Maker's Mark origin story, in part



suntour
04-16-2013, 17:43
Hey guys, former lurker, new poster.

I'm not even that big into MM but I've always been kinda interested in their history (reality or imagined). I bake bread, so I've always wondered about the "make a bunch of loaves and see which will taste best" theory of making beer. Anyone done this? I picked up some barley flour, corn flour, and rye flour today and plan on doing a little experimentation. I'll bump this as I go along.

HighInTheMtns
04-16-2013, 20:04
Hey guys, former lurker, new poster.

I'm not even that big into MM but I've always been kinda interested in their history (reality or imagined). I bake bread, so I've always wondered about the "make a bunch of loaves and see which will taste best" theory of making beer. Anyone done this? I picked up some barley flour, corn flour, and rye flour today and plan on doing a little experimentation. I'll bump this as I go along.
The story is made up. But you'd better get some plain old wheat flour if you want to make Bill Samuels' imaginary loaf of bread. ;-)
What you are doing is far more a baking experiment than a brewing (or distilling) experiment.

cowdery
04-16-2013, 20:15
The Maker's orgin story is an allegory, in which characters and events represent or symbolize ideas and concepts. The point it makes is that as rye bread differs from regular (i.e., wheat) bread, that is the fundamental difference between Maker's Mark bourbon and rye-recipe bourbon. Bill Samuels Senior didn't 'discover' wheated bourbon, but deciding to make a wheated bourbon instead of the more popular rye recipe was one of the many bold decisions he made.

The difference between the two recipes is not so much about substituting wheat for rye as it is about simply removing the rye and letting the corn and oak sweetness take center stage. Wheat, compared to rye, has a mild and slightly nutty flavor, whereas rye is very fruity, spicy and earthy.

That's not to say you can't have some fun, especially if you like to bake, messing around with the constituent grains of bourbon. I assume the barley flour is made from unmalted barley, but that doesn't matter because you're baking bread. If it were me, I would make a loaf that is 75 percent corn, 15 percent wheat, and 10 percent barley; and one that is 75 percent corn, 15 percent rye, and 10 percent barley, except they probably wouldn't have enough gluten to rise and hold together.

In the early days of Maker's Mark, when Bill Samuels Junior was telling all those stories about his family and how Maker's Mark began, he always did it with his tongue firmly placed in his cheek. As his unique personal style begins to recede from the scene, the new storytellers need to be careful not to take themselves too seriously.

Young Blacksmith
04-17-2013, 07:46
I would think a corn bread recipe would work good for the proportions Chuck gave. I may need to go shopping today! I can see it now "And this is the OGD mashbill cornbread".

MyOldKyDram
04-17-2013, 12:08
Gonna try my hand at some LDI rye bread so that I can have a reuben.

Restaurant man
04-17-2013, 19:24
Mmmm pumpernickel bourbon! I'm going to the store right now :slappin:

cowdery
04-18-2013, 13:17
The thing about rye bread is that it's rye in the same way that Canadian whiskey is rye. It has a rye flavor, but it's mostly something else (wheat flour in the case of the bread, corn in the case of the whiskey). Typical cornbread recipes, too, contain more all purpose flour than they do corn meal. You can make cornbread entirely from cornmeal but it's extremely dense, because corn contains so little gluten.

This thread inspired a blog post (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2013/04/what-about-makers-mark-origin-story.html).

squire
04-18-2013, 14:12
Hey suntour, welcome aboard. Following your thoughts you could make beer the way the ancient Egyptians did, by first baking the loaf then crumbling it into a jug of water to seep and ferment.

suntour
04-18-2013, 14:37
Thanks guys! I felt pretty special seeing this giving Chuck inspiration for a blog post :)

Anyways, I bake sourdough twice a week at the house so natural yeasts are extra plentiful at my house. Apparently the ones that have attached to the corn flour are quite funky. They'll rise tonight and I'll bake them tomorrow with some pictures.

I think next time I try this experiment I'll just some wheat gluten to give them form, they will definitely be "cakes" more than breads for sure what with the lack of gluten. Also when I find a nice recipe, I'll make sure to use some actual bourbon in it.

cowdery
04-18-2013, 14:44
I was thinking that malt syrup and corn syrup would be appropriate ingredients to use, and caramel and vanilla to simulate aging.

tmckenzie
04-18-2013, 18:05
tried it, the malt messes it up

squire
04-18-2013, 20:20
Beer or whisky Tom, I'll take your word either way.

tmckenzie
04-20-2013, 04:42
cornbread, tried making cornbread with malt in it. As it heated up, it turned the starch to sugar, the bread was gummy as hell.