View Full Version : Dunder/ Sour Mash
I would like to know what differences in flavour there are between a bourbon whisky made with sour mash, and one made without. is the flavour mellower?
is the sour mash method similar to the use of dunder in rum production?
The use of sour mash or its alternative, sweet mash, does not affect the flavor of the whiskey. It was developed as a process control measure, a way of "conditioning" the mash to produce a consistent fermentate from batch to batch. With sour mash, spent mash is introduced into the new batch. This is also known as backset. Sweet mash simply means new yeast is used for each batch, with no backset. Today, with modern process controls, either method will produce a satisfactory result, but sour mash is the traditional method and is practiced by all American whiskey distillers.
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>
>I would like to know what differences in flavour there are between a bourbon
>whisky made with sour mash, and one made without. is the flavour mellower?
Sour mash is mostly a quality control issue: it lowers the pH of the new batch
of mash. Low pH discourages bacteria, which would otherwise produce
"off" flavors. You can lower the pH of "sweet mash" by adding something
acidic, and achieve the same result.
One could argue that there are things in the backset that influence the
yeast during fermentation, and also that the backset contains things
that might come over into the white dog on their second trip to the still even
though they didn't on their first trip, etc., but these are subtle mysteries
that will always be speculative.
(I've heard that using dunder and running a sour mash are the same thing.)
Would some of the American Single Malt Whiskeys (Old Potrereo, Peregrine Rock, & McCarthy's) technically be sweet rather than sour mash?
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