View Full Version : Mash for steer Feed during WWII till today

dave ziegler
02-29-2008, 11:44
Does anyone have any information on How many Distillers raised Steers during WWII for the War effort by feeding them the left over Mash? Publicker did that all through WWII at Kinsey and they used the Mash for that purpose they Had in Philadelphia to those raising cattle for the feeding of our Troops. After the war the Mash they had from both stills in Philadelphia was sold for Cattle food as long as they operated it was another source of Making money just like the Dry Ice! I wondered if any of the other Distillerys In KY and other parts of the USA did this during the war and After. When I started there I wondered why there were 10 steer Pens down toward the river behind the Plant and a man who worked there when I was there and ended up working there almost 50 years told me all about the Steer Pens and the Cattle going to the War effort.

03-01-2008, 16:21
That's very interesting. I don't know of any Kentucky or Tennessee distilleries that raised livestock on the distillery premises in the post-Prohibition era, but the primary use for spent mash is and always has been as livestock feed.

In the pre-Prohibition era, it was common for a distillery to have stock--pigs more often than cattle--on the premises. I have a very early photograph of what is now Woodford Reserve in which there is a very long trough leading from the distillery to a pen maybe 100 yards away. They wanted the livestock close but not too close for obvious reasons. On Sanborn maps I've seen the same thing at many other distilleries.

Nelson County to this day raises a surprisingly large amount of beef, the availability of good feed for little or nothing being a big part of the reason. At many farms in the area you will see what appears to be a crude in-ground pool that's actually where the wet slop would be dumped and held, to be pumped out as needed.

One lifelong Nelson County resident told me one of her chores as a little girl growing up on a Nelson County farm was to keep the chickens away from the fresh slop. Since they would fill the pool up to the rim, the chickens could get to it and although it contained very little alcohol, it was enough to get a chicken drunk, which would cause them to fall into the pool and drown.

Unfortunately, the economics are such that sometimes the distilleries can't even give the stuff away, let alone sell it, especially the distilleries in urban areas. Wet slop has to be hauled away and used immediately. Some distilleries have drying houses but that uses a huge amount of energy, making the end product even less economical.

The disposal of spent mash is actually a big problem for distilleries. Possibly, the rising price of corn will improve the market but probably not, since fuel ethanol distilleries produce it too.

Maybe someone here knows the answer to this. Can distillery slop, either dry or wet, be substituted directly for corn in a finishing operation or is there a limit to how much of the animal's diet can be from that source?

dave ziegler
05-19-2008, 02:17
This weekend I went to see an old Friend from Kinsey Ludy 90 yrs old he worked there from 1936 till 1981. He told me after the war was over they still had steers for a while after the war and sold them to people that wanted them, they could actualy come to the Plant and by one when they were ready for that. I found that interesting he was not sure how long before that ended but he said it went on for a few years after the war.
Dave Z
Old Hickory America's Most Magnificent Bourbon