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  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Let\'s Talk About Vodka

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    Do you know anything about the composition of the 2.5% of 195 proof vodka that isn't alcohol? Could it be that it contains some flavor components?


    [/QUOTE] Yes, but that's exactly the point. At 2.5%, it's too miniscule to really taste.

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006
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    Re: Let\'s Talk About Vodka

    Alchohol and water form a tertiary azeotrope. (Look that up in your chemistry book) This is a physical characteristic of the mixture and is dependent on the phase conversion from liquid to vapor and back. To break the azeotrope and distill pure alchohol a third compound can be added. I think you can use benzene, but that makes for a potentially unhealthy outcome. Absolute alchohol is produced by this method for medical use and is pretty strictly controlled by the feds.
    The difference between 95% and 100% ethanol in flavor cannot be detected because either will immediately denature proteins (Taste buds)
    Once diluted, the diluent contributes more flavor than anything else and that's the water.


  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Let\'s Talk About Vodka

    Thanks Tim, and to Chuck, for most valuable comments and observations.

    Byrn in "Complete Practical Distiller" (1875) states at p. 76:

    "... In an economical point of view rye produces the most favourable results. It might be used in the raw state, and might undergo the vinous fermentation, after having been suitably prepared and mashed; but experience has proved the necessity of adjoining to it a certain portion of malted barley. To this effect a quantity of barley is added, and then mixed to raw rye in the proportion of 20 parts barley to 80 of rye; this mixture is submitted to the operation of grinding and mashing. By this method rye produces more than any other preparation".

    Cy

  4. #14
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    Re: Let\'s Talk About Vodka

    I hope I'm not being rude, but a few clarafications:

    &gt;Alchohol and water form a tertiary azeotrope.

    Actually, it's a binary azoetrope. Binary because there are two compounds:
    ethanol and water.

    &gt;Absolute alchohol is produced by this method for medical use and is pretty strictly
    &gt;controlled by the feds.

    Absolute ethanol is also used rather commonly in organic chemistry labs.
    I had always assumed that it's pretty easy to get, but that's because I've always
    have a purchasing department and a legal department to take care of such things!

    Other methods for making pure ethanol include oxidation of acetylene on
    the large scale, and (on the small scale), using molecular sieves or sodium metal
    to grab up the water. Distillation is the pretty much the cheapest method right now.

    Tim



  5. #15
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    Re: Let\'s Talk About Vodka

    I have not experienced it, personally, but I recently read the Clancy novel, Red Rabbit. One part of it talked of a very high Communist (Yuri Andropov, head of KGB at the time) drinking an aged, brown vodka, Starkya (or something very close to that). Knowing what a stickler for detail Clancy is, I am confident that this is a real Russian product.

    Sounds kind of like whiskey, to me.

    Tim

    PS - I obviously dont know how to markup the underlining of the book title in this language.

  6. #16
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    Re: Let\'s Talk About Vodka

    &gt;In North America today, the youngest whisky made by Alberta Distillers (which uses a
    &gt;mostly all-rye recipe), the Polish rye vodkas and the Fritz Maytag whiskeys may be the
    &gt;closest readily available equivalents to 1800's young rye spirit. Probably that original
    &gt;rye was more pungent than today's versions (although Maytag's whiskeys offer a
    &gt;good tang that may be close to the original rye).

    Do you think Manongahala Rye could be resurrected? Do you think people would
    drink it? And, (hold your breath): what kind of marketing image would you go for?


    I think there's quite a bit of room in American whiskies to make all kinds of
    "new" products... if I ever get around to starting my own distillery, there are
    five or six crazy things that I'd like to try, Manongahala Rye being one of them.

    Tim

  7. #17
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Let\'s Talk About Vodka

    I would market Monongahela Rye Whiskey as a revival of a once proud tradition. Maytag has taken a step in the right direction but without relying on the specific historical example and resonant imagery of Pennsylvania rye whiskey. This was a classic drink in its heyday. It barely survives in the form of Overholt's, the ryes made by Heaven Hill and the luxury versions sold by J. Van Winkle, but all are now decamped to Kentucky. Time for a homecoming.

    Cy

  8. #18
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: Let\'s Talk About Vodka

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    if I ever get around to starting my own distillery

    [/QUOTE]
    I think I have seen this line in other posts of yours, Tim. Okay so I'll bite, What's the plan and When can we expect to see it come together?

  9. #19
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    My Own Distillery (Re: Let\'s Talk About Vodka)

    &gt;Okay so I'll bite, What's the plan and When can we expect to see it come together?

    What's the Grand Plan?

    Part of me doesn't want to give away my secret plans for taking over the world
    (well, at least the whiskey part), but on the other hand, I might never actually
    take the plunge, so I might as well give away my ideas so that someone can
    carry them out.

    I might be wrong, but I think that there's opportunity in innovative American
    whiskies. There are obvious parallels to the micro-brewery "revolution"
    that increased the diversity of products and really started to educate the drinking
    public about beer.

    Beer was easier, though. There was already a market: fanatical homebrewers
    who loved tasting new things, and who also did a lot of the R&amp;D pro bono. Plus,
    beer has the added advantage that it can be made and sold rather quickly...
    no 5-10 year aging required.

    Okay, I'm getting off track here... my plans.

    1) Start small. I know nothing about running a small business, and my experience
    with the alcohol business in particular is nil. I'd like to fire up a "hobby business"
    in order to get my feet wet, perhaps piggy-backing on a microbrewery or a
    brewpub. Strictly a hobby, strictly self-funded, no loans.

    2) Open a distillery with non-whiskey revenue streams so that we can wait for
    the real stuff to age. This means non-whiskey distilled stuff, tourism, etc. pay
    our salaries and pay the rent.

    3) Innovation and experimentation rule the day. My "ideas" in this area are no
    secrets. They've been floating around StraightBourbon for years. Historic
    whiskey styles, alternative grains, alternative cooperage or aging conditions.

    4) Of course, it'll have my own personal stamp and reflect my attitudes
    toward business, packaging, marketing, etc.

    When?

    Well, it all depends on when I decide that I can stomach the risk.


    Tim Dellinger

  10. #20
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    My Own Distillery (Re: Let\'s Talk About Vodka)

    That seems realistic enough. I spoke to One of the Beams that has the Michters Stills the other nite and He mentioned something about selling White dog to help defray costs When and if it's up and running. He also said there isn't a day that goes by that someone somewhere doesn't offer to buy those stills. I would like to have 1 label and pick some good whiskey and take care of the marketing myself. Gee I'm really talking thru my ass there!

 

 

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