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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Can Aged Whiskey be De-Colored and Deodorised?

    Not long back I read somewhere that whiskey or other spirits aged in wood can be lightened in colour and its odor can be removed or lessened.

    It was in the context of a discussion about aging and the market for aged products. The account said spirits can be turned essentially into white spirits if the market requires it.

    I am wondering how in fact this is done. The account did not say how. One option is redistillation, and I don't doubt that occurs in some cases, but due to cost or other factors that may not work in all cases. E.g. say you wanted to bottle a rum of medium color and flavor, could you deodorise and de-color a dark Demerara for this purpose? Would this be possible for (say, American blended) whiskey? If so how is it done?

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 09-04-2006 at 06:16.

  2. #2
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    Gary,

    As one data point, is Gentleman Jack lighter in flavor and color after being run through charcoal a second time?

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Good point Dave.

    The Gentleman isn't lightened though to the point of a white or near-white colour and very mild taste.

    I understand it is possible to "reverse" aged spirit in this way. But how?

    Gary

  4. #4
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    Maybe a membrane as is used in the production of reverse osmosis water? I don't know if it is done, but if the molecules that flavor aged spirit are larger than alcohol molecules then I am sure that it can be done. For that matter the water could be removed that way.
    Ed
    Bourbon makes me happy.

    Go Fighters!

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    A while back there was a discussion about raising the proof of a bottle(another of Gary's threads I believe ). Tim Dellinger knows a bit about this. Maybe there's a similar item that would remove just the flavors or coloring agents.

    If there are enough types to modify the flavors, you could take a bottle of Pappy 23 and get a nice barrel proof 7yo out of it.

    Of course maybe just running it through some activated charcoal would help to strip flavor and color, the trick would be figuring out how much to use. Might want to try it with coffee first to avoid wasting hard to come by and expensive liquor. I'd be tempted to take a pot of coffee and run it through a britta pitcher and see what happens, if it's too much maybe just sitting the filter in the coffee will allow the agent to act with it and modify it more slowly...or if it strips too much see what happens when you strip some and add in some unmodified product.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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  6. #6
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    I agree with the comments already made: I think activated charcoal filtration will do the job. It is commonly used in chemistry labs for just this purpose. Classes start this week, so I can't do the experiment immediately, and I don't have any cheap swill to sacrifice, though I think I can find a cheapie bottom shelfer (Old Crow?) to try the experiment. Maybe a couple of minis. Also distillation works, but then the legal status is lost: it becomes new make spirit again. This happened to Glen Kella, the "white whisky." Used to be a web site detailing the troubles it experienced with the SWA. Maybe still exists.

  7. #7
    Taster
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    Activated carbon will definatly do the job. Have tried this out with my old mans still setup.

    After he has distlled the spirit the puts it through a filter made of a 2m long stailness tube(approx 15cm diameter) packed with activated carbon/charcoal, it takes about a week for a couple of liters of spirit to make its way though the filter. Then he soaks the "clean" spirit in wood chips and it goes a dark brown colour over a few days, its then flavored.

    I have put the wood soaked spirit back though the filter and it comes out crystal clear.

    This setup makes an OK bourbon or Rum for mixing but is best when just using the clean spirit and making liquors like sambuca
    Last edited by leigh_munro; 09-05-2006 at 01:23.

  8. #8
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    Not sure if you've seen this one:

    http://www.whiskymerchants.sageweb.c...B%C2%AD_-6.JPG

    (if the link does not work it is J&B -6 degrees)
    Cheers,

    Sion (AKA Bamber).

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Thanks gents, it seems a close filtration will do it, most interesting.

    The other thread had discussed I believe increasing proof in a finished beverage, and I think it was agreed this might be difficult to do without redistillation.

    Gary

  10. #10
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    Some rum producers do this to produce softer white rums.
    Jake Parrott
    Ledroit Brands, LLC

 

 

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