In order to make good bourbon, you need to start with good ingredients. We all know that a bourbon mash consists of at least 51% corn. From there it is left to the distiller's discretion to finish the recipe. Rye or wheat are used as flavoring grains, while malted barley is added for its enzymes that convert the starches in the grain into fermentable sugars.
This month let's discuss the properties that each grain brings to the mashbill and from where these grains are sourced. We should also make note of the known mashbills for specific brands and distilleries. We can also venture into the mashing process in terms of the order, temperature and length of "cooking" time for each grain. We'll discuss yeast and fermentation next month.
So put on your thinking caps and mash on!