Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,606

    'Practical' Distiller

    Saw this site and the book while searching....didn't know if anyone had seen it before.

    http://www.raudins.com/BrewBooks/default.htm

    The book seels for less than I would have thought, $45
    ______________________________

    Jeff Mo.

  2. #2
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Napoleon, MI
    Posts
    7,412

    Re: 'Practical' Distiller

    Thanks for that link Jeff.
    I thought that was interesting that he suggested burning straw in the hogshead to "sweeten" the hogshead.
    That was written in 1809, so what was the date they pinned on Elijah Craig as to when he cleaned the barrels by burning the inside?
    ovh

  3. #3
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,606

    Re: 'Practical' Distiller

    Don't know if you have seen Mike V's bourbon class posts on BE.com. It was over at Woodford with Chris Morris. They toasted a barrel with straw....pics are available.
    ______________________________

    Jeff Mo.

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,044

    Re: 'Practical' Distiller

    I've mentioned this book a number of times on SB. It is indeed a very interesting look at whiskey in the very early 1800's. With regard to using straw to sweeten barrels, it is not clear from the account in the book that this was done to char the barrels much less for methodical whiskey storage. The author seems to have been talking about vessels, some might have been barrels or half-barrels, that were used to make the whiskey (fermenting tubs for example). I don't have the book before me now, but this is my recollection. A handful of straw, too, probably wouldn't be hot enough to impart a real charring, it might have been enough to displace or disguise off-odours in wooden vessels being reused continually.

    There is nothing in the book which suggests that whiskey should be aged in heavy charred new wooden containers. The book does acknowledge that storage of whiskey tends to improve it, as does shipping it, but that is the extent of it. He does not distinguish either between new charred wood and reused charred wood.

    I believe that the practice of charring new barrels to hold whiskey probably did derive from the cleaning methods described in the book, but this probably took time to discover and moreover was something merchants would have happened on before distillers. It probably went something like this.

    A store owner in a town took delivery of whiskey in a barrel that might, probably by accident, have been more heavily toasted than usual. He noticed that with time the whiskey acquired a cleaner, sweeter taste. His customers liked it, the rest was history.

    Distillers would have sold white whiskey as soon as they made it, certainly M'Harry does not speak of aging or aging facilities. (Byrn, writing in 1857, gives little attention too to this area and what attention he gives is at odds with current knowledge, e.g., he felt that storing liqours in glass was the best way to improve them). M'Harry speaks of distilling apparatus, mashbills (which are similar to those for bourbon and rye today), fuels, and woods, yes, but the woods seem mostly designed to make the whiskey and ship it safely to market (hence his concern to use a tight-grained oak such as white oak).

    It is an excellent book and historical resource, but I found the cask cleansing references ambiguous and consistent with the idea that whiskey was sold new or almost new then.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 05-03-2008 at 15:14.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. JD's new Master Distiller
    By Sijan in forum Industry News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-03-2008, 07:49
  2. Poll. If you could have only one (distiller)
    By Edward_call_me_Ed in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 66
    Last Post: 03-01-2007, 19:59
  3. George Washington, Distiller
    By cowdery in forum History
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11-29-2005, 23:55
  4. Distiller Ernest Ripy Jr.
    By boone in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-27-2002, 22:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top