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  1. #11
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    Re: My Beam Rye Experiment

    An update:

    We are currently on week 7 of my Beam Rye experiment. Thank you for your helpful suggestions. I should have noted in my first post that I had a "MacGyver" clause in my original idea: all materials must be readily available and self-fashioned to suit their final purposes.

    I took a small sample of the re-aged rye over to OscarV's house on Saturday. The results were mixed. The new whiskey was certainly "an improvement," according to OscarV, but is not yet in the same class as a mid-shelf rye. The whiskey has started to lose some of the offensive raw grain character that I disliked so much. ACDetroit commented on the "pepperminty" nose on the new rye, which is certainly a new development. OscarV also commented that the standard Beam Rye has an "oily texture" that causes it to be unappealing. Apparently the experiment has improved the texture of the whiskey as well.

    The whiskey as picked up a healthy amount of char, mostly due to the close contact with lots of charred oak. I think continued exposure to the charred oak would push the whiskey past the point of "interesting" char into the range of "offensive." So, today I made some changes. I am looking to boost the soft vanilla quality, so I am moving away from char and into toasted oak.

    In order to take the sample of the whiskey to OscarV's house, I filtered it through a paper coffee filter and put it into a clean bottle. This morning I cut two more 1X1.5 inch pieces of oak and put them in the oven at 400 degrees until I got the color I wanted. See the pictures below to get an idea how toasty I got the oak. I put the toasted pieces next to the lumber from which they were cut. I added one toasty chunk of oak to each of two "aging tanks" (i.e. mason jars) and distributed the whiskey evenly back into the two containers.

    I also forgot to mention in my first post that I am cycling the jars into different climate zones in my house. I have a summer station (inside an 88 degree box in the kitchen); a spring station (on the counter near the stove, appx. 74 degrees); a fall station (on the counter near the back door, appx. 65 degrees); and a winter station (in the basement, appx. 60 degrees). Right now the jars are in summer to help soak some juice into the wood. Then we'll go through a full "year" of aging in the few weeks before the sampler.

    Finally, I am including some images to help you compare how much deeper the color has gotten on the rye in 7 weeks. I much prefer the new amber hue (the two jars with identical contents) to the old straw-colored grain water (the original Beam rye on the far left of the other picture).
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jeremy
    www.awksome.com

    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”
    --Kurt Vonnegut


  2. #12
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    Re: My Beam Rye Experiment

    A quick update: the new toasty wood has sucked up a lot of whiskey!

    I shifted the aging tanks into the wine fridge for a little autumn rest. I'm hoping to reclaim some of the juice by dropping the temperature, thus squeezing some of the whiskey out of the wood.
    Jeremy
    www.awksome.com

    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”
    --Kurt Vonnegut


  3. #13
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    Re: My Beam Rye Experiment

    No real updates at this point, but I wanted to share that I have named this rye experiment: Dingo Rye. The whiskey is named after my dog Kori, part dingo part lab. My next experiment will involve Ancient Age 80 proof, tentatively named after my other dog, Miles, a border collie mix.

    Below is the label I'm having printed and a comparative photo of the dog.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jeremy
    www.awksome.com

    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”
    --Kurt Vonnegut


  4. #14
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    Re: My Beam Rye Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. François View Post
    thus squeezing some of the whiskey out of the wood.
    Hey Doc, this quote of yours reminded me of dougdog's squeezing a barrel thread.
    Hit the link below and see how he squeezed some rye from a used barrel, good pics to.

    http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...ead.php?t=7440
    ovh

  5. #15
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    Re: My Beam Rye Experiment

    Great update on an ingenious project! And I admire your MacGyvering ways. Do you know if your oak was white or red or ?
    Cornman

  6. #16
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    Re: My Beam Rye Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by cornman
    Great update on an ingenious project! And I admire your MacGyvering ways. Do you know if your oak was white or red or ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    This question was addressed in one of the earliest American distilling texts, by Samuel M'Harry in about 1809...M'Harry advised red oak as next best to white, but his clear preference is for American white oak.
    I used red oak for the first experiment. I looked everywhere in my local hardware store for white oak, but it was not to be found. This lack of availablity is ironic, as most of my home is made of white oak.

    I did find some white oak for my next experiment. Johnson's Workbench in Charlotte, MI, has about every kind of wood you can imagine, from red oak dowels to 15 pound blocks of gabon ebony. American white oak is the second most boring wood Johnson's has on hand, so it was cheap. I got enough wood for under two dollars to do 4-5 more experiments, same price as the red oak.

    I have to say, this experiment has been a lot of fun with a very small investment. The entire process is easier than cultivating your own sourdough bread starter (which, in turn, is slightly easier than having a goldfish).
    Jeremy
    www.awksome.com

    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”
    --Kurt Vonnegut


  7. #17
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    Re: My Beam Rye Experiment

    This is truly fascinating. Keep us posted.

  8. #18
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    Re: My Beam Rye Experiment

    Hey Doc, is that white oak treated?
    ovh

  9. #19
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    Re: My Beam Rye Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarV View Post
    Hey Doc, is that white oak treated?
    I bought the oak from an exotic lumberyard, so I believe it is untreated.
    Jeremy
    www.awksome.com

    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”
    --Kurt Vonnegut


  10. #20
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    Re: My Beam Rye Experiment

    Doc,

    Based on your experiment, I picked up some oak chips from the homebrew store and placed some in a bottle of Sailer's Silver Rum and some in the remnants of the Ten High I bought for the BOTM thread.

    Using ths tosted chips, the change in color in just 12 hours is unreal. The once-clear rum is now darker than the Old Charter 12 I just picked up last night. The aroma is amazing, but I holding off on tasting.

    I plan to let the chips set for a week in the rum and a month in the bourbon and see where I'm at.

    Thanks for the idea!

 

 

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