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cbenz

whiskey making in the mid-1800s

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cbenz

Hello there,

I'm working on a research project and am looking for a detailed description of whiskey-making from around 1820-1835. I'm hoping to find something that will describe each step, including tools, the process for preparing ingredients etc. If anyone can point me toward a resource, I'd truly appreciate it.

Thank you!

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Josh
Hello there,

I'm working on a research project and am looking for a detailed description of whiskey-making from around 1820-1835. I'm hoping to find something that will describe each step, including tools, the process for preparing ingredients etc. If anyone can point me toward a resource, I'd truly appreciate it.

Thank you!

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cbenz

Thanks so much! I'll check those out.

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boone
Hello there,

I'm working on a research project and am looking for a detailed description of whiskey-making from around 1820-1835. I'm hoping to find something that will describe each step, including tools, the process for preparing ingredients etc. If anyone can point me toward a resource, I'd truly appreciate it.

Thank you!

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OscarV
V-tour of how it's made (today)...

I was thinking the same thing, today's "big" distillers do it the same way today as back then.

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cbenz

Thank you all so much. These have all been very helpful. The "practical distiller" was just what I was looking for and the video was a great overview.

Cheers!

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Bourbon Geek
I was thinking the same thing, today's "big" distillers do it the same way today as back then.

I would disagree totally and completely. Today's big distillers do not do things at all the way they were done back then. In the early 1800's ... there was essentially no process instrumentation, no automation ... and limited understanding of what was actually going on. Mostly, they just replicated the conditions that they observed resulting in what they were after.

It took Dr. Crow to truely bring the application of science to the distilled spirits industry.... And years of doing so ... to bring about the techniques used by today's modern distillers ... including the use of the sour mash process itself.

The Practical Distiller is the only way to go ... that's what we did when we re-established the practices and principals for the George Washington Distillery at Mount Vernon.

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OscarV

Yeah, I gotta agree Dave.

1820-1835 is a very early period, I guess the date didn't register with me as well as it should have.

I think I was thinking a hundred to a hundred and twenty years ago.

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Dant Station

Got this info off of Heaven Hill's website the part about son George is not true he was not born until 1872. I also have some info from a 1935 article from "Spirits" magazine that I will put in another post.

J. W. Dant

History of the Whiskey.

Joseph Washington Dant was a Kentucky distiller during the 1830’s He was famous for making whisky using a log still. This was an old time method from when the settlers did not have the money for a copper still. A section of tree trunk would be hollowed out with a copper pipe running through it. The hollowed section would be filled with the fermented mash and steam fed through the pipe to start distillation

However despite its crudeness J. W. Dant was the only log stiller that distilled a whiskey good enough to ensure his name would survive.

J.W. Dant had a number of sons; Joseph founded the Cold Spring Distillery and the Yellowstone whiskey. While George in partnership with his farther, opened a full time distillery at Dant’s Station in 1870 by that time they must have made enough money to retire the log still.

George eventually became president of the J. W. Dant Company and continued to make J. W. Dant Bourbon whiskey until prohibition; the remaining stock was stored at the Stitzel warehouse, Louisville, and sold as a medicinal whiskey.

After prohibition the large whiskey companies moved back into the market desperate to purchase established brand names and distilleries J.W Dant was sold out of the family.

After several changes of the brand ownership it was acquired by Heaven Hill in 1993 the present day producers of J. W. Dant Bourbon Whiskey

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Dant Station

From Spirits magazine article Dant's Handmade "On a log" 1935

"....an artisan in both woodcraft and blacksmithing. ... Joseph W. Dant fashioned his first still out of a log from a large yellow poplar tree which he first cut in half, hollowed out and then bound together with a withe or tough twig. Inside this hollow log a copper pipe ran from end to end and heat passing through it boiled the beer which poured in from a bucket through a hole in the top. In his distilling operations. J.W. Dant is reported as the most meticulous of the Kentucky distiller of his time. He even grew and hand picked the grain he used, did his own grinding, yeasting and distilling--even made his own cooperage."

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