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Old Crow Distillery

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VAGentleman
On 12/1/2019 at 8:21 PM, Richnimrod said:

I understand your desire to have it your way on the yeast question... and you have a sort of a point.   Yeast is definitely NOT the ONLY thing that dictates the characteristics of a Bourbon (or any other distillate).   But your insinuation that yeast doesn't change the aroma, flavor or other characteristics of a Bourbon just flies in the face of logic, as well as the established knowledge of more than a few master distillers with whom I've spoken... not to mention ALL of my experiences tasting Bourbon.   And, your immediately previous post seems to indicate that when distilling spirit in your pot still, your process is lowering the proof as you proceed.   I've yet to hear how that would happen in any distillation process with which I'm familiar.    Granted I am not a distiller, and certainly nobody's 'expert' on the processes of distilling Bourbon (or anything else).   So... if you could educate me about the lowering of proof as one pot-stills a spirit; I'd be forever grateful.

I may be misunderstanding you but a pot still is a batch process.  As you deplete the alcohol in the mash the temperature rises and more water is included in the condensed liquid.  So as your run gets towards the end there is less alcohol to boil off so the proof naturally goes down

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Richnimrod
6 hours ago, VAGentleman said:

I may be misunderstanding you but a pot still is a batch process.  As you deplete the alcohol in the mash the temperature rises and more water is included in the condensed liquid.  So as your run gets towards the end there is less alcohol to boil off so the proof naturally goes down

Ah, you mean the proof in the mash goes down!    ...While the volume of the captured distillate rises due to the boiling off and condensation of more and more ethanol.    Am I understanding your point correctly now?

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VAGentleman
13 minutes ago, Richnimrod said:

Ah, you mean the proof in the mash goes down!    ...While the volume of the captured distillate rises due to the boiling off and condensation of more and more ethanol.    Am I understanding your point correctly now?

Not sure, the proof of the distillate coming off the still decreases over the total run of the batch due to a lessening of the amount of alcohol left in the mash.  Is that what you mean? Over the course of the still run the proof goes down.  If you're doing a stripping run you can get it down pretty darn low.  Most distilleries cut it off around 20 proof or so.  On a spirit run you start getting into tails around 80-100 proof or so.  

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Irish

I think what OCD#5 was trying to say is that yeast is only one of many variables which impact the final result of a barrel of bourbon.  Since it is a distilled spirit much of the variance of the yeast may be lost by the time the alcohol is boiled out of the mash beer.  I know some distillers pride themselves in being able to say that they have used the same yeast since 1605 A.D. (tongue in cheek).  It may or may not matter.  I had the good fortune to recently get to meet Harlan Wheatley the Master Distiller at Buffalo Trace and besides being an experienced distiller, he is a chemical engineer and he spent a load of time just talking about his single oak project where they were looking at how just the wood used in the barrels impacted the flavor profiles.  Then you have the location in the rickhouse and the temperature profiles that result from that.  Even the location on the tree where the staves were cut from either top or bottom near the roots.  Not to mention the fact that the KY weather is not the same year on year.  The pot still just adds another big variance since it is a batch process and is not as tightly controlled as some other distillation methods.  That is not all bad.  Unlike Scotch, most bourbons taste similar to one another.  Rye and Wheat being two of the bigger variables, in the end the range of flavors is not as wide as we sometimes like to pretend.  I do think it is cool that GC may have captured some of the old yeast from Old Crow or even a wild variant which was living there.  It adds a bit of mystique to their product and who knows, maybe a little flavor?  If the end product is good, then it don't much matter.  

 

Irish

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Vosgar
7 hours ago, Irish said:

 Unlike Scotch, most bourbons taste similar to one another.  Rye and Wheat being two of the bigger variables, in the end the range of flavors is not as wide as we sometimes like to pretend. 

 

Obviously you can't argue with what a person's tastes are, you taste what you taste and you like what you like. That being said, I disagree with you, unless your definition of "similar" is a lot broader than mine.

 

Regarding the "pretend" remark. Did you really mean to offend most of us here?

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flahute
8 hours ago, Irish said:

I think what OCD#5 was trying to say is that yeast is only one of many variables which impact the final result of a barrel of bourbon. 

None of us would disagree with that.

However, saying that you can use whatever yeast because it doesn't matter and has no impact on the flavor is just simply not true.

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PaulO

I believe the rules for making bourbon are such that it comes off the still at low enough proof to have some flavors from the mash.  It's not neutral grain spirit.  Having said that, the longer it ages, the more the influence of the barrel becomes, until that dominates.

The brands of Scotch can be variable.  Bourbon only uses new barrels.  Scotch is aged in all sorts of refill barrels.  Then there is the influence of peat or not, single malt or blended.  Color may be added.  The rules for bourbon are much more defined.

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