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I suppose now would be a good time for a post full of conjecture and mathematical doodling that could be held up later and heralded as fact. grin.gif

Remember that the primary purpose of a starter is to propagate enough yeast cells that you might ensure fermentation sans infection. If you already have enough, you're set, just toss it in. I guess a couple hundred pounds of yeast cells into a 30K gallon vat oughta do the trick. Damn, that's alot of yeast.

Two things surprise me though; Red Star yeast -- a company known primarily for bread yeast. Second; they outsource their yeast production.

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I guess what I should have said is: I don't think they "proof" their yeast to ensure that it is viable prior to dumping, but with that much dry yeast, a few billion dead cells would make no difference in the outcome. I wonder what type of brewer's yeast this most closely resembles?

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I'm sure that with the limited number of customers for whiskey yeast, the manufacturers work very closely with the distillers on the specifications. But Red Star is a yeast manufacturer (we know them for bread yeast, but they may very well make yeast for every yeasty application) and Buffalo Trace (for example) is not. Nor do any American distillers malt their own barley. They buy it from professional maltsters. Same sort of thing.

Jim Beam uses a jug yeast, meaning it is propogated and remains always in a liquid form (refrigeration slows down the action for storage). So does Heaven Hill. Anyone who uses jug yeast "makes" their yeast themselves.

Four Roses uses proprietary yeast strains developed by Seagrams but they are pure strains and, presumably, manufactured by somebody in dry form, but because Seagrams owns the strains they can't be sold to anyone else. I don't believe anyone else uses jug yeast but I know that Brown-Forman and Woodford Reserve both make a "starter" and introduce the yeast into the fermenter in liquid form. I can't, off the top of my head, speak for anyone else.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The room that we store the yeast in is our former yeast room. We have a dozen yeast vats that we have not used for several years. We found that providing our yeast to a professional yeast company helped us better maintain its quality. This is the same strain that we have used for nearly a century. I would say it is the same yeast strain that was used back in the 1800s, but I can not find any records to confirm this.

Also, we run our bourbons through our beer still and then through our doubler (much smaller and located beneath the beer still). When we distill Rain, we actually run it through the beer still, then to the vodka still, then to the doubler, then to a much smaller fourth still to further refine the spirit.

Ken

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Let me double check my facts on the single distillation and get back to you. It was my understanding when i worked for BF that it was a single distillation, but I could be wrong.

Ken

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So you are saying that Buffalo Trace adds dry yeast directly to the mash in the fermenters, without making a starter first?

The fact that the strain is more than a century old is pretty cool.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We add our dry yeast to the fermenter with a small amount of cooked grain. After the yeast begins its action, the rest of the fermenter is filled.

Ken

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