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cowdery

Linn's Mt Vernon Story

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

Hi, I've been spending long days in the field and have just gotten a chance to see Linn's article, GREAT JOB!!

I want to invite folks to see the site themselves, we're having three open houses Oct. 6 and 7 and Oct. 11. Of course we're at the site Wed. - Sat. until November, but please contact me if you're making a special trip.

Naturally, we're also very interested in the ingredients of Washington's mashbill, let me add a couple of points. I think it is significant that Washington says "...no Barley..." as opposed to mentioning malt specifically. From a preliminary reading of the Weekly Farm Reports, we know malt WAS used in the whiskey. Interpretation currently suggests that a ratio of 60% rye / 35% corn / 5% malt was routinely distilled.

We are a less certain what grain was malted. One clue is in the same Weekly Reports. In December 1798 a "malt house" was constructed. Although we have not found the remains of this building we think it was located near the distillery. Once this building is completed, barley suddenly appears in the records being sent to the distillery complex, rather than malt. This suggests that barley is probably the grain being malted in the new malt house. I think Washington (and perhaps 18th century distillers in general?) made a distinction between unmalted grain and malt and his reference is to unmalted barley being used in the whiskey. For a longer discussion on ingredients check out the Celtic Malts site www.celticmalts.com

We have not located the site of the cooperage yet either, although we think it might be in one end of the distillery. Naturally, we'd love to find barrel staves, but organic material (wood, paper, textiles...) doesn't preserve very well in Virginia. Rest assured y'all will hear of it though.

And finally, I'm not sure if anyone from Mount Vernon will attend the Festival this year. We had a wonderful time last year and hope to be back in 2002 with much to report about the distillery. While we do spend lots of time lost in the past, we rely on the present to help us understand what we're discovering, and a nice shot of bourbon sure tastes good after a long day digging.

Cheers,

Esther

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

Thanks Esther for the additional information on the building of the malthouse and the estimated mashbill that the Anderson's may have used. That's good to know. I'm also glad that you're pleased with the report.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

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cowdery

Esther,

Thanks for sharing that with us, especially since it seems to confirm my belief that the malting of anything other than barley was strictly done as a field expedient.

Five percent malt would be low based on current practice and I am not knowledgeable enough to say whether or not it is possible to affect an adequate conversion at that level.

I'm sure this is an exciting project for you. In us, you have an avid audience.

--Chuck Cowdery

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

A final interesting note....during the initial four months of the endeavor (spring 1797), they are distilling wheat. For some reason the transfer of wheat to the distillery stops about the time the rye / corn / malt transfers begin.

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