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MurphyDawg

Barleyed bourbon??

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MurphyDawg

Hey All,

So I was pouring through the Regan's book and was looking at mashbills and it brought up a question I have been meaning to ask for awhile. Are there any barleyed bourbons??? I mean i realize that almost all have some malted barley in them but I mean are there any where that is the second largest % of the mashbill, so that it is the secondary flavor grain. i didnt notice any when i was skimming. and if not, the why??(does the corn overrun the barley flavors??) I mean there is this whole group of people across the pond that thinks the only thing you need on your mashbill is malted barley. . . . .

Please Fill me in

TomC

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

OK Tom remember you've got to have at least 51% corn to become a bourbon plus be aged in new white oak barrels for at least 24 months.

Other than that you can use any combination of 'flavor grains'. I should think that if a Corn/barley/barley malt mashbill was good tasting there wolud be some on your stores shelves. Same thing with oats, or rice.

I happen to like buckwheat. I'd like to see a four grain mashbill with rye and buckwheat as the flavor grains.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

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MurphyDawg

i was wondering about oats as well, being that i am a big fan of Oatmeal Stouts.(though i dont know if oatmeal & that much corn would work together, given that only a small amount of the oatmeal would actually ferment in the mash) To me it would seem that rice would be pointless because it really doesnt lend any flavours (been to enough brewery tours to know that they just use that as an adjunct to stretch the flavors of six row malt instead of using two row)

now im not suggesting that i would even like "barleyed bourbon" per se, as i find the currents stuff marvelous. i just found it odd that there wasnt one. smile.gif

Curious TomC, the curious little. . . . . . . crazy.gif

(guess who learned to use emoticons today. . . . .)

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cowdery

I suspect that a corn/barley whiskey would be pretty bland. Rye and wheat are combined with corn in bourbon recipes because corn is pretty bland and those grains add flavor. Malted barley is used for the enzymes that promote the conversion of starch to sugar, not for its taste. If you think about beer, you also have flavoring agents, most typically hops, precisely because the barley doesn't have much flavor. With scotch, taste comes from the peat or the wood. How often do you hear someone extol a scotch's "barley flavor."

Apparently, a few distillers have messed about with oats. At least one reported that it makes a gummy mess and is difficult to work with.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

I hear that Chuck! Just think about how thick and pastey oatmeal is - it would be like pouring cement into your still!

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

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MurphyDawg

i suppose that makes sense. in beer the barley flavor is generally described as sweetness (but i suppose that corn supplies that well enough).

so do you think the correllation between hops in beer and rye in bourbon is valid (inasmuch as they both lend a spiciness to theirproducts)???

also, i read in the Regans book that some distillers use hops in yeast propogation, but they never explained quite why. is that another flavor thing??? do they add hops to the mash before distilling (arguing that whiskey is like "distilled beer") or is it just used in the tubs cultivating yeast?

Tom (<font color=red> the ever inquisitive one </font color=red>)C

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RyanStotz

Whew, thought that subject header said "Barneyed bourbon??" for a second.

I'm not so sure that a corn/barley bourbon would be bland. It may not be good, but I doubt it'd be bland. There are some unpeated Scotches and 100% barley American whiskeys that have plenty of flavor. Yes, Scotch gets its taste largely from wood, but not as much as bourbon does, since Scotch almost always ages in old bourbon casks and/or sherry butts that are often long past their days of being able to contribute any flavor. The balance of Scotch's flavor comes somewhat from the peat -- though not nearly as much as is commonly believed -- and fermentation/distillation by-products.

And comparing the barley used in distilled beverages to the barley used in beer is a non-starter. They're generally different strains of barley (2-row as opposed to 6-row), plus beer barley is roasted to some degree to bring out various colors and/or flavors.

Stotz

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RyanStotz

IIRC, hops are added for their antiseptic qualities. In those open fermenters all kinds of weird airborne yeasts and bacteria and who knows what else can get in there and wreak untold havoc, and the hops supposedly keep down the chances of that happening. I don't think distillers use any variety of hop that would contribute any flavor whatsoever to the final product, at least not in the quantities they're using.

Stotz

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RyanStotz

Good idea with the buckwheat. I used to have a bottle of buckwheat "whiskey" distilled in, of all places, Russia. A Russian business partner of my father's brought it over for me. It's got that buckwheat flavor -- caramelly sweetness, kind of like chicory coffee -- to it. I'd think that'd do well in bourbon.

Stotz

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jbutler

A few salient points:

Any growth medium that is unfavorable for "wild" yeast cells will be unfavorable for "domesticated" yeast cells as well.

Bacterial infection is unlikely to come from the air but rather from some piece of hardware the growth medium has come in contact with. Once alcohol concentration in the medium reaches a certain point, the risk of bacterial infection is greatly reduced.

If the growth medium and temperature are appropriate for yeast propagation, and the correct amount of starter is employed, airborne yeast cells have but a small chance of gaining purchase.

Lupulone, a bitter acid found in hops, is predominantly a preservative and flavoring agent. The use of hops isn't likely to kill yeast or bacteria (at least in the concentrations found in brewing) during fermentation, but does tend to inhibit the growth of same during subsequent storage.

Cheers,

Jim Butler

Straightbourbon.com

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

Good God give the drummer some!

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

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texascarl

I know that Scotch whisky picks up the flavour of peat smoke. Irish whiskey, on the other hand, is made without any access to the smoke and the taste of pure barley malt pot still whiskey (often blended with grain spirit) is then 'improved' by aging the whiskey in oak barrels, sherry casks and port pipes. While the 'single malt' Irish taste is pure barley malt/wood, an aged blended Irish whiskey like Old Bushmills 'Black Bush', or Jameson 12 year would give you a fairly close idea of what a barleyed bourbon might taste like. The grain spirit IMHO isn't as flavorful as corn, and our new charred oakwood causes a different magic than the sherry & port pipes...but you'll have an idea. And a pretty danged tasty sample of whiskey, by the way. I go thru a couple bottles of 'Black Bush' and Powers every year. (Not trying to cause heart attacks among the bourbon-only crew...I love beefsteak, but I want a good pork chop now and then.)

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RyanStotz

Dang ol' know-it-all homebrewers...

Quite correct that what's bad for the wild yeast will be bad for domestic yeast. Don't know what I was thinking. It was late and I ain't gonna lie to ya, I'd been drinkin'. But why wouldn't bacterial infection be likely to come from the air in those distilleries using open fermenters? Yes, high enough levels of alcohol will kill and prevent growth of critters, but does the alcohol level get that high before distillation?

And where the hell did I remember seeing that hops were added for their antiseptic properties? Can't find it in any of my references now, but I'm near certain I remember reading that somewhere. I suppose there'd also be some benefit to adding hops for their ability to help proteins precipitate out of solution, but for some reason the antiseptic thing sticks in my head.

Stotz

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jbutler

Ryan,

I meant, and should have said, that bacterial infection is "less" likely to come from the air. "Unlikely" was a poor choice of words on my part.

I can't say about the concentration of alcohol by volume in whiskey mash, but beer ranges abot 3 - 8 percent. So for the sake of argument, let's say that mash is 5% ABV ... that's probably high enough to discourage many types of bacteria. CO2 levels are way up and O2 is way down as well, which is another (and maybe greater) factor.

Dang, wouldn't it be depressing to have to throw out 10K gallons of mash 'cause it got infected? I'm shedding tears just thinking about it ;-)

Cheers,

Jim Butler

Straightbourbon.com

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MurphyDawg

the only similar to antiseptic qualities that i have heard hops used for is like jim said, after brewing during storage and travel as a preservative (ie dry hopping an IPA during boat trips in the good ole days before refridgeration. . . .lol) mostly keeping the finished product from spoiling

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MurphyDawg

which is what i kinda wanted to get at. . . .

do bourbon mash brewers roast the barley??

i mean scotch distillers do with the peat thats how they impart that "nifty" smoke flavour by cooking over a chunk of the nearby bog.

so i was wondering what a bourbon with a heavily roasted chocolate malt (as i said before, a big fan of stouts am I) as a flavor grain, i have a hard time believing it would be bland, i wonder if the chocolate/coffee flavor would hold up after distilling/ aging) . . . . .

hmmmmmmmm. . . . .

TomC

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RyanStotz

I don't think roasted barley flavors -- other than maybe some astringency -- would come through in bourbon. Sierra Nevada allows some of their stuff to be distilled into a bierschnapps, and the taste of the large portion of caramel malts they use doesn't come through at all. Too bad, though, because the idea of roasted malts in bourbon sounds interesting.

Stotz

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lexkraai

Hi all

A small aside as buckwheat was mentioned: despite what the name suggests, buckwheat is not a grain at all. Buckwheat seeds sure do contain lots of starch and you can make bread from it, convert the starch into sugar and ferment and distill it, etc. Buckwheat is related to plants like Japanese knotweed, not to grasses like barley, wheat, rye, corn, oat, so a spirit from buckwheat wouldn't be a 'whiskey' technically.

Cheers, Lex

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cowdery

I don't know the strain or any other specifics, but I do know distillers buy commercial malt. They grind it and cook it, but don't "roast" it in the sense that brewers do. Also, although some Scottish distilleries still do their own malting (a practice which, I believe, is much less common than it used to be), no bourbon distilleries do.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

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cowdery

The only place I know of hops being used by distillers is in the medium they use for yeast propagation. Other strange substances, like sulfer, can also be part of these concoctions. Why? I don't really know. There may be a good, scientific explanation, but some of these recipes are very traditional and may work in spite of, not because of, some of their ingredients. It can be an exercise in frustration to search for a sound scientific explanation.

The pursuit of knowledge is never a wasted effort. I'm just saying don't be too surprised if there is no satisfactory explanation.

Also, I can say that distillers are very concerned about stray microorganisms getting into the fermenting mash. Mash tubs are meticulously steam cleaned between uses and lots of high tech monitoring takes place during fermentation, regardless of whether the fermenters are open or closed. I recall discussing this at Early Times, where they use closed fermenters. Plus, the primary purpose of sour mash is to create a medium that is hospitable to the desired microorganisms and hostile to all others.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

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jbutler

The Sierra Nevada people were at the SF whiskey Expo last year, and I got a chance to try some of that concoction and speak with the people that produced it. Ryan speaks the truth about the malt. The flavor of hops comes through in a big way however. Tastes just like their Pale Ale -- with major variations.

Cheers,

Jim Butler

Straightbourbon.com

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boone

Ryan,

I gotta tell ya, when I read "Whew I thought the the subject said Barneyed Bourbon for a second" I literally fell out of my chair laughing-------I am still laughing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for a good one! Especially on tax day!

Bettye Jo

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MurphyDawg

you guys RAWK!!!

smile.gif

TomC

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MurphyDawg

i was wondering that, so they probably use the same generic 6 row malt that the major 3 domestic brewers use (bud, miller, coors). @ least the distillers have an excuse, as you mentioned before, the distillers arent using the barley for its flavor.......

so whats budmillcoors excuse. . . . .

TomC

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RyanStotz

Weird little beverage, isn't it? Kind of comparable to an aquavit or something. Somehow I've ended up with three different bierschnapps -- the SN, one from a chain of Oregon microbreweries/pubs, and a German one -- and the hop flavor (not the bitterness, though) is quite apparent in all three. Wouldn't have thought the flavors would have made it through the distilling process even remotely intact, given how unstable the oils are, but there it is. Somebody with a better technical understanding of distilling have an explanation for this?

Depending on the hop, such flavors wouldn't be at all unwelcome in some bourbons; earthy, floral Goldings might enhance similar flavors in Old Forester 86, for instance. I wonder how high a hopping rate a distiller could get away with and still legally call it bourbon?

Stotz

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