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How to make whisky step by step?


Have you ever thought about being a gentleman? You know all this noble, wise people, who speak a lot about their very important business with cigar in one hand and glass of whiskey in the other? Of course, it’s just unfair, stereotypical image. Gentleman doesn’t have to be the richest man in the neighborhood and whiskey is not belong to high-class only. If you’re admiring deep, subtle flavour of alcohol get some knowledge about process of making Water of Life.




Whole history was began in the misty time of Middle Ages. Through all these years, producing whiskey never been the same. Different recipes and views to preparing each step became matter of many quarrels between whiskey makers. Depending on your preferences you can modify the following description, but you should know main steps and ingredients required to prepare whiskey for private use. Process needs a minimum three years, so you should be patience. However it’s easier than you think.


Step 1. Malting and mashing


The first step is called malting. Single malt whiskey is made from four different ingredients, which are malted grain, water, yeast and time. Water and grain are two main materials needed for the production. Yes, this gold liquid starts with just a base natural grain. Starch contained in barley, corn, rye or wheat convert into soluble sugars and after a long while - in alcohol and grain transform to “malt”.

Choosing base is most important decision within whole process. In the initial stage you should put for instance the entire pack of soaked barley in full pots of warm water. For many beginners, corn is the easiest grain to work with on a small scale. You can also add some extra amylase enzyme to support preparing mash. When sprouting is visible, it’s time to dry out the malt. After boiling grain in high temperature leave mixture for a several hours in dark place. Repeat this process three time and stir from time to time.



Step 2. Fermentation and distillation


Now, please clean carefully all your kits, because even small contamination can ruin the entire batch. Wort with mashed and cooked grain is ready to add yeast in vessels made by wood or stainless steel. You would need small temperature again and you should cooled the wort to 20°C or 30°C. When yeasts are added, fermentation begins. After 48 hours or sometimes even four days liquid containing about 10-12% alcohol. Whiskey distillers uses very often yeast strain with glucoamylase enzyme. The useful tool in this step is conical fermenter or an airlock.



Scotch whiskey is distilled twice, but Irish producers make it three times. First distillation is to separate from the water and yeast. For best quality of product it’s good to use professional alcohol distiller from stainless steel or made from cooper. It’s big difference between the wash from the beginning of process (foreshots - so strong and pungent) and in the end (feints - weak but still pungent).


Step 3. Maturation and blending


The spirit is ready to place into oak barrels. Famous brands are aged in a cool and wet condition minimum three years to make the whiskey smoother. Most single malts lie for 8, 12, 15 years or even longer.

Pure whiskey is now very hard to find, because almost 90% products are blending. In simply homemade method you need just high-quality oak chips. They can make your whiskey more brown or red. Besides oak chips are responsible for aromas and intense your tasting experience. Some ingredients allow to obtain aromas of vanilla, toffee or chocolate. Taste and colour depends on private expectations and imagination.



Step 4. Tasting


After few years it’s time for the most pleasant moment - drinking. “I should never have switched from Scotch to Martini” were supposedly Humphrey Bogart’s last words. It’s perfect example of meaning good whiskey in gentleman’s life.

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