How To Make Whiskey
How to Make Whiskey
The First Step in Making Whiskey
The first step in understanding how to make whiskey is seeing the beauty in the waving fields of barley, rye, wheat or corn. It is in appreciating the grain that enriches the essential character and quality of this delicious "water of life." It is important to know that the grain selected must have high sugar content. Knowing how to make whiskey well depends on the understanding that the high sugar content will guarantee the nature and distinguished taste of the whiskey.
Importance of Water in Whiskey
Understanding how to make whiskey means realizing the importance of using pure crystal clear water. The clarity of the water makes all of the difference in the taste, color, and aroma of the end product. The water should be free of all contaminants. In Scotland, however, peat gives whiskey its brown color and taste. Knowing how to make whiskey is understanding the importance of the yeast. Yeast is a necessary ingredient in appreciating how to make whiskey. Yeast, which is actually brewer's yeast mixed with cultured yeast, begins the fermentation process. The selection of the yeast becomes a tremendous advantage in the distilling process and is seen as a manufacturing "secret."
Tools used in Making Whiskey
Understanding how to make whiskey requires several instrumental manufacturing steps from malting to distillation. After this process is complete, the aging process begins. No one really understands how to make whiskey until they understand the aging process. The process of aging the whiskey takes three years. Whiskey cannot legally be called whiskey unless it has aged in an oak cask for at least that length of time. Whiskey that is sold as single malt is aged for about eight to ten years. Understanding how to make whiskey means recognizing that the size, shape, and finish of the casks, as well as the oak wood itself, help to shape the taste, fragrance, and essence of the whiskey.
The warehouse where the oak casks will be stored is just as important as any other ingredient in knowing how to make whiskey. The warehouse will determine the final taste of the whiskey. A damp cellar which allows more alcohol evaporation will produce a smoother rounder tasting whiskey. A dry cellar with a concrete floor will allow more water to evaporate which will result in a dryer whiskey with a higher alcoholic content.
The final step in understanding how to make whiskey is the actual bottling process. During the bottling of the whiskey, the alcohol content will be reduced. Most distilleries today do not do their own bottling, leaving that to specialized plants. But even if the bottling is outsourced, the distillery takes full responsibility for the "official bottling" of the whiskey.
Knowing how to make whiskey is a process that is time tested, tried and true. It is an art form. The manufacturers are artisans. Millions of whiskey lovers all over the world sincerely appreciate the importance of knowing how to make whiskey well because whiskey is their "aqua vitae."