Processes Involved in Making of Whiskey
For many years, water and barley have been the essential ingredients for making single malt whiskey. The most difficult part of making whiskey has the right ingredients – and patience, due to the long aging process. Various factors will affect the final flavor and color of your whiskey, including the length of aging, type of storage and modifications at the beginning of the brewing process. The way barley is smashed, and the kind of yeast used will determine the type and flavor of whiskey you produce.
Despite the fact that distiller’s art has been understood since the old days, the subtle aromas and flavor of whiskey remains a mystery to explain. Here is a generalized process of making Scotch whiskey from barley malt. It should be remembered that each distillery process has its unique specifications.
Best quality barley happens as a result of first steeping in water and then spreading out on malting floors to germinate. The barley is regularly turned to prevent the build-up of heat. In a traditional setup, the process is done by tossing the barley into the air with wooden shovels in a malt barn that are normally adjacent to the kiln. During this process, enzymes are activated to convert the starch into sugar when mashing takes place.
The dried mash is ground into a coarse floor or grist which is mixed with hot water in the mash tun. Water is then added in three stages, getting hotter at each stage. It normally starts at 67 degrees Celsius and rises to reach the boiling point. The quality of water is important in determining the overall taste of your whiskey. Stirring marsh helps in converting the starches to sugar. After mashing, wort is produced.
The wort, which is generated during the mashing process is cooled to 20 degrees Celsius during the fermentation process. Yeast is added and fermentation process begins. Yeast feed on the sugar to produce alcohol and other small by-products known as congeners – which contribute to the flavor of whiskey.
4. Pot Stills
In some uncharacteristically mysterious ways, the shape of the pot affects the character of the individual malt whiskey. In distillation process, the still is heated to just below the boiling point of water making the alcohol and other compounds to vaporize and pass over the neck of the still to condense.
Distillation is the follows, with the wash distilled twice to separate alcohol from water, yeast and other residues – called pot ale.