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Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup from Bissell Maple Farm

Former chemist Nate Bissell has yet to think of an experiment with maple syrup he won’t try. Concoctions from Bissell — the sixth-generation owner of Bissell Maple Farm in Jefferson, OH — include traditional maple syrup, maple candy and...

Flavoring Whiskey

It takes years of aging to make whiskey in accordance with accepted definitions, so if you’ve done it right, why would you add anything else to it? The simple answer: Because alongside rye whiskey, which has been in a barrel...

Mash: Chemistry 101

Sometimes it’s good to go back to the basics. A refresher on a seemingly familiar topic can be… well, refreshing. Mash chemistry is one of those topics that a lot of folks feel like they have a solid handle on....

Water

Eau de vie, Voda, Uisce beatha — the names of our favorite spirits literally mean “Water of Life.” Water and the history of spirits are closely interlinked, their mythology tied since the first alchemists began experimenting with distillation more...

The Return of Rosen Rye

While observing her mother’s nonprofit, Flint Hill Farm Educational Center in Coopersburg, PA, Laura Fields noticed that, although the adults were happy to buy lots of cheese, they weren’t benefiting like the kids from the educational programming. Already keyed...

Heirloom Grains

Like a piece of weathered old hardwood furniture that’s been restored to its former glory, distillers are rediscovering heirloom grains and finding that they have character and story that commodity grain just can’t match. Some distillers and farmers are focusing...

It’s Time to Take Ethyl Carbamate Seriously Again

Ethyl carbamate (EC), also known as urethane, is a compound found in fermented foods and beverages. It’s an ester of carbamic acid. It’s also a known carcinogen (cue ominous-sounding music), making it an important compound to know and understand...

Cannabis — the Botanical

Cannabis sativa L. is one of the world’s most recognizable plants, from both a visual and aromatic perspective. It is also an extremely useful plant. While much of the popular focus is on the use of cannabis as an...

The Power of Color

Naples, Italy, is vibrantly orange. Bars and carts dedicated to serving Aperol spritzes are tiled and canopied with Aperol orange — a universal language that makes it easy for any tourist to find refreshment in the bustling city. Yes,...

Craft Malting Comes of Age

Why are craft brewers and distillers willing to pay two, three or four times as much per pound for malted grains from small, independent, craft malthouses than from the multinational malthouses? Among the nearly 6,000 craft brewers and 2,000 craft...