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Temperature and Maturation

Temperature is a critically important factor at every step of a distiller’s craft. Its affect on grains begins with the sun’s energy shining on the growing crops, and continues through the mash temperature of the malt. In fermentation, temperature...

Oakland Spirits Company Bottles the Spirit of the Ocean

In early 2016, a pioneering distillery in the heart of Uptown Oakland, CA quickly became a cult favorite. This is Oakland Spirits Co., OsCo for short. Its most well-known spirits are Sea Gin made with foraged Nori, coastal bay...

How Species and Terroir of Oak Affect Flavor

Oak first appeared on earth a little over 65 million years ago. Today, oak trees grow to maturity in the temperate zones, but many of the species are shrubs and quite unsuited to barrel production. There are more than...

An excerpt from the book— The Maturation of Distilled Spirits: Vision and Patience

The reduction of alcohol from cask to bottling strength should always be done slowly, with the water and the spirit at the same temperature. Because of the hundreds of components in the alcohol, the assemblage—or blend—needs time to absorb...

80 Years of Rapid Maturation Studies — Why Are We There Yet? Part 1...

Following on from many questions we receive about testing for “rapidly matured” spirits, and from a visit, in June, to the Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, a short review of some factors and variables that play...

From Bark to Bourbon

Yeast is an amazing organism. It’s a fungus, one we encounter every day—not only through the fermented beverages we drink and the bread we eat, but also in the very air we breath. For millennia, humankind collaborated with wild...

What the Heck Is Fast Fourier Molecular Rotation Spectroscopy? 

The Distilling Research Grant (distillingresearch.org) Advisory Committee recently funded research into “A Novel Real Time Quantitative Analytical Spectroscopy Technique for Analyzing All the Congeners Emerging from a Distillation Process” by Robin Felder, Ph.D. If you don’t have a doctorate in chemistry, you may be...

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...

Eighty Years of Rapid Maturation Studies

Overview. This is part 3 of a treatise on distilled spirits maturation. Part 1, in the Fall 2017 Distiller, saw the coverage of ethanol-water solvent systems and key analytics for monitoring spirits maturation. Part 2, in the Winter 2017...

Be Safe. Save Money. Build Your Own Lab.

For craft distillers, the key to success in product development and production is to document what you do and continuously improve your methods to help you achieve your goals more easily, cheaply and with the best possible results. Building...