Making Whiskey with the Grainfather
It’s such a blessing to know that the Grainfather truly lives up to its name. Not only can you make your own handcrafted homebrewed beer, but you can also hand craft your very own spirits – whiskey being a prime example. You can make legitimate good old whiskey from the malts instead!
You can do this in the following ways:
With the Alembic Copper Dome:
In a matter of seconds you can transform your Grainfather into a distilling unit with the Alemic Copper Dome and pot still. This is to retain as well as to enhance the flavours from the wash that you’ve made – quite a vital feature I might add! The Alembic is used to allow the various flavours come through the distillate while in the interim, the reflux condensing strips the flavour – allowing this to happen.
In order to create a plain and flavourless alcohol, this is the way to go! This means that you can add the flavours on your own watch. This is the easier and more popular way to create a dextrose sugar wash. However, in order to make whiskey from scratch, we need to follow the steps below:
- The mashing stage includes how the starch is extracted from the grains in order for the sugars to ferment.
- The fermentation process involves the sugars being transformed into alcohol.
- The next step involves distilling the sugar wash in order to make the flavours more prominent flavours to come through.
- Now for the best part – it’s time to age your Whiskey in oak (such as an oak barrel) to balance the flavours in order to make the traditional whiskey.
For the Mashing: This is typically the same as when you are brewing. The typical duration of a mash will be approximately 60 minutes at about 66 degrees Celsius and the mash out will be at 75 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. When you sparge, make sure that the water’s temperature is at 75 degrees and then you can allow to boil for 30 minutes.
For the Fermentation: This is the part where we focus on changing the sugars into alcohol. You can use the Grainfather Counter flow Chiller to cool down your sweet wort and then carefully transfer it into your fermenter. Once you have done so, pitch your yeast. Allow to ferment for approximately 10 days with a temperature of around 18-23 degrees Celsius. The next step to follow includes the clearing process of the wash.
Stripping Run and the Spirit Run: The Pot stills are a fantastic asset when it comes to achieving two distillations in order to create that perfect balance in the smooth final product. The two distillations are divided into the following catagories: Stripping Run and Spirit Run.
The sole purpose of the stripping run is to mainly extract the alcohol out of the wash by stripping the harsh flavours from it while the spirit run collects the spirit. This can be done by first connecting the Alembic Dome on the top of the Grainfather and connecting it to a water supply. Remember that Ethanol has a condensing temperature of roughly 78 degrees so it’s vital that you check that thermometer in order to keep track of the temperature. As it rises, you will notice that it will start refluxing in the dome and will collect the flavour from a brown wash. As the steam moves through the arm it will reach the condenser. The cold water will cool down the steam and the condensation will turn back into a liquid state. The liquid will then make its way into a collection vessel. The distillate will be collected unto a 20% ABV is achieved, cleaned and distil again.
The other parts regarding the flavouring of your alcohol and aging is equally as important – only that the ball is entirely in your court as to how long you wish to age it.