Whiskey

Irish & American
The distinction between Irish and American whiskeys

Irish whiskey
Irish whiskey differs from Scotch Whisky in that it is usually distilled 3 times. The malting process is also different as the Irish use sprouted barley dried in a closed kiln which is then mixed with unmalted barley before being ground into a grist. This can be said to account for the lightness of Irish whiskey and its 'non peaty' taste compared to Scotch.

American whiskey
North American whiskies are all-grain spirits that have been produced from a mash that usually mixes together corn, rye, wheat, barley and other grains in different proportions, the resulting distillate then generally aged in wooden barrels. These barrels may be new or used, and charred or uncharred on the inside, depending on the type of whiskey being made. The U.S. government requires that all whiskies have to be made from a grain mash and be distilled at 90%ABV or less. The whisky has to be reduced to no more than 62.5%ABV before being aged in new oak barrels (American white oak) and then be bottled at no more than 40%ABV.

Recipes

Pure Rye Whiskey
Grainbill: either only Rye (malted), or 9 parts Rye (not malted) and 1 part malted Barley.

Irish Whiskey
Grainbill: 10 parts malted Barley, 7 parts fresh barley grain, 1 part fresh Oats, 1 part fresh Rye, 1 part fresh Wheat.

Basic recipe
  • Heat 4 kg cracked or crushed malt with 18 L of water to 63-65 °C, and hold there for 1-1.5 hours. Heat to 73-75 °C, then strain off and keep liquid, using 250 ml of hot water to rinse the grains.
  • Cool to below 32 °C (should have an initial specific gravity of 1.050).
  • Add hydrated yeast & leave to ferment (maintain at 26 °C) until airlock stops bubbling and final SG of around 1.010.
  • Let settle for a day, then siphon carefully into still, without the sediment (yeast and thrub).
  • Distill the wash in a pot still, collect all distillate.
  • Re-distill the first run for a second time, separate the heart out of the distillate. (dilute it first to lower than 40% ABV..)
  • Let the distillate mature in a glass bottle (with oak chips) or in a wooden barrel.
  • Enjoy!