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Bourbon: Basics

November 22, 2018 by Jon-jon Bauyon


The Grains

By US law, bourbon must contain at least 51% of corn and acts as the main ingredient. Other grains are also added such as rye, barley, or other grains that are required by the producer. Some distilleries are using wheat for smoother and milder output. 



The Water

To produce a good whiskey, proper water source is needed. Kentucky and Tennessee are situated in a large limestones which helps to filter the spring water. Distilleries are typically  built near the spring to make sure that there is sufficient water for production. 



The Yeast

Starch converts into sugar. Sugar converts into alcohol. To do this, this tiny microorganism is needed. Yeast is added during the fermentation. It basically eats up the sugar and converts it into alcohol and eventually becomes whiskey. 



The Fermentation

Now that we have all the ingredients needed for whiskey production and initial process have been done, it is now ready to be fermented. Three ingredients together and ready to become a raw alcohol. The whole fermentation process lasts for hours until it is ready to be distilled. 



The Distillation

After the fermentation of the three ingredients in as mash tun is done, we have now a beer (literally). This beer will now go to the still, a process where the beer is heat up and eventually separates the water and alcohol. The gas goes up and head to the condenser and converts it back to liquid form. We now have the raw whiskey. 



The Maturation

Raw whisky have been produced. It is now ready to undergo maturation in the oak barrel. By law, only new barrel can be used in aging the American whiskey for at least two years to be called "straight bourbon".  If you age it for less than four years, you have to put an age statement somewhere on the bottle telling folks just how long you aged it.



The Bottling

The aged whiskey is taken out from the barrel and transferred to the storage vat where it will be pumped into empty bottles in the bottling line. Once done, bottles will be packed and ready to be shipped out worldwide. 

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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