Cont

Have any Questions?

Www.Distillery.Sale

Jun 08, 2022 View:

Maturing new-make

Is it my imagination, or does the taste of new-make change over the first few weeks when unwooded?

Recently I tasted some spirit I had made the previous day and it was terrible, really bitter. I was contemplating putting it back into the still in an attempt to make it drinkable. A couple of weeks later I tasted it again and it was really nice. Most of the bitterness had gone (it was 100% rye) and it had become very smooth and drinkable.


Reply:

This phenomenon is mentioned in Ian Smiley's "Making Pure Corn Whiskey."


Reply:

Part of what goes on in a barrel is oxidation, which occurs in the presence of oxygen, whether wood is present or not.


Reply:

I down here in Argentina and am having a difficult time sourcing sherry barrels. I am currently looking into finding a whiskey distiller here and trying to purchase used barrels from them.

I'm curious, has anyone tried utilizing a used wine barrel?


Reply:

There has been some wine barrels used in Australia. Not white wine, from rumours I have heard it produces an acidic taste

Heavier reds seem to be the option and they seem to produce a lighter style.

I haven't heard of anyone who has been using them for a long period to see the long term outcome.


Reply:

In Russia and Ukraine the spirit is required to rest for two days many vodka manufacturers wait a week, for that very reason. Of course others don't wait at all, but they should.


Reply:

We rest everything for at least a week prior to bottling. Sometimes more. In the beginning, we didn't do that. But it's much better with some rest.


Reply:

Has anyone ever tried forcing oxygenation? Maybe hook a tank of O2 to a bubble line in the bottom of the holding tank and run it for a bit?


Reply:

forced oxidation has been tried many times over the last hundred or so years, each time coming up short. I have heard of O2, ozone, and even peroxide being used. The main problem they ran into was different, unwanted flavours developing. Also, running O2 through spirit could lead to a quite explosive situation, seeing as you would need to vent the gasses coming off.


Reply:

I've been wanting to test soluble oxygen in new make. Boiling drives off all of the dissolved oxygen and I'm betting it's going back into solution over time. I've looked at concentration of highly volatile compounds and they don't change much over the first weeks. Oxydation takes longer unless you force it.


Reply:

Though the topic is old one, but the issue is very interesting indeed. I myself reworked different spirits by dynamic way, oxidazing them. Results were noteworthy. Spirits were improved both in the taste and smell. What interesting that it is suit for clear not aged spirits as well as matured ones.

As for rest of vodka in Ukraine and Russia after blending and charcoal treatments before bottling, I have to say it depend on availability empty stainless steel tanks for such rest, but all vodka producers trying to rid of the deffects of spirits earlier at the stage of treatment, of course, the rest can improve the spirit, but not always the processes are fully controllable.


Reply:

It is not just oxidation, there is also chemical reactions that continue between the congeners and the alcohol, the water, and themselves. Most have occurred after 48 hours, but we see change even after a week in some cases. Also, sometimes there are volatiles that will escape during that period.


Reply:

I agree, indeed it could be reaction of polycondensation when from acet aldehyde and one or two molecules of ethanol are formed semiacetals and full acetals. It could be reaction of etherofication with forming esters, such as ethyl acetat and ethyl formiat. Absolutly.


Reply:

Also - for those that rest, are you resting at high ABV off the still or proofing down closer to bottling proof and resting at that lower proof? Any difference?


Reply:

Resting at high ABV most often. You might get a difference with lower proof if part of the rest is done to get rid of some volatiles with poor water solubility.


Reply:

Currenty testing how proofing effects the resting period. My assumption is that lowering the alcohol to a standard barreling proof (110-125) would accelerate the "aging" beit oxidation, esterfication, or some other such magic. My thought being that ethanol is very stable so lowering the proof should decrease stability. Does this make sense? As an aside, mixing water with ethanol is slightly exothermic so I suppose it's possible that the increase in temperature from proofing might help...