homemade whisk(e)y

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 © Bell’s Whisky

[UPDATE] According to a new law as of 1/1/18, it’s not legal in Germany :(

A friend planted the idea in my head (right before we watched Inception together, coincidentally) that the ingredients for whisky are similar to beer – same minus hops. An evening of googling later and I’m convinced I can manage to make homemade whisky. I found out that it is…

  • Legal: It’s legal in Germany up to 500 mL
  • Safe: Home distilled liquor (commonly known as moonshine) is correctly infamous for making you go blind. This is due to methanol, which is poisonous. Methanol is produced from yeast fermentation of pectin, which is found in fruits. However, whisky is made from grains and, like beer, produces little to no methanol.
  • Easy: Freeze distillation is the same process used to make Eisbock, where the temperature of the wash (the whisky word for wort) is lowered until the water turns into a solid and can be scooped out. No need to mess around with vapours.
  • Cheap: No need to buy a still (the pipe thing you’d need to channel alcohol vapours up and get them to condense) because of freeze distillation. No need to buy an oak cask (pointless anyway at this tiny volume); can replicate effect with oak chips.

As I see it, here are the steps:

  1. Steep malted grains in water (just like making a mash for beer)
  2. Transfer to fermentation vessel. CO2 should be able to escape but limited Oallowed to enter
  3. Store below 0°C
  4. Scoop out ice
  5. Store in a bottle with oak chips for as long as I can wait (realistically about a year)

I don’t even like the taste of whisky. Can’t stand it, in fact. I am, however, obsessed with efficiency, shortcuts, diy and experiments – all things which would be represented by this project.

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