Book on the Theory of distilling bourbon

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Book on the Theory of distilling bourbon

Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Sat Dec 04, 2004 1:13 pm

I thought this might be the right section to post this:
Does anyone know a book that deals with the more technical aspects of making Bourbon? :read2:

Lately I have spent a lot of time thinking about the more technical aspects of the “art” of making Bourbon. I have a lot of questions that I would like to have answered so I thought I might be able to find a book that covers the topic. Since English is only my 3. Language, I’m not sure that I would be able to express those questions properly. The whole char level thing is a mystery to me. And how do you control the proof at which you distil out? :scratch:

Hope one of you (Mike?) can point me in the right direction of what to look for.

Thomas
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Unread postby bourbonv » Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:55 pm

I would say the short answer to your question would be to find a copy of "Mountain Spirits" by Dabney. It describes how to make moonshine whiskey and should answer some of your basic questions without the scientific material that can leave me puzzled, and English is my first language.
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Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Sun Dec 05, 2004 9:00 am

Thanks for the info

I was looking for it at Amazon, when I ran into this book:
The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible :twisted:
It seamed to be an interesting choice as well.

Thomas
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Unread postby drew_kulsveen » Mon Dec 20, 2004 2:47 am

Try getting a copy of "The Alcohol Textbook." It concentrates on the technical side of running a distillery. For something to easier understand look for "The Practical Distiller." Both are very good books.
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Unread postby angelshare » Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:11 am

drew_kulsveen wrote: For something to easier understand look for "The Practical Distiller."


I have never seen an actual copy of this book, but I seem to remember it vaguely from whiskey related searches on the web or ebay perhaps. Isn't it 150 or 200 years old? Or is there a newer book with the same title?

If it is the older one, is it still "practical" after all these years?
Dave & Tina
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Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:14 am

Just looked for it at Amazon, seams it's out of print.
Couldn't find the other one either :cry:

Thomas
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Unread postby gillmang » Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:40 am

Reprints of Complete Practical Distiller by F. Byrn, a mid-1800's distilling manual, are available at http://www.raudins.com. Glenn Raudins has issued reprints both of this book and one or two other historic distilling books. Byrn's book is very interesting, both very dated in some ways and very up-to-date in others (e.g. modern continuous distillation is well-described).

Gary
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Unread postby gillmang » Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:08 pm

Sorry, I just want to correct the name of the author of The Complete Practical Distiller, it is M.L. Byrn, not F. Byrn. Again, it is available as a reprint from Raudins Publishing at the web address I mentioned. The other book mentioned in this thread by Drew, was written in the 1930's by a gentleman whose surname was Hirsch. I have seen it in bibliography lists and elsewhere (e.g. used book shop) but have not obtained a copy as yet, possibly it can be located on amazon.com through the author's surname. I think it is called Theory of Distillation, something like that. The name Hirsch is associated of course with the well-aged Michter's bourbons (Hirsch 16 and 20 year old) put out in the 90's and even more recently. The whiskey business being what it is, it would surprise me if the Hirsch of the distilling text was not an ancestor of the Hirsch who marketed those bottles.

The Hirsch who wrote the book did so as I say in the 1930's and I believe he was a professional engineer, as Sam Cecil is. No doubt many people who came out of Speed in Louisville (as Sam did, I believe, and I know Charlie DeSpain did) and other engineering faculties were looking to work or consult to the new distilleries being built or refitted in the 1930's after Volstead ended. Probably Hirsch's book has that genesis or something similar..

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Unread postby cowdery » Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:11 pm

There is some good information on distilling at http://www.distilling.com. This is the website of the American Distilling Institute, which is Bill Owens' association for micro-distillers.
- Chuck Cowdery

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