Original OFC Mashbill

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Original OFC Mashbill

Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Jul 26, 2005 1:15 pm

From information gathered from the E H Taylor letter books I have pieced together some of the original OFC mashbill. It was bourbon so it was a majority of corn, but it had to be white corn. He writes that he uses 2 1/2 times the malted barley than anyone else in the business so I am guessing a 25% malted barley with 60% white corn and 15% rye.

Nike Veach
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Unread postby bunghole » Tue Jul 26, 2005 1:18 pm

Hmmm...Goood guess, Mike! Do you have any ledgers available to show grain purchases in this ratio?

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Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Jul 26, 2005 2:29 pm

Linn,
Grain purchases are a little tricky to use for determining mash bills because at the same time he was making a "Pure Rye" which was rye and malted rye. Even so I think this is a pretty close estimate of the mash bill for his bourbon. I keep hoping to find a mash bill and I still might. The collection is still in the pre-processing stage right now and will be for some months to come at the rate I get to work on it due to other responsibilities here at the Filson.

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Unread postby bunghole » Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:24 pm

Well Mike, that aspect of grain buys sure is true enough. I'd like to see some other mashbills posted if you have them.

:arrow: ima :smilebox:
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Unread postby bourbonv » Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:12 pm

Did you look at the Bernheim timeline?

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Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:13 pm

The Taylor letter book I am working on right now from 1871 discussess his distilling capacity with a customer in California. He has 140 barrels per month with a 1,200 barrels per year capacity. He ferments in one bushel amounts and distills the beer from 5 bushels at a time.

Another letter to a customer in Georgia has him describing how to continue to age his products. He suggest the barrel be placed in the loft next to the roof and then the bung removed for a week, replace the bung and then roll the barrel over completely once a day for a week and then repeat with removing the bung for a week and a week of rolling over the barrel every day until it reaches the taste you want.

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Unread postby bunghole » Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:21 pm

bourbonv wrote:Did you look at the Bernheim timeline?

Mike Veach


Yes I did! Did you think I wouldn't? :roll:
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Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:03 pm

Linn,
I was wondering because it includes the Bernheim mashbills for the new distillery when it opened.

I have some other old mash bills and recipes that I can dig up if you are interested.

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Unread postby brendaj » Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:41 pm

Mike,
I'm really loving this thread!
then repeat with removing the bung for a week

I'm having trouble understanding what they were going for here. That seems to be counter-productive. Evidently they thought the return was worth the loss.
Was it faster?
Bj
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Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Aug 01, 2005 9:22 am

Brenda,
The whiskey has to breath while aging. As Chris Morris points out at the Academy letting oxygen in is as important as the sugars in the wood. An open bung would aid that process.

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Unread postby brendaj » Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:19 am

Mike,
I understand oxygen plays a part. And I guess it makes sense, the more oxygen, the faster it ages. I was just thinking of the evaporation. If traditional methods lose spirit to the angel's share, the devil's share would be flying out that bunghole that was open every other week... :lol:

Do you think modern distillers do it like this if it weren't so labor intensive?

I have to chuckle,
it reminds me of the local process of 'sweating a barrel'.
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Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:58 am

If a customer could still buy by the barrel, they might recommend they do it. I get the impression that taylor did not do this process in his warehouse and suggests it as simply a way for the customer to aid the agining process. In letters I am reading today, he discusses the whiskey sent to San Fransico and the fact that the sea voyage will improve it better than an overland trip. They firmly believed in the advantage of movement in the barrel.

Mike Veach
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Unread postby gillmang » Mon Aug 01, 2005 12:55 pm

The opening of the bung was a way to lift off undesirable volatiles. Those lofts in the warm weather would have been very hot and combined with evaporation and the movements of the cask recommended, one could see the whiskey would take on color and flavor faster. In the Scottish Highlands, a visiting aristocrat in the early 1800's noted that the bottles of whisky offered were "long unstoppered" and the whiskey was "mild as milk". I was long puzzled by this seeming reference to open bottles and thought unstoppered perhaps meant bottles loosely closed in some way, but clearly the observer meant what (she, as it happens) said. Only when I read comments such as those of Mike above and the statement in the Jack Daniel biography that salesmen would allow a glass to stand for a half hour before allowing the customer to taste it whereas competitors' brands were sampled (to compare them) without being allowed to sit did I realise that the comment about unstoppered bottles meant what it said.

A ship's hold going to San Francisco would have been hot and the barrels would have been subjected to vibration and some rolling so even though (presumably) they were bunged that would have improved the whiskey. There are many statements in 19th century whiskey literature on the benefits of a sea voyage on liquors. It was also used as a tax dodge since until the end of the 1800's when the law changed you could export liquor duty free to be aged in Europe or elsewhere overseas and bring it back years later to pay the tax from the revenue earned when sold. No one today talks about this kind of aging since most liquor is shipped already bottled. But if someone bought, say, 300 bottles of Jim Beam, poured them into a new charred barrel, and sailed with the barrel to the Caribbean and back undoubtedly the liquor would be much improved on the return. Heck, put the cask in a car trunk and take a long trip through the States and then check it! Someone either on this board or that other one was planning to do the car trip version but I don't know if he ever got around to it.

By the way, kept for a few weeks in an attic per Taylor's suggestion I don't think evaporation would have been significant (not in relation to the benefits anyway) and as Mike says it was probably an expedient suggested by distillers to their customers, not one practiced by distillers themselves (although I suspect some blenders and rectifiers did this).

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Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:32 pm

Gary,
Interesting point about the volitiles in the barrel. I would guess that some would leave as the whiskey breathed and at the same time oxygen would be doing its magic with other elements of the whiskey.

The sea voyage is an old idea about aging whiskey. Old Mr. Boston released a bourbon they called "Rocking Chair" based upon the old story of the retired sea captain placing is keg os whiskey on the rockers of his chair to simulate the motion of the ship to aid his whiskey aging.

I doubt that Taylor did this to every barrel, but probably did for some special barrels for himself and friends.

Mike Veach
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Unread postby gillmang » Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:51 pm

Thanks, Mike, and by the way we here live on whiskey too. :)

See, those Scots were smart because living in a damp climate they could leave bottles unstoppered probably for months and there wouldn't be much evaporation. In Kentucky's much hotter and drier climate, the practice could be adapted but only for a few weeks.

But either way the "craatur" (critter), a vernacular term used both in Scotland and Kentucky (which means it came from old Gael) to mean whisky, would get better.

Many kinds of spirits were sent around the world to benefit from an ocean voyage - Madeira and port were. In fact the idea to store Madeira barrels in the open on the island and roll them regularly was probably gleaned from observations made on how sea transport improved the drink. I have a Norwegian spirit at home called Linie Acquavit, a spirit aged in sherry barrels and sent around the world, still to this day, on ships to improve it.

Gary
Last edited by gillmang on Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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