Whiskey making 'kit'

All styles of whiskey. This is for all-grain mashes.

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The Baker
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Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by The Baker » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:46 pm

My brother-in-law is making some beer.
But he is not using grain, he buys a beer kit with all the necessary ingredients.
I don't know what the ingredients are but there is NO ACTUAL GRAIN. Whether it is in any way derived from grain I don't know.
(In Australia, Coopers brand. That is a well-known brand of Australian beer but I don't know if the brewers have anything to do with this 'kit'.)

This 'kit' is popular with home brewers and apparently makes nice beer.
(I wouldn't know because I don't drink beer anyway.)

So is it possible to buy a similar 'kit' to make whiskey?

Geoff

P. S. If anyone wants to know I can look up the label of a beer kit... G.
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by OtisT » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:12 pm

That kit may be using a liquid malt extract (LME) which is a thick syrup made from grains. Just a guess. You can make a nice whiskey from LME.

As for a kit, I’ve not seen one. It takes a lot of equipment, supplies, plus a still to make whiskey. Do you already have a still? Otis
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by 6 Row Joe » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:30 pm

Absolutely. LME makes good whiskey. It's pretty expensive though. The cheapest lager kits are $20 for 2 gallons of about 4 or 5 % abv. The wash is pretty syrupy and puques easily.
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by HDNB » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:37 pm

13 years on here and you forgot that a bag of malt and brick of yeast and some water is a whiskey kit?

Bro, either you been drinkin' too much, or i'm not getting the drift of your post. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by cayars » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:23 pm

Since distillation is illegal in many areas of the world and in the USA (without a permit/license) it's unlikely you will find whiskey kits.
You could use a brewers kit if you must, but leave the HOPS in the box (don't use it).

Technically if it's not made from grains it isn't whiskey. If you want a "near bear" like experience for something similar to a whiskey (but really not) you could do a sour mash sugar wash. You could get some corn flavor adding a corn breakfast cereal (corn flakes). Add a half loaf of rye bread for some rye flavor and maybe some Wheaties for a wheat taste. Take what's distilled and add some Jack Daniels BBQ smoking chips to each jar and let set a few months after making cuts. I'd call it "prison whiskey" :) It will be drinkable but won't be a Wild Turkey, Jim Beam, Knob Creek or Makers Mark.

As others have said LME is probably your best bet on taste but it's $$$. Really not worth it long term if you like whiskey.

A proper whiskey mash is a lot more work compared to sugar washes. It can be made easier with proper equipment but is still a lot harder than warming some water and mixing in sugar, bread and cereal flakes with it.

If you don't want to invest time and energy into making proper whiskey using grains there are plenty of other spirits you can make such as rum that are quite tasty (lots of variation as well) and can be made much easier with nothing but water, sugar and some molasses (or feeds store blackstrap). If you have a feed store near you such as Tractor Supply, blackstap is probably available for $8 to $10 a gallon and sugar is available at the local grocery store. Add some water, yeast and maybe a bag of JD BBQ smoking chips and you have a rum kit. See Tried & True section of forums for specific recipes.

You can make vodka from a sugar wash (or nearly anything) and can make gin from that vodka with other botanicals/herbs pretty easily.

Vodkas, gins and some rums can be drank almost off the still (give them a week or more to rest) but can be quite good "fresh". Whiskey is a game of patience. Make spirit from grains, put up on oak, wait, wait some more, then wait some more, check spirit then repeat.

With all the waiting for it to age properly and develop, it's almost a sin to cheat upfront and not use grains as you only cheat yourself long term but that's just my humble opinion.

Just my 2 cents and probably not worth that much but Whiskey isn't something to be cheated. Plenty of other spirits that can be made far quicker even if more time is spent up front. The possible exception is using LME as others have suggested, but that is expensive.
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by The Baker » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:42 pm

OtisT wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:12 pm
That kit may be using a liquid malt extract (LME) which is a thick syrup made from grains. Just a guess. You can make a nice whiskey from LME.

As for a kit, I’ve not seen one. It takes a lot of equipment, supplies, plus a still to make whiskey. Do you already have a still? Otis
It sounds like what you said.

Thanks.

Geoff
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by VLAGAVULVIN » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:46 pm

In Russia it's possible now to buy some LME that:
a) had no hops while "cooked"
b) had the main temp break at 62-63oC (and not 65-67 as it's used for further beer fermentation)
It may also contain some unmalted things like corn, rye, buckwheat etc.
Imma try few of them just one of these days ...

Never make banana brandy. And never ferment potatoes: better make banana brandy... Oct.20, 2019


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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by The Baker » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:08 am

HDNB wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:37 pm
13 years on here and you forgot that a bag of malt and brick of yeast and some water is a whiskey kit?

Bro, either you been drinkin' too much, or i'm not getting the drift of your post. :lol: :lol:
Never made whiskey.

Geoff
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by VLAGAVULVIN » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:05 am

Just got by courier / back to front and left to right:

barley, bourbon, barley-rye, barley-wheat...
Attachments
3.9 kg each, less than USD 3 per kilo, including delivery
3.9 kg each, less than USD 3 per kilo, including delivery

Never make banana brandy. And never ferment potatoes: better make banana brandy... Oct.20, 2019


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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by HDNB » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:34 am

i got some DME for less than $1 a pound, it made an excellent whisky...but the still puking was so annoying, it took double the time to get to production time with a lot of constant agitation.

if you don't have a mixer in the kettle you can leave on "high" you will regret making DME/LME whiskey...right up until you have a sip that is.

Geoff, if you want to avoid the whole screwing around with mashing, enzymes and conversions dough in temps and mash in temps, just follow Jimbo's all malt recipe. it is really easy (i'd say fool proof, since this fool hasn't stalled one yet) and you only have to heat to about 165 and dump in milled grain. the only other variable i watch is PH, i like to let it convert from about PH5.5

it is the easiest "whiskey kit" going. the only reason for doing grain with malt that i can see is if you want to lower your input costs by a few pennies a bottle, but i ain't jim beam so a few pennies is not that important. All malt make a superior whiskey imho too, so i'd rather spend the money.
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by The Baker » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:03 pm

Thanks, HDNB,

I've never made whiskey, and my son and brother-in-law have been using this beer 'kit'.

So, and especially if the beer they are brewing turns out well, this is something they could relate to and get excited about.

I took a cursory look at the recipe and it is a 'single malt'. And that would be good; but my son specially wants to make bourbon.
Maybe later we could make a bourbon version, with maybe somewhat different ingredients and a bourbon barrel?

Anyway that is for later, if I can get them involved in Jimbo's brew for now, great.

Geoff
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by The Baker » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:13 pm

OtisT wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:12 pm
That kit may be using a liquid malt extract (LME) which is a thick syrup made from grains. Just a guess. You can make a nice whiskey from LME.

As for a kit, I’ve not seen one. It takes a lot of equipment, supplies, plus a still to make whiskey. Do you already have a still? Otis
Thanks, Otis T,

Yes I have a still and stuff but I have never tried whiskey. Brandy from old wine, fruit brandies with varying success...

Geoff
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by HDNB » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:31 pm

lots of bourbon recipes out there, all high in corn with some wheat and/or barley or rye mixed in.

a little more complex in the mashing, but just grain.

the barrel is 60% of the flavour of bourbon imho.

a new barrel with Jimbo's all malt is spectacular... actually my go-to these days. very bourbon in sweetness and barrel flavours and so smooooth very drinkable after 6 months, but 18 months+ is magical.
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by VLAGAVULVIN » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:23 am

HDNB wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:31 pm
a new barrel with Jimbo's all malt is spectacular... actually my go-to these days. very bourbon in sweetness and barrel flavours and so smooooth very drinkable after 6 months, but 18 months+ is magical.
And all those 18+ months = in a new barrel? May I know the barrel's capacity then? Thank you.

Never make banana brandy. And never ferment potatoes: better make banana brandy... Oct.20, 2019


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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by HDNB » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:55 am

15 gallon
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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by nerdybrewer » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:20 am

I made a fine whiskey with LME several years ago, I believe I fermented it using London Ale yeast.
I did mash in about 10Lbs malted barley just to be sure I had all the nutrients and flavors needed, I don't think it was necessary but I did it just because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
I got an awesome discount on the LME, and they gave me the 18 gallon food grade container it came in.
When running through my pot still I got some puking at first, I learned to only fill the boiler no more than 2/3 full and added a Tablespoon of butter and the puking stopped.
I aged the whiskey in a Balcones bourbon barrel.
Wish I had put a couple bottles of that somewhere dark, that was fine drink.
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52975

Time and Oak will sort it out.

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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by VLAGAVULVIN » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:35 am

HDNB wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:55 am
15 gallon
The good oak you guys have there... :econfused:

Never make banana brandy. And never ferment potatoes: better make banana brandy... Oct.20, 2019


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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by nerdybrewer » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:08 am

VLAGAVULVIN wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:35 am
HDNB wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:55 am
15 gallon
The good oak you guys have there... :econfused:
You bet, I belong to the "go big or go home" clan... :D
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52975

Time and Oak will sort it out.

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Re: Whiskey making 'kit'

Post by VLAGAVULVIN » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:32 am

nerdybrewer wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:08 am
You bet, I belong to the "go big or go home" clan... :D
You are lucky then. In the course of 18 months any kind of European first-fill oak would turn your spirit into a parquet tea. Yes, 60-80 liters sound big enuff but not for Caucasian oak (and the rest here are much worse) so, 3 to 6 months in a fresh barrel = at best...

Never make banana brandy. And never ferment potatoes: better make banana brandy... Oct.20, 2019


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