NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by cayars » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:18 am

Your welcome. I'll try a small corn syrup run again with a different brand. I usually try things at least 2 or 3 times but this I only tried 1 time and it was years ago. Not that I'd want to do this a lot as it's rather expensive way to make hooch, but I'd like to see what flavor or how strong they come across. I'll do a side by side for comparison of corn with corn syrup at the same starting SG, yeast, temps, pH etc for head to head comparison.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by Down_Home52 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:50 pm

Dollar General store at $2 a pint for syrup. About everything I have found in bulk has vanilla flavoring added. Again, my taste runs to scotch with medium peat 90 proof with a couple of ice cubes. Everything else except some of the Jack Daniels single barrel select I usually mix with Coke so if it is off a little it doesn't matter that much. Trying to stay with something long enough to experiment with aging, filtering etc and NChooch had the perfect recipe. Once I get this flaked corn used up I think it will get easier. Would also like to try a variation with wheat. I am building a small rustic building over the head of a spring that evolves on my property. The water is from limestone caverns and is really good. Once I get things set up and don't have to disassemble after a run I want to add a thumper. The water down at the spring house flows at about 300-400 gallons per minute and comes out of the ground at 58*F. Trying to get some other projects finish so I can move down there !!!
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by StuNY » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:04 pm

I have been making the recipe now for a little under a year. When I started I was using cracked feed corn from Tractor Supply. I have made 6 batches with that, and have been drinking them for about 6 months. For me, 6 months is about anything gets to age- too thirsty I guess!

So eventually I found a good supply of fine ground yellow cornmeal at Restaurant Depot and decided to give it a go- faster cooking etc. Not as cheap as feed corn but at about $16 a 50lb bag a lot more reasonable than my single malts!

Tonight I just poured myself a glass of the cornmeal bourbon that has been aging about 5 months. Well, no more feed corn for me haha! Much better flavors and depth. I had felt like my past bourbons just didn't measure up to my single malts in complexity and taste- Now I have to say it is getting very interesting! I will let these batches age a little longer (If i can!) and see what happens!

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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by cayars » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:16 am

TS corn is way lacking in corn flavor (both cracked and whole corn 50 pound bags) to other corn I've tried. I try to use that to my advantage when making a mash I'll use for vodka where I want the wheat and oats to shine, not the corn. :)

For bourbon or other corn based whiskeys, the TS corn is well, lacking in flavor and a better grade of corn does go a long way in making a better tasting product!

StuNY I pay $16 as well for 50 pound bags of better corn. Did you notice a difference in conversion rates of you new corn compared to the TS corn or hard to tell since it's cornmeal?
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by Down_Home52 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:12 am

StuNY would really be interested in hearing your grain:water ratios, mashing and straining techniques. I ground some of the cracked corn in my barley mill at .040" and it dough balled really bad when I mashed in. That's when I ordered 50# of flaked and trying to use it up. If I am going to the time and trouble of an AG I want to explore anything with more taste, higher yield, easier handling or all of the above. I have 6 gallons of the original NChooch recipe fermenting now.....except for a 8% rye addition. That stuff doesn't knock the airlock off but it sure starts fast.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by StuNY » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:17 am

cayars wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:16 am
...StuNY I pay $16 as well for 50 pound bags of better corn. Did you notice a difference in conversion rates of you new corn compared to the TS corn or hard to tell since it's cornmeal?
Yes, I found with the fine ground corn meal I use a few lbs less per batch to get the same sg- usually about 1.060
Down_Home52 wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:12 am
StuNY would really be interested in hearing your grain:water ratios, mashing and straining techniques. ...
I am using a straight 2lbs grain per gallon of water and getting sg of 1.060. I boil 15 gallons of water in my keg still, then add that to a 32gal brute pail and stir in 30lb of corn meal (along with gypsum and mag). Sometimes I just dump the cornmeal in first and then the water but it is pretty hard to mix without clumps with my drill mixer. I put in Sebstar HTL at around 180f- this is critical because without it at these ratio's you get thick porridge! I mix with drill every 15 min for an hour, then let sit for another half hour. "Cook" is done at that point so then I had 4 gallons cold water to get temp to 148f, adding 9lbs rye malt and 6lbs distillers malt. Mix that every 15 min for hour, then let sit half hour more and do iodine test just in case. Cool with immersion chiller to 110f, Add final 3.5 gallons cold water and ferment in pail on grains with fish tank heater at 75f using US-05 yeast.

Straining grains before stilling is a bit of a pain- especially with these batch sizes. I use a mop strainer with my single malts, but this stuff clogs the bag pretty bad. Finally came up with a technique where I rock it back and forth in a strainer bag (opens up unclogged areas of bag) and get it pretty dry- at least dryer than I can get with the mop strainer. I run the still with everything left after the straining so don't let the trub settle out or anything.

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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by Down_Home52 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:21 pm

Thank you. Good to see someone else likes a little rye kick. I am understanding more and more about the pros and cons of corn....!! I am adding 5 gallons of boiling water to about 10 pounds of cracked corn and I get a lot more temperature drop so had to go to boiling and adding corn to cook it up. Gotta get me some high temp enzymes because the thick mash stratifies heat without a lot of stirring and the more stirring the more it cools on me when I am in the cook mode. I use malted 2-row barley for my conversion but help it along with enzymes. I am doing back to back to back to back 6 gallon runs. Was wondering if anyone had done a sour mash with backset for mash water from previous run using NC's recipe?
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by cayars » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:05 am

Just a tip, don't add water to the corn. Do it the other way, add the corn to the water slowly while mixing. This helps to avoid "dough balls" or grains that get stuck on the bottom without the water mixing with them staying dry. The bigger the batch, the more important this becomes.

High temp enzymes certainly help to thin out the corn as it gels, but you can also use some sacrificial malted barley as well at high temps. The heat does kill off the enzymes but enough will get in to thin the corn enough to keep mixing with a drill/auger. Once you get to 152F you can add the remaining malted grains which should completely thin it out. You will get flavor from the malted barley unlike the enzymes. Try it to see how much sacrificial barley you use vs enzymes and calculate your costs. You might be surprised how little sacrificial malted barley you need to thin it down a bit for mixing. Doesn't need to be watery. I hardly use liquid enzymes at all with any grain batch where I've got 15%+ malted barley. I find I don't need the liquid enzymes so it saves me money.

Nothing wrong with liquid enzymes but as you get more experienced and experiment you can reduce your use of them, especially when doing iodine tests for conversion.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by StuNY » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:37 am

Thanks for that tip cayars, I am going to give it a try. I have a surplus of distillers malt and the enzymes are pretty pricey!

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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by cayars » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:28 am

I've mainly been using SEBstar HTL & SEBamyl GL that can be purchased from Pinto via his website https://enzymash.biz/
4oz of each run $25 US with free shipping. Recommended dose of HTL is 0.36 ml/lb. So 4 oz (size of each for $25)= 118.294 mL. That should convert 328 pounds of grain or 13.14 pounds per dollar assuming you don't overdose the enzymes.

I happen to have a mill a couple of miles from me where I can purchase malted barley for $0.55 per pound with a diastatic power of 140+. So $1.00 buys me 1.81 pounds of malted barley. Assuming 30 Lintner is needed per pound to fully convert that's 54.5 pounds of grain I can convert using just 1 pound of malted barley. So for me at my price I can covert 3+ times grains with the malted barley for the same price vs the enzymes for the same price.

If you pay more for malted barley (most likely) you will want to do your own calculations but it's easy as I just showed how to do it.
Given anything close in price I'll choose what is best for the mash I'm making. For example if I'm making a whiskey I'd rather use the malted barley as I'll get flavor from it which I want.

If I'm making a neutral or vodka I may not want a malted taste to come through my spirit so the liquid enzyme will be a better choice. So I'm not opposed to using liquid enzymes but each person can calculate there own return on investment of using them to know when it's best to use them vs malts depending on spirit being produced.

Hopefully that makes sense!

With that said I'm also going to be testing some other enzymes thanks to posts via Mars which may be a bit cheaper. These are the Fermaid enzymes which are much cheaper per ounce but shipping is high. If 2 or 3 people went in for a gallon of enzymes this could be a much better value overall and might be cheaper overall. If interested in going in on a batch PM me. :)

But regardless, you should be able to calculate your cost of using malted barley vs liquid enzymes and find out which is cheaper for you to use. If you are close to similar cost then choose depending on if you want "malt" to come through your spirit or not like I do.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by Twisted Brick » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:51 pm

cayars wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:28 am
I've mainly been using SEBstar HTL & SEBamyl GL that can be purchased from Pinto via his website https://enzymash.biz/
4oz of each run $25 US with free shipping.
Uh, what am I doing wrong? I always pay shipping, and my last order (3-enzyme kit) was $50. Coupon? Special code?
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by cayars » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:32 pm

Don't know. I just checked the site right now by adding the 4OZKIT for $25 then checking shipping which comes up as $0.00 for US shipping. Same as my previous orders.

Maybe I've got a magic postal code or there is an error in the shopping cart?
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by pope » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 pm

The 4-oz kit carlo's talking about is just 2-pc. Do you find the sebflo (3rd of 3-pc set) useful? I tried it but it doesn't seem to make a difference so it's just gathering dust. I was clicking around and the 3-pc kit says 'for mashing rye' so maybe it only makes a difference with rye? I haven't done rye in a while but I know you're working on a rye project at the moment, curious to know! I have a big bag of rye flour I need to cook up, I want to make a 100% rye batch.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by StuNY » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:25 pm

I use the Sebflo pretty regularly- only when making batches with mostly rye though. Works very well, have experimented with a lot of approaches to rye and it is the simplest. Just put it in when you start mashing around 148f etc. No heating up and resting etc required. Turns rye into just another single malt. My current batch fermenting is 75% malted rye, 25% malted wheat and it is going along nicely. Rye without a couple rests on the way to mashing temp is a real pain to work with unless you add the Sebflo. I also get a bit higher sg when using it vs doing a couple rests.

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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by cayars » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:38 pm

This is what I was referring to as $25 with free shipping to my home address: https://enzymash.biz/index.php?route=pr ... duct_id=42

I do a lot of Rye (George Washing Rye) and have never used the SEBflo TL product so I can't comment on it but I don't have issues with Rye so I don't bother with it. Since GWR only used 5% malted barley I do use SEBstar HTL (alpha) & SEBamyl GL (gluco) however for conversions.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by Twisted Brick » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:40 pm

cayars wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:16 am
...StuNY I pay $16 as well for 50 pound bags of better corn. Did you notice a difference in conversion rates of you new corn compared to the TS corn or hard to tell since it's cornmeal?
Big thank you to you'se guys. I've been 'blending' 50/50 (fine-milled) feedstore corn with Bobs Red Mill unaltered cornmeal ($30 for 50lbs). Yesterday I drove down to the 'Not open to the Public' Restaurant Depot, walked inside and confirmed they got the cornmeal you speak of in stock at $16.07. Got a friend working on picking me up 150lbs.
cayars wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:05 am
Just a tip, don't add water to the corn. Do it the other way, add the corn to the water slowly while mixing. This helps to avoid "dough balls" or grains that get stuck on the bottom without the water mixing with them staying dry. The bigger the batch, the more important this becomes.
+1

This is always a treat: pouring 20lbs of cornmeal into 200F water with one hand while holding the mixing drill in the other. But it works.
StuNY wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:25 pm
I use the Sebflo pretty regularly- only when making batches with mostly rye though. Works very well, have experimented with a lot of approaches to rye and it is the simplest. Just put it in when you start mashing around 148f etc. No heating up and resting etc required. Turns rye into just another single malt. My current batch fermenting is 75% malted rye, 25% malted wheat and it is going along nicely. Rye without a couple rests on the way to mashing temp is a real pain to work with unless you add the Sebflo. I also get a bit higher sg when using it vs doing a couple rests.
This is good to know.


pope wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:19 pm
The 4-oz kit carlo's talking about is just 2-pc. Do you find the sebflo (3rd of 3-pc set) useful? I tried it but it doesn't seem to make a difference so it's just gathering dust. I was clicking around and the 3-pc kit says 'for mashing rye' so maybe it only makes a difference with rye? I haven't done rye in a while but I know you're working on a rye project at the moment, curious to know! I have a big bag of rye flour I need to cook up, I want to make a 100% rye batch.
All of the rye bourbons I've done had 16% max rye so I didn't do a rest or use the SEB glucanase (didn't have it yet) so I don't know. As of today I have 50lbs of home-malted rye but just got a text saying my buddy is gonna pick me up the cornmeal, so I think I'm gonna make enough bourbon to fill my 5gal Balcones barrel. Gonna take 7 or 8 12gal batches. Caveat: there is a slight chance the previously used/recharred barrel was used for tequila. Would you chance your AG bourbon in this barrel?
cayars wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:05 am
This is what I was referring to as $25 with free shipping to my home address: https://enzymash.biz/index.php?route=pr ... duct_id=42
Thanks. I figured it out. I went to the site and got $00.0 shipping to NJ and CA for the 2-enzyme kit. I put in the 3-enzyme kit to CA and got $12.50 shipping. So it's a weight thing.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by cayars » Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:15 pm

Twisted Brick wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:40 pm
Caveat: there is a slight chance the previously used/recharred barrel was used for tequila. Would you chance your AG bourbon in this barrel?
That's a great question. I've got NO IDEA what would follow tequila well or what any lingering tequila would do to Bourbon (don't think it would be good).

Again I don't know but I think what I'd do is try to recondition the barrel. For example fill/dump it several times with water to remove as much of the tequila flavor left as possible. If you've got some whiskey heads/tails maybe use that as well to coat the inside and again dump.
Then I'd try a bottle of wine (ie port or sherry) to see if it could soak in which could benefit the bourbon sort of like an Angel's Envy.
(anything you dump could be re-distilled).

If I couldn't get the tequila flavor back out of the barrel I'd even consider sticking the sucker in the oven on the lowest temp with a bit of wine in it to "vaporize" it. I'd throw a thermometer in the oven along with the barrel and keep it around 150F-160F for an hour (might have to crack the oven door to regulate the temp). This would sort of be a last resort type thing. :)

Hopefully you'll get some better advise from someone who's been in your shoes and has reused a tequila barrel.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by StuNY » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:50 am

Twisted Brick wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:40 pm
Yesterday I drove down to the 'Not open to the Public' Restaurant Depot, walked inside and confirmed they got the cornmeal you speak of in stock at $16.07. Got a friend working on picking me up 150lbs.
Well, while he is there have him grab a couple 50lb bags of sugar- can't beat the price haha! I usually make a couple batches of Jimbo's Gumballhead with the bourbon grains once I have strained them out and reflux them into a vodka. Much better taste than sugar wash vodka, and no yeast or feeding required- grains do all the work. Nice even ferment with no PH crash or stall. Doing the stripping runs and starting a new batch all the same day is an extra bonus!

On my last trip to RD I also picked up a few 2 gallon packs of organic agave- going to make a tequila once it warms up around here!

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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by pope » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:05 am

Twisted Brick wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:40 pm
All of the rye bourbons I've done had 16% max rye so I didn't do a rest or use the SEB glucanase (didn't have it yet) so I don't know. As of today I have 50lbs of home-malted rye but just got a text saying my buddy is gonna pick me up the cornmeal, so I think I'm gonna make enough bourbon to fill my 5gal Balcones barrel. Gonna take 7 or 8 12gal batches. Caveat: there is a slight chance the previously used/recharred barrel was used for tequila. Would you chance your AG bourbon in this barrel?
The 3-pc kit should be amylase (sebstar), gluconase (sebamyl-gl) and sebflo. Without going back to read about it my understanding was sebflo is just a viscosity reducer to help with ease of processing. No clue what is actually changing in the chemistry of the starches and sugars. But I never had a problem just using alphas and gluc's and getting a thin well-converted mash so adding flo seems unnecessary. With flours it's slow but I can pump the slurry through my march pumps to move it around (1/2 id tubing). With 3/4 pump/tubing I bet it would flow really well.

As for tequila, no idea! I just put some new charred stave segments into some agave experiments so when they're done I could put some whiskey on it to see what happens but I wouldn't be able to get back to you on that for several months at least. I'm going for reposado so I probably will only leave the agave on the oak for a little while but its a light oak ratio and I'd probably want to double up for whiskey. Would be a unique product, an ex-tequila whiskey.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by Twisted Brick » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:36 am

pope wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:05 am
But I never had a problem just using alphas and gluc's and getting a thin well-converted mash so adding flo seems unnecessary.
Well, since I got the glucanase to handle 100% rye mashes, I guess I need to plan on making some. Gotta pick up some more rye.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by cayars » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:43 am

Try making this both with and without the enzymes.


The mash bill, or recipe, was discovered by researchers examining the distillery ledgers for 1798 and 1799. His whiskey consisted of 60% rye, 35% corn and 5% malted barley. The records also indicate that George Washington’s whiskey was distilled at least twice before being sent to market. In Washington’s time whiskey was not aged and was sold in its original form.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by Twisted Brick » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:51 am

cayars wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:43 am
Try making this both with and without the enzymes.
I've looked at the recipe and considered making it for the novelty of taking it to parties. The obstacle for me is that it calls for un-malted rye and is served white.

What is your assessment of it as written? Have you ever made it with malted rye? Aged?
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by cayars » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:11 am

I've made this a bunch of different ways. I like it because it's like the original moonshine done by our first President. :)
I like Rye for Manhattans, Old Fashions, Whiskey Sours, etc so I often use this white and it's great for that. It's not my cup of tea for sipping when not oaked. Can use it both ways of course.

For use in cocktails like I use it, there isn't a lot of difference between malted rye and unmalted and I usually just use it white after 3 weeks rest as the Rye comes through plenty, just slightly different. So I just use unmalted like the original recipe as it 1/2 the price for the rye. You can easily change up this recipe to use more malted barley as well and less corn for a more traditional rye.

Surprisingly with only 5% malted barley done in a cooler left overnight you can get really good conversion without the use of enzymes but they help to get full conversion of course and much faster. This is one of the main recipes I use the enzymes with.

Sometimes I'll take some of my GWR and mix it in with other Bourbons I've made to add a bit more Rye kick to them, then oak.

It's a nifty recipe to try for historical reasons as well as the fact it's a nice rye whiskey to have on hand.

BTW, Mount Vernon does age some of this and sells it that way (brown) as well and it is better as you would imagine. So no reason it can't be aged on oak. You of course can use malted rye but it really wouldn't be George's done that way. It will be a fine drop however.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by Down_Home52 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:36 am

Malted barley is killing me on cost mainly due to shipping. Was wondering how much flavor difference I would have by using unmalted barley that I can source locally and use enzymes?
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by pope » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:47 am

TB is that a subjective obstacle? You should be able to convert rye flour and put it in your new thumper.

Down Home are there not home brew shops near you? I can get 50# sacks at my LHBS for like $1-1.15/lb.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by Twisted Brick » Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:53 pm

pope wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:47 am
TB is that a subjective obstacle?
For sure. I absolutely love the taste of rye and with my malting successes haven't been able to justify making an 'inferior' drink using raw grain. It's something I need to get over, and like Cayars says, the GWR is just fine in manhattans. Also, my daughter's boyfriend likes mixing up a batch of whiskey sours, so maybe it's time to try this.
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pope
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by pope » Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:23 pm

I haven't used enough rye malted or unmalted for it to be a prominent flavor, you think malted is vastly superior to raw?
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by Twisted Brick » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:10 pm

Dunno first hand. Just what I've read here: that raw rye tastes rough and more earthy. I should do a side-by-side so I know. Hey, the GWR would be the perfect recipe for doing this.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by cayars » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:06 pm

I'm torn. I'm going to be no help. They are different to me.

I like malted rye better BUT not for twice the cost (for me). If price wasn't a concern I'd use malted rye as it's less "earthy", doesn't need external enzymes and just more spicy in a Bourbon/rye whiskey kind of way without a "musk" like flavor in Bourbon that needs to age out.

One of my favorite mash bills over just 100% malted barley (scotch) is 80 to 85% malted rye and 15 to 20% malted barley. I like malts. I think (not sure) that malted rye needs less aging to be drinkable neat, but I don't really drink rye neat and use them in cocktails. Because I only use them in cocktails for the most part they can be a bit more "raw" (my use). Rye probably needs more aging then any other grain to drink neat (for me) because it's bold and usually spicy.

If this helps at all, for a wheat whiskey I prefer non malted wheat. I prefer non malted corn. I prefer malted barley and malted rye. I really don't care for unmalted barley but rye is much closer as a toss up of all grains I use, but will give malt the nod. But it's much closer and is price dependent based on how long I plan to age it. The pure rye flavor comes across in both malt and unmalted.

If you can do "fine cuts" on small batches and get good results, try a 5 or 10 gallon batch and decide for yourself.

If you lived near me I could let you sample some different rye batches I've done and kept white vs oaked in both malted and unmalted variations. I probably have close to a dozen variations on hand (white, oak, cherry, apple). Apple and rye is nice if done right.

High Rye recipes are the hardest cuts for me to make personally. I've not been able to nail them down and do cuts by temp or proof regardless of logging previous runs. I do these using MANY small jars around where I think my cut points should be and I'm always off. I'm ok because I do use many small jars but one batch might be jar 2 and another jar 4. Pisses me off. I can't/haven't been able to cut on the fly with rye and I've tried and tried and tried. Rye in my kryptonite for cuts on the fly. :) It's a challenge that maybe one day I'll win. LOL Ironically I don't have the foaming issues many people do with rye but I have to really work on cuts.
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Re: NChooch's Carolina Bourbon

Post by pope » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:31 pm

Man I've got to stop making so much equipment and start making more batches. I still need to do my on-the-grain/off-the-grain single malt side-by-side, now I gotta do it with rye flour/malt too.
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