Corn and Rye bourbon method

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Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:42 pm

I have been running UJSSM now for 9 generations and feel comfortable in running the still and still learning on making good cuts. I would like to take the next step into all grain. I have been looking at Jimbo's easy ½ barrel and intend to try that initially. That being said, I have been doing extensive reading and want to put together a mash bill that incorporates 20% Rye. I'm laying out my procedure step by step and would like for anyone that could, look it over and help me tweak it, shoot holes in it and make corrections. Thanks in advance.

Ingredients
32lb corn, Dent corn milled to coarse meal with Corona mill
8lb malted Rye
18 gallons water
4 gallons backset (or combo of water/backset to reach proper Ph)
8ml SEBamyl GL
10.5ml SEBstar HTL

Fill my spare Keggle electric boiler with 18 gallons of water.
Bring the temperature of the water to 150 degrees and add it to the fermenter.
Stir in the 32Lbs of corn
Adjust the Ph to 6-6.5 if necessary
Add 10.5ml of SEBstar HTL (.36ml x 32lb corn)
Raise the temperature of the mash to 190 with steam injector. Hold temperature at 190 degrees for 90 minutes. Stirring frequently.
After 90 minutes add backset and/or water to adjust the Ph of the mash down to 5 increasing total volume to 22 gallons.
Cool mash to 145 degrees
Add malted Rye
Add 8ml SEBaml GL ( .36*20lb. The additional 20lb grain will get enzymes from Rye)
Cover and insulate for 80 minutes, or until Iodine test shows clear, stiring occasionally
Reduce temperature to 70-85 degrees depending on yeast.
Pitch hydrated yeast cover and begin ferment.

I'm looking to eventually make a bourbon with a flavor profile similar to a Four Roses single barrel. I know they use a little more Rye in that specific grain bill but this is going to be my first rye attempt and wanted to keep it simple. I also notice that some distillers grain bills, When I do the Diastatic math it doesn't add up. Is it a common practice in commercial distilling to supplement there malted grains with liquid enzymes? That is the only way I can make some posted grain bills work.

Another question. I know that Jimbo ½ barrel method will bring his water to 190 and then add into a fermenter and mix in the corn. Is that method of conversion going to yield close to a same conversion as the above mentioned method. It sure is simpler. Also if doing it the Jimbo ½ barrel method, would it be additionally beneficial to also use some HTL and Gluco enzymes to help things along?

Thanks.
Last edited by Midwest on Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby seamusm53 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:27 pm

I know some 'whiskey' designations are forbidden to add anything but water, grain, and yeast. Some are allowed to 'adulterate' the process with flavorings, etc.. I don't know if any use added enzymes other than malt. The malted rye should be at least coarsely cracked or ground to allow maximum extraction of both the amylase and the starch. The 80 minutes may or may not be long enough to convert all of the corn and rye starches. I'd recommend a starch test - if still 'blue' just hold it longer at 145. Since you aren't trying to make a commercial product it can't hurt to add other anzymes for starch conversion as long as you do it at the proper temp for that particular enzyme.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:11 pm

As far as I can tell,from my limited research, the liquid enzymes are not imparting any flavor into the product. I can’t see any advantage to using liquid over a distillers malt or adjusting the mash bill or incorporate a barley malt. Other than from a purist point of view. It’s my understanding barley malt doesn’t impart any flavor either. I may be wrong and if I am please correct me so I will have it right.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby StillerBoy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:20 pm

Midwest wrote:Another question. I know that Jimbo ½ barrel method will bring his water to 190 and then add into a fermenter and mix in the corn. Is that method of conversion going to yield close to a same conversion as the above mentioned method. It sure is simpler. Also if doing it the Jimbo ½ barrel method, would it be additionally beneficial to also use some HTL and Gluco enzymes to help things along?

Your grains bill is a little short of the 2 lbs / gal, it will still give you flavour.. I add by milled grains to the pot, which had been warned up to 80 - 85*F, I heat my required water to boiling roll, then add it to the grains, stir them will with an paint stirrer, which will give me a 185 -190*F temp, which I let sit for 90 min, stirring every half hour, then adjust Ph to 5.8, add HTL( at 5.8 once the stir is finish, the ph will be 5.9 - 6, the ideal ph recommend) then stir every hr until the temp reaches 150*F, adjust ph to 4.8, and by the time the ph adjustment it done, the temp will be around 140*F, I add the GL.. and my conversion are always in the 1.065+ range..

You may want to check out these link, as it a combination of these two that I use..
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=49869
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=65703

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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby BayouShine » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:26 pm

Midwest wrote:I can’t see any advantage to using liquid over a distillers malt or adjusting the mash bill or incorporate a barley malt.

Mash this gain bill with and without liquid enzymes and get back to us. You'll quickly see the huge advantage to using the HT liquid enzymes.
Midwest wrote:It’s my understanding barley malt doesn’t impart any flavor either.

Nope. Barley has a distinct flavor, just like every other grain variety.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:43 pm

What my sentence should have read was I don’t see the advantage of the distillers or barley malt OVER the HTL. I got it backwards. I think the liquid enzymes seem the way to go.

On a grain bill when there using 5% barley malt does it add a significant flavor profile? I could still use it for flavor and still use enzymes
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby StillerBoy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:10 pm

Midwest wrote:On a grain bill when there using 5% barley malt does it add a significant flavor profile? I could still use it for flavor and still use enzymes

I've done the mashing both ways, and I didn't see enough of a different in flavor to mash the malt at a lower temp by itself.. now I mash all the grains at the same time and temp.. I just mash to meet the ph in the liquid enzymes way..
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby BayouShine » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:25 pm

Midwest wrote:On a grain bill when there using 5% barley malt does it add a significant flavor profile? I could still use it for flavor and still use enzymes

With that low percentage, I'd say most people wouldn't even notice a difference in flavor. On the other hand, 5% is not nearly enough DP to convert the rest of the grain bill so you'll have to contend with that.

You can absolutely use it for flavor and still use enzymes to help with starch conversion. The liquid enzymes will make your mashing much more efficient, not taste different.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Cu29er » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:24 pm

.

You need to cook the corn at a much higher temperature.
Water to rolling boil 200F+
Add corn while stirring and don't let temp drop below 180F (slow down speed of adding corn)
Keep stirring and try to get temp up to 190-200F but don't let it scorch

insulated wrap for as many hours as you can and when temp hits 150F mix your fine ground barley malt
Stir a few times every hour until you hit 120F
Let cool or add cold water to get down to yeast pitching temp
Let 'er rip.

Seems best performance is 2.4 to 2.6 lbs/gallon, however you can go 3 lbs/gallon and get more output but less efficient.

If using all barley instead of corn then do the working high temps around 165F+
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:04 am

Well I'm going to do the first all grain tomorrow AM and have just a couple of additional questions. I am modifying the grain bill a bit to up the grain to fluid ratio. Here is the modified recipe.

Ingredients
50lb corn, Dent corn milled to coarse meal with Corona mill
8lb malted Rye
19 gallons water
5 gallons backset (or combo of water/backset to reach proper Ph)
8ml SEBamyl GL
10.5ml SEBstar HTL

Place 3 gallons of water in fermenter
Fill my spare Keggle electric boiler with 15 gallons of water.
Bring the temperature of the water to 160 degrees and add it to the fermenter.
Stir in the 50Lbs of corn
Adjust the Ph to 6-6.5 if necessary
Add 18ml of SEBstar HTL (.36ml x 32lb corn)
Raise the temperature of the mash to 185 with steam injector. Hold temperature at 185 degrees for 90 minutes. Stirring frequently.
After 90 minutes add 5 gallons of backset adjusting the Ph of the mash down to 5 increasing total volume to 24 gallons plus what the steam injector adds.
Cool mash to 145 degrees
Add malted Rye
Add 14ml SEBaml GL ( .36*38lb. The additional 20lb grain will get enzymes from Rye)
Cover and insulate for 80 minutes Stir occasionally
Check conversion with iodine test
Reduce temperature to 70-85 degrees depending on yeast.
Pitch hydrated yeast cover and begin ferment.

My questions are. Using my spare keggle as a water heater I'm preheating the water to 180 degrees before I add the corn and water in the fermenter. At that point, I will use the steam wand to raise it to cooking temperature. My thought process is that by dong that I will reduce the amount of additional H20 that is introduced into the mash from the steam. By starting at 180 degrees and raising the temperature and using the HTL enzymes I hope to loosen the grain while heating to cooking temperature. Now on to the cooking temperature...I was planning on using 190 as the cooking temperature. Some say that it should be more like 200 degrees but the technical specifications on the Sebstar HTL reads, "SEBstar HTL has a temperature range of 50 – 90oC. For liquefaction hold times longer than 30 minutes, the optimum temperature is 80 – 85 degrees Celcius" (176-185 F). Also SebStar goes inactive above 203 degrees. SOOO what is the temperature you all would recommend.

Also US Plastic sells a cap for 55 gallon barrels. It looks almost like a clear shower cap. It seems to seal real well on the top of the barrel. Has anyone ever used these instead of actually putting the solid cap on the fermenter? I though if it worked it could be a nice alternative so you could see what was happening in the fermenter with out opening it up. here is the link to what I am talking about https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item. ... emid=32717
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby fizzix » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:27 pm

I like the shower caps. Keeps the bugs and oxygen out and lets the CO2 pass.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby jon1163 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:41 pm

fizzix wrote:I like the shower caps. Keeps the bugs and oxygen out and lets the CO2 pass.
+1
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:42 pm

Great I like being able to see what’s happening also. Anyone on the SebStar cooking questions?
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby HDNB » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:23 pm

i add 1/2 dost htl on the way up to loosen it. i aim for 195*, let it cool back down to 185* add the rest of the dose (3/4dose), hold for 90 mins. and let it cool to 149* for GL. hold gl for 90 mins and cool to pitch at 110*cooks off nice and fast and hot give some nice flavour.

i use a bit more than recommended as you don't know how old they are, shelf life for optimum is 6 months and the manufacturer suggests "more" for anything that is not optimal, tem, ph, age,starch content, mill size
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:26 am

Thanks for the input I will do that. Getting ready to start boiling
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:27 pm

Cooking has gone well. Brought the temperature up to 190 held up there with the HTL enzymes for 90 minutes. Added my backset, and brought the temperature down to 145. At that point I added my other grains in the GL Amalys, insulated the fermenter and now it’s resting at 145 degrees. Question, how long should I hold it there before letting it drop to pitching temperature? Should I check it in a couple hours with iodine and if good then remove insulation in allowed to fall to pitch temperature?
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:17 pm

Midwest wrote:Cooking has gone well. Brought the temperature up to 190 held up there with the HTL enzymes for 90 minutes. Added my backset, and brought the temperature down to 145. At that point I added my other grains in the GL Amalys, insulated the fermenter and now it’s resting at 145 degrees. Question, how long should I hold it there before letting it drop to pitching temperature? Should I check it in a couple hours with iodine and if good then remove insulation in allowed to fall to pitch temperature?


I do 50 gal mashes in a 55 gal ss mashtun/fermenter/thumper. I just let it come down to temperature on it's own. I'll bet it'll take a while to come down to pitching temp, no need to force it (either up or down). You have a fairly large thermal mass there.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:21 pm

Thanks Redwood I’ll just let it sit and watch the temps.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:21 pm

I’m waiting for the temperature to drop enough to pitch US-05. It’s taking a loooong time for the temperature to drop. I took off the insulation and have a fan on it now. Currently it’s at 88 degrees. The specs on US-05 say 75 degrees or less. I just took an SG reading and it reads 1.062 which should be in the range for the grain bill. The question I have.. the Iodine test still show the presence of starches. What could I have done to get a better conversion. The only thing I did differently from the afore mentioned recipe was i added 1/2 of the HTL enzymes at the initial temperature of 130 before I raised it 190 where I added the second half. Should I have cooked it longer? I cooked at 190 for 90 minutes. I then lowered the temp with 5 gallon backset( and time) to 145, (the ph was 3.9)and put in the GL amalayze where it has been cooling from ever since. It has taken all day to cool from 130 degrees (6 AM) to the 88 degrees I have now (9:30 PM) Any suggestions would be appreciated. I think at a starting SG of 1.062 I’ll still be good, just concerned I did not get full conversion of starches. Thanks.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby zapata » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:45 am

It'll keep converting while it ferments, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
FYI when you try to nail that 4 roses goal, they use unmalted rye which does have a different flavor profile than malted. Not saying anything wrong with malted rye at all, just might help get you a little closer to your goal.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:25 am

It’s taking so long to cool is will that create any issues. It’s now 6:30 AM 42 hours and counting and I’m still at 80 degrees. Need it 75 to pitch.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Antler24 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:03 am

Four roses Single Barrel is my favorite commercial bourbon, and my goals for this hobby is to eventually make something comparable as well. Keep in mind you'll probably never "clone" it. Even barrels sitting side my side in the same warehouse can vary in flavour.

Zapata- can you share where you got the info on four roses using raw rye? I wasn't able to find anything on that. I did read they used malted, but it wasnt a reliable source IMO. I'm having trouble finding raw rye around these parts, farm stores only sell the grass feed.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Midwest » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:07 am

Temperature finally reached 75 degrees!! pitched US-05 now the wait begins. I did decide to just use the shower cap for my cover that way I can observe without disturbing the lid.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby zapata » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:58 pm

So I have gotten several PMs for a source on the Four Roses rye vs. malted rye...
No, I don't have a reliable source, it's `mostly inference. Most of that is very few people are using malted rye at all and they advertise it. Malted rye is more expensive and sounds better in marketing, so it's a little hard to imagine folks not advertising it. Unless of course it's a secret to their success, which I guess it could be. Espcially at 35% of the mash bill, it would be crazy expensive.

But the rest is based on Four Roses history. In the 70s-90's they were owned by Seagrams and were one of the worst distilleries in Seagrams portfolio. Domestically they made what their own employees called rotgut. It was neutral grain blended with crappy whiskey, not even bourbon much less straight bourbon. Internally they rated their batches on a scale of 4 stars to decide what to do with each batch. Their overall average was 1.9 stars, and thats their own internal judgement BEFORE being blended with grain neutral!

Meanwhile 4 Roses was booming with an actual bourbon in Japan. I think I read, but don't remember and can't immediately find, was the Japanese 4 Roses bourbon even made in the 4 roses distillery? I don't remember, maybe they just got the cream of the crop, and there just wasn't enough 3 or 4 star barrels to supply more than Japan, but with Seagrams being so huge, they could have been getting/making the japanese 4 roses anywhere. I know I read that they were actually sending and receiving samples for testing and QC to/from the plant in Indiana now known as MGP (of templeton and mass "craft" whiskey fame/infamy). Could have been the Japanese 4 Roses was one of the first rebranded "MGP" whiskies? I dunno, Seagrams also owned Eagle Rare, Antique, Benchmark and Henry McKenna, but those brands were sold by Seagrams in the late 80's specifically so those barrels could go to Japan as Four Roses bourbon. It's easy to track ownership of a distillery, much harder to track exactly where production was happening at any given time. Where was Eagle Rare made when Seagrams owned it? Was it at it's current distillery (Buffalo Trace)? That's more than I can sort out.

Anyway, the guy that fixed 4 Roses distillery in Kentucky into what we know today (Jim Rutledge) was a process guy. Not a recipe development guy. He worked for Seagram's corporate, and just wanted to be at the Four Roses plant. And after he transferred there he really wanted to turn it around because Seagrams was threatening to just shut it down. He turned 4 Roses around not by focusing on the recipe, but by focusing on quality control and consistency. And he did it, bumped their average production from 1.9 stars to 3.5 stars (guess from memory from an interview I read). And then Seagrams sold the brand to a Japanese company, who made the decision to re-enter the American bourbon market instead of the blended swill. Four Roses re-entered the American bourbon market with the Single Barrel product, selected from barrels made during the Seagrams years.

All that to say, 4 Roses is most likely a very traditional run of the mill bourbon recipe which stands out only due to quality control, consistency, and barrel selection for the smaller releases. I can't see Seagram's paying for premium ingredients like a 35% malted rye mash bill, for what was destined to be crappy blended whiskey.

Run of the mill traditional industrial age Bourbon uses rye grain, not malted rye. It's what's in all the textbooks, pictures of grain bills from distilleries, etc. And yes, for most of them you have to infer that "rye" in their marketing means "unmalted rye" because virtually nobody mentions malted rye at all. In fact, I can't find malted rye mentioned outside of modern craft distilleries, and historical accounts of Monongahala rye whiskies (apologies if I butchered the spelling there). Of course there is some rye malt in some Canadian rye's and some German Rye Korn, maybe some premium vodka somewhere. But it just isn't mentioned anywhere in the bourbon world. I do see a few reviews that are giving the 4 Roses bill as malted rye, but even then they refer to 4 Roses own site which definitely doesn't say malted. I think this claim of malted rye in a couple reviews is an error, and maybe even one where the reviewers were referencing each other's claim of malted rye.

Anyway, thats my case. I could be wrong. It'd be really interesting if I'm wrong. It's also possible that they originally used unmalted rye, but switched to malted at some point since the Single Barrel bottling started. But Four Roses makes a pretty big deal out of explaining their recipes, I really don't see them not disclosing malted rye if they used it.

Of course malted rye could be used in bourbon, it's right there in the identity standards, but that just reinforces my assumption, even there it is referred to specifically as either "rye malt" or "malted rye", as opposed to the raw grain which is simply called "rye". I think pretty much industry wide "rye" means unmalted.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Antler24 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:58 am

You got it Zapata, though I still not convinced with the rye. All your points are solid I just don't think they would be able to convert all that raw grain without enzymes. IF they are using enzymes, it wouldn't make much sense to spend the extra money for the malted barley.

From what I've read, Rutledge tried for 20 years to bring the straight bourbon back to the US market but was always denied by Seagram's. When they decided to sell the distillery, the Japanese importer bought it so they wouldn't lose the bourbon market in Japan, and to ensure they continued to get the bourbon they had been selling for years. At that time Rutledge was Plant Manager IIRC and again tried to bring the premium juice back to the US market. This time the new owners basically told him do what he wants as long as the bourbon keeps flowing to Japan, and the company remains profitable.

I love the four roses single barrels, and am trying to track down the different recipes but they aren't available in Canada, so Its difficult.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby zapata » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:43 pm

That is a point regarding the malted barley and enzymes, and one I have wondered on bourbon in general. None of the big guys advertise enzymes, but it's very easy to find "insiders" say they use them. And common sense says they have to with malt at only 5%. But if they do, why bother with the malt at all? Does 5% malt make a flavor contribution? Is it "just the way they do it"? I do not have answers to this and have often wondered.

In the craft world people are far more likely to be pretty open. On the one hand plenty use 10-15% malt and no enzymes, but even the enzyme users will often keep 5-10% malt. For flavor? Tradition? Because at 10% on such a small scale and less scale for risk it doesn't matter as much? Who knows?

I emailed four roses directly, wonder if they will reply?
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Twisted Brick » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:45 pm

Antler24 wrote: I'm having trouble finding raw rye around these parts, farm stores only sell the grass feed.


Antler,

I don't know where in Canada you are, but I ran across this (I think here in HD). If I lived in Minnesota I'd be all over this. I just spent more for 15lbs of malted rye than one of these 50 lb'ers.

https://naturalwaymills.com/product.php?product=45

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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby Antler24 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:08 pm

Twisted Brick wrote:
Antler24 wrote: I'm having trouble finding raw rye around these parts, farm stores only sell the grass feed.


Antler,

I don't know where in Canada you are, but I ran across this (I think here in HD). If I lived in Minnesota I'd be all over this. I just spent more for 15lbs of malted rye than one of these 50 lb'ers.

https://naturalwaymills.com/product.php?product=45

Brick


I'm in Newfoundland, but regularly travel to Ontario and back. I've called every grain store in between and they all tell me they only have the grass seed. I'm trying to avoid shipping.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby zapata » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:32 pm

In the states, but every health food store and decent grocery store I've inquired at can order bulk grains. I don't live in rye country, nor anywhere with much in the way of specialty grocers. But places with bulk bins are a good bet to inquire at. I assume Canada has similar things? Tubs with rice, grains, nuts etc you just scoop out how much you want and pay per pound. They may not have bins of rye grain, but if they have bins of rice or wheat they can probably order rye from the same supplier. The 2 stores local to me I've done that at sold to me at their cost.

Finding whole grain rye at a feed store would be amazing to me, but finding food grade should not be very difficult.
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Re: Corn and Rye bourbon method

Postby zapata » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:42 pm

Per Ryan Ashley (COO & Director, Distillery Operations), all rye in Four Roses is unmalted european rye.
Cool
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