20 years of aging in 6 days

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20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby dstaines » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:35 pm

Here's an interesting news story from my neck of the woods, though it actually broke at the ADI Craft Distillers Conference in Louisville KY yesterday.

Bryan Davis is the Master Distiller and owner of Lost Spirits Distillery and self-published author of "How To Make Whiskey." On April 1 he revealed the Model 1 prototype of his new aging "reactor". He claims that his reactor and proprietary process can simulate the flavor profile of 20-year-old barrel aged spirits in less than a week, and backs up his claim with gas-chromatograph evidence in a white paper available on his website.

How it works is not published, but it uses charred oak blocks instead of barrels. Grandly speaking, the system is supposed to accelerate the natural decomposition of the charred wood that normally takes place over a very long time, and uses some unspecified forms of energy to force esterification of wood derived compounds. Interestingly, Mr. Davis describes the process as not currently capable of simulating any shorter or longer terms of aging.

Five reactors are contracted to be beta-tested by unnamed craft distillers. When they become commercially available, the systems will be rented to distilleries. Rentees will have some scope of electronic control over the process, and will be able to access the inside of the machine to add and remove spirits as well as charge the reactor with oak blocks. Lost Spirits will retain ownership of the reactors, as well as maintain complete secrecy concerning its actual mechanisms.

Now I'm not saying I buy it. I think in particular that the fact it can't simulate anything younger than 20 years may be telling - most spirits that old taste far far too overly oaked to the average palate. That's not to say that there aren't exceptional counter examples, nor aficionados who really appreciate extra-aged spirits. But I can tell you from my personal experience that it is very possible to over-oak a whiskey in six days, and all I had was a glass quart jar and a kitchen counter top. I have a lot of respect for Mr Davis, and consider him a mentor, even if he doesn't remember me. I will be following whatever news I can find on this new process with interest as he moved toward bringing it to market.

Drinkwire.com article about the announcement
http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/lost-s ... s-industry

Link to the "Model 1 White Paper" by Bryan Davis
http://www.lostspirits.net/#!science-/c1kb3
Last edited by dstaines on Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby pfshine » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:54 pm

I did like the article but.... Aging is time not some process to be sped up. I have done freezing nuking and ultrasonic they all just make oak tea or some degree of smoothing. The only way to get 20 years of aging in 6 days is to make it go faster than the spped of light to create a paradoxical type of time shift or make some kind of magical time dilation device. Time is the only way to age.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:02 pm

On April 1 he revealed the Model 1 prototype of his new aging "reactor".

That date strike a chord with anyone here?
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby MDH » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:04 pm

Pfshine, time is energy. While I agree with everyone here that you can't, for instance, recreate the influences of osmosis in the barrel (In which volatile compounds in the environment outside the barrel are very gradually absorbed and dissolved within alcohol), any reaction that is observable in nature can be reproduced if the conditions under which it occurs are understood. In conventional aging we have thermal energy and oxidation, under which several processes occur - Organic componuds are absorbed from oak, they react with other compounds in the alcohol, the alcohol itself actually reacts with water, extremely volatile and light compounds evaporate, while others react with acids, etc.

I too have much respect for what Bryan is doing, and I always have. I tried his Leviathan whiskies - sadly no longer available - back in 2013. They are great Whiskies.

But I heard about this development from Bryan from several people I know in the distilling industry. They basically told me that they believe he's using techniques that have been discovered and applied to distilled spirits by others, except he's developed an order to the process and patented it. To be honest, this concerned me slightly as I wonder whether or not he's "privatizing" a process that has been known by others for decades. Will this stop those of us who enter the industry from having creative freedom to experiment later on? We'll have to see.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Jimbo » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:16 pm

Does it vibrate? :ewink:
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Bushman » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:45 pm

Jimbo wrote:Does it vibrate? :ewink:

Having just returned from Maui, I think it does a Hula Dance!
PS: Don't let Jimbo's and my comment derail this thread.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Windy City » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:12 pm

Maybe it's a steam room. :sarcasm:

Sorry I could not help myself :lol:
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby aquavita » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:19 pm

Of course it vibrates.

The specific frequency is the patent.... :shh:

Pay Up Sukkas :twisted:

But seriously, "reactors"?

So we have O2 as a possible "reactant" (Jimbo remember the conversation), or other natural atmospheric gasses forced into cohesion to drive an "aged" product.

While my post may be "saucy", I applaud the :clap: the effort and potential success. I love when there is potential for the "The Wizard" to be exposed.

Looking forward to future updates.

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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby pfshine » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:40 pm

Oh yeah I have also done the angel blaster. I think Myles coined that name. I have not tried the Asian method of running some type of high voltage through it yet, that seems even more unsafe than nuking. I don't know... If it tastes good then that's all that matters, but it still aint 20 year aged stuff.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Rastus » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:45 pm

S-Cackalacky wrote:
On April 1 he revealed the Model 1 prototype of his new aging "reactor".

That date strike a chord with anyone here?

it resonates at a secret proprietary exclusive frequency that reacts my brain in a 20 year cycle that will take me till next april 1st to ponder. better pour another shot...
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby ranger_ric » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:22 pm

Come on guys, You know the reactor is just the new name for a flux capacitor...

However, and that is a big however, If this works can you imagine how the world will change...???
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby dstaines » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:28 pm

S-Cackalacky wrote:
On April 1 he revealed the Model 1 prototype of his new aging "reactor".

That date strike a chord with anyone here?

CackalackIy I wasn't going to be the one who brought it up, but I'm glad you did.

Unfortunate timing at the very very least, given the current market attitude between the larger established industry giants who adhere to the traditional rickhouse aging process, and the growing segment of smaller producers who (some of them) are doing whatever they can to bring a competitive product to market. Since the inventor of this process is one of the latter, and given that he did actually unveil this at the ADI convention in front of everyone who would have otherwise gotten the joke, it really couldn't be more than unfortunately bad timing.

When I met Bryan Davis in 2013, he (very very loosely) described to be some of the work that he was doing to identify and quantify the parameters of spirit aging. He certainly did not reveal anything of this magnitude to me, but I can only suppose he must have been working on this project at that time. He's not the first by far to go down this route. And even as a confirmed believer that nothing can replace the long term scale effects of aging on wood, I am seriously curious to see what the verdict is on Mr. Davis's new system. If the beta-testers reject it out of hand, that will be a confirmation of what many of us have found. If it becomes a commercially viable method to quickly produce spirits with 'extra-aged' flavor, even on a marginal scale, well then that will be cool as fuck too.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby DeepSouth » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:21 am

I just read the white paper. This is really interesting, and the white paper actually has the laboratory test data included comparing their rum that was aged in this machine with a 33 year old control sample. The major chemical components that give each of the flavors are almost identical between the two.

I read a few years ago about Cleveland Whiskey. The guy there had developed a similar contraption. His was some sort of pressurized and temperature controlled tank that also had oxygen introduced. The tank gets loaded with charred oak blocks.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Jimbo » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:59 am

DeepSouth wrote:I just read the white paper. This is really interesting, and the white paper actually has the laboratory test data included comparing their rum that was aged in this machine with a 33 year old control sample.


I was just about to post the true test will be with a white spirit, maybe a potstill wheat based vodka or Booners or similar with some wetdog tails that need time to mellow into grain flavors. Even my rum and vodka were much better after many months. Aging, in the real sense, not oaking, doesnt take 20 years. But if it can be done in a week instead of 6 months or year, thats still huge for the industry. I dont see the wild appeal for rapid oaking, thats not hard to do in a shorter time. And REALLY old whiskeys, especially bourbon and such in new wood, 20+ years, have a 'varnish' character to them. Ive tasted it on more than one occasion. Its odd, not terribly great honestly. Tastes like chewing on an old library bookshelf.

Anyway, the dildo's in my test are still buzzin away on a bourbon and a booners. Its been more than a week, and they aint aged, so I havent found the silver bullet yet, but Ill play along with the crazy experiments too. Fun stuff this.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby dstaines » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:59 am

How funny would it be if one of the beta testers cracked open the machine, and all they found was Jimbo and FullySilenced packed inside there surrounded by dildos and a microwave.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby ranger_ric » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:04 pm

:thumbup: +1 dstaines :clap: :lolno: :lolno:
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby thecroweater » Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:12 am

Anything that sounds to good to be true ain't, that simple
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby FullySilenced » Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:00 am

Well nuking Is stupid simple.. but reactors. Sound more like.. :think: vacuum, mixing and vibrating-laser beams ...or some old witch stirring a cauldron ...
well at least in my imagination :oops: 8)
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby MDH » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:57 pm

No, oxidation is not the only reaction.

My thinking is six steps.

0. The pre steps. With his Leviathans (again no longer available) he used lighting-based methods to break down the barrels which the whisky will go into
1. Forced, fine bubbles of air to forceably aerate the fresh distillate
2. Extraction of oak components by force turns deep brown immediately
3. Subject to increased temperatures and some form of energy, likely ultrasonic, electromagnetic/microwave while simultaneously being subjected to O2 one way or another
4. Proofing down to 40-50% and further reaction or warm temps in order for the alcohol and water to "bind".

I don't know if this is what he does, but based on how aging actually works it'd seem the closest match. And I suggest some form of energy treatment because conventional aging is the result of basic thermal energy and any chemical reaction can be accelerated by increasing the temperature. Heat and O2 have been patented by many people in varying processes, so Bryan could patent it. Ultrasonic has already been patented by Terressentia. That leaves microwave and electronic field.
Last edited by MDH on Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:52 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby thecroweater » Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:19 pm

What it is is bullshit of that there is little doubt :wink:
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Killrb13 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:56 am

In my opinion even if it was possible to simulate the flavor, I still wouldnt drink it. The craft of aging and drinking something that someone has put time and effort to create is part of the experience.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby dstaines » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:05 am

Killrb13 wrote:In my opinion even if it was possible to simulate the flavor, I still wouldnt drink it.


That's your prerogative Killer. I can't say I don't at least partially agree with you. However curiosity is a large part of my nature, and fortunately there is a way to satisfy that for me. Lost Spirits Distillery has released four different rums in the last few years, and as far as I know they were all met with some measure of acclaim. Definitely the Navy-style rum was very well received, and I've seen members here talking about it positively. With this press release we have learned that all four of those releases were part of the refinement process and proving ground for Davis' system. This is all according to the article linked in my original post. The first three rum releases (Navy style, Polynesian inspired, and Cuban inspired) were treated in separate batches with all three of the component processed, and then blended together. The most recent release, his Colonial inspired rum, was prepared using the new complete system in it's current format. I have retail outlets near me that stock his products, and K&L Wines in San Francisco also carries them. They aren't cheap, $50-$70 per fifth I believe. I will see if I can pick up a bottle of the Colonial rum, or failing that one of the previous releases. If I can get my hands on one I will publish my tasting notes in this thread. Anyone else is of course welcome to beat me to it, mo lernin mo bettah
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby dstaines » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:22 am

Ok, another interesting note (and an aside to my above post)

I just learned while browsing for more information on the Colonial inspired rum that this product does appear to have been treated with Davis' new accelerated aging reactor, but it was also finished in more conventional red wine barrels (ala some scotch whiskies). So that finished product, while it definitely isn't 20 years old, also isn't 6 days old. The bottle says "Oak Matured" but does not carry an age statement (required for young whiskey but not for rum). Perhaps the beta-testing craft distillers will allow us the purchasing public to taste their raw, atom-smasher spirits bottled at scant days old. But I suspect that many will take Davis' lead here and use the reactor to create some version of a flavor profile for which they lack the capitol and warehouse space to create on their own. And then use that result as a landscape upon which to build additional subtle aged flavors in the traditional ways.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby 3d0g » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:07 am

Got to try Davis' Colonial last night. The smoke / BBQ flavor damn near drowns out any rum character. Glad it wasn't my $100 dropped on the bottle :)

I do quite like his Navy Style rum though.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby DeepSouth » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:01 pm

The Bacardi patent is basically for a tank that simply monitors and controls the dissolved oxygen content. Their main focus with that patent is to prevent the angel's share. Bacardi's patented "reactor" doesn't speed up the aging process; it just prevents loss of product to evaporation.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby dstaines » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:07 pm

Denying the angel's their share can't be good for the liquor...

But then again, I might pay a few dollars more for a bottle if it was Actually Cursed.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby goinbroke2 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:15 pm

Guys, I don't want to appear arrogant or brag in any way, but I've done the whole "fast aging" process and have gotten the times down to about 9hr's for a drink that tastes like 15 year old scotch. The problem is expense. (due to the energy consumed to do this) I used a strongly electrophilic, diatomic molecule comprising two lithium atoms covalently bonded together otherwise known as LI2.
Li2 is known in the gas phase. It has a bond order of 1, an internuclear separation of 267.3 pm and a bond energy of 101 kJ mol−1. The electron configuration of Li2 may be written as σ2.

Molecules containing more than two lithium atoms covalently bonded together do exist, albeit in smaller quantities than dilithium. Clusters of lithium atoms also exist; the most common arrangement is Li6. So, what I did;
I was quite aware that to break the bond between the various compounds involved to "age" something I would need a very powerfull source. The most obvious to me was the pairing of lithium in alternating cycles, once they were combined they would form Di (for two) lithium which was also a reactant. Dilithium was then processed to gain maximum energy output in the form of crystals. (a neutral state until activated by energy) The most obvious way to activate the crystals to release the energy was to use plasma. For those who don't know, A plasma can be created by heating a gas or subjecting it to a strong electromagnetic field applied with a laser or microwave generator. This decreases or increases the number of electrons, creating positive or negative charged particles called ions and is accompanied by the dissociation of molecular bonds, if present. Well duh, I thought, I have a plasma cutter in the garage, I have lithium combined and stored in crystal state in the deep freeze...let's try this!

So, I fabricated a mount to hold the plasma cutter at 23.5 degrees (as this is the angle of the tilt of the earth from vertical, I'll explain why this was important later) and placed 7mg of dilithium crystals in one gallon (canadian 4.54L) of white dog directly in it's path. The ground cable was connected to a piece of rebar which would act as a sacrificial anode and was placed in the white dog. For the first test I added 200mg of medium toasted oak. At a setting of 6 the first hour produced the most change as it darkened quite quickly and the amount of off-gassing was enormous. The second hour was still quite active but somewhat subdued. It appeared to be working on a bell curve as the amount of change was directly related to the time involved. After 9 hours the rebar was almost totally disolved and driven off as iron oxide leaving residue on the ceiling above as red dust. The crystal was almost completely dissolved as well. The colour of the whiskey was very dark. Once the bubbling ceased and the remaining liquid (about 2 1/2L) was cool I tried a taste and was very pleasantly surprised.
Now the strange part, the earth rotates on an axis 23.5 degrees offset from vertical. Knowing this I attempted to calibrate the plasma interjection point within the liquid so any "buzz" received by drinking the whisky would not produce "spins" in the drinker due to being in perfect alignment with the earth. Apparently it had no effect as I quickly staggered around and fell face first into the experiment table producing a flash and a hypothetical faster-than-light (FTL) propulsion system. Believe it or not I was propelled through the roof of the garage in a flash and landed more than 40ft from the garage in less than a second. This was definately jump drive or warp drive caused by plasma and dilithium crystals.....wait...is this the liars bench?...ah crap, sorry guys...wrong thread, my bad.. I just assumed from the bullshit story it must of been the liars bench and tried to out do it. :mrgreen:
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Odin » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:22 pm

Probably another try at the age old patents from the 50's and 30's that I found? Ultrasonic cleaning in combination with O2 added? Yeah, it mellows out a bad product. And it ages a good product faster. But if you just make better cuts than most of the commercial distillers do, there really isn't any need to age for more than 2 to 3 years anyway!

So ... if it isn't UC and O2, these reaction chambers may actually be ... good cuts for heads and tails?

:moresarcasm:

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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby dstaines » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:37 pm

goinbroke2 wrote:wait...is this the liars bench?...ah crap


:lol: GB you're fucking killing me. I'm dead. You're going to American prison for murder.
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