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Whiskey Still Co. Blog

The Perfect Father’s Day Gift

You are your father’s son. He taught you how to shave and took you fishing, you’ve watched your first game with him, you shared a beer. You’ve looked up to him and he’s been there for you, doing the best he could. Then, you became impatient. You rebelled and sought your own ways, as he stepped back and watched you grow into the man you are today. You two share a story, with all the highs and lows that make it yours alone, and it’s this story you want to honor on Father’s Day. You’re looking for a gift, but...

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Hydrometer Wisdom: Monitoring Fermentation

As with all matters of life, there are two ways of monitoring the fermentation of your mash: the easy way and the complicated way. If you’re a K.I.S.S. fan – not the band, but the „Keep It Simple, Stupid” philosophy – you’ll prepare the mash and just let it be. A day or two after adding the yeast, you’ll see the airlock bubble – and know the stuff’s doing its fermenting business. After 14 days, it should be about done. If it still bubbles, let it sit for another few days, or until you see no bubbling for at least...

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Hydrometer 101

Or how to measure the alcohol content of a liquid without gunpowder – the definitely more fun yet not to be recommended method of yore, described in our previous post. Enter the hydrometer, a glass tube, weighted on one end and with graduated markings on it. It works like a fishing float that indicates the density, or specific gravity of a liquid, compared to water. As alcohol is thinner than water, the higher the alcohol content, the deeper the float sinks. Pure water has a specific gravity of 1.000 on the hydrometer scale. Temperature is a key factor when measuring...

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Alcohol Strength: Volume, Weight, Proof

There are many questions that have long preoccupied humankind. What’s the meaning of life? What is love? Is there anybody out there? Why do cats purr? How strong is actually this drink? Let’s stick to the latter, for now at least, since it might be of higher interest for our whiskey still matters. As it happens with such universal questions, there is no clear-cut answer. People use a couple of different ways of describing alcohol strength, some relying on straightforward science, some on old practices. Alcohol by Volume (ABV) This is the standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is...

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Distillation – The Four Runs

As you know, the basic principle of distillation is boiling a mixture to separate the more volatile fluid (cheers!) from the less volatile fluid. If alcohol is redistilled several times to 170 proof or better, it will result in a pure spirit, free from the pesky hangover inducing components produced by fermentation (volatile acids, fusel oils, ethers, aldehydes and esters). Distilling in a regular whiskey still requires three or four consecutive distillations – or runs. Here’s a step-by-step run through the process. Tip: Run low and slow, for a distillate with as few impurities as possible. Too high heat will...

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