Summary. A very brief account of the complexities of the production, types or styles, and flavor profiles has been presented for the Chinese liquor baijiu. Those excited by the topic and now wishing to dabble in baijiu production could start by looking at a work by XingLin, et al (25). The paper covers pilot scale production of mild-flavor spirits with details translated from a major work on the topic published in Chinese. In addition to that paper (25), another paper by Qian, et al (26) discusses smaller scale operations in rural China. In conclusion, along with the references cited here and especially with the books by Sandhaus as guides (6, 7) and the short but concise review tying much of this topic together by Liu and Sun (21), it is hoped that we have provided a bit of useful information as to how flavors arise through solid state fermentation and distillation and how best to explore the flavor profiles of this strange, unique, and
potentially wonderfully varied beverage — assuming you can find and afford any of the styles in your local marketplace. They come at a high price both in terms of cash and often flavor acceptance. Gary Spedding, Ph.D. is a brewing and distilling analytical chemist with special interest in the origins and development of beverage flavor and in the sensory evaluation of beer and distilled spirits. He owns and operates Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services, LLC and the new division — Brewing and Distilling Educational Services in Lexington, KY. Jamie Baxter currently works as a consultant to the distilling industry. Through his business, Craft Distilling Services Ltd, he has built one in twenty of all the distilleries currently operating in UK, and now also has projects in Europe and Africa. Jamie was previously Master Distiller at Chase Distillery, launching Chase Potato Vodka to win a double gold medal and “best vodka” at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards 2010, and City of London Distillery and Burleighs Gin.
REFERENCES 1) Fan, W., Xu, Y. and Qian, M. Current Practice and Future Trends of Aroma and Flavor Research in Chinese Baijiu. In Sex, Smoke, and Spirits: The Role of Chemistry. B. Guthrie, J.D. Beauchamp, A. Buettner, S. Toth and M.C. Qian (Editors). ACS Symposium Series 1321. American Chemical Society, (2019); pp.145-175. 2) Yao, F., Yi, B., Shen, C., Tao, F., Liu, Y., Lin, Z. and Xu, P. Chemical Analysis of the Chinese Liquor Luzhoulaojiao by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography/Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry. Scientific Reports. 5: 9553; 1-6. (2015). 3) Fan, W., Xu, Y. and Qian, M.C. Identification of Aroma Compounds in Chinese “Moutai” and “Langjiu” Liquors by Normal Phase Liquid Chromatography Fractionation Followed by Gas Chromatography/Olfactometry. In Flavor Chemistry of Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages. M.C. Qian and T.H. Shellhammer (Editors). ACS Symposium Series 1104. American Chemical Society, (2012); pp 303-338. 4) Jin. G., Zhu, Y. and Xu, Y. Mystery behind Chinese liquor fermentation. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 63; 18-28. (2017). 5) Zheng X-W, and Han, B-Z. Baijiu, Chinese liquor: History, classification and manufacture. J. Ethn. Foods 3; 19-25. (2016). 6) Sandhaus, D. BAIJIU: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits. Penguin Books. (2014). 7) Sandhaus, D. Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World’s Oldest Drinking Culture. Potomac Books. (2019). 8) Mu, X., Xu, Y., Fan, W., Wang, H., Wu, Q. and Wang D. Solid-State Fermented Alcoholic Beverages. In Solid State Fermentation for Foods and Beverages. Jian Chen and Yang Zhu (Editors). CRC Press. Chapter 9: pp. 287-346. (2014). 9) Waterbury, M. Getting to Know Baijiu. Artisan Spirit. 20, Fall 2017. pp. 78-80. (2017). 10) Goldfarb, A. Baijiu: The World’s Most Popular WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
Spirit Comes to America. Distiller. 15 (2); 42-48. (2019). 11) Niu, Y., Kong, J., Xiao, Z., Chen, F., Ma, N. and Zhu, J. Characterization of odor-active compounds of various “Wuliangye” liquors by gas chromatography-olfactometry, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and sensory evaluation. International Journal of Food Properties. 20 (S1); s735-S745. (2017). 12) Wang, M-Y., Yang, J-G, Zhao, Q-S., Zhang, K-Z and Su, C. Research Progress on Flavor Compounds and Microorganisms of Maotai Flavor Baijiu. J. Food. Sci. 84, (1): 6—18. (2019). 13) Gao, W., Fan, W. and Xu, Y. Characterization of the Key Odorants in Light Aroma Type Chinese Liquor by Gas Chromatography-Olfactometry, Quantitative Measurements, Aroma Recombination, and Omission Studies. J. Agric. Food Chem. 62, 5796-5804. (2014). 14) Fan, H., Fan, W. and Xu, Y. Characterization of Key Odorants in Chinese Chixiang Aroma-Type Liquor by Gas Chromatography-Olfactometry, Quantitative Measurements, Aroma Recombination, and Omission Studies. J. Agric. Food Chem. 63, 3660-3668. (2015). 15) Leu, S. China, Peoples Republic of/ Product Brief/ China Spirits Market/ 2007. USDA Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN Report CH7063. (2007). 16) Wu, X-H., Zheng, X-W., Han, B-Z., Vervoort, J. and Robert Nout, M.J. Characterization of Chinese Liquor Starter, “Daqu”, by Flavor Type with 1H NMR-Based Nontargeted Analysis. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57; 11354-11359. (2009). 17) Zheng, X-W, Tabrizi, M.N., Nout, M.J. and Han, B-Z. Daqu- A Traditional Chinese Liquor Fermentation Starter. J. Inst. Brew. 117 (1): 82-90. (2011). 18) Fan, G., Fu, Z., Teng, C., Wu, Q., Liu, P., Yang, R., Minhazul, K a H.M. and Li, X. Comprehensive
analysis of different grades of roasted-sesame-like flavored Daqu. International Journal of Food Properties. 22 (1): 1205-1222. (2019). 19) Liu, P., Zhang, L., Du, X., Zhao, J., Gau. G. and Zhang, X. Dynamic Analysis of Physicochemical and Biochemical Indices and Microbial Communities of Light-Flavor Daqu during Storage. J. Am. Soc. Brew. Chem. 77 (4); 287-294. (2019). 20) Fan, G., Sun, B., Fu, Z., Xia, Y., Huang, M., Xu, C. and Li, X. Analysis of Physicochemical Indices, Volatile Flavor Components, and Microbial Community of a Light-Flavor Daqu. J. Am. Soc. Brew. Chem. 76 (3); 209-218. (2018). 21) Liu, H. and Sun, B. Effect of Fermentation Processing on the Flavor of Baijiu. J. Agric. Food Chem. 66; 5425-5432. (2018). 22) Guthrie et al. Sex, Smoke, and Spirits: The Role of Chemistry. ACS Symposium Series; Vol. 1321. American Chemical Society (2019). [Chapters 12-16]. 23) Xu, Y., Wang, D., Fan, W.L., Mu, X.Q. and Chen, J. Traditional Chinese Biotechnology. Adv. Biochem Engin/Biotechnol.122; 189-233. (2010). 24) Dong, W., Shi, K., Liu, M., Shen, C., Li, A., Sun, X., Zhao, M., Sun, J., Li, H., Zheng, F. and Huang, M. Characterization of 3-Methylindole as a Source of a ”Mud”-like Off-Odor in Strong Aroma Types of Base Baijiu. J. Agric. Food Chem. 66; 12765-12772. (2018). 25) Xing-Lin, H., De-Liang, W., Wu-Jiu, Z. and Shi-Ru, J. The production of the Chinese baijiu from sorghum and other cereals. J. Inst. Brew. 123; 600-604. (2017). 26) Qian, L., Newman, I.M., Xiong, W. and Feng, Y. Traditional grain alcohol (bai jiu, 白酒) production and use in rural central China: implications for public health. BMC Public Health. 15, Article 1261; 1-12. (2015).
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