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KNOWN: W H AT I W I S H I ’ D LET ME TELL YOU

I T ’ S T H E

I N P R O O F ,

P U D D I N ’ K A . V I E RT H A L E R WRITTEN BY MAR

o the spirits dumped the water int tering their like a Florida retiree wa driveway. was super After all, proofing spirits h proof. hig a at simple. You had spirits of. So, pro lower You need spirits at a y-boppity-booze, you add water. Bippit t’s ready to be you’ve got a product tha what-have-you. sold, blended, bottled, ple of minI gave the spirit a cou with a stainless utes of hearty stirring y went on my steel paddle, and merril overnight, I sit way. After allowing it to proof. came back to check my was dead on of pro the And, while horrifying had the money, something s cloudy. Nighhappened. The spirit wa t as troubling — on opaque. And — jus ctly astringent it had taken on a distin

I

flavor. It was soapy. must have Convinced that there water, I immebeen something in the a litany of tests diately began running tem had failed. to figure out why our sys d that it had Eventually, I discovere water. Or, rather, nothing to do with my quality of the nothing to do with the water that I had used.

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fallen victim I was a fool who had blunders. No, I to one of the classic in a land war in hadn’t gotten involved Asia. esters. I had, I had hydrolyzed my ah, turned my like a Dime Store Messi whiskey into soap.

TH E IS SU E

ly, my rude This was, unfortunate known as saponawakening to what is onification is ification. Simply put, sap ition of water caused by the rapid add results in ich wh to high-ester ethanol d salts within the creation of fatty aci the suspension. roach to proofThis eager-beaver app especially when ing isn’t unheard of, American whisit comes to traditional ver, with prodkey production. Howe gins, and rums ucts such as brandies, to have high es— products that tend -fast addition of ter content — the too lihood of both water increases the like as well as that a cloudy end-product, taste. none-too-pleasant soapy th ALL of your Whiskies — and in tru

from a more spirits — can benefit seful approach thoughtful and purpo spirits. Because to proofing down your r and end up if you do get over-eage ’re out of luck. with saponification, you ch else you can There’s really not mu r from scratch. do other than start ove ounce of preLike in many cases, an nd of cure. vention is worth the pou

G PR OP ER PR OO FI N

ctly take to How long should you exa n? Hours? Days? proof down a spirit the Months? Years? Yes. The simple answer — It depends. The complex answer — es (Summer, In these august pag blender Nancy 2015 issue) master from renowned Fraley — who learned bert Germainbrandy producer Hu this very issue Robin — discussed rek Bell. With with Corsair Spirit’s Da , proofing down some higher end spirits can take multiple years. ducts I want “With higher quality pro r time,” Fraley to go very slowly ove ed it, I put it said. “Once I’ve water in, let it sit back in the barrels aga g I want to do there, determine how lon WWW.ART ISANSPI RI TMAG.CO M

Profile for Artisan Spirit Magazine

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2021  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2021  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

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