Everything you need to know on getting schooled on bourbon!
Many of us understand Bourbon 101 and 102 knowledge, but what about level 400? Dr. Pat Heist of Ferm Solutions joins the show to explain what is chemically happening when you’re producing bourbon and gives an in-depth look at yeast and how it becomes one of the most critical components of the process. You will learn all about the breakdowns of enzymes during mash cooking and species of yeast for distilling. If you’re a science buff, this episode is for you.
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- What does Ferm Solutions do as well as how big Wilderness Trail Distillery?
- What was your first real job out of college and how did that get you into spirits?
- Are you tailoring yourself to craft whiskey or do you help with big names on the market as well?
- Talk about the science behind corn
- Is there really a difference between red corn or blue corn vs the traditional white/yellow corn? Difference in flavor? Economical?
- Talk about pesticides and GMO for the grains
- What about barley, rye, or wheat? Is the breakdown of the pathogens different or the enzymes?
- Go a bit more in depth about what the scientific differences between sour vs sweet mash
- How does yeast compete? What about the sanitary levels and how that contributes?
- What are the differences in the species of yeast and which ones are typically used in beer and spirits production?
- True or False. Does yeast contribute 15% to the flavor of a bourbon?
- What are the differences between low-gravity and high-gravity fermenters?
- What is the cause of a mutated yeast? Jim Rutledge discovered it at one time when it was a part of some limited edition offerings at Four Roses
- When you’re monitoring the yeast during fermentation, what are you looking for?
- When I was at Castle and Key they talked about doing yeast forensics to find a closely resembled strain. Is this actually possible or just marketing hype?
- Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. What does this even mean?
- When does the yeast stop playing a roll? When it’s in the barrel? out of the barrel? in the bottle?
- Is yeast like a fungi where it can reproduce when it get puts back into a normalized environment?
- What about beers that go bad?
- One last question about corn, how long do you age corn in a silo to dehydrate corn and remove moisture?
Is the madness ever going to end? Are those unicorn bottles going to continue to climb in price for the future? How did we end up here? Past guest Chuck Cowdery, a bourbon authority, enlightens us to how the history of bourbon being an unwanted commodity created stocks of well aged whiskey that led us to the market we see today.
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- Lets talk about the past and the bourbon, crisis, was it an overall understanding that bourbon might be extinct?
- At what point did you come in to see some of this first hand?
- How did advertising work for bourbon? How did you get it into the hands of elders?
- How did no one see this coming? Like literally no one.
- You talk about the resurgence of bourbon was partly because of the lack of drinkers because it led to the unintentional benefit of very well-aged whiskey
- What were distillers doing with this better aged whiskey?
- Do you think exports are the biggest benefactor?
- What were bourbon brands doing at the time to appeal to the Japanese and European markets?
- So people are buying whiskey again, how are distillers ramping up production?
- Was there a surge of more NDPs and independent bottlers buying sourced whiskey?
- Why do you call this a “not so attractive” trend?
- At what point did we start seeing the “shortage”? or is there really a shortage?
- Have NDPs died off because they can’t source or contract distill now?
- Will craft distillers put a dent in the market or are they just looking for their piece of the pie?
- Do you think any of these companies will be “under water” on their investments when the bourbon matures for sales in 4-12 years? Especially when they have to compete with the big boys as they are expanding.
- Do you think we are going to see people drop off because we don’t have a lot of well-aged whiskey now? We have distillers and craft distillers removing age statements. How will that effect the future?
- What’s the key to making this trend last?
Kevin Didio, Manager of Kentucky Visitor Experience at Bulleit Frontier Experience, talks about his career in bourbon with multiple distilleries, dives into the history of Stitzel-Weller and IW Harper, and talks about the visitor attractions you can see at the reinstated Stitzel-Weller Distillery.
Josh Hollifield, Visitor Center Manager for Barton 1792, gives a history of the grounds and an insider look to the resurgence of the 1792 brand.
Matt Gandolfo, Brand Ambassador for Wild Turkey, talks history of the brand, non-GMO grains, each of the expressions and the new “Decades” release set for May 2016.
Jackie Zykan, Master Bourbon Specialist for Old Forester, talks about each of the individual expressions and the history behind this Louisville based brand. (more…)