Craft Whiskey Podcasts

130 – Ask a Master Distiller with Shane Baker of Wilderness Trail Distillery

You may remember of Dr. Pat Heist of Ferm-Solutions back on episode 121 talking about the science of yeast. This episode feature his counterpart Shane Baker, Master Distiller of Wilderness Trail Distillery, as he answers all the questions you ever wanted to know from a Master Distiller. These guys are very well known in the bourbon world amongst distillers who know what they are doing. We take a deeper dive into grains and how this distillery has been aging product for almost 4 years and still hasn’t released a bourbon yet.

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Show Notes:

  • Tell us a bit about Wilderness Trail?
  • Where are you located?
  • Do you use the same yeast strain in all your different mash bills?
  • Adam Kessell I’d like the hear about all crop yield, and the agricultural footprint of bourbon/whiskey and what safe guards we take for the long term success of the product.
  • Can you continue to keep it local?
  • How often do you turn away grains?
  • What do you think about the bourbon boom from a craft standpoint. what needs to be done to maintain this momentum?
  • Aged stock vs making money. where’s that balance?
  • What advice to give to other craft distillers?
  • What in your opinion is the biggest factor in distilling/aging? Mash?,distillation temperature?, entry proof?, barrel type or aging location?
  • Chris Scott I want to hear more about sourcing grains. We already heard Jimmy Russell say he must source rye from Europe. That blew my mind.
  • Dustin Charles Herr Discuss year to year variation of crops affect on flavors.
  • Steven Granger Discuss how sourcing grains from different parts of the world makes a difference in the finished product.
128 – Overnight Bourbon using TerrePURE with Jacob Call of O.Z. Tyler Distillery

It’s a controversial topic amongst bourbon purists. Can you replicate all the effects Mother Nature and Father Time add to the bourbon that rests inside a barrel? Jacob Call, Master Distiller at O.Z. Tyler, comes from a long family lineage of distillers and decided to do take on an industry with Terressentia using TerrePURE technology. Learn about the growth of this startup and small bit about the technology in this episode.


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Show Notes:

  • How did you get involved with bourbon and got you here today?
  • Do you have any good stories with being around Booker and Fred?
  • Tell us a bit about the property here in Owensboro
  • How bad of shape was this Old Medley Distillery when you got here?
  • I was surprised at the size, it seems like you’re pumping out a bunch of product
  • What is creating all this expansion especially when you are so new?
  • Explain the TerrePURE process because you’re expediting the aging
  • So it’s not just marketing BS?
  • Do you worry about bourbon purists not enjoying this when you talk about age statements and the like?
  • If it works so well, why wouldn’t the big boys want to license this?
  • Talk a bit about the O.Z. Tyler Brand
  • Will there be other brands to come out?
  • So it has to be barreled for at least a year to be labeled Kentucky bourbon
  • I was blown away by the taste. It actually tastes like a 4 year old bourbon.
  • Where is Terressentia focused for the future?
121 – The Science Behind Bourbon and Yeast with Dr. Pat Heist

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?
104 – 10 Interviews from WhiskyLive Louisville 2017

A combination of 10 interviews all done at WhiskeyLive in Louisville. This podcast features Fred Noe and Beth Burrows of Jim Beam, Joe Beatrice of Barrell Bourbon, Brian Gelfo of Rabbit Hole, John Foster of Smooth Ambler, Josh Hollifield of Barton 1792, Kelly Ramsey of Art Eatables, Winston Edwards of Balcones, Greg Roshkowski of Cooper’s Craft, and we wrap it up with Bill Thomas of Jack Rose.

072 – Jay Erisman, Vice President, and Hannah Loween, General Manager, New Riff Distilling

Jay Erisman, Vice President, & Hannah Loween, General Manager, from New Riff Distilling talk about the unique bourbon they are making while being in an urban setting.

068 – Tom Herbruck, Master Brewer and Distiller of Tom’s Foolery

Tom Herbruck, Master Brewer and Distiller of Tom’s Foolery, and his wife Lianne, Rack House Manager, share their beginnings when Tom ran a still at the age of 15 and turning his hobby into a business that is producing the first bonded bourbon outside of Kentucky in over 50 years.

064 – Vince Roth, Partner of Final Furlong Racing & Chad Butters, Co-Founder of Eight Oaks Distillery

Chad Butters, Co-Founder and CEO of Eight Oaks Craft Distillery, and Vince Roth, Managing Partner of Final Furlong Racing Stables, talks about a new partnership to invest in a horse and get bottles of bourbon in return

021 – Brent Goodin, Master Distiller at Boundary Oak

Brent Goodin, Master Distiller at Boundary Oak Distillery, discusses his new startup distillery and how his first bottle of bourbon off the line sold for $28,000. (more…)