Mashing Russia Style

Mashing Russia Style

Here is something I found interesting and I thought you might also. This is a recipe I found on a Russian website and I thought I would share it with you.Remember all the temperatures will be in Celsius.

malt whiskeyGrain mash
In northern regions, most often alcohol is prepared from raw starch (potatoes, sprouted grain – malt, etc.), fruits do not grow, and starch-containing raw materials abound throughout the whole year. This fact, of course, narrows the range of alcohol for cooking, but the most common drink is just made ​​of malt, for example, vodka or whiskey.Moreover, using different kinds of malt, it is possible to obtain different organoleptic notes in the final beverage.

It is important to remember that no degree sets the tone of the final product and raw materials, for example, vodka – it’s not just a 40-degree beverage made ​​of grain distillation mash, followed by dilution with water up to 40%.ethyl alcohol.

The product of the “magazine-sugar” or it can not be called vodka, in the classic sense of the term. As well as not get whiskey (malt), rum (sugar cane) or brandy (grape or apple) from the “magazine-sugar.” Malt – cereal (barley, wheat, rye), which specifically germinated and dried in the process of malting.The main raw material for the production of vodka or whiskey, as well as a malt for beer (light, dark, and special types).

malt whiskeyThe main varietal characteristics (taste, odor, flavor) are largely dependent on the quality of distillers malt and the ratio of its kinds in the recipe. In contrast to the preparation of wort, wort is boiled for a longer period of time with the addition of a special vysokofermentirovannogo malt. To expedite and simplify “saccharification” starch from the malt you can use special additives, but you must remember that natural ingredients are best.

For example, a beer in Germany can only be called a product that was made exclusively from malt, hops and water, all the rest are considered beer drinks (controlled at the state level).In Russia the situation is completely different, in the preparation of beer uses rice and only a small amount of malt.To speed up the saccharification of starch additives are added, so the beer is appropriate, with a strong alcohol consistency.The processes of artificially simplified, accelerated, lower the cost, but suffers from the end user.Remember that the quality of the final product, its organoleptic properties, are directly dependent on the quality of raw material and its processing conditions.

No need to join as many at the expense of quality.The process must be authentic, the most natural, chemical free additives and GMOs. Malt can germinate independently of the grain, but it is better to take the ready, in our range you will find about 20 different varieties of the leading manufacturers (Finland, Belgium, Russia).The malt is wheat, barley, rye, and every species in the manufacturing process are treated in different ways and at this stage there are sub types: roasted malt, smoked malt, caramel malt, etc.

By combining different varieties at the stage of preparation of the wort can be different organoleptic characteristics of the final beverage. In the malt sugar is not so in the processing chain making wort from malt starch saccharification step appears – the transformation of raw starch under the action of certain enzymes (which are formed naturally as a result of the germination of the grain) into sugar and then made his digestion. From 1 kg of starch theoretically obtained 1.11 kg of sugar.Knowing the content of starch in the feed, you can easily determine the yield of alcohol from a product. For example, if wheat contains 60% starch, the theoretical yield of alcohol from such grains will be 0.426 L / kg: 1 kg (wheat) => 0.6 kg (starch) => 0.666 kg (sugar) => 0.426 l ( alcohol).

Stages of preparation of the wort from the malt.

So, we divide the process of cooking the wort from the malt into stages:

  1. Blend (combine different varieties of malt).
  2. Splitting (chopping) malt.
  3. Mashing Malt (mix with water, cooking).
  4. Filtering.
  5. Cooling.
  6. Digestion.


malt whiskeyAt this stage, mix different varieties of malt for the original mash.All you need around 3.5 kg. malt 10 liters of water: 30% of them vysokofermentirovannogo, ie 1-1.2 kg.,50-60% of base malts such as barley or wheat, 1.8-2 kg,10-20% of special varieties, such as caramel or smoked (at your option, you can restrict ourselves to base up to 100%) 0 3-0,5 kg.


malt whiskeyIn order to malt enzymes could affect its substance and starch to provide the highest possible yield of the extract, malt must be crushed (open shell of the grain) to the size of grains (do not turn into flour!) For these purposes, is extremely convenient to use a special malt mill, although it is possible using an ordinary meat grinder, food processor, but we note that this is household equipment will require you to costly and may fail prematurely.

Mashing Malt.

malt whiskeyStep mash – one of the most important, the quality of its components determines the completeness of the transition to a solution of malt.There are several ways of mashing malt, we will focus on the simplest and most suitable for home distilling use. For the sequential conversion of starch into sweeteners to withstand several temperature regimes (thermal breaks) gradually warming the jam, stirring occasionally.

Mashing Malt is produced in a special brew kettle.Temperature pause (defined recipe): Heat the water in the tank to a temperature of 38-40 degrees and add the crushed malt, stirring rapidly.When the mixture is smooth, with no dry lumps, go to the next stage (a pause).

1. Protein pause, the duration of 15-20 minutes at a temperature of 52-55° C.There is a splitting of the starch in the long and short chain molecules. To maintain a constant temperature is recommended to make the tank insulation (to wrap thick cloth).

2. maltose pause, the duration of 40-50 minutes at a temperature of 62-65° C.There is the formation of maltose and glucose from short chains.

3. saccharification, the duration of 30-60 minutes at a temperature of 72-75 ° C. There is a splitting up of long chains of low molecular weight dextrins and their dissolution. At the end of iodine is necessary to test to make sure that the mash is left of starch.To do this, place a large white saucer drop mash and add to it a drop of iodine: color change indicates the presence of starch, if the color does not change – there was a complete saccharification. If the starch is left, it is necessary to continue the break up of its complete saccharification. This is a significant moment, as a direct impact on the volume output of the final product.

4. saccharification Finally, the duration of 10-20 minutes at a temperature of 76-78° C. At this temperature the enzymes become inactive, and there are final sweeteners.


malt whiskeyAfter completion of mashing in the mash are a mixture of dissolved and undissolved components, an aqueous solution of extractives called wort, and the undissolved – grains. We only need to mash grains also be separated, but in contrast to the preparation of beer, completely separate the spent grains is not necessary, rather coarsely filtered undissolved particles.


If you have the ability to mix the wort during fermentation (at least 2-3 times a day, or permonentno), then filter the resulting wort is not required.You can ferment and distill in with the grains – the output will get richer organoleptic final drink. If you can not mix, you need to filter out the spent grains as well as in fermented grains will rise up and maybe podkisanie “cap” of your wort, it just turn sour.To filter the spill jam through a sieve to filter vat, and wait until it will flow.Measure the density of the resulting wort hydrometer, which should be at the level of 18-22%.Top up with rinse water in a sieve, previously heated to 75-77 ° C in order to clean up the remaining extractives. Number of wash water directly affects the density of the wort, so monitor it with a hydrometer.


Must want to cool to a temperature of 20 ° C and cooling rate of the wort seriously affect the ability of reproduction of harmful micro-organisms – the sooner you do, the less chance of bacteria.For cooling, you can use a bath of cold water or ice, although it is more convenient to use the chiller – the coil through which a cold water – this will achieve the desired temperature for 20-30 minutes. After this step requires the most carefully observe the sterility of all processes and minimize the Contact the wort with air and other objects.


malt whiskeyIn parallel, the yeast can be confusion, so that subsequently do not spend time on it: Pour into a small container (glass) mash (temperature of 30 ° C) and add yeast, cover with a sterile cloth and leave for 30-40 minutes. For a more intense fermentation should be apply the aeration of wort (already chilled) – his oxygen saturation, as it is the key to active reproduction of yeast, this requires intensive stir the wort, or poured from a great height with splashing, you can also use an air compressor for the aquarium (do not forget to disinfect!) that will simplify the procedure.Our mash is prepared for fermentation. Measure the initial density of the wort hydrometer to know the alcohol content later in the finished product, and write it down.Now you need to pour the yeast into the wort confusion, mix them, sealed container with a lid and set the water seal, filling it with boiling water.

Good luck!

Craft Distillery

Hey everybody, Mike Here. I was in Branson Mo. on some business this weekend and stopped by Copper Run Distillery. They owner Jim Blansit was great. He and I discussed ideas on kettles and home distilling techniques for quite some time. I think we came up with a plan for a new kettle. We will have to wait and see how the ideas work out. I was in the area talking to Custom-Metal Craft about making some 250 – 500 kettles for us with a steam jacket and ASME certified for low pressure steam. We want quality kettles made in the USA and I think were getting close to working this out.

While touring their plant the plant manager was telling me about a small Distiller that is already doing the same thing I was talking to him about.It was Copper Run Distillery. We stopped by and when I introduced myself Jim and I hit it off very fast. He has a world of knowledge about distilling and Mashing grain. He is doing a full flavored Corn liquor that is great.

Check out there website if you get a chance.

Breckenridge Distillery

Hey ya’ll, its Matt again. Thought I’d tell ya’ll about my recent trip to Breckenridge Colorado for a distilling class put on by the ADI. I tell ya its a little pricey at $3500 per attendee but it’s money well spent if you have any interest in opening a craft distillery. We covered everything from making a malted grain wash to stripping runs, spirit run, blending and proofing, barreling and bottling. That was about half the class the other half covered marketing, business plans, labeling, branding, dealing with the TTB and still designs and options.

I must admit I was a little leery going, it was a lot of money to not know what I was getting for sure. But after attending I see now it is a must before making the final decision to proceed with opening a craft distillery. Jordan and Brian (the master distiller and the owner) were more than helpful and answered any question completely, even my stupid questions. Aside from the class I was lucky enough to meet some of the guys from “Deadliest Catch”! They were there filming in a restaurant called “The Whales Tale” for the “After the Catch” series, it was awesome!

My first day there I was hanging out the president of ADI and the guys from the distillery and I was able to go into the roped off areas while they were filming an out house race between “Breckenridge Distillery” and the “Deadliest Catch” captains! Yep that’s right, an out house race! It was a rare opportunity to meet some of the guys I watch every week doing a job I would never even consider. The best part is, they truly are just regular guys, I stood outside a restaurant and talked with Edgar Hanson for about 10 minutes or so and he talked to me like he knew me from way back. Very cool, dad and the guys at the shop were very jealous! Hehehe.

But back to the distilling class. We were using a 550 gallon, 3-plate column build by Vendome out of Louisville KY and I must say wow! The workmanship is amazing, I’ve seen many of their stills before and every time I am amazed. We do just as good of work, only theirs is 5 times the size and dealing with that thickness of copper is not easy. Of course a company that has done it for 100 years has it down pat. Listen though folks, if you are serious about opening a distillery you must attend one of these classes, some there decided it was for sure what they wanted to do and some didn’t even come back the last day. You are facing a monster, a defeat-able monster, but a monster just the same, and the class really opens your eyes to what you are facing.

Even if you don’t make the class, go out and do your research, talk to guys in the industry and really feel it out. Mostly all professional distillers are willing to talk to you and give you advice, it is a very friendly industry that is willing to help you through the hurdles. One thing I learned though, a lawyer is a must to guide you through and protect you. The TTB is not playing around and they are very serious about their tax money. Good guys, but don’t mess up cause once you apply for your DSPs they watching you constantly. But from what I understood talking with the distillers, is that like bees, don’t poke em and they will leave you alone.

However, one caught mistake and they are walking through the front door digging deep on everything. With out rambling any more, here’s the moral of the story: Do your homework, you’re facing a monster. Can you beat it? Defiantly! But know what your getting into! Also have a stellar business plan and attack approach. Do these things and your in an amazing industry that is packed full of interesting people, interesting ideas and a job that you will love! Good luck and Happy distilling folks!!!!