Distillation Deep Dive with Tripp Stimson of Barrell Bourbon (Bourbon Pursuit Podcast #263)

Many of us know the basics of distillation, but only a few know the true science. Today, we’re joined by Tripp Stimson of Barrell Bourbon and we ask all the hard questions on distillation that we’ve always wanted to know. This is really for the geeks at heart because it goes into pH levels, yeast strains, malting processes, and so much more. Listen close to the expert because it’s definitely one show where you will learn something new about the distillation process.

Show Notes:

  • This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about bourbon in the movies.
  • What are your goals for the year?
  • Tell us about your background.
  • Let’s talk about grains.
  • Does it matter where the grain comes from?
  • What happens after getting the grain?
  • Does the size of the mash tub matter?
  • What is the percentage of mash to water?
  • What’s the best way to mix the mash?
  • How long is the process?
  • How do you know the mash is ready?
  • What grain do you add in first?
  • Talk about malted grain.
  • What happens next?
  • What is the consistency of the product when going from the mash tub to the fermentation tank?
  • Let’s talk about yeast.
  • What about a mash rest?
  • What is the chemical breakdown during fermentation?
  • Why do some people do closed vs. open fermentation?
  • What determines the number of days for fermentation?
  • Do different grains change the process?
  • What is sour mash?
  • Let’s talk about the pH of the water.
  • Is the flavor more consistent in a sour mash process vs. sweet mash?
  • Do you use a bourbon backset in a rye mash?
  • What happens after fermentation?
  • Talk about the shape of stills.
  • After the still where does it go?
  • What happens in the doubler?
  • What are heads, hearts and tails?
  • What are the health risks of the process?
  • What’s the difference between the column still and pot still?
  • When do you get the waste out?
  • How do you control the proof coming off the still?
  • What is the argument for a low entry proof?
  • Does it have to be the exact proof listed on the label?
  • How do you get a final proof when using multiple barrels?
  • How do you clean the equipment?
  • Does an older still produce a different flavor?
  • What are you looking for when picking rum?

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