Windrose ™ offers whiskey distilleries. Buying a distillery is a great idea. Whiskey production is stylish and profitable.
Independent production of strong alcohol at home has long passed from simple home brewing to a qualitatively different level.
More and more people are thinking about starting their own production, both for personal needs and with a possible sale. Many people like the Scottish tradition of making real craft whiskey.
At the present time, especially with growing excises and prices for alcohol, own production and sale of whiskey can be profitable. Trading in any alcohol is comparable to printing money, but it should be understood that this type of business will require considerable investments.
In addition, it should be borne in mind that own production for commercial purposes is in any case a long-term perspective. According to experts, the first bottle since the start of production will leave the bottling line at best in three years, but taking into account all the difficulties, they give a more realistic estimate of eight years.
However, this does not frighten the same Scots. At the moment, in the homeland of scotch, a quarter of all registered whiskey productions are small private enterprises.
It is believed that the production of single malt whiskey at home is easier and more profitable from an economic point of view. Few “yesterday moonshiners” will have several dozen other whiskeys for blending the drink, and even without experience in this matter, it is easy to prepare an indigestible drink.
On average, when selling cheap low-aged whiskey, the profit from each bottle is about 30% of its final price, more expensive aged single malts bring a profit of up to 90% of the bottle price.
Scheme of the technological process of industrial production of whiskey:
We design and manufacture equipment for the production of whiskey from 100 liters to 4 tons per day.
The equipment includes: a stirrer (cocer), fermenters, a digester, distillation and alcohol columns.
Copper parts affect the functionality and give the equipment a noble look.
We have ready-made drawings for a whiskey distillery. But we can change the configuration according to your wishes and terms of reference.
Distillery for the production of two tons of whiskey per day:
Copper alambiks. A specially designed copper still for the distillation of alcohol.
Structurally, it consists of a condenser, a helmet, a pipe for removing steam and a distillation cube itself.
Whiskey production technology.
Whiskey production technology, regardless of the place of production (Ireland, Scotland, Canada, USA or Japan) includes eight main stages:
♦ preparation of malt (malting);
♦ drying malt;
♦ obtaining wort;
Malt preparation (malting)
The preparation of malt (malting) consists in the fact that the barley (grains of corn, rye, wheat) that has arrived at the distillery is carefully sorted, cleaned and dried.
Then it is soaked in water and scattered in a thin layer for germination within 7-10 days.
After the expiration of the specified period, the germinated grain (malt) is sent for drying.
If the grain is not subjected to malting, then the resulting whiskey is called grain. In its pure form, it almost never goes on sale, but is used for blending. Only 3 brands of pure grain whiskey are produced in Scotland - Glen Wolf, Black Barrel and Invergordon.
Drying malt depending on the place of production of whiskey occurs in different ways.
In Scotland and Japan, malt is dried with hot smoke from the combustion of peat (the Japanese, in their desire to bring their whiskey closer to Scotch, which is considered exemplary in Japan, even buy local peat in Scotland), charcoal and beech shavings, thus obtaining “smoked grain”.
As a result, the finished product has a characteristic smoky iodine-peaty aroma that distinguishes Scotch whiskey from all others.
In Ireland (except for whiskey produced by Cooley Distillery) and other countries, smoke is not used to dry malt.
Getting the wort
To obtain the wort, the dried malt is crushed to obtain coarse malt flour. Flour (grist) is mixed with hot water and kept with regular stirring for 8-12 hours, resulting in malt wort (wort) - a sweetish liquid of pale white color and intense malty aroma. After complete dissolution of the flour in water, the resulting wort is cooled.
To initiate the fermentation of chilled malt wort, pure yeast cultures are introduced into it, after which the wort is thoroughly mixed to evenly distribute the yeast mass throughout the volume and sent to the fermenters.
Fermentation continues on average for 2-3 days at a temperature of 35-37oC. As a result of fermentation, mash is obtained - a weak alcoholic drink similar to beer (wash) with a strength of about 5% vol.
The resulting mash is distilled two (sometimes three) times in copper distillation apparatuses (pot still), vaguely resembling retorts in shape. Stills and serpentines are made of copper for several reasons.
Copper has a number of unique qualities - excellent malleability, thanks to which it can be used to make a distillation cube of any shape, and the highest thermal conductivity.
Why is the thermal conductivity of copper important?
Firstly, the distillation vessel heats up quickly, which reduces heat consumption, and cools down just as quickly, which is of great importance for efficient condensation.
Secondly, the heat in the oven is distributed evenly. This is especially important when an open fire is used for distillation - in this case it is difficult to maintain an even combustion, and as a result, particles of the mash (stuck together lumps of malt flour, yeast sediment, etc.) can burn.
Copper is a fairly active material that has a beneficial effect on the quality of the resulting distillation - in particular, copper ions effectively bind sulfur, which, during distillation at high temperatures, can interact with alcohols to form mercaptans - organic compounds that have not just a repulsive, but a disgusting odor (therefore in the technology of strong drinks, sulfitation of raw materials sent for distillation is prohibited - grape wine in cognac production, pulque in the preparation of tequila or mezcal).
When distilling mash in copper stills, in comparison with the process carried out in stills made of steel, a significantly larger amount of aromatic compounds is formed in the resulting distillate, which largely determines the quality of the resulting whiskey - esters, aldehydes, furfural and furan compounds, dehydration proceeds faster pentose.
The fact is that copper is an activator of a whole complex of reactions occurring at elevated temperatures - melanoidin formation, melanin formation, caramelization - dehydration and cyclization of sugars, followed by polymerization and polycondensation of the resulting heterocyclic compounds, which have a dark amber color and a wide range of flavors - caramel, vanilla , chocolate, nut tones, tones of spices.
As a result of distillation in the first apparatus (wash still) with a volume of 700-2300 decaliters, a liquid with a strength of 25-30% by volume is obtained, bearing the name "low wines" (low wines).
After the completion of the first distillation, the "weak wine" enters the second apparatus (spirits still), having a volume of 600-2100 decaliters, and is distilled one more time. The product of the second distillation is whiskey with a strength of up to 70% vol. During the second distillation, the head and tail fractions are separated, that is, those parts of the distillate that leave the apparatus at the beginning and at the end of the distillation process, and only the middle fraction is taken.
The remaining head and tail fractions are poured into "low wines" and again sent for distillation. The shape of the distillers greatly influences the final taste of the whisky. Each distillery has distillers of its own shape and capacity. It is believed that tall and narrow distillers make whiskey lighter and thinner than small and wide ones.
When old devices are replaced, new ones are made exactly reproducing the shape of the old ones, down to defects (bulges and dents) in order to preserve the taste of the whiskey being made.
In distillation stills, the main “blow” is taken by the upper part of the cube, called the “swan neck” - hot mash vapors hit exactly there, and the coil also actively interacts with the hot distillate. Therefore, the life of traditional stills is very limited and depends on the initial thickness of the copper.
Usually distillation cubes are not completely replaced, but are limited to only the thinnest (up to 4-5 mm) segments. Previously, the thickness of copper was determined by tapping the walls, so the master distiller had to have good hearing. Today, they are “tapped” with ultrasound, with further processing of the received data on computers, which leads to much more accurate results.
In addition to distillation in "pot still" distillation is also used in continuous distillation apparatus. In 1831, the Irishman Aeneas Coffey invented a continuous distillation apparatus called the "coffey still" or "patent still", which allowed distillation to be carried out 15 to 20 times faster than the "pot still". With the help of Coffey machines, as a rule, grain whiskey is obtained - lighter than malt whiskey, which is then used in the preparation of blended whiskey.
The alcohol obtained as a result of distillation is diluted with spring water to a strength of 50-63.5% vol., and sent for aging.
The whiskey is aged in oak barrels.
The most suitable are Spanish barrels in which sherry was previously aged.
This element of technology appeared in the 18th century with the aim of reusing barrels in which wine was imported from Spain, and turned out to be extremely successful.
If whiskey is aged only in such barrels, then the manufacturer reports this as additional evidence of the high quality of the drink.
As such casks are in short supply, American white oak barrels are used, previously containing American whiskey or specially treated with cheap sherry.
It is at the stage of barrel aging that whiskey acquires its characteristic color and flavor properties - it darkens, becomes softer, receives additional aroma as a result of extraction and interaction with the structural components of oak wood.
During exposure, a complex of physico-chemical processes occurs, among which several main ones can be distinguished. In addition to the processes of sedimentation of suspended particles formed during the transition of a number of substances to an insoluble state, the evaporation of alcohol and other processes, complex neoformation reactions take place.
In particular, diffusion of soluble components of oak wood (components of phenolic nature, nitrogen-containing compounds, sugar complex, degradation products of hemicelluloses, heterocyclic components formed in the inner layers of oak wood during pretreatment) into alcohol occurs.
In addition, there is a complex interaction between the wine material and the components of oak wood, in particular, the decomposition of the riveting components under the action of ethyl alcohol (ethanolization of lignin with the formation of aromatic alcohols), the extraction of the resulting substances and the interaction of the entire complex of extractable substances with alcohol with the formation of new products that give whiskey typicality and aging tone.
It should also be noted that oak wood is a regulator of oxidative processes, since it is one of the main redox systems.
A small but constant supply of oxygen does wonders for the drink. Oak wood contains quite a lot of tannins (about 1% in American white oak and 8% in Spanish or French), as well as lignins, vanillin and wood sugars, which caramelize when the barrel is fired, giving the contents, in addition to color, a sweet taste and aroma.
Various alcohols, esters and aldehydes contained in whiskey pass through the smallest pores of wood and oxidize, entering into complex compounds with it.
«Angel’s share», «la part des anges», - how romantic producers of cognacs, armagnacs, rums, whiskeys and all other divine ambrosias call that part of the drink that leaves the walls of oak barrels through the pores of the tree.
Of course, drinks that are not barrel-aged - sparkling wines, vodka, gin - are deprived of this privilege. Depending on the climate - more precisely, on the humidity and temperature typical for a particular geographical area where a particular alcoholic drink is made - this share can be from 1.5 to 7% annually.
Empirically, the optimal periods for aging wines and strong alcoholic beverages in different climatic conditions were determined.
Thus, tequila producers came to the conclusion that aging in barrels for more than 7-8 years is meaningless - firstly, a significant part of the volume is lost (here, just the "share of angels" can reach up to 7% - calculate how much will remain in the barrel after 10 years), and secondly, and this is the main thing - woody tones begin to dominate in the drink.
Therefore, rums and tequilas - drinks from countries with a hot and dry climate - are rarely aged in barrels for more than 10 years. In cool and rainy Ireland, Scotland and France, whiskeys and cognacs can live in barrels for 20, 30 and even 60 years, but those specimens that have benefited from such longevity are the exception rather than the rule.
Usually very old spirits, as a result of prolonged contact with the barrel, completely lose their individual characteristics, turning into an alcoholic oak extract. And of course, each year of aging significantly increases the cost of the drink - you need not only pay tribute to the angels, but also pay for the storage of barrels.
Each country has its own aging traditions - for example, American whiskey matures only in new barrels, Irish and Scottish whiskey - exclusively in bourbon or various wines (sherry or port) that have already been used for aging.
Barrels in which whiskey is aged come in a variety of sizes and shapes. For example, Spanish barrels, highly valued in the production of whiskey, those that are traditionally used in Oporto to age port wine, are stretched out like a cigar. Each size has its own name.
Six types of barrels are involved in the production of Scotch whiskey - “butt”, with a volume of about 110 gallons (about 500 liters), “puncheon” - a barrel of the same volume as “butt”, but lower and wider, “hogshead” - about 56 gallons (250 liters), "barrel" - about 40 gallons, "quarter" - about 30 gallons (from 127 to 159 liters), and the smallest barrel, "octave", with a capacity of about 10 gallons (from 45 to 68 liters).
To obtain blended whiskey, different varieties of malt (from 15 to 50 varieties) and grain (3-4 varieties) whiskeys of various aging periods (at least 3 years) are mixed separately.
Then they are combined and kept for a few more months.
Some recipes are hundreds of years old, but manufacturers are developing new ones or modifying old ones to meet market demands. The point of blending is to obtain a product of standard quality and combine the best properties of different varieties of malt and grain whiskeys in one finished drink.
The first blended whiskey to be widely used, Old Vatted Glenlivet, was developed by Andrew Asher in 1853.
The master blender has the daunting task of blending single malt and grain whiskeys in such a way as to not only create the unique taste inherent in a particular brand of whiskey, but also maintain its consistency from year to year.
Each whiskey selected for blending must be tasted by the master immediately after distillation, as well as during its maturation in barrels.
There are two types of blending:
♦ different proportions of malt and grain whiskeys are mixed in equalizers (special vessels of huge capacity), where they are kept for 24 hours. This mixture is then placed in barrels and bottled after a few weeks. This is how cheap whiskeys are made;
♦ selected varieties of single malt whiskey, then mixed with grain whiskey in equalizers. In order to improve the quality of the blend, it is aged for 6-8 months in oak barrels. This period is called "wedding" ("marriage"). This is how more expensive high-quality whiskey is produced.
When a bottle of blended whiskey is labeled with an aging time, it refers to the age of the youngest whiskey in the blend. If the proportion of old single malt whiskeys (single malt) is sufficiently large in the blend, then the word “de luxe” is present in the name of the whiskey.