Next weekend I’ll be embarking on my first attempt at creating a grain based vodka. I figure that we could spend a few minutes discussing the process leading up to cooking the mash.
First things first
I decided to go with vodka for a couple of reasons. Vodka is a prolific liquor that’s used in a variety of cocktails. The quality of the vodka tends to be judged more on it’s tastelessness than any actual flavor profile. That means that I can worry less about my cuts and focus more on the process of distillation. It will also give me an excuse to get my activated carbon filter up and running. As I mention in the batch recipe, my intention is to triple distill the liquor and then run it through the filter. I’m sure that I’ll cover the filtration and distillation in upcoming posts.
I also went with vodka because it doesn’t require any aging. That’s right…for my second batch I want something that will provide some instant gratification.
The recipe and sourcing the ingredients
The recipe is based on a recipe I found online. I can’t honestly say which site I used. I’m sure if you cruise around the web looking for rye vodka recipes, you’ll find something very similar. I look forward to being at a place where I can write my own recipes, but I’m not there just yet.
I got my ingredients (all of them except for the honey) from beergrains.com. I linked them on the Links page. I lucked out and they have a pickup place just down the street from me at a brew pub. They have a good selection and the prices are reasonable. Not paying for shipping is another bonus.
What I’ll be watching…
I’ll be paying special attention to the grain and the texture of the mash. I’m specifically interested in the role the DME plays in the consistency of the batch. I’ll also be paying attention the the gravity. I’m going to attempt to start drawing a correlation between the amount of grain, type of grain and the sugar content of the mash. Ideally, I’ll be able to get a good reading on it and then heat it back up if necessary (it will be necessary for the yeast). Lastly, I am interested in any “non-vodka” tastes in the batch. I’m using Alotec 48 turbo yeast this round. I’m not sure what (if any) taste that will leave. The rum from the first batch wasn’t very…well…rummy. I want to see if there’s a similar taste with the vodka (before and after filtration).