Ladies and Gentlemen, the winner for the spring run is, you guessed it, rye whiskey. It’ll be my first attempt at a Canadian classic, and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m still looking to do something with seasonal fruit this year, but let’s face it – there isn’t exactly a whole lot growing out there. Besides, starting off with a whiskey that needs to age should prove a good decision. I still have a whole lot of bourbon, rum and limoncello to go through.
So, what’s the plan? I’ve started doing some preliminary research on the distillation of rye and it seems relatively straight forward. For those of you interested in my source material, I’m pretty pleased with this link. It brings up some interesting points on rye, like the fact that rye contains the alpha-amylase enzyme that we discussed earlier (on the topic of high adjunct mashes). The fact that the grain will contain the enzyme required to convert starches to fermentable sugar is a big plus in my book. It also appears that malted rye contains a delightfully high diastatic enzyme count. It’s not surprising given that the base grain contains amylase, but it’s still nice to hear.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the 2016 presidential campaign, it’s that I need to do some fact checking. I’ll do some more poking around to work towards a recipe. While I do enjoy a high rye count (like Ryemageddon from Corsair Distillery), I don’t think I will go strictly rye. I don’t think that I’ll go corn either, though I may add some corn. I want to stick with grains – Rye, barley and maybe a bit of wheat. I will certainly keep proportions in mind (stick with at least 3 parts rye to 2 parts (x)). I will also take a long look at yeast options for this run.
More than anything else, I really just need the weather to cooperate. I’d really like to mash above freezing. Whimsical Canada…
A special thanks to my mashin’ muse John (the Man of Steel). Without him, I’d probably still be wondering what to whip out for the spring. Good call buddy.