Stillwrights Award Winning Bourbon: It All Starts With Premium Ohio Grains
Bourbon is Whiskey, but not all Whiskey is Bourbon. To be called a Bourbon a few rules from the Government have to be followed.
It has to be produced in the United States
The grain mixture (or Mash Bill) has to comprise of at least 51% Corn
Aged in brand new Charred American White Oak Barrels
Distilled at less than 160 proof (to keep the grain like flavor)
Barreled at 125 proof or less
Put into a bottle at 80 proof of above
So, all that has to be followed to a “T” to make Bourbon. Well, the next question generally is, “how do you make it?”
Well, a lot was going on very quickly in the film. That was essentially a twelve hour work day compressed to two minutes, and only covers about half of the steps to make Bourbon. So we’re going to split up how we make Bourbon in two parts. In this post this week, we’ll talk about how we “cook” Bourbon, and produce our Mash Bill.
To start the day, in the video, you’ll see us put Corn, Wheat, and Malted Barley, and Water in our Pot still.
All three of the grains are ground up until the mixture inside of the pot is almost a soupy like substance. The enzymes in the Malted Barley are released, and start breaking down the carbohydrates stored in the corn. These carbs will be transformed into simple sugars. From there, we take this mixture, or at this point it’s referred to as a mash, and heat it up until it begins to boil. With the heat added, we release more carbohydrates go get broken up later. . You can see that process start about the 1:20 mark in the video. We’ll get to those sugars a bit later, but keep that sugar in your memory.
Once everything is mixed in and ready to go, we pump our mash into our fermenting tanks. This was the large stainless steel “box” sitting next to our pot still with the word “Mash Tank” on it. From here we let the enzymes continue to finish breaking down all the carbs until the only thing in the mash is a bunch of sugar, and parts of the grain that can’t be broken down (the outside of the cork kernel for instance). From here, we need to perform a very important step: Pasteurization. This process involves us directly injecting steam into our fermentation tank. We bring the heat back up again for the last time to make sure that any microorganisms that may have somehow found themselves in our mash are essentially destroyed. From here on out we know we have a clean, pure mash.
From this final bit of heat added, we start cooling the mash down to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. While we start the cool down, we pull a bit of the mash aside, add just a bit of water, and bring it up to 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature for our Yeast to grow. At this temperature in an oxygen rich environment (the mash has a ton of air bubbles in it from mixing all day), the Yeast reproduce in mass quantities. In the video about two minutes in, shows them rapidly multiplying. That quick time lapse is actually about seven minutes in real time. Talk about watching paint dry. Here’s a shot of the Yeast multiplying in the pot waiting to be dumped in.
Once the Yeast have multiplied for awhile and almost fill the big pot we warmed them in, we dump it into our mash tank that’s sitting at about 70 degrees. From there, our Yeast will continue to multiply for a time being. Eventually when the Yeast run out of air, they will stop reproducing, and focus on staying alive. Instead of using oxygen, they will look to find a source of sugar. Remember us breaking down the carbs into sugar earlier? This is where they get important. The Yeast will start to eat the sugar and as byproducts will release Carbon Dioxide and Ethanol. So when you see our mash tanks bubble up, that’s a sign of happy Yeast eating sugar and producing alcohol.
Eventually over a few days, there won’t be any sugar left in the tank and we will be left with a tank full of water, yeast, and alcohol. This mixture is known as distillers beer from this point forward. It’s essentially a young Whiskey that tastes almost like a beer. From here we’ve reached the halfway point, and we’ll continue next week to show you the final steps to make Bourbon. From here out it’s a pretty simple and straightforward process, and mainly involves time, and a good deal of patience. Stay tuned for next week, when we finish this segment on how we distill our Bourbon and turn it into the award winning product you and I enjoy today.
Behind The Scenes Event with The Dayton Chamber of Commerce
First off, thank you to the Dayton Chamber of Commerce for coming out to support us and learn about all of the exciting products we’re producing right here in Fairborn. Getting to meet and talk with other local business owners and managers and create successful partnerships will only strengthen what we’re able to do here for everyone in Dayton.
As part of the Chamber’s “Behind the Scenes” events, we brought several of Dayton’s businesses over to our Distillery to talk a little about ourselves and show them how we create our award winning spirits. Starting off the event we made a few of our favorite drinks and a few new ones. My personal favorite we were able to share with our Spiced Rum drinkers is called a Dark and Stormy. This classic 1920’s drink was created in Bermuda, and eventually swept over the rest of the world as an instant favorite. In today’s simple Rum & Coke and Daiquiri populated market, this drink still stands the test of time. Compared to most other Rum drinks, it provides a way different flavor and experience most other Rum Drinks don’t bring to the table, er palate rather.
If you haven’t had one, I would highly recommend it next time you’re out enjoying drinks with friends. Here’s a few simple steps to make it yourself:
Dark and Stormy
2 Ounces of Stillwrights Spiced Rum
Half of a fresh lime squeezed (or around 1 ounce of Lime Juice)
Shake and chill these two ingredients
Pour into a glass of your choice and top off with a few ounces of Ginger Beer (usually enough to float the ice)
After a first round of cocktails and introductions all attendees got a chance to walk around our facility. From Corn to Cask, our guests got to learn how to make Bourbon from scratch. Walking around with the group, it’s always amazing to see people’s reactions when they finally see how we bring hand crafted spirits to life. Every time the reaction is practically the same; they can’t believe this is being made in Fairborn, Ohio.
Here’s a few pictures of the Distillery Tour:
Once the tour was over, it was time to enjoy a few more custom cocktails and a few hors d’oeuvres. Pulled Pork and Bourbon go hand in hand just perfectly! One fun fact, by the end of the night I did a tally of what drinks were the most popular among the crowd. Even with having my favorite Rum drinks on the menu, the Booze Traveler still won as the most popular drink we served all night. Our bottle of Peach Cobbler moonshine only has a few drops left in it once the event finished. Everyone apparently loves that drink, for the third event in a row, it comes out right on top.
In closing I’d like to again personally thank everyone who came out to support us and learn more about what we do. It’s always a pleasure for us to share what we do best with our guests, and hope all of you had as much fun as we did. We’re very proud to be part of such an amazing coalition and look forward to seeing all of you at the next Chamber of Commerce event. Going forward we cant wait to work together to develop and improve the greater Dayton area. Exciting times are ahead for sure!
Come to Cincy Blues Fest for Stillwrights Cocktails!
Hey everyone, this is a very cool event we’re participating in this year. We will be down at the Cincy Blues Fest, a two day concert venue and festival down at Sawyer Point Park celebrating everything about the Blues. During the weekend you’ll see everything from international acts on the two main stages, and some regional performances on the local stage. Yes, three stages booked full of bands and performances spanning two days.
We’re one of the main sponsors of the event this year, and we’ll be down there all weekend selling cocktails made with our hand crafted, award winning products. The exact cocktail list is still being determined, however they will be picked off of a list of our Summertime Cocktail Menu. I do know our crowd favorite drink, The Booze Traveler will be making an appearance for sure. It’s a great drink, and fits the theme of this event perfectly. It’s our Peach Cobbler Moonshine, Traditional Recipe Moonshine, Orange and Cranberry juices, with Orange Bitters mixed together. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a concert than to have an ice cold drink in hand, so make sure to come grab one.
The festival starts on Friday August 7th at 5:00 this year and runs until Midnight. It will pick up where it left off Saturday afternoon at 4:30 and will have bands playing all the way until Midnight again to end the series. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate but right now buying them online is the best deal if you plan on going both days.
If you haven’t connected with us yet on social media, make sure you head over and do that now! We’ll be posting live updates throughout the weekend, including a live Periscope feed on Twitter at some point, it’s like Live TV, so make sure to stay tuned!
Oh and here’s a map of where we’ll be. It’s only a little over an hour from us at the distillery, so it’s an easy commute if you’re from the area.
The Stillwrights Team Heads to a Rock Fest to setup a tasting booth
Great rock music, drinks, and company is about the best combination you can come up with for a good time. Last Saturday the Stillwrights team traveled about five minutes north of the Distillery to participate in the annual Swamp A Palooza event hosted by VFW Post 9684 in Medway, Ohio. This annual rock fest features several local bands playing for hours a piece from mid afternoon, all the way through the night. The best part is, it’s all free!
This year, we brought all nine of our hand crafted spirits up with us to serve ¼ ounce samples to everyone who attended.
Over the course of the afternoon we served quite a few samples. Ok, more than a few, more like ALOT of them. I guess when 300+ people find out that there’s a distillery at a concert, everyone wants to get their hands on some samples. All in all, practically every product was sampled, with our award winning Apple Pie Moonshine being the crowd favorite. We thought our Straight Bourbon Whiskey would be the clear winner, but by the end of the day the Apple Pie was used the most!
In between people coming up and getting samples I got to go down to the pavilion and listen to the bands performing for everyone. I would have paid money to attend this event. These guys were that good, seriously. My favorite performance of the afternoon had to be a toss up between The Hugely Brothers Band, or The Fleeze. Great talent among both groups! Being an annual event I think there’s a pretty big chance we’ll be back again next year; we had such a blast being here! Here’s a few pictures I took while I had a break.
I even had a chance to personally go up on stage and say a few words. When I asked how well people enjoyed our products, this was the response!
I won’t lie, I got to feel like a Rock God for a few quick seconds there.
The team here at Stillwrights would like to thank everyone who came up to our tent and tried a few of our products out. If you liked what you got to taste, book a distillery tour here to see how we create everything we brought with us. I’d like to personally thank the Medway VFW for all the work they put into this event and including us this year. As a veteran myself, it’s always exciting to go out and be surrounded by my brothers and sisters in arms. Thanks again, and we can’t wait for next year already!
If there’s an event you think we should set up at, send us an E-Mail, message us on Facebook, or give us a call at (937) 879-4447.
Campaign Kickoff for Zach Upton, Beavercreek City Councilman
Earlier in June, we were approached by Zach Upton, one of Beavercreek’s Councilmen to host his first reelection fundraiser. For those of you who don’t know Zach, he’s been working on improving Beavercreek since 2012. Given the opportunity to host such an important event, we pulled out all the stops. The parties guests were treated to cocktails using our award winning spirits, a tour around the distillery, music, and hors d’oeuvres. So many people showed up we were left with standing room only by the time the event went full swing.
A few of the cocktails our guests got to enjoy can be found at your local bar that offers Stillwrights. This summer we launched our “Savor the Summer” campaign that showcases some of our favorite drinks that will help you beat the heat all summer long! If you haven’t tried any of our cocktails yet, you’re missing out. Don’t worry though, there’s still quite a bit of time left this summer to enjoy them. Right now we’re adding more and more bars every week, but if there’s a bar you think we need to be in, let us know and we’ll find out how to bring our award winning products to them!
For those of you who have our products at home, here’s three of our favorites from the summertime cocktail menu:
1 ½ ounces Stillwrights Peach Cobbler Moonshine
1 ounce Stillwrights Traditional Recipe Moonshine
2 ounces Cranberry Juice
2 ounces Orange Juice
2 dashes of Orange Bitters
1 ½ ounces Stillwrights Key Lime Pie Moonshine
1 ½ ounces Orange Juice
1 ½ ounces Pineapple Juice
1 dash of Grenadine
Sparkling Bourbon Lemonade
1 ½ ounces Stillwrights Straight Bourbon Whiskey
2 ounces Orange Juice
2 ounces Lemonade
Top off with a splash of lemon lime soda
It’s very humbling that we had a chance to help out and make a difference in our community. All of us wish Zach the best of luck as he works on his campaign over the next few months. We’re sure he’ll do just fine! If you’d like to host an event at the distillery, send us a E-Mail, message us on Facebook, or give us a call at (937) 879-4447.