Seagram's and the wheat recipe

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Seagram's and the wheat recipe

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:20 am

I was talking with Sam Cecil the other day at the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center Grand Opening. We were discussing the origin of the wheat recipe and he pointed out that one of the reasons that Stitzel-Weller probably kept their wheat recipe a secret for so long is that Seagram's was publishing material about the dangers of making wheat whiskey. They were saying it could be poisonous. He did not recall all of the details but recalls that there were several articles in trade magazines in the late 30's and 40's by Seagram's discussing this subject. Has anyone seen these articles?
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Unread postby tlsmothers » Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:49 pm

I have never heard of such. What would make it poisonous?
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Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Oct 22, 2004 9:00 am

I would assume it has something to do with wood alcohol levels.
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Unread postby Squire » Sun Jul 31, 2005 12:40 am

Probably more attributable to the grain mold ergot. When infected grains are made into a foodstuff and injested they can cause symptoms ranging from halucination to death.

More common to rye or barley, there is a school of historical thought that believes a similar infection was the root cause of the Salem witch scare and trials in 17th century Mass.

The few Menonite farmers in my humid home state of MS who grow wheat for comsumption have to rotate fields annually to avoid this mold.

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Unread postby gillmang » Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:56 am

Squire, isn't ergot potentially a concern with rye grain also?

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Unread postby Squire » Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:01 pm

Gary,

Yes, more common to rye or barley though less with oats. My point is unless the grain crop was infected there should be no objection to its being used in whiskey making just because it was wheat.

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