effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

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effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby tmckenzie » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:39 pm

I wonder what the effects of picking corn with a combine, corn with a high moisture content, and drying it in a grain drier, has on the taste of present day bourbon? The reason I am thinking about this is I was talking with a farmer who we are going to get some open pollinated corn from, and they said that they pick it on the cob and try it naturally, and then shell it. They said that when you pick it with a combine and dry it, it changes the sugars and flavors. That would have been the way it was done in Kentucky and elsewhere probably well into the early 70's. Could that explain the better taste of some of the bourbons from that era? Maybe it went on later than I think. We plan to see if it makes a difference.
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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby Leopold » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:50 am

Cool stuff. Interested to hear what the mash is like, and what the OG is.
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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby p_elliott » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:59 am

They haven't combined corn on the cob in any great amounts since the 50's. Shelling combines have been in use my whole life and I was born in 1960. There were a hand full of small farmers that still combined on the cob when I was very little.
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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby gillmang » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:26 pm

I have a question about processing as well. Is corn used for whiskey distillation ever de-germed as it usually is for brewing (in producing flakes for example)? This is done to extract the oily component. If so, who uses that in the industry?

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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby cowdery » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:01 pm

I feel confident in saying that, no, corn for bourbon production is not de-germed. Bourbon whiskey is a whole-grain food.
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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby p_elliott » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:10 am

cowdery wrote:I feel confident in saying that, no, corn for bourbon production is not de-germed. Bourbon whiskey is a whole-grain food.


Delicious and nutritious :D
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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby tmckenzie » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:12 am

you would screwup big time to use de germed corn. you want some oil in it.
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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby cowdery » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:21 pm

I understand farmers around here are having quite a problem this year because of the wet fall. The corn just won't dry. They're leaving it in the fields for as long as they can, hoping they can get it all in before we get a good snow. The silos have the means to dry it after harvest but that's not a free service. The standard for #2 dent (what the distillers use) is 15% moisture content.
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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby dnsouthky » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:04 am

The worry now may be toxic Corn fungus. With the weather being what it has with high most. and warm temps. above 60 much of the time that may end up as being a worse than snow case.
Remember even a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then. ----- I just hope to live my life as happy as a blind hog and find my own acorn every now and then.
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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby p_elliott » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:43 pm

dnsouthky wrote:The worry now may be toxic Corn fungus. With the weather being what it has with high most. and warm temps. above 60 much of the time that may end up as being a worse than snow case.


We're having the same problem here in Iowa mold and fungus on the corn and soybeans that haven't been able to be harvested yet.
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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby cowdery » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:21 pm

Here in Illinois I understand the beans are mostly in but there is a lot of concern about the corn.

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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby tmckenzie » Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:49 am

Corn never dries in the field up here, we bought in some open pollinated high moisture corn right out of the field, and it made wonderful stuff. That corn is being air dried now, and I am waiting to sample it again, I hope,and do not think it will effect the taste. However, we bought in the same variety that had been dried with propane, and it was good whiskey but totally different. I would imagine all of the big distilleries get corn from places where it can be field dried down, it costs to dry corn and I now know if really effects flavor.
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Re: effect of drying corn on the taste of bourbon

Unread postby cowdery » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:06 pm

Although the major distilleries have to go pretty far afield to get their rye and malt, they get their corn pretty close to home.
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