Bourbon Making

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Mar 13, 2009
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#1
I recently bought my own bourbon "making" kit. In all reality I am using vodka with an additive provided in the kit, and aging it in a 1 liter charred oak barrel. This is my first try, hence the vodka and additive. However, I think it would be really easy to buy some grain alcohol and moonshine to get something closer to "white lightning" for my next try. Has anyone done anything similar? Thoughts?
 

Kabob1865

Lives on Steak and Refried Beans
Nov 20, 2011
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#4
I have one of these kits. My girlfriend bought it for me for Christmas. I will never try to make my own bourbon. I use the kit to age scotch faster. I took a 12 year old Chivas Regal blended scotch, aged it for 3 months and it actually tastes better than the 18 year Chivas Regal. I hate blended scotches, but the result if very drinkable.

It is super smooth and is warm in the belly. Despite the excellent taste, me and my buddies call it 'swish'. It will get you some kind of drunk.

 
Oct 10, 2006
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#5
I recently bought my own bourbon "making" kit. In all reality I am using vodka with an additive provided in the kit, and aging it in a 1 liter charred oak barrel. This is my first try, hence the vodka and additive. However, I think it would be really easy to buy some grain alcohol and moonshine to get something closer to "white lightning" for my next try. Has anyone done anything similar? Thoughts?
Good luck with this. If there's an explosion related to this is it a safe assumption that you failed?:D
 

Kabob1865

Lives on Steak and Refried Beans
Nov 20, 2011
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#6
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1369234788.769725.jpg


I took notes and pictures as the science experiment went along. This picture is after 4 weeks. The differences were already remarkable. I was surprised by how the physical properties of the liquor changed. I think of my aging kit as a 'microwave' for turning decent booze into excellent booze.

EDIT: I noticed I got drunk and didn't finish filling out my own quiz. The 12-year Chivas was better with water, but not very good neat. The Chivas out of my barrel was very good neat, but not as good with water. It was spicy and had a stronger peat flavor, which I like. I'm one of the few that actually enjoys Islay scotches.
 

Kabob1865

Lives on Steak and Refried Beans
Nov 20, 2011
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#7
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1369235099.161721.jpg


Here is a comparison after 3 months. 12 year control on the left and what I put in my decanter on the right. The 12 year is almost undrinkable compared to the finished product.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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Oct 18, 2006
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#8
Just for my own clarification, wouldn't the aging of vodka in a charred barrel just be whiskey and not necessarily bourbon?
 

Kabob1865

Lives on Steak and Refried Beans
Nov 20, 2011
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#9
I recently bought my own bourbon "making" kit. In all reality I am using vodka with an additive provided in the kit, and aging it in a 1 liter charred oak barrel. This is my first try, hence the vodka and additive. However, I think it would be really easy to buy some grain alcohol and moonshine to get something closer to "white lightning" for my next try. Has anyone done anything similar? Thoughts?
I would definitely go with one of the clear whiskeys over vodka for your next blend. They are pretty easy to find now. Jack Daniels and Jim Beam all sell unaged whiskeys. I may try one of these. For my last batch I am planning on aging a blanco tequila into an anejo.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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#11
Just for my own clarification, wouldn't the aging of vodka in a charred barrel just be whiskey and not necessarily bourbon?
That's exactly right. But because the kit gives you an additive they recommend vodka and the finished product tastes like bourbon. I'm fully aware of the difference between the two. But this is my first time. Hence why I said next time I would do a true bourbon.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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Oct 18, 2006
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#13
That's exactly right. But because the kit gives you an additive they recommend vodka and the finished product tastes like bourbon. I'm fully aware of the difference between the two. But this is my first time. Hence why I said next time I would do a true bourbon.
So if you managed to get a vodka that was created with the "bourbon" correct grain bill, and then you aged it, could it then be legit bourbon? I am a whiskey newb and I am just trying to understand a little.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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#14
So if you managed to get a vodka that was created with the "bourbon" correct grain bill, and then you aged it, could it then be legit bourbon? I am a whiskey newb and I am just trying to understand a little.
So forget about the vodka for now. That was just a shortcut by the kit company. What I really need is a liquor distilled from a mash that is at least 51% corn (you can find all of the requirements for true bourbon on wikipedia). You can find unaged bourbon or grain alcohol at the liquor store. What this kit is allowing me to do is to age it to my personal taste.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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#18
Ok, but it seems to me that what you have done is bought a McDonalds cheeseburger, taken it home and added your own lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles and called it a Whopper. If you like it, that's all that matters. It just seems strange to me.
I'll say this. Assume I use grain alcohol instead of vodka (I will next batch). I can take the building block of bourbon and age it to a point that it becomes a delicious whiskey that is completely unique. On top of that. I can taste it along the process to see how it goes from an almost un-drinkable liquid to a smooth tasting bourbon that would normally cost much more. That doesn't even factor in the enjoyment of making something myself instead of just buying it.
 

CTeamPoke

Legendary Cowboy
Jun 18, 2008
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#20
Bourbon is the only truly American spirit......
Your argument invalid.

Bourbon don't start in Russia.....its starts in U....S.....A....
This is all true, but as an American the idiot trying to turn Vodka into Burbon like some kind of damn alcoholic Christ has the freedom to do so!