Since 1795 (interrupted by Prohibition), seven generations of the Beam family have been involved in whiskey production for the company that produces the brand, which was given the name “Jim Beam” in 1933 in honour of James B. Beam.
5.2kg cracked corn
500g barley malt
800g Rye malt
20L Water or 16L if using backset
*4L Back-set (see notes)
MJ SN9 or EC-1118 yeast
1. Add the grain into a sanitised fermenter, add 10L of room temperature water or 6L water and 4L of back-set and mix it in well with the grain making sure that all the grain has been mixed in (no dry clumps).
2. Take the next 10 Litres of water and bring it to a boil in a pot, once boiling, pour it into fermenter and mix well to prevent any clumping.
3. Cover and leave fermenter to cool, add yeast when the mash reaches 30c.
4. When all activity in the air lock has stopped, and all the grain settles to the bottom (3 days to 2 weeks, depending on temperature), strain out grain collecting the liquid for distillation through a pot still.
5. After distillation, dilute to 50% and soak on american oak for a least 14 days (longer the better).
6. After oaking, strain out the oak chips, dilute down to 40% and enjoy.
Back-set refers to the liquid left in the boiler after a stripping run. For a true “sour mash” whiskey, you will need to keep some from your first distilling run and include it in subsequent fermentations.
Tips for temperature control:
-Use the chilled water to reach a satisfactory temperature and add yeast immediately.
-Maintain a cool even temperature in the fermenter.
-Place the fermenter in a tray and wrap it in a blanket with an end in a container of water.
-Placing the fermenter on a concrete slab can also help to keep the temperature constant.
–Use a Brewing Thermostat and a fridge for optimum brewing conditions all year round.
Equipment needed for mead making:
– 4 Litre Pot
– Medium Funnel
– 2 x 5L Demijohns
– Bored Bung
– Solid Bung
-To make oak spirit use a 4-5 Litre wide neck glass jar, use around 200-300g of oak blocks or chips and 1 litre of vodka/neutral spirit. Soak for at least 14 days but the flavour intensifies the longer you leave the oak soaking. When ready, strain the oak out by passing it through filter wool in a funnel.