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- A Comparison Of The Processes Of The Brewer With Those Of The Whiskey Distiller
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- To Set A Doubling Still
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- On Fining Liquors
- The Following Receipt To Make An Excellent American Wine
- Of The Season For Brewing
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- To Sweeten Hogsheads By Scalding
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- To Make Elderberry Wine To Drink Made Warm As A Cordial
- On Colouring Liquors
- To Give An Aged Flavor To Whiskey

Defects In The Usual Method Of Making Whiskey

1st. The most hurtful of all for the interests of the distillers, is
undoubtedly the weakness of the vinous liquor. We have seen that the
proportion of spirit is in a ratio to the richness of the fermenting
liquor; that Lavoisier, by putting one-fifth of the mass of dry sugar,
obtained twice as much spirit as the rum distiller, who puts in the same
quantity, but drowns it in water. From those principles, which are not
contested, the distiller, whose vinous liquor contains only one-fiftieth
part of sweet matter, obtains the less spirit, and loses as much of it
as he gets.

2dly. Another defect is joined to this: bodies are dissolved by reason
of their affinity with the dissolving principle; the mucilaginous
substance is as soluble in water as the saccharine substance. A mass of
100 gallons of water having only 16lbs. of sugar to dissolve, exerts
it's dissolving powers upon the mucilaginous part which abounds in
grains, and dissolves a great quantity of it. There results from that
mixture, a fermentation partaking of the spirit and the acid, and if the
temperature of the atmosphere is moderate, the acid invades the spirit,
which is one of its principles: nothing remains but vinegar, and the
hopes of the distiller are deceived.

Some distillers have been induced, by the smallness of their products,
to put in their stills, not only the fluid of the liquor, but the flour
itself. Hence result two important defects. 1st. The solid matter
precipitates itself to the bottom of the still, where it burns, and
gives a very bad taste to the whiskey. In order to remedy this
inconvenience, it has been imagined to stir the flour incessantly, by
means of a chain dragged at the bottom of the still, and put in motion
by an axis passing through the cap, and turned by a workman until the
ebullition takes place. This axis, however well fitted to the aperture,
leaves an empty space, and gives an issue to the spirituous vapors,
which escaping with rapidity, thereby occasion a considerable loss of

3dly. The presence of the grain in the still, converted into meal, is
not otherwise indifferent. It contains a kind of essential oil, more or
less disagreeable, according to its nature; which distils
with the spirit. That of Indian corn, in particular, is more noxious
than that of any other grain; and it is the presence of meal in the
stills, which causes the liquors obtained from grains to be so much
inferior to that of fruits.

4thly. There is a fourth defect, at which humanity shudders, and which
the laws ought to repress. Vinous liquors are more or less accompanied
with acetone acid, or vinegar; but those proceeding from grain contain
still more of this acid. The stills are generally made of naked copper;
the acid works upon that metal, and forms with it the acetate of
copper, or verdigrise, part of which passes with the whiskey. There is
no distiller, who, with a little attention, has not observed it. I have
always discovered it in my numerous rectifications, and at the end of
the operation, when nothing more comes from the still but what is called
the sweet oil of wine. An incontestable proof of this truth is, that as
the stills of the distillers are of a green color in their interior
part; that they are corroded with the acid, and pierced with numberless
little holes, which render them unfit for use in a very short time. It
is easy to conceive how hurtful must be the presence of verdigrise to
those who make use of whiskey as a constant drink: even those who use it
soberly, swallow a slow poison, destructive of their stomach; while to
those who abuse it, it produces a rapid death, which would still be the
consequence of abuse, if the liquor was pure, but is doubly accelerated
by the poison contained in the whiskey. It is easy to remedy so terrible
an evil. The acetous acid has no action upon tin. By tinning the stills,
the purity of the liquor will be augmented, and the distilling vessels,
already so expensive, will be longer preserved. This operation must be
renewed every year. The worms must likewise be tinned, if they are
copper; but they are better of tin, or of the purest pewter.

Such are the defects of the present method of distilling whiskey. Having
exposed them, I must present the means of bringing to perfection the
fabrication of a liquor of such general use.

Next: Description Of The Process The Most Advantageous To Make Whiskey

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