Dashfire Bitters gain national distribution and distiller’s permit, spirits coming in 2018
Lee Egbert has a row of gorgeous copper stills arrayed against one wall of a Minnetonka warehouse. His bitters company, Dashfire LLC, has received its Distilled Spirits Permit (DSP) and, while many would start making spirits the moment the paperwork came through, Egbert’s stills aren’t even hooked up.
“The distillation is exciting, but I’ve done it before,” Egbert says, brushing past the stills. “Here’s what I’m really excited about.” He shows us to a row of plastic drums, where citrus rind and spices are macerating in a mixture of high-proof alcohol and water. Bitters-in-progress. Real exciting stuff, right?
Fooling Father Time: ‘Rapid-aging’ and the future of craft whiskey
June 20, 2017
The standard formula for whiskey, the way it’s always been done, is this: you fill up an oak barrel with a clear spirit and then you wait. And wait. And wait.
Inside that barrel, things slowly unfold. Alcohol seeps into the toasted oak, degrading the polymers that make up its structure. The lignin and hemicellulose in the wood release some potentially tasty molecules. Esters form, then break apart, then recombine. Oxygen changes the liquid and evaporation concentrates it. A long series of chemical changes makes the spirit deep, flavorful, and smooth.
Wood & Beer: A Brewer’s Guide
Jun 7, 2016
by Dick Cantwell and Peter Bouckaert
The use of wooden vessels for storage, transportation, fermentation, or aging of beer is deeply rooted in history. Today’s talented brewers are innovating, experimenting, and enthusiastically embracing the seemingly mystical complexity of flavors and aromas derived from wood. From the souring effects of microbes that take up residence in the wood to the wood character drawn from barrels or foeders, this book covers not only the history, physiology, microbiology, and flavor contributions of wood, but also the maintenance of wooden vessels.
The wood component extraction times for different small barrel sizes:
Citation: Jeffery JDE, Berglund KA. Extraction of Wood Constituents from Non-Conventional, Small Whiskey Barrels. J Food Processing & Beverages.
Ahead of their time: Town Hall was barrel-aging beer before it was cool
February 16, 2017
Before the late 1990s, the lives of barrels mostly started and ended with their relationship to wine or spirits. The notion of aging a beer in used barrels was still a relatively novel concept. What you may not know is that one of your favorite Minneapolis brewpubs was one of the earliest pioneers in barrel-aging beer. “It wasn’t a …
Sociable Cider introduces barrel-aging program
August 15, 2016
Sociable Cider Werks co-owner Jim Watkins is never satisfied. He’s always tinkering with things, whether it’s cooking a steak or sourcing apples for the cider served at the taproom in Northeast Minneapolis. It’s no wonder then that the Sociable team is experimenting with the complex flavors that come from barrel-aging their fermented fruit beverage. The … [ Read more]
Craft Culture: Handcrafted barrels from Black Swan Cooperage
October 27, 2015
The whining of saw blades and smell of singed wood greet you first. Then comes Whiskey. Not the drink, but the dog: a giant, bounding, playful-yet-imposing German Shepherd. Heidi Korb follows soon after, apologizing for her dog’s overeager greeting. With knee-high brown boots, skinny jeans, flowing highlighted hair, and nails painted with gold-fleck sparkles—remnants of … [ Read more]
Making Wooden Barrels
by Mary Miller
May 1, 2013
Young, hard-working Minnesota woman embraces age-old barrel-making trade
A cask act: 25-year-old cooper runs family business
by Anna G. Larson
July 10, 2013
Russ Karasch doesn’t hesitate to say he’s the “luckiest guy on Earth” to have his 25-year-old daughter as his boss.