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Distillation

Select here to learn more about the grains used for the production of Scotch Grain Whisky.

Grains

Processing the raw material (milling and mashing)

Select here to learn more about processing the grains used for the production of Scotch Grain Whisky.

Select here to learn more about the fermentation process in the production of Scotch Grain Whisky.

Fermentation

Distillation

Select here to learn more about the distillation process in the production of Scotch Grain Whisky.

Post-distillation operations

Select here to learn more about the post- distillation options for Scotch Grain Whisky.

Grains

Processing the raw material (milling and mashing)

Fermentation

Post-distillation operations

Although there are almost no restrictions, only three grains are used in Grain Whisky: Malted barley, corn and wheat. Select the icons to learn about how these grains are used in Grain whisky.

Malted barley

Corn and wheat

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1. The grains are milled and a new batch of wort is made up.

Select the tabs to reveal the steps to processing the raw materials.

3. This liquid is cooled to 64°C (147°F) and malted barley is added.

2. The main ingredient in the mash bill (either corn or wheat) is cooked to gelatinise its starch.

4. The starch in the malted barley gelatinises and the enzymes convert the starches to sugar.

Step 2

Step 3

Step 1

Step 4

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In common with malt whisky distillers, grain whisky fermentations are carried out using cultured yeast. Fermentations will be completed quickly without any period of standing before distillation. This is necessary to ensure the spirits have the clean, relatively simple flavours that are required.

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The only legal restriction placed on the distillation of grain whisky is that it must be distilled to a strength that is less than 94.8% abv. In theory, it could be made in pot stills and distilled to a low strength, but in practice this does not happen. The contrast in the higher-strength, light-aromatic style of grain whiskies and the more characterful malt whiskies resulted in the creation of Blended Scotch Whisky. Grain whiskies are typically distilled to a high strength in continuous column stills.

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Maturation – The rules regarding the maturation of grain whisky are no different from malt whisky.Ex-American barrels are the norm when maturing grain whiskies.They are rarely aged in Sherry butts or subject to wood finishing of any kind. The extra flavour that these barrel would introduce would be unwelcome.Other post-distillation operations – Compared to malt whiskies, grain whiskies – both Single Grain Whisky and Blended Grain Whisky – are sold relatively rarely. Blending, dilution and chill-filtration are available options, as is caramel colour.

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Malted Barley

Malted barley has to be used and it is used for its enzymes. Grain distillers use specific varieties of barley that generate high levels of enzymes when they are malted. These are not the same varieties as the ones that are used to make Malt Whisky.

Corn and Wheat

Distilleries use one or the other and not both at the same time. Although these grains are bought as commodities, distilleries do not change from corn to wheat if the price changes. This would alter the style of the spirit.