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I'm not an attorney. But as I understand it, it's not easy to get a patent for a recipe. You'd have to demonstrate that your process is both "novel" and "non-obvious". I would think that a sour mash recipe is probably both of those things. But what do I know.

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Everyone who currently does a SWEET MASH with post-fermentation lactic souring should file an objection to the patent with the USPTO. You can not patent an existing recipe or technique. AND the article is wrong, it can not be BOTH proprietary AND patent pending, because submitting a patent is a form of publishing, and specifically means it is no longer secret. So either they are not revealing what is unique, and hence it can not be patented, OR it is now public, and people can object if they can document prior art. More likely, the general method is NOT being patented by them, but some specific aspect, and they use that for marketing.

We will make public HERE:

We use a post-fermentation natural souring recipe for our corn-based whiskies. We do this because we believe it was a traditional 19th century method of mashing. We have been doing it for the past FIVE 5 years, since our inception. 

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