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microdistillers using smoke and mirrors


georgiabooze

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I know this is like beating a dead horse, but we cannot let the discussion die. I just read a post on not buying a still yet, just buying in gns. That is a bunch of crap. Make it yourself or do not get in the business. The way things are going, pretty soon we will see someone buying in gns and putting it in a barrel and calling it whiskey, or rum or brandy aor something else. This has got to stop.

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Not only is it a dead horse, but there are other threads you could have posted this in instead of spreading the debate all over the forum.

I don't know what post you're referring to, but please realize that there are perfectly legitimate distilled spirits that start with gns. It is not always cheating.

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Fine you go ahead and buy a facility three stories high and toot your horn.

If I re-distill and taste everything and worry about my cuts and flavor profile and aging, but buy GNS am I cheating? do I not look at the Merck index or other things? Do I succumb to this petty argument yet again? If you have your mother raking the grain across the floor is the quality better simply because her feet walked upon the malted grain?

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Fine you go ahead and buy a facility three stories high and toot your horn.

If I re-distill and taste everything and worry about my cuts and flavor profile and aging, but buy GNS am I cheating? do I not look at the Merck index or other things? Do I succumb to this petty argument yet again? If you have your mother raking the grain across the floor is the quality better simply because her feet walked upon the malted grain?

looks like I throwed the fat in the fire. The truth hurts don't it.

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I know this is like beating a dead horse, but we cannot let the discussion die. I just read a post on not buying a still yet, just buying in gns. That is a bunch of crap. Make it yourself or do not get in the business. The way things are going, pretty soon we will see someone buying in gns and putting it in a barrel and calling it whiskey, or rum or brandy aor something else. This has got to stop.

Someone was asking a while back about using commercially produced dextrinase, glucoamylase and other enzymes for a whiskey wash, instead of the "costly" malt derived enzymes. Sort of similar discussion: I would never consider using fungal amylases for my hand crafted whiskey.

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I know this is like beating a dead horse, but we cannot let the discussion die. I just read a post on not buying a still yet, just buying in gns. That is a bunch of crap. Make it yourself or do not get in the business. The way things are going, pretty soon we will see someone buying in gns and putting it in a barrel and calling it whiskey, or rum or brandy aor something else. This has got to stop.

Listen, we all have our own ideals about what this "micro-distilling" industry should be.... but do it on your own with the best of intentions and let it go! You have no Sherriff's badge in this world and I'm willing to bet you don't even own a still or have a DSP permit.

You have submitted many questions, which have turned into some great debate between other members but not you. Your process for asking these questions has been amateurish at best. I'll reference the "mash vessel", "enzymes", and "sugar" posts you started in other areas as examples. We're all here to learn, but if your initial posts are about arbitrary process techniques and then you proceed to bash those that have actually put up their money and time to further their success.... well, then you're out of line.

I'm born and raised in the west... and I pull no punches. If you don't like what I have to say I really don't care and we can talk off-line about that. This is a thread/conversation for another time and place (especially so when you have something to contribute to the cause). I'm here to converse with other industry PROFESSIONALS and help those that want to LEARN. Your criticism holds no value and I would respectfully ask that you refrain from such conversations and accusations until you have walked the line yourself.

Stop wasting bandwidth, have a dram and chill!

Bryan

EDIT: there's a lot of products in the market that were not made by anyone associated with it (both large and small distilleries). I won't name names, but it's out there.... if you think buying bulk NGS is cheating that's nothing compared to the mass marketing behind some ghost "distilleries" out there who, in fact, don't distill a damn thing.

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geaorgiabooze is referring to my comment in this thread. http://adiforums.com/index.php?showtopic=312

They OP is thinking about starting a business making liqueurs by infusing neutral spirits. I mentioned that GNS is a viable possibility, instead of making neutral spirits from scratch to make liqueurs with. It would be prohibitively expensive to buy a still and make neutral spirits, just to use in liqueurs where the infused botanicals, fruit, etc. is the primary flavor and not the distilled spirit itself.

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georgiabooze does just seem to be trolling for the juvenile joy of seeing people jump, but some of the jumpers raise interesting points.

Not only is it appropriate to purchase GNS if your business is making liqueurs, there is an argument to be made that it would be foolish to make liqueurs any other way. GNS (or NGS) is a commodity. You are not going to make GNS better than ADM does, and you definitely are not going to make it cheaper. I've learned a lot here about the range of business ideas that can come under the heading of spirits producer and I'm much more careful about what I criticize than I was before that learning took place.

For me, if people are forthcoming and honest about what they are doing, I don't have any problem with any of it.

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Guest Liberty Bar - Seattle
There is no truth to hurt. GNS has its place in the microdistillery and that's that.

As for "fat on the fire," I think "trolling" is more apropos...and counterproductive.

I'm not sure if it's 'trolling', but it surely is counterproductive. While I do understand why someone would think this and how there is an added integrity issue in going from start to finish, I would agree that for many products, using a GNS is a legitimate (and intelligent) manner to create many kinds of spirits. The ability to make one's own GNS is a gulf from what it takes to become a micro-distillery from a purchased, quality GNS. It's the difference of starting a distillery or not starting a distillery in many cases.

One legitimate aspect of what you're saying is that I would bet that 100% of micro-distillers who make a whiskey/gin/absinthe/vodka that start with a purchased GNS - if they do well - eventually plan on buying a new still in order to make their own GNS. That's the only way to truly control the whole relationship that you have with your spirits. Who would not want to make their own GNS? Unless of course you're making a liquor or something of the sorts where if done right, the final product will have no relation at all to the GNS.

Not only is it appropriate to purchase GNS if your business is making liqueurs, there is an argument to be made that it would be foolish to make liqueurs any other way. GNS (or NGS) is a commodity. You are not going to make GNS better than ADM does, and you definitely are not going to make it cheaper. I've learned a lot here about the range of business ideas that can come under the heading of spirits producer and I'm much more careful about what I criticize than I was before that learning took place.

For me, if people are forthcoming and honest about what they are doing, I don't have any problem with any of it.

Well said.

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  • 1 month later...

There is enormous difference between using smoke and mirrors as elements of his craft, and using them to fool the consumer. Using GNS as a base in the pursuit of interesting final spirit products is not dishonest, it's called "innovation" and it is the cornerstone of the American entrepreneurial tradition.

The critics' comments about producers making use of gns is disingenuous. Or, perhaps it is merely misinterpreting, but the impression their comments leave me with is they are not attempting to make a living at the spirits production business. It is an easy thing to be an armchair distiller, as easy as it is to be an academic with a firm grasp on theory and no obligation to actually produce a produc t, make a profit, meet a payroll, pay taxes and establish a brand. Distilling is a craft but spirits production need not include distilling to be craft.

The critics perhaps have not followed the discussion here on the nature of "craft" as it relates to production of spirits. It is not about the equipment, or about the materials. It's about producing a quality spirit as the result of skills and innovation and taking a risk on the new and different; about putting your own time and money on the line, trial and error, failure, about getting up the next morning and working till the wee hours to get it right.

GNS is simply a material. The painter is no less an artist who does not mix his own paint or stretch his canvas. The composer is no less artist because he invents his art on an electronic keyboard. The stonemason organizes his art stone by stone without ever actually creating a single one of them.

No progress is made without risk taking, without breaking out of the ordinary, without diversion from the norm. One of the most oft heard comments we receive from our European customers is: "Finally, something new." Whatever any critic may think about "rules" for making whiskey, there will always be those who are proud they are thinking "outside the box".

But I say, "There is no box."

Ralph Erenzo

Tuthilltown Spirits

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There is enormous difference between using smoke and mirrors as elements of his craft, and using them to fool the consumer. Using GNS as a base in the pursuit of interesting final spirit products is not dishonest, it's called "innovation" and it is the cornerstone of the American entrepreneurial tradition.

The critics' comments about producers making use of gns is disingenuous. Or, perhaps it is merely misinterpreting, but the impression their comments leave me with is they are not attempting to make a living at the spirits production business. It is an easy thing to be an armchair distiller, as easy as it is to be an academic with a firm grasp on theory and no obligation to actually produce a produc t, make a profit, meet a payroll, pay taxes and establish a brand. Distilling is a craft but spirits production need not include distilling to be craft.

The critics perhaps have not followed the discussion here on the nature of "craft" as it relates to production of spirits. It is not about the equipment, or about the materials. It's about producing a quality spirit as the result of skills and innovation and taking a risk on the new and different; about putting your own time and money on the line, trial and error, failure, about getting up the next morning and working till the wee hours to get it right.

GNS is simply a material. The painter is no less an artist who does not mix his own paint or stretch his canvas. The composer is no less artist because he invents his art on an electronic keyboard. The stonemason organizes his art stone by stone without ever actually creating a single one of them.

No progress is made without risk taking, without breaking out of the ordinary, without diversion from the norm. One of the most oft heard comments we receive from our European customers is: "Finally, something new." Whatever any critic may think about "rules" for making whiskey, there will always be those who are proud they are thinking "outside the box".

But I say, "There is no box."

Ralph Erenzo

Tuthilltown Spirits

Bravo Ralph.

Let's let the market decide. Educate them on the differences and the benefits of your brand. Don't try to prohibit something just because. If there is a true and better difference, then we can only all benefit.

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