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DME whiskey?

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Was having a conversation with someone about where lines are drawn and the topic came up, and I thought to myself, "Well, hell, it's a good question."

DME is essentially dry maltose sugar, and LME is essentially high-maltose sweetener.  If those were acceptable (they are in brewing), would corn-based extracts be acceptable as well?  Pure corn starch?  Pure corn syrup?  Where's the line?  Is there even a line?

You could reduce it to absurdity and ask if Corn Syrup and LME would be an acceptable mash bill in a bourbon?  Not saying it would be good, bad, or even yield a product that was (organoleptically) anywhere near a whiskey (I'd imagine it would be closer to rum), but would it be acceptable?

Really just more curious than anything else.

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In my early garage distilling days I did make "single malt whiskey" from DME.  I aged it in a second-fill 6 gallon barrel for about a year.  It was surprisingly acceptable.  I believe if you ask any homebrewer they'll tell you the quality of both dry and liquid ME had increased dramatically since the days of muntons from a tin.  Technically I can't imagine producing it from DME woudl be any different from buying wort from a brewery -- they've just remove a lot more water.

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I think the legal question isn't really the issue. Even if it is, and you get DME for a $1 a pound in bulk you can get regular malt for half that in minimal quantities, almost a 1/3 the price in bulk. Yeah it is more work to make beer than rehydrate DME, but it is still not a very profitable way to make whiskey.

Not to mention marketing difficulties.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/13/2016 at 3:59 PM, Silk City Distillers said:

Fancy way of saying liquid malt extract?

Maybe. Seems odd. The article states that they add the hops in Portland, though. Maybe they just mean the dry hop addition? If they don't have kettle, I'm not sure what else that could mean.

In regards to DME whiskey though, I would think the lack of control over the starch conversion process is a noteworthy drawback as well.

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  • 1 month later...

My 2 cents:

Would DME be challenged as non-whiskey?  Probably not as it's wort from grain.  From Briess's website - " malt extracts are produced in a 500-bbl state-of-the-art brewhouse "

I would ask myself what's the benefit of using DME?
If I want to avoid the upfront cost of the mashing equipment, I would knock on the doors of local breweries to see if I can strike a deal for lautered wort.  Gives me more control over ingredients & better marketing opportunities.

On the "brewery" being a ferment-only facility - I've seen also Granite City doing this producing drinkable beer.

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