Daily Archives: April 25, 2016

How Scotch Whisky is Made

What is Scotch Whisky? Well just a moment. You must understand the process of making whisky before you can define Scotch Whisky. You need to know that whisky is the product of barley. Also, the main processes that are used to transform the barley into whisky are distilling, fermenting, and aging. Simple right? Let’s break it down into more manageable concepts.

Distilling is a process for separating mixtures via boiling. Each part of a mixture has its own boiling temperature. A mixture will separate when all the parts have reached their specific boiling temperatures. You will certainly use this process to make your alcohol. Next, what is the process of fermenting.

Fermenting is the simple process of converting carbs to alcohol by introducing various strains of bacteria. The bacteria generally “eats” the carbs and produces alcohol. You will use yeasts as your “carb eater” to make whisky. Don’t worry folks, you won’t be using a “carburetor”. Finally, you need to know the careful process of aging that separates whisky from other alcohols.

Aging is the process of taking the alcohol and aging it in a container. Shocking! However, you must know that whisky has requirements. Whisky, unlike other aged alcohols, must be aged for a MINIMUM of THREE YEARS, and it must be aged in a WOODEN CASK. Scotch Whisky, unlike  regular whiskey is made by completing these processes in SCOTLAND. You’re probably still wondering, “How is whisky made”? It can be broken down into more manageable steps (Keep in mind that it’s probably illegal to brew your own whisky). 

Step 1) Place barley seeds in water so they can germinate and malt. Stir the seeds occasionally for an even malt. 

Step 2) Dry and heat the malted barley to prepare for grinding.

Step 2) Create a grist: A grist is another word to describe milled grains. Grind the malted, germinated barley into a fine powder.  

Step 4) Introduce the yeast: Many brewers of alcohol use Brewer’s Yeast. Add the yeast and your malt into a still of boiling water. *Keep in mind that the size of your still will determine the amount of ingredients and water that are necessary.

Step 5) Allow the yeast to work and produce the alcohol mixture to separate: The alcohol you collect will be removed and placed into your wooden cask for aging. Usually the casks will be stored away from direct heat or sunlight.

Step 6) Age the alcohol: Age your alcohol for a minimum of three years and you’ve got some nice whisky.

Scotch Whisky comes in many varieties such as Single Malt, Blended Malt, Single Barrel, and Double Barrel. Overall, the taste of whisky varies by the malting process, adding other ingredients into your mixture, and aging at different lengths, temperatures, and types of wood. Now you know. 

Crepes Sweet and Savory

When many people think of French food, the first thing that comes to mind is the crepe. While these are not the only quintessentially French food, the simple crepe is so versatile that it demands a certain amount of attention. The origin of the crepe is most often thought to be from the French province of Brittany in the northwestern region of the country. It is not uncommon to find creperies where the servers are dressed in traditional Breton garb.

Basically there are two different types of crepes: sweet and savory. While the filling is important, it is the crepe itself that makes the difference between the two types.

The savory crepe is often referred to as a galette, created with buckwheat flour. In France it is referred to as ble noir or farine a sarrasin. It is believed that this buckwheat was brought back from the Middle East by the Crusaders, and it adapted well to the soil and weather conditions of Brittany. It makes a heartier crepe that is the perfect base for whatever you would like to fill it with. It also has a different texture, since there is no gluten in buckwheat flour. 

In Brittany the traditional filling is ham and eggs. According to legend, the crepe was the first fast food, and enterprenures as early as the 15th century would sell their savory cakes to the happy locals at markets.  The color of a buckwheat crepe is not as light as the sweet crepe; it is a nut-like color and has a somewhat nutty taste as well. It is not unusual for creperies to mix wheat flour in as well to get a lighter crepe.

It was the heartiness of the galette, which, according to the same stories, led to the development of the sweet crepe. After eating a hearty savory crepe, diners were looking for a little something to finish their meal, enter the dessert crepe. Sweet crepes are made with wheat flour and because of the gluten have a lighter texture that lends itself well to being a dessert.

A sweet crepe can be as simple as just a crepe and butter with a little sugar or maple syrup, or may include the addition of just about any fruit or liquor. Chocolate is not uncommon as a filling either. Crepes Suzette are what many people think of when they think of a dessert crepe but this is just one of many, many options.

Crepes are a perfect base for a great meal. Experiment, make them at home or find a favorite creperie. They can be simple, complex, extravagant or budget friendly;  it?s all a matter of what you choose for your filling.