Welcome back, “Rabbi Binyomin Terebelo, I know you said drop the Rabbi, but from the conversation, we had last night, if you were going to make it today seems like you are still active Rabbi.
Thanks, David, and thanks for so generously having the coffee prepared. Let me fill the audience in on what was going on last night and how it is just another dimension to my distilling personality, so drop the “Rabbi.”
There is a Biblical commandment not to mix wool and linen, and I was called to help examine some threads under a microscope.
I will lay out all the steps in distilling in brief below so you can fully understand the relationship. (I will return and explore it obviously in more depth later.)
Making Bourbon and all hard spirits contains three basic steps before distilling and barreling.
- Sugar is is is referred to as the “cereal” it can be made of anything with sugar. Bourbon, by law, must be 51% Corn. At Terebelo Distillery, we are 100% corn using gluten-free barrels.
- Yeast the yeast you chose will greatly affect how the fermentation will go and how the sugars will be broken down and taste think your kitchen and how you use different yeasts for different bakery goods.
- Water and temperature, of course, play an active role in influencing everything from taste to fermentation.
Depending on the grains or sugars will affect the steps in the process; for example, barley needs malting, and corn needs enzymes to be activated; most distilleries use rye or other grain. At Terebelo, we use 100% corn, so we get isolated enzymes to activate the corn.
The cooking process releases the sugars. You then let it cool to fermentation temperature, then add the yeast.
This is followed by the distilling process followed by the barrelling and aging.
Where The Art Of Shatnez Kicks In
I wanted to learn and understand every step in the process related to distilling.
Yeast is a live organism whose taste changes very easily and is greatly affected by its surroundings. In laymen’s terms, yeast is very “moody.” bad temperatures, such as in your delivery truck, and your yeast is bad. How do you know if that has happened? There really is only one way to know if the yeast is a good place in a petri dish (a petri dish is what you grow yeast in). Put that is under a microscope that led me to the microscope. Once I had access to a microscope, I would place whatever I could get my hands on to examine.
However, it was limited due to my amateurish way of learning the technique self-taught. It was on the same level as in third grade when Grandma Edith gave me a bug magnifier kit.
When my Rabbi heard of my new pastime, he asked me if I would be interested in getting ordained certified in this field. I said, of course, not really thinking how stressful the six-hour commute to Philadelphia was and the endless amount of times I had to go back and forth.
Finally, I passed the exam when I got a special call from Grandpa Seymour, the bootlegger. He had a surprise for me with a story. In his office, he had a microscope, something that we grandchildren all knew about as we were occasionally treated to seeing slides of all different creatures and materials under the microscope, being that grandpa, as noted in the previous article, was a prolific garage saler I at least never thought much of it. The microscope was no ordinary microscope; it was an “American Optical Microscope.” These microscopes, and this one, in particular, has a resale value online at about $2000. Grandpa sent it to the east coast, where I picked it up. A few days later, my aunt gave me a call and asked if I was sure that I wanted to keep the microscope; it seemed that “Zaidy” was emotional about it. I was surprised, so I gave Grandpa a call.
Grandpa started sharing his story, “Sixty plus years ago, Grandpa started medical school. I never finished medical school. I switched over to becoming a pharmacist because, at the time, no school was willing to tolerate his Sabbath observance. He treated himself to the best microscope money could by it was the American Optical Microscope, a microscope that, till today, is known for the quality of its glass unrivaled by any modern copycatters. This microscope has been in my office as a reminder of my sacrifice”. I am emotional for now; it will serve for a mitzvah; use it well, “son.”
Well, back to what I was doing last night, I got a phone call that there were questionable fabrics in a town over, and I hopped in my car and sped over, spending a good part of last night and most of the day today examing my threads.
Side note I never really have to check yeast. The book on distilling I was reading must have been ancient. The companies are quite good with their refrigerator trucks doing the deliveries.
Reb Binyomin, I guess we will call it a day. We still haven’t got to distilling, maybe after Pesach?
Sure, Dovid, though, from my point of view, this is a great forum to share some thoughts on Pesach next week.
LOL, we can try, though only if it will be captivating.