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This question has been bugging me for a while now, and I was hoping some more folks would chime in with their experiences and hypothesises: Do you find that spirits made from a sugar wash have more "heat" or "burn" than those derived from grain?
I know @Grim has mentioned it before and I have experienced it myself as well. Meanwhile in the latest intro thread @Kapea suggested a sugar wash as a cheaper but just as effective formula for a good vodka. Being a professional brewer/yeast manager, my bias is clearly towards grain, but the thing is I also do a bunch of yeast/fermentation studies, and as long as the yeast has the required nutrients and the wash is not overly strong to the point of causing yeast stress then there should not be much difference. Ethanol being ethanol and the higher alcohols which I understand to be associated with the "burn" being separate it seems like the issues should come down to how well you conduct your separation vs the starting substrate, but all other factors constant, sugar washes to seem to be a bit more bitey and I was wondering what the insight was there. I also know that some of the higher alcohol beers that we make smooth out significantly over a period of months and lose their alcohol bite, but that doesn't really work for the time frame of a distiller.
Also if you factor the idea that sugar washes inherently need a bit more reflux or distillation or separation, they therefore may require more energy to render palatable which might then close the cost gap vs. grains. Just curious about it all really and would love the input of the community here. I have read plenty of anecdotal info on the other forums but prefer the spectrum of minds that frequent this one :)