New To Distilling - Had A Product Made - Now Want To Make Our Own


We are looking to start a distillery. We have had a few batches of whiskey made. We are the largest grower in the US of Dry Mature Sweetcorn. We have experimented with its uses since early 70s. Well with our whiskey we had several batches made. First 3 were straight ground sweetcorn, with like 1% barley malt. The last two batches have been made with completely malted 100% sweetcorn. We are determining how to make it commercial viable and what ratio or style is best to look at.

Do we try like 30% malted sweetcorn the rest unmalted?
Do we try NO straight sweetcorn and try like 30% barley and the rest sweetcorn?

Fresh Sweetcorn is NOT the same as DMS, starches and sugars are quite a bit different, it shrinks a lot an like 80-90% of kernel is water soluble.

I know several manufactures have an ODD corn or a sweetcorn whiskey with combination of grains. We are going in with only a few tests, first hand knowledge and second hand research. Lots of steps lots of hurdles. Anyone be will to spitball ideas?

Yes, Eventually we would need to find a distiller and attempt to get teach ourselves. Money and time and resources will be invested for sure.

Thanks everyone,

Off The Cob


  • edited February 3

    I’d have to taste a little of the 100% new make to get a sense of how well it can stand on its own.

    100% corn whiskies tend to be fairly uncharacteristic aged. Grassy forward, generally uninteresting. Malting is going to give it a lot more character, but still curious what the new make is like. Wager a bet that distilled clean, you’d get close to an Irish whiskey flavor profile by malting some of that.

    What’s it like compared to field corn?

    This is awesome by the way, kudos.

  • @offthecob, welcome! Where are you located?

  • Bloomfield, Nebraska

  • We potentially have access to be a used still setup, A guy with some money and retired and bought it to his retirement house, well he passed and wife and children are selling so we thing we can get it pretty affordable and learn how to practice well making anything that could taste like whiskey. (Yes I know we Need licenses and need to pass legal hurdles). Since we only have hands off experience we have somewhere to work from. I have no pictures of yet or know its size but least we can experiment with basic basic stuff and Learn how to do it. Be nice to find a local distiller or a student with experience. Put us on the right path. Just wanted to let the group know.


  • edited February 7

    I have only been distilling for about 5 years now but I can say there is absolutely no substitute for hands on distilling practice and experience. Apart from the advice you will get here. Another thing is when I just started reading about distilling I read everything I could and a lot of guys referred to the flavor profile that the distiller wants or is looking for. At the time I though oh yeh. OK. Well it didn't take long to realise that there is a huge amount of truth that that. Your going to have an idea of the exact flavors you want to make and its going to take more than a few attempts to get to the product you want.

    I live in Argentina in wine country and when you go to someones house who makes wine normally I bring a bottle of whisky as a gift, and almost always they will come back and say here is a bottle of wine that I make. Its like a metaphorical, this is me in a bottle. This is what I can do creatively. What you strive for, or at least I strive for, is that the stuff I put in a bottle is the best I can make it. This takes time, patience and a lot of money but the personal satisfaction is well worth it. As a final comment I would say if you get a still experiment like crazy. I started making whisky with just one yeast. Now I am to 4 yeast combinations. I have made 44 different styles of whiskey aged on 6 different sorts of woods. As each barrel aged out I realised which ones were good, which ones I can improve. Until now I am at about 12 that I really like. There is no substitute to practice when it comes to whisky. I think @grim said that a few times when I was just starting. He was not wrong.

  • OK I am reading thee trying to understand and soak it up what terms and everything means. I do appreciate it all, the convos. Regg

  • edited February 8

    @offthecob Welcome. As per @grim & @DonMateo say, there's no substitute for jumping in, doing & learning.

    The Beginner's Talk Discussions category is the place to start - lots of good info there.

    Make a lot of batches, try to only change 1 thing each batch. Keep detailed notes of each batch!!!!

    Chat to @Smaug re getting a 50l setup to use for testing and recipe development.

    Have fun & ask questions

  • Thanks I will look at the beginner talk.

  • edited February 10

    Great comment @crozdog mate. I started making corn washes in 50L batches. God it was terrible. Then switched to barley then went to 100L washes then 200L washes and now I am up to 1000L washes.

    @offthecob, one thing I would suggest if your going to make corn whiskey maybe with some rye or other grains, is early on in your experimentation is change your yeast mixes. Start with one yeast and then two and then keep going. If you don't want to change your the complexity of your product by using multiple different grains, because you want to use corn, then a good way is using different combinations of yeast. I use 3 different whiskey yeasts for different reasons and in each whiskey I will use two different beer yeasts. Also each one selected for the particular flavor and ester (smell) profile. There are a couple of threads here on different yeasts.

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