Bourbon - Grain Cooker

Grains consist mostly of starch, but also of small quantities of proteins, fats and trace elements. In chemical terms starch is a polysaccharide. Many sugar molecules are connected in long chains. Each grain type can germinate and can turn starch into sugar and eventually cellulose in this natural malting process. However, not each grain type is well-suited for this technical process. Only barley has excellent abilities to turn starch into sugar during germination, with the help of an enzyme.

The Grain cooker of the Early times distillery
Early Times - Grain cooker

For corn, rye and unmalted barley a different solution was needed. These corn types are usually cooked for about half an hour. Early Times cooks with slight overpressure and at higher temperatures in order to reduce the cooking time to approximately 25 minutes.

 

OrderType of wheetTemperatureCooking Time
1Corn

220°F / 114°C

Long with pressure
2Rye170°F / 77°C

Medium

3Barley

150°F / 66°C

Short
Labrot & Graham - Cooker from the inside
Labrot & Graham - Cooker from the inside

The grain mixture (called mash) is then cooled down before the yeast is added in the fermenter.

The Mash cooler at the Heaven Hill distillery
Heaven Hill - Mash cooler