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Raw Materials

Raw Material Analysis

The major raw materials for whisky, bourbon, vodka and gin production are the cultivated cereals. These include barley, wheat, maize and rye. Other materials of agricultural origin include sugar cane (molasses and cane juice), potatoes, sorghum and grapes.

While enzymes are often used for the hydrolysis of starchy cereals for neutral spirit production, most whiskies and beers utilise a proportion of malted cereals in their mash bills. For the production of Scotch Whisky, only the endogenous enzymes of malted barley may be used and in the production of Scotch Malt Whisky, the mash bill must comprise 100 per cent malted barley.

The traditional process of malt whisky production relies on a well modified malt which is readily processed through conventional or semi-lauter mash tuns. These mash tuns rely on an efficiently filtered wort delivering a good level of extract and fermentability of the resultant wort. These quality parameters determine the spirit yield through the plant which is generally measured in litres of absolute alcohol per tonne of malt mashed.

Accordingly, Tatlock and Thomson offer extensive analytical services on malt and cereal analysis. Additionally, we carry out production analysis of the fermenting worts (wash) and analytical determinations of spirit quality.
These services include predicted yield analysis (PSY), determination of malt phenols, NDMA and ethyl carbamate (urethane) analysis, wash acidity and monitoring of the beneficial secondary lactic acid fermentation. Sulphur dioxide levels in malts are also determined.

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