Distillation Process
Grain is milled, or ground, to expose the starches. Milled grain and water go into a cooker. Currently, Lux Row Distillers mills corn, wheat, rye and malted barley grains to make two separate bourbon mash bills.
Cooking softens the grain to maximize starch conversion into sugar. Natural enzymes are added, traditionally malted barley, to help convert the starches from the grain into sugar. Lux Row Distillers has two cookers capable of producing 4,000 gallons of mash each.
Yeast is added to begin the fermentation process of converting sugar into alcohol. Fermentation can take three to seven days. Once complete, the mash is essentially beer. Lux Row Distillers currently has twelve (four open top and eight closed top) 8,000 gallon stainless steel fermenters.
Distillation uses heat to separate the alcohol from water and solids by vaporizing them. When the alcohol vapors reach the top of the still they hit a condenser, a coil or tube surrounded by cold water, where they turn back into liquid. Lux Row Distillers has a 36-inch Vendome copper still with 19 distillation plates at over 43 feet in height.
After distillation, the spirit is put into a new, charred oak barrel at 125 proof or below. Currently, Lux Row Distillers has six barrel warehouses with plans of building ten in total. Each barrel warehouse will hold 20,000 barrels.
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