History of Kentucky's claim to fame, bourbon

Essay by dirrjUniversity, Bachelor'sA, August 2007

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Kentucky is famous for many things. Things such as horse races, pioneers and trailblazers, such as Daniel Boone, corvettes, caves, gold, the fact that cheeseburgers were first served in 1934 in Louisville, and it is the location where the public saw an electric light for the first time, and many more. One other thing that Kentucky can use as its claim to fame is Bourbon.

Bourbon is a corn based whiskey. It is moderated by a strict law that says it has to be made up of at least 51% but not more than 80% of corn. Usually, distillers use about 70%, with the rest being wheat or rye, and some other other grains. Bourbon is then distilled to no more than 160 proof, and aged in barrels for at least two years. As described on the Jim Beam website, the process by which you make bourbon can be easily described in 4 simple steps:1.“Mashing:

Hammer mills grind grains of corn, rye and barley malt into a fine meal. The meal is cooked with pure iron-free water to convert the grain starches into sugars.”2.“Fermenting: The mash is pumped into a fermenter. Yeast is added to convert the sugars into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. This takes about three or four days to complete.”3.“Distilling: The mash is pumped into a still, where the water content of the liquid is reduced by heat. The steamy vapors are captured and cooled, resulting in a colorless condensate called "low wine." A second distilling refines the alcohol's proof and flavor, producing a new condensate called "high wine," or "white dog." The high wine is then transferred directly to barrels without filtering or additives.”4.“Aging: The distilled liquid is held in flash-charred new oak barrels set in airy hilltop rack houses. The "white dog" embraces the thin...