Mash Tun Times

The Spirit Hall was alive today, the aroma of malted barley hung in the warm air and great whiffs of wash wafted from the open lids of the fat washbacks. The stills positively glowed, their hot copper skins burnished and bright as new spirit flowed crystal clear through the confines of the spirit safe…

However, there was one piece of unassuming equipment which held our distillers’ attention in the midst of all this, the meek and mild mashtun of shining stainless steel. This seemingly humble drum, which stirs and mixes our malted barley with warm water to make precious wort, has been posing a challenge to our spirit makers as they seek to lay the foundations of a great dram.

Here at the beginning of the whisky-making process, right at the start of our own whisky making journey, we are endeavouring to get things absolutely right. And if that takes time then so be it. For the past few weeks the distillers Kenny, Donnie, Domhnall and Billy have been working closely with Owen from Musk Engineering and our consultants Alison Mackinnon and Kenny Grey to commission this complicated piece of equipment.

There have been long hours and late nights as the complex integration of software programming and spirit making equipment are poured over in the pursuit of excellence. The goal is, ultimately, to produce the correct clarity of wort from which the Hearach whisky will eventually come. This sweet solution should not be too clear for fear we lose character, yet not be too cloudy either…to make its special contribution to the end result, it should be just right 

It’s an exciting time, our dream of making a truly great Harris dram, worthy of bearing our island’s name has become a reality. And so we work on, learning as we go, taking our time to ensure the best possible outcomes from our processes. This is the making of our first Harris whisky, each frustration offers an opportunity to deepen our knowledge, each set-back a chance to broaden our skills. As Hearachs, we’re used to life’s challenges and relish rising up to meet them!

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