Distilling Courses 101 & 201

Dates for our next courses:

Distilling 101 – Watch for our next date  then you can  Sign up here

Distilling 201 will be offered again in the new year.

Below is an Over-View of each of the courses we provide

Distilling 101

Date: Check back with us for our next course date
The basics of spirits production

This introductory course will give the novice a basic understanding of following processes:

  1. Mashing
  2. Fermentation
  3. Distillation
  4. Dilution & Flavouring

Participants will have classroom instruction and hand outs outlining the key points to follow in each process for safety and successful spirits production.

The participants will learn the complete process for both a sugar-shine and a grain-based whisky recipe. Participants will learn to cook a sugar-shine recipe, pitch yeast, and distil this recipe. The resulting spirit will be proofed to 40% and flavourings can be added.

Participants will also learn to mash a malted barley recipe and pitch yeast to create a Scotch-style whisky.

Cost: $299 + GST (Lunch will be provided.)

Watch our website and Facebook page for the next date.

Distilling 101 sign up

Distilling 201

Date: Check back with us for our next course date

This course is designed for someone with a basic knowledge of fermenting and distilling that would like to expand their knowledge base to the point that they could start a craft distillery business themselves. Our focus will be on providing a very practical seminar by splitting our time: 20% classroom instruction and 80% on the distillery floor.

This course is a practical workshop where attendees will learn the principles of grain-spirit production in the classroom, and move to the distillery floor and learn each of the processes: mashing, fermentation, and distillation of grain spirits.

The course will be held onsite at Rig Hand Craft Distillery, where the class will participate in crafting Rig Hand’s 10W-40 White Dog whisky distillate. The class will learn the key factors for distillation of Rig Hand 10W-40 White Dog, including monitoring of the incoming spirits to determine the cuts from heads to hearts, from hearts to tails, from tails to shut-off, and to basking in the glory of a successful distillation run.

We begin each phase of spirits production in the classroom learning the principles of each process, and then move to the floor to see the processes in a real-life application of the principles.

After taking this course, the attendee will have a detailed understanding of all the processes of grain spirit production, and will have participated in each of the processes, and will be prepared to make grain spirits on their own distillery floor.

The cost of the course is includes Mr. Smiley’s instructor fee, course reference material and raw materials, ground transportation, daily lunches and a “graduation” dinner. The course fee does not include accommodation but we have arranged a group booking rate at a nearby hotel with complimentary breakfast.

Course Description

Required Readings & Topics Covered:

The Complete Distiller 2nd Edition, by Nixon & McCaw, Amphora Society Making Pure Corn Whiskey 2nd Edition, by Ian Smiley, Amphora Society

Day 1

Types of stills and their purposes Preparation of mash substrates Mashing of grain and the conversion of starch to sugar Fermentation

Day 2

Review of details of grain-mashing process

  • Grain bill
  • Enzymes
  • Water chemistry
  • Temperature regimen
  • Confirmation of starch conversion

Move to the floor to learn the grain mash process of Rig Hand 10W-40 White Dog Whisky Chill mash and set to ferment

Day 3

Principles of distillation
Specifics of whiskey distillation
Stillhouse safety practices
Outline of the distillation of Rig Hand 10W-40 White Dog Whisky

Day 4

Review of details of distilling Rig Hand 10W-40 White Dog Whisky Move to the floor to learn distillation of the grain mash to produce Rig Hand 10W-40 White Dog Whisky

Day 5

Aging, proofing, and bottling of spirits Q&A

Our Instructor

Ian Smiley

Ian Smiley is the author of the book, Making Pure Corn Whiskey, an Amphora Society publication, and he’s the owner of Smiley’s Home Distilling, a web store dedicated to home and laboratory distillers. He has been exploring small-scale beverage-alcohol distillation all his adult life, and is a card-carrying member of the American Distilling Institute. He’s written articles for their magazine, The American Distiller, as well as other writings on distilling, and is one of the key authors of an ADI-published book called The Distiller’s Guide to Rum. Ian has been involved in distilling, both professionally and as a hobby, for over 40 years.

The Cost of the Course is $2,995.00 CAD + Tax Per Person

Click here to register 201

We will require a $1000.00 deposit to hold your spot and the balance paid by the course date.