Vodka is often thought of as a spirit that barely reveals its ingredients. The continuous distillation in industrial rectification columns and using countless booster bottoms, has led to a product that is easily referred to as flavor-neutral ethanol. This is often understood as a quality identifier, though in actuality it is boring and lacks principles.
Georg Hiebl distills his grain and pseudo-cereal spirit in small batches in a copper still which was designed for the production of fruit brandies. This is how he creates aromatic spirits that highlight the sensory character of each ingredient.
Quinoa (chenopodium quinoa) is a genus of the family of goosefeet (chenopodium) in the family of foxtails (amaranthaceae). Quinoa is originally from South America, where it has been a main food source for 6.000 years. Georg Hiebl obtains his quinoa, as well as his amaranth, from a organic farm that he’s friendly with in the Mostviertel region.
Freshly ground poppy seeds, nut aromas.
Red current and cranberry aromas are at the forefront and then make way for a nutty, fatty mouthfeel.
During the finish a mixture between fresh yeast dough and bitter citrus notes develops.
Quinoa (chenopodium quinoa) is a plant genus that belongs to the family of goosefeet (chenopodium) in the family of foxtails (amaranthaceae). Georg Hiebl obtains his quinoa, as well as his amaranth, from an organic farm in the Mostviertel region that he's friendly with.
Georg Hiebl heats the water to 75 degrees Celsius in the still before adding enzymes to the crushed amaranth. This induces the carbohydrate to split. After 30 minutes, the mash is cooled down to 55 degrees Celsius and the enzymes that induce starch saccharification are added. After this, the yeast is added and the mash is kept at 25 degrees Celsius. The mash ferments for four days and then distilled immediately, in order avoid the formation of negative aromas such as acetic acids. The spirit is distilled in a 150 liter facility. Georg Hiebl switches off the column with the booster bottom for this cereal and pseudo-grain spirit. After the first distillation, the raw distillate has circa 25% alcohol. It comes in at around 80% later.
Georg Hiebl believes that his grain spirit has “a more fatty body” because of the twofold distillation that does not use a column, which then makes it taste more full-bodied and aromatic. During the fine distillation phase, Hiebl separates the high-quality medium run and the tails sensorially. He does not believe that measuring the temperature at this stage would lead to his desired results.
Before it is adjusted to drinking quality with spring water, the fine distillate is stored for several months.
Distiller | Mostviertel, Lower Austria
Georg hails from a farming family in the Mostviertel of Lower Austria. He has been involved in the distillation of finest brandies since the mid 1990s. Georg is a three time overall winner of the “Destillata”. In 2014, he was awarded the “Boutique Distiller of the Year” title. He will produce a vodka made from quinoa, spelt, and amaranth for the Freimeisterkollektiv. A floral gin is in the works for next year.