Maddie Kelly graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon where she received a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry. She currently works for 2bar Spirits as their Head Distiller.
Where did you attend college?
Lewis & Clark College Portland Oregon
What degree/certificate(s)do you hold?
Bachelors of Chemistry
What do you do for your job?
As head distiller I oversee and often perform all tasks required for making whiskey. The basic steps are as follows:
- mashing: cooking grain to achieve maximum starch extraction, converting starch to sugar
- fermenting: sugar to alcohol conversion, development of esters and congeners
- distilling: separating ethanol and desired esters from everything else
- barreling: aging distillate at a specific abv and for a specific amount of time to achieve desired flavor
- bottling: proofing whiskey to the exact abv intended for consumption.
What are some techniques that you commonly use?
I use wet lab techniques to measure the appropriate amount of grain, determine when the sugar content is correct for fermentation, and check the proof of the alcohol before barreling and bottling.
Please describe what you do in an average day
Almost every work day includes mashing and distilling whiskey. Each day is a mix of physical labor along with scientific precision, and problem solving.