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There is no established date for when a corn variety becomes heirloom. Some varieties such as blue corn have been grown and used by Native Americans for centuries. Others were developed as late as the early 20th century. Heirloom varieties all have three things in common. They are; 1. open pollinated, 2. no longer grown on a commercial scale, and 3. genetically quite different from today’s hybrid and GMO corns. Heirloom corn varieties are often (but not always) associated with specific geographic areas. They are also associated with specific characteristics.
Producing heirloom whiskey requires mashing, fermenting and large volume, first cut distilling capabilities that Pinckney Bend Distillery does not currently have. While the primary goal here is to produce commercial quantities of heirloom corn whiskey, Pinckney Bend also intends to keep this new equipment busy producing a Missouri malt whiskey from barley. Other specialty grains they plan to experiment with include wheat, oats, millet and quinoa. In short, the new equipment opens a whole new world of possibilities.
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