Whiskey and videoscopes: How tiny cameras help making perfect drinks!

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Whiskey is a drink appreciated by people worldwide. Most of us know one or two whiskey fans. The tradition of drinking whiskey is very old and dates back over 1000 years. Since then, the way to make whiskey has essentially not changed.
Videoscopes, on the other hand, are tiny high-tech cameras used to maintain all sorts of complex machines. They are the opposite of what someone would think about when talking about whiskey. On the first look, they seem not to fit well together.
However, in today’s article, we will showcase how high-tech videoscopes help improve century-old processes in whiskey making.

How is whiskey actually made?

Making whiskey is complicated because even small changes can impact the flavor and quality of the end product. There are many different types of whiskey, and each distillery has its own special requirements. However, basic whiskey-making follows the same basic steps:

Malting – Workers drench barley in water and lay it out on malting floors to produce sugary malt. Then, the malt is dried in a kiln.
Mashing – The malt is turned into flour and mixed with hot water. The mash is stirred, and the result is sugary water called wort.
Fermentation – The wort ends up in large vessels called washbacks. Here yeast is added. The yeast turns the sugar into alcohol.
Distillation – After the fermentation, the liquid is vaporized twice to purify and refine the alcohol.  Only the best part is collected.
Maturation – The alcohol is stored in casks where it stays for multiple years. During this time, whiskey becomes smoother and more flavorful.
Blending – This is not a required step but is very popular. Master blenders blend different types of whiskeys to create a richer experience.

This list might make whiskey production look easy. However, to produce the high-quality whiskey many of us like to enjoy, a lot of complicated production operations that depend on timing, temperature, and other details need to be considered for each of these steps. In fact, whiskey-making is so highly complex that we won’t have time to go into all the details. If you are interested to know more about each production step, you can click here.

How do videoscopes help in whiskey production?


Photo by Rafa Espada on Unsplash

Whiskey and videoscopes come into play when whiskey makers assess the condition of the barrels used for production. Whiskey needs to mature for at least three years to become a proper scotch. However, the maturation usually lasts between eight to fifteen years and sometimes even longer.


1. Barrel Selection

The inside of a whiskey cask. Shot with Mitcorp’s X2000

Needless to say that whiskey makers need to be very careful when choosing casks for this part of the process. After all, they are not only risking ruining a good batch of whiskey but also wasting a lot of time. Videoscopes like Mitcorp’s X2000 help check the inside condition of the casks and find the best one for the task at hand. That is especially important since most barrels are reused, and their condition can vary a lot.


2. Charring and toasting

The inside of a charred whiskey barrel

To get rid of unwanted flavors from previous batches, whiskey makers often shave, toast, and char the casks from the inside. The shaving removes acid leftovers in the wood. Toasting and charring release more flavors hidden in the wood of the cask. For the best results, it is important that the shaving, toasting, and charring are done evenly.
However, this is easier said than done. It is very difficult, and sometimes even dangerous to see if these effects have been applied evenly. That is especially true for the charring process, where the wood is lit on fire. Videoscopes allow checking thoroughly and that from a safe distance if necessary.

3. Quality Control

A whiskey cask inspection with the X2000.

Throughout the maturation process, regular checkups are necessary. Since Mitcorp videoscopes are not only IP67 certified but also offer strong liquid resistance, they are perfect for the task. A videoscope can enter a whiskey barrel without interrupting the delicate maturation process. In this case, Mitcorp’s X2000 with a 6mm insertion probe and a pin adapter were used to scoop up whiskey samples for the lab. The samples were then tested and checked for anomalies. That is an important part of quality assurance and necessary to make sure that the customer always gets the same level of quality.




Are you feeling inspired?

As we can see, videoscopes have far more use cases, as one might expect, even in the most traditional industries. Versatility is one of the main aspects a videoscope should fulfill. That’s why Mitcorp videoscopes are highly adaptable to your specific needs.

If you are looking for a videoscope solution for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to consult you!


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