Friday, March 5, 2010

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Recent Projects: Modern Moonshine Techniques

Bill Owens and I don't necessarily see eye-to-eye on what moonshine should be, much less what it is or even how to make it. But Owens understands the increasing popularity of specialty spirits that tap Americans' nostalgia for that good old mountain dew. On that, we can both agree.

As president of the American Distilling Institute, he also understands the revenue such spirits could generate for craft distilleries. When he asked me to edit Modern Moonshine Techniques, his recent book on distilling white dog and whiskey, I happily obliged.

When I'm not writing on my blog for free, I write, edit, and polish words for businesses that don't have the time or in-house expertise to tackle websites, books, manuals, reports, scripts, speeches—that sort of thing. Not as glamorous as whipping up cocktails before noon, but client projects that overlap like this make me especially happy.

The book is geared for distillers interested in setting up small craft distilleries and provides recipes for so-called moonshine (i.e., sugar wash spirits), corn whiskey, bourbon, wheat, and rye whiskeys. In it, Owens writes about federal classifications of spirits, types of stills, how to build a mash tun and a corn cooker for mashing maize, and how to distill on a 100-gallon pot still. Tapping ADI membership, he also gives sample spreadsheets for startup costs on a small distillery, grant application samples (for conducting distillery feasibility studies), and lists resources for supplies, books, and online information about running a distillery.

[Disclaimer: Should be obvious, but this isn't a review, just a description of a project on which I worked for my writing business. If you like, you can order a copy here. I'll leave it to others to review. My role was editing Bill's manuscript. I'm always open to talking to others about writing projects. For information on writing and editing services, click here.]


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