Mezcal Info Archive:

Tech Note: Interview with Hector Vasquez about Mezcal Distillation Cuts

August 13, 2015 | Posted by: Ansley Coale

Artisan mezcal: Hector Vasquez on how the Alipús distillers make their cuts differently to satisfy the NORMA export regulations, plus encouraging the distillers to use their noses instead of tasting, which is how we work at Germain-Robin.

Tech Note: Putting the Top on a Potstill

August 12, 2015 | Posted by: Ansley Coale

Putting the top on a potstill at Los Danzantes after filling the still. This is exactly how any artisan mezcal distiller does it. What got cut off in the video is wrapping the connections with a strip of cloth, which goes back for centuries.

Tech Note: Organizing Fermentation at Los Danzantes

August 11, 2015 | Posted by: Ansley Coale

Distilería Los Daznates has set up a sophisticated system of rolling tanks so they can have several batches in sequential fermentation. It’s about how to be Mexico’s #1 artisan mezcal without sacrificing rigorous artisan methods.

Tech Note: Remixing Fermenting Agave

August 7, 2015 | Posted by: Ansley Coale

Remixing the solids down into the tina, the agave fermentation tank, at Los Danzantes. The solids tend to float to the top. Remixing enriches the fermentation, so you get more flavor & complexity. It’s like punching down the skins when you’re fermenting crushed grapes.

Tech Note: Modern Stone Mill

August 6, 2015 | Posted by: Ansley Coale

Los Danzantes puts huge effort into preserving authentic craft methods. This is about their new millstone.

Tech Note: Why Stone Milling Yields Better Mezcal

August 4, 2015 | Posted by: Ansley Coale

Agronomist Luis Mendez, who works out of Sola de Vega, explains that when a stone mill is used to crush roast agaves, the crushing is uneven, leaves larger pieces of the solids, and preserves all the liquids. 

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Yeasts like nooks and crannies to inhabit, and they like the sugars in the liquids, so the fermentation is longer and more complete, yielding richer and more complex distillations. He says that pulping by hand with mallets in a canoa is even better.

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This in comparison to mechanical shredders, what most industrial tequila producers use.

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Shredding loses a lot of liquid, so the shredder is adding water, diluting what ends up in the still. Tequila producers also remove the agave solids before distilling. These are two of the reasons that good artisan mezcal is richer and more complex than 99% of present-day tequilas.