Development of a Wallon spelt Whisky

Development of a Wallon spelt Whisky

Company : The Radermacher Distillery (Raeren), active in its sector since 1836, is a 100% family business currently managed jointly by the 5th and 6th generations. It offers a wide range of alcoholic beverages, from aperitif to gin, rum or liqueurs and is an historical Belgian Whisky producer (Lambertus range). Both traditional and forward-looking, the distillery has started production from organic raw materials and aims to limit its ecological footprint as much as possible through sustainable investments.

Issue: in its approach to sustainability, the Radermacher distillery wishes to develop an alcohol from cereals cultivated in Wallonia. If barley is usually chosen for its technological properties, in this case, spelt, requiring little phytosanitary inputs, has been selected by the company to create a Whisky of high sensory quality. However, this development needs a deep adaptation of the manufacturing process and a selection of the spelt variety offering the best output.

CRA action : Celabor studied and optimized each step of the process from the harvest of the cereal to the production of a Whisky. This includes grain hulling, malting, crushing, brewing, fermentation, distillation, casking and aging of the alcohol. The process was fully reproduced on a pilot scale at Celabor, which carried out the analytical monitoring of all chemical and microbiological reactions involved. Two main purposes had to be goaled all over of the project: firstly the achievement of high rates of sugars (saccharification) and alcohol (fermentation) and secondly, the development of a distillate with added aromatic profile value. All this, required a particular know-how to produce, separate, concentrate and mature spelt alcohol based on adapted techniques developed in partnership with the Radermacher distillery. This research was carried out within the framework of “Wallep” project supported the food cluster Wagralim, whose aim was to create a Walloon sector around spelt and its industrial outlets in the form of processed products.

Industrial benefits : the Wallep project enabled the Radermacher distillery to intensify its whisky sales market by offering a local and organic spelt whisky. This product is not common and is rather limited to German-speaking countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria). The distillery will position itself as a precursor on the Belgian market. The work carried out by Celabor allowed the transposition of the technical parameters of brewing, fermentation and distillation to the industrial facilities of Radermacher. The project resulted in the hiring of one full-time equivalent in 2022 and a second one planned in 2023.

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Celabor (SCRL)

CELABOR, Smart Nature for Better Life. As a scientific and technical service center, Celabor promotes sustainable development through its expertise and advice to companies in the fields of FOOD, EXTRACT, ENVIRONMENT, MATERIALS (packaging, textiles and bio-based applications)

Av. du Parc 38, 4650 Herve, Belgique

Last updated: 24 April 2024

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