I could spend lots of time explaining what “porridge” is but I feels kind off useless. Or is it?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary Porridge is:

“a thick, soft food made from oats boiled in milk or water, eaten hot for breakfast”

Ah, so when translated to the Scotch whisky making process porridge is the “Milled Malted Barley” combined with hot water. Technically a mash is not a porridge since it isn’t boiled in the whisky production process. I think it is boiled in the beer brewing process, but I am unsure. << have seen to many video’s about whisky and beer that I get confused!

In the photo below you can see the “Porridge” at Bruichladdich.

(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Photo by helen_1977 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Flickr.com

I have been taking an online beer brewing process and in these video’s the mashing is also described. I highly recommend you take the whole course!  The video below shows the people describing it as “barley oatmeal”.

Credit: “Chemistry of Beer” is a free online course on Janux that is open to anyone. Learn more at http://janux.ou.edu. Created by the University of Oklahoma, Janux is an interactive learning community that gives learners direct connections to courses, education.

In the video you also see the man shovelling out the “Draff“. I am not sure many people have ever tasted the “porridge” during the production process, but I am sure you could smell it if you are taking a tour or working at a distillery.

The only distillery I ever was in during production was Ardbeg. The photo is not very informative, but been there! Done thát!

Photo by Fjodor
Mash Tun at Ardbeg. Photo by Fjodor ©

What I can remember isn’t very much alas, but some of my memories are written down here. I do remember sticking my face in and immediately taking it out. Too friggin hot!

To conclude.

The congener of “porridge” is in itself pretty useless. Depending on the style the barley was kilned at the smells would be different form mash tun to mash tun. Does that make sense? Since only water is added the smell would release any congeners stuck to the barley being in a “solid” state, but other than that it would smell like “malted barley“, only watered down …. sorta .. oh and HOT!!

Next time I am at a distillery I will make notes!