Dad’s Hat® Rye Whiskey

Dad’s Hat® Rye Whiskey

Eaton’s BECOPAD® Depth Filter Sheets help Dad’s Hat® Rye Whiskey satisfy a growing base of knowledgeable customers

We’re always pretty busy around here, so anything that can make things easier for me is more than welcome. And, the Eaton BECOPAD depth filter sheets are definitely doing that.

Herman Mihalich
Primary Distiller Dad’s Hat

Background

Consumer demand for handcrafted, small-batch “adult beverages” isn’t limited to brew pubs and micro-breweries. The trend is also visible in the growing number of custom-distilled whiskeys entering the market.

Like their micro-brewing counterparts, the proprietors of today’s micro-distilleries are dedicated to producing premium quality products by combining traditional arts with modern technologies in a closely monitored, “hands-on” process. An excellent example of what these craftsmen are accomplishing is Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey brewed, distilled, filtered and bottled by Mountain Laurel Spirits, LLC in Bristol, Pennsylvania.

The company recently captured two prestigious awards, including a silver medal from the American Distilling Institute and a medal from the Good Food™ Awards organization. And they were designated a PA Preferred supplier by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Those awards, and the success of the company, are a direct result of the efforts of Herman Mihalich and John Cooper, who founded the company more than three years ago.

Challenge

“Making a good, consistent whiskey is a complex process,” Mihalich, who is the company’s primary distiller, explained. “For example, when it comes out of the barrels it contains grit that’s been picked up from the charred interior. That needs to be filtered out before it’s bottled.”

“It also contains large, longchain molecules like fatty acids and esters that can give the “young” whiskey an unpleasant flavor. Those same molecules, however, impart some very interesting and desirable flavors if they are allowed to mellow in the barrel for a while. So, for our white whiskey we need to filter everything out, but for our aged Rye we want to leave them in while removing the grit.”

Another issue Mihalich encountered was the appearance of his finished product. “There is the question of how the whiskey should appear when it’s cold, which is really a customer preference issue that has little to do with quality. Some people do chill filtering which means you chill the whiskey below the freezing point of water and put it though a very fine filter that removes the large chain molecules that cause cloudiness. That alters the flavor, but a lot of people don’t want their whiskey to get cloudy when it’s cold.”

“Frankly, we really don’t mind if there is some cloudiness because we believe it imparts a better flavor profile,” Mihalich added. “We are more concerned about flavor than appearance, but we do chill filter our un-aged whiskey to satisfy those who prefer it that way.”

With filtration playing such a critical role after the distillation process, Mihalich found himself spending an excessive amount of time working with the depth filters they had initially selected for the process. “The brand I was using would bow and crack too often,” noted Mihalich, “and the filters were taking up too much of my time.” As it turned out, the sheet they had selected was inefficient and difficult to handle.

Solution

Tiring of the hassles, Mihalich decided to investigate an alternative supplier who suggested he test Eaton BECOPAD depth filter sheets.

Eaton’s BECOPAD depth filter sheets are a new, mineral-free depth filter medium for a wide range of applications, from coarse to sterile filtration. In a special process, high-purity celluloses cross-link to form a unique structure that requires no inorganic ingredients. BECOPAD depth filter sheets are characterized by maximum purity. The content of ions, flushable or sensory-relevant substances is lower than all conventional depth filter sheets.

“The size and function of the BECOPAD depth filter sheets is precise and right where we want it to be,” he said. “That may sound like a small matter, but it’s a very big matter when I’m busy doing a lot of other things.”

Results

“We are now accomplishing the job with higher flow rates,” Mihalich said. “We also like the fact that the BECOPAD depth filter sheets are very easy to load and unload. For a while with the old sheets, I had to periodically check the owner’s manual because the process was so complicated. Best of all, the flavor retention is right where we want it to be.”

However, peace of mind is what he welcomes the most.

“I have enough things to worry about,” he adds. “We’re always pretty busy around here, so anything that can make things easier for me is more than welcome. And, the Eaton BECOPAD depth filter sheets are definitely doing that.”