Time vs technology: Tequila's past vs its Future (are new Technologies for the better or worse

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A true craft spirit is made with the blood, sweat and tears of those who craft it. Distillers pride themselves on using local ingredients, custom equipment and most importantly, creating things from …

A true craft spirit is made with the blood, sweat and tears of those who craft it. Distillers pride themselves on using local ingredients, custom equipment and most importantly, creating things from the ground up. For over 250 years, this has been the way Tequila is born.

But…with the growing popularity of Tequila, distillers are finding the need to produce more then ever before. This growth has lead to the need for new technology to keep up with demand. So the question remains, are these advancements for the better? Or is quality being sacrificed for quantity?

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  • Good afternoon and welcome to our seminar “ Digging into the secrets of tequila”
    My name is Elayne Duff- An I am the head mixologist and ambassador for Diageo Wine and Spirits luxury portfolio.
     
  • Enrique De Colsa: The Master Distiller for Don Julio Tequila
    Amy Stewart: she is the author of six books, including four New York Times bestsellers. The latest is The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks.”
    Miguel CedeÑo Cruz: One of the most highly respected technicians and consultants in the Tequila industry
    Don Lee: A software engineer by trade and an industry consultant by choice. /
     
  • Now, let me give you further background on each of my experts:/
     
    Enrique De Colsa has been the Master Distiller for Don Julio for the past 14 years.
    In 1999, he began working under Don Julio/ the man himself, /who taught him everything he knew before he retired in 2003. Since then Enrique has worked tirelessly to maintain the quality and true essence of the Don Julio brand /as well as create new line extensions like Don Julio 70. /
  • Tomas Estes has been selling and promoting tequila in his various bars across the globe-in 6 lands-since 1976. As a result of his work he has been recognized by the Mexican National Tequila Chamber as their official Ambassador. His recent book, "The Tequila Ambassador" is regarded as the definitive treatise on the subject. He continues to speak around the world and write about his favourite topic, tequila while running his bars in London and Paris.
  • David G Suro Piñera is a strong advocate for transparency and sustainable practices, as well as a promoter of historical and cultural values of agave distilled spirits. David is a founding member and President of the Tequila Interchange Project, as well as the President of Suro International Importers, a company focused in importing artesanal beer, agave distilled spirits, and Tequila.
  • According to CNIT in 2011 their were 253 millions plants in Cultivation. To put this in to prospective from small producers to the industry largetst
    Camarena family (the producers of el tesoro, tapatiao, ocho and a few others have 1. 8 million plants, Don Julio has 7 million, Herredura 15 million and Casa Cuervo 43.5 million. As a distiller, a Tequileros can grow gave on their own land, contract to grow their agave on somebody else’s or buy from the open market.
    Enrique, can you tell us which of these methods does Don Julio follow and what steps you need to take with the CRT before you go to plant?
    Enrique: Make sure he mentions that Don Julio Rents there fields but has full control over how the agaves are grown etc..
    in the world of wine, we know that the position that the grapevines are planted in landscape matters to the final
    Flavor of the grape. Is the same true when it comes to the planting of agave.
    Enrique talk about the space in between the plants, planting them flat or on the slide of the hill to stress the plants.
    M
  • as consumer we crave local ingredients, we purposes buy cheese where wisconsin, meats from this ranch, wines from this country and this vineyard. in other words terroir is important to us.
    it is a term originated by the french to describe the natural conditions that affect a growing organism: these are soil composition, climate, humitidy, wind, air quality and sun exposure. and the same holds true for the agave and its final product tequila.
    In the words of Jesus Hernadez a well respected industry expert: Tequila from the valley of Tequila, tends to be intense, especially in the aroma. The flavors are drier and little smoky.
    Tequila from Los Altson gives off more sweetness of the agave and more fruitness, it is a softier style.
  • David:These are two producers, who both seem to be doing things in a unique but traditional and law abiding way. Can you tell us if this is standard practice or is this an excpetion to the rule? If so can a consumer with an educated plate taste the difference?
  • It is well known that the soils in the highland and in the lowlands are vastly different. Can you describe the soil and the environment in the lowlands? How do these factors influence the plant? (ie. Altitude, humidity, weather etc)
  • Taste blanco from the lowlands that using the most advance technology from the lowlands including a diffuser and Blanco #2 which is tequila
    Using all traditional techniques from the highlands, so Tahonas, wood vats, wild yeast and copper pot stills.
    Again not here to say one is better then the other but that to allow you to decide for yourself which you prefer.
  • Now obviously in order to be able to keep planting new plants the agave has to reproduce. How this is currently happening has become a subject of much debate and much worry in the industry.
    Don Lee can you please tell us the different ways in which the agaves can reproduce
    Todays Blue Agave Crop is a genetic monoculture, with 95% of new babies coming from shoots produced by the mother plant.
    Don Lee can you explain to us what describe the audience what this means, as well as what the other ways in which the Agave
    Can if left to its own resources.
    The Four being: Pups that grown natural around the plant and are identical to the mother plant
    2) Female plant flowers
    3) Flowers is pollinated by the long nose bat, the seeds will fall to earth and will take root
    4) Propogation by man: Herredura and Suaza are doing this by microcutting from desirable plants and cultivating them. Trying to make a supper plant.
    What dangers does the plant and the long nose bat face because of this?
  • Miguel: Can you tell us the difference between these two plants above?
    When harvesting agaves I have come to understand that a few factors come into consideration according to the style of tequila and the taste profile of the Tequila that the distiller wants to achieve. Maturity being the biggest factor.
    (1 ripe agave: to create an a round, sweet full agave flavor) 2) over ripe Agave: sweet but almost vinergarish flavor
  • Rising temperatures are causing the Agaves to age faster, changing the standards of how and the plant is harvested
  • Above is a photo of accepted agave. Can you please tell us what we are looking at?
    Accepted Agave
    Enrique:
    Once the piña reach the distillery, what are the key factors taking into consideration, when decided if an agave harvest is good for distillation? Sugar content ($), maturity, harvesting specs and healthiness.
    How do you test for maturity?
    Miguel:
    Do all distillers use these metrics? Yes with different values.
    Are then any producers who forgo this process and just accept the agave as long as it is registered? There are exceptions to the rule but unfortunately yes.
    2. What are the Minimum sugar and weight requirements acceptable in order to make good quality tequila? These two factors are a result of agave care during its cycle and I can say that 20% TRS and 20 Kg/plant will be OK. But do not to forget agave maturity and healthiness.
  • Enrique these are photos of reject agaves! Can you tell us why they would be rejected?
    Pinas that are not accepted
    So when you decided to reject the agave, what happens to them?
  • Don and or Miguel: Can you tell us why a distiller needs to roast agaves ?( To break down the frutans! Unlike other spirits made with grain or grapes.Fructans are very hard to ferment by yeast so it is necessary to break them down with heat to obtain the fermentable sugars.
    Goal:
    To chemically change the compostiition of the agave to improve flavor and comlexity
    To soften them to be milled.
    MIGUEL
    So when it comes to cooking agave, I know that the three factors that matter most is the temperature, the pressure and the duration. Can you please compare for the audience the effects on the agave cooked in stainless steel autoclave vs and earthen oven. In which these two systems are you able to control the factors more precisely?
    ENRIQUE: WHAT PROCESS DOES DON JULIO USE AND WHY
  • So the second step in the process in the process, is take the roasted agaves and mill them to retrieve the remaining ague miel.
    So some people choose to use one or the other. Ernique why do you use Mechanical and Miguel why do people use a tahohna
    Miguel and Enrique:
    The Tahona and the mechanical mill are the most common. Is there any benefit to the final flavor of the tequila by using one over the other?
    .
    Mention Philippe and Carlos Camarena: Carlos uses a tahonas and Philipe created a more modern machine which places the shredded agave in a long basin and then he rolls a big heavy, 19,000 pound cylnder over it.
    Don Julio we use a more modern mill. Enrique can you explain how both of these methods work and also how important the water quality is to this process? Which is is more effective in retrieving the agua miel.
    Miguel: is there a benefit to the final flavor tequila by using one or the other?
  • Taste blanco from the lowlands that using the most advance technology from the lowlands including a diffuser and Blanco #2 which is tequila
    Using all traditional techniques from the highlands, so Tahonas, wood vats, wild yeast and copper pot stills.
    Again not here to say one is better then the other but that to allow you to decide for yourself which you prefer.
  • Now as technology advances, new techniques are being developed and one of the latest ones being used by a few of the big brands is a diffuser. Which laymens tems is a machine that can roast and mill the agave at the same time.
  • Miguel: Can you explain to audience what they are looking at and how this system works.
    Also known as diffusion band, is a countercurrent extraction cell system, which is very efficient for sugar extraction from cooked agave or bagasse or inulin extraction from raw agave as well.
  • Miguel/Don:
    Benefits of using one? Low production and labor cost, consistency, agave with wide quality specs can be processed.
    Negatives of using one? If not properly used, intense herbal flavor in tequila, lack or excess of cooked agave flavor, sulfur off notes and high capital installation cost.
    Change from traditional process to diffuser, effect on final tequila? If operating conditions are not optimized: Herbal, cooked agave(lack or excess) and sulfur notes.
    What do you feel about this new technology and do you feel it is good or bad for the tequila industry?
    What if a company was to change their method of production from the more traditional to one of these modern techniques, would it
    Change the flavor of their tequila?
    Als
  • So after all of this: you picked your agaves at the peak of maturity, cooked it to the right temperature, for the right amount of time, milled it to perfection, use the best water, fermented with the optiomal yeast for the right amount of time. But can you still fuck it up at Distillation?
    Most people feel it is the art of the distiller that eventual determines how good or bad a spirit may taste. So please tell me how a distiller can influence the final taste of the spirit?
    What is the benefit of using copper pot stills over column
    And how many times does a good tequila need to be distilled to be superb?
    Lastly: The NOM says that you can add up 1.5 % of other sugars to mellow the spirit, what are thoughts on this? Miguel,Enrique
    And Don
  • What are the current dangers that the plant faces
    What can the industry do to preserve the agave?
    How will changes in the environment influence the plant?
    Amy: What do you feel the future holds for the agave plant, if the industry continues at this pace
    Don: Can you add to that?
    Enrique: What are Don Julio’s plans for the future?
    Miguel: What steps is the industry taking to preserve the future of this plant? Several actions:
    Using more sustainable agricultural practices.
    Association of other crop farming near or inside agave fields.
    Planning models for agave demand based on tequila market.
    Find and maintain improved cell lines of plants resistant to diseases, frost, high inulin content (Not GMO).
    Micro propagation for agave planting.
    DNA definition of what is A. tequilana
    Preserve A. tequilana plants in specialized labs.
    What steps is the industry taking to preserve the future of this plant? Several actions:
    Treat stillage to decrease water consumption in agave farming and processing.
    Use of bagasse composting to restore organic matter in agave fields.
    Research in enzyme hydrolysis to reduce oil consumption.
    Move tequila production into bio-factory con

Transcript

  • 1. Time Vs Technology #TOTC2014 #TIMEVSTECH PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 2. PANELIST Enrique De Colsa Ryan Fitzgerald David Suro-Piñera Tomas Estes PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 3. ENRIQUE DE COLSA PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 4. Ryan Fitzgerald PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 5. Tomas Estes PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 6. David Suro-Pinera PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 7. Tequila Interchange Project • The Tequila Interchange Project (TIP) is a non-profit organization and consumer advocacy group for agave distilled spirits comprised of bartenders, consultants, educators, researchers, consumers and tequila enthusiasts. Our organization advocates the preservation of sustainable, traditional and quality practices in the industries of agave distilled spirits. In light of concerning trends that are currently becoming mainstays in the production of agave distillates, TIP seeks to place a renewed emphasis on the importance of preserving the great heritage of agave distillation in Mexico. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 8. THE AGAVE PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 9. PLANTING PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 10. MR. TOMAS ESTES If we want to have a good hamburger we will want to start with good meat from a well bread, well cared for cow. The same applies to starting with raw material for Tequila PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 11. WHERE SOMETHING COMES FROM MATTERS! PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 12. AGAVE REGIONS Tequila and agave are produced in a defined geographical region including 5 states. Jalisco produces more than 90% of total volume. Guanajuato (7) Tamaulipas (11) Nayarit (8) Jalisco (all) Michoacán (30) PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 13. Tequila Valley 4,200-5,200 ft Highland 5,700-6,700 ft AGAVE REGIONS Temperature, soil, altitude, rain fall and natural factors are in part responsible for agave development. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 14. TASTING TERRIOR MATTERS Tequila Valley vs Highland PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 15. AGAVE REPRODUCTION PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 16. MATURATION PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 17. Weather PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 18. INFLUENCES OF MAN
  • 19. AGAVE INSPECTION PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 20. AGAVE INSPECTION
  • 21. ROASTING PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE vs
  • 22. MILLING PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE vs
  • 23. TASTING Highland Tequilas using a mix of modern and traditional technology PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 24. NEW TECHNOLOGY PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 25. THE DIFFUSER PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 26. DIFFUSER 1. Inulin extraction from raw agave, using hot water, and then a hydrolysis step. Juice to hydrolysis Raw agave bagasse Knife mill Heat Exchanger Chain mill Diffuser Raw agave Hot water Steam PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 27. DIFFUSER Juice to fermentation Cooked agave bagasse Knife mill Chain mill Diffuser Cooked agave Room temperature water 2. Sugar extraction from cooked agave, using room temperature water to obtain a juice for fermentation. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 28. Juice to fermentation + milling juice Cooked agave bagasse Chain mill Diffuser Bagasse from milling Room temperature water DIFFUSER 3. Sugar extraction from bagasse from milling process. Obtained juice is mixed with the one obtained in milling process. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 29. DISTILLATION PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE vs
  • 30. THE FUTURE OF AGAVE PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 31. THE FUTURE OF TEQUILA PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLE
  • 32. Thank you for your attention! @yummycocktails @Ihatecocktails @DavidSuroP @donjulio Please rate this seminar in the Tales 2014 app #TIMEVSTECH is the Hashtag This Powerpoint: www . slideshare . net / ElayneDuke Many Thanks to : @/www.donjulio.com & www. tequilainterchangeproject.org/ TALES CAP TEAM “ YOU ROCK”