Learning how to make specific spirits and operate commercial distillery equipment can be daunting, especially for those new to the industry or experienced distillers seeking to expand their business output. Traditional distillery training facilities often require travel to unfamiliar locations, where trainees work with equipment that may not align with their own operations.

At Kindred Spirits, we offer a unique training approach. We come to you, providing tailored training focused on your equipment, processes, and business goals. Our philosophy prioritizes your success by teaching you the processes you'll be implementing in your own distillery.

Through pre-visit consultations and coordination, we ensure that everything is ready for our training sessions. Our goal is to help you reach your objectives, whether you're a beginner, a growing business, or an established distiller seeking process improvement. Kindred Spirits designs a personalized training program to meet your needs and support your success every step of the way.


Introduction to Distilling

This course covers the foundations of the distillation process. It teaches a brief history of distilling, gives explanations into the different types and facets of equipment, and introduces you to many of the terms that are relevant to the world of distilling today.

Course Syllabus:

  • History of distilling.
  • Common definitions of terms and equipment that is used in distillation process.
  • Distillation theory, batch vs. continuous, and material selections.
  • Common classifications of spirits.
  • Sequence of processes required per spirit classification.
  • Basic assessment of terms, processes, and spirits.

Mashing Basics

Mashing is a primary process in the production of many different spirits. The spirits produced using this process can vary significantly in taste depending on the protocol followed in the production of your wort. This course covers the basics of wort production and the major steps required for a successful fermentation.

Course Syllabus:

  • The characteristics of specific grains and differences between the primary ingredients, basic raw materials and their processing, prior to fermentation.
  • Basic grains used in wort production and the requirements for processing these grains.
  • Different spirit classifications that can be generated from mashing.
  • Raw material handling and storage guidelines.
  • Conversion steps for converting available starches in grains to fermentable sugars.
  • Explanation of technical mashing terms and equipment.
  • Key variables to monitor during fermentation to achieve a successful fermentation.


Fermentation is the primary process of converting useful sugars into a low alcohol base which can be distilled into your finished product. The alcohols and other chemical compounds that are generated during this process have a direct impact on the quality and flavor of the resulting distillate.

Course Syllabus:

  • Explanation of the principal fermentable sugars
  • Process of converting sugars into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Production of by-products of fermentation which contribute to the flavor and aroma of the fermented wash.
  • Nutritional requirements of distilling yeast: sugars, amino acids, mineral salts, vitamins.
  • Changes in concentration of yeast, sugar and alcohol over the course of fermentation.
  • The effect of poor yeast quality on the fermentation and subsequent spirit yield.
  • Influence of pH, temperature, and SG, and the positive and negative influences on flavor.

Vodka Distillation

The original definition for Vodka was a "neutral spirits so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.” This however does not limit the character of this spirit to a bland high proof spirit. This course covers the history of Vodka and the art of making a truly craft spirit in a market filled with rebottled grain neutral spirits.

Course Syllabus:

  • History of Vodka.
  • The characteristics of specific bases used in the production of true craft Vodka.
  • Required equipment for legal Vodka distillation.
  • Sources of water and its importance on flavor profile.
  • Other methods of Vodka production.

Rum Production

More than just molasses, Rum is classified as "Spirits distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses or other sugar cane by-products at less than 95% alcohol by volume". Rums have a distinct flavor amidst other spirits, and although limited to Cane sugar byproducts, have a sweeping range of sensory notes among the various subtypes.

Course Syllabus:

  • History of Rum production.
  • Types and subtypes within the Rum classification.
  • Still selection and design, and the effects of each on the final product.
  • Pot vs. column vs. sequential distillation processes and requirements.
  • Raw material selection, fermentation styles, and how time and temperature effect the fermentation and final product.
  • Yeast Selection and its effects on final product.
  • Challenges and rewards of using Dunder.
  • Methods of finishing. Aging beyond the norms of other mainstream spirits.

Bourbon Whiskey Processes and Regulations

Bourbon is a uniquely American spirit, known for its sweet and smoky character, that originated in the southern states. To be considered a true “Bourbon” a spirit has to be a "Whisky produced in the U.S. at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume from a fermented mash of not less than 51% corn and stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume in charred new oak containers".

Course Syllabus:

  • History of Bourbon production.
  • Rules and regulations that make Bourbon its own classification of Whiskey.
  • Sweet vs. Sour mash, production method differences, and reasoning behind each method.
  • Straight, Bottled-in-bond, Kentucky, and Tennessee rules and regulations.
  • Distillery equipment selection, batch vs continuous.
  • Single distillation vs. strip and finish style batch distillation.

Scotch & American Single Malt

Scotch is renowned for its global appeal as a premium spirit. More Scotch whiskey is enjoyed globally than American, Japanese, and Irish whiskies combined. The ingredients and methods of its manufacture set it apart as a truly unique and enjoyable spirit. American single malt, whiskey made in the Scotch style in the United States, is also a spirit classification that continues to show growth in the global market, and will continue to grow with demand for luxury spirits.

Course Syllabus:

  • History of Scotch production.
  • Rules and regulations that make Scotch its own classification of Whiskey.
  • American single malt, and its relation to Scotch.
  • Production method differences, and reasoning behind each method.
  • Distillery equipment selection and the effect of styles on finished products.
  • Single distillation vs. double/triple style batch distillation.

Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey, known for its spicy and unique character. This spirit made popular in the southern states, has the definition of "Whisky produced at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume from a fermented mash of not less than 51% rye and stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume in charred new oak containers". This specific spirit has rules and requirements during production, none of which are geographic.

Course Syllabus:

  • Rules and regulations that make Rye its own classification of Whiskey.
  • Production method challenges and ways to overcome them.
  • Aging requirements for classification.
  • Distillery equipment selection, batch vs continuous.
  • Single distillation vs. strip and finish style batch distillation.

Gin Recipe Development & Implementation

Gin is an incredibly diverse style of spirit, limited only by the imagination and use of juniper. This spirit made popular in the United Kingdom has some specific rules and requirements to be considered a true Gin. The rest is up to you.

Course Syllabus:

  • History of Gin production.
  • Rules and regulations that make Gin its own classification of spirit.
  • Classification differences, and production requirements for each method.
  • Distillery equipment requirements.
  • Single-shot vs. multi-shot production methods.

Fruit Based Spirits and Brandies

Brandy is a spirit of necessity born from the need to process and preserve the additional yields from fruit harvests. Each type of Brandy has its own unique flavor generated by its fruit base which in turn comes with some additional challenges and methods of extraction and production. This course covers some of the more common fruit bases and helps build a foundation for expansion into more exotic bases.

Course Syllabus:

  • History of Brandy production.
  • Rules and regulations that make Brandy its own classification of spirit.
  • Production method, and common challenges encountered.
  • Distillery equipment selection.
  • Aging and its effect on the finished spirit.

Tequila & Agave Spirits

Agave spirits, known for their smoky character and sweet agave notes. These spirits made popular in Mexico, are most commonly recognized by their most popular classification of Tequila. Tequila is defined as "Spirits distilled in Mexico in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Mexican Government from a fermented mash derived principally from the Agave Tequilana Weber". The rules do allow forms of this distinct spirit to be made wherever your distillery happens to be be located, although not considered a "true" tequila.

Course Syllabus:

  • History of Tequila/Mezcal/Agave spirit production.
  • Rules and regulations that make Tequila/Mezcal/Agave spirits their own classification of spirit.
  • Production method differences, and reasoning behind each method.
  • Fermentation challenges and requirements based upon base fermentation materials.
  • Distillery equipment selection.
  • Finishing options.