Wash The low-strength beer product of fermentation in the Washback which is used in the Wash Still for the first stage of distillation. Typically, the wash is at about 8% alcohol by volume (abv). Sometimes known as the brew or (in the US) beer.
Washback The Washback is a vessel, traditionally made of Oregon Pine, in which the wort and yeast are left to ferment into a wash. Sometimes called a fermenter.
Wash Charger The Wash Charger is a collecting vessel to collect the output of the Washback (the wash) prior to it being passed into the Wash Still for distillation. This vessel is sometimes known as the wash receiver.
Wash Still Traditionally, Scotch malt whisky is distilled in pot stills which are large, onion-shaped copper retorts used for distilling batches of malt whisky. The Wash Still is the still in which the first stage of distillation takes place, the retained output of which, containing almost pure alcohol, is used as the input to the second stage of distillation in the Low Wines or Spirit Still for double distillation or the Intermediate Still for triple distillation. The unretained output, containing almost pure water, is sent to waste. The first chamber of the Spirit Safe is used to direct the flow to the appropriate destination.
Water The liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms burns, rivers, lochs and seas, and is a major constituent of all living matter. When pure, it is tasteless and odourless. It is the liquid oxide of hydrogen (H2O), freezing at 0°C and boiling at 100°C under normal pressure. It is one of the three essential raw materials used in the making of whisky. A distillery usually uses the same supply for Steeping and Mashing so obviously the quality of the end product is dependent upon the purity of the water although the water, and subsequently the end product, is also influenced by the peat and granite over and through which the water flows from its source to the distillery. Most distilleries have a soft water supply.
Wheated Bourbon (US term) To describe bourbon which is made from a mash bill that contains wheat instead of rye grain.
Worm Coiled copper pipe, immersed in cold running water in a Worm Tub, in which the vapour given off from the stills is condensed back into liquid. See "Condenser".
Worm Tub The Worm Tub is a large tank containing the worm, filled with circulating cold water. Usually seen sunk into the ground, or in the form of large wooden vats, sometimes behind rather than in, the Still House, although this is now quite an old-fashioned method, being generally replaced with a heat exchanger.
Worts The strained sugary solution obtained from the mixture of hot water and malt grist (the mash) in the Mash Tun. This liquid is passed to the Wort Cooler and Washback where yeast is added and it is left to ferment.
Wort Cooler The Wort Cooler is basically a heat exchanger used to reduce the temperature of the wort from the Mash Tun down from about 65°C to about 21°C before the wort is passed to the Washback where yeast is added and it is left to ferment.