Please check out the birectifier laboratory still. I’m currently developing protocols to make it useful to the brewing industry for yeast work and grain assessment as well as useful to distillers for pre-screening ferments before distillation. Any brewery that wants to get into distilling would benefit from considerable preliminary work with the birectifier.
The idea here is to inform, inspire, and then launch ships.
The text is not exactly a gripping page turner and is quite academic, but should be noted for two things that are still pretty much holes in our knowledge of brewing. They also relate to the history of distilling.
The first is early yeast handling techniques. They fearlessly tinkered in ways we are afraid to these days.
The second is primitive mashing techniques when things were done a little bit colder because of the labor that produced fuel to boil.
We can compare ideas described by Odd Nordland to ideas described by the IRS for making Bourbon in 1912:
Third, the small tub or old sour mash process. The details vary, but the following is the general process: A certain quantity of hot slop, about 20 gallons to the bushel, is placed in small tubs (capacity about 50 gallons, sometimes more) ; the meal is then added and the entire mass thoroughly stirred with the mash sticks. This is allowed to stand overnight, in the morning it is broken up by means of mash sticks; the malt and rye is then added, in some places without heating the mash, in others after heating to about 160° F., allowed to stand for some time and then sent to the fermenters.
This process does not give as good results in mashing as the open mash tub, because a smaller number of the starch cells are acted on in the process, and a smaller yield is obtained. –Bulletin Relative to Production of Distilled Spirits (1912)