|How does distillation work?|
In the context of alcoholic beverages, once the initial fermentation is obtained, the distillation process begins.
Distillation is a technique for making alcohol, perfume, essential oils or purified water. This is a complicated process, but based on a simple fact: ethanol boils before water. So, in other words, ethanol will evaporate first. This technology makes use of the different boiling points of the different liquids that make up the fermentation broth. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius, while ethanol boils at 78 degrees Celsius. Then they separate from each other during heating. When they evaporate at different times, they cool down, forcing them to condense. They all become liquid again at different times, and this is the moment the distiller grabs to collect them separately. The liquid collected first by the distiller will have a higher ethanol concentration than the initial water/ethanol mixture.
The distillate is usually collected at three moments, starting from the front (or head), then the heart and tail (or feint). The different parts of the alcohol liquid are called distillates. Each part has a different range of homologs. The head and tail are usually discarded or re-distilled because they are inherently toxic. Some people use them as cleaners. The distiller separates the head from the heart at a precise cutting point, which is a technique learned through experience.
We have now mentioned the term similar words many times. Congener is the general term for all substances in the fermentation before distillation, it is not water or alcohol. They are adding flavor to the spirit or their style. Some spirits need to be very pure, such as vodka, most congeners will be filtered out.
Depending on the type of spirit, the producer can use a tank distiller or a column distiller for distillation, usually made of copper.
|Which distiller is mainly used?|
Pot distillation is the most traditional and oldest method of making spirits.
Use various techniques to heat the pot from the bottom. The pot is still like a pot on the leg. It is made of copper most of the time, but it can also be stainless steel. The shape of the pot, which is quite large at the bottom, gradually narrows and bends upward into a thin tube called a worm (also known as the swan’s neck or Len’s arm). The shape of the neck helps separate steam. The worm is a coil, then immersed in cold water. It is at this moment that the alcohol vapor condenses into a liquid.
During the distillation process, a tool that looks like a small drawer in the center of the coil separates the head (the component that evaporates first) from the heart (premium alcohol, also called ethanol) and the fake (tail).
Let's summarize the different parts of the pot still:
The boiler is a container where the liquid to be distilled is poured into and heated;
The boiler is covered at the top, usually in the shape of a conical tube, where steam will rise;
The gooseneck was originally arc-shaped (hence the name), and now it is straight on more modern equipment to bring steam into the condenser;
The coil or condenser is a spiral tube in a cylindrical container. The latter is filled with cold water. As the steam spirals through the coils, they are cooled by the temperature of the cold water in which the coils are located. When they reach the end of the coil, they will slowly condense to restore their liquid form.
Pot distillation usually requires two distillations to achieve the desired effect. The heart (and tail, if heavier congener is needed to provide additional flavor) is distilled again. This leads to the main feature of tank distillation is batch processing. The first batch is put into a distiller and heated, the alcohol evaporates, and the final liquid obtained is a low-alcohol distillate, which is called low-grade wine in the production of whiskey and low-grade wine in the production of cognac. After the first batch, the distiller is cleaned, the head and tail are discarded, and the distillate is distilled again. This leads to another distillate with a higher alcohol concentration.
The choice of this technique, pot distillation, depends on the type of spirits you want to make. And according to the law, certain alcohol categories need to still use specific jars to maintain the consistency and integrity of the category.
Nowadays, the pot can still have important dimensions, but it will never be used in industrial production and is more suitable for smaller operations.
Column distiller is sometimes called Coffey distiller or patent distiller. They were invented during the wave of the Industrial Revolution (18th century) and consist of two interconnected tall pillars.
Basically it works like a jar, but the process will never be interrupted like a jar. The liquid distillate must pass through two towers until it becomes the final distillate with an alcohol content of 95%.
The liquid is heated by steam/steam and then descends and cools through a series of perforated plates in the first column (rectification column). Distillation is the process of concentrating the alcohol content in a liquid through repeated distillation. In the rectification tower, the presence of trays forces the liquid to undergo multiple distillations. The steam removes the alcohol from the initial wash and takes it to the second tower (analyzer), where it circulates until it can condense.
The continuous plates gather certain types of congeners at a certain level, so that the distiller can retain some to achieve the desired taste. The distiller can indeed determine which tray the different distilled fractions are in, and can use a series of traps to discharge the components he/she wants. Alternatively, the distiller can continue the process until there is no longer any fermentation liquid to feed. Column distiller can provide higher accuracy.
This distillation technique allows large quantities of alcohol to be produced from the same base material, with high precision and sometimes high purity, but you cannot have different "batches" with specific sensitivities and tastes.
Hybrid distiller has many shapes and sizes. Basically, the hybrid type still has the characteristics of a column distiller and a tank distiller. It usually consists of a rectification column located on a tank still.
This type of distiller provides wineries with greater flexibility in production, and they can use the same distiller to produce different types of spirits.
The special attention we give in the final quality inspection of each work is also a guarantee of unparalleled reliability and robustness. If you have any needs or questions, please contact us.