Generally speaking, if spirits with lower alcohol content are distilled only once or twice, spirits can be distilled multiple times. Some flavors are lost with each distillation; therefore, flavored spirits such as bourbon and rum are usually distilled less often, while more neutral spirits such as vodka and gin are distilled multiple times.
|Why use copper in the stills?|
Everyone has seen some versions of the stills of the big copper pot, but have you ever asked yourself why copper is used in the stills?
Although copper is used for many reasons, one major factor is that it improves the flavor of wine by removing sulfur during the distillation process. Sulfur is naturally produced during the fermentation process, and copper reacts with the fermentation mixture to form copper sulfate, which can then be removed.
|Tank distiller and column distiller|
Needless to say, the two main types of stills are very different, as are the types of alcohol they produce.
|Liquor Type||Still Type|
|Bourbon Whiskey||Pot Still|
|Malt Scotch Whiskey||Pot Still|
|Basic distillation process|
Everyone has their favorite wine, but interestingly, the basic distillation process used to make them is very similar. The modern distillation process began in Italy and China at the same time in the 12th century.
Prepare mashed potatoes
Every spirit starts with a base that contains a certain sugar-containing substance and water, called a mash. In most cases, the basic material is grains, but it can also be other materials, such as fruits and potatoes. The focus of preparing mash is to make the sugars contained in the base material be consumed by the alcohol-producing yeast. So this step usually involves grinding and mixing grains, macerating fruits or mashing root vegetables. The resulting soup-like mixture is then ready to be used in the next step.
Fermentation is where the magic happens; alcohol is produced. The prepared mash is usually put into a fermenter, where special yeast is introduced. Temperature, acidity and sugar content are all important factors to ensure that the process produces a fermentation mixture with an alcohol content of between 7% and 9%.
Depending on the spirits, the distillation process may be very different, but the basic principles are the same. According to the principle that the components of the fermentation mixture have different boiling points, the water and unnecessary parts are removed by steaming the mixture. The purified steam produced is removed and condensed to produce a distillate, which can be either the final product or the precursor of your favorite wine.
Mixing and aging
A key difference between many different types of wine is whether the product produced by the distillation process is the final product, or whether it is blended or aged. Both are used to enhance flavor.
Blending creates a more balanced and unique flavor profile by combining various materials to enhance flavor. A good example is blended Scotch whisky, which combines a group of delicious malt whiskies to create a uniform taste with a range of flavor undertones.
Although aging can improve the flavor in many ways, it all depends on the type of spirits produced. Most neutral spirits, such as vodka, gin and some rum and brandy, are unaged; however, whiskey and other more delicious spirits tend to age.
Aging can benefit flavor in several ways. First, time allows for a chemical change to mature the wine. Secondly, the flavor of spirits is imparted by the container used to store the wine. For example, the process of making bourbon whiskey involves the use of charred oak barrels to give the resulting wine a unique flavor.
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