|History of alcohol distillation|
The distillation of alcoholic beverages from the fermentation of natural resources has been recorded throughout human history. The raw materials vary from region to region, ranging from fruits and plants to grains. As early as 800 BC, Chinese culture recorded the production of rice wine, and East India produced arak from a mixture of sugar cane and rice. The wine was originally distilled from a mixture of honey and fermented grapes. Wine made from mashed grains was first recorded in the Middle Ages. Due to the antibacterial properties of ethanol, wine was originally used for medicinal purposes. However, the high concentration of alcohol in distilled spirits makes it very attractive as a social drink. The demand for these wines has always given it high economic value. The first documented government supervision of distilled spirits occurred in London during the 17th century. Parliament passed legislation to levy a tax on alcohol sales and limit the number of purchases to curb consumption.
Brandy was first distilled in Italy in the 1000s
Brandy is made from fermented fruit juice or wine.
Whiskey originated in Ireland and Scotland in the 1500s
Whiskey is usually distilled from potatoes and grains. In the United States, it is usually made from wheat, rye or corn. In Scotland and Ireland, it is usually made from sprouted barley.
Vodka originated in Russia in the 1400s
Vodka is made from mashed rye, mashed corn or mashed potatoes. Initially, vodka was distilled from fermented wheat mash.
Rum was produced in the United States in the 1500s
Distillation is usually done using molasses, boiled fruit juice residue, syrup, sugar cane juice or previously distilled distiller’s grains.
Gin originated in the Netherlands in the 1300s
It is made by distilling or multiple distilling grain spirits and adding aromatics and/or juniper berries. Aromatics are added for flavoring. They include angelica root, coriander seeds, and fennel. Gin is a colorless alcoholic beverage.
Tequila has been distilled in Mexico since the 1500s
Agave is a plant that grows in Central America. Tequila is made using the fermented juice of the Tequila Project.
|Batch and continuous distillation process|
Batch distillation involves removing desired components from a mixture of a single source. In alcohol distillation, this source mixture is fermented mash. It requires the use of reboilers, towers, condensers, reflux tanks and receivers. The steam produced by heating the mash in the reboiler is condensed at the top of the tower. Some liquid returns to the heating column, and some enters the receiver. The collected condensate contains a high concentration of ethanol alcohol and is called liquid.
Continuous distillation occurs when the mixture is added to the production process in a continuous stream. This method allows the separation of different compounds along the condenser tube. Each compound with a different boiling point is re-condensed at different points along the heated chimney, and then collected in a receiving tank from a different arm. This method is used in industrial applications that require the distillation of large amounts of liquid. The ability to have multiple evaporation and condensation stages allows more water to be removed. This results in a 96% alcohol percentage higher than a batch distillation containing 40-50%.
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