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Distilling with your Brewery

Views: 1     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-02-25      Origin: Site

What even is distilling… and how are brewers doing it? Co-founder, Master Distiller and all around good-guy breaks it down by six simple areas of overlap.

First, you gotta know the facts. Distilling is the process of fermenting a liquid solution of sugar with yeast to create alcohol. By boiling this slowly, you evaporate the alcohol and condense it back to a liquid form.

What makes distillation overlap so closely with brewing is that fermentation/heating/cooling process. This helps us look at this commonalities step by step…

A brewery is already set up to handle many of the elements needed for a distilling operation.

  • Open spaces for production

  • Drainage systems

  • Barrel/finished product warehousing

  • Shipping & receiving

  • Industrial finishes

  • Regulatory considerations

The mechanical heart of a distillery is very similar to that of a brewery.

  • Steam

  • Glycol

  • Domestic and processed water piping & storage

  • Recycling & conservation opportunities

  • Advantages brewers have over start up distilleries

Your existing brewing equipment is often not only functional in a distillery, but can be superior.

  • Fermentors

  • Brewhouse

  • Pumps & hoses

  • Clean in place

  • Sanitary considerations

As brewers, you already know more about fermentation than a lot of distillers.

  • Fermentation times, curves, yeast & temps.

  • Mashing & lautering (Scotch Whiskey technique)

  • Ingredient sources

  • Aging

  • Sanity considerations

Some things breweries will need to address…

  • Stills

  • Mash cooler/pumps (certain fermentables)

  • Fermentation capacity

  • Explosion proof pumps

  • Bottle filling equipment

  • Stillage/BOD/TSS

  • Water usage/cooling

  • Small community (home distilling is illegal in the U.S.)


DEGONG distillery equipment

While generally regulated by the same entities, distilleries follow different rules than breweries.

  • Bonded areas

  • Tax reporting

  • Control states

  • Retail limitations

  • Labeling & marketing

  • Alcohol measurement

  • Fire suppression

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