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The evolution of the distiller

Views: 3     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-01-04      Origin: Site

One type of equipment that defines the distillation industry is a distiller. The distiller has existed for a long time. There are two very interesting papers on the subject of distillation discussing the origins of distillation. In 1935, AJV Underwood submitted a paper entitled "The Historical Development of Distillers" for the Society of Chemical Engineers at the Victoria Hotel in London. In 1956, Schenley chemist AJ Liebmann wrote a paper entitled "The History of Distillation" for the Journal of Chemistry Education. Both papers pointed out that the exact source of the distiller is unclear. It may originate in Egypt and is usually used to make perfume, or it may be an invention of the Chinese, because the Chinese know distilled spirits.

These distillers are simple jars with necks and are not very efficient. However, the subsequent improvement of the distillation process added "worms" to the pot distiller in the 16th century when it came to Germany. It allows the distiller to produce higher grade alcohol. These distillers and worms are made of copper because it is a durable material, but it is easy to form and has very good thermal conductivity. Brewers realized that copper helps to remove the sulphur flavor in distilled spirits. Copper distiller is the metal of choice for whiskey distillation. Many wineries use stainless steel columns for durability, but these stills will still be partially made of copper. They use fruits and grains to make alcohol. These stills are heated with wood fire.

When the United States first began to distill alcohol in 1640, it used a copper pot still. In the 18th century, not every pioneer could afford a copper kettle distiller. Some people used hollowed out logs to make a distiller, but they needed to distill excess grains and fruits for barter. Compared with grains or fruits themselves, distilled spirits are also easier to market.


copper pot still 

Steam heating of the distiller is the next improvement in distillation technology. In Kentucky, Hope Distillery, built around 1818, was the first distillery to use steam power to heat the distiller and power the factory. The distillery has two huge copper kettle stills, which make a lot of whiskey, but obviously it can't sell it. A few years later, the company went bankrupt. Smaller farmer distilleries use copper pots and firewood to make the whisky everyone wants. But this quickly changed.

In Ireland, in 1830, Aeneas Coffey developed his distiller, an early version of the column distiller. This distiller allows the production of large amounts of alcohol at a low price and achieves a higher alcohol content than can easily be done in a pot. This is a distiller that is continuously burned by steam from the boiler, which means that a large amount of beer is needed to feed the distiller and make full use of the process. Compared with simple pot distiller, tower distiller and boiler are also very expensive equipment. For these reasons, the use of the column in the United States at first still started slowly. However, after the American Civil War, distilleries became larger and larger, and the demand for whiskey was also great. Steam power in the form of railroads allows grain to be transported from afar to the brewery, and the brewery does not rely solely on local farmers to provide the large quantities of grain needed to make beer for the distillation column. Alcohol production increased substantially by the end of the 19th century.

A distillation tower with a tank distiller has become the standard equipment for large-scale distillation. Even Johnny Walker Scotch relies on a distillation column to make grain spirits for its blends. Column distiller and tank distiller make different styles of whiskey. I would not say that both are superior, they are just different. Each of them plays their own role in the distillation business. Currently, the technology has changed and mixed again.

Distiller is an important part of making distilled wine. The technology continues to improve the distiller, but the basic process is the same as that used by the ancient Egyptians and Chinese thousands of years ago.


copper column distiller

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