How long does it take for moonshine to distill?
- It will take about 1 hour and 35 minutes to heat up before any condensate will run out of the condenser. How long does moonshine take to distill? about 10 to 14 days
- 1 Do you add water to double distill?
- 2 Does double distillation increase alcohol content?
- 3 What invention distill moonshine twice?
- 4 Should you double distill whiskey?
- 5 Can you triple distill moonshine?
- 6 What happens when you double distill alcohol?
- 7 How do you tell moonshine from heads and tails?
- 8 Why is my moonshine coming out cloudy?
- 9 How do you get high proof moonshine?
- 10 How fast should moonshine drip?
- 11 How do you clear cloudy moonshine?
- 12 What is the proof of illegal moonshine?
- 13 What is inside a thump keg?
- 14 How do you test homemade alcohol for methanol?
- 15 Dilution before Re-Distillation
- 16 Does a Triple Distilled Product Taste Better than a Double Distilled Product?
- 17 What is Reflux?
- 18 An Example of Triple Distillation
- 19 But does Lighter mean Smoother?
- 20 So why do we Dilute for Re-Distillation?
- 21 Double and triple distillation – Distillation methods
- 22 Distilled Spirits – How to Make Moonshine? A 5 Steps Beginner’s Guide
- 23 Does triple distillation make smooth whisky?
- 24 How Distilling Works
- 25 How are Commercial Spirits Made?
- 26 How Does A Still Work?
- 27 How Does Distillation Work?
- 28 Phases of Distillation
- 29 When the Distillation Process Ends
- 30 When Distillation Cuts Are Made
- 31 Feints
- 32 Disclaimer
Do you add water to double distill?
If you are wanting to double distil the spirit you have collected from your Air Still, we recommend topping up to the 4 L (1.1 US Gal) max line with water. Put the 700 ml (23.7 US fl oz) of alcohol you’ve collected from the first run, back into the boiler and top up to the 4 L (1.1 US Gal) max line with water.
Does double distillation increase alcohol content?
Each time a whiskey is heated, condensed, and collected, we call that a distillation. Do it twice and call it a double distillation. The resulting distillate is called a “low wine,” and is diverted and distilled again in a “spirit still” to increase the alcoholic strength as well as build more flavor.
What invention distill moonshine twice?
The thump keg is one of the most clever and iconic design elements of the traditional hillbilly still whose purpose, briefly stated, is to distill the output of the pot still a second time, without actually having to run the distillate through the still twice.
Should you double distill whiskey?
This is especially true of dark liquors, which are then subsequently aged for 10+ years, adding more compounds into the mix. The second round of distillation will get rid of harmful impurities. This is one of the reasons why Scotch whisky must be at least double distilled, by law.
Can you triple distill moonshine?
Column stills use continuous distillation to separate alcohol from other compounds, while pot stills require batch distillation: separating and concentrating the alcohol with each run through the still. Any grain, from malted barley to rye to mixed mashbills (like those used for bourbon), can be triple-distilled.
What happens when you double distill alcohol?
In double distillation, as the liquid in the still (the wash, which is comprised of water, about 8% alcohol and congeners) boils, the alcohol and flavourful congeners will separate from the water, vaporise and travel up the still into the condenser where they are collected before being distilled once more in the spirit
How do you tell moonshine from heads and tails?
Making Heads or Tails of Hearts
- Foreshots. When doing a run of Moonshine, you heat your mash to a desired temperature.
- Heads. Next, comes the heads.
- Hearts. After the heads come the hearts.
- Tails. Finally we get to the tails, which get oily from water and proteins that are present.
Why is my moonshine coming out cloudy?
Just the right amount of heat needs to be added to a still for it to function properly. If too much heat is added, liquid will boil up into the column and puke into the collection vessel, causing distillate to turn cloudy. If too little heat is added, the distillation process will take much longer than it should.
How do you get high proof moonshine?
Understanding the distillation process: the key to get higher proof moonshine
- The alcohol that is separated from water is ethanol.
- Ethanol boils at a lower temperature than water.
- Pure ethanol boils at 172 degrees Fahrenheit, while water does not boil until it hits 212 degrees.
How fast should moonshine drip?
Slowly bring your temperature up to 150 °F. Once you reach 150 °F, if your setup has a condenser turn on the condensing water. Next, dial up your heat source to high until your still starts producing. Time your drips as they speed up until you reach 3 to 5 drips per second.
How do you clear cloudy moonshine?
Lucky for us, the first solution is a simple one! If you notice your moonshine coming out cloudy, just turn down the heat. Temperature control is very important in order for you still to function properly. The best way to determine the necessary heat is simply to monitor the shine output.
What is the proof of illegal moonshine?
That’s because alcohol begins to attract moisture from the air at concentrations higher than 96% ABV, immediately diluting your moonshine. It’s worth noting that in most parts of the United States, it is illegal to distill moonshine above 160 proof (80% ABV) and it cannot be bottled at more than 125 proof (62.5% ABV).
What is inside a thump keg?
The thumper Keg is a small copper, steel, or wooden vessel which is placed between the stillpot and condenser. It receives low wine from the stillpot and heats it again, sending highly purified alcohol vapors to the condenser.
How do you test homemade alcohol for methanol?
Add 25 drops of iodine solution to each alcohol. Add 10 drops of sodium hydroxide solution to each alcohol. Gently swirl the test tubes a few times. The dark colour of the iodine should start to fade.
Dilution before Re-Distillation
Anyone who has ever done a double or even triple distillation of spirits would know that every time the spirits are passed through the still, they become “stronger” – the purity of the spirit increases, and the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV) increases. You can use whatever phrase you like. The majority of distillers (particularly those who received their training from us) are also aware that, according to the Ethanol – Water Phase Diagram, the greater the starting point ABV in the boiler, the higher the average ABV in the distillate.
Does that make sense?
- Unfortunately, the obvious solution is not always the most appropriate solution.
Does a Triple Distilled Product Taste Better than a Double Distilled Product?
Now, I understand that your mind immediately jumps to whisk(e)y, and sure, whisk(e)y is the most popular Spirit Category in which this sort of Distillation is used, but double and triple distillation are not limited to whisk(e)y and may be used in any Spirit Category. The most typical comment you will hear about Multiple Distillations is that it results in a smoother finished product. This is a widely held belief, but one that has a reputation for being rather controversial – particularly in the Whisky community.
Let’s start with what you consider to be’smooth’ in nature.
- This is the phrase used to describe this sensation.
The lower the level of burn, the more smooth the finish.
However, this notion is not always accurate.
- It is important not to mistake the terms Style and Level of Smoothness.
There are a variety of elements that might influence smoothness, but at its core, it all comes down to the amount of congeners and contaminants present in the spirit.
They also evolve and alter as a result of the distillation and maturation processes.
- Depending on the type of product that is being produced, the distiller has the option to maintain or eliminate these congeners throughout the distillation process.
One method of accomplishing this – and possibly the most straightforward method – is to increase the amount of reflux in the still.
What is Reflux?
When reduced to its most basic definition, reflux refers to the process by which vapour in a still is forced to condense and evaporate again, each time increasing purity but leaving behind additional congeners. Distillation takes place when the fermentation being distilled is placed in the still’s boiler, where heat is introduced into the fermenting mixture to produce alcohol. If you boil the fermentation liquid (which is made up of three components: aqueous ethanol and congeners), the alcohol and flavorful congeners will separate from the water and vaporize, then move up and down the still’s vapour route, eventually arriving at the condenser.
- As it descends, it comes into contact with heated vapours coming up in the vapour path, which are hot enough to re-evaporate the liquid, causing it to rise once again.
This is referred to as the reflux process, and the lighter the spirit, the less flavoring agents (congeners) it contains.
Keep in mind that bigger stills, as well as extra characteristics like as boil balls and upward swans necks, might result in higher reflux.
- It is expected that the Reflux will be increased with increasing surface area and difficulty in transporting the vapour to and from condenser.
Flow control of the distillate (in Adjustable Reflux Column Stills) or flow control of the coolant (in other types of stills) are the two methods available (in Fractionating Reflux Column Stills, Multi Column Stills and Hybrid Stills).
It is possible to attain any target ABV percent in a single distillation using either technique, but the results are the identical in both cases.
- change the form of the Column, by adding extra T-Sections and Bubble Plates to it.
This enables you to attain and maintain higher purity more rapidly, as well as operate the system even more swiftly without the purity deteriorating (or at least decreasing quickly).
However, reflux is not the only component that plays a role in this situation.
- As a general rule, the most volatile congeners, such as high alcohols and esters, are the first to come out of the still as heads.
This is stated as a rule since there are some congeners (such as methanol) that do not always adhere to this fundamental rule due to an affinity for water, which is similar to what we shall describe later in this article.
As previously stated, one method of increasing Reflux while utilizing a Pot or Alembic Still is to increase the number of distillations that the spirit undergoes.
- In triple distillation, the addition of an intermediate still between the stripping and spirit stills allows the distiller to increase the degree of reflux even more, allowing him or her to further separate out those undesirable flavor components.
An Example of Triple Distillation
The procedure of double and triple distillation varies greatly from distillery to distillery, but for the sake of this post, I will briefly illustrate a conventional technique. The fermented distillers beer, which has an alcohol content of around 8 to 12 percent by volume, is first distilled in the stripping still, which is also known as the wash still in the whisky world. The distillate, which is now referred to as the low wines, has an alcohol content of around 25 percent by volume and is stored in the Low Wines Holding Tank.
This Intermediate Distillation is then divided into two components: the strong and the weak sections (those tails).
- The strong portion of the mixture is brought forward and redistilled in the distillery’s spirit still.
Because each distillation improves the purity of the spirit and increases the average alcohol by volume percent (ABV), triple distillation produces a spirit with an average strength closer to 80 percent ABV, rather than 70 percent ABV, as is the case with double or even single distillation (double distillation).
The lighter the aromatic nature of the spirit, the stronger the spirit will be.
But does Lighter mean Smoother?
- As if things weren’t complicated enough, triple distillation does not always result in a spirit that is light and’smooth’.
- Many whiskies, particularly those that are triple distilled, retain a substantial, meaty, and rich flavour despite being triple distilled.
- In the distillation process, smoothness is achieved less by reflux and more by cuts – the judgments made by the Distiller during the Distillation Process.
- If I do not make the appropriate cuts, I can run a 10 plate Fractionating Reflux Column and distill a Vodka at 96 percent and still end up with a harsh product.
Additionally, barreling helps to make a smooth spirit by allowing for the evaporation of volatile components as part of the Angle’s Share, eliminating certain components remaining in the spirit due to the cask’s charred layer, and adding flavors of its own, like as vanillin, to the finished spirit.
So why do we Dilute for Re-Distillation?
This is not meant to be a digression into the subject of romantic relationships, but while it is true that opposites attract, this is not necessarily true in nature. It is true that like attracts like when it comes to chemicals, atoms, molecules, and so on. Two chemicals that are the same will form a stronger link with one another than two distinct compounds would form with one another Alcohol molecules will thus create stronger bonds amongst themselves in a solution than they will form between themselves and water while in solution.
- The result of this is that in a weak alcohol solution, where the concentration of water outweighs the concentration of alcohol, there will be less chance for alcohol molecules to come into touch with one another since there will be too many water molecules present.
Meanwhile, there is a great deal of intermolecular interaction between water molecules, resulting in a great deal of strong water-water interactions.
Alternatively, because the distillate resulting from this distillation will be high(er) in alcohol and contain little or no water, as well as create numerous alcohol-alcohol bonds, purifying the alcohol further by a second distillation will be considerably more difficult.
- In reality, they will have the same volatility, and ordinary distillation procedures will no longer be able to separate the alcohol from the water.
The practice of diluting the distillate obtained from the previous run first with water is common when utilizing Pot Stills and Alembic Stills, as well as when doing Double or Triple distillations.
This is done by calculating the percentage of alcohol you want to dilute (and, consequently, the amount of water you need to add) depending on your intended alcohol percent at the conclusion of your run.
In a subsequent essay, I’ll go into further detail about this.
Double and triple distillation – Distillation methods
|Phildude||1Posted :Wednesday, February 09, 2011 5:11:09 AM(UTC)|
|Rank: NewbieReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 2/9/2011(UTC) Posts: 8||Hey I was wondering when it comes time to do a second distillation do you still discard the first 50 ml each time? or just the first one or.?|
|div4gold||2Posted :Wednesday, February 09, 2011 8:28:39 AM(UTC)|
|Rank: Advanced MemberReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 1/16/2010(UTC) Posts: 453||just the first one.|
|Gerald||3Posted :Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:03:21 AM(UTC)|
|Rank: NewbieReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 12/30/2012(UTC) Posts: 4||On the second or third distillation how much do you lower the temp on each run, or do you use the same temp?|
|ratflinger||4Posted :Tuesday, January 22, 2013 1:50:48 PM(UTC)|
|Rank: Advanced MemberReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 8/17/2008(UTC) Posts: 424||Alcohol evaporates at the same temp, no matter which run it is.|
|joseph9936||5Posted :Wednesday, February 13, 2013 2:26:05 PM(UTC)|
|Rank: Junior MemberReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 10/8/2012(UTC) Posts: 30||it will come out approx 173 and you will end up with less heads at the start of it.:-)the difference between the first and 2nd run is you left out the mash stuff the 2nd time.The 2nd time it is just water and alcohol so less to mix with the alcohol during distilling.|
|AAIndigo||6Posted :Wednesday, February 13, 2013 11:16:04 PM(UTC)|
|Rank: Junior MemberReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 12/11/2012(UTC) Posts: 21||“Hope you dont mind if I chime in here.Whats the minumum amount of liquid you can run on a second and third run and what is the ratio of product at the end. So could I run a gallon and expect 3/4 of a gallon?AA”|
John Barleycorn 7Posted :Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:04:42 AM(UTC) Rank: Senior MemberReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 1/12/2012(UTC) Posts: 804Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 5 post(s) Quote:it will come out approx 173 and you will end up with less heads at the start of itThat would only be true for the ethanol azeotrope (at sea level), in which case there would be little need for distillation.
The temperature is dependent on the abv.
Try to login or register.
tigerbait 8Posted :Thursday, August 01, 2013 3:09:07 AM(UTC) Rank: NewbieReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 8/1/2013(UTC) Posts: 2 Follow-up question for this thread/topic.
- I’m new to home distilling, so please bear with me and forgive my ignorance and inexperience.
- I’ve made vodka with a simple sugar, turbo yeast, and water mash a few times using a fractionating still (PSII).
- My first few runs yielded around 90% ABV.
- I’d like to distill this a few more times to increase purity and also see if this makes any changes to the smell and taste profiles.
- When doing a second, third, fourth, etc.
distillation, do you dilute the end product with water each time, or do you simply distill what comes out of the previous distillation?Thanks!
dieselduo 9Posted :Thursday, August 01, 2013 4:12:54 AM(UTC) Rank: Senior MemberReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 1/24/2012(UTC) Posts: 629Thanks: 1 times Was thanked: 13 time(s) in 13 post(s) yes you need to cut your stripping run. I like 25 to 30% but you can go higher. I’m just not comfortable with anything higher. But don’t cut it back to 10 or 12 % which would defeat the purpose of the spirit run. All you are really doing is cleaning up the product a little so collect a few stripping runs to do a spirit run at one time.
RCRed 10Posted :Thursday, August 01, 2013 4:45:57 AM(UTC) Rank: Senior MemberReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 11/15/2012(UTC) Posts: 720Was thanked: 11 time(s) in 11 post(s) The documentation with your PSII says never above 40% abv (or my guide did) to prevent an explosion hazard.
- I usually toss my heads and tails from a previous run into a new wash of the same type (Corn=corn, sweet feed=sweet feed).
I notice it is smoother, but as Diesel says, it ain worth it on one.
tigerbait 11Posted :Thursday, August 01, 2013 6:08:09 AM(UTC) Rank: NewbieReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 8/1/2013(UTC) Posts: 2 Thanks dieselduo and RCRed.When you mentioned 25-30%, are you diluting the output from the run to 25-30% water/75-70% spirit? dieselduo 12Posted :Thursday, August 01, 2013 6:25:38 AM(UTC) Rank: Senior MemberReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 1/24/2012(UTC) Posts: 629Thanks: 1 times Was thanked: 13 time(s) in 13 post(s) I run the low wines25-30% ABV RCRed 13Posted :Thursday, August 01, 2013 1:09:59 PM(UTC) Rank: Senior MemberReputation:Groups: RegisteredJoined: 11/15/2012(UTC) Posts: 720Was thanked: 11 time(s) in 11 post(s) Originally Posted by: tigerbaitThanks dieselduo and RCRed.When you mentioned 25-30%, are you diluting the output from the run to 25-30% water/75-70% spirit?Originally Posted by: dieselduoI run the low wines25-30% ABVLike Diesel said.
- Use a hydrometer to measure where ya are at on the dilution.
- but it’s more like 70% water 30% spirit.
- 70% would bewaaay abovethe 40% maximum stated for your rig.
- Charcoal filtering may help you clean up some taste issues too and will yield good results on neutrals.
Windows DesktopSoftware for home Distillers and AFP Small producers admin 14Posted :Tuesday, September 10, 2013 1:30:44 AM(UTC) Rank: AdministrationReputation:Groups: AdministratorsJoined: 2/10/2002(UTC) Posts: 489Was thanked: 7 time(s) in 7 post(s) A distiller does not *make* anything, so if the foreshots were discarded on the first run they will not be present on the second run, therefore there is no need to discard anything on the second run.The amount to discard also depends on several factors, so using a specific amount as “one size fits all” is potentially unsafe, so it had to be removed.A couple of the major factors influencing the volume to discard are what has been fermented (simple sugar wash = very little (abt 40ml per 6 gallon wash, grain wash considerably more) and the distillation method (reflux will give a more defined fraction, hence less needs to be discarded). heeler 15Posted :Tuesday, September 10, 2013 6:39:18 AM(UTC) Rank: Senior MemberReputation:Groups: Registered, Moderator Joined: 4/14/2010(UTC) Posts: 1,666Was thanked: 13 time(s) in 13 post(s) “Originally Posted by: AdminActually, knightmare, your information was incorrect.A distiller does not *make* anything, so if the foreshots were discarded on the first run they will not be present on the second run, therefore there is no need to discard anything on the second run.The amount to discard also depends on several factors, so using a specific amount as “”one size fits all”” is potentially unsafe, so it had to be removed.A couple of the major factors influencing the volume to discard are what has been fermented (simple sugar wash = very little (abt 40ml per 6 gallon wash, grain wash considerably more) and the distillation method (reflux will give a more defined fraction, hence less needs to be discarded).With all of that said.thats the very reason that I always advise newbies to discard foreshots every pass through the still, with difference washes or mashes you will get differing amounts of that compound.
- Now – until a newbie learns to operate their unit and learns how to collect their distillate and can pick out what each compound smells like it doesn’t hurt to remove alittle up front each pass.
16Posted :Tuesday, September 10, 2013 9:48:32 AM(UTC) Rank: GuestGroups: GuestsJoined: 2/10/2002(UTC) Posts: 5,254 Originally Posted by: AdminActually, knightmare, your information was incorrect.A distiller does not *make* anything, so if the foreshots were discarded on the first run they will not be present on the second run, therefore there is no need to discard anything on the second run.The amount to discard also depends on several factors, so using a specific amount as “one size fits all” is potentially unsafe, so it had to be removed.A couple of the major factors influencing the volume to discard are what has been fermented (simple sugar wash = very little (abt 40ml per 6 gallon wash, grain wash considerably more) and the distillation method (reflux will give a more defined fraction, hence less needs to be discarded).Oh ok.
I get what you’re saying.
- I do it any way because it does make me feel better in terms of peace of mind.
- Originally Posted by: heelerWith all of that said.
- thats the very reason that I always advise newbies to discard foreshots every pass through the still, with difference washes or mashes you will get differing amounts of that compound.
I’m not saying I’m right or anyone else is wrong it just makes ME feel good to be on the safer side of instruction.I always will discard the first bit that comes out of the still.
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Distilled Spirits – How to Make Moonshine? A 5 Steps Beginner’s Guide
Distilling alcohol at home is a fun and relaxing activity. But, how does one go about making moonshine? In order to produce high-quality distilled spirits, it is not sufficient to simply place the fruit in a barrel and let it to ferment. Making an alcoholic mash of fruit (= mashing fruits and fermenting the fruit pulp) and distilling the mash (= distillation of the mash, distillation of alcohol, distillation of spirits) both require a certain level of fundamental abilities. You won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of distilling alcohol at home until then.
Why Home Distilling of Alcohol?
In the supermarkets, you’ll find a wide variety of distilled spirits to choose from. Many different types of fruits are distilled into spirits or brandies, which may be found at specialty shops. So, why would you want to put in so much effort into distilling alcohol in your own home?
- It is an excellent alternative to various applications for your own fruit or to wasting it that you may do at home.
- Because distilling alcohol at home is done on a small scale, it is feasible to create spirits that are not readily accessible for purchase
- Nevertheless, this is not recommended.
- Because only small amounts of fruit are required to eliminate all rotten parts and stalks when making your own alcohol at home by preparing your own mash, you can produce high-quality spirits and brandies.
Home distillation of alcohol is a pleasant pastime that results in a large number of experiments and, as a consequence, provides a great deal of entertainment.
Home Distilling of Alcohol – A 5 Steps Beginner’s Guide
What is the best way to create moonshine at home? Is distilling alcohol a viable option for everyone? What exactly has to be done in order to make alcohol at home remains a mystery.
Legal Situation for Home Distillers
- In truth, there are distinct legal rules in each nation when it comes to making alcohol at home by distillation.
- As a result, you should first consult with your legal counsel and learn about the legal implications of home distilling in your area.
Fruit to Prepare the Mash
Only use clean, completely ripe fruits that you would normally use for baking, such as bananas or apples. It is erroneous to believe that partially rotting and filthy fruit is suitable for home-brewing alcohol of respectable grade. In ourhomemade moonshine videos, in ourdistillers’ guide to home distilling, and even in our brief instruction – how do you produce moonshine, you may learn more about how to prepare the mash in detail.
Into a barrel, pour the crushed and blended fruit, seal the barrel, and secure it with a fermentation lock. The fermentation lock is really necessary! Don’t forget to include the previously mentioned yeast, pectinase, and acid. Only with these elements can a flawless mash be formed — one that is free from mold and deterioration. There are two sorts of mashes, depending on the ingredients: standard mashes (with a low alcohol percentage) and high-grade mashes (with a high alcohol content) (high alcohol content).
- High-quality mashes, on the other hand, should be kept in storage for at least six months before distilling.
It is not necessary to preserve the distillate for many years in order for it to become remarkable.
The Distillation – Distilling Alcohol
Use the entire mash for distillation, including both the liquid and solid components. It is not necessary to filter the mash before distillation. By filtering, you would lose the ability to taste and smell. As a result, the stills have solid components. As a result, it is vital to employ a burn protection. Although jacketed kettles, which are often used in large stills and are usually supplied with a stirrer, this technology is not ideal for tiny copper stills used by hobby distillers. If the mash contains less than around 10% ABV alcohol, you will need to distill it twice more (double distillation).
- It is this type of distillation that creates the most powerful flavor and aroma, even more so than double distilled alcohol.
Separate approximately 30 drops per 1,5 liters (1.5 US quarts) of mash, even if you do not have any heads in your batch of mash.
Diluting the Distilled Spirits
Regarding alcohol dilution (using an alcohol dilution calculator), there are two opposing viewpoints: either dilute immediately after distillation or dilute after storage. Both techniques have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. We like to dilute immediately after distillation, and the final spirit or brandy can be stored in glass bottles in this situation. However, if the spirit or brandy will be stored in wooden barrels, do not dilute it immediately after distillation since a portion of the alcohol will evaporate through the cask’s wall.
- Bottles of alcohol made of glass, ceramic, or stainless steel should be used in all other instances.
Subscribe to our free Newsletter The distillation and diluting of spirits requires the use of basic equipment. The most basic equipment for mashing and distilling schnapps is shown here.
Does triple distillation make smooth whisky?
It is a widely held belief that because Irish whiskey is typically thrice distilled, it is smoother than Scotch whiskey. Is triple distillation the sole procedure that goes into making a’smoother’ whiskey, and is it the only step in the process? Of course, The Whisky Professor knows the answers to these questions. Triple distillation is the process of distilling three times. Auchentoshan Distillery is one of a small number of Scottish distilleries that do not use the standard two-still configuration.
- Last week, I was out with some friends for our normal Thursday night social, and I ordered my customary glass of Speyside single malt to accompany my meal.
Patrick’s Day, I should indulge in a glass of Irish whiskey.
As someone who is unfamiliar with Irish whiskey, I can say that it is more smoother and more approachable than any other whiskey I’ve tasted from Scotland in the past.
- Regards, Paul, a resident of Boston, Massachusetts.
The truth is revealed by the Whisky Professor.
Take for example, the phrase “smooth,” which is often used to describe a whiskey that has little burn at the end of the finish, as an example of what you perceive to be “smooth.” Smoothness is typically connected with a light type of whiskey, although the two should not be mistaken for one another.
- There are a variety of elements that might influence smoothness, but at its core, it all comes down to the amount of congeners and contaminants present in the spirit.
They also evolve and alter as a result of the distillation and maturation processes.
Depending on the kind of whiskey that is being produced, the distiller has the option to maintain or eliminate these congeners throughout the distillation process.
- One method of accomplishing this is to increase the amount of reflux present in the still.
To achieve a 70 percent alcohol by volume concentration, the goal is to concentrate the alcohol over time.
Each time this occurs, the vapour is effectively being redistilled, with each subsequent distillation separating out additional congeners and contaminants that have remained in the water below and resulting in a lighter spirit – this is referred to as the reflux process.
- The foreshots are the congeners that are the most volatile, such as high alcohols and esters, that come off the still first (heads).
- The least volatile congeners are the last to be distilled, and they emerge towards the conclusion of the process as feints (tails).
- Therefore, the location of the distiller’s cut points is critical in producing a spirit that is light and smooth in flavor.
- In order to produce a lighter new make spirit in the first place, the distiller must first increase the quantity of reflux in the still in order to eliminate congeners, and then keep tight control over the cut points in the still.
It is expected that the reflux will be stronger the larger the surface area and the more difficult it is for the vapour to flow into the condenser will be.
Another method of increasing reflux is to increase the number of distillations that the spirit passes through in a given period of time. This is where triple distillation (and even column distillation, but that’s a topic for another day) comes into play, as seen in the diagram. The addition of an intermediate still between the wash and spirit stills allows the distiller to increase the volume of reflux in order to separate out those undesirable flavor components. By increasing the amount of copper in contact with the spirit by a third, more heavy, sulphur-containing compounds are removed from the solution.
- Auchentoshan distillery in the Lowlands is the most well-known example, whereas Campbeltown’s Springbank distillery triple distills for its Hazelburn malt, which is the most popular in the world.
The wash still is used to distill the fermented wash (which contains around 8% alcohol by volume).
The resulting mixture is then combined with the tails from the previous low wines distillation and distilled in the intermediate still.
- In the intermediate still, the latter will be combined with the following batch of low wines before being distilled once again.
Run as normal, with the heart of the run being separated from its head and tail, which are redistilled in a spirit still, as is customary in the industry.
As opposed to double distillation, which produces a spirit with an average strength of 70 percent abv, triple distillation produces a spirit with an average strength of closer to 80 percent abv (Auchentoshan, for example, collects at between 80 and 82.6 percent abv).
- The lighter the aromatic nature of the spirit, the stronger the spirit will be.
Because of the unique nature of Mortlach’s approach, there is more information on its complexity here.
While we’re on the subject of’smoothness,’ we should also highlight the necessity of using high-quality first-fill barrels for the aging process. These will also aid in the creation of a smooth spirit by removing volatile components that have been left in the spirit due to the charred layer on the barrel and by contributing tastes of their own, such as vanillin, a sweet compound that adds to the feeling of’smoothness’ in the spirit. Another question that I recently answered was on the significance of maturing.
- Patrick’s Day.
The combination of a light spirit acquired through triple distillation with a soft grain whiskey can result in a beautifully smooth drink.
Prof., you have mine, aye You’ve got a burning question about Scotch whiskey that you’d want the Whisky Professor to answer.
How Distilling Works
- A modern distillery has the appearance of being located somewhere in the Chocolate Factory (perhaps adjacent to the “Fizzy Lifting Drink” room?
- ): depending on what’s being distilled, there might be tall gleaming columns connected by a network of tubes, or massive, squat pots that look like giant copper Hershey Kisses, depending on the product being distilled.
- Whether you believe it or not, these pumps, valves, and gleaming metal fixtures are all part of the meticulously regulated machinery that produces your favorite whisk(e)y.
There will be no judgements.
But why do we need to distill hard liquor in the first place?
- As is frequently the case with the science of liquor, it all comes down to the yeast.
In contrast, the more alcohol and CO2 they produce, the less sugar there is for them to ingest as a result of this.
If we want to make anything that is significantly “hard,” we can’t rely on yeast.
- In part because to alcohol having a lower boiling point than water (173 degrees Fahrenheit as opposed to 212 degrees Fahrenheit), distillers may evaporate alcohol (most of the time) by itself, collect the vapors in a tube, and employ cold temperatures to compel alcohol to condense back into a liquid state.
The “alembic” itself is a large kettle-shaped vessel in which the primary fermented liquid, sometimes known as a “wash” (or a “mash”), is heated to the proper temperature.
Because there is less water present, the ABV is greater, which is great news!
- Congeners (e.
- , esters, tannins, methanol, fusel alcohols) are compounds that evaporate during the distillation process and can have an affect on the flavor.
The success of pot distillation led to the development of column distilling.
Robert Stein and Aeneas Coffey each independently created and improved upon the method of “column distillation,” which includes the use of massive, shining columns of water (they can reach stories high).
- As the steam rises up through the column, it is set to be at the optimal temperature for stripping alcohol from the wash while leaving unwanted compounds behind in the process.
And while not all column-distilled spirits are repeatedly distilled, some claim to have been distilled as many as 34 times in order to get their distinctive flavor.
Tannins, esters, fusel alcohols, and even methanol are among the congeners that can evaporate with it.
- For example, methanol (the substance responsible for the “moonshine makes you go blind” mythology) evaporates around 148.
- 5 degrees Fahrenheit, leading a distiller to infer that any liquid that appears before 173 degrees Fahrenheit (the boiling point of safe, pleasant ethanol) should be destroyed.
The fundamental distillation cycle may be split into four parts: the “fores,” “head,” “heart,” and “tail” (sometimes known as “fractions”).
The distiller’s job is a strange combination of absolute accuracy and, no doubt, a dash of old-school sensibility thrown together.
How are Commercial Spirits Made?
- It is possible to employ distillation equipment for a variety of various purposes.
- As an example, a still might be used to filter water, separate essential oils, or even distill gasoline alcohol.
- Nevertheless, in this post, we will go over the steps that a professional distiller would take in order to manufacture spirits.
- What is the process through which Jack Daniel’s makes whiskey?
- We’ll get back to you.
- What is the process through which Absolut makes Vodka?
- We’ll respond to your question as well.
We’ll get back to you on that as well.
Our distillation apparatus is intended solely for legal reasons, and the information contained in this paper is intended solely for educational purposes.
- We encourage you to read our comprehensive legal statement for further information on the legality of distillation.
How Does A Still Work?
Distillation is a method of separating compounds that takes use of variations in boiling temperatures. Commercial distillers produce high proof alcohol by distilling water and then separating the resulting alcohol from the water. It is important to note that distillation does not result in the production of alcohol; rather, it concentrates the alcohol that already exists. It is essentially the last step in the process of producing extremely high proof alcohol, and it is called distillation. Commercial distillers begin by creating a low-proof beer that will subsequently be distilled later in the procedure.
They go through the following procedures:
- Produce a mash by mashing grains (such as maize) or sugar together
- Yeast is added to the mash to cause fermentation.
Make a distillation of the fermented wash.
How Does Distillation Work?
- Ethyl alcohol is the exact sort of alcohol that commercial distillers are looking for in their products.
- Water and ethanol are separated by boiling at different temperatures, which allows ethanol to be removed more easily from the water (pure ethanol boils at 172 degrees Fahrenheit, while water does not boil until 212 degrees).
- In a nutshell, wash is heated in a still to a temperature more than 172 degrees Fahrenheit but less than 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After starting to boil, the ethanol converts into a vapor, which separates from the wash water.
However, the fact that there are numerous distinct forms of alcohol (as well as a large number of other chemical components) that will be extracted throughout the distillation process makes the whole process a little more difficult than it has to be.
These substances have varying boiling temperatures, much as ethanol and water do in different amounts.
- When manufacturing vodka, it is important to eliminate as many congers as possible because the spirit is meant to be extremely pure and flavorless.
When manufacturing whiskey, congeners are desired since they enhance the flavor and complexity of the finished product.
Whiskey, such as Jack Daniel’s, is aged for several years in order to smooth out the tasty, but rather harsh congeners that are present in the final product.
Phases of Distillation
- Each distillation run is divided into four phases: the foreshots, the heads, the hearts, and the tails.
- This is due to the fact that the various alcohols and chemical compounds in a wash separate at different boiling temperatures.
- A professional distiller will observe that the flavor and fragrance of the finished product might fluctuate significantly depending on the phase of the run.
- In most cases, just the “hearts” component of the image is used for commercial distribution.
- In order to distill the tails again in the future, they are separated.
During the distillation process, the foreshots are the first vapors to boil off. These include the most volatile alcohols and should not be consumed due to the presence of methanol and other undesirables in their composition. Commercial distillers never use or eat the foreshots since they are always discarded. This part of the liquid collected during the distillation process accounts for around 5 percent or less of the total liquid collected. More information about foreshots may be found in this page on methanol blindness.
Acetone, acetaldehyde, and acetate are among the “lighter” chemicals found in the heads’ composition. Those who work in the commercial distilling industry may remark that these chemicals have an unpleasant taste and smell like solvent. Furthermore, they are claimed to be the principal perpetrators in the development of hangovers. During this section of the run, there is little to no sweetness, and it is everything from smooth. The heads are not suitable for commercial distribution and should be removed from the collection.
- The hearts are mostly composed of ethanol, and they are the most attractive element of the distillation process.
- It is possible for a professional distiller to recognize when a still is starting to produce hearts because the harshness of the heads has subsided and the scent is no longer pungent.
- This is referred to as the “sweet spot,” which is not only a metaphor.
- When this step is completed, the whiskey produced is extremely flavorful, but it is also quite smooth and, depending on the recipe, may be slightly sweet.
The ability of the commercial distiller to determine the beginning and conclusion of the hearts section of the run comes into play since they must distinguish between the two parts of the run.
Once all of the alcohols with lower boiling points have evaporated, the tails begin to form. Propanol, butanol, and amyl alcohols are present in this region of the run, which is composed of fusel oils. The tails have a bad taste and are largely made up of water, proteins, carbohydrates, and less volatile alcohols with higher boiling points than the rest of the mixture. There are a variety of techniques to detect when the heads have ended and the tails have begun. In the first place, the taste profile of the distillate will be drastically altered.
- The spirits collected during this step will have a “thin” flavor to them.
It will also feel somewhat slick to the touch when you rub your index finger and middle finger together between your index finger and middle finger.
When the Distillation Process Ends
Commercial distillers who are well-versed in their craft will often operate their stills until the alcohol content of the wash has been lowered to around 10-20 proof. It is not worth the time and effort to distill the mixture further in order to separate the small amount of alcohol that remains from the water.
When Distillation Cuts Are Made
- An skilled commercial distiller understands when to make a “cut” from the heads to the hearts and also when to make a “cut” from the hearts to the tails of the mash.
- The term “cut” refers to the process through which a commercial distiller transitions from collecting in one jar to collecting in another jar.
- This is a skill that is developed through time and takes a significant amount of practice.
- A small fraction of the heads and tails, as well as all of the hearts, are generally saved when the spirits are going to be matured and then put to the barrel.
Cuts have the potential to have a significant influence on the final result.
To continue in the same vein, it is preferable to have tails cut early and a little amount of hearts in the tails rather than vice versa.
- Feints are tails that have been salvaged from a run and are being held back for future usage in the game.
- Commercial distillers may occasionally add them to the wash of the following distillation run, or they will gather enough to make an all-feints run, which is referred to as “the queens share” by certain distillation enthusiasts.
No person or entity should rely on the information, data, and references provided above as a legal basis for taking any action or making any decision. The information, data, and references provided above are provided solely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon by any person or entity as a legal basis for any action or decision. There is no intent in any of the material presented here to provide particular scientific or legal advice to any individual or organisation.
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