The impact of the Rand value on Distillers

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istillique just received a new shipment of amazing equipment and it was with a sense of shock that we calculated the new prices. Although the US Dollar prices remained almost the same, the landed costs increased dramatically from our previous large shipment. WHAT WENT WRONG?


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Recently I came across an interesting metaphor attributed to a Master Distiller: “Barrels are like naughty children. None of them behave as you’d like them to and although you love them all, there will always be a few which will be your favourites.”


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Distillique regularly receives enquiries from individuals that want to explore the feasibility of different raw materials for use in producing spirits – mostly because they have easy or cheap access to those raw materials.


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One of the dangers involved with the consumption of alcohol is Alcohol Poisoning. Not really new information. But what many people do not know is that there is actually 2 types of alcohol poisoning.


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For some time now the whole South African Liquor License Industry has been chaotic.
In an ideal world, our products will speak for themselves, value would be determined by quality and taste alone, and customers would pay accordingly.

Monitoring fermentations

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The continuous monitoring of fermentations is a common technique used in Beer Brewing and Wine Making to achieve specific results in terms of flavour, aroma, alcohol content, etc. In fermentations for distilling purposes however, we monitor the fermentations merely to ascertain the progress of the fermentation, to calculate the remaining sugar and to calculate possible yield or additional yield. We can also predict possible problems, and determin

Failed fermentations and fixing them

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IMPORTANT – This Article refers to methods and information covered in two other Articles: 10 Steps to a Successful Fermentation, and Monitoring Fermentations. It is advised that you read these two articles first to fully understand the information below.

Bacterial infections in fermentations

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Bacterial and mould Infections are unfortunate but not uncommon occurrences in fermentations, specifically grain, potato and other starch related fermentations.


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As explained in our Article about successful fermentations, Nutrients play a very important in Yeast propagation and fermentation.

How to make proper mampoer, witblits and brandy - a flow diagram

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A flow diagram showing the various steps in making mampoer (from fruit except grapes), witblits (from grapes) and brandy (from grapes and aged in oak)

Chicken or dop? ...or how to become more energy efficient

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World-wide there is a focus on energy conservation and becoming more energy efficient. If you would like to conserve energy, rather drink alcohol than eat chicken. This article explains why.

Still automation journal entry 2

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During simulations (to test the algoritms for automation) a few "logic" difficulties were encountered. The automation rules were just becoming so complex that that we decided to "eat-the-elephant one-bite-at-a-time"!

How to use a water jacket boiler

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Article - thanks to Henk's experience! Henk started up his brand new 250L and 500L jacketted stills from Distillque and for a first "stress test" he filled the boilers wth water to test for water and vapour leaks.

Still automation - the next step in distilling

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First the boring stuff: Why do we want to automate stills? Alembic still technology is more than 1200 years old. Reflux still designs almost 200 years. What will our generation contribute to distilling technology?

Wargtass (Wolf's Paw)

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Wolf's Paw or also called Vargtass, is a traditional skandinavian spirit manufactured from lingon berries. The bright red colour of the berries gets lost during distillation but re-introduced during the infusion. This recipe can also be used for other brightly coloured edible berries.

Generic Fruit brandy recipe (Apricot used as example)

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Unaged fruit brandy is called schnapps by the Germans, eau de vie by the French and mampoer in South Africa, Aquavit and many other names accross the world.

Fresh Mint Liqueur

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Fresh Mint Liqueur

Edible rum sheets

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Edible rum sheets

Distiller's (not Turkish) delight

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Distiller's (not Turkish) delight

Crème de cassis

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Crème de cassis or Cassis is a liqueur made from an infusion of blackcurrants. (Mostly available from Woolworths food stores in South Africa)


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If using our Cocorum essence is too easy for you to make your own Malibu style Coconut Rum, then make your own!

Caramel delight

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This easy-to-make rich, creamy liqueur is a sure winner to serve with crushed ice, as a straight shooter or mixed shooter. produce 1 liter of Caramel Delight.

Calvados (Apple Brandy)

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Cider was produced as a substitute for wine in many countries where the climate was too cold and damp to produce grapes and where there was an abundance of apples. Apple brandy, produced from the distilled cider has a long established tradition and the first official written references date back to the 16th century.

Butterscotch liqueur

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Butterscotch liqueur. This recipe produces 1.5 liter of excellent butterscotch liqueur. It is a favourite with the ladies and quite enjoyable when served over vanilla ice-cream.

Bread Whisky

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"Bread beer" (or called Kvass or quas) is a very popular Russian drink - fermented from dry Rye Bread, a bit of malt (for the starch/sugar conversion) and additional sugar added.

Sugar Syrup

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Sugar syrup is used to provide sweetness to liqueurs with the minimum of alcohol dilution.

Black Sambuca

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Black Sambuca derived its name from Elderberries (Sambucus nigra). If using our black sambuca essence is too easy for you, here is a great black sambuca recipe to make at home.


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Especially for tea lovers! Tea-with-a-kick!

Banana Liqueur

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Banana liqueur. Lovely full bodied liqueur with distinctive banana taste and a subtle hint of vanilla.

Small distillery research: University of Stellenbosch

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Small distillery research: University of Stellenbosch

Using vodka essences to get the best value

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Distillique stocks the biggest range (more than 80) of premium quality essences to flavour vodka (or your own distilled neutral spirits) in Africa.

Distilling witblits in the mountains

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Deep in the mountains in the vicinity of Mosselbay, a small distillery is only operated in grape season to produce witblits (unaged grape brandy). This distillery is definitely not your "normal" distillery and the first impressions lasted during the whole "tour" of the distillery.

Six stages of drunkness

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The effects of alcohol hit your brain like a tidal wave. You can go from jovial, to falling-down drunk, to dead and it doesn't take very long to get there.