TEN STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL FERMENTATION

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A checklist to ensure healthy fermentations and troubleshooting stuck fermentations

HOW BARREL STORAGE AFFECTS BARREL ABV

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Since a water molecule is very small, it is easier for it to escape through the barrel than the much larger alcohol molecule. The atmosphere at the top of a barrel storage area is very hot and dry, allowing the water molecules to escape much faster than the alcohol molecules, thus driving the ABV up in those barrels and concentrating the flavours inside the barrel.

CHARRING LEVELS IN BARRELS

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Once a cooper has selected their oak type, barrel size and seasoning qualities they can then select which level of thermal degrading to apply to the inside of the cask relative to the liquid it will have in it and the desired character of that liquid.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND WOODEN BARRELS

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Of all of the species of hard wood in the world, there is a very good reason why we only use oak.

BENEFITS & DRAWBACKS OF USING CUSTOM BOTTLES

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Custom bottles can provide a unique look and provide large brand benefits, but Craft Distillers must evaluate the pros and cons.

Want to import distilling equipment ?- do your homework!

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If you would like to import equipment yourself, please make sure you do your homework well!

Distillery waste management plan

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Note: due to the limited knowledge of most officials (outside the Western Cape) involved in the granting of micro manufacturing licenses, we tried to keep the wording as simple as possible. Distilling terms such as "stillage" has deliberately been omitted - simply because officials are to uniformed to know what it means.

A and B numbers on spirit and wine bottles in South Africa

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Each bottle of spirits or wine sold in South Africa should have an "A-number" or a "B-number" printed on it

Some of our commercial customers

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Some of our commercial customers

"Wrong readings" on Brix refractometers and hydrometers

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Greg from the Zululand Distilling Company contacted us with a question relating to the different readings obtained when using a refractometer and when using a floating hydrometer in the same liquid. These readings can be quite far apart and we should be aware of that and the reasons behind it.

WHAT MAKES ONE DISTILLERY STAND OUT FROM THE OTHER?

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The definition of Spirit Tourism (in this case) refers to the visit of Spirit-related attractions which can be museums, distilleries or spirit events.

INTERESTING BOTANICALS USED IN GIN

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Unlike whisky which may be spelled whisky or whiskey in different parts of the world, gin is gin the world round. The name gin is derived from genièvre (French), jenever (Dutch), and ginepro (Italian), all of which mean “juniper”, and it dates as far back at the 13th century.

Commercial Craft Distilling Equipment and Sizing Guideline

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Commercial Craft Distilling Equipment and Sizing Guideline

Baijiu - the traditional Chinese Spirit

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Baijiu (pronounced “Buy Jee-oh”) is the traditional distilled spirit in China. Although almost unknown in Western culture, Baijiu is the world’s most sold spirit (by volume) and accounts for about a third of the world’s liquor consumed per year.

ESSENTIAL OIL EXTRACTION THROUGH DISTILLATION

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Essential oils are a hot topic these days, and we get a lot of enquiries as to the extraction of essential oils through distillation.

CLOSED COOLING SYSTEMS AND THEIR CHALLENGES

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More and more we receive enquiries regarding Closed Cooling Systems. This refers to a closed loop for the water used during cooling to minimise water use. The reasons for these requests and wish to minimise water use are varied, but can be for economic reasons (to save money), for ecological reasons (environmental awareness) or practical reasons (a local water shortage).

HANDY SUGAR CALCULATIONS

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Sugar is the most important chemical component in the production of alcohol and alcoholic products. No sugar, no fermentation, no alcohol. There are however certain situations where excessive sugar can be a detriment to our fermentation and products, as described in our Article about Successful Fermentations.
With ESKOM's recent and foreseeable failure to supply consistent electricity, we received a number of enquiries about alternative energy sources and how to convert electrically heated stills for using alternative energy sources.

How to connect coolant water to a column still

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How to connect coolant water to a column still

Carrot wine and brandy

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Carrot wine and brandy. Amazing drink! ...and good for your eyes too!

Avocado Liqueur

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Avocado Liqueur. Thick, creamy, ultra smooth and luxurious.

Raisin brandy supreme

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A rich, fruity brandy recipe to produce 3 liters (4 bottles) of brandy.

Spice strawberry vodka

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Strawberries and spice ...nothing else as nice!

Spiced berry bonanza

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A wonderfully rich brandy-based liqueur that can be made with a variety of berries. A sip of this in the winter is summer remembered. Makes an especially lovely gift. Ready in 1 month.

Special Corn Whiskey

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Really Special Corn Whiskey...for an alternative whiskey with some fruitiness.

Naughty Jelly

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This is a really fun way to end a great dinner with friends! ...or off-course it can be enjoyed even without the dinner with great effects!

How to make Sake and Awamori

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Sake is traditional Japanese rice wine and Awamori the distiled product from sake.

High alcohol sugar wash fermentations

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A wash made from sugar cannot produce any methanol and, as sugar is fairly affordable and readily available, sugar washes is quite popular, especially for producing vodka by home distillers.

Guava Brandy

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Guava brandy is definitely not your usuall brandy... but a MUST distil if you have access to it. Rich in flavour, fruitiness and will have your friends asking for more!

Glüwein

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Glüwein for those cold winter evenings to warm you up. We'vve added the option to up its heating effect a bit ...and it works wonderful as a winter warmer for cold evenigs and warm friendships.

Gin

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There are a number of ways to produce Gin but the details, ingredient mix and quantities used, are shrouded in secrecy with commercial Gin distillers.

Dark Rum

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There are numerous Rum recipes from light rum to very deep and dark rums. The following spicy rum recipe produces a rum almost like "Captain Morgan spiced rum".

Dandelion Wine

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Dandelion wine

Booze-cream - Alcohol ice-cream!

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Normally alcohol in ice-cream is a bit of a problem. As the alcohol does not freeze with the ice-cream, it quickly seeps out of the ice-cream and leaves gravitates to the bottom of a bowl. This recipe does away with te problem and even after three weeks, the alcohol stays suspended throughout the ice cream.

Vanilla Pecan Liqueur

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An easy liqueur to make with a rich, warm and friendly taste!

Pot still sizes and capacities

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Each copper still from Distillique is handcrafted and varies slighty in size, appearance and dimensions.

Pot still calculator

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POT STILL CALCULATOR - USER INSTRUCTIONS

Measuring alcohol strength

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The alcohol concentration of a distillate is determined by measuring its density using a special hydrometer also known as an alcoholmeter

How to clean copper mesh

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This copper mesh has been specifically designed for use as a structured, catalytic packing medium for use in reflux column stills to remove sulphide containing molecules from alcohol vapours during distilling.

How to bend copper in tight coils

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Bending copper coils is easy when working with (relatively) large coil diamters (in relation to the copper tube diameter). However, it becomes another story when you try to bend really tight coils.