C10 - Comprehensive Distilling Course (A 5 Day "Master Class" in Spirit Production)
  • C10 - Comprehensive Distilling Course (A 5 Day "Master Class" in Spirit Production)

C10 - Comprehensive Distilling Course (A 5 Day "Master Class" in Spirit Production)


Colloquially referred too as our "Master Class", our C10 - Comprehensive Distilling Course combines 5 distinct Theoretical and Practical Workshops into a single Course, presented over a 5 day period. The Course fees includes 3 full-color text books, extensive notes, process flow diagrams and reference materials, and a lot of practical activities. Attendees will also be granted the opportunity to write a written exam, and the Certificate received is accepted in several countries as a Proof of Competence, required in those countries in order to obtain a Liquor License and work in a Distillery.

Course venue dates
In Stock

  Secure Buying

We don't ask for a credit card number - you pay us from your own bank account.

  Fast and reliable delivery

We use only well known couriers with tracking numbers to deliver your order to your doorstep.

While this course is a lot of fun, and tends to build a lot of Camaraderie between its attendees, it is a course for the serious distillers.

We combine the content of more than 5 distinct courses and workshops into one 5 day course and now also provide attendees with 3 color textbooks (totalling over 700 pages of worthwhile information) as well as additional notes, cheat sheets, flow-diagrams and more.

At the end of the course you may select (free of charge) to write a 2 hour exam to earn your "Comprehensive Distilling Course" certificate (Required Mark to Pass: 70% minimum).

The certificate will be couriered to you after being your exam has been marked and verified. 

During the Course you will cover in-depth the following Master Principles, both in theory and practice:

  • Fractional Distillation - Selecting Desired and Undesired Aroma's and Tastes during Distillation
  • Starch Conversion - Conversion of Unfermentable Carbohydrates into Fermentable Sugars
  • Steam Infusion - Creation of Flavored Spirits through the process of Steam Distillation or Vapor Infusion
  • Sensory Analysis - Training and Using your sense of Taste and Smell
  • Spirit Blending - Mixing Spirits in a Scientific and Controlled fashion in order to create repeatable Recipes and Processes
  • Dilution - Dilution of Spirits down to Legal Minimum Strength, as well as working with High Brix Content Raw Materials (Molasses and Honey)


Course Contents


Day 1 - Fermentation, Distillation and Spirit Enhancement Theory


Spirit Production Overview

  • Short History of Distillation

  • Alcoholic Beverages, Feedstocks and Method Examples
  • The Role of Geographical Naming Differences
  • Legislation for Home Distilling
  • Legislation for Commercial Distilling
  • Safety during Distilling
  • Responsible Drinking

Fermentation Overview

  • Fermentable and Non-Fermentable Sugars
  • Starch Conversion
  • Types and Roles of Enzymes in Distillation Fermentations
  • Congener Formation and Control
  • Fermentation Components
  • Sugar Measurements and Sugar Calculations
  • Yeast and Yeast Requirements
  • Successful and Failed Fermentations - Trouble Shooting and Fixing

Distillation Overview

  • What is Distillation?
  • Distillation Physics
  • Use of the Phase Diagram during Distillation
  • Development of Still Types
  • The Role of Copper in Stills
  • Heads, Hearts, Tails and other Fractions
  • Effect of Boiling Rate on Fractions
  • Fractional Distillation or Precision Distillation
  • Spirit Enhancement
  • Simple Enhancement Techniques
  • Enhancement by Removal

Enhancement by Addition

  • Enhancement by Transformation


Day 2 - Fruit Based Spirits


Brandy and Mampoer (Eau de Vie) Overview

  • Difference between Brandy and Mampoer
  • Legislation regarding Brandy and Mampoer
  • Discussion on the future of Brandy and Mampoer in South Africa
  • History of Brandy and Mampoer 
  • Regional Differences of Fruit Based Spirits
  • The Cultural Distillers Guild
  • Brandy and Mampoer Methodology

Unique Aspects of Fruit Based Fermentations

  • Fruit Selection and Preparation
  • Open vs Closed Fermentations
  • Fermentation Management
  • Clarification Techniques

PRACTICAL - Making a Fruit Based Fermentation


Fractional Distillation Overview

  • Fractional or Precision Distillation

PRACTICAL - Distilling a Fruit Based Fermentation

PRACTICAL - Sensory Analysis of Heads and Tails


Spirit Enhancement in Brandy and Mampoer

  • Techniques Relevant to Brandy and Mampoer

PRACTICAL - Blending of Selected Fractions and Dilution

PRACTICAL - Obscuration and Wooding of Spirits with Sensory Analysis


Day 3 - Starch Based Spirits


Whisk(e)y, Moonshine and Vodka Overview

  • Difference between Whisk(e)y, Moonshine and Vodka
  • A History of Whisk(e)y, Moonshine and Vodka
  • Regional Differences in Whisk(e)y - Scotland, Ireland, USA and South Africa
  • Whisk(e)y and Moonshine Methodology
  • Innovating with Whisk(e)y in South Africa 

PRACTICAL - Doing a Starch Conversion


Unique Aspects of Starch Fermentations

  • Grain Bill and Milling
  • Starch Extraction, Conversion and Steeping
  • Malting and Enzyme Sources
  • Sterilization
  • Sparging  

PRACTICAL - Making a Grain Fermentation


Vodka Distilling

  • Still Types Used for Vodka Production
  • Different Still Configurations in Commercial Distilleries
  • Using Multiple Stills in a Commercial Distillery
  • Stripping Runs vs Spirit Runs vs Rectifying Runs vs Infusion Runs
  • Reflux Modes in Fractional Distillation

PRACTICAL - Distilling a Grain Based Fermentation


Spirit Enhancement in Whisk(e)y, Moonshine and Vodka

  • Techniques Relevant to Whisk(e)y, Moonshine and Vodka

PRACTICAL - Blending of Selected Fractions and Dilution

PRACTICAL - Obscuration and Wooding of Spirits with Sensory Analysis


Day 4 - Gin and Botanicals


Gin Overview

  • A History of Gin
  • Garnishing of Gin

Gin Production

  • Gin Production Process
  • Feedstock for Gin
  • Base Spirits for Gin
  • Botanicals for Gin
  • Ginning Methods
  • Flavoring Runs
  • Sweetening Methods and Levels
  • Maturation Methods
  • Naming a Gin
  • Categorization and Naming based on Production Processes

Creating a Gin Flavour Profile

  • Communicating a Flavour Profile
  • A Classification Methodology for Gin
  • Tasting and Classifying Gin according to the Methodology
  • Sensory Analysis and Tasting
  • Utilisation of the Classification Methodology for Market Research and Product Development 

PRACTICAL - Sensory Analysis and Tasting of 6 or more Gins


Creating and Using a Flavor Library

  • Making Infusions
  • Blending Flavours
  • Creating a Single Shot Recipe

PRACTICAL - Botanical Infusion through Steam Infusion and/or Infused Distillation

PRACTICAL - Dilution of Spirits

PRACTICAL - Blending of Infused Spirit Compounds

PRACTICAL - Application of Obscuration Techniques to Gin


Spirit Enhancement in Gin

  • Techniques Relevant to Gin


Day 5 - High Brix Content Raw Materials

Light, Dark and Spiced Rum Overview

  • Differences between Light, Dark and Spiced Rum
  • A History of Rum
  • Regional Differences in Rum
  • Rum Methodology

Unique Aspects of High Brix Content Raw Material Fermentations

  • Sugar Source Selection
  • Sugar Source Calculation
  • Sugar Source Preparation
  • High Brix Content Raw Material Fermentations

PRACTICAL - Making a Molasses Fermentation


Distilling a High Brix Content Raw Material Fermentation

  • Using Anti Foaming Agent
  • Applying Fractional Distillation to Non Fruit Fermentations

PRACTICAL - Distilling a Molasses Fermentation

PRACTICAL - Sensory Analysis of Heads and Tails


Spirit Enhancement in Rum

  • Techniques Relevant to White, Gold, Dark and Spiced Rum

PRACTICAL - Blending of Selected Fractions and Dilution

PRACTICAL - Obscuration and Wooding of Spirits with Sensory Analysis


Please note our terms and conditions for training when cancelling a course.  


Special Notes:

Due to the Gin Tasting and Blending on the Thursday, the use of alternative transport or drop-off service is recommended as participants will most probably be over the legal limit for driving. 

During Gin Tasting on the Thursday, should attendees wish to taste and evaluate their Gins with Tonic as well, they must please provide their own. Non-flavoured or Indian Tonics are acceptable, preferably non-commercial brands.

Course Fees include:

  • Course Material (3 color Text Books plus additional reference materials)
  • All practical supplies of Raw Material, Consumables, use of Equipment, etc.
  • Refreshments during course (tea, coffee, soft-drinks, water)
  • Lunch (Please inform us of any dietary requirements)


  • Starting time 7:30 for 08:00 until approximately 17:00 every day with lunch between 12:00 and 13:00, for five consecutive days.

As this course is presented during the normal work week - please be aware of traffic on the way to the Training Facility and allow accordingly in your travelling time.

View the training calendar for all training courses.


  • Distillique Offices in Centurion (View Map)



Related articles on blog