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Distillique - Distillation

Articles Relating to Craft Spirit Distillations by Distillique

All articles related to Distillation - from the basics of Distillation Theory, to Still Types and Still Design, Still Construction, Still Operations, and the more advanced principles of Fractional Distillation and Vacuum Distillation.

What are the different Still Types?

We look at all the different types of stills - from Pot Still, Alembic Stills and Adjustable Reflux Column Stills, to Fractionating Reflux Column Stills or Plate Column Stills, Continuous Stills, Multi Column Stills and Hybrid Stills.

What type of still is commonly used for which type of product, and why?

What are the different Distillation Techniques?

We look at Stripping Runs, Spirit Runs, Rectifying Runs and Ginning Runs. Techniques used either to improve our production capacity, retain flavor, remove flavor or add flavor. We also explore the Holy Grail of Craft Spirits - Mouth Feel and Lingering Aftertaste - and how we can achieve this through Distillation, specifically Fractional Distillation, instead of having to resort to "cheats" like the addition of Glycerin, Sugar or other artificial Mouthfeel Enhancers.

  • Raw Materials for Fermentation and Distillation: Focus on Fruits

    Raw Materials for Fermentation and Distillation: Focus on Fruits

    Last month, we delved into the world of molasses as a key raw material for fermentation and distillation. This month, we turn our attention to the rich and varied world of fruits. Fruits have long been cherished for their ability to produce a wide range of alcoholic beverages, such as wine, ciders, brandies, mampoer etc. This article explores the role of fruits in fermentation...
  • The History of South African Brandy

    The History of South African Brandy

    In 1672 an assistant cook aboard the Dutch ship ‘de Pijl’ anchored at Table Bay discovered the potential of local grapes and transformed 1164 Liters of Cape wine into 126 Liters of “brandewijn”, referred to as “burned wine” which later became known as “brandy”. 
  • The Components of a True Rum

    The Components of a True Rum

    PLEASE NOTE: This article is aimed more at Commercial Distillers than Home Distillers. If your curiosity about spirits and the search for recipes and techniques begins and ends with adding yeast to diluted molasses and then letting it sit in a Barrel for a couple of weeks, months and years (depending on the barrel size) then you should probably stop reading right here.  ...
  • Dilution before Re-Distillation

    Dilution before Re-Distillation

    Anyone who has ever done a double or even triple distillation of spirits will know that every time you run the spirits through the still it gets "stronger" - the purity increases, the ABV% percentage rises. Whatever expression your prefer. Most Distillers (especially those that did their training with us) would also be aware (based on the Ethanol - Water Phase Diagram) that the...
  • Different ways in which Still Shape Impacts Spirit Quality

    Different ways in which Still Shape Impacts Spirit Quality

    Both the shape and size of a still has a significant effect on the character of the spirit being produced – and it has a lot to do with copper.     In a previous article we explored the use of Copper in stills, specifically comparing it to the use of Stainless Steel, the removal of Sulphur Compounds, and whether or not the use...
  • Can the use of Copper Stills cause Cancer?

    Can the use of Copper Stills cause Cancer?

    Recently an Article has been spread around through various Online Forums and Social Media pages, calling into question the use of Copper in Stills.   The basis of this article is that during distillation Copper catalyses substances found in the fermentation into a compound called Ethyl Carbamate, and that this compound is Carcinogenic, and we should therefore not be using Copper Stills or Copper...
  • The Effect of Boiling Rate on Fractions during Distillation

    The Effect of Boiling Rate on Fractions during Distillation

    One of the catch phrases in the Home Distilling Community is “Low and Slow”.     This refers to “Low Flame” or “Low Heat”, and the resulting “Slow” Distillation Process.     This article addresses and explains this concept by describing the effect that the boiling rate in a batch boiler (i.e. not a continuous still) has on the composition of fractions during the...
  • Cleaning a New Still for First Use

    Cleaning a New Still for First Use

    Once you have purchased a still from Distillique, the urge to set it up and immediately start using it is great, but there are a couple of steps you need to follow first. Any metal manufacturing process leaves a residue of manufacturing oils on the item manufactured, and these oils (and other residue) can negatively impact on your distillate and spoil it. The following...
  • How do I get rid of Fusel Oils in my Spirits?

    How do I get rid of Fusel Oils in my Spirits?

    Fusel alcohols or fuselol, also sometimes called fusel oils, are mixtures of several alcohols (chiefly amyl alcohol) produced as a by-product during alcoholic fermentation. The word Fusel is from the German word that means "bad liquor". What different Types of Fusel Alcohols are there? Fusel Alcohols can be classified into two different categories   1. Hazardous Alcohols Methanol (methyl alcohol), a poisonous compound (Lethal Dosage of 5...
  • Closed Cooling Systems and their Challenges

    Closed Cooling Systems and their Challenges

    More and more we receive inquiries regarding Closed Cooling Systems. This refers to a closed loop for the water used during cooling to minimize water use. The reasons for these requests and wish to minimize 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). Before we discuss the...
  • Different Distillation Methods

    Different Distillation Methods

    The principle of distillation is simple. The important aspect remains the means of separating alcohol from an alcohol containing liquid. Alcohol boils at 78.3º Celsius at sea level while water boils at 100º Celsius. When an alcohol-water solution is heated to a temperature somewhere between the boiling point of the alcohol and the water (depending on the ratio of the liquids), alcohol-water solution starts to boil with more alcohol molecules vaporizing...
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