Did you know that 85 percent of people in the United States of America that are over the age of 18 say that they’ve drunk alcohol or liquor at least once in their life? Many people drink alcohol but most don’t understand the process of liquor distillation and everything that goes into manufacturing alcohol.
There are certain techniques in the alcohol industry that are needed in order to make the best booze. Hard alcohol is the most difficult to make when it comes to alcohol production because it needs to get distilled. The distillation process is complex and requires patience and the right equipment.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about liquor distillation then today is your lucky day. You’re in the right place to learn all about how liquor gets distilled and manufactured.
Keep reading this article to learn more today.
What Is Liquor Distillation?
Liquor distillation is the process that gets used for manufacturing hard alcohol like whiskey, scotch, gin, and vodka. It results from letting a mixture of different components ferment over an extended period of time. These different components get heated up and the steam that gets collected is then condensed into the best spirits.
This process changes depending on the type of liquor that is getting manufactured, but the general premise remains the same. The best spirits that have lower alcohol content tend to go through the distillation process only once while more powerful types of liquor will get fermented and distilled multiple times.
Each time that the best booze goes through this process it loses a bit more flavor. When you drink something like rum or bourbon you’re enjoying liquor that was only distilled a few times. That is the reason why it contains a lot more flavor compared to your other liquor options.
Gin and vodka are perfect examples of hard liquors that get distilled more times compared to bourbon and rum. This is the main reason why those two liquor options have less of a noticeable flavor compared to more flavorful options like bourbon.
What Is the Liquor Distillation Process?
Anyone that enjoys consuming alcohol has a favorite liquor that they enjoy drinking. No matter if your favorite liquor is Pink Kitty liqueur or Jameson Irish Whiskey, odds are that similar distillation processes got used. Distillation of alcohol first began all the way back in the 1100s in both Italy and China.
These experiments with distilling and fermenting different components directly led to the alcohol industry that we have today. No matter which type of alcohol you prefer, the process is quite similar. Here is a closer look at how liquor distillation occurs.
Prepare the Mash
The first step of liquor distillation is preparing the mash that will get used for creating your favorite liquor. The mash is a mix of a material that contains some level of sugar with a certain amount of water. Once these two components get combined into one they officially become mash.
Most liquors start with a base material of a particular type of grain. Others, like vodka, use different ingredients like potatoes for the liquor distillation process. The mash becomes vital to making the liquor when you attempt to get the sugars out of the base ingredients and combine them with yeast to create alcohol.
Sometimes this process requires milling or mashing vegetables to create the soupy mash that you need to produce alcohol.
The next step in the process is fermentation. The fermentation step is where the alcohol starts to get produced in this process. You’ll place the mash that you’ve created into a special tank that is designed for fermentation.
From there, you’ll introduce your mash to the yeast which will work with the mash in order to produce alcohol. It is important that you monitor everything about this mixture from the temperature to the acidity. This process will give you a nice foundation for your alcohol with alcohol content in the neighborhood of 8 percent.
The distilling process is where the process diverges depending on the type of hard liquor that you’re trying to make. You’ll need to know the boiling point for the fermented mixture that you’ve created in order to distill your liquor successfully.
You’ll use the boiling process as a way to get rid of the parts of this mixture that you don’t want in your liquor. As this mixture cooks, you’ll want to make sure that you’re collecting the steam that it gives off. This steam is the end product that you’ve been working towards this entire time.
Depending on the type of liquor that you’re planning on making, you’ll either have your finished product from that steam or the base from which to create your finished product.
Blending and Aging Process
If you’re using the steam distillate that you’ve collected as a base then the next thing that you should consider doing is starting the blending and aging process. Both of these options are great if you’re looking for a way to add flavor to your favorite liquor.
Blending works by adding things that make a better or more distinct flavor when mixed with your liquor. You can balance the flavor or the taste of the liquor using the blending process and it will make the concoction easier to drink.
Aging is another effective option that you should consider if you’re looking for ways to add flavor to the liquor that you’re distilling. Keep in mind that aging works better with some types of liquors than others. The best liquor to put through the aging process is whiskey because it gives the flavors time to grow.
Now You Know the Liquor Distillation Process
Liquor distillation is a time-consuming and complex process but it is vital to the success of the alcohol industry. The best booze and the best spirits come from this process. Knowing the ingredients and the steps will help you understand how manufacturing alcohol works for your favorite booze.
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