Alcohol Distillation and Its Impact on Social Interactions

Alcohol distillation and its impact on social interactions

Alcohol distillation is the final step in producing spirits, and what sets them apart from beers, wines or nondistilled alcoholic beverages such as beer. Distillation works to remove ingredients with lower boiling points from the finished spirit – such as proteins present in raw materials such as grains, fruit, sugar-cane and molasses that could potentially trigger allergens; distillation also purifies its product by eliminating unwanted flavors and volatile compounds that otherwise exist within it.

Early stills were simple devices consisting of a closed container heated with steam and equipped with a condenser and collection vessel to collect condensed liquid. Over time these early pot stills evolved into more sophisticated modern column stills; typically consisting of rows of perforated metal plates often copper spaced closely together and stacked as columns; these column stills introduce wash towards their top, unlike in pot stills where wash is added at its base.

Different spirits require various degrees of distillation. This depends on how much “congeners,” extraneous materials that add flavor, remain in the final spirit and its aging requirements; for instance, vodka is generally distilled to approximately 94% ABV while Cognac’s flavorful spirit typically undergoes distillation at 72.4% ABV.

Higher proof spirits tend to contain more congeners and therefore offer greater flavor; this trade-off must be considered carefully.