The Basics of How Distilling Alcohol Works
If you are wanting to learn how to distill alcohol there are a few basics you must understand before starting. This page will teach you how to distill alcohol in a very basic sense, it will give you an idea on the theory and understanding behind distilling alcohol however please do not panic when you are confused because you still don’t know how to apply this to distill alcohol at home, this is discussed in other posts however PLEASE read this first and understand it.
Distilling alcohol is the process of refining and concentrating alcohol from a solution. Distilling is how liquors are made while fermentation is how beer, wine, and the mash are made. *(Mash is the term for the liquid that will eventually be distilled, if you want to learn how to make the mash click here, as this article will solely be about distillation)*
Alcohol distillation utilizes the fact that alcohol has a lower boiling point than water. Alcohol’s boiling point is about 173 degrees Fahrenheit (78 degrees Celsius) while water’s boiling point is 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). This is the basic principle that allows for alcohol to be possible. Learning how to distill alcohol involves understanding the goal of distillation, which is to remove any liquid that is NOT alcohol! So know it makes sense how the difference in boiling points allows this to be possible. So heres how the basics of distilling alcohol actually works and is done.
1. An alcoholic solution is heated up at a temperature HIGHER than alcohol’s boiling point and LOWER than water’s boiling point. This allows only the alcohol in the solution to be evaporated.
2. The evaporated alcohol is caught and transported into a condenser/cooling system that cools the alcoholic steam and condenses it back into a liquid state.
3. The liquid is collected, now in a much purer alcoholic state (higher alcohol percentage)
That is it, really it’s that simple….that’s the most basic explanation of how to distill alcohol however there are many specifics that go into it such as what kind of equipment is used to distill. Now to learn how to apply these principles and distill alcohol at home click here.