If you are someone who loves to visit distilleries but having difficulty with the distillery terms, these are some of the distillery terms you must remember.

 

Alcohol

An organic compound containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, that is considered as a hydroxyl derivative of hydrocarbons. It is produced by the replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms by one or more hydroxyl (-OH) groups. 

 

Aqua Vitae

A term used in describing a strong distilled alcohol.

 

Barrel

A wooden container used for aging spirits. Typically made from oak and used to age bourbon and repurposed to age other products like scotch, whiskey, and rum.

 

Carbon Dioxide

A colorless gas that is a byproduct of yeast fermentation. Usually recovered from the fermentation process and can be converted and compressed to form what is known as dry ice.

 

Condensation

A process in which gas changes over to liquid form.

 

Distillate

Liquid condensed from vapor in distillation also known as essence.


Distillation

The evaporation and collection of resulting liquid are formed during condensation as it is purified.

 

Ethanol

Known as ethyl alcohol; a clear liquid produced and collected to aged and converted to the spirits that everyone loves.

 

Fermentation

An anaerobic process of converting sugar to carbon dioxide using yeast under extremely high temperatures.

 

Fusel oil

A higher concentration of alcohol byproducts that is often from butanol and propanol and needs to be removed from the final product to ensure it is safe for consumption.

 

Heads

A term used to describe the impurities produced in ethanol fermentation that have lower boiling points than ethanol.

 

Tails

A term used to describe the end phase of the distillation process.

 

Mash

A mixture of milled grain and other fermentable carbohydrates in water used in producing ethyl alcohol.

 

Pot still

A distilling device that has a tank, vapor pipe, and condenser. The resulting vapor is collected and condensed and separation of water and ethyl alcohol occurs.

 

Alembic/Reflux

The style and manner in which alcohol is collected and refiltered. The more a liquid is distilled, the more refined the taste and texture tend to be.

 

Proof

A measure used to determine how strong a batch of alcohol is.

 

Reflux Ratio

The ratio of the amount of condensate being refluxed to the amount withdrawn as a product.

 

Saccharification

The process of converting a complex carbohydrate like starch or cellulose into fermentable sugars like glucose and maltose.

 

Stripping Column

The portion of the distillation column below the feed tray, where the descending liquid is progressively depleted of the volatile components by introducing heat at the base.

 

Wort

The solution of grain sugars strained from the mash tun.

 

Yeast

A unicellular fungi that is capable of producing ethanol and carbon dioxide by the anaerobic fermentation of sugars.

 

We hope you were able to learn some more about the distilling process. For even more information, please book a tour with us here!