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distillation (GB)
distillation (F)
distillazione (I)
destillatie (N)
destilação (PO)
destilación (ES)

Nice Aristotle (384-322 BC), however, unsuccessfully dealt with "liberating the spirit of wine from wine". It is not clear when this happened for the first time, but there are descriptions from the 2nd century BC. Chr. The Roman author Pliny the Elder (23-79) suspected that there had to be something combustible in the wine. The Aztecs in ancient Mexico dominated this art and made intoxicating drinks from agaves (see pulque ). Tartars in the Gobi desert produced the alcoholic beverage "Kumyss" from mare's milk and distilled it into "Karakumyss" (milk brandy). When the Moors conquered Spain in the 8th century, they brought with them the art of distillation. This was used primarily in pharmacy and for the production of perfume water. A typeface from 1150 describes the art of making "aqua ardens" (burning water) from wine. Around this time the name "Aqua vitae" (Lebenswasser) was in use.

At the beginning of the 13th century, it was already possible by repeated distillation (ten times and more) up to 90% alcohol to create. The scholar Albertus Magnus (1193-1280) developed the distillation apparatus further. The Spanish doctor and scholar Arnaldus de Villanova (1240-1311) used his experience in the invention of today as Vin doux naturel named wine. From the beginning of the 14th century sat the naturalist and doctor Theophrastus Bombastus Paracelsus (1493-1541) for the first time used term "spirit vini" (spirit of wine) for distillates by and was later equated to the term alcohol. Also the term spirits for the end products from different starting materials derives from it.

Process of distillation

Distillation is the physical process for the heating, evaporation and subsequent condensation (lat. Distillare = drainage) of a liquid to separate liquids with different boiling points (water and alcohol). In the starting products may no sulfur be contained, since the burning would give a viscous, unpleasant-smelling substance. Therefore, if necessary, a desulphurisation respectively. Due to the high temperatures and the high alcohol content in the final product there is no need for sulfur compared to the wine production oxidation protection, The alcohol type ethanol (Potable alcohol) has a boiling point of 78 ° C. This significantly lower value compared to water and other types of alcohol allows only the distillation.

distillation apparatus

At the beginning of the distillation process, larger amounts of the alcoholic species which is toxic to the organism after a certain limit value can also be used methanol arise, therefore this part is disconnected. This is relatively easy because it has an even lower boiling point than ethanol at 65 ° Celsius. Particular care should be taken that is not the highly toxic ethyl carbamate arises, which can be caused by the influence of light on the distillate or by reactive processes during storage. With the classical procedure becomes fortified wine or Mash of different fruits used for the first firing and burned two or more times depending on the product. There is a different output per product, a maximum permissible alcohol content.

periodic (fractional) distillation

Over time, different firing processes have developed. The traditional one is called periodic (fractional) distillation. In this case, two or more independent combustion processes take place, in each case the distillate is collected in a container. When firing for the first time, the raw firing produces about 30 to 40% vol alcohol content, If this is subjected to a renewed burning (fine burning) (pot still), the fine brand arises with about 70% vol. In the pot still method, only the "heart" (French: heart) from the middle run is used for further processing into brandy. Lead and tail are minor distillates, they are excreted and treated separately. If necessary, also a third burning takes place. This will be at the French fires Calvados (Apple) and cognac (Wine) applied.

continuous distillation

The second method is continuous distillation, continuous distilling, column still distilling or coffey still distilling, dt patent firing, bell distillation or column distillation. The distillation unit consists of two connected columns. The distillate is not collected in between, but the production takes place in one operation. The cold mash is introduced through pipes, heated in the second column and transported to the first column, while the mash is heated with steam. That's for example with the French Armagnac or even in the production of distilled water common. This process can reach a maximum of 97.2% vol alcohol content


The final products usually mature in oak barrels for up to five years and longer - special bottlings of Armagnac and Cognac 20 years and more. Then they are reduced by means of distilled water to a drinking strength of at least 38% vol alcohol content. Depending on the starting product and the manufacturing process, the name is regulated by the EU Spirits Regulation. There are also origin protected Terms like Armagnac. Brandy de Jerez. cognac. grappa. Lourinhã. Metaxa. Orujo. ouzo. pálinka. Pisco. singani. tequila. Tsipouro and Zivania, Not protected by origin fire. gin. rum. brandy. whiskey and vodka,

Distillation - different spirits

In the case of commercial distillation, the quantities must be collected in respect of tax duties. In Brennrecht is in this regard in Severance distillery and lock distillery distinguished. Complete listings of the numerous vinification measures and cellar techniques, as well as the wine-regulated wine, sparkling wine and distillate types are under the keyword winemaking contain. Comprehensive information on wine law is available under the keyword wine law,

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