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

Nice Aristotle (384-322 BC), however, was unsuccessful in "liberating the spirit of wine from wine". It is not certain when this was first achieved, but there are descriptions from the 2nd century BC. The Roman author Pliny the Elder (23-79) assumed that there should be something flammable in the wine. The Aztecs in ancient Mexico mastered this art and made intoxicating drinks from agaves (see below pulque ). Tatars in the Gobi desert made the alcoholic drink "Kumyss" from mare's milk and distilled it to "Karakumyss" (milk brandy). When the Moors (Arabs) conquered Spain in the 8th century, they brought with them the art of distillation. This was mainly used in pharmacy and for the production of fragrant water. A script from 1150 describes the art of making "aqua ardens" (burning water) from wine. At this time the name "aqua vitae" (water of life) was in use.

At the beginning of the 13th century, it was possible to obtain up to 90% by repeated distillation (ten times or more) alcohol to create. The scholar Albertus Magnus (1193-1280) further developed the distillation apparatus. 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, the natural scientist and doctor Theophrastus Bombastus continued Paracelsus (1493-1541) used the term "spiritus vini" (wine spirit) for distillates and was later equated with the term alcohol. The term too spirits for the end products from a wide variety of starting materials.

Distillation process

Distillation is the physical process for the heating, evaporation and subsequent condensation (lat. Distillare = drain) to separate liquids with different boiling points (water and alcohol). None in the starting products sulfur be included, as a thick, unpleasant smelling substance would result when fired. Therefore, if necessary, a desulphurisation respectively. Due to the high temperatures and the high alcohol content in the end product, there is no need for sulfur compared to wine production oxidation protection, The type of alcohol ethanol (Drinking alcohol) has a boiling point of 78 ° C. This significantly lower value compared to water and other types of alcohol makes distillation possible.

distillation apparatus

At the beginning of the distillation process, larger quantities of the alcohol that is toxic to the organism from a certain limit can also be used methanol arise, therefore this part is separated. This is relatively easy because, at 65 ° Celsius, it has an even lower boiling point than ethanol. It is particularly important to ensure that 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. In the classic process fortified wine or mash from different fruits used for the first branding and depending on the product burned two or more times. Different for each product there is the stripping limit, a maximum permissible alcohol content.

periodic (fractional) distillation

Various combustion processes have developed over time. The traditional is called periodic (fractional) distillation. Two or more independent burning processes take place, in each of which the distillate is collected in a container. When fired for the first time, the raw brandy is produced at around 30 to 40% vol alcohol content, If this is subjected to renewed firing (fine firing) (pot still), the fine firing occurs at around 70% vol. In the pot still process, only the “centerpiece” (French Coeur = heart) from the middle barrel is used for further processing into brandy. Lead and follow-up are fewer distillates, they are excreted and treated separately. There may also be a third burn. This will be the case with the French fires Calvados (Apple) and cognac (Wine) applied.

continuous distillation

The second process is continuous distillation (English patent still distilling, continuous distilling, column still distilling or Coffey still distilling, German patent burning process, bell distillation or column distillation). The distillation plant consists of two connected columns. The distillate is not collected in between, but is produced in one operation. The cold mash is let in through pipes, heated in the second column and transported to the first column, the mash being heated with steam. For example, in the French Armagnac or also in the production of distilled water common. With this method you can achieve a maximum alcohol content of 97.2% vol


The end products mostly 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 to a drinking strength of at least 38% vol alcohol by means of distilled water. 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, Are not protected from origin fire. gin. rum. brandy. whiskey and vodka,

Distillation - various spirits

Additional information

In the case of commercial distillation, the quantities must be collected with regard to the tax levies. In this regard, in the law on firing Severance distillery and closure distillery. Complete lists of the numerous vinification measures or cellar techniques, as well as the wine, sparkling wine and distillate types regulated by wine law are under the keyword winemaking contain. There is extensive wine law information under the keyword wine law,

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