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What is:
Fermentation VS Distillation
Common fermented drinks include wine, beer, sake or cider.

Fermentation is the process where the natural sugar that’s present in

the main ingredient (glucose and fructose in grapes and apples,
starch in grain…) is converted into alcohol & CO2 under the action of
Whether it is a beer or a glass of wine you’re drinking,
it contains yeast.

The most commonly found types of yeast belong to

two families:

SACCHAROMYCES CEREVISIAE (Ale yeast) – Top-Fermenting

SACCHAROMYCES UVARUM (Lager yeast) – Bottom-Fermenting

Sugar in wine is called Maltose is the term for the

Residual Sugar. fermentable sugars derived from
malted grain. Yeast converts these
Primary Sugars found sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
in wine grapes
(fructose and glucose)
The alcohol remains in the liquid but the CO2 has two ways to go:

1.) If the fermenting vessel (bottle, barrel, tank) was open then the
CO2 has no choice but to go away. Resulting in a still liquid.

2.) Closed fermenter – the gas would divide itself into smaller and
smaller bubbles to occupy the volume, making the liquid sparkling.
Common distilled drinks are all spirits (such as whiskey, gin, vodka, brandy, calvados, tequila)
Distillation is going one step further.

First, you start from a fermented drink.

Step 1: The maker will start by brewing something very close to a beer, but without hops

Step 2: This liquid, once fermented, will be poured into a pot still

Step 3: The idea is to concentrate the alcohol content of the drink and get rid of the water
content and of other elements. It will be heated at the very precise temperature of 78
degrees. At this stage the ethanol will evaporate ( this is the “good alcohol”)

This steam of ethanol will then be quickly cooled down in order to go back to a liquid
shape. Drops are then collected and the process can be repeated to extract the purest
This alcohol is extremely dangerous for health, with severe complications for
drinkers. Methanol is extracted at 64 degrees. Therefore it will drip out of the
pot first before the ethanol.

“One should throw both heads and tails while distilling”

That is to say what comes out first and last is not to be kept for consumption,
but only the ethanol in the middle.
You would need 20 litres of that beer to produce
1 litre of pure alcohol (100% ABV).

To produce whiskey, usually labelled at 40% ABV,

the pure alcohol would be watered down to
reduce its strength by more than half.