Distillation -- the definitive answer

Distillation -- the definitive answer

Post by Mike Gigan » Thu, 22 Sep 1994 14:27:28



Quoted from the journal article

        background to wine distillation
        Bryce Rankin
        The Australian Grapegrower and Winemaker
        Issue # 303, pages 14-15

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[...]
various jargon terms sre traditionally used in distillation, such as heads
or foreshot, which is the most volatile fraction consisting of low-boiling
compunds like acetaldehyde; oils of wine consisting of various esters; and
tails or fusel oils consisting of higher-boiling amyl and butyl ***s.
The proportions of heads, oils and tails in the distillate influences its
composition and taste. In pot-still brandy where most of the vapours are
collected, the spirit is more complex in composition and taste than that
from a fractionating column. In principle, the more plates in the
fractionating column the more pure should be the *** obtained, but
*** and water actually form a constant-coiling mixture at 96.4%
*** by volume, which cannot be seperated by further fractionation. The
fusel oils tend to concentrate on the trays at a temperature of about 86C
where the *** content is 35-45% by volume, while the oils of wine
concentrate at about 81C and 75-85% by volume.
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So, if you want pure ethyl ***, discard the heads and tails. A
reasonable figure is first 15% and last 15%.

Hope this helps.

Mike