MAKING DISTILLED ALCOHOL
Step One: Fermenting
Distilling begins by fermenting a batch of mash. Typically, mash is made from corn, rye, or other grain, mixed with water, sugar, and yeast. Put aside in a warm space for several days, the concoction creates a fermented liquid containing up to ten percent alcohol.
Step Two: Cooking
Fermented mash is poured into a still pot, or cooker, where it is heated to about 180˚F. Evaporation separates the alcohol from the mash. Alcohol-laden steam rises in the pot and is carried through a still cap and pipe to a second container, called a doubler.
Step Three: Doubling
As the vapor passes through an empty vessel, called a doubler, fine particles fall away, further purifying the steam before it travels through another pipe to the still’s condenser.
Step Four: Condensing
Vaporized alcohol enters the condenser where it travels through a coil of copper tubing, called a worm. Cold water surrounding the worm causes the alcohol to condense into a liquid that may be as much as 100 proof, or fifty percent alcohol.
Step Five: Collecting
Before there were Mason jars and plastic milk containers, pottery jugs of various shapes and sizes were used to hold and transport distilled alcohol.
Step Six: Consuming
This step requires no explanation!