The process of beer distillation has been around for centuries and is still used today to produce some of the world’s most popular alcoholic beverages. In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about beer distillation, including its history, how it’s done, and what it takes to make a great distilled beer.
What Is Beer Distillation?
Beer distillation is the process of converting beer into an alcoholic spirit through the use of heat. This can be done using either a pot still or a column still, but the result is the same: high-proof alcohol that contains all of the flavours and aromas of the original beer.
Distilled beer is typically around 40-60% alcohol by volume (ABV), which is much higher than the average beer, which is only around 5% ABV. This makes the distilled beer a much more potent drink and one that should be approached with caution.
Despite its high alcohol content, distilled beer is often smoother and less “hot”-tasting than other spirits like vodka or whisky. This is because the distillation process removes many of the impurities that can give spirits a harsh flavour.
How Is Beer Distilled?
The basic principle behind distilling beer is simple: heat the beer to its boiling point, and then collect the resulting vapour. This vapour will contain a higher concentration of alcohol than the original beer, and can then be condensed back into a liquid form.
The most common way to distil beer is to use a pot still. A pot still is a large, kettle-like vessel that is heated from below. The beer is placed in the pot still, and as it heats up, it begins to boil.
As the beer boils, the vapour rises and is collected in a condenser. The condenser cools the vapour, causing it to turn back into a liquid. This liquid is then collected in a container known as a “collection vessel”.
The alcohol content of the distilled beer will depend on several factors, including the type of still being used, the strength of the original beer, and the amount of time that the beer is heated for. In general, the longer the beer is heated, the higher the alcohol content will be.
Column stills are another type of still that can be used to distill beer. A column still is a tall, cylindrical vessel with a series of shelves inside. The beer is placed on the top of the still, and as it heats up, it begins to vaporize.
The vapour then rises through the column, passing over each shelf. As it does so, the vapour condenses on the cooler surfaces of the shelves and drips down into a collection vessel. The alcohol content of the distilled beer will again depend on factors such as the strength of the original beer, the type of still being used, and the amount of time that the beer is heated for.
What Are The Benefits Of Distilled Beer?
There are several benefits to distilled beer, including its high alcohol content and smooth flavour. Distilled beer is also less likely to spoil than other types of alcoholic beverages, making it a good choice for long-term storage.
Additionally, distilled beer can be used to make other drinks, such as mixed drinks and cocktails. The high alcohol content means that distilled beer can be used in place of vodka or other spirits, making it a versatile ingredient for bartenders.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Distilled Beer?
The main disadvantage of distilled beer is its high alcohol content. This can make the drink more dangerous than other types of alcoholic beverages, and it is important to drink responsibly.
Additionally, distilled beer is not always easy to find. While some breweries do produce distilled beer, it is not as common as other types of beer. This can make it difficult to find a bottle if you are looking for something specific.
Finally, distilled beer can be more expensive than other types of beer. This is because distilling beer takes more time and effort than brewing beer, and the end product is typically higher in alcohol content.
These are the things that you need to know about beer distilleries. If you are looking for a beer distillery, check out Tar Barrel.