1. MARK OUT THE VOLUME
Mark a level mark on the fermentation vessel showing how many litres is to be fermented. Remembering to leave at least 200 mm for foaming.
Transfer 10 litres of hot water from the hot water tap. Add the sugar. Shake or stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
NOTE: sugar must be completely dissolved to be fermented to alcohol.
3. ADD YEAST
Fill up the fermentation vessel with cold water, preferably oxygen rich water from a spray head. Fill to the level mark. Add the yeast and yeast nutrients. If fresh baker's yeast is used dissolve in a tea cup of granulated sugar and 2 decilitres of water first. Shake to mix well. Put the cover on without using the fermentation lock.
Fit the fermentation lock 20-25°C with water in it after 2 days fermentation and press tight the cover. If water is ejected from the fermentation lock by the speed of fermentation, wait 1-2 days before refilling.
When the fermentation has stopped, take a reading with the hydrometer. This should read -10 - -20 (coloured field, spec. gravity 980990). If the mash is crystal clear transfer to the distillation vessel. If the mash has not cleared transfer to another vessel, ensuring the lees are left behind. Then simply wait a few days and the mash will clear. If time is a problem use a clearing agent for wine. This works in 4-24 hours. Transfer the clear mash to the distillation apparatus, ensuring the lees are left behind.
The principle of distillation is that one heats up the mash to boiling point and cools down the steam (condensation) to a liquid. Alcohol has a lower boiling point (78.3°C) than water (100°C) and so boils first. By this means the alcohol is separated from the mash. The strongest alcohol possible to achieve by distillation is 95%. This is because a mixture of 95% alcohol and 5% of water has a lower boiling point of (78,15oC) then 100% alcohol (78,3oC). This is called an azoetrope.
Was this article helpful?