As a rule only one distillation is required. If one wishes to distil twice usually one distils once quickly, dilutes the resultant distillate with water to 50% and redistils. The second time slowly and accurately (78°C).
After this the alcohol should be diluted to a maximum of 50%, or preferably less and is then filtered through activated carbon. This gives a very satisfactory result and the first distillation is done very quickly. If one wishes to distill twice with better results, the best is to double distill as perfectly as possible at the correct temperature for the initial distillation and then dilute to 38-42% (activated carbon has its maximum purifying effect at about 38-42% alcohol) and purify through activated carbon according to my instructions. Before the second distillation one should wash out the boiling vessel, distillation column and extra carefully the column filling, using a good wine cleaning agent or other proprietary cleaner. Then the spirit should be redistilled at exactly the right temperature. This will give a pure strong alcohol (95%) because the distillate has already been purified in activated carbon. A prerequisite for pure alcohol is that the column has been thoroughly cleaned so that the spirit cannot acquire off-flavours from old deposits. Towards the end of the distillation process the alcohol content drops despite its being very pure, so if one wants 95% alcohol this should be kept separate. If this alcohol is to be diluted to normal strength spirit one should filter it through activated carbon to remove any small traces of impurities that may remain.
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