Helen Zajchowski

Making pure ethyl alcohol at home is a satisfying and profitable hobby for those who live in countries where it is legal to do so. Do-it-yourself types, who currently enjoy making beer or wine, find it particularly interesting because it is a logical extension of both these activities. There is the same fermentation stage where sugar is turned into alcohol but then, instead of drinking the brew, it is subjected to a very rigorous purification process. This process is fractional distillation, a scientific procedure which can be guaranteed to produce a perfect product every time — a sparkling, crystal clear alcohol of almost pharmaceutical quality.

The pure alcohol is then diluted with water to 40% and used as such (vodka), or flavored with exotic herbs such as juniper berries, cardamom, orris root, coriander and other botanicals to give London Dry Gin. Or fruit is steeped in the alcohol to make a pleasant after-dinner liqueur. The freedom to make spirits extends considerably the range of beverages available to the amateur and he/she is no longer restricted to just beer and wine.

Although it is illegal in most countries for amateurs to distil alcohol, and even illegal to own the equipment amazingly enough, fortunately it is not illegal to write about it or read about it. The purpose of this book therefore, like that of its predecessors, is to open up the subject to intelligent discussion. This it will do by describing in detail how to construct the equipment, followed by a description of how to use it to make vodka. The reader will then know, from a complete understanding of the subject, how the present attitudes of officialdom are based on a completely false premise.

It might well be asked why anyone should bother to read about a procedure which is illegal, or learn how to build equipment which it's illegal to own. The answer is that this is the first step, the necessary step, in changing the law so that such an innocent hobby becomes as legal as making beer and wine.

New Zealand has recently (1996) legalized amateur distillation, probably as a result of its isolated location in the south Pacific and freedom to think for itself. It does not have to march in lockstep with the hidebound democracies of Europe and N. America. Surely the rest of the world must follow New Zealand's lead soon if it is not to look ridiculous. However, governments are notoriously slow to change and it will take persuasive arguments to overturn entrenched opinions. For those crusaders who wish to embark on such a noble task it is imperative that they know the facts thoroughly and can dispose intelligently of the myths which surround the subject of distillation. This book will provide such persons with the ammunition they need.

Back cover illustration by Helen Zajchowski

Published in Canada in February 2001 by

Saguenay International 2 Cyrus Court Ottawa, ON Canada K2H 9C9

Third Edition Copyright © February, 2001 by John Stone

All rights reserved. No part of this publication, printed or electronic, may be reproduced or transmitted to a third party in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author.

ISBN 0-9682280-3-8

Contact:

Ian Smiley 2 Cyrus Court Ottawa, ON Canada K2H 9C9

e-mail: [email protected]

Note: You may address enquiries to the author through Ian Smiley, who will forward your message.

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