Distillery Operations Rely on Consistent Equipment
The spirits industry is undergoing a renaissance, as there’s renewed interest in “hard” liquor varieties such as bourbon, whiskey, vodka, and gin. The difference between the cocktail days of the 1950s and today is not the quantity of the alcohol, but the quality. Modern consumers are clamoring for great tasting, first-rate spirits; the only way to provide these products is by utilizing the highest-quality ingredients and equipment.
All alcohol starts with a mash. This mash can be made from carbohydrate-containing plant materials such as corn, grain, fruit, potatoes, sugar or anything else that will ferment. Combining water and yeast with the plant materials allows the yeast turn the sugars to alcohol. The trick is to get the pure alcohol out of the mash—this is accomplished through distillation.
The distillation process begins by heating up the sugar/alcohol solution (called a wash once the solids are removed); the resulting vapors coming off the wash are actually alcohol. To re-condense the vapors back into a liquid, vapors are run through a condenser.
The quality of the final product depends on both the skill of the distiller and the precision of the entire process. Different compounds are released while the temperature of the wash rises, and as such, it’s important to gauge the temperature of the condensate so poisonous compounds don’t end up in the final product—making customers sick would be a bad business move.
The resulting alcohol is diluted to the desired proof and then processed into its final form. If it is bourbon or whiskey, it is put in barrels to age; other spirits may be aged or bottled immediately.
Although the distillation process has not changed much over time, the equipment has seen significant advancements. Modern distilled beverage producers have more efficient stills that reduce waste and yields more product. Vacuum pumps, filters, water chillers and food-grade compressed air equipment facilitate smoother products by preventing unwanted residues from contaminating alcohol products.
As a trusted supplier of food-grade systems and equipment, Compressed Air Systems offers a wide selection of products to distilleries of any size. Our products are instrumental in keeping all the systems running smoothly to produce the smoothest spirits.
To learn more about our line of vacuum pumps and compressors that meet the standards for use in food and beverage applications, please contact Compressed Air Systems today.