Distilling a masceration, in theory

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:Distilling a masceration, in theory
By Mr. Wormwood on Monday, September 11, 2000 - 09:19 am: Edit

Its alot cheaper than blowing up your kitchen.

By Bob Chong on Friday, September 08, 2000 - 07:23 am: Edit

Thanks for the help, Wormwood.

Legality and safety aside, the price of the soon available quality product is a big factor in spurring my interests in home "cooking."

A hundred bucks a bottle is a kick in my nuts, but I guess I'll have to brace myself and take it like a man if I want to try this stuff.


By Mr. Wormwood on Friday, September 08, 2000 - 04:16 am: Edit

Yes, and no. You should add some water or your distillation or it will not get hot enough for thujones and other desirable flavorings to cross your distillation column.

Pure alcohol vapor mixed with air is very explosive. It does not matter how much water the still pot had in it. The first thing to boil will be the alcohol, so the vapor at the start of your distillation would be mostly alcohol, it does not matter how much water you use. If you have a leak in the still and it finds a source of ignition (even a tiny spark) BOOM.

Even if you don't blow up your kitchen, home distilling of alcoholic beverages is discouraged in most countries by government organizations like the ATF. In short if you want to have hope for the future don't blow yourself up or goto jail. Good absinthe is available, excellent absinthe will be available soon.

By Bob Chong on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 08:26 pm: Edit

Let's assume someone came up with a decent masceration recipe and wanted to distill it. Previous threads (i.e., namely Don) have mentioned the explosive nature of the high-alcohol process, but I was wondering if it could be made safer (at least somewhat) if the mascerated liquid were diluted with water before distilling. Say, watered down to 20% alcohol. Is this safer? Also, what effects would the added water have on the finished product? I understand that the final product would probably be "only" 60% alcohol, but what I am getting at is this: would the things one is trying to distill out (e.g., some nastiness from the undistilled wormwood) be distilled out, or would the added water throw off the whole darn experiment?

Thanks for any info. As a homebrewer, chef, and hobbyist, this stuff intrigues me. If the answer is, "Yes, you are less likely to blow yourself up, but it will take a long time to get a decent recipe made," then I have hope for the future.


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