What exactly is distilling… and how do brewers do it? The co-founder, master distiller, and all-around good guy breaks it down into six simple areas of overlap.
First, you need to know the facts. Distilling is the process of fermenting a liquid solution of sugar with yeast to create alcohol. By slowly boiling this, you evaporate the alcohol and condense it back into liquid form.
What makes distillation closely related to brewing is the fermentation/heating/cooling process. This allows us to examine the similarities step by step…
The brewery is already equipped to handle many of the elements required for a distilling operation.
Open spaces for production
Barrel/finished product warehousing
Shipping & receiving
The mechanical heart of a distillery is very similar to that of a brewery.
Domestic and processed water piping & storage
Recycling & conservation opportunities
Brewers have advantages over startup distilleries
Your existing brewing equipment is often not only functional in a distillery but can be superior.
Pumps & hoses
Clean in place
As brewers, you already know more about fermentation than many distillers.
Fermentation times, curves, yeast & temperatures
Mashing & lautering (Scotch Whiskey technique)
Some things breweries will need to address…
Mash cooler/pumps (certain fermentables)
Bottle filling equipment
Small community (home distilling is illegal in the U.S.)
ACE distillery equipment
While both generally regulated by the same entities, distilleries have different rules than breweries.
Labeling & marketing