Maturation Post Distillation:
You can utilize brewery tanks for storing spirits. Since temperature control and carbon dioxide pressure are not necessary, you can replace them with simpler and more affordable tanks for this step. At this stage, the liquor needs to be stored in a separate bonded area for tax purposes, and fire suppression measures must be in place according to local regulations. The maturation process varies depending on the specific product. White spirits can proceed directly to finishing and packaging, while others need to mature in casks. The most common method involves aging in new, charred, wooden barrels, followed by a shorter secondary aging in used wine or fortified-wine barrels.
Blending is crucial to the art of distillation mastered by the Master Distiller. The choice of water for blending greatly affects the appearance and taste of the final product. The water used to dilute the crafted spirit should be free of calcium and magnesium since these elements are insoluble in water and may cause haziness, as stated by Victoria Redhed Miller. It is suggested that the ideal water for dilution should be distilled or filtered through reverse osmosis to produce a higher quality spirit.
Different spirits require different filtration methods. For vodka or natural spirits, an activated carbon filter can be used to remove undesirable congeners and off-flavors. Another filtration method involves active carbon media, which can come in powdered, pelletized, or granular form. Ensure that the media used is food-grade. Granular activated carbon is considered the best for filtration due to its large surface area and porous nature. However, an activated carbon filter may not be suitable for darker or aged spirits like whiskey or rum, as it may remove more than just unwanted congeners. If you have a sufficiently large batch to be filtered, a lenticular filter could be the best choice for clarifying a cloudy batch.
Keep in mind that barrel storage requires significant space, and the bonded storage area must be licensed for storing flammable liquids.