A beer still, also known as a distillation apparatus, is a tool used to clean and purify liquid mixtures by a process called distillation. This process involves heating the liquid to selectively boil it and then cooling the vapor to condense it back into liquid form. Stills are named after the distillation process they employ.
There are two main types of beer stills: the pot still and the column still. The pot still, also known as the alembic still, is the simpler of the two. It resembles a large kettle and is widely used in the distillation industry. In fact, the Dutch refer to their pot stills as Distilleerketel.
The pot still works by heating the liquid mixture until it reaches its boiling point. As the liquid boils, it turns into vapor, leaving behind impurities and unwanted substances. The vapor rises through the still and is then cooled down, causing it to condense back into liquid form. This liquid is collected and purified, resulting in a cleaner and more refined product.
One important point to note is that almost any liquid mixture can be put through a still. Whether it is beer or wine, the distillation process is applicable. However, distilling hopped beer, which is the type of beer people usually drink, is not recommended. This is because the hop oils in the beer are difficult to clean out of the still afterward, leading to potential contamination.
A beer still is an apparatus used to distill liquid mixtures by heating them to selectively boil and then cooling the vapor to condense it back into liquid form. The two main types of stills are the pot still and the column still, with the pot still being the simpler of the two. While almost any liquid can be put through a still, it is advisable to avoid distilling hopped beer due to the challenges of cleaning the still afterward.
Why Is It Called A Still?
A still is called a still because it is used in a process called distillation. Distillation is a method of purifying a liquid by heating it to create vapor and then cooling the vapor to create liquid again. The term “still” comes from the Old English word “stille,” which means “a device for distilling.” The name “still” reflects the still's purpose of producing a purified liquid through the process of distillation.
What Are The Two Types Of Still?
The two types of still are the pot still and the column still.
1. Pot Still: The pot still, also known as the alembic still, is a relatively simple apparatus used for distillation. It resembles a large kettle or pot and is commonly referred to as a Distilleerketel in Dutch. Here are some key features and characteristics of the pot still:
– Design: The pot still consists of a large pot or kettle, typically made of copper, which is heated to vaporize the liquid mixture being distilled.
– Distillation Process: The liquid mixture is heated, and the vapor rises through a neck or column, ultimately condensing and collecting in a separate container.
– Batch Distillation: Pot stills are typically used for batch distillation, meaning that a single batch of liquid is distilled at a time.
– Flavor Profile: Pot stills are known to produce spirits with a rich and complex flavor profile. They are commonly used for distilling whiskey, brandy, and rum.
2. Column Still: The column still, also known as the continuous still or patent still, is a more complex and efficient distillation apparatus. Here are some key features and characteristics of the column still:
– Design: The column still consists of a tall vertical column with multiple trays or plates. The column is usually made of copper or stainless steel.
– Continuous Distillation: Unlike the pot still, the column still allows for continuous distillation. The liquid mixture is continuously fed into the column, and the vapor rises through the trays, undergoing multiple stages of distillation.
– Separation of Components: The column still allows for the separation of different components in the liquid mixture based on their boiling points. The trays in the column facilitate this separation process.
– High Purity and Efficiency: Column stills are known for their high efficiency in producing large quantities of spirits. They are commonly used in the production of vodka, gin, and other neutral spirits.
The pot still and column still are the two main types of still used in distillation. While the pot still is simpler and used for batch distillation, the column still is more complex and allows for continuous distillation with higher efficiency.
A beer still, also known as a pot still or alembic still, is a vital tool used in the process of distillation. It is designed to clean and purify liquid mixtures by heating them to selectively boil and then cooling the vapor to condense it back into a liquid form. While there are different types of stills, the pot still is the simplest and resembles a large kettle.
The purpose of a beer still is to extract and concentrate the desirable components from a liquid, such as alcohol, while leaving behind impurities and unwanted substances. This process is crucial in the production of various alcoholic beverages, including spirits like whiskey, rum, and brandy.
It is worth noting that not all liquids are suitable for distillation in a still. Generally, beer and wine are the primary candidates for this process, as they contain the necessary components for distillation. However, distilling hopped beer, which is commonly consumed, is typically discouraged due to the difficulty of removing hop oils from the still afterward.
The beer still plays a pivotal role in the production of alcoholic beverages by effectively purifying liquid mixtures through the process of distillation. By understanding the principles behind distillation and utilizing the appropriate stills, producers can create high-quality spirits that are enjoyed by many around the world.