When you are faced with the selection of the first ingredients for distilling, a thousand questions often buzz through your head. In today's blog post, we have therefore compiled and answered the most frequently asked questions about this topic.
Can I also use alcoholic beverages below 37.5% vol. as a basis for redistillates?
Yes, you can – BUT: If you do not have a distillery license and are not allowed to pay tax on new alcohol products, you should make sure to use spirits from 37.5% vol., or equivalent taxed alcoholic beverages. The final product must also be reset to the alcohol content of the starting distillate (determine the alcohol content with an alcohol meter and then dilute with still/filtered water). The reason is that the highest possible tax rate applies for spirits from 37.5% vol.
Will the peaty/smoky aromas of barrel-aged spirits be retained after distillation?
No, elaborately aged spirits should not be used as a basis for redistillates, as they lose a lot of taste. If you want to put such flavors in a cocktail, it is better to add them after distillation.
Can I distill chili, and will the heat be maintained?
Chili can be distilled excellently, but only the fruity aromas are extracted. The distillate tastes intensely of chili but has no heat.
Is it possible to distill water, milk, or tea?
Sure, these are hydrosols. Here, however, you must expect a longer process duration, as the water boils later. With tea or milk, foaming will also occur in most cases (tannins, fat, proteins...), so in these cases, it is best to start working with a foam brake right away.
Is it possible to distill ingredients such as cheese?
Yes, this is possible. The result is a distillate that tastes intensely like cheese.
Is it possible to process fresh things, such as fresh herbs, fruits, or vegetables?
For fresh herbs/leaves (e. g. nasturtium, chamomile...) a water bath temperature of 50 °C should not be exceeded, as the chlorophyll begins to dissolve at 52° and the result becomes inedible (bitter). Fresh leaves also have a high water content, so you should increase the mixing ratio, depending on the intensity of the starting product. Due to the high water content, distillation is also slower than with dry ingredients.
For vegetables and fruits (e. g. raspberries), it can lead to better results if frozen goods are distilled. Here you need to try!
Can I continue to use what remains in the flask after redistillation?
Yes, in principle this is possible. For example, you can distill a mixture of peanut butter and bourbon and then use the residue in the flask to bake cookies. For some mixtures, however, further use is not recommended because they smell unpleasant after the process or are simply not suitable for consumption.
By the way: You can find a more detailed description of the processes occurring in the rotary evaporator in this blog article.
Didn't find your question? No problem! Just write them in the comments. We are looking forward to receiving your feedback!
Your Heidolph Team