Distillation of Japanese whiskey
Crucial step in the manufacture of whiskey , it consists in separating the components of a mixture by evaporation under the influence of heat. To a liquor, this operation is intended to recover the alcohol compounds by condensation (ethanol and ethers ) from the fermented wort , is then obtained in a concentrate of aromatic alcohol and liquid molecules , called distillate .
To obtain a malt whiskey containing the least amount of impurities is distilled a second time the first distillate . Unlike Japanese and Scottish whiskeys , Irish whiskeys are distilled them a third time.
Furthermore , there are 3 types of distillation :
The discontinuous distillation
This is the method used by most producers of whiskeys for the development of their single malts. It is to double distilled fermented barley wort in a pair of so-called " returns " stills .
As its name indicates , the distillation is performed in one pass without interruption . This distillation requires a specific type of still : the column still or Coffey still works continuously and can produce a distillate of high purity , nearly 100 % of the volume. This distillation is particularly used for the production of grain whiskeys .
The low pressure distillation
During the distillation process , must be heated stills to bring the liquid to a boil to separate alcohol compounds , and it is precisely on the boiling temperature of the low pressure distillation will act. Using stills pressurized , the internal pressure is reduced which causes the lowering of the boiling point.
It can produce whiskeys with finer flavors but also less damaging stills due to a heating temperature lower. Some Japanese distilleries, as Hakushu Shinshu and Mars are located at high altitudes where low pressure distillation occurs naturally.
Uncommon in the manufacture of whiskey , this method is used for some time in Japan for shochu distillation .
Real pride distillers and centerpieces in the process of making whiskey stills are installed inside every distillery.
Their sizes and shapes may vary depending on the aromatic components that are desired . Scotland EVERY distilleries use stills of the same forms to standardize production, unlike the Japanese who use stills of different shapes to produce several types of single malts.
Since the inception of whiskey in Japan and even today , the Japanese producers import their stills in Scotland where they are fashioned in the finest Scottish tradition.
Today in most distilleries, stills are heated with steam which allows a rigorous temperature control . However some , such as Japan Yoichi , always use a direct -fired coal traditional heater.
For the production of whiskey , there are 2 different types of stills based on the distillation process used ; traditional or " pot still" for batch distillation and column stills or " Coffey still" for continuous distillation.
Traditional stills or " pot stills "
Exclusively used by producers of whiskey distilling malt , traditional stills consist of a body or boiler which is paid in the wash or wort fermented barley , a marquee which overcomes the boiler in which the vapors are s' raise a gooseneck brings the vapors to the condenser and whose size, shape and angle play a role in the selection of aromatic components contained in the vapors, and of course the condenser condenses vapors by cooling .
Japan to Scotland via Ireland, the traditional stills are exclusively made of copper because of its nature, will play a role purifier alcohol.
The distillation is performed in two distinct operating stills pairs, they were then differs as follows : "wash stills " for the first distillation and the " spirit stills " for the second . So every " wash still " is associated with a " spirit still " .
The column stills or " Coffey stills "
Invented in Scotland in 1826 , they now bear the name of Aeneas Coffey, Scottish customs officer , who in 1860 perfected the system to get the best performance stills . They are composed of a long column wherein the fermented mash is then poured boiled to separate various components contained in the vapors are cooled in the condenser and fed back into the column .
These stills allow continuous distillation which will give a very pure alcohol ideal for distilling grain whiskey which by its nature requires a greater purification.
Almost all made of stainless steel for its conservation benefits and cost, Coffey stills are used by Nikka and Suntory to Miyagikyo to Chita recently Hakushu for developing their grain whiskeys .
Distillation process of malt whiskey
The first distillation is to produce vapors are condensed by cooling to obtain a first distillate measuring between 20 and 25% by volume , called low wines or " low wines " . For this, the fermented wort is boiled in the still under the permanent control of the distiller or " Stillman " in charge of watching over the amount of foam that if she were to go up gooseneck risk of passing impurities in the low wines compromising the quality of the whiskey.
During this first distillation , the first aromatic notes of cereals and fruits from the major components of the future single malt , make their appearance.
To produce low wines it takes between 5 and 7 hours of heating at the end of which only one third of the fermented wort has been converted to alcohol , the remainder being composed of solid residues .
The low wines from the first distillation are loaded into the spirit stills to be distilled for it is gradually heated until boiling. The vapors are then collected and condensed by cooling, and the resultant distillate grading over 70 % of the volume is called eau- de-vie or " new make spirit" .
Just as for the first distillation , the heating phase lasts between 5 and 7 hours during which the concentration of alcohol will increase gradually from 20 to well over 70 % of the volume .
The second distillation is divided into three parts ; head, heater core and tail.
This is the master distiller is in charge of determining when to cut distillate why it constantly monitors the evolution of the alcohol with the spirits safes , chests within which s ' precious liquid flows during distillation .
The header , also referred to as primer corresponds to the top of the heater, when the alcohol content gradually rises up to 70 % of the volume .
The heater core or "new make spirit " is the portion of the distillate collected for the manufacture of malt whiskey . In this phase , with an average duration of 2 to 5 hours , the alcohol content was stable at around 72 % of the volume .
Condensed by cooling, the "new make spirit " is collected in a tank except for setting the barrel and aging phase during which it will become gradually whiskey under the influence of wood , air and time.
The tail begins when content Alool starts decreasing due to evaporation during distillation . The heating temperature is increased to accelerate the end of the process .
The heads and tails are kept together in a tank , to be added to the low wines subsequent distillation . This addition ensures the homogeneity of a single malt batch to batch .
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