Distillation for the Production of Fortification Spirit

Authored by: S. Allen Malcolm , C. Clark Andrew , M. Schmidtke Leigh , J. Torley Peter

Food Engineering Handbook

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9781482261691
eBook ISBN: 9781482261707
Adobe ISBN:


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Distillation can be defined as a process in which the components of a liquid mixture are separated or partially separated by vaporization followed by condensation of the vapor. Distillation has a long and complex history, with reports of its usage in Egypt, China, and India (Bujake 2008) long before the dawn of Christianity. Arab communities are reported to have learned the practice from the Egyptians and made cosmetic paints by heating and volatizing a mixture of natural materials. The residue was used to paint eyelids and was called “kohl.” Later, when they performed a similar practice on wine, the product was named “al kohl,” and then eventually became alcohol (Bujake 2008). The technique was radically developed in the eleventh century with the invention of a coiled cooling pipe by a Persian philosopher (Avicenna). By the Middle Ages, the knowledge of distillation had spread throughout Europe, and eventually countries developed their own specific beverages. This includes Cognac from France, Schnapps from Germany, Grappa from Italy, Vintage and Tawny Ports from Portugal, and a range of fortified red and white wines including Muscats and Topaques from Australia.

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