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What the Heck Is Fast Fourier Molecular Rotation Spectroscopy? 

The Distilling Research Grant (distillingresearch.org) Advisory Committee recently funded research into “A Novel Real Time Quantitative Analytical Spectroscopy Technique for Analyzing All the Congeners Emerging from a Distillation Process” by Robin Felder, Ph.D. If you don’t have a doctorate in chemistry, you may be...

Excerpt from Shots of Knowledge: The Science of Whiskey by Rob Arnold & Eric...

THE CEREALS OUR SUGAR DADDIES Whiskey makers are thieves, stealing starch from four types of cereals—barley, corn, rye, and wheat. The treasure is locked away in the seed of the grain. The kernel is a war chest of fuel—stored as starch—intended...

Leafy Lemon

Lemon, like vanilla and salt, is an ingredient so ubiquitous in food and drinks that it is sometimes more apparent in its absence, manifested as something lacking, because it is such a good harmonizer of disparate ingredients and adds...

An excerpt from the book— The Maturation of Distilled Spirits: Vision and Patience

The reduction of alcohol from cask to bottling strength should always be done slowly, with the water and the spirit at the same temperature. Because of the hundreds of components in the alcohol, the assemblage—or blend—needs time to absorb...

Native Nuts: Liqueurs and Bitters

As autumn arrives in America, one of the great seasonal pleasures is seeing a scattering of nuts across a path and looking up to see the tree that made them. Nut liqueurs and nut bitters might seem opposite expressions,...

Math or Money and The Electric Sombrero of Death

Of all the things in a distillery that could spark (pun intended) a fire or explosion, electrical systems and equipment are at the top of the list, followed closely by static electricity and open flames. The solution to the...

“The One Thing I Didn’t Build Myself Was the Still”

It was nearly six months to the day since he had pushed his burning body across the floor to the fire  extinguisher, and Peter Martorelli was about to begin distilling again. With his hand on the switch to his...

Eighty Years of Rapid Maturation Studies

Overview. This is part 3 of a treatise on distilled spirits maturation. Part 1, in the Fall 2017 Distiller, saw the coverage of ethanol-water solvent systems and key analytics for monitoring spirits maturation. Part 2, in the Winter 2017...

Bain-Marie

As a distiller, proper equipment selection shouldn’t be the bane of your existence. My bane? Well, her name is Marie: bain-marie to be exact. This is an often overlooked yet incredibly useful type of still that I am honestly...

Copper Love

The alembic, as I know it, or alembic (in American and English), is an anciently curious and cleverly designed distillation contraption that looks like it comes from another time and has little changed over the centuries (alambic from French,...