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General points on the quality of finished spirit

  1. Pot stills collect all the condensate from the boil and condense it. Reflux stills have a separate chamber which further purifies the condensate before it condenses it. This produces a distillate which is more concentrated and contains less impurities than pot stills and so it follows that they produce better quality spirit.
  2. The degree of carbon treatment and type of carbon. Always use a reputable brand of carbon that has been designed specifically for the job. Any old carbon or charcoal will not do. Some distillers actually run the spirit through the filter twice or three times to improve its smoothness.
  3. The type of wash used. It is essential to use a high quality yeast and nutrient to produce the wash and to maintain the correct fermentation temperatures. Distilling unwanted or excess beer, wine or other ingredients may cause equipment damage or failure as well as producing less than desirable or even poisonous by-products.
  4. Aging. By storing some of the spirit you produce in glass in a cool dark place for a long period of time it will mellow. Some distillers age their spirit in oak barrels to imitate the commercial brands. This process may be imitated by the addition of oak chips or essences to the spirit. Age spirit in bulk for best results.
  5. The percentage at which the alcohol is consumed. For best results do not drink the spirit at greater than 40% alcohol by volume.