Several processes in alcohol production

A brewery or distillery can transform water and other ingredients into delectable alcoholic beverages and there are several processes in alcohol production that make this transformation possible. These processes differ according to the alcohol that needs to be produced although alcohol fermentation does need to take place in order to produce alcoholic drinks with the desired strength.

The journey of that inviting alcohol drink swaying lazily in your glass usually starts with various grains, fruits or vegetables that arrive at the alcohol production plant. These could be in the form of maize, corn, wheat, barley, grapes, potatoes, cassava, rice or basically any other starchy source that can be converted into alcohol. These ingredients are chosen based on the alcohol or spirit that needs to be manufactured and the manufacturing process too varies slightly depending on the end product. The manufacturing process mentioned below is suitable for the manufacture of beer and some spirits such as whiskey and vodka also require an additional distillation process.

The alcohol production process usually starts with the steeping process where the desired ingredients are mixed with water and then soaked for a few days. The mixture is then usually roasted and crushed or milled to prepare it for the mashing process. The mashing process involves mixing the roasted ingredients back into hot water. This mixing is usually done in huge copper vessels and the mixture is boiled again before being allowed to cool down for the most important process that turns all starch and sugar present in the liquid mash into ethanol or alcohol as it is better known.

The next process is known as alcohol fermentation or ethanol fermentation where the mash or wort as it is also called, is first cooled to usually between 15 to 27 degrees Celsius. This is because yeast can start fermenting efficiently only between these temperatures. Appropriate yeast such as saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast or yeast saccharomyces needs to be added in case beer or lager needs to be manufactured. In case vodka is made in a production plant then vodka yeast has to be added since this yeast can survive in stronger alcohols. There are several suppliers of yeast that also offer turbo yeast or instant yeast that allow for yeast fermentation in a wider temperature range. Manufacturers choose brewing yeast or distillers yeast based on their requirements and the alcohol drink that they propose to produce.

Fermentation can last for a few hours or even stretch up to a few weeks and some alcohols also require secondary fermentation to fine-tune the taste and strength of their product. Once fermentation is complete and the derived alcohol is manufactured as per the required strength then various flavors or additives could be added to produce the required end product. The alcohol can also be conditioned and filtered before it is packed in cans, bottles or kegs before it leaves the production facility and lands up in your bar, pub or home for your consumption.

The production of alcohol requires several manufacturing steps that need to be executed with great precision to produce alcohol with the perfect taste, strength and character. Yeast does play a very important role in alcohol production as it is responsible for converting sugar and starch into heady alcohol with varying strength or proof levels.

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