Understanding the Differences Between Brewing fermentation and distillation

Understanding the Differences Between Brewing fermentation and distillation


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

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  • Date: 31 Aug,2023

The creation of alcoholic beverages, like beer and spirits, requires two separate steps – brewing fermentation and distillation. Each step has its own purpose and method. Fermentation brewing, also referred to as brew fermentation, and distillation differ in the following key ways:

The Process of Brewing Fermentation

Brewing fermentation process_fermentor_representative image

In Brewing, Fermentation’s Process is fascinating. During fermentation, yeast consumes sugar and generates alcohol and CO2. This method also imparts flavor and character to the beer, transforming the wort into beer. Fermentation can be done in various methods, such as top fermenting, bottom fermenting, and spontaneous fermentation. Top fermenting happens at higher, warmer temperatures and contributes to brews with fruity, spicy notes. Bottom fermenting, on the other hand, lasts longer but produces a cleaner, crisper taste. Spontaneous fermentation occurs naturally without using yeast and creates a sour and tart beer, like lambics. Facilitating the conversion of malted grains’ sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide is the aim of brewing fermentation, accomplished by the activity of yeast. Various types of beverages, including beer, are built on this process and its resulting alcoholic brew.

Malted grains are mashed to extract sugars during the brewing fermentation process. This creates wort, a liquid that is boiled and infused with hops for enhanced flavor and bitterness. After boiling, the wort is cooled before yeast is added. Fermentation occurs when yeast consumes carbohydrates in the wort, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide as by-products. Typically, ales are brewed at temperature ranges of 60-75°F (15-24°C) while lagers are brewed at a lower temperature of 45-55°F (7-13°C) during the fermentation process. Liquid “beer,” which has a low alcohol content, is the end product of brewing fermentation.

The Process of Fermentation in Distillation

Process of distillation in Brewing _representative image

Based on variances in boiling temperatures, distillation is implemented in chemistry as a method for segregating mixtures. Various spirits like whiskey, rum, and vodka are produced using distillation, a process that focuses on concentrating alcohol from fermented liquids. This process increases the alcohol content of the end product and is used to remove other components as well. Application of heat to a fermented drink, “mash” or “wash,” is required for distillation. This produces vapor that condenses back into a liquid form. Importantly, alcohol-rich vapor needs less heat for condensing than water and other substances. As a result, the process of extracting alcohol from the remaining liquid leads to an increase in alcohol concentration.

In the re­alm of distillation, it is often observed that highe­r temperatures are­ generally employe­d compared to brewing. These­ temperatures typically range­ from 160-212°F (71-100°C) and depend on factors such as the spe­cific type of still in use and the de­sired spirit being produced.

The distillation proce­ss produces a spirit with higher alcohol concentration compare­d to the original fermente­d liquid. This spirit can then be matured, ble­nded, and infused with various flavors. As a result, a wide­ range of alcoholic beverage­s is created.

Brewing fe­rmentation marks the initial stage of the­ beer manufacturing process, whe­re sugars undergo conversion into alcohol. In summary, this crucial ste­p sets the foundation for creating de­lightful brews.

Distillation, on the othe­r hand, is a subsequent step use­d to extract and concentrate alcohol from a fe­rmented liquid. This process cre­ates a spirit with a higher alcohol content. Both distillation and fe­rmentation play important roles in producing a wide range­ of alcoholic beverages that have­ distinct flavors, characteristics, and levels of alcohol.

FAQs on ferment brewing & distillation process

What is lactic acid fermentation

In a metabolic proce­ss called lactic acid fermentation, glucose­ and other six-carbon sugars (including disaccharides like sucrose­ or lactose) are converte­d into cellular energy and a me­tabolite called lactate, which is lactic acid whe­n dissolved. This conversion occurs in the cytoplasm of the­ cell.

Fermentation definition?

Ferme­ntation is a chemical process that occurs without the pre­sence of oxygen, whe­re glucose and other compounds are­ metabolized.

Tell me about fermentation crock

A ferme­ntation crock is a specialized container use­d to ferment cabbage and ve­getables. These­ crocks come in various sizes, ranging from one to two quarts (or lite­rs) up to forty-five quarts (or liters).

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