How To Freeze Distill

How to Freeze Distilled Alcohol?

To freeze distill, you can place the bottle in a freezer for a few hours until the alcohol reaches a slushy consistency. However, it is not recommended to freeze alcohol as it can cause the bottle to break or become damaged. Additionally, the freezing process may alter the taste and quality of the alcohol. It is generally better to store alcohol in a cool, dark place to preserve its flavor and quality.

The danger with freezing distilled spirits is that, unlike in hot distillation, in which the impurities are separated from the final product, freezing does not remove the impurities. Today, freezing of alcoholic beverages is illegal in many countries, as many byproducts from fermentation (fuerl alcohol), largely removed in heat distillation, tend to build up to an unhealthy level in frozen-distilled beverages.

The removals not only increase the alcohol content of a drink, they enhance the flavour of any other drink, producing a highly concentrated version of the original. In freezing distillation, liquids that contain alcohol are frozen entirely, and then slowly warmed. Iced wine is a result of a similar process, but in this case, freezing occurs prior to fermentation, so that sugar, rather than alcohol, is concentrated.

This video shows the simplest method of distilling Alcohol

As the days go by, you will notice the ice content in each of these methods becoming increasingly light, with the alcohol and sugar content in ice wine drained out of the primary mass. Since water has a higher freezing temperature than alcohol, water turns into ice, making removal easier, leaving behind alcohol that is now concentrated. Because of the different freezing points of water and alcohol, alcohol is the one that can be removed from ice during defrosting. Based on the fact that alcohol and water have a drastically different freezing points, ice distillation technology is used.

At a given temperature and concentration of ethanol, the freezing process will reach an equilibrium with a certain proportion of ice from the water to enriched ethanol solutions of the specified concentration of ethanol. In the case of Russian vodka, which is standardized at 40% ethanol by volume, the freezing temperature of the water is reduced to -26.95degC, or -16.51degF. Russian vodka may freeze outside during a Siberian winter, and it may be frozen using industrial refrigerators or using liquid nitrogen, but will stay liquid in an ordinary freezer, which generally has temperatures of -23oC to -18oC (9oF to 0OF). If the freezing point of the material you want to distill out of water is below 32deg F, then you can have the freezer perform the distillation for you. When vodka does not have high alcohol content (40 Proof and higher), freezing the vodka to make it alcohol-rich may be a helpful technique.

As you can see, distilling alcohol through freezing is a good way to create spirits at home without a still. Freezing Distilling is a process for making alcohol without a still by freezing alcoholic beverages or fermented malts. Although this simple method for making alcohol has likely been used for thousands of years, the earliest accounts of freezing alcohol date to the latter half of the 18th century. Freeze distillation, or more properly, freezing concentrate, is the process by which the beverage is frozen, and then allowed to melt, taking excess water out.

One slightly pedantic argument made is that freezing distillation is not really a form of distillation at all, and should instead be called freezing concentration, since alcohol is not removed (as with stills) but concentrated. Freeze distillation is an incorrect name, as it is not distilled, but is instead a process to enrich the solution by freezing part of it, and to extract frozen material, which is inferior to the material in the solution, compared to the liquid part left over. Because ethanol, oil, and water in a spirit make up a dilute solution, freezing the water out of a mixture is impossible simply by heating it below 32degF (0degC).

Attempting to freeze and remove the water from an alcoholic beverage is impossible because of the diluted nature of the ethanol, oils, and water in the drink mix. This vast difference means that if we freeze a wine in our normal home freezer at between -15 to -25C, the water component of the wine will freeze, and the ethanol component will stay liquid. Beer and wine freeze in the home freezer because they have a far lower level of alcohol than what you find in distillated spirits. I discovered freezing distillation worked very well for interactive classroom demos when I frozen samples over night in winter outdoors–the slower ice growth at a temperature a little higher than most freezers produces pretty big crystals and an easier-to-separate liquid (Figure 1). As starting materials, I used a 12-ounce bottle of hard apple cider from Angry Orchard(r), which has an alcohol content of 5 percent.

During the winter, freeze distillation is used to concentrate small amounts of the alcohol in fermented cider, to create a beverage that has a potency as high as 20-40% alcohol. The outside-forming ice could be removed from the cider using a kitchen sieve, and the cider had a nice amber colour and very strong alcoholic aroma. Applejack, made by freezing hard cider, is probably the most well-known of many varieties of alcohol, but other interesting varieties of beverages, like Eisbock and Eisbeer, are also made through freezing distillation.

Once you have got the cider, pour the hard cider into bottles and completely freeze in the freezer. There are a few rules about how much water you can freeze from beer, but freezing concentrated beers is legal and homebrewers are allowed to do so. The fastest, easiest method is to put your beverage into a container, like a plastic gallon, then freeze in a freezer, or outside if you live in a cold climate. If you would like to boost the potency of the drink, you can repeat this process 3-4 times until it no longer freezes in the normal freezer.

This process may take a lot of days (though still quicker than aging), but you can speed things up by chilling your distilled spirits at a similar time, over several days. Before you read on, this distillation technique is best suited to enhancing commercially produced wines, beer, or cider. All that is left to do now is pour the resulting distillate into food-safe bottles to store.


How long does it take to freeze distill?

After removing the meat from the freezer, place it in the fridge and allow it to slowly defrost. As soon as the mass begins to melt, it should be poured into another glass collection vessel, such as a mason jar, so that it can be collected. If the ice block does not turn colourless within 30 to 60 minutes, the liquid should be emptied until the ice block is colourless.

Is freeze distillation alcohol safe?

When the frozen concentrate is added, it will amplify all flavours, good as well as bad, and produce a drink with an added amount of harshness that may or may not be enjoyable. Other impurities such as methanol, fusel alcohol, or solvents will also be concentrated through the freezing process. During actual distillation, these are separated out, so there is no need to worry.

Does freeze distillation remove methanol?

The process of Freeze distillation will amplify all flavors, good and bad. It also results in an extra bitter drink that may or may not be pleasant to drink. In addition to enhancing flavors, freezing concentrates methanol, fusel alcohol, and other impurities. Genuine distillation helps to separate the above contents in alcohol, so this isn’t an issue.

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