How to Distill

A Complete Guide from Still Design and Fermentation through Distilling and Aging Spirits

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Pub Date 21 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 1 Feb 2022

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Learn the surprisingly straightforward process of home distilling with detailed instructions and step-by-step photos.

Whether you’re looking for accessible information on how to make your first moonshine, gin, bourbon, brandy, or other spirit or you’re a home distiller who wants to learn more and perfect your craft, How to Distill is the resource you need.

In this book, certified industry expert and knowledgeable home distiller Aaron Hyde lays out the how and why of all the key processes, starting at the mash and fermentation, through distilling, and ending with additional information on aging and blending spirits. You’ll find:

An Overview of Distilling and the Process: The fundamentals of distillation, concise distillation theory, still design, distilled products, and ingredients are all covered.Pre-Distillation: Move on to learn about the fermentation process, making your own wash from sugar or cereal mashing grain.Distilling: The main event! A robust section on distilling covers modern distillation techniques, the distillation process, key decisions during distillation, process control, collection, and further distillation runs.Post-Distillation: Work your way through flavor development and control, polishing spirit, the aging process, quality considerations, blending, and packaging considerations.Recipes: Whether you're interested in making bourbon whiskey, scotch whisky, gin, rum, or vodka, you’ll find an easy-to-follow recipe.
With reliable, tested processes throughout, this is the new standard for distilling. By the end of the book, you’ll understand how to distill an array of different spirits and will have created something you will be proud to drink and share.

Learn the surprisingly straightforward process of home distilling with detailed instructions and step-by-step photos.

Whether you’re looking for accessible information on how to make your first...

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ISBN 9781558329751
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Featured Reviews

The author begins by saying, “ This book has one goal…to teach you how to distill”. It certainly achieves its goal. This is an excellent, encyclopaedic account of how to distill and covers everything very thoroughly from before you start, equipment, and recipes for a variety of spirits. All very well illustrated. There is useful guidance on which still to use, how to blend and a helpful glossary. Thank you to Aaron Hyde, NetGalley and Quarto for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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How to Distill is a concise and well written guide to stills, fermentation, and the processes involved in making and aging spirits written by Aaron Hyde. Released 21st Dec 2021 by Quarto on their Harvard Common Press imprint, it's 224 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats.

This is such an information dense and useful book. I've been brewing for years and although I've brewed apple and plum wines, mead, and other potables, distilling spirits has always been something I wanted to explore "later". I was discouraged because the laws around distilling (for consumption) seemed so antiquated and complex, and the process so involved that I never got anywhere. The author systematically explains the process step by step. He also briefly (very briefly) explores some of the legalities involved, but most of the content is given over to the distillation process: mashing, fermenting, distilling, polishing (filtering), aging (maturation), blending & bottling. Following chapters contain recipes for spirits such as vodka, gin, schnapps, rum, & whiskey.

The book is beautifully illustrated throughout with clear color photos and understandable text. The appendices include tutorials for understanding and making flavor diagrams, choosing and sourcing equipment, and some online e-tailers and information/instructional websites. There's also a short glossary with useful terms and explanations.

Five stars. Readers will need to research their own local laws to avoid running afoul of the government, but as for the actual process of fermentation and distillation, this book has got it covered. The book's slant and recipes are for potable spirits, and apart from the basic process, folks who are looking for essential oil, fuel oil, or other non-drinkable distilling will need to look elsewhere. This is a good place to start though.

Five stars. I especially liked the updated modern equipment overview and explanations.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a very thorough book!

There's a lot of information on distilling, including laws and history around distilling and the steps. The book covers how to distill different spirits, the ingredients needed, monitoring the process, and more. The book covers different techniques and options for home distilling.

Overall an interesting read.

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A thorough overview of the processing stages in distilling from initial fermentation to bottling the final product with a short section on the legalities. It is clearly written and each process explained thoroughly. If I ever move to New Zealand or the UK laws change I'm ready to have a go. Thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

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I loved this book. Now, I have a background in Chemistry, and in fact, know some folks who are professional distillers, so something I appreciated off the bat is the author discussing checking to see if distilling at home is legal where you are.

Even if you aren't actually planning on distilling at home, this is an informative book that I think is an excellent addition to any alcohol fan's collection. Or any chemistry fan's, for that matter.

Hyde manages to do a wonderful job of combining visual, technical, and descriptions to create a book that is user friendly and I think is a great addition to anyone's collection.

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The author explains everything you need to know about distilling in plain English with a lot of photos of the tools and the ingredients.

The first chapter describe the process (mashing, fermenting, distilling, polishing (filtering), aging (maturation), blanding, sensory and bottling, Then you can find detailed receipes for the main spirits: gin vodka, rum, whiskey, and others plus a guide to choose the proper still. Finally a glossary, a making flavor diagram and an index complete the book.

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