hist-brewing: RE: Distillation

Marc Shapiro m_shapiro at bigfoot.com
Tue Sep 4 09:18:49 PDT 2001

Henry Davis wrote:
> Aqua Vitae has several different definitions and recipes available during
> the middle ages and earlier. One of those recipes has us distill ordinary
> water 19 or more times to create Aquavitae. Others use a combination of
> herbs, as others have already written, infused in water. Some other recipes
> advocate the use of wine or beer as the source material.
> It's important to note that the results of infusing herbs in Everclear will
> be very different from those obtained by distillation. With distillation of
> the infusion you fraction the essential oils from the herbs. If you just
> infuse the herbs you get a different set of oils in different proportions.
> For the non-alcoholic aqua vitae(s) it is permissible to distill  the
> infusions to create the same aqua vitae as is described in period medieval
> sources.

Once the infusion (in water) is distilled to produce a reasonably
accurate period non-alcoholic aqua vitae the distillate could then be
mixed with legally obtainable alcohol to produce something approximating
the medieval alcoholic versions of aqua vitae.

Marc Shapiro			     "If you drink melomel every day,
m_shapiro at bigfoot.com		     you will live to be 150 years old,
Please visit "The Meadery" at:       unless your wife shoots you."
http://www.bigfoot.com/~m_shapiro/   -- Dr. Ferenc Androczi, winemaker,
				     Little Hungary Farm Winery

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