viernes, 1 de septiembre de 2017

Alcohol and how its made

 Alcohols are consumed world-widely, often with no consciousness. I will analyse common alcohols, how they are produced and how there is chemistry in the processes.

To measure how "strong" alcohols are we use alcohol by volume (abbreviated as ABV) which is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage. It is defined as the number of millilitres (mL) of pure ethanol present in 100 mL of solution at 20 °C. The bigger the percentage, more likely the intoxication will be, in less time and less quantity.

Consequences of alcohol

0.03%-0.12%: typically causes an overall improvement in mood and possible euphoria, increased self-confidence and sociability, decreased anxiety, a flushed, red appearance in the face and impaired judgment and fine muscle coordination.
0.09% to 0.25%: causes lethargy, sedation, balance problems and blurred vision.
0.18% to 0.30% causes confusion, impaired speech, dizziness and vomiting.
0.25% to 0.40% causes stupor, unconsciousness, vomiting and respiratory depression(potentially life-threatening).
0.35% to 0.80% causes unconsciousness, life-threatening respiratory depression and possiblyfatal alcohol poisoning.
Also, alcohol acts as a magnesium diuretic, causes a prompt, vigorous increase in the urinary excretion of magnesium and other electrolytes.
The drinks I'll be explaining are: Vodka, Beer, Tequila and Whisky.


 Since the 1890s, the standard Polish, Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Czech vodkas are 40% ABV. The European Union has established a minimum of 37.5% ABV for any "European vodka". Products sold as "vodka" in the United States must have a minimum alcohol content of 40%. Even with these loose restrictions, most vodka sold contains 40%

 Vodka is an alcoholic beverage distilled at a high proof from a fermented vegetable or grain mash. Proof is a measurement of the alcohol content. Each degree of proof equals a half percent of alcohol. Thus, 100 proof is that which contains 50% alcohol, 90 proof contains 45%, and so on.

 The master distiller is in charge of distilling the vodka and directing its filtration, which includes the removal of the "foreshots", "heads" and "tails". These components of the distillate contain flavor compounds such as ethyl acetate and ethyl lactate (heads) as well as the fusel oils (tails) that impact the usually desired clean taste of vodka. Through numerous rounds of distillation, or the use of a fractionating still, the taste is modified and clarity is increased.

Ethyl Acetate

Repeated distillation of vodka will make its ethanol level much higher than is acceptable to most end users, whether legislation determines strength limits or not.

Depending on the distillation method and the technique of the stillmaster, the final filtered and distilled vodka may have as much as 95–96% ethanol. As such, most vodka is diluted with water prior to bottling.


 Most whiskies are sold at or near an alcoholic strength of 40% ABV, which is the statutory minimum in some countries – although the strength can vary, and cask-strength whisky may have as much as twice that alcohol percentage.


A still for making whisky is usually made of copper, since it removes sulfur-based compounds from the alcohol that would make it unpleasant to drink. Modern stills are made of stainless steel with copper innards (piping, for example, will be lined with copper along with copper plate inlays along still walls). The simplest standard distillation apparatus is commonly known as a pot still, consisting of a single heated chamber and a vessel to collect purified alcohol.



Tequila is most often made at a 38% alcohol content for domestic consumption, but can be produced between 31 and 55% alcohol content. Per U.S law, tequila must contain at least 40% alcohol to be sold in the United States.


After harvesting, the piñas are transported to ovens where they are slowly baked to break down their complex fructans into simple fructoses. Then, the baked piñas are either shredded or mashed under a large stone wheel called a tahona. The pulp fiber, or bagazo. left behind is often reused as compost or animal feed, but can even be burnt as fuel or processed into paper. Some producers like to add a small amount of bagazo back into their fermentation tanks for a stronger agave flavor in the final product.


 The strength of modern beer is usually around 4% to 6% ABV, although it may vary between 0.5% and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% ABV and above.

Resultado de imagen para cerveza


Beer is made from four basic ingredients: Barley, water, hops and yeast. The basic idea is to extract the sugars from grains (usually barley) so that the yeast can turn it into alcohol and CO2, creating beer. This is its process briefly:
Malting: The brewing process starts with grains. The grains are harvested and processed through a process of heating, drying out and cracking. The main goal of malting is to isolate the enzymes needed for brewing so that it’s ready for the next step.
Mashing: The grains then go through a process known as mashing, in which they are steeped in hot, but not boiling, water for about an hour. This activates enzymes in the grains that cause it to break down and release its sugars. Once this is all done you drain the water from the mash which is now full of sugar from the grains. This sticky, sweet liquid is called wort, which is unmade beer.
Boiling: The wort is boiled for about an hour while hops and other spices are added several times. Worts provide bitterness to balance out all the sugar in the wort and provide flavor. They also act as a natural preservative, which is what they were first used for.
Fermentation: Once the hour long boil is over the wort is cooled, strained and filtered. It’s then put in a fermenting vessel and yeast is added to it. At this point the brewing is complete and the fermentation begins. The beer is stored for a couple of weeks at room temperature or many many weeks at cold temperatures while the yeast works its fermentation. The yeast eats up all that sugar in the wort and liberates CO2 and alcohol as waste products.
Bottling and Aging: You’ve now got alcoholic beer, however it is still flat and non carbonated. The flat beer is bottled, at which time it is either artificially carbonated like a soda, or if it’s going to be ‘bottle conditioned’ it’s allowed to naturally carbonate via the CO2 the yeast produces.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario