Where liquor is concerned, the production process has always involved two processes: fermentation and distillation. As vodka is a liquor, it’s easy to assume it’s produced in the same way, only involving different ingredients. However, there is one part of the vodka production process that differs slightly from other liquors. Let’s take a look at how this clear spirit is made.
Firstly, distillers will prepare a grain mash. Here, fermented grains are mixed with water and yeast to create a grain mash. The base can be made of any type of grain, whether it’s wheat, maize, rye, or other grains. Mash is created by mixing these ingredients together over heat with water and yeast.
Normally, this mash would then be distilled. However, the process with vodka differs. The mash is left to cool for one to two weeks, during which time it ferments even further. In this process, the mash forms alcohol. At the end of the two weeks, distillers strain the mash and what’s left is liquid ethanol.
After this is where distillation comes in. How many times is vodka distilled? There is no set rule on how many times ethanol should be distilled, but distillers follow a range of one to five times. If the distiller is aiming for a purer vodka, they will distill the ethanol multiple times.
Despite multiple distillations, the end result of this process isn’t always the purest. There are still toxic elements in the liquid, and that’s why the vodka is further filtered using charcoal. This creates a cleaner appearance and taste.
Vodka at this stage is often way above the correct ABV threshold, so distillers would dilute the vodka with water in order to lower down the alcohol content before bottling.
Then, it’s into the bottles, into crates, and off to the shops!