Home > alcohol distillation, distillation, distilling > Alcohol Distillation in Traditional Cultures

Alcohol Distillation in Traditional Cultures

Alcohol distillation is an ancient practice dating back to at least 2000 BC in China, Egypt, and Mesopotamia where it was employed to create balms, essences, perfumes and balms. Distillation uses hot liquid to evaporate away unwanted components of mixtures leaving only desired alcohol behind – an economical solution suitable for large or small scale operations and great way to create various beverages from one initial base product.

Many villages surveyed employ a system in which families produce alcohol for an extended period, usually several years, before rotating production to another family. Yeast is essential in traditional alcohol production and its availability determines its quality.

Nearly all alcohol samples collected from 83 sites across Vietnam met acceptable standards of methanol content, while none exceeded established limits for Cu, Zn and Pb levels. Interviews and observations revealed that most producers still produce limited amounts due to equipment costs being too expensive or perception that quality produced is inferior compared with industrially produced alcohol products.

Most villagers surveyed reported no adverse impacts of traditional alcohol production on their communities. It was noted that this process is environmentally friendly as wood from alcohol making facilities could be reused as fuel for other household activities.