During the distillation of the fermented fruit mash or juice, ethanol and water are the carriers of a huge number of the other volatile aroma compounds. Unique and distinctive flavour of the final spirits depends on their quantity and quality. Fruit spirits have higher concentration of almost all types of volatile compounds with comparing to other types of distilled spirits. The art of distillation run is to obtain the best balance between congeners present. Two different types of distillation equipment are used for the production of fruit spirits: copper Charentais alembic and batch distillation columns. Although both distillation methods are based on the same theoretical principles, a different quantity of the flavour compounds of the final spirits is produced by using different distillation equipment. The main difference was shown in different distributions of the methanol, n-propanol, higher alcohols and fatty acid esters. Distillation methods need to be adjusted for each fruit spirits regardless to distillation equipment employed because fermented mash of different fruit varieties has a different requirement for distilling. Alembic stills yield better aroma and more characteristic fruit distillates but are slow and require more labour. Column still cleans the distillate giving a decent aroma and higher concentration of alcohol.
Part of the book: Distillation