From its humble medieval origins as a medicinal agent, vodka has conquered the planet. In 2012, tipplers downed 1.17 billion gallons (4.44 billion liters) of the distilled alcohol, making it the world’s hottest spirit. But what’s vodka made from?

To produce vodka, you want to first ferment any foodstuff that contains sugar or starch, then distill the merchandise to extend its alcohol content. (Fermentation means feeding sugar to yeast so that the yeast can produce alcohol.) Today, most vodka is formed from fermented grains like sorghum, corn, rice, rye or wheat, though you’ll also use potatoes, fruits or maybe just sugar. For more you might want to visit Drinks24Hour.

The fermentation step creates a product with only about 16 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) — too low for spirits. Upping that number requires distillation, or heating during a container called a still. Because alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water, you’ll collect the evaporated alcohol, separating it from the water. Most vodka is 30 to 40 percent ABV. “Rectified spirits,” just like the American brand Everclear, reach 95 to 96 percent ABV.

Origins of Vodka

The home still The origin of vodka is unclear. Both Russians and Poles claim they invented it. consistent with Soviet historians hired to seem into the matter within the 1970s, vodka was first produced by monks at the Chudov Monastery within the Kremlin within the late 15th century. Their first concoctions were made with alcohol imported from Genoa through the Crimean port of Feodosiya. Later is was made with ethyl alcohol made up of locally grown rye or wheat and spring water. Many dismiss this version of events as too politically self-serving.

Vodka may have invented early because of the 900s. Originally made in home stills, it’s believed to possess first been concocted as a disinfectant and a treatment for wounds. for several years it had been utilized in medicines and cosmetics also as for drinking. for hundreds of years, vodka was referred to as bread wine or “burnt wine.” Flavored vodkas date back to round the 13th century when roots, honey, herbs, and botanical essences were added to form raw just-out-of-the still vodka more palatable.

Before vodka became popular the drink of choice was honey-derived mead. it had been drunk primarily during festivals and gave birth to the term “revelry.”

Raw Materials

Vegetables or grains
Because it’s a neutral spirit, barren of color and odor, vodka is often distilled from virtually any fermentable ingredients. Originally, it had been made up of potatoes. Although some eastern European vodkas are still made up of potatoes and corn, most of the top quality imports and every one vodka made within us are distilled from cereal grains, like wheat. Distillers either purchase the grain from suppliers or grow it in company-owned fields.

Water
Water is added at the top of the distillation process to decrease the alcohol content. this is often either purchased from outside suppliers or brought in from company-owned wells.

Malt meal
Because vegetables and grains contain starches instead of sugars, a lively ingredient must be added to the mash to facilitate the conversion of starch to sugar. These particular converted sugars, maltose, and dextrin respond most effectively to the enzyme diastase that’s found in malt. Therefore, malt grains are soaked in water and allowed to germinate. Then, they’re coarsely ground into a meal and added during the mash process.

Yeast
A microscopic single-celled fungus, yeast contains enzymes that allow food cells to extract oxygen from starches or sugars, producing alcohol. within the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages, the yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae is employed. it’s purchased from outside suppliers.

Flavorings
In the latter a part of the 20 th century, flavored vodkas became popular. Thus, herbs, grasses, spices, and fruit essences could also be added to the vodka after distillation. These are usually purchased from an outdoor supplier.

Vodka production starts with a starch, and for many commercial productions, meaning beginning with wheat. For Grey Goose, the wheat comes from France’s breadbasket, Picardy. They take soft winter wheat and separate it, then mill it into flour, sieving it to urge to a selected granularity.

Water and enzymes are added therefore the starch begin to convert to sugar, then yeast is added to start fermenting. At Grey Goose they use 6 tanks during a cascade fermentation – the goal is to possess no sugar leftover and at this stage, it’s only 10% alcohol.

So to form it into vodka it must be distilled and concentrated employing a column still. Grey Goose uses five columns, each vaporizing the liquid and removing unwanted components over a four and a half-day process. within the end, the liquid is concentrated into 90% pure alcohol.

To bring the alcohol right down to 40%, all vodkas must add water. Since the standard of the water is such a key ingredient, Grey Goose brings the distilled spirit to Cognac, where the water is rich from the limestone within the soil.

It’s filtered once more than able to make its thanks to the buyer. From the grains to the distillation to the water every element can alter the ultimate product of a vodka. to observe vodka being made confirm to observe the video above!

Vodka Market
Per capita, vodka consumption in Russia is around 80 liters a year. Accurate figures on vodka consumption are difficult to return by because numerous people buy untaxed black market vodka. it’s estimated 30 to 60 percent of the vodka sold is illegally produced and no taxes are paid thereon. however, taxes from vodka sales put over $1 billion a year into the government’s coffers.

In Russia, some stores concentrate on selling nothing but vodka. In rural Russia, vodka is nearly as good as money. it’s one among the foremost commonly bartered items for food and garments and other things. Repairmen within the apartment buildings have traditionally demanded vodka before they might do any work.

Vodka is sold on the streets for 60 cents an attempt in plastic containers like those for yogurt. These are particularly popular as a warmer-upper within the winter. Government efforts to halt the trade have failed.