The nature of yeast is such that by
fermentation alone one
can only obtain brews of up to around 20% alcohol by volume (ABV).
For beverages of greater alcoholic strength one needs to distill the fermented
brew using a still.
Ethanol alcohol for human
consumption boils at 78.1 °C, 21.9 °C lower than the water in the fermented
brew. If, therefore, the brew is heated to 78.1 °C then the alcohol will boil
off as steam, leaving the water behind. The alcohol steam should be fed through
a condenser to lower its temperature and restore it to liquid form. The liquid
which drips from the outlet pipe of the condenser in to the collection vessel
will be approximately 96% alcohol, thus 192
Do not be tempted to drink such strong spirit as it is,
unless you have already arranged your own funeral. Distilled spirit
should be diluted to 50%, 40% or 30% ABV with water or soft drinks before
consumption. In most countries, home distillation of alcohol is illegal. It is
for the home brewer alone to discover such legalities.