The process of distilling alcohol starts with fermentation. Fermentation produces alcohol in products like beer, wine or hard cider. Fermentation is an organic process that converts sugars into alcohol. It takes advantage of the metabolic process of yeast consuming glucose to create the waste products ethanol and carbon dioxide.
C6H12O6 → 2 C2H5OH + 2 CO2
Distillation is a more refined process resulting in a 21% or higher alcohol concentration in the final product. Distillation is the process of separating alcohol from fermented mash through a system of strategic condensation and evaporation techniques. This purifies and concentrates the volume of alcohol produced during the fermentation process. Distillation processes vary depending on the type of mash and desired “proof”, percentage of alcohol per ml, of liquor being manufactured.