Month: November 2015

Distillation Approach

We select the purest “heart” of the distillation process, by cutting large amounts of “heads” and “tails”, in our discontinuous copper pot alembic(still).

Lefkas Distillery Ktenas Lefkada

Discontinuous Distillation Method: Not to be confused with continuous industrialised distillation, which produces lower quality distillates, due to mass production, higher temperatures and shorter distillation periods.

At Lefkas Distillery & Winery, we use the discontinuous distillation method, collecting the “heart” drop by drop, for many hours at low temperature/ atmospheric pressure. As a result, our artisan and premium process delivers an end product that has more character and taste.

Hence, unlike other industrialised distilleries, that have on average a 3 hour turn-over which is automatically controlled electronically, our process takes on average 12 hours per distillation and requires the Master Distiller’s attention during the whole process.

Pros of Copper Still:

  • Improves quality and aroma of final product.
  • Catalyses the breakdown of volatile substances i.e. esters and sulphuric compounds. During the fermentation process, these substances are produced and are highly unwanted in the distillate.
  • Prevents the production of ethylcarbamide.

Head: This is the first part of the distilled liquid, which contains unpleasant substances/ odours. Removal is necessary until the “heart” run begins.

Heart: This is the middle/ best part of the distillation process, which is full of aromatic substances and the largest amount of ethyl alcohol.

Ethyl Alcohol: Boiling point 78.4°C

Tail: This is the last part of the process, removal is necessary, in order to discard methyl alcohol and fusel oils/ other unwanted substances.

Raw Material: Grape marc (Tsipoura), must be as pure as possible and not oxidized, hence, the skins of the grapes shouldn’t be stored, for large time intervals, until distillation begins. Furthermore, we select the finest aromatic grape varieties, in order to produce an excellent grape distillate.