History of jenever
Production process

Huge brass boiler consisting of two parts: 1) the pan in which the malt is distilled; 2) the lid with a swan neck that receives the alcohol vapours and expels them through a pipe: it is a dome that forms a vapour chamber. On the dome level there is an exchange of ions and proteins between the brass and the alcohol; that is why it alembics with brass lids are needed. The alembic of the second distillation is wider that the other.

Organic chemical composition containing one or several hydroxides (OH). The pure alcohol is colourless. The ethyl alcohol is the main component of jenever and of wine and of whisky). It is produced through fermentation of the sugar by the yeast.

Contained in certain parts of plants, such as roots or grains. It is a carbon hydrate that contains up to 55% of malted barley. It can also be found in rye or barley. The starch is transformed into maltose by diastase.

Residual substances after previous distillations. They ensure the continuity of the taste in distillations and avoid the multiplication of undesired yeast. They increase the acidity of the malt in order to slow down fermentation: procedure used for the Claeyssens jenever and for the Gueuze Lambic. The quality of distillation depends on the fermentation (duration, acidity, etc.).

It makes the starch contained in the grains soluble as flour. It is an indispensable stage, since untreated grains contain wild yeast, mildew, bacteria, and fungi.

Metal used to manufacture alembics and appreciated for its properties: malleable, solid, and good heat conductor. Its properties were very important in the 19th century and before the invention of stainless steel. Brass is used as a catalyst: it interacts with the alcohol by giving off ions and by releasing a protein called acrolein. That protein enters the composition of the jenever. The use of brass is, as such, indispensable during distillation (mainly on the level of the alembic lid).

Produced through the diastase of the starch. They are then transformed into maltose (sugar).

Malt enzymes that hydrolyse the starch into dextrin and then into maltose (sugar). Those enzymes feature as 'a-amylases and b-amylases.

Juice obtained by boiling water on crushed malt (flour). The malt will undergo fermentation after adding yeast (and will produce a petite bière).

Distillation tails
Third fraction of the distillate. Consisting of impurities, organic acids, and of phenol components less volatile than ethyl alcohol (fewer alcohol sikes).

Distillation heads
Initial fraction of the distillate. Consisting of esters and of aldehydes more volatile than ethyl alcohol (more alcohol sikes).

Alcohol metric title
Percentage of volume of alcohol quantity at 20°C.

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