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On Distilling

"Nobody shall distill alcohol without a tax outside the building and off the land on which they live or work.” The quoted paragraph from the Spirits Act dated in 1888 enforcable for Moravia and some other lands of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, probably caused that some pot stills "got wheels". While ferment had to stay on the farm and the distilling had to be done on the spot, lending apparatusses was tolerated by Austro-Hungarian inspectors.

The inspiration for our model was a small mobile device which, as the contemporaries would say, travelled among neighbours in the settlement around the Buchlov castle. It had  a copper pot for almost 20 litres of ferment, it was heated by wood and it did not have a stirrer. First the ferment was brought to the boiling point while continuous stirring with a wooden spoon, only then the lid was put on, which was tightened by a lock collar. Possible leakage was dealt with by dough. Into a condenser with a copper coil they would pour cold water which had to be added during the distillation process. Warm water was escaping by overflow and caught in buckets or a washtub "for the kids to wash their feet in". In the meantime spirituous vapours went through side tubes of the condenser head to the coil where they condensed and dripped into a prepared vessel in the form of distillate. The first distillation was a crude one and in the process spritits of 30% concentration called "low wines" appeared. It was necessary to distill this output once again to increase the concentration and separate the unwanted "heads" which condensed first, from the required "core" and from the "tails" of low quality. The first and the last ones were only fit for household medical purposes, e.g. applying to one´s sore knees. The precious  "core" was then diluted to 50 or 51%, the best concentration for the taste and the aroma of fruit distillate  to develop. For this, soft water from a carefully selected spring was used to prevent milkiness.

The mastery of a distillate producer lay, and in fact still lies, in the correct separation of the three parts described above. To be explicit, immediately after low wines, which can contain harmful methanol, the most wonderful flavouring condenses. It can easily happen that what you get is wishy washy distillate, without decent taste and flavour, or liquid giving you headache. The secret of outstanding distillates, especially "SLIVOVICE", the queen of Moravia, lies in something different. The distillation, however important it is, is only a purifying process of separating substances with different boiling point which are present in the liquid, fruit ferment in this case. If the right flavours are absent  in the ferment, they are sure to be absent  in the distillate. And if  the ferment contains mould and all sorts of fusel oils, we will not get quality distillate, not even after several distillations. It is not true that the higher number of distillations, the better distillate you get. On the contrary, you lose some of the amazing flavours of ripe fruit with each further distillation. To sum up, double distillation is just it!


"Nobody shall distill alcohol without a tax outside the building and off the land on which they live or work."

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The models are made in small limited series and their precise rendering, functionality and the use of quality metal materials make them a nice present appreciated by collectors. To make the model, we used a quality aluminium material with black eloxal coating which resists corrosion and high temperatures in an excellent way. At the model manufacturing we employ the same technologies that are used at the production of parts for demanding industrial equipment, electronics and aviation.

The distilling pot, the lid, side tube and coil of the condenser are 99% pure copper. Copper is worked easily and has favourable catalytic effects on the breakdown of organic esters and hydrocyanic acid. The pot and the lid have a hand lapped surface of contact. The blade of the firebox, spindles, pegs and screws are made of premium stainless steel, the measure is made of chemically resistent stainless steel fit for food industry purposes. Each model is marked with a unique serial number, which is engraved into the body of the basin.

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