Fundamental of use of Alcohol and its Terminologies

Alcohol is an intoxicating ingredients found in beer, wine and liquor. Even though there are countless number of drawback due to inferior quality liquor consume or due to heavy drinking pattern. However, some research claims, moderate drinking gives better health and longer life than abstaining from alcohol. The occurrence of heavy metals, higher alcohol, fusel oil is higher in fake or inferior quality alcohol in comparison to national or international standard of quality alcohol. Such inferior quality liquor is harmful to our health at any dose.

Moderate or sensible drinking:

Exactly 0.5 ounce or 13.75 gram of pure alcohol is considered as 1 drink. According to dietary guideline for American drinking, moderation is defined as having 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for man. There are some people who should not drink alcohol at all including children, adolescent, individual taking medication that can interact with alcohol, those who have specific medical condition, person recovering from alcoholism (alcohol dependent), pregnant and lactating woman.

Moderate or sensible drinks are associated to improve cardiovascular diseases. It helps raise the level of high density lipoprotein (HDLP), lower blood cholesterol and lower plasma fibrinogen level that contribute to blood clotting, gives pleasure and relaxation, increase appetite, gives energy and prevent peripheral diseases like common-cold.

In other hand, excessive drinking (heavy and binge drinking) gives numerous health problem. This could be major cause of cancer, especially mouth, throat and breast. It may also invite liver cirrhosis, trauma and other type of heart disease, sexual dysfunction, sleeping disorder and memory loss.

Terminologies used in Alcohol Technology:

Molasses: it is considered as a mother liquor left after removal of sugar crystal and useable as raw material in manufacture of alcohol.

Total reducing sugar: This represents total reducing substances in molasses in molasses obtained by titration with Fehling solution after hydrolysis and is expressed as total invert sugar.

Un-fermentable sugar: This represents the quality of reducing sugar contained in molasses after it has been completely fermented by yeast under specific condition and again expressed as invert sugar.

Fermentable sugar: It is the difference between total reducing sugar of molasses and un-fermentable sugar.

Brix: It is density expressed in brix scale and taken to represent the percentage of dissolved solid matter.

Wort: This is the solution of molasses prepared for alcoholic fermentation or yeast propagation.

Pich/ bub: This represents the charge of yeast suspension prepared for inoculating the main fermentation vat. The sugar or molasses used in the preparation of pitch will be expressed through the quantity of wort taken.

Wash: Represents the solution of molasses or wort during or after alcoholic fermentation.

Sludge: This is the residue of yeast and other material which accumulate in the bottom of fermentation tank along with portion of wash and is not taken for distillation.

Sediment: This represents the residue obtained after clarification or pre-treatment of molasses.

Spent liquor: This is residual liquor or liquid discharged after distillation of alcohol.

Congeners: Byproduct or impurities that are produced along with alcohol during fermentation and distillation.

Cooperage: Barrels, casks and other wooden containers used for aging and storing sprits.

Delimited: A word applied to a geographic area with specified borders within which a particular sprit may be legally made.

Distillate: A concentrated liquid obtained from distillation that may be rectified sprit (RS) or extra neutral alcohol (ENA).

Distillation: A process that use heat to extract the alcohol or liquid that contain both alcohol and water. Alcohol vaporizes as 72.4°C and water at 212°F. Thus when alcoholic liquid is heated, the alcohol turns into gas and rises leaving the water behind. As the vapor of alcohol cools, they condense back into liquid and becomes concentrated alcoholic sprit. The process takes place in an apparatus called ‘still’.

Fermentation: A step prior to distillation during which molasses (wort) is injected with yeast. The yeast convert sugar into ethyl alcohol and carbon-dioxide. The gas drift off and the remaining mixture contains a fairly low level of alcohol which can be extracted through distillation.

Fore shot: A term sometimes used to describe first fraction of the feints

Feints: The first and last of distillate to come off the still. Since they contain high percentage of impurities, they are set apart from main body of distillate and are redistilled latter.

Heads and tails: Another name for fore shot and feints.

Liquor: A distilled alcoholic beverage.

Ethyl alcohol: Potable alcohol found in alcoholic beverage

Neat: Distilled product poured from bottle, without ice or diluent mixture.

Nip: 180 ml bottle

Pin: 350 ml bottle

Quarter: 750 ml bottle




About Author

Name : Pratiksha Shrestha

Ms. Shrestha holds masters degree in food engineering and bioprocess technology from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Thailand. She is currently working for Government of Nepal at Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC), Kathmandu. She is also a teaching faculty in College of Applied food and Dairy Technology (CAFODAT) affiliated to Purbanchal university, Nepal.