How to increase alcohol content in vodka?
Vodka has long been a staple of alcohol enthusiasts. However, with the advent of craft spirits, vodka lovers are demanding more than just the plain, neutral spirit that they’ve grown accustomed to. If you’re looking for ways to increase the alcohol content in your vodka and take it from ho-hum to extraordinary, then look no further! In this article we’ll explore different techniques and processes that will elevate your vodka game.
1) Starting with High-Quality Ingredients
If you want high-quality results (who doesn’t?), start with high-quality ingredients. You can use any base ingredient when making vodka-like potatoes, sugar beets or grains- but remember one thing – quality matters here!
- Potatoes: Always choose firm potatoes without cracks or blemishes.
- Sugar Beets: Choose ones that have a thin skin and feel heavy for their size.
- Grains: Go for organic whole grains rather than those processed using pesticides.
The better the quality is (especially when it comes to sourcing these raw materials), the higher will be its conversion rate into ethanol!
2) Fermenting Your Vodka Correctly
Fermentation is a process by which sugars are converted into alcohol. Don’t freak out; It’s actually an easy process! All you need is yeast + warmth + sugar = ethanol.The aim here is maximizing efficiency while minimizing off-flavors so let’s focus on some key points:
- Temperature Control – Keep fermentation temperature between 21°C (70°F) – 27 °C (80 °F). This helps ensure ideal conditions during fermentation
- Air Locks – Ensure proper ventilation throughout all stages of brewing without letting exposure spoil bacteria flora within liquid contents
- Yeast Selection – Use specific strains such as champagne yeasts that offer complete attenuation reducing off notes like diacetyl 
3) Distilling Your Vodka
Distillation is the process of separating pure ethanol from fermented mash. During distillation, you want to separate impurities such as methanol which can make your vodka poisonous. Methanol is also responsible for hangovers if ingested in high quantities.
When we say ‘distilling’, it sounds complicated – but with today’s technology, it’s not! Just follow these easy steps:
- Heat up fermentation contents until vapor starts coming out.
- Cool down and condense the steam back into liquid form (this needs to be done quickly!)
- Finally, filter this liquid using charcoal filters or other methods to remove leftover impurities
Viola! You’ve got yourself vodka now!
Note: Depending on how well you execute these three core aspects of creating a good spirit will reflect quality results obtained overtime.
4) Enhancing The Alcohol Content Of Your Vodka
Now comes the thrilling part – increasing alcohol content.
Fractional Freezing Method
- Freeze your vodka in a sealed container slowly(not too slow/ fast). As ice crystals form around ethanol molecules – this increases their concentration level therefore removing water and non-ethanolic compounds/fusel oils taste left behind at lower ABV levels .
Note It takes time(approximately overnight), patience and stable temperature ranges between 0°C(32°F)-10°C(50°F).
Boiling and Redistilling Method
Heat distilled alcohol brought up to boiling point then re-condensed afterwards thus making way for new chemical reactions hence producing highly concentrated solution capable of thinning out any unwanted flavours or aromas carried over within its body structure.
This method while quite effective(must try it sometime!), might take some practices before successfully pulling off desired results.
Add Pure Ethanol – Last Resort!
The simplest technique is adding food-grade ethanol to your already-made vodka. However, it is risky and dangerous as the combination may produce unexpected results. The major problem with adding ethanol is that it could dilute taste/flavor profiles leading to drastic changes in body structure.
5) A Final Note
Increasing alcohol content in vodka can be quite simple -provided you follow all necessary precautions/steps to ensure good outcomes, of course (leave nothing uncharted). It’s a journey worth taking especially if you are looking for something stronger than regular spirits out there! Remember vodka making doesn’t just require theoretical know-how but lots of practical experience too! So go try those fractional freezings soon or redistilling methods right away – your taste buds will thank you later.
1.) Ktow W: Fermentation Process Control Using Airlock Technology; available at (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265492026)
2.) U.S Patent No: 1365907A – Purification process for alcoholic beverages]
3.) McKim E.,The Gentleman’s Guide To Vodka Making Techniques