Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Copper Stills in a Distillery
EXTERNAL ID
PAW21951I
PLACENAME
unidentified
CREATOR
David Whyte Studio
SOURCE
Highland Photographic Archive (IMAG)
ASSET ID
21124
KEYWORDS
whisky
distilling
processes
drinks
malt whisky
Copper Stills in a Distillery

The process of making malt whisky has many stages. This photograph shows some of the copper stills involved. Stills are always made of copper as this acts as a catalyst for a number of chemical reactions.

Most distilleries distill their whisky twice although a small number do it more than this. All distilleries have two types of still. The first is the Wash Still. The liquid in the wash still is the 'wash' from the wash back where the 'wort' (the mixture of malted grain and water) is fermented with yeast to create the alcohol. When it reaches the wash still the liquid is a beer like substance with an alcohol content of around 7% by volume. This liquid is heated in the wash still. Originally this would have been by direct heat from a coal or gas fire but it is more commonly done by a steam pumped through a copper coil inside the still. The liquid is brought to the boil and as alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water it will boil first allowing the vapours to move along the lyne arm (which leads from the top of the still) to the condenser where it cools back into liquid. This liquid is now called 'low wines' and has an alcohol content of around 21% by volume.

The Spirit Still is usually smaller than the wash still. It is filled with the low wines and the wash still and the unwanted products from the previous run of the spirit still. Some of the contents of this liquid have a higher boiling point than alcohol and some have a lower boiling point. The distiller is required to allow the first lot of unwanted products to drain away before catching the 'heart' (the whisky spirit) and then to stop the collection before the second lot of unwanted products begins to boil. The alcoholic vapour is condensed back into liquid which is collected in the 'Spirit Safe' for analysis. This product is usually about 70% alcohol by volume. This liquid is put into oak casks and left to mature for a minimum of three years.


This image can be purchased.
For further information about purchasing and prices please email the
Highland Photographic Archive quoting the External ID.

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Copper Stills in a Distillery

whisky; distilling; processes; drinks; malt whisky

Highland Photographic Archive (IMAG)

David Whyte Collection, Highland Photographic Archive

The process of making malt whisky has many stages. This photograph shows some of the copper stills involved. Stills are always made of copper as this acts as a catalyst for a number of chemical reactions.<br /> <br /> Most distilleries distill their whisky twice although a small number do it more than this. All distilleries have two types of still. The first is the Wash Still. The liquid in the wash still is the 'wash' from the wash back where the 'wort' (the mixture of malted grain and water) is fermented with yeast to create the alcohol. When it reaches the wash still the liquid is a beer like substance with an alcohol content of around 7% by volume. This liquid is heated in the wash still. Originally this would have been by direct heat from a coal or gas fire but it is more commonly done by a steam pumped through a copper coil inside the still. The liquid is brought to the boil and as alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water it will boil first allowing the vapours to move along the lyne arm (which leads from the top of the still) to the condenser where it cools back into liquid. This liquid is now called 'low wines' and has an alcohol content of around 21% by volume.<br /> <br /> The Spirit Still is usually smaller than the wash still. It is filled with the low wines and the wash still and the unwanted products from the previous run of the spirit still. Some of the contents of this liquid have a higher boiling point than alcohol and some have a lower boiling point. The distiller is required to allow the first lot of unwanted products to drain away before catching the 'heart' (the whisky spirit) and then to stop the collection before the second lot of unwanted products begins to boil. The alcoholic vapour is condensed back into liquid which is collected in the 'Spirit Safe' for analysis. This product is usually about 70% alcohol by volume. This liquid is put into oak casks and left to mature for a minimum of three years. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email the<br /> <a href="mailto: photographic.archive@highlifehighland.com">Highland Photographic Archive</a> quoting the External ID.<br />