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Slow Distillation by Hubert Germain-Robin

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By using ancestral methods of distillation, when time was not such a pressing issue, one would conduct the distillation at a slow pace to be able to separate with precision the different components, to make clean cuts and to respect the temperature during the gathering of the distillates. With today’s hurried approach, many of these parameters are undervalued or even ignored by craft distillers.

https://distilling.com/distillermagazine/slow-distillation/

 

 

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7 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

So you can't make good spirits using a continuous still?

You can't make spirits as good as what can be made with a pot still.  Continuous stills never remove all of the heads.   An honest manufacturer of continuous stills will tell you that.  I asked that question of a Vendome salesman to see if he would give me an honest answer and he did. 

They make great strippers but a continuous finishing still will never produce spirits as good as a well run pot still, where the distiller is diligent with his cuts.  

 

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This forum section was literally made for, and consists of the post that you linked in your post.

 

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One would think I would have checked the literal only post. One would be wrong. But hey - the formatting is nicer on the distiller page. 

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I'm not sure there's been any real discussion on the subject. So let's discuss:

While I highly respect Mr. Hubert Germain-Robin, I find his writing to be hard to understand. He states something is great, but rarely says how or why. I've read his books and this article is the same. So ok, slow distillation is awesome, but why? It tastes better - ok, but why?

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1 hour ago, Foreshot said:

I'm not sure there's been any real discussion on the subject. So let's discuss:

While I highly respect Mr. Hubert Germain-Robin, I find his writing to be hard to understand. He states something is great, but rarely says how or why. I've read his books and this article is the same. So ok, slow distillation is awesome, but why? It tastes better - ok, but why?

I would agree that the article appeals much more to the romantic notion of tradition and 'true craft' rather than the logical reasons behind slow distillation/maturation. I'm not saying the former is better than the latter or vice versa, it just seems to fall short on delivering a true argument for slow distillation. After reading the article several times, it seems to me that the message he is trying to convey is a lot of modern distillers simply do not care about the craft aspect. These distillers, some with no real training in the field, value time as money. This leads to poor cuts, short maturation times, and a flood of subpar or sourced product on the shelves. 

For me, I see working knowledge as most important in our field. Sure, this sometimes can be seen as slow distillation/maturation, but the QA/QC of each step is of the utmost importance. I also think as an industry, we can't be blinded by 'tradition' and the 'good ole days'. If that is how you want to run your distillery, more power to you, but continuous innovation in the field is what is going to expand to endless possibilities. 

My counterargument would be, instead of focusing on slow distillation/maturation, take pride in your craft.  Seek to continually improve in a way that fits your distilling interests/experiences.

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