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Clarification on the accurate and exact use of the term "rectification"


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Is the term rectification used to refer to all the post stripping processing in a distillation process including processes used to concentrate the ethanol in one of more subsequent runs) and column runs that are aimed at isolating the ethyl alcohol from certain or a specific congener element?

Is the word used in pot distillation too and if so, how ?  would a second and subsequent run in a pot stil batch process also be described as rectification sub process within distillation   


Thanks for any clarification and guidance from experts at this fantastic forum

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"Rectification" (from Latin "rectus" - direct and "facio" - do) is a process of separating double or multicomponent mixtures due to countercurrent mass transfer between vapor and liquid. Rectification - separation of liquid mixtures into practically pure components, differing in boiling points, through repeated evaporation of the liquid and condensation of vapors.

This is the scientific definition of the term "rectification".

From the point of view of this description, distillation in a pot (moonshine still) is not rectification, but is a simple separation of a mixture of different alcohols (ethyl and related fermentation results) from a water-alcohol mixture.

Rectification, i.e. the separation of a mixture of alcohols into separate alcohols, and the separation of just ethyl alcohol separately from other components, is carried out (should be done) in distillation columns, in which it is precisely the separation of components along the height (different trays and withdrawal of different components from different trays from the column at the same time).

Thus, the work of the "flute" on the moonshine tank is also not rectification.

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TTB has defined distillation as "a single run through a pot still or a single run through a column of a column (reflux) still." Title 27 §5.42 (b) (6). They do not provide a definition for rectification but its meaning can be inferred from its usage in Title 27 to mean something like a production process that changes the class/type of a spirit (so not vatting/blending of two spirits of the same C/T and not proofing etc.).

That being said, in the UK rectification has a different meaning closer to the re-distillation of a spirit. i.e. the head of the Gin Guild is know as the Grand Rectifier, Most but not all gin made in the UK re-distills botanicals with purchased neutral spirit either on a pot still or a column.

Historically in the US circa early 20th Century, rectifiers were sometimes considered those who took neutral spirits and treated them with coloring, flavoring and extracts. These became know as imitation spirits. Or they would take purchased bulk straight whiskey often from Kentucky and blend it with neutral spirit, water, coloring, flavoring, and extracts to sell as whiskey and extend their profit margins.  

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