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New Distiller - Need a few Books!

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New startup in Louisville, KY with craft brewing and distilling focus. I am a long-time brewer (12+ years), and independent beverage consultant, however spirits distillation is a new venture for me. I am looking for recommendations on proper distilling books to learn the fine details. I'm also looking to make friends with local industry colleagues, and potentially "hang out" during a run. I travel all over the state (and beyond), and I am sure most anyone will appreciate my reciprocal knowledge. 

I have my "Kunze Bible" for brewing, so I am looking for similar text books focused on distilling. I have the Alcohol textbook on my list, but would like to hear from current members on their suggestions. I'd like to avoid the "feel good" books and primarily stick to reference and history styled text books. I have plenty of grasp on saccharifications, fermentations, and industrial processing, but I want to learn the "artistry" aspect of spirits distillation. 

To clarify, I understand the concepts of distillation and the equipment quite well. I have run hydrocarbon distillations, both bench and industrial, but flavor profile is not a factor in those. I need to understand the reasons and techniques for certain processes, and any tips/tricks to improve production.

We have a 300 liter column still, with 8 bubble plates. Plan to start with some NGS for a bit of practice and to get some Gin & Vodka going, but the plan is to make scratch spirits at the earliest opportunity. Open to comments from the community! Thanks!



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Welcome to the forum!
For the production of alcohol and spirits, it is more important to first set a goal 🙂
The column gives some degree of purification of the alcohol, and the so-called “raw alcohol”.
And if you want to have aromatic and other drinks, then the matter is not limited to one column and just alcohol. For example, I was involved in vacuum distillation at low temperatures. In this case, it is possible to obtain the first few fractions with the odors of the plants from which fermentation occurs. But this is not a simple process.

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Fellow brewer that made the natural journey towards distillation. There are a few that I would recommend starting with, depending what you plan on making. Matt Strickland is a favorite author and has two great books, "Batch Distillation" and "Cask Management for Distillers", both are generally whiskey focused, but offer a lot for any type of spirit. I know its a hike, but if you are ever in Lexington NC ,let me know I'd love to talk shop.



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Being 100% honest, I've learned more reading ADI, SD, HD, Boston Apothecary, and old tax documents than any of the dozens of books I've picked up.  

10 10 would buy alt whiskeys again though 

I'm really tempted to pick up distillery finance, but the reviews aren't great, so I'm hesitant to spend the $100.

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Thank you all for your comments. I will certainly be looking into the books mentioned as they directly relate to my needs. Presumably the Alt Whiskeys is Darek Bell?

I often learn quite a bit from reading old regulatory documents, and ADI has been extremely helpful of course. One click to Boston Apothecary and I was able to link to advanced fractioning and volatility - exactly the type of stuff I'm looking for. Much Thanks. Forgive my ignorance, but SD and HD? Presuming HD is homedistillers.org - not sure on SD

Free information is always my favorite, but I'm willing to invest in good resources.

Chris - I run from Cincy to London all the time, despite operating over here in Louisville. I'll get in touch with you one of these warmer days and see if we can at least shake hands!

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