Vodka is very easy to produce. Fermented, distilled, poured into glasses. It is not complex alchemy and it does not take a lot of time. Being by definition a neutral alcohol, tasteless and colorless, vodka can be distilled almost from any ingredient that can ferment. Originally, it was made from potatoes. At present, the best vodka is distilled from wheat (in Russia) and rye (in Poland).
According to hhavodka.com, in the first stage, the vegetables or cereals should be placed in a washing machine-like pan. By rotation, the equipment crushes the ingredients; the “puree” is added in a malt that will speed the transformation of starch into sugar.
The next step is sterilization of the decoction by boiling and adding lactic acid. This substance increases acidity and facilitates fermentation, killing unwanted bacteria. Once sterilized, the yeast inoculated decoction is fermented in closed tanks between two and four days.
When sugar has been converted into ethyl alcohol, distillation begins. Generally, vodka is distilled several times – premium products can even pass through five distillations.
Strong drinks, reminiscent of the modern vodka, began the preparation a very long time ago. It is no coincidence that there are plenty of recipes for this drink.
Vodka is prepared and appreciated around the world and, despite the fact that it is most often produced by industrial enterprises, can be cooked at home. See more here.
The following ingredients are needed: sugar (1.5 kg), wheat (5 kg), yeast, filtered water (20-25 liters).
Few vodkas use simple alembic; although it produces an alcohol that retains the flavor of the ingredients used, it is not so effective, and the distillate does not have the necessary strength, requiring rectifying.
Most major manufacturers are based on distillation columns, composed of superposed vaporization chambers. The hot decoction is continuously “walked” through these rooms until the alcohol vapor condenses at the top of the distillation column. The resulting neutral alcohol has neither taste nor color but boasts a 95-100% strength.
Additional info here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-vodka-cocktails-you-can-make-minutes
An important step for the future vodka is filtration, which can take place both during and after distillation. Generally, coal is used, but more extravagant manufacturers use silver, quartz crystals, or anything else good for marketing.
Finally, pure alcohol is combined with water until it reaches 40%. Now the vodka is ready to get into the glasses alone or in the most surprising combinations, although something tells us that it will not stay long.
Vodka producers praise the number of distillations and filtrations through which the liquid passes. What they do not say is that these procedures eliminate any trace of vodka flavor, leaving only the taste of alcohol. Thus, we vaguely categorize vodka according to the ingredients used.
Either wheat, rye, potatoes, corn, sugar beet molasses or even grapes, vodka will have a subtle flavor that only the most versatile experts could identify.
For us, beyond the name, the only way to distinguish a good vodka from a bad one is the feeling that stays in your mouth after a sip of alcohol.
A quality vodka will not “burn” your throat, but it will have a velvety, very “sweet” taste. Apart from pure vodka, in recent years, under the pressure of mixologists, vodka with various flavors has appeared.
How to drink vodka
When it comes to vodka, everyone learns from the Russians. There, vodka drinking is a noble art. First pour vodka into a small, well-cooled glass.
Next, to the glass, there is a plateau with various salty snacks called “zakuski” – they can be made of anything, basics are only rye bread and pickles. After he grunts something, the Russian raises the glass, holds a toast in the health of the present, and drives vodka.
Another increasingly popular fashion is to put vodka in the freezer to become oily. You can adapt it if cooled glasses are not enough for you. But you should know that the low temperature attenuates the aroma and so discreet of the vodka.
And more often you will get vodka in combinations that are unexpected. Being an alcohol without a strong flavor, vodka is perfect for such cocktails. Enjoy every glass of vodka and don’t forget to also hydrate with water.