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Classification Of Beverages

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Any drink prepared for human consumption except water every other drinkable liquid is called Beverage. It is divided into two types (i) Alcoholic Beverage (ii) Non- Alcoholic Beverage.

Alcoholic Beverage

It defined as Beverages that contains at least 0.5% or more of ethyl alcohol or ethanol by volume is termed as alcoholic beverage.


It comes from Arabic word al kohl. It is a colourless, odorless, tasteless, volatile liquid obtained by fermenting sugarA combination of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon atoms of molecules is the chemical member of the alcohol family.

Ethanol or ethyl alcohol, obtained from a fermented beverage is the only alcohol that is safe to drink. It has a boiling point of 78.3o C and a freezing point of -114oC. Ethanol is drinkable but when consumed in very large amount over a short period of time can be deadly.

Methanol is the other member of the alcohol family; it can be extremely poisonous. It is mainly used as industrial solvent (cleaning agents). A very small amount is produced during the natural fermentation. It has a boiling point of 66o C.

Alcohol Contents:-

The termed proofed spirit was first used as a yard stick in collecting the taxes on alcoholic beverages. Originally the British tested their spirit by pouring them on small amount of gun powder. If the gun powder burned the spirit was called over proofed and if did not burned the spirit was known as under proofed.

The Americans know use a different system. Their proofed spirit is 50% alcohol and 50% water. To find the strength of the American bottled alcohol just divide the strength by two, 80% of US proofed spirit is 40% alcohol and 40% water.

Calorie Content:-

A pure carbohydrate (like starch or sugar) or protein as found in wheat, eggs or cheese has 4 calories per gram. Alcohol is between at 7 calorie/gm, because of high calorie content many who consume a considerable amount of alcohol are overweight.

Alcoholic Strength:-


This scale defines alcoholic strength as a percentage of alcohol by volume. This scale also has been written as gay lusac scale which is slightly different from the OIML scale as the temperature at which both the scale operates are different. The difference is negligible. It may be denoted as ABV i.e. Alcohol by volume. Or V/V. i.e. volume of alcohol to the total volume of the beverage.


It is a process in which yeast changes the sugar(glucose) into ethyl alcohol and releases carbon dioxide.

C6 H12 O6→+2CH5 OH + CO2

Fermentation takes place at the temperature of 24 to 29 deg. Fermentation may take from several days to over a month; it depends upon the amount of sugar produced, temperature and many other factors.

Sugar is stored in fruits and as starch in grains. While the sugar in fruits is readily usable, the starch in grains must first be converted into sugar by a process called MALTING.

Grains are soaked and left to develop into shoots. During the growth, the grains produce enzymes to convert the stored starch into sugar that it uses as energy to grow. The grain is toasted and the sugar is then extracted for use in fermentation.

Yeast:- Yeast is a micro-organism that split the sugar into ethanol and carbon dioxide through its enzymes. Enzymes are protein based change agent, necessary to start off a chemical reaction.


Separation of alcohol from fermented alcohol liquid by the application of heat is called distillation.

The equipment’s use for distillation is called still. The wash, which is the fermented alcoholic solution meant for distillation, is heated. The temperature is always kept below the boiling point of water which is near about 78 deg.

Method of distillation:-

Pot still: – It is a rounded pot with funnel at the top where rising vapors are collected and then carried to the condenser through a tube which cools it and convert it into droplets of alcohol.

In pot distillation it is very common to separate the distillate obtained into first part (head) middle part (heart) and the last part (tail), only the middle part is used to make spirit. The first and last are put back into the liquid about to be distilled and redistill

Many times the middle part is redistilled. After each distillation the still must be emptied and cleaned before being filled with new distilled material.

The product obtained by this method has more congeners, flavors and characters. Mostly all the dark spirits are obtained by this style of distillation


Patent still :They are continuous still. They produce a distill spirit as long as they are supplied with spirituous liquid. First invented by Scotch men Robert Stein in 1826, the designed was perfected and patented by Anneaus coffey in 1832 who was inspector genral of excise in Ireland.

A very important innovation compared to pot still is the ability of continuous still to separate the many vapour fractions which are very valuable. The main advantage of course is speed and therefore increased productivity.since the system of operation is continuous , the apparatus does not have to be emptied and clean between batches as for pot still. So it is not labour intensive as pot still. It is cheaper than pot still to operate as it is lighter on fuel.