On this week’s podcast we’re talking about how Tequila is made – as well as our regular look at industry news and a look back on the week at BartenderHQ
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The Catch Up on BartenderHQ
How Tequila is Made
Starting off with a product that contains sugar or starches that can be turned into sugar, yeast is added which eats through the sugars and excretes alcohol and carbon dioxide. At between 12-16%ABV, the alcohol becomes toxic for the yeast so fermentation stops.
To get a spirit up to a more useful strength, we take advantage of different evaporation points. While water boils at 100C Ethanol is 78C, so we can extract more of this by controlling the temperature. Allowing the alcohol to evaporate off more quickly than the water, the steam can be captured and cooled turning it back into a liquid, but with a higher ABV and less impurities than before. The distillation process can be repeated to further purify the product.
How Tequila is made specifically
The source of sugars for Tequila is the Blue Weber Agave Pina, which has its leaves cut away and the heart of the Pina is used. These are harvested in the fields by Jimadors who use specialised knives to remove the spines. In Autoclaves and Brick Oven methods, the Pina are cooked whole and then have the juice extracted for fermentation. In the case of the diffuser, the Pina is shredded raw and the juice extracted and cooked, sometimes through the use of acids. This gives a higher yield, extracting more of the sugars, however the flavour is seriously degraded.