If you want the best possible separation of water from your desired alcohol or spirit during distillation then you can surely get purer alcohols with safe ethanol distillation column process. A simple pot distillation process might not provide you with the desired results and you might simply be saddled with unsafe alcoholic beverages that could be infused with toxic chemicals.
While the distillation process seems quite simple on paper, it is not simply a matter of boiling the fermented mash or mixture containing water along with various other ingredients including your chosen grain, fruit, or vegetable. Since water vaporizes at over 100 degrees Celsius and alcohol or ethanol vaporizes at around 78 degrees Celsius, it might look like a simple solution to simply boil the mixture and wait for the alcohol or ethanol to vaporize first where it is transferred to a collection vessel via copper tubing that is cooled down for re-condensation of those vapors.
The fact is that several unwanted contaminants such as methanol, ethyl acetate, acetone, etc that have a boiling point that revolves around that of ethanol also evaporate when you boil your mash or mixture to produce heady alcohols and spirits such as vodka, whisky, rum, brandy, etc. These contaminants are dangerous for human consumption and must hence be separated before pure ethanol starts dripping out of your pot or column distillation equipment. Thus, what you really require for your home alcohol distillation kit or your commercial distillation plant that has several chemicals present in vapor form in the ethanol distillation column is to add packing into the long neck of the pot or column to separate the different chemicals.
The ethanol along with various contaminants all rise at various vapor pressures and inserting packing into the column will increase the surface area within the distillation system without hampering the flow of the vapors while still allowing unwanted vapors to get converted back into liquid form. This condensed vapor will drip back into the pot or vessel instead of moving into the copper tubing to proceed towards the collecting vessel.
There are various types of packing that can be inserted into the neck of the column to trap undesired contaminants and only ensure that pure ethanol proceeds towards the top of the column. If you are on a tight budget then you can opt for copper mesh that can do a decent job of separating the vapors, which is also known as the reflux operation. On the other hand, if you simply want the best for your alcohol distillation equipment then you should opt for ceramic raschig rings that are quite costly but perform admirably to provide purer ethanol at the end of the distillation process. You can now be assured that the alcoholic beverage that you finally produce will be free of dangerous chemicals while also remaining rich in flavor and character at the same time.
You can surely distill your desired alcohol or spirit right at home if you have the required equipment to do so. However, it is important that you also have the right type of components to ensure that your ethanol distilling column does not allow contaminants to pass through into the collecting vessel while ensuring that only strong and pure ethanol exits out of the column so that you can then transform it into your desired alcoholic beverage.