What is Freeze Distillation?
When you distill a spirit, the alcohol and water content are converted into vapour. The water evaporates and the spirit is condensed to a more pure form. What if you did the exact opposite of this process where does that leave you and your spirit? The same place, thanks to fractional freezing or freeze distillation.
The theory fractional freezing is based on the premise that different substances have different melting points and will do so at different times. The logic behind freeze distillations has more than just freezing and melting points of substances, it has a lot to do with thermodynamics. So during freeze distillation, water molecules freeze faster than the alcohol which can then be removed leaving a concentrated and higher alcohol beverage. Freeze distillation in beers is done for a German brew called eisbock or ice beer.
We were introduced to freeze distilled beer recently by Gateway Brewing Company who are preparing to introduce their 6th brew, Mazgaon Docks Porter, in the city soon. The beer started out as a 5% ABV beer which then underwent a series of freeze distillation process leading to 11% ABV ale which was thick and viscous with power packed flavor profile.
Nose: This ale is a rich and intense Porter, the nose has coffee and charred wood notes which then lead to bitter chocolate and hints of hay.
Palate: Hoppy bitterness is one of the most prominent element but it does not overwhelm the palate. There are some tropical fruits on the mid palate which then expands into coffee and caramel. The fruit on the mid palate resonates sweetness which could quite simply be the alcohol.
We were quite impressed with the results of this experiment. The Porter itself was well crafted which lent itself even better to the freeze distillation. We bet that this beer is far superior than a lot of imported beer available in the country.