Neutral alcohols function as the base spirits that are ready to be distilled with botanicals and herbs. Neutral alcohols are made from a variety of raw materials, including sugarcane molasses, barley, corn, wheat, rice, and rye. This alcohol also has no taste or smell, making it organoleptically neutral.
The primary use for Neutral Alcohol is its function as a base for spirits, distillates, and alcoholic beverages. In addition, it has found a use in the food and beverage industry, the cosmetics and beauty industry, as well as in practice for pharmaceutical and medical grade purposes. Neutral Alcohol is currently very popular in the production of hand sanitizer.
Neutral alcohols are made from a variety of raw materials, including sugarcane molasses, barley, corn, wheat, rice, and rye. In order to produce the colorless and odorless final product, the agricultural raw materials are fermented and distilled multiples times.
Selecting the Raw Material
In this step, the raw material that will serve as the base of the product must be chosen. Barley, corn, wheat, rice, and rye are amongst the most popular grains used to produce neutral alcohols.
Fermentation of the Raw Material
After choosing the raw material, the next step is to begin fermentation. Fermentation is a term used widely across the alcohol industry that refers to the process where sugars are converted into carbon dioxide and alcohol. In order to achieve this biological process, yeast is added as a catalyst to break down the sugars and convert those into alcohol and other biproducts.
Rectification and Redistillation of the Mixture
During the redistillation process, demineralized water is added to the fermented raw material in order to remove any future impurities in the mixture. Upon rectification of the alcohol to 96% v/v, the mixture will be redistilled. The rate of conversion of rectified alcohol into neutral alcohol typically occurs between 70-80%, meaning that with every litre of rectified alcohol that is processed, between 0.7 and 0.8 litres of Neutral Alcohol are produced.
Neutral Alcohol is different from other types of alcohol because it is organoleptically neutral. This means it has no taste or smell. This makes it an ideal base for spirits and other alcoholic beverages because it doesn’t interfere with the flavors and aromas that are added during the distillation process. Additionally, Neutral Alcohol is typically distilled to a very high proof, usually around 96% alcohol by volume, making it much stronger than other types of alcohol like beer or wine. Finally, Neutral Alcohol is used in a variety of industries beyond just the production of alcoholic beverages such as the food and beverage industry, cosmetics and beauty industry and for pharmaceutical and medical grade purposes.
Redistillation is the third step in making Neutral Alcohol. After the fermented mixture has been rectified to 96% v/v alcohol, demineralized water is added to remove any impurities in the mixture. The rectified alcohol is then redistilled. This is a process of heating and cooling the mixture to separate the alcohol from any remaining impurities. The rate of conversion of rectified alcohol into Neutral Alcohol typically occurs between 70-80%. This means that for every liter of rectified alcohol that is processed, between 0.7 and 0.8 liters of Neutral Alcohol are produced.
The quality of Neutral Alcohol is ensured during the production process through rigorous testing and quality control measures. This includes testing the raw materials for purity and consistency, monitoring the fermentation process closely and conducting multiple distillation rounds to achieve the desired purity level. Additionally, the final product is tested for various parameters such as alcohol content, pH level and impurity levels to ensure that it meets industry standards and customer specifications.