You are currently viewing What role does glycerine play in distillation?

What role does glycerine play in distillation?

Whether you are new to distilling or a seasoned distiller it is likely you’ve heard of distillers adding glycerine to their spirits. What role does this sweet, clear liquid play in distillation? And how can we use it to alter the taste of a spirit? Let’s see.

What is glycerine?

Glycerine is a naturally occurring product that also goes by the name glycerol. It is found mostly in animal and vegetable fats. When extracted it is clear in color and has a sweet oily taste. It is safe for human consumption although it has no nutritive value.

How is it used?

Glycerine is used as an additive in the food and beverage industry for various reasons. However, when it comes to spirits glycerine is used as a smoothing agent. When added to spirits, glycerine can mask some of the harshness or burn, and add body to the drink.

Should you add it to your spirits?

This is purely up to you as the distiller. If you notice your spirit has a harsh taste, adding a few drops of glycerine can help improve the sharpness. However, be careful not to add too much as this can leave the product looking and tasting soapy.

How much should you use?

We recommend using +/- 5ml per L of spirit. But always start with less and taste as you go along because once its mixed it cannot be taken out.

Where can I get glycerine?

Still Tec supplies glycerine in 250ml bottles. But we can assist should you wish to purchase larger quantities as well.