Filtering Cane Alcohol?

Hi Guys,
Need some help here … had this idea for processing/bottling a local cane alcohol popular in Ghana here for export.

Challenge is, will be buying in drums from different local distilleries that have manufactured using stills, and product is at different percentage alcohol from place to place, and even from batch to batch (even from the same place).

What is the process that will filter and standardize the volume alcohol (to 40%) from all these sources into a “premium” beverage at a high standard for export? Am in touch with a few companies in India, but am not sure what I am asking them to do? HELP!!

The companies am in touch with are equipment/plant manufacturers - am asking them for a small plant to “process” the alcohol for packaging.

Why not blend the product from different sources in ratios to achieve the desired 40% ?

I’m no engineer, but I can’t imagine a passive filter that would change the percentage of alcohol in a solution without blending or further distillation.

The usual process is to blend (to greater than 40%) and dilute to achieve your target percentage.
However, your Quality Control has to be spot on - you don’t want one suppliers bad batch contaminating your product with methanol. And your water for dilution has to be clean and pure, too.


This is your answer. The other reason your QC has to be precise is for taxation. The government** will** audit your records and you had better be at exactly 40%, if that’s what your label says.

I am curious–how is this different from rum?

One suggestion would be to work with one distillery to product suitable for export as a small-batch pilot project. It might be easier to expand a successful small project than start by merging a lot of different sources.

Rum’s made from molasses, a step removed from cane. There are a ton of locales with pure cane alcohols that have wildly differing flavors, and this is probably one of them. The best well known pure-cane drink is Brazil’s cachaça.

If it’s over 40% (or whatever your target is), dilute with pure water. If it’s under, you need to distill it some more. If you have some over and some under, blend them.

Carbon filters can be used to remove impurities, but they won’t change the alcohol %. Carbon will filter out some of the aromatics that give the liquor its character, so you probably don’t want to run the liquor through it unless it’s pretty nasty to start or you’re going for something more like vodka. You will probably want to use carbon filters for the water you use for dilution.

Sounds like an adventure! What is going to be the name of your beverage?

As to export; wouldn’t it be more economical to export unfinished and then have it diluted/distilled/filtered by a bottling company in the export market? That way you’re saving weight and volume in transportation but, of course, that’s if the glass is made in the export market.

That is, if the Ghanaian and Indian governments are OK with that, although they might want a set alcohol % because of tax duties as was said above. In that case you could aim for higher than 40% to save on shipping. Although you may pay more tax/liter you also get more booze to the export market when it’s diluted.

You’d be in good company, all Scottish whiskey is made well above 40% alcohol and is diluted before bottling. It’s bottled in situ, of course.