Then what?

Maturation Post Distillation: You can use your brewery tanks for spirit storage. Since you do not need to control temperature or hold under carbon dioxide pressure you can substitute much simpler, less expensive tanks for this step. The liquor at this point will need to be held in a separate bonded area for tax purposes, and you must have fire suppression measures in place according to local code. Maturation depends on the particular product being made. White spirits can go immediately to finishing and packaging. Others must be allowed to mature in casks. Aging in new, charred, wooden barrels is the most common procedure. This is sometimes followed by a shorter, second aging in used wine or fortified-wine barrels.

Blending: Blending is the Master Distillers key to the art of distillation. Choosing the right water for blending plays a huge factor on your finished product’s look and taste. The water being used to dilute your crafted spirit should be free of calcium and magnesium as these elements are insoluble in water and may cause hazing according to Victoria Redhed Miller, Author of “Craft Distilling” Making Liquor Legally at Home. She says ideally the water used for dilution should be distilled or Reverse Osmosis filtered to produce a higher quality spirit.

Filtering: There are different methods of filtration for different sprits. If you are filtering a vodka or natural spirit, you may want to use an activated carbon filter. This will remove unwanted congeners and other off flavors. Active carbon media is another filtration method. It may come powdered, pelletized, or granular. Be sure to source food grade media. Granular activated carbon is said to be the best for filtration due to its surface area and its porous nature. An activated carbon filter may not be the best for darker or aged spirits such as whiskey or rum due to the risk of removing more than just the unwanted congeners. If you have a big enough batch to be filtered, a lenticular filter may be the best choice for clearing up a cloudy batch.

Beware that barrel storage can take up a lot of space, and that the bonded storage area must be licensed for flammable liquid storage.