"Nothing is forced here in our distillery, and we believe that whilst this process can be slower, it yields better results"
"each drop of alcohol is fermented onsite".
The Distilling Process.
By managing our own ferments onsite we can keep our yeast in the ideal conditions necessary to make the purest alcohol. Managing the yeast activity in our custom designed temperature control tanks, with the correct amount of nutrients is the foundation of where Critters Vodka begins.
Combining our ingredients with specialist nutrients created in house, we feed our yeast only the best Australian sugars and converted starches. Once fermentation is complete, our ferments are allowed to settle out naturally without the need for crash chilling.
Nothing is forced here in our distillery, and we believe that whilst this process can be slower, it yields better results and a uniqueness unlike any other. Before each batch is transferred into our still, we filter out any remaining yeast and sediment through a 5 micron filter, and begin the first “stripping run” to extract the alcohol.
Our still is a 200lt modular 8 plate column still, capable of producing up to 96% alcohol from each run. Each plate in the still helps remove impurities by recondensing the vapours in a bath of alcohol and sending them back down into the still, essentially distilling the product multiple times in a single pass. This process creates an extremely pure product in a single run.
However we dont stop there, once the stripping runs are completed and we have removed any undesirable products, we then run the spirit back through the still again, redistilling and further increasing the purity of our final product. During this final run our alcohol is separated into fractions called Heads, Hearts and Tails. We only select the purest Heart fraction for final proofing, blending and bottling.
Often spirits are filtered multiple times through activated carbon to further remove impurities created during the distilling process, we do not carbon filter our final product. Using our distilling process and techniques means our Vodka does not need any further treatment before bottling. Carbon filtering impacts the final texture of Vodka, making it thinner and removing any mouthfeel on the palate, it also removes many of the flavours we have worked to develop. Our Vodka can be classified as a whisky drinker’s Vodka, it has body and soul untouched by filtering.
All our water used on site is also filtered multiple times, removing any sediment, chemicals, taste or impurities. This water is used in both our fermenting process and proofing process which we blend with our final spirit to lower the alcohol content 40% abv before bottling. Each bottle is filled, labeled and sealed by hand, we personally make sure every bottle meets the strictest quality control and standards.
Re-Use of Waste Materials.
We have adopted a waste avoidance and resource strategy, importantly because we are located on the fringes of the Solitary Islands Marine Park and we strive to reduce our carbon and waste footprint. We are proud to operate as a ‘dry distillery’, noting that distillery operations can generate waste waters and waste products.
Using cane sugar also assists in reducing our grain waste products. The spent grain from each batch is collected and used by farmers for feedstock (pigs and chickens love it!) as it is rich in protein, flavour, vitamins and other nutrients suitable for animal consumption.
The residual product from the fermenting process and spent lees from the end of the distillation process are collected into portable IBC tanks, pH corrected and used by farmers for land irrigation and gardening.
The remaining alcohol product, rich in methanol and ethanol, is an excellent cleaning solvent for sterilising equipment and cleaning around the distillery.