Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Eye of the Tornado Gin

Distillation by vortex...
  [vote for,

Gin is lovely, I think we can all agree. The standard methods of production, namely various types of distillation, are effective but mundane. I propose a new method:

1. Take a source of low alcohol feed stock, this enters the bottom of the MASSIVE VORTEX CHAMBER (transparent, naturally).

2. Here it encounters some ceramic ultrasonic transducers: see the <link> for examples. You'd need really massive ones mind.

3. The feed-stock gets ultrasonically forced into making <5um fog particles. Some of which will be of higher alcohol than the others... just by chance.

4. Once you've got a reasonable fog production going, it's time to TURN ON THE MASSIVE VORTEX FANS

5. You will now have a huge man-made tornado of booze. Because the density of ethanol is 0.789g/cm3, the centre of the vortex will have an enrichment of alcohol and the periphery an enrichment of water, so, simply draw off the center (at the top, let's use gravity as an extra feature) for the good stuff.... and the lower periphery to remove water.

6. For further concentration, you might want to use additional vortices in a casdcade, maybe 2 for schnapps, 4 for gin (no vodka, I'll have no dealings with such tasteless vulgarity). No matter, this process is continuous.

For extra points, the 'distillery' should be located in the mid-west because of the proximity of grain and their fondness for tornadoes. I appreciate that this is a tremendous gimmick... but gimmicks are frequently deployed in the world of booze...


bs0u0155, Mar 14 2013

Ultrasonic foggers http://www.mainlandmart.com/foggers.html
[bs0u0155, Mar 14 2013]

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       What you would end up with is a water vapor/alcohol vapor mixture as the low pressure inside the vortex accelerated evaporation. So basically this becomes a big and needlessly complex vacuum still.
MechE, Mar 14 2013

       //So basically this becomes a big and needlessly complex vacuum still//   

       you're so kind!   

       The bottle/label designs itself too...
bs0u0155, Mar 14 2013

       //5um fog particles. Some of which will be of higher alcohol than the others... just by chance.//   

       No, really no, at least to several decimal places of noth.   

       Consider a 5µm drop containing, say 10% ethanol. That's roughly 10e-14 litres of ethanol. That's about 10^11 molecules of ethanol. Poisson and all that stuff means that the standard deviation will be roughly the square root of 10^11, or about 3x10^5 molecules, which is (unsurprisingly) about 1 part in 3x10^5. Very rare droplets will be maybe three standard deviations away from the mean, or maybe 1 part in 10^4 away from the mean.   

       Thus, the most alcohol-rich droplets will only be 0.01% richer in ethanol than the average.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 14 2013

       Without some equivalent of Maxwell's demon in this monstrous separator - a spirit spirit, or gin gin djinn - it won't work.
spidermother, Mar 15 2013

       //Thus, the most alcohol-rich droplets will only be 0.01% richer in ethanol than the average//   

       So, assuming you're right... what you're saying it that it will work, it will just take a huge cascade of machines until the heat-death of the universe to complete even a modest enrichment. A hilarious level of inefficiency :-)   

       How about improving the front end a little: Yeast produce ethanol anaerobically from assorted carbohydrates, however heavy water has a lovely 10% extra density. So, feed the yeast on a regular source of glucose, but make the general aqueous environment heavy water. Now, there will be a little cross talk in the general jiggery-pokery that is metabolism, but it should yield a 0-79-1.1g/cm3 spread of density.   

       I'll admit that the cost may have just skyrocketed by several hundred fold, but I'm a slave to efficiency....   

       Heavy water will bugger up the yeast's mitochondrial metabolism, but they don't need that during the anaerobic fermentation phase, so you know, disregard that.
bs0u0155, Mar 15 2013


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