Clean Distilling




If you’re wondering what kind of poisons we’ve been drinking all these years and wishing your spirits could be smooth and stripped of toxins, you’ve come to the right place. We apply both the old school taste, smell, and texture method taught to us from a century of family distilling tradition combined with the refined techniques we grew up with in wine country. This allows us to make cleaner, healthier, and smoother spirits. To do this it takes innovative time consuming steps [and a few family secrets] that the production booze manufacturers will not even consider.

Why are Pleasure Spirits superior to the rest of the alcohol we have been drinking for years?

- fresh harvested local California ingredients, meticulous fermentation, hand made copper stills, maximum harmful congener removal, precise small batch distillation  

  technique, fresh ocean air, and lots of drop-by-drop love.

Fermentation
After our Home Grown California ingredients are harvested, our next equally important step is fermentation.

Before adding yeast, we cook our local plant ingredients along with fresh sierra snow melt

at 160 degrees (f) to pasteurize and purify the fermentable sugars to the perfect level. Our yeast is uniquely

developed exclusively for Pleasure. Our Rum yeast is  higher in dactyl for a buttery finish while or Agave yeast

is matched to the natural yeast found in our Home Grown blue agave plants.  

These strains takes longer to ferment and require precise temperature control to yield the ideal clean alcohol

“Wash”. Unlike bulk distilleries, we use no enzyme additives to boost (higher toxin) alcohols. We’ve worked

with several famed distilleries from Barbados to Mexico to Kentucky to Tennessee that all use open side-by-side

fermentation tanks. Tradition rules and we love the South, but California wine country life has taught us that

finer fermentation systems produce finer spirits. Each of our fermentation tanks is independently isolated

to prevent cross-pollination. Our agave yeast and our rum yeast are two very different animals that produce

two very distinctively different tastes. Each of our fermentation tanks use custom controlled temperature systems

with carbon dioxide ventilation locks. This configuration makes sure the perfect level of isolated fermentation occurs

during the precisely measured yeasting periods to capture the perfect wash before the yeast ever has the chance to oxidize (sour).


 Small Batch Copper Stills
The tools you use dictate the product you produce.

Our US made 100% copper small batch stills are

hand crafted to our exact specifications to deliver the

cleanest distillents. As opposed to the industrial sized

steel stills that are in constant automated production

used to make the vast majority of bulk spirits today.

 

 

 
Stripping Run
Our first distilling stage is “Stripping”. Our stripping run is a unique step we take to start our distilling process

with the cleanest version of our wash. Once the wash is fermented to perfection, we let it rest with a natural

sodium bicarbonate (crushed oyster shells) to break down the high toxin ethyl acetate. This stripping step

alone creates a cleaner taste before distillation even begins. From there the clean fermentation is run through

our copper pot still. This extra step removes any remaining yeast and concentrates the clean alcohol content

five-fold. By removing the bulk of large molecule congeners from the wash, we are able to make more defined

alcohol separations during our spirit run. Another time consuming step that helps us more deeply remove toxins.


Spirit Run
The next distillation stage is our “spirit run”. This is where science and art marry.

The science of separating the alcohols begins very mathematically based on

temperature and vapor pressure variance. Separating the high toxicity/high volatile

“Foreshot” (acetone, ethyl acetate) and “Head” (methanol) is a primary step to

creating a smooth clean spirit. Once the Foreshot and Head are removed, the “Heart”

and a portion of the “Tail” are captured. In an absolute world, the Head vaporizes at

64.7 degrees (c) and the Heart vaporizes at 78.5 degrees (c). In actuality, the mixture

is not absolute. There is always some ethanol in the Head and some methanol in the

Heart making the vaporizing temperatures and vapor pressures fall somewhere in between.

This is where the art of taste, smell, and texture come into play.    

At Pleasure, we first take the extra step of low temperature slow distilling.

This patient step allows the toxins to separate with more definition - one drop at a time (literally).

Next, we take costly measures to make sure each toxin is carefully extracted. Chemically, the

majority of harsh acetate and methanol is separated at the first .015 to .05 stage of this process.

The tradition of taste, smell, & texture distilling bred into us tells us there are still hidden remnants

of methanol, so we remove the first .10 of the process. Twice that of what bulk distilleries do.

The taste is significantly smoother and the morning-after effect significantly less. This is especially

true in the distillation of our Blue Agave, where some of our best family secret techniques come into play.

Our Agave suits a sipping glass more than a shot glass.    

Cuts
Once the harsh toxins are removed, we focus on capturing the smooth “Heart” section.

The cleanest most pure ethanol and the base of our smooth spirits. In this final stage

of distilling, it is entirely the art that defines a spirit’s taste. As the Heart begins to fade

into the Tail, constant taste, smell, & texture tests are imperative. There are only a few

degrees between the Heart and Tail, so purity cannot be measured by temperature alone.

This is one of the differences between small craft and industrial spirits. We taste and smell

the esters at intervals by the minute in small batches (an impossible and cost prohibitive feat

for bulk industrial production distilleries).

The points at which the we make the “cuts” from the ”Heart” to the “Tail”

defines the taste of our spirit. The fruity essences often described in finer

wines and spirits are not actually fruit, but the slight amount of esters

allowed to remain before the cuts.
- Pear (propyl acetate)                  

- Orange (octyl acetate)              

- Banana (isoamyl acetate)  
- Pineapple (ethyl butyrate)           

- Apple (butyl acetate)                 

- Strawberry (methyl trans-cinnamate)

 The end result being we get to choose the perfect moment to make the “cut” that defines Pleasure.  

Aging
The final step is the aging process. While most distillers bottle their clear spirits direct from the still,

we take the extra step of allowing our clear spirits to settle for 1-6 months in 30 gallon stainless steel tanks.

This timely measure allows the larger (bitter) organic molecules to be broken into fine esters and other

flavor enhancing elements.

Furthermore, our California Anejo Agave and Anejo Rum are aged an additional 12+ months in new

American oak barrels to further allow the larger molecules to organize while absorbing the sweet

flavor and color of the natural wood.



                                                     
All of these unique steps are what makes our spirits Pleasure in a bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    Images and graphs courtesy of:  Vendome Copper, HBS Copper, Criveller Group, Custom Metal Craft, American Distillers Institute, Whiskey Science, Penek & Boucher 1989,