I am looking to distill 4 liters of 6.5% cider, would i end up with an amount of 90% plus, of what would essentially be flavored ethanol.

Or would i end up with around 2 liters of around 13% apple wine?

What sort of yield would i expect in terms of both liters and ABV?

  • I can't speak to distillation. If you were to use fractional freezing you would lose about 2/3 of the volume as ice.
    – Chad Clark
    May 4, 2016 at 23:11
  • Didnt even know that was a thing. So, say I had 3L of cider at 6.5% and put it in the freezer and removed the ice, what should I expect in the way of abv from my remaining 1L?
    – bizzehdee
    May 4, 2016 at 23:19
  • Yes, around 1L remaining from 3L cider. I'm not sure about ABV. You can use plastic pop bottles. Leave room in the bottle for water to expand as it freezes. Another option involves freezing in a bucket and scooping ice out as it forms. You can search online for instructions and videos. People usually call it freeze distillation or freeze concentration but it isn't really distillation.
    – Chad Clark
    May 5, 2016 at 2:13
  • Update: this process losses a small amount of alcohol in the ice crystals and does not remove the non-ethanol heads and tails.
    – Chad Clark
    May 5, 2016 at 2:19
  • In adition your final volume and abv will be dependent on how cold you can get the liquid.
    – Gremwatch
    May 5, 2016 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


To be clear you will not produce anything like apple wine as you will be distilling the product and all non-volatile compounds will be lost. You will be producing an apple brandy.

Your final yield and the quality of that yield will be determined by how well you can control the temperature of the vapor at the still head and the plate equivalency of your still.

Say for example you were to distill all 4 liters of your apple cider in a very slow and controlled manner with a good vigreux column and discarded all distillate that came over below a head temp of 77C and stopped distilling at 82C you could conceivably get from a single distillation over 80% alcohol by volume with very low adjunct inclusion and about 300ml total yield.

Your actual yield volume will depend on how good your condenser is at condensing the distillate and your quality will be related to the equivalent plate count of your fractioning column.

  • 1
    Excellent answer. I was just going to say as a ball park they'd be getting "6.5% of 4 liters at 100% efficiency of distillation, so something less than that." Your's is much cooler than mine.
    – brewchez
    May 5, 2016 at 10:24

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