During the second distillation, or la bonne chauffe
, the boiler is re-filled with the brouillis
, which is brought to a boil and distilled a second time. The heart comes off the still around 72° abv, and is followed by the seconds, also known as the ‘tails’. The seconds are a portion of the distillate which could be aged and used for cognac, but is recycled by most high quality distillers. The heart of the second distillation is referred to as the eaux-de-vie, since it has not yet been aged into cognac. This portion comes off the still at a measured rate of one liter per minute.
The heads and the tails of the second distillation are mixed with the brouillis
and re-distilled with the next round in the first distillation, while the seconds or tails of the second distillation are re-distilled with the brouillis
in a proportion of three-quarters brouillis
to one-quarter seconds. This makes for a more characterful spirit, while adding the seconds back to the brouillis
creates a more neutral spirit.
Both cycles together require 24 hours to complete. Nine liters of wine at 9% abv are needed to produce one liter of eaux-de-vie
at 71% abv.
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