The making of a bottle of D Argentum

It begins in May, in an empty field on the island of Fyn in Denmark, or in Vellinge in Sweden. The field is sowed with Mammoth Dill. The seeds sprout, the crop grows, the plant heads flower and seed.

Sometime in August/September, when the dill flowers and the first seeds begin to appear, is the time to harvest, when the dill tastes wonderful. Up until harvest time, we sample the dill on an ongoing basis, and analyse it using a gas chromatograph. At the time of harvest, the dill is around 1 m high, but we only use the dill heads.

After the harvest

The dill is chilled immediately after harvest. It is then transported to Den Ny Spritfabrik’s distillery in Fredensborg. When the dill arrives it is immediately macerated, i.e. it is placed in a large vat, alcohol is added and a cover is fitted over the vat. The alcohol is mixed with water and has an alcohol content of 48%. We let the dill ‘rest’ for another 7-14 days (we keep a close eye on it!). It is then drained into another vat over two days – an extra 20 l will be produced on the second day, and it is worthwhile to use this too.

We now have a green macerate, which smells a little like a dill compost – this is why home brewers cannot make proper dill aquavit – you need distillation equipment!

The distillation

We are now ready to distillate. The distillation is basically evaporation and condensation – the same process that causes moisture to form on panes of glass. During the distillation process, impurities and colourants are removed, which remain behind in the boiling liquid. The macerate is green when it enters the apparatus, and the distillate is colourless when it leaves the apparatus. We carry out a column distillation in our Müller Brenerei distillation apparatus, i.e. the distillate is evaporated and condensed repeatedly. The distillation continues until we have a concentration of about 85-90%. During this process, we are extremely careful not to keep the preliminary channel and the post channel, and this is why D Argentum is so round and pleasant.

So we have our dill distillate. It must be thinned and blended, so that it becomes 40%. Which means we have to move it around using pallets and forklift trucks. Then it is quality tested. We do not add any other ingredients. The finished product is now ready! In every bottle of D Argentum, 7 g of fresh dill has been used. The finished product is transported in large tanks to the bottlery in Roskilde. Once there, Pia ensures it is bottled, corked, tax stamped and labelled. Voila! Hans Just’s highly professional personnel collect the product and transport it to the store.

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