Ethanol Plant Makes Vodka on the Side

At last, an ethanol plant that produces something with more value than the sum of the inputs! Most of the time, the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company in Benson Minnesota takes local corn and turns it into ethanol for fuel as part of the current ethanol boom. Part of the time, local rye and wheat farmers deliver their produce to distill into one of America's best vodkas. It is all the same process and the same result; just a different name and a little more distilling. "It's all about degree of purity," said Lee [plant manager], who said that making smooth vodka meant distilling the liquid repeatedly to remove unwanted flavors and chemical compounds. "You have some of that in bourbon. You don't want that in vodka." The Benson brew is distilled six times, one more than Grey Goose. According to the Washington Post: Benson, marooned in a region where it has proved hard to preserve jobs and morale, appears to be a pint-size success story. The ethanol plant employs 45 full-time workers and plans to nearly double its capacity. ::Washington Post Interesting that there isn't a peep on the Shakers website that it is made in an industrial ethanol plant. ::Shakers

Tags: Ethanol

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