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    Roger, Cant comment much about arak (arrack) as I really dont know much about it but the main reason spirit turns milky or cloudy is because mineral salts and
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2000
                Cant comment much about arak (arrack) as I really dont know much about it  but the main reason spirit turns milky or cloudy is because mineral salts and proteins in the water are precipitated out when mixed. You say you are using distilled water which should rule this out. Are you sure the water is really distilled or is properly distilled? Improper distillation can carry salts with it particularly in pot stills.
      The other thing could be your aniseed. It dosnt matter too much where it comes from as the flavour profile dosnt change very much, only the oil content changes a bit but should not vary too much to have any great effect. The main growing areas today are Spain, Eastern Europe, Russia, parts of the Middle East and India. Normal extraction is by steam distillation. I am wondering if this is where the problem may be as alcohol is a strong solvent which will break down cell walls extracting more protein matter etc.
      I doubt wether you need a reflux still as distillation started with and was a closely guarded Arab secret for centuries using simple alambics. Reflux stills have really only been around less than 150 years and arak has been made in the Middle East for hundreds of years if not millenia.
      Other ingredients used to make arak include and have included rice, sundry-palm sap, and dates.
      Another thing that could be used in the imported commercial arak (although this would certainly not be traditional) is star anise which is native to North Vietnam and Southern China and is used a lot today in place of traditional aniseed  as it is stronger and cheaper. This might explain the extra 2 peaks in the chromatograph. Only a real expert who is really experienced can tell the difference with most people preferring star anis over aniseed when used as flavouring. Constituents are anethol (85 to 90%), plus Phellandrene, safrol, and terpineol. ALSO traces of 1,4 cineol (Not found in aniseed and which can be used to trace the form).Suggest you asked the person who did the chromatography work if he can obtain a typical profile of star anis and compare them for those extra peaks.
      Apart from this cant help much further. Hope this of some help.
      B.r., David 
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