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A separation process in which a certain quantity of a mash is divided into a number of smaller quantities (fractions). As vapor ascends a fractionating column, some of it is condensed by a condenser coil and descends through the packing material back down the column in liquid form. At the same time, vapor rises through this liquid and the packing material in a process known as reflux.

Reflux increases the purity of the ascending vapors. As some of these vapors exit the top of the column, they enter the worm where they are cooled and condense into the final distillate.