Team from Japan Invents Wood Alcohol

Research teams from Japan have revealed that they have found a way to produce alcoholic drinks from different trees and other types of wood. Soon drinkers will be able to taste all kinds of wood produced for alcoholic drinks with different flavors and tastes. So far, the team was able to distill an alcoholic drink made from the wood of a cherry tree.


The researchers are from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute of Japan. They were able to distil alcoholic drinks using the bark of the tree. The team has said that the woody qualities of the drink is aged and fermented in wood barrels. They also hope to have their alcohol from wood on shelves within the next three years.

The method of turning wood into alcohol starts with pulverizing the wood into a creamy paste and then adding yeast and a particular enzyme to jump start the fermentation process. By avoiding heat, they are able to preserve the flavor of the wood. So far, the team has been able to produce tipples from cedar, birch, and cherry wood.


Four kilograms of cedar wood was able to produce 3.8 liters of liquid, with an alcohol content of 15 percent. This percentage is similar to one of the most beloved drinks of Japan, sake. Researchers experimented with a distilled and a brewed version of the drink.

“We think distilled alcohol appears better.” said researcher Kengo Magara, “But our method can make it drinkable, and with a wood flavor, because it does not require high heat or sulfuric acid to decompose the wood,” Magara added.

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