General term (lat. macerare = to soak) for obtaining extracts by steeping plant parts in liquids such as alcohol, oil or water. The addition of herbs, blossoms or fruits to alcoholic beverages with the aim of flavouring is also called maceration. The product is called a macerate. This is a purely physical process in which no chemical substance-changing processes take place. If this process is supported by adding heat or heating the mash, it is also referred to as digestion (see under mash heating). The longer the duration, the more intensive the extraction (leaching) of anthocyanins (colourants) and tannins (tannins) from the berries. Filling the empty space in the container with carbon dioxide intensifies the effect. The period can be days, weeks or several months and is called the maceration period.
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