an Irish inventor and distiller. He patented a single column still in 1830, enhancing the original design for the column still by Robert Stein in 1826. His column still became widely popular and is known as the "Coffey still" or "Patent Still". Early Coffey stills produced spirits of about 60% or somewhat higher alcohol by volume concentration. Modern versions can achieve much higher alcohol concentrations – approaching 95.6% alcohol. As alcohol forms an azeotrope with water at this concentration, it is impossible to achieve higher purity alcohol by distillation alone.
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