Grains are milled, washed and steamed.
Baijiu is distilled using traditional Chinese stills which look like large dumpling steamers. These stills work by passing steam through the fermented grains to vaporize the alcohol.
Qu is the source of yeast for fermentation. It is created by soaking milled grains in water then packing the grain into bricks. The bricks are stored in a warm and damp environment for about a month. This propagates ambient yeast creating a unique blend of microorganisms that distinguishes each distillers spirit.
Unlike western distilling which uses a mash to convert the starches into a sugary mixture called wort which is then fermented, the baijiu making process involves adding steamed grains and qu to a clay pit for fermentation. The steamed grains and qu are covered with a blanket of clay and left to ferment in a solid state for about 70 days. This is what distinguishes baijiu and creates it's fruity, floral character.
After aging on both clay and stainless steel, multiple batches are blended together by nationally qualified tasters to ensure a consistent flavor profile.
Large clay pots are used for aging. Some distillers also finish with an oxidation period in stainless steel.