Abstract A non-cooking-fermentation system was evaluated using both small-scale and bench pilot-scale equipment. This system employed a commercially available fungal enzyme preparation as saccharifying agent together with citric acid. The fermentation was optimised both for temperature and proportion of seed inoculum. The fermentation products from bench-scale equipment were distilled under vacuum or atmospheric conditions and the distillates were assessed by a taste panel. Distillates produced under atmospheric conditions from non-cooking-fermentation compared favourably with those produced from cooking-fermentation. This method of production could result in significant savings of labour and energy if operated on a production scale.