Last night I had a dream. I walked the streets and bumped into a guy. Instead of getting angry with me, he actually introduced himself as Elon Must.
“And I am a man with a dream,” he told me in my dream.
His dream was about setting up a the perfect micro distillery, he told me. Off course I introduced him to the iStill 250. And, yes, I tried to convince him that’s all he needed.
But he challenged me, telling me a micro distillery isn’t just about perfect cuts and perfect hearts. He told me it was about mashing, fermenting and stripping as well.
He spoke, I listened. He told some more, and I consumed it. He just didn’t stop talking and somehow, in my dream, I just couldn’t stop listening.
And then the alarm clock went off, it was 7 am and I had to get up, take that shower, go see a client …
Most of the times you dream, you forget about it in minutes. Sometimes, when you dream, you remember. Good memory or a good dream? Anyhow, I remembered what Elon told me. And even remembering the dream I had … it made sense. I will give you the concise. Buckle up, because here we go!
“Let’s say the iStill 250 is the perfect rig to run,” Elon said and I couldn’t disagree with him.
“Let’s say it is the perfect set-up for your spirit run,” he continued and I felt I should tell him that our rigs can do a strip and spirit run in one go, but …
“Just hold on!” Elon told me, before I could even raise my voice.
“There is something I want you to think about,” he continued, “and it is this: an iStill 250 charged with 24% low wines will be three times as effective, from an efficiency point-a-view, than one charged with only 8% low wines.”
I couldn’t disagree with him, especially since a 24% low wines run of about 200 to 250 liters is a nice day’s work for the iStill 250, where an 8% wash will just take 4.5 hours to deal with.
“So if you agree,” he asked me, without asking me if I agreed, “what do you need to charge the iStill 250 with, in order to make more product as well as more money?”
“About 200 to 250 liters of … 24% low wines?” I asked, knowing the answer would please him.
“Yes!” he answered promptly, only to continue by asking me how I would provide the iStill 250 with around 225 liters of 24% low wines.
“A stripper!” I exclaimed. “The iStripper!” I continued, starting to grasp the direction he wanted me to take my thinking.
It didn’t take us long before we calculated a 1000 liter gross capacity stripper would enable 750 liters of 8% wash to be distilled, in a good day’s work, to around 230 liters of 24 to 25% low wines. We also calculated energy input during heat-up (around 50 KW) and energy input during the actual run time (between 15 and 20 KW). Hey, we even calculated what size tubing, shotgun condensors, etc. it would take.
It took some time to work it out, but since I was asleep, who cares, right?
And at the end of our calculations I told him I finally got where he wanted me to go: an iStill 250 as a spirit still, fed by an iStripper 1000 for … stripping.
He looked at me in a disappointed kinda way. “Odin,” he told me, “you still don’t get it.”
“It isn’t just about stripping and doing a great, automated spirit run,” Elon told me. “Think one step ahead of that. And when you feel you are there … take another step from there, just following the normal flow an ideal micro distillery would have …
A few minutes later, I woke up.
But a few hours later, I still hadn’t forgotten that dream I had.
Now, a few days later, I present you Elon’s dream, my dream for a perfect micro distillery set-up.
Here we go:
- Two 2,000 liters (that’s 2 times 520 gallons) mash tuns;
- Being used, via single infusion mashing, to convert starches into fermentable sugars;
- And being so versatile they can then be used as “on the grain” fermenting vessels (iFermenters?);
- Providing you with two times 1,500 liters of wash …;
- That give you the possibility, on a weekly basis, of taking out four times 750 liters of wort to ferment and distill: say 1,500 liters (400 gallons) of 8% beer on Monday and another 1,500 liters (400 gallons) on Wednesday;
- Put 750 liters of 8% beer in the iStripper 1000 and strip the sh*t out of it, starting Monday, and so on …;
- It will give 230 liters of 25% low wines on Monday, and another 230 liters of 25% low wines on Tuesday;
- Since the other iFermenter 2000 is ready by Wednesday, you can do another strip of 750 liters 8% beer on Wednesday and yet another one on Thursday;
- The first 230 liters of 25% low wines you can put in the iStill 250 for a spirit run on Tuesday;
- Since it will pretty much run itself automatically, running the iStripper 1000 and iStill 250 together won’t be much of a hassle;
- Run your iStill 250 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as well!
Total investment to run Elon’s perfect micro distillery set-up? Let me sum it up for you:
- Two 2,000 liters (that’s around 520 gallons) iFermenters;
- One will cost around EUR 2,200.-, which is about USD 2,900;
- And since you need two that’s EUR 4,400,- or USD 5,800;
- Next investment? The iStripper 1000. It will cost you EUR 6,000, which is USD 8,000;
- Let’s not forget the iStill 250: another EUR 6,000 or USD 8,000.
Total investment for Elon’s perfect micro distillery? EUR 16,400 or USD 21,800.- Throw in some piping, a few electrical issues, a pump or two … and you are in business for under USD 25,000!
Returns? Product output? Just hang in there. A 25% low wines charge of around 230 liters will give 100 liters of 60% whiskey. In other words, this 25 K set-up will give you the possibility to fill a 100 liters or 25 gallon barrel like four times per week. Taking cuts & angels shares into consideration, this perfect micro distillery can yield you over 500 liters of 40% whiskey (or vodka or brandy …) per week. That’s 700 bottles a week or 35,000 bottles a year. If you take like USD 4.- as a profit margin per bottle … that’s USD 140 K in profits. If you can deduct your investment into your perfect micro distillery in just five years, actual revenue will be USD 135 K. Do you want to take gas, electricity, water and rent into the equasion? You still will be making over USD 90 K doing what you like to do most …
We will be bringing the iFermenter 2000 to the market place as of right now. And, yes, we are currently designing and testing the iStripper 1000 that goes along with the dream.
Are you interested? Do you share my dream of you making a living out of distilling? Please let me know and I will help you realize your dreams. Our new products aren’t visible on our website yet, but we sure as hell can deliver them to your distillation site ASAP!