Think out of the box …

So here I am. I just assembled a new iStill 50. To be used by (future) clients visiting the iStill Center. The old one I moved over to the Showroom. I thought of selling it for a moment, but then decided not to. Heritage? Atachment? Probably both. Funny, how distilling together can create a bond. Between distillers working together as well as between the distiller and his distillation equipment.

Yesterday I broke the new iStill 50 in. Filled the boiler with some 40 liters of rye beer and started the potstill program. After some initial blowbacks, like a burned down power box, due to me doing the wiring of the heating element all wrong, everything went fine.

The iStill was stripping and I sat down on a chair, looking at the still, thinking. My thoughts drifted to the carbon filter. Not sure why. I assembled it but connected the silicone hoses in such a way that the actual filter was by-passed. The advantage? Like that I can use one outlet valve for Fores and Heads, and the other (normally going to the filter) for the collection of Hearts. A five second job, to change the lay-out like that. And this way you don’t have to change collection vessels for Fores, Heads, and Hearts. Easier.

Still, I sat there wondering. And my eyes turned back to the carbon filter again and again. Remember, this new iStill just got assembled yesterday. I did place the stainless steel filter and I hooked up the solenoid valve preventing the carbon to dry out after a run. But I hadn’t actually put the carbon in the filter.

Now, you probably know I am a big Genever (Dutch Gin) fan. And you may know I am out of stock. One and one made two. This is the idea that I got: “Why not use the filter as a gin maceration device?” I mean, with 1.3 liters of content, for sure it is big enough. And it has a carbon crash prevention screen at the bottom with holes only 0.02 mm big. If that can hold even the tiniest carbon particles out of your product, couldn’t it do the same to gin and prevent gin particle contamination in the final drink?

Here’s what I will do. First, I will finish stripping. Two more runs to go. Then I will re-introduce the low wines into the boiler. Next step? I will dial in the Pure Program and choose 15 minutes of stabilization and 0.3 degrees as a maximum variation. End Temperature will be set at 97%. I will select the Fores & Heads Removal Program as well as the carbon filter. But instead of filling the filter with carbon, I will put berries & herbs in.

Let’s see if this works! Because if it does … we just found an extra easy way to make a gin or genever or absinth. This way, we can even start making “one run gins”. Just take a wash and put it in the boiler. Fill the filter with herbs & berries. Take Fores & Heads via the Fores & Heads outlet. Then take product via the … Gin Filter (?).

I’ll keep you posted …

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6 thoughts on “Think out of the box …

      • Thanks Odin, sounds very interesting indeed. Can I also ask, what was the amount of spirit collected from the i250 batch, and what was the strength before reducing down to your suggested 43-45%?

  1. G, on a 30% low wines, and in potstill mode, you get to around 70% hearts on your gin run. Or a bit lower, since the base drink is already cut for tails. Since there is no tails to worry about, you can go as far up in temp as 98 degrees, with just some 3% boiler abv left. That’s what I did on my gin run with the new iStill 50. And with an around 25% boiler charge, that gave me a gin of 62%. A 30% low wines will give around 70% if you stop at 97 degrees, and maybe 66% if you stop at 98, I estimate.

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