This post is about new things, both product wise and procedure wise, that we will change in 2016. Underneath, I will address:
- Total product line-up;
- iStill One product developments;
- iStill 250/500 product developments;
- Training and buying;
- Assembly, testing, and training;
- Software support and development costs.
Total product line-up
This year and last year, we have invested heavily in the development of a total iStill production line. We have designed, developed, produced and installed the iStill Masher, the iStill Fermenter, the iStill One and the iStill Pump.
We believe that, with these additions, we can deliver the Craft Distiller a complete turn-key distillery that helps him (or her) produce any product imaginable. More versatility, more control, better output at lower costs …
So … unless you can convince us we still need to really, really develop something completely new … we’d like to consider our complete line-up, well, complete. That means: we won’t be introducing totally new pieces of equipment in 2016.
iStill One product developments
If you have followed the iStill Blog, you may have read that last year we discovered an all new way to manipulate the distillation process to your benefit.
By taking advantage of the fact that distilling devices create minimal amounts of autonomous pressure, we can now help you manage that pressure to make totally compacted Fores and Heads cuts. Also, pressure management, in combination with our advanced column packing, now allows the craft distiller to get a perfect and increadibly taste rich Hearts cut at 60%. Why 60%? Because that’s the perfect ABV for barrel ageing. Barrel ageing without having to dilute flavour first …
We added this functionality to the iStill One. From now onwards, the iStill One family will be equiped with a computer that allows you to dial in (slightly) higher autonomous gas pressures for better Fores and Heads cuts and for achieving maximum taste transfer into Hearts in one distillation cycle. Simply put? The iStill One 2016 helps you get a bigger and even more tasty Hearts faction!
The computer has been updated, so you can now actively persue pressure management, while distilling. Easy does it: just dial in one number and the computer will take care of it. And the iStill One, from now onwards, has a pressure management system as well as an automated pressure control unit to help you achieve optimal results.
iStill 250/500 product developments
With the iStill 250/500 family, there are three major developments you can take advantage of from this moment onwards:
- ATEX certification;
- iPad connectivity (2016).
The iStill 250/500 can be ordered as is … or with ATEX certification. ATEX means the rig is fully certified to deal with the most strict legislation concerning electronics and their functioning in what is potentialy an explosive environment (hey, we are working with up to 96% alcohol, right?). This means: all new electronics. Expensive, but it gives you certification, if that’s needed. And since not all countries need ATEX certification, there will be a choice: the normal iStill 250/500’s or the ATEX certified range. More on ATEX pricing in a few weeks.
From now on, the columns of the iStill 250/500 will be segmentized. You can run as many segments as you want. Four segments for total functionality, so with Pure and Potstill mode. Two or three segments for Poststill mode in a height restricted environment. Connectivity? The segments use tri-clamps for easy connectivity.
In 2016 we will bring iPad connectivity to the market. There is a “but”, though! ATEX does not allow for radio transmisions. So the non-ATEX certified rigs can benefit from this functionality, but the ATEX certified rigs cannot.
Training and buying
Up until now, Craft Distillers can buy the iStill 50, VISION, 250 or 500 without any conditions up front. From 2016 onwards this will change. We want our customers, all of our customers, to get proper training prior to obtaining any of the above iStills.
Do you want to buy an iStill? First get training at one of our iStill Centers. Amsterdam, USA East Coast and (from April 2016 onwards) the USA West Coast. You can contact us for a personal training day (EUR 795,-) or apply for one of the group courses (EUR 395,-). If you decide to purschase an iStill, the investment you made in training will be deducted from the total price of the equipment you buy.
Why we find training important? For two reasons. First, it gives you the opportunity to be as well informed as you can be, prior to making a purchase decision. Secondly, our equipment is like 1 1/2 century ahead of what other still manufacturers deliver. It takes some training to wrap your head around our designs, so the Craft Distiller can take complete advantage of what we offer. Training will help you get there.
Assembly, testing, and training
For the iStill One, the iStill Masher and/or the iStill Fermenters we always come by for assembly, testing and training. That will not change. What will change is the requirements prior to us coming over.
So far, we have been taking it … leasurely? Yes, we told you we needed chimney X and water connection Y and gas connection Z and electricity with A and/or B specs … but most of the times we came by for assembly, testing and training, we found out that preparations were not finished. Please envision that we fly in and carefully plan everything … only to find out that the conditions we need to be able to set you up correctly are not met. The price we (you and us) pay? We may have to fly in twice. You may not get all the training you need. No more of that.
What changes for 2016? We will sent you detailed instructions and paperwork on what we need prior to flying over. And if – due to often very valid delays – the conditions for setting you up are not met, we simply won’t have the team fly over for assembly, testing and training.
Heck, you pay for assembly, testing and training. We simply want you to get the most out of it!
If you follow our trainings and pass the end test, you will get a certificate. The certificate signifies not only that you followed proper training, but that you learned what you need to know to be able to use our equipment optimaly.
iStill Craft Distillers get a one year warranty. Total warranty with the exclusion of maltreatment, induction or dry cooking.
Customers that fail initial certification will get a personal one on one Skype call with feedback and more information on the topics that need improvement. Then another test will take place. Those that fail again (and it is in our interest to have all of you as learned, educated and experienced as possible) will keep the normal warranty. Customers that certify will be rewarded by a two year warranty period.
Summary? We train you, you pay attention, you pass the test, you get certified and you get an additional year of warranty for free.
Software support and development costs
The mashing, fermentation, and distillation equipment iStill offers has reached the point where – structurally – we do not want to change much anymore. The thing we do want to keep on developing, though, is our firmware. New software releases will make our rigs more and more versatile. Today and in the future.
In order to finance the future development of our firmware, we will, from 2016 onwards, charge yearly software support costs. New customers will get new patches for free, that’s your benefit. We finance both the development and the distribution of new software releases from these yearly software support costs. The costs attribute to no more than 5% of the total purchase sum per annum. The first year will be for free.