What’s in a Name?


What’s in a name? Well, if its fine, nothing much. But what if names are confusing? In that case we’d better change them. And that is where this post is about. New names for some of the processes the iStills support. Old wine in a new bottle? Maybe. Probably. But we want to inform you anyhow!

Old Menu Set-up

The iStill supports pretty much all functions a Craft Distiller needs:

  • Mashing (to turn starches into sugars);
  • Fermenting (to turn sugars into alcohol);
  • Distilling (to turn distillers beers and wines into spirits);
  • Extracting (to extract ultimate taste profiles from fruits, herbs, berries, and nuts);
  • Accelerated Aging (under the Heating Program).


Some confusion arose among our customers about how we named the two distillation programs. Or how they should interpret them.

We had “Robot Distilling”. That was easy enough: programs one can use for robotized distillation runs. And we had “Manual Distilling”. In this program the robot just opens and delivers a (more or less controlled) potstill run. The robot does not do much, but the automation takes care of the whole run. And that’s where the confusion started, because … if the whole run is automated, why call it “Manual”?

We did give it that name to distinguish this run for the run where the robot actively intervened and we felt that “Automated” wasn’t a good name either, because in that case our customers for sure would have thought that the robotized runs weren’t automated. And runs where the robot is actively involved are actually also fully automated.

New Menu Names

To lift the confusion, we decided to rename “Manual Distilling” and “Robot Distilling”. The focus now lays on where the Craft Distiller actually uses the two programs, for most of the time.

The program formerly known as “Manual Distilling” is mostly used for pot distilled products like gin and whiskey and rum. Even with a one or 1.5 distillation approach. So we decided to call it “Potstill Run”.

The program formerly known as “Robot Distilling” is mostly used for vodka and GNS production. We therefore now call it “Pure Run”.

For existing iStill customers: the functionality of the two programs does not change! It’s just the names that are different.

To add to the confusion

Just to add a little confusion back in, please know that you can use “Potstill Run” and still manipulate the setting of the robot. Indeed, manually. This means you have perfect control over cuts and purity. It allows you to make a rum, whiskey, or brandy in one run. Just close the robot a little bit. Or you can stay with the more traditional two or 1.5 distillation approach. Only vodka making will be quite a challenge, because it asks for a lot of manual intervention.

But luckily the “Pure Run” will do that for you. Robotized and automated. And the fun thing is, that we can also manipulate the robot through predefined programs, so that even in “Pure Run” mode you can make taste rich products, in such a way that Heads and Tails smearing is even more controlled than in potstill mode.

Versatility is great. Making any product on the iStills is great. We have changed the technology in distilling industry, and moved things forward by a century and a half, but names and procedures use old, traditional names. Sometimes that’s the way it is …






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