Rigorous Testing Creates Perfection!


Every unit we build is tested to the max. And since our units are automated and robotized, every run creates more data. Data that we can use to further optimize the automated programs we offer our customers via firmware updates. Here’s an iStill Blog post that shows how we test and what the parameters are that we get over.

Today’s test run

Currently, we are testing a 500 liter iStill. The unit is filled with 450 liters of 30% low wines and we are doing both potstill run tests and pure run test. The first category teaches us how fast the unit can strip and/or finish taste rich product. We do these tests at 50% power settings, to simulate finishing, and at 100% power setting to simulate stripping. The second category – testing pure mode – tells us what the maximum ABV is that the unit can produce and at what rates it does so.

Strip run test in potstill mode

The iStill 500 produces 51 liters per hour at robot opening 750 and 100% power. This means the unit strips at over 50 liters per hour. The column cooler settles at 33C. Well below the maximum cooling temperature of 50C. Great result for the column and cooling!

Finishing run test in potstill mode

The iStill 500 produces 25 liters per hour at robot opening 500 and 50% power. That’s mimicking a slow finishing run, with relatively low vapor speeds. The cooler temperature drops to  below 27C. Again, a great result for both column and cooler.

Pure run test

We are currently finishing the pure run, where we make vodka and GNS. With a power setting of 80%, a robot tolerance of 0.3C, and a first opening of 200, the unit easily reaches > 96.5%. The amount produced is 21.5 liters per hour. In plain English? The iStil 500 reaches maximum purity levels (azeotrope) and produces 21.5 liters of it per hour. Another world record for iStill! Here are some pictures:

iStill 500 NextGen going through its test cycles …


Touch screen computer showing the pure run tests …


Alcohol strength above 96.5% …


Potstill run at 100% power: influence of robot setting …



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