Aspects of Distillation (3): Insulation!

Introduction

“Aspects of Distillation” is a new series the iStill Blog hosts. It aims to cover as many aspects as possible. Aspects of – you guessed it! – the distillation process. Think alcohol formation, flavors, mashing, distillery design … and more. In fact, if you have a suggestion, please email us the aspect you want us to dive into. Via Odin@iStillmail.com. Today’s topic? The influence and importance of insulation on distillation.

Insulation

There are three things I want you to consider, when investigating the importance of insulation of your still (or absence of it) for the distillation process:

  1. In general: saves energy, which lowers run times and operating costs;
  2. Top of boiler insulation: minimizes inner-boiler reflux, which improves production rates;
  3. Column insulation: maintains vapor speeds, which lead to consistent flavor composition.

An insulated still radiates out less heat. As a result more of the energy input is used for the actual distillation process. Depending on distilling hall temperatures, these gains can easily result in 25% lower energy bills and 25% faster runs.

When the top of your boiler isn’t insulated, it acts as a heat-exchanger, that returns gasses to liquid state. The drops that form fall back into the boiler and decrease your distillation system’s overall efficiency. By insulating the top of the boiler, gains of up to 2 or 3 liter in spirits produced per hour can easily be achieved.

Finally, an uninsulated column or riser experiences variability in vapor speeds. Like the top of the uninsulated boiler, an uninsulated column acts like a heat-exchanger, returning gasses back to liquid state and thus lowering the total amount of gasses (and associated speeds) in the column. Variability in vapor speeds translates into inconsistent flavor composition of your drinks.

So guess what? Insulation is important for efficiencies, savings in time and money, and for flavor consistency. In short: you want your still insulated.

Feature

iStills have insulated boilers as well as insulated columns. It is a standard feature on all iStills.

Benefits

The benefits of the iStill insulation is that you save time on your run and money on your electricity bill. Unwanted inner-boiler reflux is minimized, which results in – again -faster production rates. The insulated column maintains stable vapor speeds, translating to a consistent flavor profile.

Insulation in black …

IMG_2590.jpg

http://www.iStill.com

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