Rethinking Distillery Design in Six Simple Steps!

1: Traditional set-up

Imagine a start-up whiskey producer that does initial research for his distillery design. Based on the traditional approach, he wants to invest in the following equipment:

  • 1000 liter masher;
  • 1000 liter fermenters (5x);
  • 1000 liter stripping still;
  • 500 liter finishing still.

Depending on where he orders, the above traditional approach to whiskey making will set him back 200 – 750K. To set-up his distillery, he’ll need an architect, installation engineers, probably a steam boiler, builders, and electricians.

For his day to day operation, he’ll need to hire an assistant to deal with all the manual labor involved. Think: grain handling, pumping, and cleaning. The distillery, after a slow learning curve, will make okay product. High quality is difficult to achieve since especially the traditional fermenters (where taste and alcohol are formed) aren’t supervised. Scalability is another issue, since any change to his set-up will create a bottle-neck.

2: Introducing modern technology

Now imagine that start-up whiskey producer doing some more online research. He finds iStill’s modern distilling solutions. When he applies iStill technology to his original, traditional set-up, the solution he comes up with will probably look something like this:

  • iStill Masher 1000;
  • iStill Fermenter 1000 (5x);
  • iStill Potstill 1000;
  • iStill 500 Hybrid.

Investing in the above solution will set him back 250K. He can cut down on staffing. He’ll also see an improvement in product quality due to the modern controls that the mashers, stills, and (especially) fermenters give him. An architect is optional. Installation engineers and builders don’t have to be hired anymore, and an electrician can hook the distillery up in about a day instead of a week.

3: Applying hybrid technology

After talking to maybe another iStill customer, our start-up whiskey producer starts to realize what additional goodies iStill’s hybrid still technology brings him: he can make better tasting whiskey in one (1) distillation run, saving him both time and money! He doesn’t need a separate finishing still! His set-up will now look like this:

  • iStill Masher 1000;
  • iStill Fermenter 1000 (5x);
  • iStill 1000 Hybrid.

Investing in the above solution will set him back 210K. He can cut down on staffing, since there is less grain handling and/or cleaning needed. The single distillation approach saves a day and a half on his weekly schedule and generates up to 20% more flavor in his New Make spirit.

4: Integrating technology

Imagine our start-up whiskey distiller then visiting a whiskey producer that already uses iStills. To his astonishment, he sees that this distiller has the following set-up:

  • iStill Fermenter 1000 (5x);
  • iStill 1000 Hybrid.

The distiller explains to him that the iStill 1000 Hybrid, with the mash & ferment package, can also mash and ferment. That’s why he didn’t invest in a masher, but decided to use the iStill 1000 Hybrid as both his masher and his still. This way he saves money on his initial investment, that’s now brought down to 175K, and on staffing.

5: First Principles solution

Now fully understanding the solutions that iStill’s disruptive technology offers, and reasoning from first principles, our new craft distiller finally gets it. This is the iStill distillery he ends up purchasing:

  • iStill 5000 Hybrid.

He can mash, ferment, and distill in the same machine. He no longer needs any staffing. Grain handling and cleaning is minimized, as is his initial investment, that is now down to 145K. The only thing he can still improve upon is the traditional slow learning curve whiskey producers are faced with. To solve that issue, he simply takes the first step …

6: The first step

He buys the iStill Mini and iStill Distilling University Course via: https://istill.com/mini