WiFi Standard Equipment Now!

By continuously listening to your feedback, iStill makes distilling easier. Sometimes this translates into a new technological innovation. Sometimes it is as simple as rearranging our option list and establishing what should maybe become part of the standard package.

The additional WiFi module was an option many of you appreciated. Over the past few years, ever since we added this option, you have been adding it to your orders in bigger and bigger numbers. So much so, that we now decided to add the WiFi module to iStill’s standard equipment list.

What this means? It simply means that any iStill 500, 2000, or 5000 that’s being ordered from June 14th 2020 onwards will automatically come with this (former) option now included as standard!

And what it brings you? Well, you can remotely access and manage your iStill. No “strings” attached.

WiFi now standard …

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http://www.iStill.com

FTOD 2015: Odin on Whiskey vs. Fruit Brandy Column Design

“From The Old Days (FTOD)” is a series of interesting iStill Blog posts from yesteryear. Is the info we shared still valuable? Is the craft distilling industry on track of improving, innovating, catching up with Big Alcohol? Or are these articles of old still just as valid today as they were back in the day when they were published?

Introduction

This post continues where the last one stopped. Please read the first post on column design first. Better still, read the two posts prior to that, on boiler design as well.

I finished the first post on column design with a statement that needs further explanation: fruit brandy columns are not ideal for whiskey making. Let’s dive in deeper.

Fruit brandy column lay-out

Fruit brandy columns usually have a wide, broad column, completely made out of copper. Most of the time they do not sit directly on top of the boiler, but on top of an onion like structure called a helmet. Inside the column, there are usually 4, 5, or even 6 bubble cap plates. Near the top of the column you find the so-called dephlagmator. On top of that there may be an additional copper catalyst. After that some horizontal tubing that connects the column to the product cooler. Here’s where gasses get transferred from column to be cooled down to product.

Catalyst

The catalyst is a section near the top of the fruit brandy column filled with copper packing. It is there to deal with unwanted sulfur compounds. Fruit brandy ferments create lots of sulfer, that’s why a catalyst is needed.

Dephlagmator

The dephlagmator is a sort of column cooler. It is a section where the gasses that travel upwards go through tubes that are cooled with water. As a result part of the gasses condense and drop back onto the bubble cap plates.

Bubble cap plates

The bubble cap plates are filled with condensed gasses that fall down from the dephlagmator. The rising gasses, from the boiler or from the plate below, now have to travel through this liquid bath. In this way each plate, with liquids on top of them, effectively performs one distillation.

Wide copper column

The wide column ensures relative low vapor speeds. The column is made out of copper so it can help clean up sulfuric compounds.

What fruit brandy distillers look for

As we did with whiskey, we need to ask ourselves what a fruit brandy column needs to do in order to support the Master Distiller’s wish to make fine fruit brandy. Again, as with whiskey, the answer is easy: the fruit brandy column needs to help harvest the right tastes.

What the right taste components are for a fruit brandy? That’s easy to answer too. Contrary to a whiskey, that get’s most of its taste and character from (early) Tails smearing into Hearts, a fruit brandy gets its taste mostly from Heads smearing into Hearts.

With the Tree Metaphor in mind we can easily envision this: fruity tastes come over in the first parts of the run. During Heads. So … for a great fruit brandy the column needs to facilitate the smearing of Heads into Hearts.

Not much good can be found in Tails, when you are making a fruit brandy, so a well designed fruit brandy column makes sure Tails don’t come over.

The last thing a fruit brandy column is designed to do, is to clean up sulfurs. Sulfuric compounds are formed in abundance during fruit fermentation. They make the drink undrinkable. Fortunately, copper reacts with sulfur and sorta neutralizes it.

How this design favors fruit brandy making

The onion or helmet on top of the boiler (and situated below the actual column) does three things. Remember that high rpm spinner fruit brandy stills use? And how they throw the pulp high into the gas bed? The helmet creates extra head space, so the pulp (or grains, when a fruit brandy still is used for whiskey making) flying around does not enter the actual column.

The second thing the helmet does is create a buffer for turbulence. The turbulence is caused by the narrow boiler design and fast spinning agitator. The helmet sits well above that so that most of the turbulence created in the boiler gets a chance to subside, prior to entering the column.

Thirdly, the helmet functions as an expansion chamber, slowing vapor speed down.

The column, sitting on top of the helmet, is fed with low vapor speed gasses. The wide fruit brandy column design makes sure vapor speeds stay low during the entire distillation run.

Why slow vapor speeds help the fruit brandy distiller? Remember that big, heavy molecules need a lot of speed, when we want them to come over in the final product? Well, Ethanol needs much less energy to be distilled. And the Headsy fractions, like Methanol and Ethyl Acetate, need even less energy.

This is the really important part. Pay attention, please, here we go …

It is the lower vapor speeds that favor the separation of Headsy tastes and allow a fruit distiller to smear them in a controlled way into Hearts! 

They need the low vapor speeds to ensure that at the beginning of a run more (and more pure) Heads come over. Due to the fact that they use relatively inefficient dephlagmators that can usually only cool down part of the gasses, higher vapor speeds would smear in too much Ethanol, making good cuts for Fores and Heads more difficult. The lack of total column control means they are left with no other option than to slow vapor speeds down as much as possible.

But … low vapor speeds mean no Tails come over, right? Right! But that is of no concern to the fruit brandy distiller. In a fruit brandy distillate the Tails only cause off-tastes and problems. It is a major concern when you want to make whiskey or rum, though …

In fact, apart from the low vapor speeds, even the water baths on top of the bubble cap plates, and their respective temperatures (ABV-related, off course), prevent the smearing of Tails into Hearts. Tails get trapped and accumulate in on the lower plates.

Low vapor speeds and copper are the key to fruit brandy distillation. The low vapor speed allows the distiller to work with Heads, while not having to worry about Tails. The copper takes care of the sulfur rich fruit brandy washes.

Instead of a narrow column, a wide column is better. Lower vapor speeds again. And efficiency isn’t very important. In fact, an efficient still, with insulated column will decrease the amount of passive reflux that helps fill the bubble cap trays. And the net energy gain, caused by augmented energy efficiency, will increase instead of reduce vapor speeds.

Oh, and last but not least, fruit brandy stills have a lot of plates. The alcohol needs to come off at a rather high ABV, in order to give the fruit brandy Master Distiller the capability to (1) Harvest a good Heads faction, while (2) still being able to get rid of unwanted Fores. Remember that the Heads and Fores factions are much more volatile and also much smaller than the Tails faction.

This is quite critical. Fruit brandy does not age as long as whiskey does. Neither do (unwanted, overly concentrated) Fores and Heads faction age out as well as early Tails do. The fruit brandy maker therefore needs more control. Because the 1860 technology does not provide total column management systems, he needs to have the extra plates and higher ABV to improve control.

And why it isn’t the best when making whiskey

We concluded in the previous post that a still designed for whiskey making should be efficient and have a rather narrow column. The narrow column creates the vapor speeds needed to carry over early Tails. The efficiency of the still makes it possible to use power management as an effective means to influence vapor speeds even more. More power in for more smearing, less power in for less smearing.

Fruit brandy stills don’t promote higher vapor speeds, so if smearing early Tails into Hearts is your goal, as it is when making whiskey … you will have a hard task at hand.

Most distillers that use fruit brandy equipment for whiskey making have to re-run their Tails again and again (I know one distillery that re-uses Tails five times!), just to get sufficient amounts of Tails associated congeners over in their final product.

Fruit brandy columns are made from copper and uninsulated. Copper radiates off incredible amounts of energy into the distilling room. That’s the second problem.

Even if you wanted to enforce higher vapor speeds by adding more power, most of that power just translates to more energy losses rather than higher vapor speeds. And even if you can circumvent that by for instance insulating the column … the additional gasses would just start throwing the water beds on top of the plates in the air, thus creating vapor channeling, where huge amounts of Tails can suddenly overwhelm both the system and your drink.

Third problem? Copper is expensive in two ways: to buy and to run. Yes it serves a goal when making fruit brandy, by keeping sulfurs under control, but grain washes only produce limited amounts of sulfur.

Copper is much more expensive to buy. And it is much more expensive to run, due to energy losses. An expensive and inefficient fruit brandy still means your whiskey’s cost price will be higher. Well, explain that to your shareholders, now that Craft Distillers too are faced with more and more intense price competition!

There’s yet another challenge, when you want to use a fruit brandy still to make whiskey. Fruit brandy stills have too many plates. Whiskey needs just two or three distillations, not four or five. There are three problems associated with redistilling whiskey too much:

  1. Capital investment and cost price: you buy more plates than you need;
  2. The taste will become thinner with each distillation cycle;
  3. High ABV new make whiskey spirit … needs to be watered down right away!

Whiskey needs barrel aging. And barrel aging takes place at around 60%. So, as long as the whiskey is distilled in such a way that proper cuts can be made, usually twice, let’s try to keep our Hearts cut as close to the 60% as possible. Why? Easy. If we have to water an 80% new make down to 60% … we dilute away around a quart of the total taste potential. When making whiskey, you are after taste. You want to harvest taste, not dilute it!

And that’s the third reason why whiskey made in a fruit brandy still is so often thin in taste. A recap:

  1. No Maillard Reaction in the boiler;
  2. Low vapor speeds and liquid baths on plates effectively block early Tails smearing into Hearts;
  3. High ABV new make spirit needs to be diluted right away.

Conclusions

Great whiskey can be “found” where early Tails smear into Hearts. Whiskey distillation therefore benefits from an efficient still combined with a narrow column for high vapor speeds. The high vapor speed helps getting over early Tails. An efficient still allows you to control that process by means of power management.

The very popular fruit brandy stills are not ideal, when you are in the pursuit of making great whiskey, because they are designed to harvest Headsy rather than Tails related congeners. Because of low vapor speeds, too many distillation cycles, and indirectly fired boilers, the whiskey tends to come over tasting thin.

More?

Yes, for sure. Next post will be about how we apply the “lessons learned” and “vision shared” into our product designs. And maybe a fourth post after that? Yes, on brandy, rum and vodka.

http://www.istill.eu

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iStill Glossology!

Introduction

Here’s an explanation of the terminology we use, when giving the iStills their names. What does “iStill 100 Hybrid NextGen” mean? And how is it different from an “iStill 200 Potstill Manual”? Let’s dive in deeper …

Manufacturer

All iStills are called “iStill”. The plural is “iStills”. One iStill 100 and two iStills 100. It is that easy.

Size

Since size matters, that’s what comes next. Our sizes are in metric. “iStill 500” for example means “500 liter boiler”. Please note that, contrary to other still manufacturers, we display net filling content instead of gross filling levels. An iStill 500 fits 500 liters of wash or low wines. And an iStill 2000 holds 2000 liters.

Column type

Next comes the column type. We have potstills, plated stills, and hybrid stills. An iStill 500 Potstill is … well, a net 500 liter potstill, designed and made by iStill.

The iStill Potstill performs a single distillation during a run, and creates robust flavors. Think Single Malt whisky, heavy rums, and Cognac or Gin.

The iStill Plated performs multiple distillation cycles in one run, and creates medium flavored products. This unit is great for brandy, Bourbon, Irish whiskey, and medium rums.

The iStill Hybrid is the jack-of-all-trades. It can perform a pot distillation like the iStill Potstill. It can perform multiple distillation cycles in one run, like the iStill Plated. And it can do many distillation cycles in one run, when making vodka. This unit can make any spirit.

Management

The last bit in our nomenclature depicts how the iStill is managed. It can be done manually, with the iStill Manual Series, or via the automation & robotization that our NextGen series offer.

The iStill 500 Potstill Manual, for instance, works together with the StillControl App & Probe. The probe relais the temperature to the app on your phone. The app allows you to dial in cut points and tells you when to cut for heads, hearts, and tails.

The iStill 500 Potstill Nextgen is fully automated. You can dial in your own cut points and the unit will – automatically – cut for heads, hearts, and tails.

Examples

The iStill 2000 Hybrid NextGen is a 2000 liter net boiler capacity still, with a hybrid column, that is managed via our amazing automation & robotization.

The iStill 200 Plated Manual is a 200 liter net boiler capacity still, with a plated column, that is managed by you, using the StillControl App & Probe.

The iStill 5000 Potstill NextGen is our 5000 liter still, with potstill column, that is managed via iStill’s automation & robotization suite.

Robot …

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Big in the USA!

This week sees four larger units in final assembly. Three iStills 2000, of which two will go to customers in the USA, and one will go to a distillery situated in the North of the Netherlands. One iStill 5000, that will ship to the USA, to a customer that already has an iStill 500 and 5000.

Four more distilleries hitting the road soon …

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http://www.iStill.com

Additional Manhole Standard Equipment Now!

By continuously listening to your feedback, iStill makes distilling easier. Sometimes this translates into a new technological innovation. Sometimes it is as simple as rearranging our option list and establishing what should maybe become part of the standard package.

The additional square manhole was an option many of you appreciated. Over the past few years, ever since we added this option, you have been adding it to your orders in bigger and bigger numbers. So much so, that we now decided to add the additional square manhole to iStill’s standard equipment list.

What this means? It simply means that any iStill 500, 2000, or 5000 that’s being ordered from July 14th 2020 onwards will automatically come with this (former) option now included as standard!

Additional square manhole now standard …

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http://www.iStill.com

iStill Pricing per July 14th 2020!

iStill Pricing per July 14th 2020 …

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From July 14th 2020 onwards:

  • All iStills Manual come with the StillControl app and iStill Bluetooth Thermometer;
  • iStills NextGen come with the full PLC-suite, automation, and robotization;
  • All iStills come with our industry leading online Distilling University included;
  • iStill 500/1000/2000/5000 come with extra square manhole as standard;
  • iStill 500/1000/2000/5000 NextGens come with Wifi-module as standard;
  • iStill 500/1000/2000/5000 come with pre-cooler as standard;
  • Manual iStills can be retrofitted to NextGens (automated & robotized) later;
  • “On the grain” consists of the Jet Propulsion Agitator System and indirect heaters;
  • “On the grain” is also retrofittable to your iStill afterwards;
  • “Mash/Ferment” needs the purchase of the “On the grain”-package as well;
  • “Mash/Ferment” consists of the boiler radiator and mash/ferment software;
  • “Mash/Ferment” is retrofittable on the iStill 500/1000/2000/5000;
  • The Extractor is retrofittable to all units;
  • Unsigned quotations, issued before July 14th, will expire on their expiration date;
  • Quotations issued from July 14th 2020 onwards will use the above price-list.

http://www.iStill.com

 

 

Manual Potstill by iStill!

Robust Flavors, Distilled Consistently

Many distillers are interested in running their stills manually. If only that could be combined with a measure of supervision and help, to let them perform other jobs at the distillery, during the run … And if only that manual potstill could be designed in such a way that the robust flavors they are after can be produced more consistently … Guess what? That’s exactly what the iStill Manual Series offers!

Features & Benefits

Dual Riser Design (DRD)

The iStill Potstill’s unique Dual Riser Design combines a wide lower riser with a more narrow upper riser. The wide lower riser guarantees a very stable vapor supply, while the narrow upper riser provides the higher vapor speeds needed for the full-bodied flavors associated with pot distillation.

Insulation

The insulation lowers energy losses and supports a speedier distillation process. The insulation on the wide lower riser prevents unwanted passive reflux, while stabilizing vapor speeds, supporting more control over the associated flavor profiles of the spirits you produce.

iStill Bluetooth Thermometer

The iStill Manual Potstill comes equipped with the iStill Bluetooth Thermometer. This thermometer measures the temperature inside the riser and signals it via Bluetooth to the Still Control App. The battery life is an expected 5 years.

Still Control App (SCA)

The Still Control App is an app all iStill Manual Potstill owners can download for free. SCA allows the distiller to fill in his cut points for heads, hearts, tails, and end of run. The app helps monitor the run and informs the operator when he needs to cut, by tracking the temperature values provided by the iStill Bluetooth thermometer. This makes it easier for the distiller to perform other tasks around his or her distillery, and is assures both quality cuts and spirit reproducibility.

Copper Foam Technology (CFT)

In case imperfect fermentations result in higher than wished for sulfur counts, copper – as a catalyst – can clean up the contamination. But a copper column or riser would add two hours to your daily cleaning protocols and copper facilitates the formation of ethyl carbamate (a carcinogenic). That’s why we developed CFT. All iStills come equipped with a CFT waffle that can be inserted low in the riser and that takes care of any sulfur contamination without any of the downsides of a completely copper column or riser.

Upgradable

The iStill Manual Series uses the base iStill boiler. This means that the owner can always upgrade his manual still to an automated version.

Psst, free bonus …

The iStill 500 Manual Potstill now comes with the additional square manhole as standard!

Sizes & Prices

The iStill Manual Potstill comes in 100, 200 and 500 liter configuration.

Pricing:

  • iStill 100 Manual Potstill: EUR 10.000,-;
  • iStill 200 Manual Potstill: EUR 15.000,-;
  • iStill 500 Manual Potstill: EUR 20.000,-.

Performance

  • ABV output range: 25% to 79%;
  • Run times (on an 8% boiler charge): 4 to 5 hours;
  • Production rate iStill 100 Manual Potstill: 15 lph;
  • Production rate iStill 200 Manual Potstill: 30 lph;
  • Production rate iStill 500 Manual Potstill: 45 lph.

Availability

The Manual Potstill Series by iStill can be ordered from today onwards. Lead time is around three months. If you want to order one, or learn more, please reach out to Sales@iStillmail.com.

Time to trade up to an iStill Potstill …

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the StillControl App is included …

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http://www.iStill.com

FTOD 2015: Odin on Whiskey Column Design (1)

“From The Old Days (FTOD)” is a series of interesting iStill Blog posts from yesteryear. Is the info we shared still valuable? Is the craft distilling industry on track of improving, innovating, and catching up with Big Alcohol? Or are these articles of old still just as valid today as they were back in the day when they were published?

Introduction

The outcome of the Poll was an overwhelming “Yes”. So here we go: another more technical post. This time on column design. I foresee three articles. This first one will lay the groundwork on how a column should perform. The second one will analyse the workings of the bubble cap column, since that’s the one most often used by Craft Distillers. The third post will zoom in on how we translated our design philosophy into creating the iStill 250 and iStill One family.

In this post, on how to design a good column, we focus on whiskey making. More posts will follow, that will deal with other drinks.

Why start with whiskey? Well, because … there’s quite the gap between many of the designs used right now for whiskey making and how a whiskey column should be designed optimally. A nice starting point, therefore!

It is advised to read both posts on Boiler Design prior to starting to read this one. A good design starts with the boiler. And the groundwork of how I feel about total still design is laid out in those two posts. Well designed columns, literaly as well as in a figurative way of speaking … have a great boiler at their base.

What are we after?

It is easy to say that this or that design is better. But how to measure? What is the goal? Luckily, in whiskey making, that’s quite easy. As it is the case with all taste rich drinks … when distilling a whiskey, we are after taste. So a column should be designed in a way that allows for maximum taste transfer. Now, that’s a starting point, we can depart from.

Next question is … where can the taste of a whiskey be found? That’s a question that’s less easy to answer, but let’s dive in deeper and find out.

The tree metaphor

I find the “Tree Metaphor”, that I originally developed for gin recipes, helpful. You can envision a distillation run by looking at a tree, “outside – in”. That’s the trick.

The first thing you see and the first things that come over are the fruits AKA fruity notes. When you dive in deeper, you notice the leafs, AKA herbs (the metaphor was originally designed for gin, remember). The stem or trunk comes next, representing the body or Hearts. And you have to dig them up, and really go in … but there’s roots too. Rooty and nutty flavors are found in Tails, the last bit of the run.

Simplified, and translated to whiskey making, there’s fruity tastes in the Heads, body in the Hearts, and rooty and nutty tastes in Tails.

Now the next step … taste definition of whiskey … whiskey certainly has body, and some whiskies have some fruitiness, but the main character trait of whiskey is its rooty and nutty notes. That’s Tails associated.

In other words … it’s the (early) Tails that are most important, when you are in the pursuit of making a great whiskey.

That’s where – after some aging – the goodies, the character, the multi-dimensional after taste, that lingers and lingers in your mouth, can be found.

If early Tails have the most impact, when in the pursuit of a great whiskey, the column of any whiskey distillery should facilitate harvesting those early Tails, right? But what are the properties and qualities of early Tails? It is only when we know these, that we can start to put together a framework of “do’s” and “don’ts”, when we want to design a great column for whiskey distillation.

Early Tails and the art of smearing

We want some Tails into the last parts of the Hearts run. That’s the goal, when making a great whiskey. This process is also called “smearing”, where – instead of pure and perfect cuts – there are Tails and Tails related congeners (taste molecules) “smearing” into the last part of the Hearts cut. The more Tails congeners you harvest during the run, the more taste potential your whiskey will gain. But reaching that full potential will evidently take longer aging.

When do Tails come over? Yes, at the end of the run, that’s for sure. But how late? The later they come over … the more compacted they will be. Very well compacted Tails come over very late, so your Hearts cut will be quite big, but there won’t be any Tailsy congeners … until they come over. And then it is too late. Due to the compaction, they come over all at once. Like a big gulp, over-contaminating Hearts and making the final product undrinkable.

When making whiskey, great Tails compaction and control either don’t bring over taste or overpower it completely. Perfect Tails compaction just became enemy of state … Now, that’s a statement that can help out, when designing the perfect whiskey column!

Properties of Tails

When Tails management is essential to creating world class whiskey, the properties of Tails need to be further investigated. That sounds like a challenge, right? Chemistry and stuff …

Fortunately, it all boils (literally!) down to … boiling points and weights. Wait, let’s turn that around: molecular weight and boiling points.

Simplified, Tails associated alcohols like Propanol, Buthanol, and Furfural are “heavier” (= have more inter-molucular bonding power) than the good alcohol called Ethanol. Because they are “heavier”, they don’t escape a boiling concoction (AKA your distiller beer) as easy as lighter alcohols or Ethanol. And when they do, most of them are so heavy that they fall back. Back into what? Back into the distillers beer you are currently distilling.

Since Tailsy alcohols are heavier, they do not come over until the last part of the run. And they only come over when enough energy is applied for them to make it to the column and beyond. Energy? Yes, energy. Energy that is translated to speed. Remember, Tailsy alcohols are big dudes with an overweight problem. You need to put a lot of energy in them to get them moving. And it takes a lot of speed to get such heavy molecules all the way over to the product condensor.

Speed? Did anyone just say “vapor speed”? I guess I just did …

Vapor speed is king

When it comes to Tails management, vapor speed is king. Low vapor speeds are great for Tails compaction, but there may simply not be enough speed to carry early Tails over into Hearts. High vapor speeds are what you need if you want to smear early Tails into Hearts.

How to increase vapor speed

We established that a great whiskey can only be made when we master the art of smearing early Tails into Hearts. Translated to column design, this means we need a column (or distillation system) that allows us to do that in a gentle, controlled manner.

There are two ways in which we can increase vapor speed:

  1. Increase power input;
  2. Decrease column diameter.

Increasing power input creates more gasses that travel through the column at a faster speed. A smaller diameter column does not create more gasses, but dramatically increases vapor speed.

A – relative – increase in power input can be created by designing efficient stills. The less energy is used to heat-up the distilling room, the more energy is left to play around with vapor speeds. The smearing of early Tails into Hearts can be facilitated by designing relatively small diameter columns. Small diameter columns in combination with efficient stills.

Hey, did you notice that? All of a sudden we have “do’s” and “don’ts”! Let’s approach it from the positive side … so what are the “do’s”? What do we need to do in order to create the best column for great whiskey making? The total rig needs to be efficient. And the column on which final cuts are made needs to be relatively narrow. Time for an example from practice.

How the Scots do it

The Scots, like no one else, make whiskies that have lots and lots of taste. So they must master the art of smearing early Tails into Hearts, right? How do they do it? Magic? Heritage? No, they do it by designing an effective still … with a narrow column. The stills the Scots use to help them smear early Tails into Hearts are quite efficient and have high vapor speed columns.

How they make the rig on which they want to smear early Tails into Hearts efficient? Easy, by doing a strip run first. The strip run augments total ABV from something like an 8% wash to a 25 to 30% low wines. And that’s what they charge their spirit stills with. Filling them with higher ABV charges dramatically increases the efficiency of their spirit run.

How they create high vapor speeds, that allow Tails to smear into Hearts, on the spirit run? By applying long, narrow, swan-neck designed columns. Narrow colums that increase vapor speed, so the smearing they look for can actually be accomplished. Remember higher vapor speeds are needed to transfer Tailsy molecules from the boiler to the final product.

Scotland versus the rest of the world

Scotland versus the rest of the world? Let me re-write that into: “Scotland vs. Germany”. Remember my posts about boiler design? And about how Craft Distillers from around the world not only wanted to buy BMW and Mercedes cars, but also shiny German distilleries? And if they can’t afford them … one of their Chinese clones? Well, that’s the match we are actually watching here.

Scotland – Germany? No, let me rephrase that again. Whiskey still versus fruit brandy still. Doesn’t that make sense to you? In that case, please read my two posts on boiler design first. If you do, for sure the above remark will make sense.

German still manufacturers conquered the world by selling Craft Distillers on all continents fruit brandy stills. Do you remember that this causes many of today’s Craft Distillers to run stills with boilers that are designed sub-optimal? Well, let me enlighten you on something else. Fruit brandy columns aren’t that well suited for whiskey making either. Neither are they suited for rum and vodka making, and only partially do they support making brandy from wine. But that deserves a new post. That will be in “Odin on Whiskey Column Design (2)”. You want me to lift the veil a bit? Okay, here we go. Remember those fruit brandy stills have boilers that are too narrow and high for efficient distilling? Well, fruit brandy columns are actually too wide …

iStill 5000 Hybrid with glass column segments …

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http://www.iStill.com