pH-Controlled Fermentation!

Introduction

In our quest to make distilling easier, we turned our attention to fermenting. Where the actual distillation steps in the spirits production business are about concentrating and selecting the right alcohols and flavors, fermentation is its precursor. Fermentation is where the actual alcohol and (most of) the flavors are created.

Current craft distilling take on fermentation

If fermentation is that important, why does it take the back seat with most (almost all) distillers? It certainly doesn’t for wine and beer makers, but for distillers it somehow does. Weird. I guess it has to do with the focus (to much so) on the nice and shiny stills. And with an (incorrect) understanding as fermentation being an alcohol rather than flavor production process. A shame, since craft distillers should compete with Big Alcohol on flavor, ’cause they never can on economies of scale.

Future craft distilling paradigm on fermentation 

Anyhow, we try and change that perception. One day of our 4-day iStill Certified University workshops deals with fermentation, and how you can manipulate it to create the alcohols and esters you – as a craft distiller – are looking for. Instead of seeing fermentation as a passive process, mostly the bottle-neck of your distillery, I propose a change: see it as the heart of your distillery. It is – after all – where your flavors are made, where you lay the foundation of what will become your rum, brandy, vodka or whiskey.

Fermentation control

If you place fermentation center stage, the next thing that becomes obvious is that you want to control this most important step. Control grants you influence on flavor development. Control allows you to reproduce your drink – at its highest quality level – time and again.

Just as fermentation is key to top shelf beverage production, so is control key to a quality ferment. Hence, when we (at iStill) think about helping you distill better products, we think about how we can provide you that control.

iStill’s solution

The result of that thinking? The iStill Fermenters, available in sizes of 2000 and 5000 liters, come with SG and pH and temperature control. And they are made out of 4 and 5 mm thick stainless steel. If fermentation is key to successful craft distilling, only the best is good enough.

Calibration of the pH probe is done at iStill HQ …

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Testing the iStill pH probe in a pH 7.0 solution …

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Testing the iStill pH probe in a low pH sugar ferment …

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The iStill pH probe …

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http://www.iStill.com

 

Another Dispatch Day!

Another busy day, here, at iStill HQ in the Netherlands. We just put five stills on transport. Here is an overview:

  • iStill 500 and iStill Mini to a customer from the USA;
  • iStill 2000 to a customer from Cyprus;
  • iStill 500 to a French customer;
  • iStill 5000 for a leading wine and spirits manufacturer from Australia.

Pictures? Here we go:

In goes the iStill 5000 …

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Next? The iStill Mini and two iStills 500 …

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With the iStill 2000 added, the truck is basically full …

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http://www.iStill.com

SG-Controlled Fermentation!

In our quest to make distilling easier, we turned our attention to fermenting. Where the actual distillation steps in the spirits production business are about concentrating and selecting the right alcohols and flavors, fermentation is its precursor. Fermentation is where the actual alcohol and (most of) the flavors are created.

If fermentation is that important, why does it take the back seat with most (almost all) distillers? It certainly doesn’t for wine and beer makers, but for distillers it does. Weird. I guess it has to do with the focus (to much so) on the nice and shiny stills. And with a (incorrect) understanding as fermentation being an alcohol rather than flavor production process.

Anyhow, we try and change that. One day of our 4-day iStill Certified University workshops deals with fermentation, and how you can manipulate it to create the alcohols and esters you – as a craft distiller – are looking for. Instead of seeing fermentation as a passive process, mostly the bottle-neck of your distillery, I propose a change: see it as the heart of your distillery. It is – after all – where your flavors are made, where you lay the foundation of what will become your rum, brandy, vodka or whiskey.

If you place fermentation center stage, the next thing that becomes obvious is that you want to control this most important step. Control grants you influence on flavor development. Control allows you to reproduce your drink – at its highest quality – time and again.

Just as fermentation is key to top shelf beverage production, so is control key to a quality ferment. Hence, when we (at iStill) think about helping you distill better products, we think about how we can provide you that control.

The result of that thinking? The iStill Fermenters, available in sizes of 2000 and 5000 liters, come with SG and pH and temperature control. And they are made out of 4 and 5 mm thick stainless steel. If fermentation is key to successful craft distilling, only the best is good enough.

iStill SG Control …

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http://www.iStill.com

iStill to Revolutionize Craft Brewing?

Introduction

Was it only six years ago that iStill made a big splash into the craft distilling industry? Only six years ago that craft distillers finally got access to 21st century tools to make distilling great again? It was. And in those six years we have not just made a big splash, entering the industry, but we have established ourselves as the lead player for distillery equipment, education, product development, and contract distilling. Now the question arises: “Will we do the same to the craft brewing industry?”

Craft brewing

Why ask that question? Well, because over the last year, more and more craft brewers have reached out to us, asking for our help and/or equipment in furthering the growth of their businesses.

As you are well aware of (or should be), craft brewing is well ahead of the craft distilling game. Their growth, shelf space, has preceded craft distilling by 10 to 15 years. Mature brewers have established themselves in any major and minor city in both North America and Europe.

More and more, it seems, those successful to craft brewing look for ways to increase their presence, highlight their uniqueness. And what’s easier to add to your brewery than a still, right? Just chew out some beer and turn it into vodka, whiskey, and gin.

Wrong. The problem – up until now – has not been buying the still, but learning how to operate it. Most stills out there are based on 18th century technology and hard to drive, let alone manipulate into doing the right thing. The craft brewer can’t just add a still to his brewery line-up and be done with it, no, he also needs to hire a distiller to go with it, probably a team of two, if he wants to make any significant impact. Guess what? That is about to change!

iStill for craft brewers

If you are a craft brewer, interested in adding distilling to your portfolio, you’d want to use 21st century technology. Just as you are using in your brewery. Stainless steel equipment, automatic programs with remote management and control, automated cleaning programs, etc. With iStill becoming available to craft brewers, that is just what you will get.

Our equipment can mash, ferment, pot distill and column distill. It can help make you whiskey, vodka, and gin at the touch of a button. The automation and robotization is so advanced, you will not need an additional distillers team. Yes, you will need some training. Please know we provide that as well.

To support craft brewers into expanding into distilling, we organize a special 4-day workshop. We’ll train you in the noble science of distilling. We’ll train you in making base beers for vodka and whiskey. How to mash and how to ferment and how to distill. We’ll train you in gin making. In fact, the course is so hands-on, that you will make your own whiskey, vodka, and gin yourselves!

Interested? Visit our stand at the Craft Brewing Convention 2019 in Denver. Or reach out to Jason@iStillmail.com. Jason is the North American iStill representative.

iStill at the Craft Brewing Convention in Denver …

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http://www.iStill.com

Irish Whiskey now GI!

The European Commission has confirmed geographical indication (GI) status for Irish whiskey as well as Irish cream liqueur and Irish poitin.

For more reading, please see:

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2019/04/european-commission-approves-irish-whiskeys-gi-status/?fbclid=IwAR1JzutcCoxJQUU8dOJk5cBJ1_Lji-Ltf3pDGw3bPluVVolKXAuIqYnX1VA

iStill 5000 Copper: the ultimate Irish whiskey still …

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http://www.iStill.com

iStill Spirits Design!

Introduction

Over the years, we have helped our customers design a total of close to 250 different drinks. Gins, vodkas, whiskies, brandies, rum, and specialties like for instance Mahula Liquor from India. In this iStill Blog Post, we’ll dive deeper into how we help craft distillers, in designing the best possible drinks for/with them. And what the investment is at your end.

Our extract and essence library …

Approach

Designing a drink for you usually involves two steps. First we design a recipe. And we then translate that recipe to a process. Let me give an example:

Say you want our help at making an Irish whiskey. We’ll discuss the grain bill, and its influence on New Make taste. We’ll talk about mashing procedures and how fermentation protocols help create certain flavors. The next step would be that we discuss (and help you decide) on what flavors to bring over and emphasize during distillation. Aging (what barrels, what woods?) would be next on our to-do-list. We’d run test batches on the iStill Mini to fine-tune and to bring your whiskey to perfection.

Or, on another note, say you want our help in creating a top-shelf gin. We go over flavors and herbs, and draw-up a list of ingredients, that we then run on the iStill Mini until we hit it home.

Consider the above paragraphs to be your “recipe”. But we go one step further. We help translate the recipe into a run procedure by translating it into an iStill program for the masher, fermenters, and stills. That way, when you go back home, you just order the ingredients, while we upload your latest recipe, and start the machine and kick-of production.

iStill laboratory equipment inventory …

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Pricing

Here, at iStill, over the years, we have designed close to 250 drinks. Whiskies, gins, vodkas, rums, brandies, and specialties. Most of them for our customers. And most of our customers have won amazing prices with the spirits we helped conceive.

iStill Spirits Design has a very straight forward pricing model. If you want us to create a recipe and production process program, we charge you EUR 5.000,-.

If you want to order iStill Spirits Design, if you want to hire our facilities and expertise, if you want to learn more about how and where we can help you out, please contact Sebastiaan Smits, Manager iStill Spirits Design via Sebastiaan@iStillmail.com.

Sebastiaan Smits …

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https://www.istill.com/productdevelopment

 

 

 

Setting-up for the USA iStill University Workshop!

Assembling, testing, discussing. That’s usually what goes on the day before we have another, on location iStill University Workshop. This time, we are at 52eighty Distilling. And here are some pictures about us preparing things:

Instructors selfie: Odin, Jason, and Erik …

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52eighty distilling hall …

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Four iStills Mini product development stills await the students …

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Drew loads the iStill 2000 with single malt whisky wash …

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iStill Mini ready to run single malt whisky as well …

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http://www.iStill.com

Video Impression iStill University!

Here is a short movie we made. It gives an impression of the last 4-day workshop at the Netherlands based iStill University. We are currently preparing to give another iStill University Workshop in Denver, USA. The class takes place at 52eighty Distilling and starts tomorrow. For more info, or registration (yes, still a few places available!), reach out to: Veronika@iStillmail.com

https://www.istill.com/courses