What Column to Choose?

Introduction

Next to our proprietary and amazing iStill Hybrid Column, 2020 saw the introduction of the iStill Potstill Column and the iStill Plated Column. Why did we introduce them and what column should you choose? Let’s dive in deeper!

iStill Potstill Column

We introduced the iStill Potstill Column to reach more established distillers, that outfitted their distilleries with potstills. For them, the iStill Potstill Column is an amazing step forward. It offers an order of magnitude more control and helps create better quality potdistilled product in a reproducible manner.

The potstill is well suited for flavor rich spirits and for those that love the extra labor of double or even triple distillation runs. Whisky, Cognac, heavy rums.

For new craft distillers that want to venture into gin (or other GNS based distilled spirits), the potstill forms a low price-point, entry level iStill, since these product need only one distillation. Be aware that the Potstill Column does not give the same amount of control over heads and heads compaction as the iStill Hybrid Column does.

iStill Plated Column

We introduced the iStill Plated Column to reach more established distillers, that outfitted their distilleries with plated stills. For them, the iStill Plated Column is an amazing step forward. It offers an order of magnitude more control and helps create better quality spirits faster and in a more reproducible manner.

The plates in this type of column function as tails traps. This makes the iStill Plated Column a good alternative for those spirit categories that can do without tails smearing, such as fruit brandy, and some families of Irish whiskey and Bourbon.

iStill Hybrid Column

This is the original and proprietary iStill Column. The one column to rule them all. The most versatile column on offer to craft distillers today.

The iStill Hybrid column can be operated as a potstill, giving you all the flavor a more traditional potstill would give you, but with the benefit of doing so in just a single distillation run. All the benefits, none of the drawbacks. It excels at whisky, cognac, gin, rum, and vodka.

iStill’s Hybrid Column can also work as a plated or column still, where a more pure products are conceived. Like vodka or GNS.

This is the column that fits all craft distillers. It can make each and every spirit category, is tremendously efficient, and gives total control over vapor speeds, cuts, and product quality.

iStill Columns and their benefits …

http://www.iStill.com

Reminder & Amendment: iStill Covid Discount Policy!

Introduction

As the Covid Pandemic keeps bothering large sections of the world and its economies, the craft distilling industry does not stay unaffected. How do you sell spirits to restaurants that aren’t open? How do you create revenue when you cannot do distillery tours. Many find it hard to start or invest in these uncertain times.

As the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of distillation technology and equipment, we want to support craft distillers in these often challenging times. Based on the great turnover we have seen during the pandemic, with distillers flocking to our advanced and hyper-efficient solutions, we are able to create a Covid Discount Policy.

Covid Discount Policy

The iStill 500, 2000, and 5000 hybrids, fully automated, stainless steel, now come with a discount. As follows:

  • The iStill 500 Hybrid Automated gets a EUR 5.000,- Covid-related discount;
  • The iStill 2000 Hybrid Automated gets a EUR 10.000,- Covid-related discount;
  • The iStill 5000 Hybrid Automated gets a EUR 15.000,- Covid-related discount.

The Rules of the Game

The discounts are only given on the above models. The discount is added (or subtracted, actually) from the Purchase Agreement. The Purchase Agreement, with the Covid Discount, will only be given out once. If there is no urgency at your end to sign the Purchase Agreement, well, then it is probably not urgent that we help out with a discount to start with. In other words: you will be offered this discount only once.

The discount only applies to orders being made in the remainder of 2021. The Purchase Agreement must be signed in 2021 and the first invoice, for the downpayment, must be paid before the end of this year.

Ordering process

Do you want to order an iStill with the Covid Discount? Please reach out to Esther@iStillmail.com.

***Update!***

Due to the success of our Covid Discount Policy, and given how busy we are, for this discount to be applicable, the associated signed purchase agreement needs to be in at iStill HQ no later than December 16th 2021.

http://www.iStill.com

Column Packing: a Friend with Benefits!

Introduction

The packing inside iStill’s hybrid columns allows you to distill many times in one go. Or it can just perform one distillation cycle, in potstill mode. If you are looking for a simple pot distillation, the column packing is still your friend. A friend with benefits. Here we go:

Heads, Hearts, and Tails

When one uses a potstill to perform a run, the heads come over first. Hearts follow after heads. Tails – the last faction of the run – follow after hearts collection is finished.

Since heads and tails slowly blend out and in of the hearts cut, a part of that hearts cut is contaminated. Depending on the product purity and flavor profile that the craft distiller is looking for, the heads and tails factions are discarded and can therefore be considered a loss.

Heads Compaction

Here’s where column packing is your friend with benefits. Even on a normal potstill run, with an iStill, where the column packing isn’t activated by reflux, it will help you at minimizing your heads losses. Here’s how.

In a traditional potstill the riser is empty. Gasses that boil off from the boiler move upwards through the riser, then move sideways through the bridge, and then travel in a downward trajectory towards the cooler, where they are liquified again. Since headsy alcohols boil off first, the first part of the run is lost to the heads cut.

In an iStill with column packing, the gasses, as they rise from the boiler, hit the cold packing. As a result, the gasses liquify and fall back, while the packing is getting a little bit warmer. This process continues for many, many cycles and can take as long as 15 to 20 minutes. That is 15 to 20 minutes where heads are given the time to concentrate in the top of the column. Concentrated and at high proof, the heads faction becomes like 9 to 10 times smaller, thus limiting your heads losses and boosting the amount of spirits you can produce and sell by 900 to 1000%!

Only iStill offers super-efficient heads compaction …

http://www.iStill.com

iStill Covid Discount Policy!

Introduction

As the Covid Pandemic keeps bothering large sections of the world and its economies, the craft distilling industry does not stay unaffected. How do you sell spirits to restaurants that aren’t open? How do you create revenue when you cannot do distillery tours. Many find it hard to start or invest in these uncertain times.

As the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of distillation technology and equipment, we want to support craft distillers in these often challenging times. Based on the great turnover we have seen during the pandemic, with distillers flocking to our advanced and hyper-efficient solutions, we are able to create a Covid Discount Policy.

Covid Discount Policy

The iStill 500, 2000, and 5000 hybrids, fully automated, stainless steel, now come with a discount. As follows:

  • The iStill 500 Hybrid Automated gets a EUR 5.000,- Covid-related discount;
  • The iStill 2000 Hybrid Automated gets a EUR 10.000,- Covid-related discount;
  • The iStill 5000 Hybrid Automated gets a EUR 15.000,- Covid-related discount.

The Rules of the Game

The discounts are only given on the above models. The discount is added (or subtracted, actually) from the Purchase Agreement. The Purchase Agreement, with the Covid Discount, will only be given out once. If there is no urgency at your end to sign the Purchase Agreement, well, then it is probably not urgent that we help out with a discount to start with. In other words: you will be offered this discount only once.

The discount only applies to orders being made in the remainder of 2021. The Purchase Agreement must be signed in 2021 and the first invoice, for the downpayment, must be paid before the end of this year.

Ordering process

Do you want to order an iStill with the Covid Discount? Please reach out to Esther@iStillmail.com.

http://www.iStill.com

Add a Copper Column to Your iStill!

Introduction

As we are growing and serving an ever larger customer base, we have to take into consideration that not all demand is created equal. That’s why as a market leader, over the recent years, we have added plated stills and potstills and copper stills. Today we are taking flexibility one step further: you can now add a copper column to your stainless steel iStill!

Still Types

The iStill Potstill, Plated, and Hybrid are all supported. You can choose any type of iStill and choose to combine the stainless steel boiler with a copper column. Also, all sizes are supported. You can order a complete copper column for your iStill 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, or 5000.

Introduction Pricing for New Orders

Here are our introduction prices. Please be aware that these prices are valid for new still orders placed and paid for in 2021. For 2022 prices will be adjusted upwards.

  • iStill 100 (pot, plated, hybrid): EUR 5.000,-
  • iStill 200 (pot, plated, hybrid): EUR 7.500,-
  • iStill 500 (pot, plated, hybrid): EUR 10.000,-
  • iStill 1000 (pot, plated, hybrid): EUR 15.000,-
  • iStill 2000 (pot, plated, hybrid): EUR 17.500,-
  • iStill 5000 (pot, plated, hybrid): EUR 20.000,-

Do you already have an iStill and want to add a copper column to it? Retrofitting – as usual – is fully supported!

Ordering Process

We are adding the copper column as an option to the design center. Go to http://www.iStill.com, select the still type of choice (pot, plated, or hybrid), choose stainless steel as the bas building material for the boiler, and decide on the size of boiler you want. Now go to options and add the copper column. It is as simple as that!

Do you want to retrofit your current iStill column with the new Complete Copper Column? Email your order, including delivery address, to Finance@iStillmail.com, so that they can draw up the invoice.

What’s included

Everything from the boiler upwards is made out of copper. The potstill’s risers, bridge, and product coolers are all made out of copper. For the plated still, things are a little bit different, since the risers are still made our of glass. The connections, the collection plates, the column cooler and product coolers, on the other hand, are all made from copper. The iStill Hybrid’s risers, collection plates, column cooler, and product coolers are all made from copper.

Pictures of the iStill 200 Plated Complete Copper Column …

http://www.iStill.com

Liquid Management for Better Quality Spirits!

Introduction

Managing the distillation run is crucial for craft distillers, since it helps control flavor composition and concentration of the spirits they produce. This post dives into the technologies available. We distinguish between power management, cooling management, and liquid management.

Power Management

Power management is the simplest way to manage your still and distillation run. If you want to go faster, you just crank up the power. Throw more wood on the fire. Open the gas tap. Feed more kilowatts to your still.

Increased power results in more gasses being created, leading to a faster run. It also results in more smearing. More heads and tails molecules will enter your hearts cut. More fruity as well as rooty and nutty flavors will be added, resulting in a more complex product. A more complex product that needs more time to age to maturity.

If you decrease power, the run slows down. Slower runs mean less smearing. Cleaner, crisper spirits are produced, that do not need a lot of aging.

Power management is the only management technology available to pot distillers. A potstill doesn’t have an actively managed column, so power management is the only management tool the distiller has to influence his spirit’s flavor profile.

This technique is as old as the potstill itself. How old? Thousands of years. Power management is an easy, yet crude way to manage your distillation run. Smearing always takes place. Reproducibility is difficult, unless your still is fully insulated, to minimize for outside influences.

Cooling Management

The 1870’s saw the invention of cooling management, the first technology that allows for not just the pot, but also the column to be managed. Power management manages the pot. Column management manages the rising gasses as they come from the pot.

The way in which cooling management does this is as follows: as gasses rise, part of them are cooled back to liquid phase and redistilled on plates in the column. The additional distillation cycles on those plates result in a higher proof and a better separation of heads, hearts, and tails. The cooling is done by a heat exchanger 2/3rds up the column. The heat exchanger is called a dephlagmator or dephlag.

Adding more coolant to the dephlagmator results in more gasses being cooled down to liquid phase. More liquids or reflux created contributes to more distillation cycles taking place and less smearing of heads and tails into hearts. Limiting the amount of cooling water to the dephlagmator results in less distillation cycles and more smearing.

Adding column management to a still was a huge step forward. You can look at it like this: power management creates a crude form of input management where column management creates a form of output management. Power management defines what enters the column or riser. Cooling management gives a crude selection as to what portions come out of the column and make it over into the drink you are producing.

Even though two management techniques are better than one, cooling management comes with draw-backs. The amount of control it gives is limited, because of four confounders:

  1. The temperature of the cooling water varies;
  2. The water pressure varies;
  3. The temperature in the distilling hall varies;
  4. Air pressure varies.

Warmer cooling water in (e.g.) the summer results in less reflux and less redistillations and more smearing. A higher water pressure during some parts of the day results in more cooling and in less smearing. The colder distilling hall leads – in an uninsulated column – to more reflux being generated, resulting in less smearing, less fruity and rooty flavors in your hearts cut. High pressure weather fronts lead to different (higher) boiling points of the various distilled factions, resulting in a slower run with better separation between cuts.

Liquid Management

iStill introduced liquid management to the distilling industry 10 years ago. With this invention, we aimed to perfect column management, and to get rid of the imperfections caused by the 1870’s cooling management technology, that we addressed above.

Liquid management is not influenced by temperature variability of the cooling water. Is the coolant warmer or colder? Our liquid management technology doesn’t care. It simply delivers the same product quality over and over.

Liquid management is not influenced by water pressure. Again, iStill’s liquid management technology doesn’t care and simply delivers a totally consistent output, over and over again.

Is your distilling hall warmer in the summer and colder in winter? Given the insulation we use, there is no impact, so no variability. Again, with liquid management the craft distiller can consistently deliver high-quality spirits.

Air pressure variability? iStills column management measures the actual air pressure on a second-to-second basis. If the air pressure changes, the cut points are automatically adapted. There you have it again: total control over flavor composition and concentration.

Recap

For the craft distiller to produce his spirits at the highest quality level possible, and to do so consistently, liquid management is needed. Craft distillers do not enjoy the economies of scale that Big Alcohol has. This means that craft distilled price levels will be higher. To compensate for this disadvantage, the quality of your drinks needs to be higher. It takes iStill’s liquid management technology to get you there.

I expect this post to clarify how we help revolutionize (and energize!) the craft distilling industry. And it also helps explain why so many of our customers win medals all over the world! See the link for a selection:

https://istill.com/halloffame