Our goal is to help create a competitive, vibrant, and sustainable craft distilling industry. To bring that vision to reality, we constantly ask ourselves where we can add and contribute. Sometimes that leads to new insights, ideas, or innovations. Today the iStill Management Team wants to share a new idea, that we call “iStill Corona Support Fund” (iCSF).
Ideas and decisions
The idea started, when iStill’s MT went over the numbers and realized that us not participating at various tradeshows, around the globe, due to Corona, has resulted in lower spending, or savings even, on marketing expenditure. The total direct savings were estimated to be EUR 35.000,-. Should we add that to our bottom-line … or should we do something else with it? Something to help craft distillers in these challenging times of a world-wide pandemic?
The discussion, that followed, saw consensus on us wanting to invest the money back into the craft distilling industry. The iStill MT decided to use the funds in two ways:
Create an online Distillers Tradeshow;
Translate the remainder into a price benefit for iStill customers.
The online Distillers Tradeshow provides workshops with industry leaders. It also introduces craft distillers to suppliers and providers that come with iStill customer endorsement. How’s that for clear benefits for craft distillers, funded from the iStill Corona Fund? iStill’s MT realized that it’s not just us not being able to visit tradeshows, but that craft distillers can’t visit ‘m either.
After having invested 21K in the Distillers Tradeshow, the remainder will be translated into a temporary price benefit for craft distillers, as follows:
The first 4 iStill 2000 purchases get a EUR 3.500,- discount.
The above benefits only apply to purchases made via our website. Digital ordering is needed to enable tracking of how much of the iCSF is consumed. To comply with fiscal regulations, the above benefits only apply to purchases done before December 25th 2020.
As long as it applies, the iStill Corona Support Fund price discount will be shown in our design center. When you configure an iStill 2000 via http://www.iStill.com, you will, at check-out, do the initial downpayment of 5K, and you’ll qualify for the discount. We’ll send you the related contract and invoice for the remaining balance (purchase price minus 5K downpayment and minus 3.5K iCSF) via email within three working days following your order.
The iStill Manual Potstills, supported by the StillControl Probe & App, allow for semi-automated runs. You dial your recipe into the app, the probe measures your run progress, the app instructs you when to cut for heads, hearts, and tails.
Up until now, we had the manual, semi-automated potstills available in 100, 200, and 500 liter boiler sizes. Bigger manual potstills are now available! How big? Any size you like. Orders can be placed as of right now. For sizes and prices, see underneath:
The StillControl App will see a few amazing updates:
Android version (both tablet and phone);
Run logs = see old runs;
Run naming = name runs;
Run commenting = add notes and comments to runs;
Improved Bluetooth connectivity = easier to switch between probes;
Updated interface = clearer communication on functionality.
What the package offers? Temperature controlled cuts management. To put it differently: near perfect control over your distillation run for reproducible results, over and over again. The normal price is EUR 500,-. It is only EUR 350,- when you order before December 31st 2020!
If you want to order the StillControl Probe and App, please know we’ll have a link up and running on the website from Monday onwards.
Starting a boil in your still results in vapors being produced. That’s how distillation works: you apply heat at one end to create gasses and you apply coolant at the other end to liquify these gasses.
Heating and cooling, and they should work together in perfect harmony. And they do. Well, as far as we design the iStills. Each and every design has a cooler that matches the power input. The cooler on an iStill 500 can cool down 18 kWh, while the iStill 100’s cooler matches its own, smaller, power input.
No worries then? Well, no, if you use water as the coolant of choice, and when you make sure it is below 10 degrees Celsius.
Now, I can hear you think … “What if our water isn’t 10c, but warmer?” And that would be the perfect follow-up question. Many live in warmer climates, where tap water is well above 10 degrees Celsius. And with the warmer cooling water comes a progressive decline of that water’s cooling capacity.
See the problem? In warmer climates, you need a chiller. That chiller is a device that cools the water down to below the required 10 degrees Celsius. The slightly higher electricity bill off-sets the lower water usage easily. Problem solved.
So why cooling sometimes suck? Well, because your distillery is situated in a warm climate. Congrats on the nice weather and our condoleances for having to invest in a chiller. That easy? If only it were … because, wait, there is more!
It turns out that cooling doesn’t just potentially suck in warmer climates, but that – quite often – it is distilleries up-north that struggle. How is that possible? Don’t they have access to cold water? Yes, they do, but since it is so cold, they are afraid the water might freeze, when put outside. “Outside” as in that’s where their chiller sits. Why a chiller in colder climates? Because of the warm summers.
What do distillers up-north do, in order to prevent their cooling water from freezing? They add glycol to it. “Glycol” as in an anti-freeze agent that has close to no cooling capacity. By adding it to the cooling water (and water has an amazing amount of cooling capacity), they are now diluting the overal cooling capacity of the coolant!
An example. Say, a distillery from Canada is advised to add a chiller to manage the temperature of their coolant downward. Because it can get pretty warm in the summer, right? And since it gets pretty cold in winter … well, they add 25% glycol to prevent the coolant from freezing over in winter. Since the cooling capacity of the glycol is very low, they (cutting only minor corners here) just “diluted” the cooling capacity with 25%! Start to see why cooling can suck even up-north?
The solution? Well, iStill provides one. Our bigger stills (500 liters and more) are now equipped with an additional pre-cooler. It adds 30 to 40% additional cooling capacity, off-setting slightly warmer cooling water and/or the addition of a limited amount of glycol.
But our pre-cooler is a band-aid. A great band-aid, but a band-aid altogether. Here’s what you, the distiller, needs to do. In a warmer climate, add a chiller and let it chill water. You don’t need anti-freeze. In a cold climate, limit the amount of glycol to a minimum and set your chiller up inside rather than outside.