We Just Made the iStill Mini Bigger … A Lot Bigger!

An essential question

The iStill Mini is a huge success. With its 10 liter boiler it is the perfect training and recipe development still. And with the additional 50 liter boiler, it can even be used for initial, small-size production runs.

Everybody loves distilling with the iStill Mini! The success and your feedback and requests have raised an essential question: why limit the iStill Mini to 10 and 50 liter boiler sizes? If everybody loves their iStill Mini, there are 400 in operation around the globe, why not follow up on requests for bigger sizes? When the iStill Mini offers all what’s essential in a still, to so many distillers, why not offer larger versions?

There you have it: we just made the iStill Mini bigger … a lot bigger! It did mean that we had to change the name, though …

What is in a name?

Well, we can’t call bigger iStills Mini a “mini”, now can we? Doesn’t make sense. So we opt for a new name: “Essential”. Why “essential”? Because that’s exactly what the iStill Mini offers in terms of functionality. It is loved because it offers exactly what you look for in a still. It is versatile, indestructible, and affordable. It is the design that essentially got you going, so let’s keep that momentum and push it forward into bigger, more production-oriented still sizes!

Size & Price!

What sizes the new Mini, sorry, the new “Essential”-series comes at? 100, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 liters. Right. You start to get why “essential” is a better name here, don’t you? And the 10 and 50 liter versions will remain as well, of course. We’ll keep on calling ‘m “Mini’s”.

That’s size, but what about price? Here you go:

  • iStill 100 “Essential”: EUR 15.000;
  • iStill 250 “Essential”: EUR 25.000;
  • iStill 500 “Essential”: EUR 35.000;
  • iStill 1000 “Essential”: EUR 45.000;
  • iStill 2000 “Essential”: EUR 60.000;
  • iStill 5000 “Essential”: EUR 90.000.

Innovations

All new iStills “Essential”, including the small “mini” varieties, come equipped with an app where you can set cut points and be reminded of them. In the future, the app will also support saving and retrieving your recipes.

All new iStills “Essential”, including the small “minis”, come equipped with our newly developed POM-system. The POM-system allows the distiller to do single, double, triple, and vodka distillations.

Choose POM-1, and the iStill “Essential” will perform a single distillation. This is the option you want for gin and liqueur making, and for potstill runs.

Choose POM-2, and you’ll get a double distillation in one run. POM-2 is what you insert in the still if you want to make a big and bold flavored whisky or rum.

If you choose POM-3 the iStill “Essential” will perform three distillation cycles in one run. POM-3 is great for lighter style rums and whiskies, and for fruit brandy.

If you select to use POM-14, your iStill “Essential” will give you 14 distillation cycles in one run. Ideal for vodka and GNS production, and for heads and tails recovery.

The POM-system is a new innovation. It is “fire & forget”, or “set it up & let it run”. No need for interventions or continuous still management. Just select the right POM for your spirit, and you’ll get to the intended purity and ABV levels automatically. Distilling made easy? Betcha!

Availability

Lead times? Three months. We help with crating, transport, and transport insurance. Want to learn more? Want to order your essential still, your next big, maybe really big iStill Mini? Please reach out to Esther@iStillmail.com for an initial interview.

iStill 500 “Essential” prototype: versatile, indestructible, and affordable (35k) …

And it comes with a parrot …

http://www.iStill.com

Questions & Answers (3)!

Introduction

We had a successful Drinktec 2022 in Munich. Hundreds of brewers and distillers visited our booth, asked questions, and expressed their interest in our disruptive technology. But what did they ask? What were the questions on their mind, as they saw the iStills? In a series of posts called “Questions & Answers” we will summarize the questions that were asked most as well as our answers.

Question 3

Where’s the copper?

Answer

iStills are primarily made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel is a high-grade, modern, non-reactive material. It lasts a very long time, because it is resistant and strong, offering the craft distiller a machine that lasts a lifetime.

Copper is a reactive material that rusts. It has limited longevity in a still. Copper particles, blowing over during distillation are toxic. So there are many reasons, when designing a still, to want to limit the amount of copper.

Copper is abundantly available with many other still manufacturers. The reason? Tradition, business model, and chemistry. Firstly, traditional still builders are basically copper smiths. They know how to process copper, more than they understand still design. That’s not merely an opinion. It’s backed up by the fact that not one copper still manufacturer has designed any new innovation in over a century and a half. Copper smiths, not still designers, there you have it.

Secondly, traditional still manufacturers are incentivized to continue building copper stills. As copper rusts and degrades quickly, it offers them the opportunity to sell more and more replacement parts. Parts on which they make money. Parts for which you do not have any other choice but to shop with them with.

Finally, sulfuric compounds, that may have formed during poorly managed fermentations, are catalyzed by copper. Copper is a medicine for a bad ferment. A medicine with very harmful side effects.

Here at iStill we train people how to correctly manage their fermentations, so that no sulfuric compounds are formed. Also, at iStill we design fermenters that give you total control over the alcohols and flavors you are creating. And if that isn’t enough, we can add a copper waffle to the bottom of your iStill column. It has the same surface area as a complete copper still, without the costs, the extensive cleaning protocols, and the copper particle contamination risk.

Reaction

What reactions did we get, when answering the question of why copper plays such a minor role in our designs? The reactions ranged from “that makes total sense” till people being flabbergasted by the simplicity of how we solve their real world problems.

At your service!

The iStill Team

Copper serves the manufacturer more than it does the craft distiller …

http://www.iStill.com

Complete 5000 Liter iStill Distillery in Japan!

Minani Alps is a Japanese firm that produces single malt whisky. To obtain the best results, they use our equipment. Minani Alps owns a 5000 liter iStill Masher, multiple 5000 liter iStill Fermenters, and an iStill 5000. Here are some pictures:

iStill Masher 5000 …

iStill Fermenters 5000 …

iStill 5000 Hybrid …

http://www.iStill.com

Questions & Answers (2)!

Introduction

We had a successful Drinktec 2022 in Munich. Hundreds of brewers and distillers visited our booth, asked questions, and expressed their interest in our disruptive technology. But what did they ask? What were the questions on their mind, as they saw the iStills? In a series of posts called “Questions & Answers” we will summarize the questions that were asked most as well as our answers.

Question 2

So, what’s inside your Hybrid column? Plates?

Answer

Nope. We use in-house designed stainless steel helicon springs to pack the column with. These springs are 90% open space, so without reflux being returned down the column – in potstill mode – the column internals, which consists of thousands and thousands of these helicon springs, are not activated. Gasses travel up the column, through the open space and then out, towards the condensors and cuts selector.

So, as the column packing is 90% open space, and it performs a potstill run perfectly well, why bother to add it at all, right? Well, here’s where reflux comes into play. As with a plated column, the iStill can return reflux down the column so that the plates are activated and multiple redistillation-cycles are achieved in one go. Reflux fills the springs, and as we do so, each and everyone of them starts to become a miniature little boiler that starts to redistill.

Plates redistill and our springs redistill, so why didn’t we choose plates instead? Because plates are fixed. There is a fixed number and every bubble-cap tray offer a fixed level of reflux. This results in plated stills basically being one-trick-ponies. They are optimized (well, as far as this 1870’s technology can actually be optimized) for one sort of spirits and one ABV output. I’ll get back to that.

Our springs can be filled with any amount of reflux. This makes our column versatile instead of fixed. As seen above, without reflux, it can operate as a potstill, offering one single distillation cycle. Yet, as we return more reflux, we gradually start to boost the ABV. Due to the amazing column packing that we designed, our column offers the ability to produce – in one go – spirits at any ABV you want. One column to make all products. From vodka to whiskey. From gin to brandy. With the same still and with the same column.

And there is a bonus. Remember how bubble-cap plated stills are one-trick-ponies designed for one spirit? Well, that spirit is fruit brandy. Fruit brandy is a forward oriented drink where tails smearing needs to be limited if not stopped altogether. Bubble-cap plates are essentially tails traps. And without tails smearing how can one make a good rum or whiskey? Right, with the iStill you can, but with plates stills, you end up with a compromised flavor profile.

Reaction

What reactions did we get, when answering the question of what’s inside our columns?The reactions were mostly people being flabbergasted: “So ONE still can distill ANY spirit!?! Wow!”

At your service!

The iStill Team.

Our advanced column designs give the craft distiller a huge competitive advantage …

http://www.iStill.com

Questions & Answers (1)!

Introduction

We had a successful Drinktec 2022 in Munich. Hundreds of brewers and distillers visited our booth, asked questions, and expressed their interest in our disruptive technology. But what did they ask? What were the questions on their mind, as they saw the iStills? In a series of posts called “Questions & Answers” we will summarize the questions that were asked most as well as our answers.

Question 1

Why are your boilers square instead of round?

Answer

Depending on the type of spirit you produce, agitation is needed, so that the boiler contents are well-mixed. In a round boiler the boiler contents will start to move with the agitator system. As the speed differential between the agitator and the boiler contents drops, so does the actual mixing energy that is applied. Therefore, mixing in a round boiler is not very effective and the goal of optimal dispersal of grains or herbs or grapes is not achieved.

As a result, still manufacturers, that do add agitators to round boilers, often have to resort to over-mixing the boiler contents. The now very fast turning agitator throws boiler contents into the gas bed above the liquid bath. This disruption of the gas bed, from which the riser or column harvests its gasses, leads to fluctuations in vapor speeds in that riser or column, hampering flavor consistency and cuts management. Boiler and agitator longevity will be comprised too, as both are over-worked in order to create a higher degree of mixing.

Also, as the boiler contents start to move with the agitator – in a round boiler – a vortex is created. The vortex sucks gasses downwards, competing with the riser or column. This interferes with the riser or column doing its work properly. As with over-agitating the boiler contents, a vortex hampers production speed as well as flavor consistency and cuts management. What essentially happens, in both cases, is that micro burst of over- and under-pressure influence the vapor speeds inside the distillation system, resulting in unwanted smearing of heads and tails flavors into hearts.

The vortex has a secondary negative effect. As the vortex reaches downwards, more boiler contents are pushed upwards, via the sides of the boiler, limiting the fill-grade of that boiler. Especially in combination with over-mixing, this can result in a big difference in gross vs. net boiler capacity. In a round boiler with a gross content of 650 liters, the maximum net filling will be 350 to 400 liters only. The choice for a round boiler severely limits your production capacity, as you have to do more yet smaller runs.

How a square boiler with flush corners helps? Well, first of all the boiler contents cannot start to spin with the agitator. The moment the wash start to move with the agitator, the corners – that are further away – generate a counter rotational movement, keeping the boiler contents in place and thus maximizing the speed differential between agitator and wash. As a result all the energy put in by the agitator translates into actual mixing and perfect particle distribution.

Since no vortex is created – in a flush-square boiler, that is – and no over-mixing needs to take place, the gas bed above the boiler contents is very stable. The riser and column can do their work under optimal conditions, which results in higher production rates, better quality spirits, and recipes that are reproducible from one run to another.

Finally, our 630 liter gross capacity iStill 500 has a net fill rate of 500 liters. That’s about 30% more than an equally sized round boiler. The benefit? You get more still for your buck. You can process bigger batches. Your yield – and therefore your income – is significantly increased.

Reaction

What reactions did we get, when answering the question of why we have flush-square boilers? The reactions ranged from “that makes total sense” to people being flabbergasted.

At your service!

The iStill Team

Square boilers matter …

http://www.iStill.com

Why Brewers Buy iStills!

Introduction

More and more craft brewers buy iStills. Why? Well, the short answer is simply this: because they want to add distilled beverages to their product portfolio.

That’s the short answer. But why do they choose iStill? We spoke to some of our craft brewing customers and here are the top answers they gave.

Process control

“As a brewer, whenever I brew a new style of beer and it is a success, I want to be able to reproduce that beer exactly. That’s why – in the brewery – we invested heavily in process control. Control leads to reproducible outcomes and the same quality beer. What attracted me in iStill is your focus on process control. It allows me to make spirits very much the same way I make beers: in a reproducible manner.”

Stainless steel

“Our brewhouse is stainless steel. It is low maintenance and lasts like forever. That makes it a good material to invest in. iStills were the first stills we saw that were also made from stainless steel. It made total sense for us to choose iStill.”

Support

“When our team wanted to learn about distilling, well, it was as if we ran into a brick wall. Nobody could tell us anything, unless we hired expensive consultants. With iStill you don’t just buy a still. You also become a member of a community where distillers help each other out. Moreover, our experience with the iStill Team and the support they deliver, has been excellent! Very helpful and explanatory”

Education

“In our brewery I took on distilling. What I liked was the education and courses iStill offers. Not only did I make friends for life, also I learned how to distill whiskey, rum, gin, and vodka to perfection. When the iStill arrived I was ready for it.”

Are you a craft brewer interested in distilling?

Reach out to us so we can discuss how we can be of assistance to you realizing your plans!

http://www.iStill.com

Huge Discount Opportunity for American Distillers!

The gist of it

The current macro-economic environment creates a big opportunity for American distillers. As the Euro has become cheaper over the last year, relative to the dollar, purchasing an iStill has become significantly more affordable.

An example

The iStill 2000 Hybrid costs EUR 90,000.-. At the “old” exchange rate per January 1st 2022, with one Euro costing USD 1.15, this translated into a purchase costs in dollars of USD 103,500.-.

Given that the current exchange rate for the Euro is about USD 1.00 instead of USD 1.15, buying in Euro’s has become a lot cheaper. The EUR 90,000.- iStill 2000 Hybrid now only costs USD 90,000.-.

There you have it: a BIG opportunity for American distillers to buy iStills at a discount. Where the iStill 2000 Hybrid would have costed you USD 103,500.- a little over half a year ago, it now sets you back only USD 90,000.-. Your savings? USD 13,500.-! If you want to take advantage of this opportunity, please reach out to us via Esther@iStillmail.com …

http://www.iStill.com