Further Professionalizing iStill Support!

Introduction

This post dives into how we support you at being a successful distiller and iStill user. Of course, you, as the craft distiller, are responsible for the actual mashing, fermenting, and distilling that you perform. And, in order to do so correctly, you are also responsible for obtaining the right amount of training and learning, via your own research and reading, via traineeships, with the help of forums or consultants, or via peer advice. We chime in and help you out along your path. Here’s how.

iStill University Course

We offer a 4-day course, where we bring you up to date on the latest science regarding mashing, fermenting, distilling, and aging. It is a great way to learn about distilling, to learn how to develop a recipe, and to experience how the iStills work. With a score of 9.8 on a 10-point scale, it is considered the best course in the craft distilling industry and that’s a great way to get started and find out if craft distilling is meant for you.

iStill Mini

Did you fall in love with distilling in general, and our amazing theories and technology specifically? Then it may be time to take the next step and purchase the iStill Mini. Our product development still helps you finalize recipe formulation, while you gain hands-on distilling experience.

iStill Support

Buying a production size iStill (like the iStill 100, 500, 2000, or 5000) automatically gives you access to four hours of consultancy. Use it to bridge the time, size, and experience gap between the course and the reality of you opening up, between the small-size semi-manual iStill Mini and the big size automated production unit!

Here’s how:

  1. Use one hour of support to have us help check your assembly of the iStill, to upload the latest software, and to talk to you about cleaning protocols.
  2. Use the second hour to inform us about the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) you want to use for your mashing. Let us check it, before you use it.
  3. Use the third hour to inform us about the SOP you want to use for fermenting. Again, let us check it. Four eyes see more than two.
  4. Use the fourth hour to share your distillation SOP. Use our experience to help make sure your first distillation run is going to be the success you deserve!

Procedure

  1. After you assembled your iStill, send an email to Support@iStillmail.com and name it “Assembly done”. Our support employee will give you a date and time slot for the check to take place, to update you to the latest software, and to instruct you on cleaning protocols.
  2. When you want to start mashing in the foreseeable future, send an email to Support@iStillmail.com, name it “First Mash Support”, and include your SOP. As before, our support employee will give you a date and time slot for feedback.
  3. When you are planning to start your first fermentation, send an email to Support@iStillmail.com, name it “First Fermentation Support”, and include the fermentation Standard Operating Procedure. Our employee will contact you.
  4. Almost ready to distill? As before, send an email and name it “First Distillation Support”, and include your SOP. Our support employee will propose a time and date to help check and give his feedback.

Disclaimer

The runs are your responsibility. Mashing, fermenting, and distilling, even with automated equipment, can be challenging, so make sure that you know what you are doing. The machines we produce have no brain, so you better learn how to use yours! It is among your tasks to make sure you are equipped with the required knowledge and experience to do your runs professionally and safely. Using iStill Support does not take anything away from that responsibility.

Create more control with iStill Support …

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http://www.iStill.com

iStill Blog Statistics!

More and more, the iStill Blog is becoming the go-to place for all questions related to distilling. Last year, 2019, saw another strong increase in visitors and views. Here are the statistics (with 2018 between brackets):

  • 212 new posts (188);
  • 36.331 visitors (23.636);
  • 83.426 page views (57.692).

We are incredibly proud of the success of the iStill Blog. It reaches tremendous amounts of people (100 visitors per day!) and is quickly becoming the leading body of distillation knowledge, both adequate and applicable.

Please rest assured that we will continue to help grow the iStill Blog’s success and put even more effort into it, wherever and whenever we can. In 2020 and beyond.

The year 2020 will see a new series of posts on the iStill Blog, that will be called “Myth Busters”, where our CEO Odin will dive into the various anecdotes and myths surrounding the noble science of distillation, and explain what really goes on. Replacing myth by science is basically what he has been doing for a decade now. We feel we better the iStill Blog by making you part of the nonsense, the sense, the BS, and what’s real.

More and better information translates into you, as a craft distiller, being able to make better choices. Freedom only persists where options are developed. Options only become viable choices, when the decision makers (you) have access to more and better information. There you have it: the goal we started the iStill Blog with. And it is as valid today as it was 6 1/2 years ago.

If you have any suggestions for Odin to dive into, please feel free to email us via Sales@iStillMail.com

Accelerated growth: this is what information diffusion looks like …

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http://www.iStill.com

Happy New Year!

Wishing you the best

Via this iStill Blog post, on behalf of iStill, I want to wish you all a happy and amazing new year. May 2020 be all that you hope for … and so much more! I wish you a year full of happiness and prosperity. May this year give you the opportunity to not just follow your dreams, but to realize them to their full potential.

Looking back

When I look back, it has been both a happy and an amazing voyage. In a mere 6 1/2 years, iStill has grown from a contender to the world’s leading producer of distillation equipment. We (you and us) have taken the industry by storm. Our focus on innovation, combined with the entrepreneurship of our customers, helped get us there.

And it is not just the amazing iStills that are a huge success. When we set our mind to helping the craft distilling industry forward via education, and started the iStill University Program, who could have thought that it would become the industry’s leading training facility as it did? The decision to focus on teaching people how to distill, rather than “just” selling stills, was spot on. For educational purposes, yes, for sure. But also as a means to keep in touch, to stay connected with our customers, and continue to learn what you need from us …

Listening to craft distillers and their needs all over the world, helped establish two more services. Recipe development support grew almost organically into a new business, where we help our customers to create top shelf spirits. So far 300 (!) recipes have been developed.

Finally, you asked us to help with the actual production of spirits. And that is something we have grown over the last year, to the situation where we now have a full sized distillery producing gins, whiskies, vodkas and rums for customers that want to buy iStills, but do not yet have their distillery up and running.

Towards the future

But what do we hope 2020 will be like? What will iStill focus on in 2020? What will we change? What innovations will be unveiled? Well, here is news for you: not much!

We have put tremendous effort in bringing distillery equipment to the 21st century, where our competitors still believe that bubble caps, invented in 1870, are an amazing step forward from pot distillation. With the current level of automation, robotization, and technology, we have helped push the industry to 2020. That’s a huge leap of 150 years of advancement condensed in less than seven years!

With all the attention we have given to innovation, our stills are now basically a century and a half ahead of the game. The iStill technology has grown into maturity. Emphasizing more innovation for 2020 does not make sense. What would we achieve? A 160 year lead over our competitors instead of 150? We are not in the vanguard, we are the vanguard.

So, what will we focus on in 2020 and beyond? We’ll focus on further professionalizing our organization so that your interactions with us, and as a result our mutual relationship, grow and intensify. Any contact we have is an opportunity to strengthen our bonds, to grow together. And if we don’t grow our relationship, what a missed opportunity that would be! So much so, that I’d want to minimize that risk and instead capitalize on every opportunity we have to further our customer experience by professionalizing our organization rather than pursuing ever faster rates of technological innovation.

What this means? Well, we already started updating our assembly guides. Also, we have started Distillers Weekly. An eNewsletter that informs over 2,000 subscribers on a weekly basis about advanced distilling. Also, for the annual software update, we just created a short video to help make this easier. But for 2020 there will be other improvements as well, basically around two fields of expertise: Technical Support and Sales.

William is promoted to Technical Support Manager. Any technical or technology related questions you have will be addressed by him via Support@iStillMail.com.

We are looking for a Sales Manager to help further our worldwide growth. He or she will grow our network of representatives and referral distilleries with a focus on Asia and Southern Europe, while establishing a more standardized and professionalized customer experience.

What more? Well, since this is about OUR relationship, I’d like to invite you to think with us. What do you feel we should focus on? If you have ideas or suggestions, please let me know personally via (for now) Sales@iStillMail.com.

Enlarge your world of opportunities by swimming upstream …

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http://www.iStill.com

Expanding iStill Contract Distilling!

We contract distill for customers around the world. Because demand is high, and we expect this part of our business to grow in 2020 and beyond, we are expanding our distillery with a Fermenter 5000 and an iStill 2000. This additional set-up will be used to enhance rum and rum low wines production, here at iStill HQ. The Fermenter 5000 will do a continuous molasses fermentation, and the iStill 2000 will be run on a daily basis.

For more information on continuous fermentation, see: https://istillblog.com/2019/10/15/continuous-fermentation/

For more information on our contract distilling services, please reach out to Sebastiaan@iStillmail.com.

Here are some pics of the new set-up:

Final assembly is about to start …

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iStill Fermenter with double ball valve for easy draining …

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http://www.iStill.com

The Best Distilling Education in the World!

As you probably know, we don’t just design, build, and sell amazing stills and fermenters and mashers. We also educate some 150 to 200 distillers on an annual basis. And we help dozens more with recipe development and contract distilling.

Today, I’d like to share with you how proud I feel about the educations we offer distillers via the iStill University Certified Program. Every few weeks, as more and more tests come in, I take a few hour to score how the students did and whether they passed the exam that is part of the 4-day course we offer. This morning, I had nine tests to score, and I am happy to inform you all students passed.

But, as I studied the tests, and focussed on student feedback and on how they rated the course, well, something amazing happened. We got a perfect score. Humbled and proud, I’d like to share with you how these nine students (from four different courses) rated the iStill University, and what they loved:

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http://www.iStillUniversity.com

iStill at BrauBeviale 2019!

We just arrived at Nurnberg to participate at the 2019 BrauBeviale, the brewer’s world’s biggest exhibition. Why? Well, we think we have an amazing offering for brewers that want to expand their portfolio, without all the hassle of “distilling is magic” and “you need a traditional fruit brandy still to make … ehm .. whiskey?” Nope. We replace fiction by fact, and our distilleries show for it:

  • Effective: our automation takes the guessing our of distilling and frees up time;
  • Efficient: at around 10 to 20% of the costs of traditional set-ups;
  • Versatile: one still can make all spirit categories;
  • Scalable: units, from 100 liter to 5000 liter, perfectly scale up;
  • Integrated: we offer 4-day courses to teach you how to distill!

Are you a brewer, and do you want to learn how easy it actually is to start distilling as well? Check our booth out! We are in Hal 7, at stand 204.

Yes, we took the amazing iStill 2000 with us …

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http://www.iStill.com

Contract Distilling by iStill!

Are you a craft distiller in need of extra production capacity? Do you want our help at distilling a new product before you invest in setting up your actual distillery? That’s where our contract distilling services come in handy. If you want to learn more, reach out to Sebastiaan Smits via Sebastiaan@iStillmail.com. We already help customers from Belgium, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and the UK. We are expanding our operation to facilitate more customers in more countries!

Bottling at iStill HQ for Craft Distillers around the world …

http://www.iStill.com