Important notices related to Corona virus!

1. We cancelled the iStill University Course planned for the end of March. Students have been informed. Traveling from around the world, and assembling in a group from all over the world, didn’t seem right. The tickets will stay valid, and students will be invited to other courses, that we planned for later this year, for free.

2. The trade-shows in the USA (ACSA, ADI and CBC) were cancelled due to the Corona virus, so you won’t be able to visit us there. Please know that we are working hard to fill the knowledge-gap you may find yourself in, with no trade-shows to participate at, and to get you the information you need to start or upgrade your craft distillery. How? By filming and releasing a series of informational/instructional videos on the original dates of the now cancelled shows. More info soon!

3. At iStill’s production facilities it is business as usual. So far, no one has fallen ill, and we have taken measures to minimize the risk of anyone getting sick. Production, to keep up with the huge boost in demand 2020 shows, has actually been upped and if anything, we expect to be perfectly able to deliver the iStills you ordered on schedule. If not ahead of it.

If anything changes, if any new information presents itself, that we need to act upon, please rest assured that we’ll approach it the iStill-way. With decisive action at our end and open communications with our friends and customers all over the world.

For now, stay healthy and prosper.

Regards, Odin
CEO of iStill.

Referral Fee for Supporting Customers!

Introduction

We are happy to inform you that we launch a Referral Program! This post explains how it works and how you can benefit, both as an existing iStill customer and as someone ordering our equipment for the first time, and investigating how it is to work with iStill.

Existing iStill customers

There is no better publicity than word of mouth. And who is better equipped to inform wannabe iStill distillers about how it is to work with an iStill? Right, exactly, our existing customer database!

So, if you are a customer, helping us and others out by spreading the iStill gospel and answering questions, why don’t we remunerate that? Well, from Februari 1st onwards we do.

When a potential new iStill customer visits your distillery, and he or she finds that visit and your help valuable, ends up buying a still, under the condition that he mentions your distillery specifically, you get a referral fee.

The referral fee is based on the equipment the new customer buys. As follows:

  • iStill 100, mashers, fermenters: EUR 250,-
  • iStill 500: EUR 500,-
  • iStill 2000: EUR 1.000,-
  • iStill 5000: EUR 1.500,-

Does someone buy, for instance, an iStill 2000 and and iStill Fermenter 5000, well, if the new distiller tells us they visited you and enjoyed your help, you get EUR 1.000,- for the iStill 2000, and EUR 250,- for the iStill Fermenter 5000. A total of EUR 1.250,- that can be either billed to us or used to purchase additional iStill equipment.

Please note that customers that are in default, and didn’t pay their bills, are excluded from the Referral Fee Program.

First time iStill buyers

We find it important that you inform yourself before making a purchase decision. You probably found us online, on one of the forums, or via a visit to an existing iStill customer. Reaching out to us, to organize a phone or Skype call, is probably your first step. After we spoke to each other, we’ll probably advise you to visit a customer of ours in your neck of the woods and/or follow the iStill University course. Purchase decisions usually take place just before or after your visit to our distillation course.

If you meet one of our existing distilleries, and find that visit beneficial, please inform us when you are ready to order. We’ll then make sure that they get adequate compensation for their time and for helping you out.

When you want to meet one of our customers, Chris can help with suggestions and a proper introduction.

Please note that the Referral Fee Program starts on February 1st 2020.

Referral Program in two words …

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http://www.iStill.com

Becoming a better distiller!

Introduction

In an earlier post, just a week ago, we explained how the iStill University courses, the iStill Mini recipe development still, and our support during your first mash, fermentation, and distillation, help make you a better craft distiller. But we do more to support your success. This post explains how we take support to the next level.

iStill University Network

Students, that attended iStill University, become members of the iStill University Network. The iStill University Network is a closed Facebook group, where members give peer advice to one another regarding the set-up of their distillery. Very practical topics like “what pump do I need?”, “what’s your bottle supplier?”, “what’s your preferred labeler?”, or “how do you make your whiskey?” are just a few examples out of many discussions and consultations that take place.

The iStill University Network is considered a great source of information on how to set-up your distillery. Imagine dozens of more experienced distillers (at least on the matter you are investigating) helping you out at solving your issues and challenges.

Please note: the iStill University Network is only open for students that participated at an iStill University Course.

iStill Recipe Development

We have a team of 3 colleagues that man the iStill Laboratory. Together, the team has helped develop 300 recipes for brandy, gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, liqueurs, and more. For whom? For our customers. For students that participated at the iStill University, worked on their initial recipes, took an iStill Mini home, and feel they need our help to nail it before they order bigger production size units. And for existing customers that want to expand their product portfolio by introducing new spirits.

We basically have three levels at which our Recipe Development Team can support you:

  1. Spirit Evaluation: you send in your drink and we evaluate and benchmark it, and give feedback on where and how to improve (EUR 1.250,-);
  2. Recipe Development 1: we help design a drink that is made via distillation or extraction, using neutral alcohol (EUR 5.000,-);
  3. Recipe Development 2: we help design a drink where the alcohol is made in-house (whiskey, rum) and optimize for mashing, fermenting, and distillation (EUR 10.000,-).

Please note: our Recipe Development Team only works for iStill customers.

Procedure

If you want to discuss the purchase of iStills or learn more about recipe development, please reach out to Sales@iStillmail.com. If you want to participate at one of the iStill University Courses and/or become a member of the iStill University , then please contact us via Veronika@iStillmail.com.

Becoming a better distiller with iStill …

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http://www.iStill.com

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