Hongkong TV & Radio Interview!

Yesterday, a team from Hongkong TV & Radio flew in for an interview with Odin on gin. They were interested in the history of gin, how iStill helps distillers out with equipment, recipes, and contract distilling capacity. Most of all, they were interested in Perfume Trees Gin, which is made with Hongkong herbs by us at iStill HQ in the Netherlands.

Here is a short movie …

And a few pictures …

http://www.iStill.com

iStill becomes market leader in Japan!

We are very excited that more and more Japanese distillers choose iStills for the production of their whiskey, gin, vodka, and shochu. We already have multiple iStills in Japan and are selling many more as we speak, making us market leader in new still sales! Thanks for the orders, thanks for the open mindedness, thanks for the trust!

Kazuhiko, Kazunori, Odin, and Mayuka …

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http://www.iStill.com

Shipping Huge iStill Distilleries!

We are seeing more and more orders. Not just for individual (multi-role) stills, but for complete distillery set-ups as well. Here are pictures of an order (pre-packaging) of an iStill 5000 and an iFermenter 5000. That’s 5000 liter of total mashing capacity, 10.000 liter of fermentation capacity, and 5000 liter of distilling capacity. On a weekly basis, applied to whiskey production, this set-up can produce 6 1/2 barrels (55 gallon each) of 120 proof New Make per week …

Wanna design your own distillery? Here you go: https://www.istill.com/products/distilleries

http://www.iStill.com

Learn all about distilling!

Learn all about distilling at the Complete and Certified Distilling Training. We’ll cover:

  • Mashing;
  • Fermenting;
  • Distilling;
  • Aging.

You will be making:

  • Brandy;
  • Vodka;
  • Whisky;
  • Gin;
  • Liqueur.

An amazing combination of innovative, in-house developed theories and practical on-the-distilling-floor operation, where you learn how to design your own recipes and distill the spirits of your choice.

The oncoming courses take place in the Netherlands (September 2 – 5th) and Denver, CO (October 21 – 24th) and are given by some of the most knowledgeable distillers in the world:

  • Sebastiaan Smit (Course Leader, Manager iDrinks Recipe Development);
  • William Vermeulen (Manager Distillery/Assembly);
  • Willem Brakenhof (Chemist, Laboratory Manager);
  • Paul Hoogsteder (Craft Distiller);
  • Odin (CEO of iStill).

The Complete and Certified Distilling Training is considered the best distilling course in the industry. Students rate it at 9.8 out of 10, and rave about the theoretical insight shared, combined with hands-on training on actual iStills.

Some feedback? Please check this out: https://istillblog.com/2019/06/10/tom-grzelinsky/

Do you want to learn more? Do you want to participate? Please reach out to Veronika@iStillmail.com.

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https://www.istilluniversity.com/

iStill Innovation Philosophy!

Introduction

Here is an iStill Blog post on how we innovate and what strategies and philosophy we apply to help move the distilling industry progress. We’ll start with a definition and work our way forward to how innovation is part of our DNA, what the guiding principles are, and how we make sure everyone benefits.

Definition

Innovation is often used as an empty filler word, without meaningful intent. If we must use the word, here is how we  define it, load it with meaning: innovation is significant positive change. It’s a result. It’s an outcome. It’s something you work towards achieving on a project. And most importantly: it entails a positive change by benefiting our existing customer base first and foremost.

Ingrained in our DNA

Innovation is ingrained in the iStill DNA. Whether it is stainless steel to replace rusty copper, catalysts to treat sulfur problems, liquid management to solve dephlagmator control issues, packing to replace the inefficient, ineffective, and expensive 18th century plate “technology”, or automation, robotization, and process control … it is all iStill innovations.

A month does not go buy or we invent new solutions to existing problems. The status-quo is there to be bashed. We feel you are worth our continuous efforts to make things better. This continuous drive has labeled us as “change initiators” and “industry disruptors”, and we are proud for that. Not because we innovate and change and disrupt for change’s sake, no, because we bring new, refreshing solutions to actual and real problems craft distillers struggle with. Why? Because we feel it is the only way forward if we craft distilling to move forward, to grow into an adult industry, that stands a fair fighting chance against Big Alcohol.

Distilling made easy

To help us apply our energy, our innovative powers best, we have a guiding principle, that is also our tagline: Distilling made easy. Distilling is a very complex process. Becoming a successful craft distiller is even more complex. We innovate with the goal of making things easier. More under your control.

Instead of you being a slave to your (old-tech) still, we want your still to be a tool-kit, helping you out at creating profitable spirits in a reproducible manner. Romantic musings over the noble art of distilling have a place in your dreams maybe, but not in your day-to-day business operation.

In that day-to-day business operation the reality is simply this: making a bottle of booze costs money, selling a bottle of booze makes money. So talk where your money is, and we’ll help you sort out the spirits production part, okay?

Retrofit-ability vs. new sales-ability

The reason why “innovation” so often is an empty filler word, is because it sells. You want to have the latest and newest, right? You know what I am talking about: you just bought a new TV, and now they introduce widescreen TV. You upgrade to widescreen, only to learn that there’s HD now. And by the time you replaced your TV with a HD-version, guess what? OLED comes out …

Companies often use innovation strategies to drive new sales. As a customer of such a company, you won’t end up any happier, but you will end up quite a bit poorer. If you don’t see what’s going on and how this can bait you, “innovation” applied like this can actually hurt you.

We feel that if innovation is about positive change, it should first and foremost be a change for the better for our existing customers. Using innovation as a way to prioritize new customer acquisition would be like leaving the people behind that have bought into our philosophies and technologies earliest. We feel that wouldn’t be fair nor just.

That’s why every innovation we release is retrofittable. Remember the amazing Extractor technology we brought to the market place almost two years ago? Anyone that had purchased a NextGen iStill – say – three years ago, could still order and use one. The same holds true for glass columns, the new Robot 3.0, and new software releases and functionalities like fast aging.

In whatever we do, we have our existing customer base at heart. That leads to something we are truly happy about: when you buy an iStill you buy a system that is basically future proof. Any invention we make will fit on your current iStill! By making our innovations retrofit, we make your stills future-proof. By making your stills future-proof, we help make your business future-proof.

Continuous innovation creates new opportunities constantly …

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http://www.iStill.com

 

 

 

The All New iStill Nano!

What is it?

The all new iStill Nano is the newest addition to the iStill suite. It is a little potstill with a one liter gross capacity. We designed it to give our customers tools to run their consumer oriented gin, rum, whisky and brandy schools professionally. Not just any tools, iStill tools.

The unit is very easy to operate, and allows you to have your customers make their own gin or rum, whisky or brandy at your distillery, swiftly, effectively, and safely. Put in 0.75 liters of wine or beer or vodka. Add herbs to your liking. Within the hour, the iStill Nano will help make a bottle of freshly distilled spirits.

Build to last a lifetime and more …

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Features?

The iStill Nano is made out of high-grade stainless steel and is constructed to last! The boiler and column and cooler are made from 2 mm thick sheets, while the bottom is a whopping 4 millimeters.

The unit comes with an easy to bolt on, tri-clamp riser/lyne-arm/cooler with easy connects for cooling water in and out.

The iStill Nano comes with a dedicated 500 Watt hotplate and a power manager for 0 to 100% power regulation. In the smallest, incremental steps possible.

The iStill nameplate can be replaced by your nameplate or logo, at a small price increase.

Also included is the all-new Bluetooth thermometer probe. It measures your gas temperatures every second and relays the signal to the new iStill App.

The complete iStill Nano set-up …

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App?

Indeed. For your convenience we designed an App. What it does? Well, first of all, it tells you at what temperature you are distilling … and so much more!

  • You can upload recipes for gin, whisky, rum, and brandy;
  • You can perform your own run and save the recipe for later use;
  • The app informs you when to cut for Heads, Hearts, and Tails;
  • Temperatures and cut points are automatically adjusted for air pressure on a per second basis;
  • Ensuring your customers can make the same high-quality drup over and over again!

The iStill App …

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Project status?

We have tested a first batch of beta’s with great success. Next step is that we’ll build 60 iStills Nano. Enough to serve up to 10 customers that want to take their customer experience to the next level. Given our busy production planning, I think that’s as many iStills Nano we can make in 2019. For sure in 2020 more batches will follow though. Delivery of the first batch will start in October 2019.

Wanna buy?

We sell the iStill Nano in packages of six. Each package contains six iStills Nano, with the thermometer probes, hotplates, water lines, quick connects, and power managers included.

A package of six costs EUR 3.600,-. Shipment, via airplane and all over the world, adds EUR 400,- and brings the total price point to EUR 4.000,-.

For more information, please reach out to Sales@iStillmail.com. If you want to order, please reach out to Veronika@iStillmail.com. Orders can be placed as of right now and it is first in, first out. Again, first deliveries will take place from October 2019 onwards.

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http://www.iStill.com

Meet Hal 9000!

Introduction

HAL 9000 is the advanced computer from Arthur C Clarke’s movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”. In that movie, the computer, integral part of the space ship Discovery, becomes self-aware and sentient. You can imagine that things get pretty interesting and intense after that event takes place.

iStill is upgrading its advanced computer systems, in order to make running your distillery easier again. Don’t worry, our new computer won’t become self-aware or sentient any time soon, but it does have some clever and helpful tricks up it’s sleeve!

HAL 9000 in “2001: A Space Odyssey” …

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Distilling as a process

Distilling usually is a process, involving mashing (converting starch to fermentable sugars), fermentation (turning sugars to alcohol while creating flavors), and distillation. And since a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, making sure that all process steps are performed to perfection is adamant.

Distilling is a process …

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The iStills (when properly specced) can mash, ferment, and distill. One computer helps check and regulate what goes on during each step of the alcohol and flavor production process. We also produce stand-alone and specialized mashers and fermenters. Again, one computer regulates the mashing procedure or fermentation.

So … what does iStill’s HAL 9000 bring to the market? Basically this: Central Distillery Management.

Central Distillery Management

iStill’s HAL 9000 is a new option, that allows you to centrally manage your distillery. By adding HAL 9000 to your iStill 2000 or iStill 5000, you can now use that unit to manage up to five additional iStills Mashers and/or Fermenters.

The additional equipment can be run centrally from the unit equipped with HAL 9000. Or remotely, from your computer or tablet, via WiFi or an ethernet cable. Remote as in away from the distillery.

The HAL 9000 option can be added to the iStills 2000 and 5000. It comes as an extra module in the PLC box at the rear of the unit. Included is a bigger (wider) and more advanced full-color touch screen, and a new user interface.

Benefits

HAL 9000 gives you:

  • Central Distillery Management for up to six units total;
  • Insight in and management of all of your iStills from one central location;
  • In the distillery or remote;
  • For additional iStill Mashers and Fermenters;
  • A bigger touch screen pannel with an updated user interface.

Central Distillery Management …

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Investment

The HAL 9000 option adds EUR 10.000,- to your investment. It can be ordered immediately. We are currently uploading this option to the online iStill Design Center. It will be online in just a few days. If you can’t wait, please just send us an email.

Example of HAL 9000’s new screen and user interface …

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http://www.iStill.com

 

pH-Controlled Fermentation!

Introduction

In our quest to make distilling easier, we turned our attention to fermenting. Where the actual distillation steps in the spirits production business are about concentrating and selecting the right alcohols and flavors, fermentation is its precursor. Fermentation is where the actual alcohol and (most of) the flavors are created.

Current craft distilling take on fermentation

If fermentation is that important, why does it take the back seat with most (almost all) distillers? It certainly doesn’t for wine and beer makers, but for distillers it somehow does. Weird. I guess it has to do with the focus (to much so) on the nice and shiny stills. And with an (incorrect) understanding as fermentation being an alcohol rather than flavor production process. A shame, since craft distillers should compete with Big Alcohol on flavor, ’cause they never can on economies of scale.

Future craft distilling paradigm on fermentation 

Anyhow, we try and change that perception. One day of our 4-day iStill Certified University workshops deals with fermentation, and how you can manipulate it to create the alcohols and esters you – as a craft distiller – are looking for. Instead of seeing fermentation as a passive process, mostly the bottle-neck of your distillery, I propose a change: see it as the heart of your distillery. It is – after all – where your flavors are made, where you lay the foundation of what will become your rum, brandy, vodka or whiskey.

Fermentation control

If you place fermentation center stage, the next thing that becomes obvious is that you want to control this most important step. Control grants you influence on flavor development. Control allows you to reproduce your drink – at its highest quality level – time and again.

Just as fermentation is key to top shelf beverage production, so is control key to a quality ferment. Hence, when we (at iStill) think about helping you distill better products, we think about how we can provide you that control.

iStill’s solution

The result of that thinking? The iStill Fermenters, available in sizes of 2000 and 5000 liters, come with SG and pH and temperature control. And they are made out of 4 and 5 mm thick stainless steel. If fermentation is key to successful craft distilling, only the best is good enough.

Calibration of the pH probe is done at iStill HQ …

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Testing the iStill pH probe in a pH 7.0 solution …

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Testing the iStill pH probe in a low pH sugar ferment …

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The iStill pH probe …

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http://www.iStill.com