Innovation: Potstill Column!

What is it?

An iStill with a potstill column. A stainless steel U-tube acts as the lyne arm. The column cooler acts as its overall cooler. The product or after cooler is not needed in potstill set-up.

How does it make distilling easier?

The potstill column helps craft distillers that make taste rich products like whisk(e)y, rum, brandy and gin. It also helps craft distillers that are height restricted, since this set-up saves up to a meter in total system height.

Who can/should buy this?

Any craft distiller that wants to make taste rich product and/or is height restricted.

Pricing and availability?

Available on the iStill 100, 500, 2000, and 5000. This option is an addition to the existing fractionating column and robot. This means that when a customer orders the potstill column, he will also always get the fractionating column and the robot. It also means that retrofitting any nextgen iStill with the potstill column is entirely possible.

This option costs EUR 1.500,- for the iStill 100, EUR 2.500,- for the iStill 500, and EUR 3.500,- for the iStills 2000 and 5000.

Innovation: Glass Column Segments!

What is it?

Glass column segments.

How does it make distilling easier?

The glass column segments make for an amazing customer experience, since you can now see the actual distillation process happening inside the column.

Who can/should buy this?

Any craft distiller that wants their still to be part of the tour.

Pricing and availability?

Available on the iStill 100, 500, 2000, and 5000. This option is an addition to the existing stainless steel column segments. This means that when a customer orders the glass column segments, he will also always get the stainless steel segments. It also means that retrofitting any nextgen iStill with glass column sections is entirely possible.

This option costs EUR 1.500,- for the iStill 100, EUR 2.500,- for the iStill 500, and EUR 3.500,- for the iStills 2000 and 5000.

Innovation: New Manhole!

What is it?

An additional square manhole. As of today an option you can order on your iStill. It sits at the front …

How does it make distilling easier?

The additional square manhole allows for very easy boiler access.

Who can/should buy this?

This option should especially be considered by Craft Distillers that want to use the iStills for mashing, fermenting and/or on the grain/pulp distilling.

Pricing and availability?

Available on newly ordered iStills 500, 2000, and 5000. It cannot be retrofitted.

This option costs EUR 750,- for the iStill 500, EUR 1.250,- for the iStill 2000, and EUR 1.750,- for the iStill 5000.

New square manhole on the i5000 …


iStill Customers take over Irish Gin Market!

Hi there,

I am about to head back to the Netherlands after spending a few amazing days in Ireland. With an hour and a half left to spend before my plane leaves, I decided to check out the gin section of duty free liquor sales. The news? iStill distilleries are taking over the Irish gin market! See pictures underneath:

Shelves full of iStill distilled Irish gins …


The gins of Blacks of Kinsale …


Blackwater Distillery’s gins …


Listoke Distillery’s gins …


Me in front of the iStill gins …


Odin 2.0!

Last 3 months I have gone on a road trip in search of better health. Concise and short? I succeeded in losing 15 kilo’s of fat, while gaining 5 kilo’s of muscle.

In better shape than ever, and with enormous amounts of energy, I can inform you that we are releasing a few amazing new innovations for the craft distilling industry very soon:

  • iStill Mini: a full laboratory set-up on a small scale;
  • iStill Ragnarok: a continuous still with benefits;
  • iStill Frigg: a vacuum still;
  • Panoramix: a concoction that will help you recover GNS from feints.

Odin 2.0 …


Dreaming of Enhanced Taste …


So here is the third post about me dreaming about … well, maybe about some future innovations that may benefit the Craft Distilling Industry. The first one was about magic potions. The second one about magic machines that combine the advantages of continuous distillation (bulk processing capacity) with batch distillation (cuts management). And sometimes I get inspiration from other industries. Like cooking …

Cryovac cooking

How that came along? Well, I happened to have dinner at a place where the chicken just tasted a-ma-zing! I called for the chef and he told me it was made “sous vide” or “under vacuum”-style. “Cryovac” is the name most often used name in the Anglo-Saxon world, I have been told.

Anyhow, I asked the chef about the procedure. And I asked him about the advantages.

The procedure is basically as follows:

  1. Vacuum seal the food;
  2. Because of the vacuum, you can now boil the food at much lower temperatures than the regular 100 Celsius.

As to the why, the chef told me that he personally found that especially more fragile and volatile flavors are better preserved, using cryovac cooking methods. Which made me think …

Don’t we need cryovac distilling?

After doing some more research, and after talking to some of our customers, here is what I learned:

  • Cryovac distilling could potentially help gin (and aquavit and flavored vodka) distilleries in harvesting subtle and volatile tastes;
  • By creating flavor essences out of substrates that would otherwise (at higher boiling temperatures) denature too rapidly;
  • Glass vacuum stills exist (for example Rotavacs). They are within the budget of the Craft Distiller, but are in general too small for efficient professional production procedures;
  • Bigger vacuum stills (20 to 50 liters) exist. They are suited for efficient professional production protocols, but come at a very high price: investments of 200 K to 500 K are the norm.

In conclusion I found that especially gin distillers would love to add cryovac distilling capacity, but the ones they can afford are usually too small. The ones they need are too expensive.

“Can we make cryovac stills bigger AND at the same time a less costly investment?” That would be the design challenge I’d put in front of my engineering team. Based on gut feeling and intuition as much as on the feedback our customers gave me, I’d say a size of 100 liter would be the goal, together with a 50% cost price reduction, for distilleries to be able to reap the benefits of cryovac distilling. But that’s just my take on it. What is yours?







Continuous Stills that know how to Cut?

Here’s another sorta “I had a dream” kinda iStill Blog post. The previous one was about magic potions … this one is about magic machines. For my thoughts on how magic potions could help the industry out, please read the following post:

The question at hand in this iStill Blog post? Here it is: “Don’t Craft Distillers need a magic distilling machine?” I mean, there already are some magic iStills out there, that can strip and finish in one go, and that can make neutral as well as taste rich spirits. But what about continuous distillation? It has been around for over a century and a half … isn’t it time we could magically integrate the efficiency and bulk processing performance of continuous distilling with cut management and ABV management of modern days pot and column stills?

What good such a magical device might do, one might ask? Well, let me give you an example or two:

  1. Such a magical machine would help bigger Bourbon distillers, that run continuous stills, at making more flavorful new make spirit. Imagine them running stills with much more effective Heads and Tails control … now that would help them create better late Heads and early Tails smearing for a more three dimensional end product!
  2. The same holds through for rum.
  3. And both whiskey and rum distillers could or should – by using the magic machine – be able to make spirits at different ABV’s. Higher proof for more purity, and lower proof for taste maximization. Heck, the magical distilling device I see we need, could go as pure as vodka or do single pass, fully cut, barrel aging strength whiskey and rum in one go …

What do you think? Does the Craft Distilling Industry need such a machine? In order to take the battle to big alcohol not just on taste, but on economies of scale as well? What say you?


Neutralizing Taste and Recovering Feints …

This is the first iStill Blog post of a series. A series that could (or maybe should) be called “What if … ?” It’s a serie of posts about me dreaming of a bright new future for Craft Distilling, with all new technology to help them out.

Today’s dream? Here it is: “How easy would the life of the distiller be if he had a magic formula for taste neutralization and feints recovery?”

An Asterix & Obelix kind of magic potion … how could that help? Well, let me give you a few examples:

  1. Say you are a whisky or rum distillery and you produce Heads, and Hearts, and Tails. Okay, the Hearts you put in a barrel or bottle, but wouldn’t you love to reuse those Heads and Tails? Wouldn’t you want to be able – by adding the magic potion – to actually neutralize off flavors and recover basically all as good ethanol?
  2. Now, imagine the faith of a gin distiller. He (or she) in general cannot recover all the alcohol that goes into the boiler. So he has to make a Tails cut and either redistill those Tails into a clean and crisp neutral via rectification … or he has to toss it, loosing out on yield and money paid. What if he could instead add that magic potion to his gin Tails … and recover neutral GNS without rectifying or fractionating?
  3. A vodka distillery that aims for a neutral vodka needs to filter his 190 proof Hearts over activated carbon. What if we could just add a magic potion to his runs in order to bring his product to neutrality while distilling?

I think all three above examples prove that Craft Distilling could definitely use some kind of magic formula to achieve the above. Do you agree or not? Should we find our own Craft Distilled Panoramix and ask for him to come up with a concoction? Let me know what you think …