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 …

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iStill Workshop in Utah!

Here are a few pictures of the 4-day iStill Distillers Workshop we just held at the New World Distillery in Eden, Utah! Next class in Utah will be early September … a special one: it’s going to be all about making whiskey! For more info, please reach out to Veronika@iStillMail.com.

Group photo …

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Let’s talk booze …

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Learning how to make cuts by smell and taste …

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The 3 quart heads cut on a 500 gallon finishing run …

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Doing the maiden run on New World Distillery’s all new iStill 2000 …

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Beers & Burgers at Utah iStill Workshop!

We currently have 9 students at our workshop in Utah. After day 1, we had beers & burgers at the oldest saloon west of the Mississippi, the Shooting Star Saloon.

Our next North American courses? Well, there’s the end of June Gin Masterclass in Jersey City. Still a few places available. And we will organize a new 4-day workshop on whiskey making (mashing, fermenting, distilling, aging) in September in Utah again. Let us know if you are interested via veronika@istillmail.com!

Pictures of the Utah May 2018 iStill Workshop students enjoying beers and burgers at the sunny Shooting Star Saloon …

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And here’s the whole gang in front of the iStill 2000 …

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Bedlam Vodka Announcement!

We are proud to announce that Bedlam has earned a GOLD MEDAL at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  More than 2,200 global spirits were judged in what is considered one of the most prestigious and influential spirits competitions in the world.  We are humbled and honored to be recognized by such an organization!

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BRANDON EVANS / CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
+1 919 622 3238

GRAYBEARD DISTILLERY, INC.
BEDLAMVODKA.COM

Minhas Family to open Wold Class Distillery!

Minhas family to open new ‘world-class’ distillery in Regina

Moni Minhas is building a multi-million dollar distillery in Regina, set to open early next year. He said it will be the largest facility of its kind in Saskatchewan.

On TV’s Dragons’ Den, investment ideas live or die by Manjit Minhas’s approval. The craft-brewing baroness decides whether or not to throw her millions at Canadian startups in desperate need of capital.

But when it comes to business, her own father doesn’t much care what she thinks.

“I did not discuss any of these ideas,” said Moni Minhas. “I told her once it was done – mostly because I’m so sure of myself.”

Moni is building a multi-million dollar distillery in Regina, set to open early next year. He said it will be the largest facility of its kind in Saskatchewan, churning out tens of thousands of cases of craft wine, gin, whiskey and vodka.

It’s still just a construction zone in the heart of an industrial park. But Moni hopes it will draw tourists with a taste for made-in-Saskatchewan spirits.

“This will have great ambiance — it will not look like a factory at all,” he said. “They will be able to see what ingredients go in there, how it’s produced and how it’s enjoyed.”

Moni has “retired” from his work running two oil companies. He’s still based in Calgary, but said he has a special connection to Saskatchewan, where both of his kids spent time studying or starting their careers. He also has a cousin who once played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“Every time I have come here, to Saskatchewan, I find the people here really friendly, really nice, and I really feel indebted,” he said. “And what better to give back than with long-term manufacturing jobs?”

He said his distillery will need a winemaker, mechanics and food scientists, as well as tasting guides for his visitors. But he’s not just looking for Saskatchewan workers – he wants to ferment Saskatchewan crops.

“Why would you ever go anywhere outside of Saskatchewan to buy a grain, whether it’s wheat or barley?” he asked.

That takes care of whisky and vodka, but Saskatchewan isn’t known for ideal grape-growing conditions. No matter, says Moni. He’ll use something else.

“What is so special about grapes that another fruit does not have?” he said. “A grape is not necessary to make wine … this is why the craft movement is so great, it’s innovation, thinking outside the box.”

He said his process is much slower, and more labour intensive, than big-brand mass production. He’s buying Dutch-made equipment so “cutting edge” that visitors “will not believe it’s a distillation unit.” Moni will ferment by the batch, then send samples to an in-house lab for quality control.

“The role of the lab is to calculate alcohol content, to calculate specific gravity, pH balance… mineral content,” he said. “There are a bunch of things you calculate to make sure that the product is coming out the way you want.”

Visitors will be able to follow the production process, and sample the result on site. But Moni isn’t just aiming for the local market. He said he’s already in talks to export his product to Alberta, Montana, and even California, giving Saskatchewan a foothold in the international wine and spirit market.

Moni might not ask his daughter for advice, but she’s still willing to give her assessment of his new venture. She said she thinks it will be a “world-class facility.

“It will be using Saskatchewan grain, Saskatchewan fruit, Saskatchewan people to produce it,” Manjit said. “A local product, a world-class product that will be sold in Saskatchewan, but also exported to America.”

Still, her father doesn’t much care. “It’s his own money,” Manjit admits. And he doesn’t need an investment guru.

“It goes the other way around,” she said. “He’s been my mentor… I guess liquor runs in Minhas blood.”

Meanwhile, at the iStill University …

We are currently training 8 more distilleries on how to make above top shelf product. Most have ordered iStills. Some are about to do so. If you want to learn how to make above top shelf spirits as well, please register for one of our workshops. The April 29 – May 2nd class in Utah still has places available! For more information or registration, please reach out to Veronika@iStillmail.com …

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