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Everything posted by Odin

  1. I am currently doing a tour of Scotland. The last few days I spend in Dundee, in the so-called Scottish lowlands, where we help set up the Verdant Spirits Company. I met with Andrew Mackenzie and we made some awesome gin together. Another medal winner, I predict! Here is a link with some pics: https://www.facebook.com/VerdantSpirits/ Today, I traveled north to visit Neil and Katie, who are starting up a vodka distillery (with rum and whisky to follow) in the Speyside region of Scotland. They ordered an iStill 500 NextGen to start their business up. And that unit will be joined by an iStill 2000 NextGen before the end of this year. From Neil and Katie's Blackford Craft Distillery, the voyage took me to beautiful Dornoch. Right, highland territory. What the guys were making, when I arrived? Single malt whisky, of course! Here's a short video: Tomorrow? Tomorrow The Dornoch Boys Simon and Philip will be making some awesome Dornoch Gin. And the day after? We plan to do a 1.5 distillation approach on the single malt they stripped today. I will keep you posted! Odin.
  2. Introduction Over the last decade I have had the opportunity to help dozens and dozens of craft distillers with developing and designing their gins. I want to use this thread to help lay out some of the basic guidelines I learned, that make the production of great gin quite easy and straight forward. Over the coming days (and depending on comments and my time in the factory) or weeks, I want to get most of the information (if not all) that we give on our gin making courses across. Now, gin making has a wide set of variables. And a lot of people adhere to certain approaches. If ever you feel my approaches or opinions to be contrary to yours, let's turn this thread into a discussion, not a battle ground. I for one will not. Just sharing info, not trying to convince anyone. Use the info or not. It's here (or it will be) and I will share it so you can use it. A few things on gin. Basically, let's dive into procedures, herbs bills, distillation techniques. But I want to start with a general outline on taste. Just to make or introduce a starting point. When I make whiskey, I find the late heads, smearing into hearts, to be fruity. Front of mouth oriented. You taste them first and you taste them on your lips and the front of your tongue. The body, the grain, comes over after that. Hearts. Middle mouth feeling. Early tails, that smear into the last portion of hearts, have a nutty, root-like taste (if you give them time to develop) and are tasted at the back of your mouth towards the throat. Now, in my experience, the same holds true for a gin: it's the fruity bits that come over first, then the body, then the root-like, nutty flavors. So if you want to make a floral gin ... don't add root-like, nutty things to your gin recipe. And cut a bit earlier. If you want a full-bodied gin that lingers in your mouth and can be consumed neat ... do add those nutty, root-like components. And cut a bit later, since these tastes come over during the last part of the run. Okay, that was the introductionary post. More on herbs bills and aging gin and procedures in future posts! Regards, Odin.
  3. Here's more on the smaller barrels we make: https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/making-30-liter-istill-barrels/ Regards, Odin.
  4. We are launching iStills now! Not kidding you. this one is currently flying to Cornwall. Another one is ready to fire. Count down initiated ... five ... four ... three ... Regards, Odin.
  5. ... and here are a few pictures of another iStill 500 NextGen going to a customer that needs more production capacity, because his gin is a huge commercial success: https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/angel-gin-boosts-production/ Today my crew has build up two more stills. I will be testing them tomorrow! Regards, Odin.
  6. Schouten Distillery is setting up their distilling equipment! https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/schouten-distillery/ Regards, Odin.
  7. Here's a short video of a vodka run with the iStill 500 NextGen. Making 96.5% strong alcohol at a production rate of around 18 liters per hour. Regards, Odin.
  8. Great gin workshop with 11 participants!
  9. Here is a customer review on the gin (and iStill) we helped him out with: " Hi Odin, Since last week, I’ve been having the occasion sniff of our gin and even the occasional sip. We brought back two bottles to London. I have been a bit nervous about the spicy undertones but decided to give it the full five weeks before making a final judgement. Today, I had three guys over or a work session (IT Business) and gave them some of the gin to taste at lunchtime. We had it with Fever Tree (Classic Indian) and a slice of orange and ice. I can honestly say that I was blown away by it. It really is completely delicious and the rest of the team agreed strongly! They are all keen to buy. The best bit is that we have four weeks to go ‘resting time’ before we actually bottle and already this is showing truly great promise. Jude has done a great job with the recipe (we need to keep those cloves dialled right down) and you have done an amazing job getting us this far. I’m completely delighted and I’m sure Jude is too. I have great confidence in the product, which is just what you need if you’re going to be selling it, and I can’t thank you enough. We’ll keep you posted on sales. We’ve just bought another 200ltrs of GNS today. All the very best, Peter. "
  10. Just finished testing an iStill 500 NextGen. The unit will go to the UK coming Tuesday. Those are the best days: when I get to do some distilling! We are also making new batches of iStill Barrels for our customers. Here's how we make them: https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/how-istill-barrels-are-made-1/ Regards, Odin.
  11. Bonjour! I have visited Quebec twice now and loved it. Montreal and around there. Not a whole lot of time to look around, since we were building up distilleries, but I remember beautiful girls, loads of snow and loads of cold beers! Enchante! Odin.
  12. It's busy at our factory! Regards, Odin.
  13. iStill Mechanic William helps assembling the iStill 2000 NextGen ...
  14. Here's a picture of our new grooving machine. Grooving? Yes, for our barrels. We don't just make distilling equipment, we also have a cooperage that makes great barrels. We do that, because there is a shortage in barrels, and we want to help our customers out, by granting them access to top shelf barrels at very affordable prices. https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/advanced-barrel-making/ Regards, Odin.
  15. H there, Here's a picture of me in front of a new iStill 2000 NextGen. 2000 liter net boiler content. That's 530 gallon. Electrically heated (0 to 36 kW). Automated, internet connected and robotized, this unit can make any thing from taste rich whiskey, rum, and brandy to pure GNS and/or vodka. And it can do so by simply choosing a certain program on the touch screen computer. No need to change anything to the column, the computer and robotization takes care of any product you want to make. With automated cuts for heads, hearts and tails, with automated sterilization and cleaning programs, with integrated copper catalyst, remote access, control and still management. This piece of kit does not have the agitator or boiler radiator, so it can't mash or ferment. The customer wanted a still and no more. Then again ... all preparations are there, so should he - in the future - face a bottle neck at mashing or fermenting, he can upgrade at minimal costs. We'll do tests early next week and after that it'll get shipped to the USA. If we are not too busy or forget, I'll try to shoot a short video. Regards, Odin.
  16. Here is a picture of my other installation team, currently working in Cork, Ireland. They are doing a vodka run on an 8% beer. 96.5% coming out at the top. We are producing at (and slightly below) the current boiling point of ethanol. If you look at the picture, you'll figure it out! Regards, Odin.
  17. Hi there, Currently I am in Norfolk, England, helping Jude and Peter set up their Archangel Gin Distillery. Here's a short video of their first gin run on the iStill 500 NextGen. We have another team over in Ireland (close to Cork) setting up another distillery where they make whiskey and vodka with their iStill. Regards, Odin.
  18. Scott and Brandon taking possession of their iStill 2000 NextGen in Baltimore: https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/still-lifting-in-baltimore/ Regards, Odin.
  19. Currently working on a new PLC system for our smaller 100 liter / 26 gallon units: https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/new-computers-for-the-istill-100-nextgen/ Regards, Odin.
  20. Regards, Odin.
  21. Here's a picture of the units we are currently assembling and testing. The five more 500 liter units, the two 2000 liter units, and the two 5000 liter units that we are currently building are not yet in the picture. Regards, Odin.
  22. ... maybe use the still as a source for hot water, and pump that into the fermenter to get you to the higher mashing temps quickly and efficiently? Regards, Odin.
  23. For those in Europe (or people from other parts of the world willing to fly a long, long way): we still have a few places open for the Introduction to Advanced Distilling Workshop. When? Coming Saturday. Where? In the iStill Center near Amsterdam, the Netherlands. https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/introduction-to-advanced-distilling/ Regards, Odin.
  24. Just landed at Glasgow Airport in Scotland and tranfered to the Airport Hotel. Drinking a beer as we speak. To bed early (well, it's almost 11 pm already over here). And tomorrow I will drive to Newton Stewart, to help build up a distillery. Well, others do most of the building, while I do the training. Gin and vodka and single malt Scottish whisky. I'll try to post some pics tomorrow or the day after! Regards, Odin.