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What ever happened to iStill?

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Very cool, but I think it should be made clear such automations are to make operations easy for a distiller, and not to promote unattended operation of a still.  As an industry, we should have zero tolerance for unattended still operation, as no amount of automation or SCADA can replace a watchful eye, and no technology is failsafe.

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Another side to this.  YES to easier operations for distiller and I agree to the concept of unattended still operation, but here's another angle.

 

1  Desperately important to make the same product 100% the same next time.  

2  The ability to tweak the still performance for improved operation.   

 

And most importantly of all, the process can be left to an underling of less capability. +1 million % important.  It becomes a tool of production.

 

Having our cider plant Kegging and bottling totally automated, has resulted in serious quality improvement.  This too will shortly apply to our fully automated distilling plant which is also on the LM concept..

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We are helping Croatia's first craft gin distillery opening up! The iStill has arrived at the Luftbremzer Distillery ...

 

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-09 at 16.52.44.jpeg

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And tomorrow will be an interesting day in the distillery! We are going to mash 2000 liters of tulip bulbs for the Netherlands newest drink. Tulip spirits ... it does not get more Dutch than that. Well, unless I put my wooden shoes on ...

https://dutchtulipvodka.com/

Dutch-Tulp-pure.jpg

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295 euros per bottle. Wow, that's $438 per bottle Canadian! Break out those tulip bulbs!

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Yeah. Clusius Craft Distillers are targeting basically Michelin star restaurants with this product.

Regards, Odin.

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And here's the mashed tulip bulbs fermenting at our customer's location.

Regards, Odin.

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Some very exciting news! We have completed testing all the steps and feel confident we can use the iStills, in combination with the Extractor, to mash beer. Not "just" distillers beer, but also consumers beer. Like this:

1. Bring X amount of water in the iStill 2000 to striking temp (aka starch conversion temp);

2. Fill the Extractor with Y kilo's of cracked malted barley;

3. Use the pump to start extracting and converting the starch into fermentable maltose;

4. When extraction and conversion are done, you now have (around) 2000 liters of wort in the boiler of the iStill 2000;

5. Bring the temp up and add hops;

6. After final hops cooking, crash cool the wort to the desired fermentation temperature;

7.Start fermenting, etc.

I'll start posting some more on this (short video, pictures, complete procedures) in a few days time. As we speak, my team - with all the experience with the various steps and new pump system - is building up an iStill 500 with 100 liter Extractor combination. When I am back from Utah, we'll work out final procedures with our head brewer and actually make some 500 liters of actual IPA.

Regards, Odin.

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Here are two pics. On the first one my assembly hall manager is cutting the lines to feed the Extractor. The other one is the pump and how we attached it (tri-clamp) to the boiler.

Movie on final pump testing in this configuration on the iStill Blog tomorrow.

 

Regards, Odin.

IMG_5245.JPG.6097b70ace662b564c82b48ea18ecf92.JPGIMG_5238.JPG.b67582be24daaa2410f58e0f7cb30f8c.JPG

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Hey it's a different and novel approach, but I can not see it working efficiently in that you will not reach acceptable / comparable extract.

 

Basically you are trying to simulate a mashtun and lautertun combination.  With beer you agitate the mash and heat for the various conversion steps.  Post that it would pass to the lautertun and then onto the wort kettle.  So in your case there is no mash for agitation because it has been left behind in the extractor.  Also there is no real bed to drain from / through, nor is sparging possible.  Ultimately there are going to be terrible losses to contend with.  Worst of all, there is is a tonne of spent grain to remove from the extractor.

 

But a great effort and you won't know it until you try it.

 

I have often thought about this and I would have performed all in the kettle and then considered placing a strainer post the kettle whilst pumping / transferring to another vessel for spent grain removal and prior to cooking (wort kettle) and then transferring back to the kettle.

 

That's my sixpence worth.

 

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Thanks for sharing. Proof of the pudding is in eating, right? So lets do that and see how it works. Our head brewer has a recipe formulated for an IPA and I'll join him in a week or two. Flying out to Utah for a workshop first.

Speak to you all soon!

Odin.

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