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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 ...

 

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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/

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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.

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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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Hi there!

We just finished another craft distiller training for 16 students. We covered distilling and how to design specific spirits and taste profiles. The holy trinity of distilling. Next came still design and how that design allows you to harvest certain taste profiles. We trained on assembling an iStill 500 and we did a cleaning run on the new unit we had on location.

On the second day we dived into mashing and fermenting and on how the craft distiller can tailor his procedures to create the taste profiles and intensity he needs to get to the distilled products he wants. In the afternoon we covered vodka and gin making, and the students designed two gins themselves and made them on smaller units, while our own distilling team was doing a professional gin run on the iStill 500.

The third day started with aging, barrel aging, and accelerated aging. And with an established craft distiller sharing their story. How they started, the loopholes they had to jump to, mistakes they made, do's and don'ts. The afternoon I used to give an introduction on how to make amazing rum and whiskey, taking about the virtuous distillery cycles and how one can use them to stabilize taste, influence taste, and create a distillery with an energy efficient and green footprint.

Pretty tired now. Still here in the US today to meet up with another potential client. Tomorrow I'll fly back to the Netherlands.

Regards, Odin.

iStill University Picture.jpg

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For our European customers we now also offer contract distilling! We are currently processing 10,000 liters of beer for a craft brewery in the iStill Distillery. It will be turned into whisky. Next two projects will be about a vodka and a gin! Here are a few pictures of our distillery floor being clogged with beer kegs, some degassing, and filling the iStill 2000.

Regards, Odin.

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How did you go about degassing the BEER.  Partial heating and excessive agitation prior to distilling ?? 

 

Gas within the beer results in excessive foaming and flooding of the column.

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... and that's not what we want!

Pouring it over helps, putting the agitator on also kicks out a lot of co2. But just to be sure we also added some anti-foaming agent.

Regards, Odin.

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Making a movie on how to mash, ferment, and distill single malt whisky. Should be ready early next week. We'll upload it when it is done and will let you know. All processes will take place in one machine.

Regards, Odin.

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Here's an update from the recipe development department! We are currently designing a vodka. Mashing and fermenting and stripping are done. Our chemist is currently doing the finishing run in a glass labware iStill we had a glass blower make for us. Stabilization, heads removal, and currently doing hearts. At the same time we are making our first real beer with the iStill 500 and the Extractor. Here are a few pictures ...

 

 

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An update on various things!

Making beer with the extractor worked just fine. Just to follow up on a post of a few weeks ago.

And we'll join the ADI Conference in Portland. We'll have the biggest booth, by the looks of it. Nr. 1126. We'll take an iStill 2000 with us and put it on display.

On the first evening of the event, we'll throw a beer & burger party. If you are interested, come to our booth, and we'll inform you.

Any of you coming?

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Here is an ABC news item on the New World Distillery, where we do many of our iStill Workshops:

http://abc7.com/video/embed/?pid=3069138

Next 4-day workshop starts on April 29th. For more information, please see: 

If you want to register for the next Utah iStill craft #distilling workshop, please check out: https://istill.eu/university

Regards, Odin.

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Edited by Odin
Added pic and more info

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We just finished another 4-day workshop at the iStill University in the Netherlands. Here are some more pictures and detailed information of what training we gave our students:

https://istillblog.com/2018/02/16/istill-university-workshop/

Regards, Odin.

PS: We just barreled 440 liters of new make spirit and intend to take some of it with us to the USA for ACSA and ADI Conventions!

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