Jump to content
ADI Forums
MythBuster

I hope you all get the idea?

Recommended Posts

Hello all.

I’m an unusual breed of New Member, but hope that there’s room for everyone. Bearing in mind the more progressive Regulatory attitudes to distilling recently, new designs, markets and opportunities are clearly on the horizon. For example, the proposed new USA home distillation rules comfortably accommodate the type of tiny still which I’m developing, as do similarly progressive actual and proposed Regulations elsewhere. So here goes!

 

I am a still developer with a sharply-focussed eye on creativity and innovation. You should know that I most firmly believe in bringing quality distillation into the Consumer domain: every home that wants one should be able to get one, set it up and run it with minimum fuss.

SAFELY!

Those who live in small apartments will already realise that space limitations, not to mention current illegality, make conventional distillation pretty much a non-option on multiple grounds. With likely legalisation (for those Products prepared and able to meet Regulations) at hand, this is my target niche market - a market sector for suitable, legal, equipment which is likely to become orders of magnitude larger than any other.

My work shows very clearly that my "nano-still" provides pretty much all of the requirements of ordinary Consumers: ease-of use, quality, intrinsic safety and sufficiently low cost. There's some big surprises in there for traditionalists.

I'm not here to rock the boat. I simply believe that Big Change is almost upon us and like most other things, it will be Consumer demand which opens up New Territories. It doesn't necessarily follow that existing professional distilleries will suffer. At all.

More to come, but please let me know if I've sensed it wrong and that my discussion of a new branch of distilling here are misplaced?

Hope you are now initially enchanted.

.....  inspired by the famous "Harry".

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mythbuster,

 

I'm afraid that there are a great many vendors already selling to your target nich market.  In fact, we have sold thousands of home stills and hillbilly stills, mile hi, still dragon, moonshine distiller and claw hammer etc. have sold tens of thousands more than we have over the last 7 or 8 years.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply Southernhighlande.

I am aware of such existing vendors and their Products, all of which appear to do what their makers claim, but which are of a totally different genre to my own design.

I have taken a radically different approach to address the needs of ordinary Consumers who are unaware of most aspects of distillation. Especially if (in the wrong hands) using traditional, potentially dangerous equipment.

Because of the need for Intrinsic Safety in a Consumer device, this has to take priority over all other design considerations from the outset. I keep the volume of alcohol - gas and liquid - at any one time, in any one place at an absolute minimum so that if the operator for example got careless, or even reckless with a naked flame, the consequences would be minimal and manageable from a safety perspective.

A basic NanoStill design consideration was that a domestic purchaser doesn’t need more than a gallon (4.5l) of 40% spirit per week. Most people drink far, far less than this. Which, for a continuously operating still represents a necessary output of only about 5 drops per minute if the output is taken at 60% ABV. Over that week maybe 20 litres (~4 gallons) of wine feed will be needed. If the operator needs twice as much alcohol, he should buy and run TWO such stills! The power requirement per still is a mere 50 watts.

For now, be aware that this is no “pie-in-the-sky” development. A prototype has been subjected to preliminary tests for output quality and quantity, and for explosion/flame risk.

Some food for thought:

IF you accept that such equipment is entirely feasible and would be in demand by Consumers, perhaps a bigger problem is that of producing (even in such small quantities) the necessary wine feed!

40 litres (20 l in use and 20 l fermenting) is an awful lot of liquid to store “around the house”!

It just might be that there is an equally lucrative and new market for the continuous production of said wine feed? We can and probably should discuss that too!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" proposed new USA home distillation rules "

Can you point us to more info on this proposed legislation?

And where are the pictures and specs of your new still?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Tom Lenerz said:

He's referring to S. 1562 the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. It is rolled up with the decreased tax rate for distillers and a bunch of other things.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1562/text

Yes indeed, thanks Tom.

Apologies HedgeBird (I thought it was common knowledge in distilling circles......)

 

No photos or detailed specs. will be given at this time. A normal precaution in the case of a new market and un-launched products designed to exploit it. (There's a lot of IP in the design).

I'm providing preliminary insight into the likely emergent market, and general discussion with those interested of this general method of addressing it.

I fully expect and accept that some will doubt either/both the likely market or the viability of such a Product to satisfy it, and have no problem with that. I'm hoping that others here will easily envision what I'm talking about.

To promote better appreciation of the design's goals, traditional pot still experts might ask themselves this:

Could I produce a tiny pot still which could be used daily, loaded with less than a gallon of 10-12% ABV wine, and run slowly over 12 hours to deliver about 1/2 a pint of heads-and-tails-free azeo (or a larger equivalent volume of lower ABV product) each day? ( Of course I can!)

Next, can I at least conceive that I or someone else could design a tiny continuous still to do the same job?

It's really that simple. I'm not looking for pointless argument with those who cannot accommodate such possibilities.

Maybe I guessed wrongly and there is no such interest here? If not, I will quietly and politely disappear to seek discussion elsewhere.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

With likely legalisation (for those Products prepared and able to meet Regulations) at hand

 

Not in my lifetime unfortunately.  And I'm not expiring any time soon.

Good luck, wish I was wrong.  but I'm not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MythBuster said:

To promote better appreciation of the design's goals, traditional pot still experts might ask themselves this:

Could I produce a tiny pot still which could be used daily, loaded with less than a gallon of 10-12% ABV wine, and run slowly over 12 hours to deliver about 1/2 a pint of heads-and-tails-free azeo (or a larger equivalent volume of lower ABV product) each day? ( Of course I can!)

Next, can I at least conceive that I or someone else could design a tiny continuous still to do the same job?

It's really that simple. I'm not looking for pointless argument with those who cannot accommodate such possibilities.

Maybe I guessed wrongly and there is no such interest here? If not, I will quietly and politely disappear to seek discussion elsewhere.

 

Someone on this forum has already posted quite a bit regarding his small-scale continuous still. Not sure what the availability of his system is, but he's certainly been more forthcoming about what his system does and how it works.

http://bunkerstills.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a hard imaging the consumer who wants to trade a gallon of wine for a pint of vodka. Seems like they would just buy the vodka and not fool around with running an appliance for 12 hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Jedd Haas said:

Here is the other thread:

 

Thanks Jedd, I had seen that particular thread. Do be aware that I'm new here and was unable to contribute to such threads until I joined. I will be talking to jheising who seems very much a person after my own heart, even though focussed on a somewhat larger apparatus than mine.

As already stated, my design aims at commoditisation/consumerisation of a nano-scale continuous still. One which runs on about 50 watts and produces about a gallon of whisky-strength spirit a week. An order of magnitude smaller than The Bunker Stills Product.

One which will retail for less than $500.....

I like their statement that steady-state "tuning" to a desired output taste and purity is entirely achievable - though by no means a trivial thing. There are also valuable hints (to the uninformed) that different outputs can be "remixed" with the primary output to produce whatever mix of taste/congeners etc etc are desired. All that is actually removed from the feedstock wash are non-volatiles and water. Those with a modicum of maths, physics and thermodynamics can easily confirm to themselves that such a design can indeed (as does mine too) run happily with no external cooling requirement.

Despite the substantial miniaturisation, I do envisage that storage of the necessary requirement of wash will become a headache for the target purchasers, and the ideal solution will be a parallel system of continuous fermentation also!

That problem is non-trivial too. But equally, I feel, not insurmountable......

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wish you the best of luck, it's an exciting project.

But, what I don't get is, if you have to go to the liquor store to buy the 4 gallons of wine  Wouldn't you just buy a bottle of vodka and skip the whole middle part?

What's the value proposition for the consumer?

It's certainly not ROI and saving money, because 4 gallons of wine is going to cost the same as a mid/lower shelf bottle of vodka.  And with a $500 cost of entry...

in my opinion, the home distilling trend has everything to do with creativity and experimentation, just like the home brewing trend.  It's about hands on, it's about learning.

I don't think the average consumer is going care much about a tiny elegant continuous still design.  That's geek territory, and an obscure corner of geekdom at that.

That said, I'm sure there are dozens of people that pony up $200, every day, to buy that little countertop air still thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also applaud you for your focus on safety, which is almost entirely absent from that segment of the market.

However, if you are exclaiming the fact that you solved the problem, you first need to ensure everyone understands the problem, and in that lies significant risk for yourself.

Can you imagine talking to the consultants at Underwriters Laboratory?

Product Manufacturer: "Distilling is an incredibly dangerous activity, and there needs to be considerable safeguards in place, which I've solved for with x, y, z, you see here, I've done this.  We've taken care of that, it's entirely safe now."

UL: "So, your saying that this product performs an incredibly dangerous activity?"

Product Manufacturer: "Well, no, um, well, yes, distilling is dangerous, but, um, you see I've taken care of that here, and there, with this doohickey, and that, and there is absolutely no risk of explosion."

UL: "So, your saying that this product can explode?"

Product Manufacturer: "No, no, you aren't understanding me.  Yes, the process is extremely dangerous, and there exists the risk of a vapor explosion, and considerable risk to life, limb, and property, but I've engineered solutions to fix all of that."

UL: "Thank you for your time today."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, you need to be careful of your use of the words "Intrinsically Safe", as the terminology has a very specific engineering meaning.

The concept of intrinsic safety is predicated on reducing ignition potential by eliminating or significantly reducing the amount of electrical or thermal energy in a system.  These are things you are going to find very difficult to accomplish in a distilling apparatus, especially if they contain things like heating elements, motors, high voltage circuitry, capacitors, switches, etc.

Certification agencies like UL and FM have specific testing methodologies to certify devices as Intrinsically Safe.  It's very different from the concept of Explosion Proof, or even just safety best practices and common sense.   Take a look at UL 913.  These are very rigorous standards.  Intrinsic Safety is a very serious certification.  It's not a certification that would generally apply to a countertop appliance that would plug into a household outlet (that pretty much eliminates the possibility of Intrinsic Safety certification).  This is a standard to ensure that people don't die in hazardous areas like refineries, or miners don't blow themselves up by lighting a shaft up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Silk City Distillers said:

Also, you need to be careful of your use of the words "Intrinsically Safe", as the terminology has a very specific engineering meaning.

The concept of intrinsic safety is predicated on reducing ignition potential by eliminating or significantly reducing the amount of electrical or thermal energy in a system.  These are things you are going to find very difficult to accomplish in a distilling apparatus, especially if they contain things like heating elements, motors, high voltage circuitry, capacitors, switches, etc.

Certification agencies like UL and FM have specific testing methodologies to certify devices as Intrinsically Safe.  It's very different from the concept of Explosion Proof, or even just safety best practices and common sense.   Take a look at UL 913.  These are very rigorous standards.  Intrinsic Safety is a very serious certification.  It's not a certification that would generally apply to a countertop appliance that would plug into a household outlet (that pretty much eliminates the possibility of Intrinsic Safety certification).  This is a standard to ensure that people don't die in hazardous areas like refineries, or miners don't blow themselves up by lighting a shaft up.

I have no idea on what basis you assume that I don't understand the specific engineering meaning of "Intrinsically Safe".

You have zero knowledge of my qualifications, knowledge or experience in regulatory compliance.

You need to be more careful in shooting first and asking questions later perhaps.......

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, MythBuster said:

You have zero knowledge of my qualifications, knowledge or experience in regulatory compliance.

Everyone on this forum has "zero knowledge" of your "qualifications, knowledge, or experience in regulatory compliance" because you haven't told us. Perhaps you can tell us who you are and your qualifications and experience, rather than hiding behind a screen name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/1/2016 at 0:04 PM, daveflintstone said:

Not in my lifetime unfortunately.  And I'm not expiring any time soon.

Good luck, wish I was wrong.  but I'm not.

It would be great if home distillation became legal for personal consumption I suspect it would do a lot of good to take the existing practice out of the shadows and allow people to learn best practices earlier. However, like Dave I'm not holding my breath. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, 3d0g said:

MythBuster - I think this may not be the best avenue for you. I cannot imagine any commercial distiller being interested in a system that produced 4.5l per week. Maybe try http://homedistiller.org/ or http://www.artisan-distiller.net/? those are the two major home distilling forums.

Thanks 3d0g,

I have been at both places for several years, but they seem to be very much amateurs looking after amateurs, spending most time arguing semantics and personalities. Read the volumes of discussion on something as simple as SPP's as an example. Their "secret" forum-with-a-forum is even more obtuse and clique-ey.

I do communicate (separately and privately) with a few of the rather tiny minority of their members who are "switched on" to how a still (of any type) really works..

Maybe it will be better if I select one small part of my own design and pursue discussion of that (for starters) in the Equipment section here......

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, they are by very definition amateurs. :D

Amateur does not always equate to inexperience, however. Far be it from me to defend the home distilling forums, but there are some sharp folks and really clever ideas have evolved over there. I'd hazard more than a few "pros" lurk the HD forums for tips / tricks. Personalities and cliques? Of course. They've been around a LONG time and constantly answering the "Hey y'all, I bought this sweet still online and my buddies are coming over next weekend! I need an awesome bourbon recipe FAST!!!" questions gets pretty damn old.

I'm simply pointing out that I highly doubt any of us have any need for such a tiny still. Come up with a system to give us a couple more brix out of a bushel or shorten fermentation times w/o sacrificing quality and you'll have our attention. Your target market really is over at http://homedistiller.org/. Clique or not, they're the ones you need to convince if you want to be successful. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If its truely innovative, don't share anything online - China will be selling it before you even get the first unit out.

This is rampant, ask any manufacturer of small stills.  Good ideas get stolen immediately.  If you don't watermark your photos, they'll steal those too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/09/2016 at 3:21 PM, 3d0g said:

Well, they are by very definition amateurs. :D

Amateur does not always equate to inexperience, however. Far be it from me to defend the home distilling forums, but there are some sharp folks and really clever ideas have evolved over there. I'd hazard more than a few "pros" lurk the HD forums for tips / tricks. Personalities and cliques? Of course. They've been around a LONG time and constantly answering the "Hey y'all, I bought this sweet still online and my buddies are coming over next weekend! I need an awesome bourbon recipe FAST!!!" questions gets pretty damn old.

I'm simply pointing out that I highly doubt any of us have any need for such a tiny still. Come up with a system to give us a couple more brix out of a bushel or shorten fermentation times w/o sacrificing quality and you'll have our attention. Your target market really is over at http://homedistiller.org/. Clique or not, they're the ones you need to convince if you want to be successful. 

On 03/09/2016 at 3:41 PM, Silk City Distillers said:

If its truely innovative, don't share anything online - China will be selling it before you even get the first unit out.

This is rampant, ask any manufacturer of small stills.  Good ideas get stolen immediately.  If you don't watermark your photos, they'll steal those too.

 

I was careful not to tar all of their members with the same brush. I have huge respect for a small number of their members, and a couple of them are trusted, private confidants who ALSO view those websites similarly!

That you have doubts regarding the need for such a tiny still, if you cannot envision the (possible) available market, is understandable and not a derogatory deduction either. New markets are rarely widely envisioned, or they would be addressed already by the professionals closest to their components! My observation is that those with the experience and scientific knowledge of existing state-of-the-art are most likely to be able to capitalise on any such emergent opportunities, faster. And then ONLY if they "get it". For in consumer markets, better, faster, cheaper generally (not always) works best. And because a "legal from" date will occur in this case for USA consumers, time-to-market will be a primary differentiator.

This potential emergent market, IMHO, is most definitely NOT best served by noisy, amateurish and wild-worded "because I say so" ultimata seen on every page at those amateur sites. Nor am I keen on the idea of discussing IP details in an environment so visibly rife with plagiarism!

Whilst it may not be fitting, ultimately, here either, I just thought I'd give it a try and at least discover if anyone (anyone?) had serious interest in it - or even"gets the idea"? 

Which, to be fair, is what I did ask as the banner of my introduction post.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone who has serious interest in this is delusional.  For my reason stated above.  And as was said above, how many will spend $500 plus feed stock to get a gallon of liquor a week?  

fyi making a tiny continuous still is not new and revolutionary.  They exist, I've seen one, so what.  A tiny continuous still interests a tiny number of people.  There is nothing to get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is genius. I can see it now, the Kougreg of spirits. Little cups of pre ferment mash that you pop in the machine. Caffe frappe latte's for breakfast, and double drip gin in the evenings, after a strenuous 17 hours of playing minecraft. 

Yeah, that it. That's the ticket. Yeah .

Christ... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×