Automation - What Equipment Do I Need?

22 February 2021


Planning a distillery can be daunting. What equipment do I need? A simple question, but there are so many answers that are rooted in even more considerations and assumptions. This post is the third of a series called "What Equipment Do I Need?". Each post highlights one consideration. This week? Automation! What level of automation do I need?

Levels of automation

There are basically three levels of automation a distiller can choose from:

  1. No automation - subjective sensory assessments control the run and all work is done manually;
  2. Semi-automated - objective measurements control the run and all work is done manually;
  3. Automated and robotized - objective measurements control the run and the work is done automatically.

The higher the level, the more support and control you get. Let's dive in deeper, so you can make a better judgement call on what you need!

No automation

Without automation, you will find it impossible to reproduce spirit profiles successfully. You'll need extensive batch-mixing to create any level of consistency. Since all the work is done manually, your distillery need to invest in labor, which leads to higher staffing costs. iStill does not support this kind of operation, since we strongly believe that spirits reproducibility is conditional to becoming a successful craft distiller.


A semi-automated still measures what goes on inside your still objectively. This allows you to reproduce spirit flavor profiles. Since the measurements result in manual actions, performed by your staff, you run the risk of introducing some proces-operator bias into your spirts, where the distillers preferences shine through, rather than yours. Because most of the work is done manually, you'll still need to invest in higher staffing costs. iStill supports this level of automation via our semi-automated line-up of iStills.

Automated and robotized

A fully automated and robotized still measures what goes on inside your still objectively, and makes the associated cuts itself. This leads to your distillery being able to fully reproduce the exact flavor profile time and again. No risk of proces-operator bias. No need to invest heavily in additional staffing. You'll produce the best quality spirits in the most reproducible manner, and in the most efficient way. iStill is the only distillery manufacturer that offers this level three automation and robotization to craft distillers.

Automation => Control => Quality ...


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