This is a sad post. It is about how the industry takes advantage of some starting distilleries or distilleries that are less well funded. Or maybe it is about distilleries wanting a cheap ride, and getting a nasty surprise instead. I have thought long and deep about this issue, and came to the conclusion I should post about it. If there are manufacturers out there with less than acceptable quality levels, the craft distilling industry should know about it.
A distiller buys a cheap double boiler design still that pretends it can be used for mashing as well as distilling. The equipment is supposed to help this craft distillery at making whiskey. It breaks down on the first (!) run. The agitator engine (quite important for mashing) stops working on the maiden run. It also turns out that the double boiler does not have the capacity to actually cool the mash, as was promised. Finally, the still rusts.
Checking out the unit, it becomes clear that this so-called distillery equipment supplier cut all the corners. And that the distiller is paying a hefty price for that. Here's what went wrong:
Since this cheap piece of crap didn't agitate or cool, and since it was rusting already (see picture underneath) this investment was a complete write-off for the craft distiller. A total-loss in terms of invested money, but also a long delay in his capacity to actually start whiskey production.
To solve the issue, and having learned the hard way that there's no cheap short-cut into the industry, the craft distiller purchased an iStill 2000 instead.
As a craft distiller, especially a starting craft distiller, please take notion! This low quality still does not stand alone. For the above manufacturer (yeah, you can figure out for yourselves who it is - you want to become a craft distiller, after all, so please do your research!) we have heard many other complaints, such as:
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