We Solved Copper Particle Contamination!

29 January 2021

Even though iStill, with its innovative stainless steel stills, has made a huge contribution to healthy craft distilling, most of the stills in operation around the world are still made from copper. Copper has traditionally been used in still manufacturing, because it was cheap, bendable, and available. In more modern times, with bigger distilleries running bigger and therefor warmer ferments, copper has been a medicine for the resulting poor quality distillers beer, resulting from overheating fermentations. Copper catalyses the sulfurs created by stressed-out yeast.

But, to those that do not have the means, the money, or the expertise to shift towards temperature and pH controlled fermentations, this "medicine" comes with some very bad side-effects. First, the copper particles that infect the whisky or rum are toxic and cause (among others) non-alcoholic induced fatty liver disease. In brandy making copper particle contamination also results in the formation of ethyl carbamate in the bottle, which is a carcinogenic.

Over the last few years, we have received more and more questions from distillers that use copper stills: can't iStill, as the industry's innovation leader and the world's biggest producer of distilling equipment, find a solution to counter the bad side-effects of distilling with copper stills? Up until last year, our answer has always been that they could (and maybe should) buy iStill's, because our stills are made from stainless steel. With iStill's options for controlled fermentation and iStill's copper waffle technology, all issues can be addressed: controlled fermentation limits sulfur contamination and negates the necessity of copper stills as a bad medicine solution.

But as we have grown, over the years, and as our focal point became more and more that we want to empower the craft distilling industry as a whole, we decided to take-on the challenge. If 70% of the market already invested in copper stills and does not have the financial resources to reinvest in controlled fermentation equipment or stainless steel stills, what else can we do for them?

We took on the challenge and, on behalf of the iStill Team, I am proud to inform you that we solved the copper particle contamination issue! Our team has designed a multi-stage filter that gets rid of 99% of the copper particles, that is retrofittable to any distillery (it is stand-alone), and that can be cleaned and re-used in under five minutes.

The current size filters 50 liters per hour. If you have bigger needs (AKA produce more than 50 liters per hour), just add a filter. Longevity? With proper treatment (clean the filter after every run via a water counter-flush), the filters will remain functional for many years and do not need to be replaced.

The iStill Copper Particle Filter can be ordered now. First deliveries will take place in March. The unit costs EUR 5.000,- ex crating and transport. If you want to order one, reach out to Finance@iStillmail.com. Our Finance Department will email you a payment-link. After you used that link to pay, you'll get the invoice and, a few weeks later, via air transport, your iStill Copper Particle Filter will arrive.

iStill Copper Particle Filter in a traditional copper still set-up ...

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iStill Copper Particle Filter after a distillation run ...

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iStill Copper Particle Filter after 5 minutes counter-flush water cleanse ...

(picture for representational purpose only)



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