You’ve probably heard about the craft brewing boom in the United States, but it’s not just the beer industry that’s taken off—the craft liquor and distilling industry has also hit a huge boom over the last decade or so. There are constantly new distilleries opening up and existing ones expanding, especially here on the West Coast, which has been at the forefront of the craft beverage industries.
So, if you’re looking to either upgrade your distillery or finally follow your dreams and start up a new one from scratch, what are the processes and steps you should take when choosing your equipment? Here’s some info from a company that specializes in distillery equipment installation in Oregon to get you started.
The first thing you should purchase is a still. In the past, you would probably have been limited to very large and expensive copper vessels that you may have had to import. However, as demand has grown for smaller and cheaper still systems to accommodate the more modest needs of craft distillers, there has been a huge increase in that market, making the entry price for these stills more affordable than it’s ever been. You can go with traditional copper, or with other types of materials. Consider the kind of liquor you intend to make—certain types of stills may be better suited for certain types of liquors.
Other vital parts
What else do you need aside from a still? There are plenty of other vital components you’ll want to look for. For example, you’ll need a boiler and mash tun to create the fermented liquid that eventually gets processed in the still and turned into liquor. Mash tuns and boilers can both be expensive, so make sure you’ve appropriately accounted for those costs. You’ll also need fermenters and tanks for holding the liquid both before and after the distillation process. Other components include high-quality pumps—a food grade air pump can be particularly beneficial. Finally, depending on the quality of your municipal water, you may consider a means of treating that water before the distilling process begins. The presence of minerals in the water can impact both the taste of your product and the operation of your equipment.
See what you can get secondhand
If you’re just getting started in the industry, you can save a whole lot of money buy trying to get your equipment secondhand. There are a lot of add-ons you’ll need to get that can quickly start to cost you some money. Keep an eye on Craigslist and eBay, and become familiar with other distillers in the area to see if they have any old equipment they’re interested in getting rid of. You can actually use equipment from the beer, wine and dairy industries as well for a lot of your processes, so don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to equipment that was solely used by a distillery.
For more information about distillery equipment installation in Oregon and how you can choose the correct components for your needs, contact the team at American Refrigeration Inc. today with your questions.