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PicoStill Tries To Take The Guesswork Out Of Small Batch Distilling

For many, learning to distill is a trial-and-error process, a skill gained through time and testing on industrial stills as you transition from whatever industry you were in before into the booze making world. Super small scale stills exist that are designed for making essential oils, but they can, in some ways, be just as difficult to operate until you get the hang of them. Now a gadget is coming to market that wants to help take the guesswork out of small batch distilling, serving as an attachment to a popular crowdfunded beer making appliance.

What’s being called the PicoStill has been unveiled by PicoBrew, a hardware technology start up that develops devices which reportedly take most of the guesswork out of home and/or small scale craft brewing. They are currently offering up on Kickstarter their most recent model, the Pico Model C, and, as an incentive add on, have offered up the PicoStill for those who want to explore distilling.

PicoStill

Now, to be clear, PicoBrew is spinning this still add on as something you would use to distill “hop water, oil and essential oils.” They state, as they should, that if you want to use it for actual distillation of spirits such as whiskey you need to be “licensed and properly permitted” as it is otherwise technically illegal in most cases to distill at home without said licensing. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict a good chunk of people who buy this probably won’t be, but PicoBrew has to cover their legal bases around this, so hence the statements.

As for what this thing specifically does to make distilling easier, the technology behind it is patent pending, so not all the whiz bang details were made available. What is known though is this accessory is topped with ” a sleek copper distilling coil and clear glass infusion chamber that fits over the Pico C Keg.” It is said to allow a distiller to “have precision temperature control over the still, allowing for more precision and safety.  It employs patent-pending technologies that make the process of distilling safer, including an indirect vacuum heating mechanism and a methanol collection chamber.”

The PicoStill is being pushed to Kickstarter backers for $170, or it can be packaged with the Model C for $499. It will later retail for $349 when it comes to stores in the fall.

“Since we got started in 2010, PicoBrew has been inventing technologies to make the several thousand years-old process of beer creation easier for professionals and consumers alike,” said Dr. Bill Mitchell, CEO, PicoBrew, in a prepared statement. “The PicoStill not only empowers small batch brewers to create ingredients like hop oil and essential oils more easily than ever before, but it also gives them the most precise and safest technology to do it with.”

“This level of precision and safety in distilling has never been available before, and we’re excited to offer distillers ultimate control over their cuts using our patent-pending technology,” added Jim Mitchell, Chief Science Officer, PicoBrew.

About the author

Nino Marchetti

As the founder of The Whiskey Wash, I'm crazy about whiskey, I can tell you, and I aim to share this passion with you through this site. As for my professional background, I’m a writer and journalist by trade and an Internet dot-com veteran prior to that. My most recent venture prior to this was as the founder and editor-in-chief of EarthTechling, a leading consumer focused green technology news website. I also have an extensive collection of whiskies from both start up distilleries and centuries old operations in Scotland alike, sprinkled with some other odds and ends from around the world, that have provided me with a unique picture of what’s going on with this wonderful spirit.