When is the Best Time to Run Your Still?

Now that you have your distilling equipment ordered and you’re making plans and starting to get your production schedule together the only thing on your mind is probably what time is the best time to run your alcohol still. The short answer to the question is that the best time to run your alcohol still is whenever you can run your alcohol still! Between mashing, bottling, selling, marketing, and keeping your books in order it can be a challenge to find time to get everything done so the “best” time will vary from operation to operation. There’s no hard and fast rule on when is the best time so use your best judgment and play with different schedules to see what works best for your operation.

If you’re paying for power based on peak demand prices there may actually be a time that running your still is less expensive and more environmentally friendly than other times. Since the lowest demand for electricity is in the middle of the night in most areas, trying to plan production around peak power demand is a noble goal but can be a huge hassle. Some brewers and distillers work in off-hours because there’s too much going on in a day and it’s normally less hectic at night so if that’s your style this may be a bonus. But if you’re a smaller operation and trying to get everything done with a small team you can run into the pesky problem that most humans prefer to get at least some sleep at night. 

Another thing to consider is any special considerations based on a limited release or seasonal products. Certain botanicals or other agricultural products may have a peak season you’ll want to take advantage of to make a unique product. You may need additional fermentation capacity to really take advantage of a seasonal offering in the height of the season. This raises a good question: Do you have enough mashing and fermentation capacity to feed your distillation equipment during a normal season? If you can’t produce enough wash to feed your alcohol still it can be a little difficult to keep it running productively. Everything has to work together to be an efficient process, you can’t rush the fermentation process any more than the aging process so make sure you know where your bottlenecks are will help you plan accordingly.

Hopefully, this post helped you think a little more about your production schedules and fit in everything that needs to get done into the day. We get a lot of questions about best practices and every operation is unique and has its own challenges. We’d be more than happy to discuss what works best for your operation and how we can help so give us a call!