This has been a very exciting week for us here at the distillery. On Wednesday we saw the commissioning of our boiler, with a healthy hum and a plume of steam making their way from our Boiler Room. Byworth Boilers, creators of our monster steam machine, a company with a very similar ethos to our own and a committment to manufacturing their products within the UK, sent one of their expert team to see us and get the process started. For the commissiong, the boiler was filled with water, the heat was cranked up and the pressure was tested up to 7 bar (seven times the Earth's atmosphere at sea level)! We stood back and watched as a steady stream of steam arose from the chimney, contributing a little more cloud to the already overcast sky. At this point we all knew that we were one step closer to making whisky; our boiler was up and running and ready to go!
Not only was the boiler tested, but our stills underwent their first water tests too. As part of the boiler commissioning, we filled our spirit still with water and pumped steam into the pipes within. Most modern stills use steam to heat their contents for no other reason than the increased efficiency, it's so efficient in fact that the contents of our 1,600l water-filled spirit still started boiling in less than 20 minutes! The next stage towards commissioning of our stills is to complete the plumbing-in of the cooling tower before running a full water distillation test, scheduled in for the 1st September.
This week is far from over though, tomorrow sees the commissioning of our bottling line, where our freshly delivered Cotswolds Dry Gin bottles will be loaded up; filled (with water until the good stuff is ready), corked, capsuled and labelled to smooth out any kinks. When everything is perfected, our bottling expert will leave us for a few weeks to finalise our recipe, returning on the 19th September to complete a full bottling run, hopefully using our Cotswolds Dry Gin Inaugural Release.
There is a definite air of excitement in the distillery now that we can see the end of the build is nigh. Watch this space for more details on our release dates!