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- [10/19/2023—If you are planning a birectifier purchase for 2024, feel free to email me. The price is going down but I cannot commit to a figure yet, and we are figuring out a way to reduce the lead time. I’m also figuring out a way to incorporate fun discounts; send me a bottle of your spirit and I’ll give you a discount!]
For Sale: Birectifier beverage distillate analysis kit ($1800USD)
(Buy Now button does not include shipping which will be assessed later.)
Available after a lot of work is Dr. Luckow’s birectifier, famously used by Rafael Arroyo in Puerto Rico to develop the next generation of ideas in distillation. The device went completely extinct, likely due to WWII, but it’s been revived. Some of the biggest leads came after buying a first edition of Studies on Rum from the estate of a Seagram employee containing an extra page tucked into it which was from an article in International Sugar Journal.
Arroyo attributed much of his research success to this device. It is sort of like a scalpel meets stethoscope for spirits. Small samples, such as 250 ml of 40% ABV spirit, are very slowly super fractionated into multiple (typically 8), uniform fractions for the sake of counting congeners and making comparisons. Coupled with a few sub-analysis techniques, it allows the progressive development and reverse engineering of spirits. Arroyo used this for yeast selection, fermentation optimization, still tuning, and even for decisions regarding maturation.
The birectifier differs from other micro scale fractioning stills because it both has more power and more precision. When you compare two fractions, you can say with confidence that sample A has more/less of a congener than sample B, and not that an inconsistency in operation led to the difference. You can rely on the birectifier output to make big decisions!
The kit includes the birectifier with custom condenser, 500 ml distilling flask and laboratory stands. In the photo, but not included, are the heating mantle, thermometers, or the lab jack scissor platform. Critical to operation is a heating controller and I highly recommend an Auber PID (This is a custom spec’d model which includes temperature probe and will integrate with our automation kit.).
Please email me directly if you are interested (birectifier (at) gmail (•)com). I will hand deliver these to any distillery in a 150 miles radius, otherwise shipping will be fully insured and based on location.
Eventually, we (an MIT colleague and I) will be offering a full robotic automation kit to reduce active time of operation with a projected cost of $2000USD (This includes an Auber heating controller and specialty Sartorius scale). We predict distillers will eventually want to run the machine twice a day.
Check back because this post will continuously be updated with supporting educational links and historical background material.
Arroyo, himself, gives us some very strong testimonials on the birectifier which I just digitized: The Birectifier in Rum Manufacture (1945).
And then I pull together more of the sub analysis ideas in Organoleptic to Actionable with the Birectifier.
My synthesis of it all will get better and better and expand beyond rum. All the rum related ideas apply to any distillate derived from fermented products, but I think the tool can apply very significantly to gin production and distilled liqueurs like the triple-secs.
The birectifier is the cornerstone of any distillery.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
I’m writing to introduce you to the birectifier which we’ve resurrected from extinction. This was the highly regarded glass laboratory still of Rafael Arroyo (Studies on Rum) and the German Dr. Curt Luckow. It may have disappeared due to WWII and the untimely death of Arroyo. The tool is wildly pragmatic for analyzing spirits using the eight fraction system first developed by Karl Micko.
The output is far more actionable than chromatography and spectroscopy solutions, besides costing a mere fraction of the price. Key concepts can be learned in an afternoon. Sub analysis can proceed with a suite of classic organoleptic techniques or more advanced titration methods can be stacked on top.
Arroyo used the birectifier for yeast selection, fermentation optimization, still tuning, maturation monitoring, and fault identification. The best testimonies and descriptions of operation come directly from the newly discovered supplemental writings of Arroyo himself.
We will soon offer an automation kit for the birectifier that will dramatically reduce active time for operation and keep it running through multiple cycles per day. We will also expand operation protocols to help pre-screen fermentations for insights before large scale distillation (as is a technique in Cognac). We are also designing birectifier protocols for gin and botanical aromatized spirit prototyping.
Additional uses of the birectifier:
• Competitor/role model insight analysis
• Sample preparation for long distance consulting
• Sensory training for team members to understand every unobscured aspect of a spirit
• Accountability for enhanced monitoring of newly delegated tasks
• Preparation of marketing material for advanced spirits reviewing and visual confirmation of quality and research investment (output is very instagramable!)
• Prove critical aspects of a new production before even raising capital