The gin distillery’s Banik Still is described as being ‘more efficient, more consistent’ and able to produce ‘a better product’ than traditional stills
The maker of Dockyard Gin, Copper Rivet Distillery, has been awarded a patent from the Intellectual Property Office for its Banik Still invented by and named after head distiller Abhi Banik.
The still has been designed by Banik to build on the two traditional distillation techniques, maceration distillation and vapour infusion.
‘It was when I was studying distilling, nearly 10 years ago, that I began to wonder why no one had tried to change or improve distillation processes for hundreds of years,’ Banik explained.
‘I was sure there should be improvements that could be made, so I started investigating. It took me seven years to design the still, a concept all in theory and CAD drawings, and with no experimental proof that it would work. When the Russell family and I were designing a still for Dockyard Gin, I showed the team my concept and they believed in it enough to give it a try!’
The Banik Still has a vapour infusion basket and a maceration chamber, ‘allowing botanicals to be treated to the type of infusion which will suit each of them best’. Specifically, maceration is done away from a heat source (unlike traditional distillation).
It is said that the new still allows distillers to have ‘more control over extraction of flavours based on the type of botanicals’, which in turn means more control over the spirit, and more consistency across production. There is also more efficiency when it comes to flavour extraction – less botanicals are used and there are fewer food miles – while a greater concentration of spent lees means less cleaning, reduced trade effluent discharge, and the ability to use the leftover lees as a secondary source of revenue.