Craft Distilling and Filling
Craft Distilling and Filling
Setting up a craft distillery is no easy task, as the product is only the beginning of the process. In this booming industry, there are governments to deal with at the local, state and federal level. The building and equipment must be procured and many times a variance will have to be acquired before even a single batch is created. Bottles, caps and labels must be chosen and purchased. Then, of course, the packaging equipment must be purchased to get the product into the bottles. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, we try to make the equipment part as easy as possible for new distillers.
Generally speaking, one of two different types of filling machines will be used for distilled spirits. The first is an overflow filler. This machine offers the advantage of allowing for a level fill in each bottle, regardless of the interior volume of the bottle, creating a pleasing shelf presence. However, using an overflow filler puts the accuracy of the fill in the hands of the distillers bottle supplier. If there are differences in the interior volume of the bottles, the fill volumes will differ as well.
On the other hand, using a gravity filling machine will allow an accurate volumetric fill for each bottle. This type of filling machine may sacrifice consistently level fills, again depending on the bottle supplier. Bottom line, if you have a bottle supplier you can trust to produce identical, or nearly identical bottles, either filling machine will work well with distilled spirits.
The type of capping machine used for distilled spirits will depend, obviously, upon the type of closure being used. LPS manufactures several different types of cappers that have been used with distilled spirits. Our bartop capper is used for T-corks and other stopper type closures. Both spindle and chuck cappers have been used for screw on type lids. ROPP cappers have also been requested for those that use caps found on traditional wine bottles and olive oils. Simply producing a bottle and cap sample will allow our team of packaging professionals to produce the best capping machine for each unique distiller.
Bottle labels for distilled spirits can be applied in a number of different formats. However, the most popular seem to be wrap labels and front and back labels. As the name implies, wrap labels encircle the bottle, consisting of a single label for each container produced. Front and back labels will normally include a logo or emblem on the front label and a separately applied back label with information on the product such as the distiller, location, etc. Using labeling equipment helps to ensure consistent and wrinkle-free application to the bottles.
All fill, cap and label equipment can be produced as fully automatic machinery, throwing in some conveyors to complete a mostly hands free bottling process for distilled spirits. For producers with low to medium production demands, all of the equipment can be manufactured to operate semi-automatically. The semi-automatic models also include tabletop equipment for those applications where space is limited. Of course, other equipment can be added to the process, such as bottle rinsing machines and neck banding equipment. If you have questions regarding the packaging of distilled spirits, LPS offers an open invitation to call and take advantage of our experience with the industry!