DIY DistillerJanuary 18, 2013
Many people are used to thinking that a distiller is a device for home brewing, but this device can also be used for other purposes - to make distilled water, evaporate essential oils from plants, and make hydrolates.
In the process of distillation of any liquid, evaporation of the necessary vapors from the raw material takes place with the condensation of these vapors on a condenser (refrigerator). There are many ready-made distillers, but you can make such a device and home conditions. And if in appearance such a distiller will be different from industrial designs, then it will cope with its functions well. A primitive distiller can even be made from a pan and a plate, so no expensive materials or tools are needed to make this device.
In general, the distiller circuit can be represented as follows: A funnel is suspended above the tank with the raw material, through which the discharge tube passes through the wall of the distiller.You can not insert the discharge tube, and make so that the pairs are condensed with a funnel or a collection tank for the final product.
A container is placed above the funnel that acts as a condenser. It can be filled with cold water or ice, and it also has a conical bottom.
When the raw material is heated, the liquid begins to evaporate and its vapors with particles rise up to the condenser. In contact with its cold surface, the vapor is cooled and collected in the form of droplets on this surface. These drops flow along the cone of the condenser into the receiving funnel. If there is a discharge tube, then the resulting liquid flows out, if not, it is collected in a funnel.
In domestic conditions, the distiller is usually a large pot in which a smaller container is placed on a wooden stand. The raw material is placed in a large saucepan and the whole structure is covered with a metal bowl bottom down. Cold water is poured into this bowl or ice is applied.
Distiller for essential oils
Essential oils are familiar to mankind since ancient times, and are traditionally used for healing and body care.Essential oils are obtained from various plants by distillation. Also, this method is used to obtain extracts and hydrolat. You can collect the raw materials for the production of essential oils yourself, going to an ecologically clean place and collecting herbs and flowers there. Even dandelions in the garden can make essential oil.
The materials for this process can be a variety of plants. The main thing is that they should not be collected near industrial enterprises, roads, or on fertilized fields. If you are not sure about the origin of the plant, then it is better to buy raw materials in pharmacies or shops of organic products and organic foods. Also need distilled water. Ordinary water, as well as bottled water for these purposes is not suitable, since its composition is unknown. Even if the manufacturer claims its water as mineral water, it may also contain some not very useful elements.
How to use the distiller
A wide and deep pan is picked up, which is placed on the stove, and a glass or ceramic heat-resistant container is placed inside the container at the bottom. There must be enough space between the walls of these two pots - it is in this gap that the raw materials (plants, herbs, flower petals, etc.) are placed. The larger and taller the pan, the more raw materials can be processed at a time. A smaller pot or other container is filled with water so that the weight of the liquid pressed it to the bottom of the distiller.
It is important that the raw material placed in the pan for the production of essential oils does not rise above the dish with liquid. Next, on the grass or flowers pour water at half the height of the container, placed in the center.
Then a bowl is placed on top of the glass dish, which should tightly cover its top, and the edges of this bowl should protrude beyond the dish. Ideal for these purposes are large soup plates with a wide rim. Essential oils and extracts will be collected on this plate.
The water in the distiller comes to a boil, and then the fire is reduced to the smallest and transferred to a slow boil. A metal bowl in the form of a lid is placed on top of the distiller. It is important that the bottom of this bowl should not touch the small container placed at the top of the distiller. Very cold water is poured into the lid-bowl or ice is placed. This will cool the vapors from the bowl of the still. The resulting extracts will be in the form of small drops will flow down into a small bowl inside the distiller.
Typically, the distillation process takes 2-3 hours.From time to time it is necessary to refresh cold water or ice in the cup-lid. It is also necessary to monitor the water level in the distiller itself, more precisely in the processed raw materials. If the water is boiled away, then carefully add distilled water, trying not to fall into a shallow bowl.
At the end of the process, you must turn off the heat, cool the whole structure, and then very carefully remove the shallow bowl with the obtained extract or essential oil. Typically, the oil will float at the very top of the liquid - it will need to be carefully drained. The remaining water is hydrolate and can be used for different purposes - for skin care, for example. Also, this liquid can be used in cooking or make scented candles and soap.