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Author Topic: Home Distilling  (Read 2635 times)

Annie Roonie

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Home Distilling
« on: July 13, 2011, 04:33:45 am »
I want to distill my own plant essences.  

Back story:

I buy oils and like them fine; however, I am drawn to the smell of a milkweed species and several oils, like lilac, I find don't reflect the lilacs that I know except maybe as a lovely caricature. But it is the milkweed that's nagging me.

The smell of that flower, as well as the look and feel and sounds? have a message and I feel compelled to find out what it is and I do not think a caricature, however lovely, will speak the language of the flower. It is quite soothing and disturbing, strong and soft all at once. I feel I must work with the plant myself. I will be gathering the seed pods when it is their turn to arrive and will grow the plant at home.
~~~


My father thinks that building a distiller would be as fun a project as I do, and he has the knowledge to build a still, but not exactly for flower and plant essences. :D

I've looked at a few essential oil distillers online just in case our project goes awry, but thought one or some of you might have a lead or advice about doing this. Any ideas or suggestions? I will want to use it for other plants too.

Also, if anyone knows of a oil or perfume that does have the scent, could you tip me to it? I've only been able to find this. And don't want to spend if, when it arrives, it has no resemblance to the flower. (Oh yes, I read of Eau Chic having the scent, but that one is extremely cost prohibitive at the moment.)

Thank you for any help you can give and for your time in reading even if you can't. :)

Asch

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Re: Home Distilling
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2011, 04:41:39 am »
Quote from: Annie Roonie;4487
I want to distill my own plant essences.  

Back story:

I buy oils and like them fine; however, I am drawn to the smell of a milkweed species and several oils, like lilac, I find don't reflect the lilacs that I know except maybe as a lovely caricature. But it is the milkweed that's nagging me.

The smell of that flower, as well as the look and feel and sounds? have a message and I feel compelled to find out what it is and I do not think a caricature, however lovely, will speak the language of the flower. It is quite soothing and disturbing, strong and soft all at once. I feel I must work with the plant myself. I will be gathering the seed pods when it is their turn to arrive and will grow the plant at home.
~~~


My father thinks that building a distiller would be as fun a project as I do, and he has the knowledge to build a still, but not exactly for flower and plant essences. :D

I've looked at a few essential oil distillers online just in case our project goes awry, but thought one or some of you might have a lead or advice about doing this. Any ideas or suggestions? I will want to use it for other plants too.

Also, if anyone knows of a oil or perfume that does have the scent, could you tip me to it? I've only been able to find this. And don't want to spend if, when it arrives, it has no resemblance to the flower. (Oh yes, I read of Eau Chic having the scent, but that one is extremely cost prohibitive at the moment.)

Thank you for any help you can give and for your time in reading even if you can't. :)

 
I've never built one or distilled my own oils but I did look into it. Some things to be aware of, different parts of the plant will have different scents - it's entirely possible that what you smell from the plant is a combination of subtle scents from the flower and other portions - and it often takes pounds of material for a few ounces of oil.

:)

Good luck and let us know how it goes :D

Erinnightwalker

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Re: Home Distilling
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2011, 04:42:49 pm »
Quote from: Annie Roonie;4487
I want to distill my own plant essences.  


 
Careful with milkweed. Its poisonous (if its the kind that grows monarch butterflies- that's where they get their nasty taste from) and invasive as hell. Plant with care and be very careful with skin-testing anything that has actual milkweed in it. I'm not sure what it does, exactly, but if the horses won't eat it, the mules won't eat it, and the goats won't eat it, I'd be careful.

Good luck with the distilling, though. :)
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Waterfall

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Re: Home Distilling
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 11:34:07 pm »
Quote from: Annie Roonie;4487
I want to distill my own plant essences.  

 
I've done a bit of distillation (of the non-moonshine type) but I just use glassware from a scientific supply store to make a simple distillation apparatus. I've looked at some stills actually made for extracting oil since I'd prefer not to set the apparatus up, and I saw a nice little one that wasn't too expensive, but I haven't ordered it yet.

Annie Roonie

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Re: Home Distilling
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 01:35:14 am »
Quote from: Erinnightwalker;4591
Careful with milkweed. Its poisonous (if its the kind that grows monarch butterflies- that's where they get their nasty taste from) and invasive as hell. Plant with care and be very careful with skin-testing anything that has actual milkweed in it. I'm not sure what it does, exactly, but if the horses won't eat it, the mules won't eat it, and the goats won't eat it, I'd be careful.

Good luck with the distilling, though. :)

Yes. It's them stems and the liquid in them I've read. I'm thinking that may be the reason I don't see much of it around. So far in researching the flowers, they and roots seem to be okay. Even edible. I'll need gloves for sure.

I'm kind of counting on the invasive part. Hoping that they're hardy enough to survive in the back yard sun desert. They haven't been classified as invasive here yet though, and might not like the climate. This year has been hotter and wetter than usual so I've been seeing lots of species of plants that aren't normally in abundance.

I appreciate the warning. If I do manage it, it'll be a long and careful time in the clipping to get enough of those little flowers to yield a dram.

Annie Roonie

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Re: Home Distilling
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 01:50:34 am »
Quote from: Asch;4489
Good luck and let us know how it goes :D

Thanks and I will!

It may take quite a while. If the first year's growth isn't great, it'll be two years before I actually accomplish it.:eek:

Quote from: Waterfall;4719
I've done a bit of distillation (of the non-moonshine type) but I just use glassware from a scientific supply store to make a simple distillation apparatus. I've looked at some stills actually made for extracting oil since I'd prefer not to set the apparatus up, and I saw a nice little one that wasn't too expensive, but I haven't ordered it yet.

Did you distill for essences? Was it successful?

I've looked at some of the home oil distillers too. I suggested to my pop that if we were to make a counter top mini distiller that worked well, we should make one with a sleek appliance look and see if it was marketable. He doesn't seem to think it would be, but is still apt to build something.

Still, if there is an engineer/designer who could make one as cleverly as they do vacuums or complicated coffee makers/bread makers, I think there would be a market for them.

I've looked at other extraction processes too. There's a cold one that my father is interested in as it would not require a constant cooling stream of water in the coils. But there is a substantial amount of research left to do. (And I'll be saving for a pre-made one just in case!):)

yewberry

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Re: Home Distilling
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2011, 06:56:21 pm »
Quote from: Annie Roonie;4487
Thank you for any help you can give and for your time in reading even if you can't.


My local homebrew supply place has a lovely little electric, tabletop still that (according to the proprietor) is dandy for EOs.

Brina

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Re: Home Distilling
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2011, 08:15:26 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;12095
My local homebrew supply place has a lovely little electric, tabletop still that (according to the proprietor) is dandy for EOs.

Brina


That looks like a cool piece of equipment!
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

yewberry

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Re: Home Distilling
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2011, 01:38:53 am »
Quote from: Owl;12114
That looks like a cool piece of equipment!


According to the proprietor (who winked/nudged me through the entire convo), it makes alcohol so easily and tastily, he hardly knows it's running.  He only has to keep an eye out that he doesn't get too many heads and tails.

Brina

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