Distilling Other Things Besides Essential Oils
Distilling is an ancient art.
The process of distillation was first brought to us through the practice of Alchemy. Distillation is a method for separating the Essence of the plant from the corporeal mass of the plant. The isolation of essential oils.
In Alchemical texts, the essential oil is referred to as the "Sulfur" This is the soul, or spirit of the plant.
Once the apparatus found its way to Europe, the Europeans discovered other uses for this valuable equipment. The production of alcohol.
The process of fermentation yields two products; carbon dioxide and alcohol. Alcohol is separated from the fermented product (grains and fruits) by distillation. Distillation is carried out using relatively low temperatures. There is water in the fermented slurry, the "beer", that is used for producing Bourbon, whiskey and rum. Water boils at 100 degrees Celcius (212 degrees F). The boilng point of Ethanol is 78.3 degrees C (172.94 F). As with any form of fractional distillation, these liquids, water and alcohol, are separated by their boiling points. In a similar fashion, wine can be distilled for making Eau de Vie and Brandy. For making essential oils we must boil the water, to produce steam which will liberate the esential oils from our raw material.