Using Your Rotating Column Copper Alembic Essential Oil Distiller
Distilling Lavender and Lavandin flowers in a Rotating Column Copper Alembic Distiller is fun and it's easy.
- Lavender and Lavandin flowers are cut with short stalks to enable you to distill more flowers.
- The Alembic pot is filled at least half way with water.
- With the rotating column in the up position, the column is packed tightly with flowers. Flowers can also be placed into the pot with the water if you desire to increase your capacity.
- Flowers are packed tightly into the Alembic Head.
- The distiller is now put together. Alembic Head on top of the Rotating Column. The Bird's Beak from the Alembic Head is attached to the condenser.
- Traditional Copper Alembic Distillers have no gaskets. In order to seal the distiller from steam leaks, the traditional method is employed. Rye flour is made into a dough. The dough is pushed into all of the copper joints. This is a very simple and effective method to seal against steam leaks. If a leak should occur, simply add more dough to the leaking area. There is a joint where the rotating column attaches to the Alembic pot. Another where the lid sits on top of the rotating column. Finally the piping to the condenser is sealed.
- The heat source is turned on. Below we are using propane to heat the water in the Alembic Distiller.
- After a while, the water in the pot will begin to boil. It takes time for the steam to transfer heat to the flowers and release the essential oils. After a while the distillate will begin to flow from the condenser.
- The distillate enters the Copper Florentine Separator (Essencier). Hydrosols and essential oils are separated here and begin to flow. Capture your essential oil in a bottle, and capture your hydrosols in a separate container.
Below are photos of Joe Orcott, owner of Hood River Lavender using our Rotating Column Copper Alembic to distill the beautiful lavandin that he grows on his Lavender Farm. From the batch below, we obtained about 5 ounces of a sweet and fragrant oil.
We have been distilling Joe's Lavender and Lavandin in our trailer distiller, which is capable of distilling 200 pounds of flowers per batch. This oil can be found as "Organic Lavandin" in our shopping cart. Although currently uncertified, Hood River Lavender uses organic methods for growing their exquisite crop.
|Water is added to the Alembic pot||Alembic pot is filled at least half way||
Joe cuts Lavandin for distillation
Stems are cut short, so more flowers can be distilled
Lavandin Flowers are placed in rotating column
|Lavandin flowers inside rotating column||Rotating column is packed tightly with Lavandin flowers||Inverted Alembic Head is empty to begin with|
|Joe Packs the "onion" with Lavandin flowers||The Alembic Head is packed tightly with flowers||Packed Alembic Head is now place on top of rotating column||There are no gaskets. Copper joints are sealed with dough made from rye flour|
|Distiller is now ready to produce essential oil from Lavandin flowers||The distillate begins to flow into specially designed Florentine Separator||Oil begins to flow from the Florentine Separator||After distillation, the flowers are spent and dumped out of the rotating column. Alembic Head is also emptied|
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