Yes I have been interested in this topic as well however as yet havn't
had the time to experiment very far. One thing I did do that I would be
happy to share was to make a Eucalyptus oil, what I did was collect
heaps and heaps of Eucalyptus leaves you need an enormous amount of dry
matter to get a very small amount of oil and I believe this is fairly
typical, I added water to the leaves and boiled them up and collected
the resulting oil/water mixture. I had two problems firstly in trying to
extract maximum oil I managed to burn the leaves on the bottom of the
pot and the ellement, it took hours of cleaning to remove the resulting
black mess. The second problem is seperating the oil from the water in
the end I simply scooped the oil off the top which results in a lot of
wasteage. It's not rocket science but if you wanted to do it seriously I
think I would be suspending a basket inside the pot to avoid the burning
problem and I believe that old hand cream seperators are ideal for
removing water. Also I had no idea what variety of Eucalyptus I was
using, there are varieties which are specified as producing the best
oil. One other thing you need a pot still, a reflux still will return
the oils to the pot instead of taking them through the condenser. I want
to do some experimenting to make a Bombay Saphire Gin, we have tracked
down the ingredients with the help of one of my customers and I intend
to soak the botanicals in 80% alcohol from my reflux still and then
redistill through a pot still which is a more practical refinement of
the way it is done commercially which is to suspend the botanicals over
high strength alcohol and steam the alcohol through them.
> Well, it�s been rather quiet on the postings front
> in the last week or two, so I thought I might throw
> a couple of ideas into the pot to see what comes out.
> I had the pleasure of actually meeting Des (TopKiwi)
> last week. We live in the same city � Auckland � so
> it was perhaps not so strange. Two hours after first
> meeting we realised that we both had homes to go
> to � we could have gone on chatting for hours.
> Anyway, one of the things that came up in conversation
> was the problem that most in this group are severely
> restricted on the practical front. It just ain�t legal to
> distill booze in most countries. Never mind the niceties
> of whether it should be legal or not, we discussed what
> could be done to make life more interesting for this
> majority of group members? Now laws about distilling
> may vary from country to country, and I wouldn�t have
> a clue how they vary in detail, However, most seem to
> have the common theme that it is distillation of ethanol
> for consumption that is the naughty bit.
> All the members of this group have a common interest in
> distilling, but heaven forbid that any of us want to do this
> outside the law. What Des and I wondered is whether any
> members of the group would be interested in distillation of
> botanicals for their flavour, scent, or whatever? If you
> choose to mix the results with home distilled vodka in
> those places where such production is legal, or with
> vodka you buy over the counter in other places, then
> either way your halo should remain firmly attached.
> Personally, my interest in this extends beyond liqueurs
> and schnapps as I love cooking. It would be nice to be
> able to experiment with different herbs etc to produce
> unique essences for flavouring. Others might be interested
> in the perfume side. This is something I have never tried
> myself, so I would be keen to hear from anyone who has
> some experience in procedures, ingredients, etc. Does
> anyone else out there share my interest in this facet of
> distillation? If so, I would be great to hear from you.
Ray Toms Moonshine Supplies, Taupo. New Zealand.
Home Brewing Equipment and Suppliers.
Specialists in all aspects of Home Distillation and Wine/Beer Making.