Building or buying your oil still yourself
When building or buying a still for making essential oils and hydrosols, be sure to pay attention to the following points:
6 rules for buying or building your own steam still
- A still for essential oils and hydrosols must be equipped with a flavor basket, otherwise it is not suitable for the steam distillation of aromatic oil. This is because the herbs and flowers must only be extracted by the STEAM, but must not be boiled in the water.
Ensure you have a wide kettle opening for placing the material into the kettle, as well as an adequate kettle size, because otherwise the yield of essential oil would be too small, or the result would only be weak hydrosol.
- The cross-section of the steam tube of your still should be as wide as possible. The thinner and longer the tube, the greater the pressure loss of the still. The consequence is overpressure in the kettle, and even slight overpressure is enough to greatly change the steam temperature, as a result of which the sensitive contents will be destroyed in part.
- The material of the still must not affect the taste of the steam/liquid. This means, for example, that rubber seals that are not resistant to chemicals should be avoided, because the oil would then smell like rubber. Heat-resistant glass, stainless steel or copper are optimal materials, since all three do not affect the result.
- The still must be equipped with a powerful burner, or alternatively the bottom of the kettle must be suitable for a stove, because otherwise the distilling process would take too long, especially when heating up, which in turn has an unfavorable effect on the volatile contents.
- The following point applies mainly to beginners: Make sure you obtain professional advice, because when you are first discovering the “art of distilling”, questions will pop up time and time again.
Basic equipment for distilling essential oils and hydrosols yourself.
Equipment for distilling essential oils from plants with low oil content or from larger plant quantities.