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John Michael Greer
08-26-2012, 10:48 PM
I'm working with distillation for the first time, having finally put together a basic laboratory, and started work on the seven basic planetary tinctures. Watercress was first in line; I dried a bunch of it, chopped it up fine (it doesn't grind worth crap), macerated in 190 proof alcohol for a philosophical month, filtered the result, distilled the liquid, incinerated and then calcined the plant solids, and then extracted the fixed salt with distilled water. So far, so good. (I still have to extract the salt of the sulfur -- that's next on the list.)

But here's the interesting thing: the fixed salt, while it dissolves readily in water, seems to be insoluble in alcohol. I'd welcome advice from those who have done this work before: did you have this problem, and if so, what did you do about it? I'm trying to figure out whether the best plan would be to cohobate the salt and the distilled tincture together and do repeated distillations to try to get as much of the salt as possible to volatilize, or whether I should simply mix a small amount of water into the distillate and let that dissolve the salt.

Suggestions? Insights? I'd welcome any advice.