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Thread: Glass Alembic

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    905
    I am disappointed that the Lederkram alembic is not available (I knew I should have bought it when first told about it!), but this provides for temporary ingenuity!

    A couple different ideas come to mind and I will probably end up rigging something up on my own that will do the job!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    316
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmuldvich View Post
    Does anyone know where to purchase a real, working, alembic head (not some pseudo-alembic like what is sold on eBay) for a reasonable price? Less than $200 preferably.

    Today I went to purchase a cheap, yet decent, alembic from Germany that I had been eyeing for months but to my dismay the website is down https://lederkram.de/category.php?cat_ID=539

    I am considering reaching out to local glassblowers since I cannot seem to find anything online for a decent price, although my search a year ago was unsuccessful. I might have to just end up ingenuitively rigging something up differently that will accomplish what I seek to accomplish.

    Getting even more specific, I would love for it to have a wide mouth but I realize this will certainly make things more expensive than I am willing to pay right now.

    Ordering overseas is totally fine with me; I am willing to wait 1+ months to receive my product if the price is good!


    If anyone has an alembic laying around that they are not using please reach out!


    ------------------------------------------------------------


    Example of exactly what I am looking for





    Example of what I am looking for but with a wider mouth
    http://www.crucible.org/distillation.htm
    also

    https://www.phoenixaurelius.org/prod...-kit-w-alembic





    Example of what I am not looking for
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Glass-Limbe...x/181713415414


    Example of what I might have to settle for
    https://www.pelletlab.com/alembic_distillation
    You're not going to find an alembic for $200. You could inquire with a description to http://laboyglass.com/ good quality from China at a reasonable price for 55/50 flasks. They offer some custom work.

    I just had one of my 5000mL 55/50 alembics repaired. It was broken at the neck connection to the helmet. It was a difficult technical repair. I sent it to Adams & Chittenden scientific glass blowers in Berkley Ca. They did an excellent job practically remaking it for me at $175.

    I suggest giving them a call or email and get a quote for what you want. I recommend at least a 5000mL helmet with minimum joint size 55/50.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    722
    You're not going to find an alembic for $200.

    I suggest giving them a call or email and get a quote for what you want. I recommend at least a 5000mL helmet with minimum joint size 55/50.
    Wrong, you get working helmets for 40€! At least you used to get them and you will get them again when in stock again.
    Why would one need such a big alembic helmet? The original ones sure were way smaller in former times too.
    Freudian explanation theories come into the mind, but I wouldn't go that far in your case, z 0K

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    244
    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Substances like alcohol are wholly liquid and pass over into the alembic head, side-arm and receiver as such. It is therefore better to use alembic heads that have "channels/ridges", where the liquid partly collects and then can just be poured out. Substances like "butter" of antimony partly pass over as liquid, while other parts condense and solidify on the alembic head, side-arm and receiver. It is easier to recover these solid parts with an alembic head designed like the $70 one, which doesn't have "channels/ridges" but instead is a plain balloon-shape with a side-arm.
    To my knowledge, for that kind of job, the ancients would typically use a retort - which I think is still a viable option for distilling off "spirits that don't rise high".

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    244
    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    @Michael

    Depends on what you want to do (also see JDP's post right above). Are you thinking about buying the small version at Lederkram? I don't know it's exact size, but for me it would be too small. The cooling effect is smaller too..

    Remember if you want to distill alcohol, even the big alembic alone won't be enough to cool it adequately unless you use a very mild heat and have a lot more time. I even used to build a DIY condenser with a silicon hose and "tin" can and attached it to the snout to not lose most of the volatile parts. It's even more a problem if you distill water alone I experienced.
    A more modern approach with a suiteable condenser (not the Liebig version - less effective than others) will give better results.
    The Lederkram Alembic looks kind of small to me too. I was thinking of something bigger, although it's quite likely that, over time, I will acquire the various kinds of Alchemy related glassware in different sizes anyway. My inquiry here is in regards to a size that would be as widely applicable as possible, however.

    And yes, I agree that using an Alembic at all would not be the best of available options nowadays in every case. But since virtually every Alchemist of yore had one, I want one too.

  6. #26
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    Aug 2016
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    722
    Just to avoid misunterstandings: Lederkram offers two sizes. We were talking about the big one.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    2,002
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    To my knowledge, for that kind of job, the ancients would typically use a retort - which I think is still a viable option for distilling off "spirits that don't rise high".
    Yes, but before they had retorts they used alembics. Plus the retorts have to be broken in order to retrieve what remains inside the retort itself. Now, if you could hit upon profitable working processes the very first time you try them, that would be fine, no one would mind at all breaking the retort since you would know for a fact that the process would repay for the expenditure and still leave you a nice profit. But since reality is nowhere even nearly as easy and kind, but rather a big, bad, mean, cruel BITCH who keeps throwing obstacles and problems at you, you quickly will come face to face with the issue that breaking retorts becomes rather expensive fast, and since you hardly ever have the great fortune of hitting upon a profitable process the first time you try, the money to replace the said retorts will have to come from your own pocket. So, a system that allows you to recover what remains inside the vessel without having to break it becomes a great "desideratum". You can use the vessels many times. So, when you fail (and you will, LOADS of times), you will find out that it goes easier on your pocket in the long run.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    905
    Not entirely sure what I am going to do with these yet, but I am going to attempt to rig something up soon!

    $0.99 for the little wide vase
    $1.50 for the wide mouth vase
    $1.99 for the long tall vase
    $2.99 for the bulb vase


    $35 for the 15L thick glass ball
    $0.99 for the small clear neck
    $0.99 for the small green neck
    $15 for the vase with alembic head


    I have ideas. Feel free to share yours!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    722

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    905
    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    Great video! Thank you for sharing. Part of what I was considering with the cheap pieces was attempting to mold or shape them because I don't care if I lose $2 or $3 in the learning process (all the thrift stores have so many similar vases in abundance for cheap).
    I ended up purchasing some glass drill bits and that is what I believe I am going to use (will practice on beer bottles first) on some of the pieces, but I do not believe the bits will work too well or at all on some of the thinner glass.

    The main thing I am excited to work with is the big glass $35 ball which will probably become my alembic, but honestly, I am not entirely sure what I am going to do yet or how I am going to work. It will be a bunch of experimenting and dicking around until I find something that works to my desired level of efficiency.

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