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Thread: And so... it begins!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Portugal
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    296

    And so... it begins!

    So...

    This is the beginning of my journey. It will be like a diary where I will record my work and also the place where I will add my pics for your delight . Joking!

    As I told you, I'm giving my first steps, so don't expect much.

    After entering the forum and with the will to do something operative, I started my first tincture from melissa. I have a couple of liters of homemade "aguardente" (its direct translation would be burning water. Basically is aqua vitae or spirit of wine at 40) made by some family of mine that live in the north of the country. They produce lots of wine and every 2 years they distill this wonderful and aromatic spirit. This year I will bring to Lisbon lots of it to work through the year.

    Tomorrow I will filter the melissa - let it one month inside the spirit - and will start the work to extract the salts. I will post pics.

    This week, a simple distillation set arrived, just . I'm doing some distilled water, as I'm writing - to get used to it, and also to begin the extraction of some essential oils - Got an unlimited source of eucalyptus to learn the basics.

    Some newbie questions:

    Regarding potassium carbonate - Can I burn any wood to get it?
    Do you guys buy it? Is all food grade?
    Or just use the potash from the herb you are working?
    Ab Uno - XPhorus

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    1,093
    Quote Originally Posted by Christophorus View Post
    So...

    This is the beginning of my journey. It will be like a diary where I will record my work and also the place where I will add my pics for your delight . Joking!

    As I told you, I'm giving my first steps, so don't expect much.

    After entering the forum and with the will to do something operative, I started my first tincture from melissa. I have a couple of liters of homemade "aguardente" (its direct translation would be burning water. Basically is aqua vitae or spirit of wine at 40) made by some family of mine that live in the north of the country. They produce lots of wine and every 2 years they distill this wonderful and aromatic spirit. This year I will bring to Lisbon lots of it to work through the year.

    Tomorrow I will filter the melissa - let it one month inside the spirit - and will start the work to extract the salts. I will post pics.

    This week, a simple distillation set arrived, just . I'm doing some distilled water, as I'm writing - to get used to it, and also to begin the extraction of some essential oils - Got an unlimited source of eucalyptus to learn the basics.

    Some newbie questions:

    Regarding potassium carbonate - Can I burn any wood to get it?
    Do you guys buy it? Is all food grade?
    Or just use the potash from the herb you are working?
    Hi Christophorus

    I will be very delighted to read about this and look a the pics.

    Alchemy is probably one of the most difficult paths to take in
    this world ... so I have a great deal of respect for anyone that
    is prepared to step up to take the challenge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    296

    And so... it begins!

    Yesterday I distilled 1lt of water to use in the experiments. Setup Water Dist.

    Today, filtered the Melissa Tincture and saved the herbs inside a closed jar to be able to calcine it later on.

    Filtering 1
    Filtering 2

    Then I let the final part dropping to water to see the color and differentiation:

    water/tinture

    After filtering it looks like this:

    After Filtering - Back Light
    After Filtering - Bottom Light

    It seems very dark, but as it was macerated in dried herbs... I don't know if this is the color to expect...
    What do you guys think?

    Next: Working on the salts.
    Ab Uno - XPhorus

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    296
    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    Hi Christophorus

    I will be very delighted to read about this and look a the pics.

    Alchemy is probably one of the most difficult paths to take in
    this world ... so I have a great deal of respect for anyone that
    is prepared to step up to take the challenge.
    Thank you black! Really!
    Ab Uno - XPhorus

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    232
    Quote Originally Posted by Christophorus View Post
    Yesterday I distilled 1lt of water to use in the experiments. Setup Water Dist.

    Today, filtered the Melissa Tincture and saved the herbs inside a closed jar to be able to calcine it later on.

    Filtering 1
    Filtering 2

    Then I let the final part dropping to water to see the color and differentiation:

    water/tinture

    After filtering it looks like this:

    After Filtering - Back Light
    After Filtering - Bottom Light

    It seems very dark, but as it was macerated in dried herbs... I don't know if this is the color to expect...
    What do you guys think?

    Next: Working on the salts.
    Hi Christophorus,

    If you rectify the spirit to a higher percentage (i think 50% is the minimum) you can calcine the dead head simply by lighting after pouring off the essence.
    I think 40 % is a nice shelf percentage anyways and should extract just fine.

    I think for potassium carbonate most wood types will work well. Make sure it is really well spent (no charcoal) and run it through a sieve.
    I have not tried this rectifying method yet but I will on the next spirit of wine.

    I have not used melissa yet but I think your coloring looks quite pleasant. From what i have read too the strength of your spirit will determine the color which comes out.
    I have collected some wild mint (peppermint i think) from my garden today and will be doing a small preparation; maybe I can let you know how the color of my extract comes out at that point.

    I think your process seems well laid out and I am sure you will meet success.
    Apparently wood ashes (natural) contain m-state matter as well and should enhance your elixir.
    I have made ormus using the ashes from my fireplace (burning mostly redpine, jackpine, spruce, birch and poplar) and it turns out well.

    Thanks for the updates!

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    296

    Red face And so... it begins!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Rig View Post
    Hi Christophorus,

    If you rectify the spirit to a higher percentage (i think 50% is the minimum) you can calcine the dead head simply by lighting after pouring off the essence.
    I think 40 % is a nice shelf percentage anyways and should extract just fine.

    I think for potassium carbonate most wood types will work well. Make sure it is really well spent (no charcoal) and run it through a sieve.
    I have not tried this rectifying method yet but I will on the next spirit of wine.

    I have not used melissa yet but I think your coloring looks quite pleasant. From what i have read too the strength of your spirit will determine the color which comes out.
    I have collected some wild mint (peppermint i think) from my garden today and will be doing a small preparation; maybe I can let you know how the color of my extract comes out at that point.

    I think your process seems well laid out and I am sure you will meet success.
    Apparently wood ashes (natural) contain m-state matter as well and should enhance your elixir.
    I have made ormus using the ashes from my fireplace (burning mostly redpine, jackpine, spruce, birch and poplar) and it turns out well.

    Thanks for the updates!

    Cheers
    It's a privilege to share this with all of you. Doing these simples things is bringing me to an all-new world.
    I was not able to calcine the caput yet. The city is a mess to do these simple things... The Mayor is finishing a park behind my apartment with spaces for city farming and barbeques for family picnics (election times are comming ). I'm trying to get a piece of land there to plant herbs and do these messy jobs. Let's see if I'm lucky to get it.

    Thank you for all your tips, they are very much welcome. I feel a bit lost with only books to read, as anyone starting I believe. You guys are my support too! So thank you again!

    Sunday I was rectifying alcool. It takes a long time and my skills need to improve a lot. I got around 250ml of spirit that should be around 70 but I still need to check it properly. I will update that info here, as soon as I can.

    Update pic: Rectification of alcool at 80c (I need bigger glassware too )

    Ab Uno - XPhorus

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    1,093
    Quote Originally Posted by Christophorus View Post

    Sunday I was rectifying alcool. It takes a long time and my skills need to improve a lot. I got around 250ml of spirit that should be around 70 but I still need to check it properly. I will update that info here, as soon as I can.
    Hi Christohorus

    Do you have a Hydrometer ?

    I find it a "must have" when distiling alcohol.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    Hi Christohorus

    Do you have a Hydrometer ?

    I find it a "must have" when distiling alcohol.
    Hello Black.

    I do have it. I bought a set with 3 different graduations + a thermometer.
    I miss the simplest thing, a test tube or some kind of container to pour the spirit in order to measure it... I will find something in the next days.
    Ab Uno - XPhorus

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    1,093
    Quote Originally Posted by Christophorus View Post
    Hello Black.

    I do have it. I bought a set with 3 different graduations + a thermometer.
    I miss the simplest thing, a test tube or some kind of container to pour the spirit in order to measure it... I will find something in the next days.
    A glass tube not much larger in diameter than the hydrometer, sealed at one end
    and about 25mm longer than the hydometer works well.

    Just slide the hydrometer in the tube and slowly add the alcohol till it rises.

    With this set up you only need a small amount of alcohol to measure the %.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    296
    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    A glass tube not much larger in diameter than the hydrometer, sealed at one end
    and about 25mm longer than the hydometer works well.

    Just slide the hydrometer in the tube and slowly add the alcohol till it rises.

    With this set up you only need a small amount of alcohol to measure the %.
    That's really a good idea. I will try to find/buy it the next day's. One of the main problems I'm facing is the lack of glassworkers in Portugal. I found a nearby distributor of glassware, but for the specific instruments is being really hard to find someone to work it out. Probably that's why our brothers in the past learned how to work on glass and ceramics.
    Ab Uno - XPhorus

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