A Complete Guide to Essential Oil Distiller Equipment for Essential Oil Derivation

Have you ever wondered how you can create your own essential oils? Actually essential oil distillation is not that difficult and You can find a wide variety of essential oil distiller items to help you purify the natural products of your choice.Simply purchase the piece of equipment that is right for you and begin extracting the various plant oils you so desire. When you finish, your oils should be pure and essential since they came directly from plants.

The Process

Buying an essential oil distiller is only the first step in the distillation process, as there are several steps in the distillation process, each requiring care and much diligence. The distilling process can be quite delicate, as it involves creating essential oil recipes, scents and other ancillary items and this process aims to separate plant material to extract the essential oil using steam. For example, the oil of the Eucalyptus plant is so small in terms of quantity per plant that heavy extraction is required so that a sufficient quantity of distillate is obtained.

The reason steam is so important is because once it passes through the flowers or leaves,this would cause the oil to separate from the more solid plant materials and fiber. Once the steam cools, it forms a layer that traps the oil, which then passes through a collecting vessel. Since the oil has a lighter mass than water, it remains at the top of the vessel, making it easy to skim off the surface.

Equipment

An essential oil distiller is not the only item you need when extracting oils, as you also need flasks and vessels made of heat resistant materials, such as Pyrex or borosilicate. You may opt for one vessel or two, depending upon your personal preference for distillation. In other words, if you want a more potent oil, you should use two vessels, one for the water and one for the plant material so that you can later mix them using a liquid transfer tube during the distillation process.

As for the flask, it should be comparable to the condenser's volume. If you opt for a flat-bottomed flask, you can heat it directly on top of any heat source but if you choose a round bottomed flask, you may need a metal triad or stand. When using a flask or vessel, you should also have a stopper, which acts as a cover to prevent contaminants from entering the pure oil.

Some other items you may need in addition to your essential oil distiller are tubes, such as those made of rubber or glass. The rubber tubes tend to have more flexibility, which makes them easy to work with, while the glass tubes are more fragile.

A condenser is another important tool in the distillation process because it is the area responsible for storing hydrosol as it exits the tube. To choose a condenser, you need to know the volume of steam expected so you can avoid going over the maximum capacity.

In addition to these mandatory assistants to the essential oil distiller, you may also opt for other materials to help in the distillation process. For instance, you might want to use stands and clamps to assist with elevation, a separator if you want to be more specific with what you are trying to attain from distillation, or a thermometer.

Essential Oil Distillation

Once you set up the essential oil distiller, you can then store the plant material inside the container meant for steam exposure. You then add the water on one side of the container and link up one tube. The other side of the container should hold cold water and connect to another tube through the top of the vessel. Once the container is set up, you are ready to make some steam by heating up the water. The steam should then travel into the chamber housing the plants.

When the container with the plants fills with the steam, the oil membranes open and release the specific essential oils. Evaporation then occurs and the droplets of steam can now carry out the oil as it goes through the tube connected to the container's lid.

The steam containing the oil travels to a cool water container, which helps the steam and oil return to a liquid form. At this point, the oil is now able to sit on top of the water, so you can just skim it off and the oil off and transfer it to a secure bottle.

Distillation Methods

You can use one of four methods-water, steam, hydro or solvent- with an essential oil distiller.

  • Water distillation involves the immersion of a plant into boiling water. Next, steaming and condensation would take place, along with the application of pressure if the material is delicate, such as in the case of flower oils.
  • Steam distillation has the ability to separating oil and hydrosol, which goes through condensation so that the gases can return to a liquid form.
  • Hydro distillation is a process that requires the submersion of botanicals into water to produce a soup-like substance. This essential oil distiller method is the most aged and versatile applied by primitive countries and sometimes results in burning of the plant material, thus destroying the oil. Hydro distillation is best for pulverized items like ground wood and spice powder, as well as hard items like wood, nuts or roots.
  • Solvent distillation, is best for creating powdered essences. It involves the use of a solvent to break down the plant material with the application of standard distilling processes like steaming and condensation. The difference with this method is in the end product, as a solid forms instead of a liquid. You now have the ability to pulverize and pack this concrete material as essential extract powder.

Just as you can choose your essential oil distiller, you can also select your method of distillation. However, it is important to keep in mind the result you want when making your final decision as to the distillation process you plan to use, as not every plant or flower can withstand each method. Finally, be sure to take precautions, as working with heat always brings with it some risks to your safety.

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