Air Still – Essential Oil Distillation

How To Make Essential Oils Using The Air Still

Step 1 – Fill

Place clean plant material in the Air Still and add enough water to cover. 

Each plant material will require different volumes of water, as an indication, for 300g of rosemary leaves, add 3.65L of water. Do not fill beyond the maximum level. 

No Ceramic Boil Enhancers or Distilling Conditioner are required.

Step 2 – Distil

Press the reset button on the base of the still.

Fit the top cover of the still in place and plug the fan lead into the socket in the still body. Place collection jug under the outlet nozzle.

Connect the main power cord between the still and the mains power socket and turn on the mains power switch. You will hear the fan in the top cover start immediately.

Allow to heat up.

Collect the distillate in fractions (eg 500ml lots or smaller) so you can monitor quality of the output throughout. The quality will drop off at the end and may become more “cooked”. Stop collecting when the quality drops.

Collect a maximum distillate of 80% of the volume of water put in the boiler to make sure it does not boil dry and cook the plant material.

The distillate collected will be mainly hydrosol (water based plant extract) but there will be essential oil with it. The oil will separate out over time and will float on the surface (for nearly all oils, there are a few which are denser than water and will end up on the bottom).

Step 3 – Separate The Oil

The oil can then be separated off from the hydrosol by pipette of with an oil separator used in cooking. The hydrosol can also often be used in many applications (rose water, lavender water, etc). Yields of oil are low, a yield of 1-2% is considered good.

Leave a Reply