Glossary

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Distillation

The extraction of components of a substance by heating and collection of resultant vapours by condensation. This process may be used for the extraction of alcohol, essential oils and floral waters, for purifying water, desalination and in the petroleum industry. The four different processes of distillation are:

Simple: Describes the basic distillation method for the traditional alembic by heating a liquid or mash in an alembic pot to encourage the evaporation of volatile substances and subsequent condensation.

Steam: Employs steam to heat a substance sufficiently so as to release its volatile components. This is the process for the rotating column alembic and may be used for extracting essential oils and floral waters.

Fractional: Allows for the separation of a complex solution into its different components in a single distillation run by taking advantage of the difference in their boiling points. When employed for alcohol distillation the resultant distillate will have a higher alcoholic volume than with other methods. The liquid in a fractional column is continuously redistilled in a single run.

Continuous: A process of continuous uninterrupted collection of distillate