A Concise History of Home Distillery

I’m sharing this little introduction to home distilling. If you’ve never thought about this before, it may be worth looking into. Enjoy!

Convivial Supper

Distillery.

The science of distillation has been around since 3000 BCE. There are four types of distillation: laboratory, industrial, herbal/perfumery, and food processing. These last two, herbal/perfumery and food processing, are the two we concern ourselves with today.

What Is Distillation?

Distillation is a process of purifying liquids through controlled boiling and condensation. A liquid is converted into a gas/vapour through heat, and then recondensed through cooling to return the vapor to a liquid form.

How Do You Distill?

You’ve probably seen an apparatus called a retort, or alembic, a glass container with a long, bent neck sloping downwards. As the substance heats up, the vapor travels down the neck and cools. A separate container catches the vapor as it returns to a liquid state. Figures III and VII below show two vessels that could be used to distill (1727).

Chemical_Vessels_1727-Alembic-Retort Fig. VII shows a distillation setup. 1727

As you can…

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Wood Carving; Spoons, Spatulas, and a Whiskey Noggin

Now that I’m back to spoon carving it feels great to actually finish some decent pieces.  Most of the nicer wood I have on-hand is kiln-dried, making it much more difficult to work.  More patience, more sharpening, and smaller cuts are necessary to accomplish a desired form.  However, this weekend paid off with a few nice utensils coming out of the work room.

I finished an assortment of spatulae and spoons for an upcoming craft show but I have no idea if there will be any real interest.  The Osage orange eating spoon at the bottom is a gift but the rest will be for sale.  It is a ridiculous amount of time for the monetary return but certainly allowed me to relax and focus on the crafting and creation of each form.  To me, a handmade item is far nicer and more valuable than something stamped out in a factory far away.

The top spoon ended up as a gift and the bottom one sold quickly.  Walnut is a beautiful wood.

Whiskey noggin nearly completed.

It holds a two ounce shot of your favorite beverage with a little room to spare.

A few items from my table at a recent craft show.

I’m trying to keep busy in the dark and cold months.  I hope you are too.