Freight free special for Fathers Day, Orange Wine and Essential oil and hopefully Cointreau! 
New Summer Show and Workshop Schedule
Alembics NZ

All Stills Freight Free for Fathers Day valid until Sept 4th - anywhere NZ Wide

Citrus Essential Oils and Hydrosols 
Citrus oils are extracted by expression not steam distillation, although some lime essential oils are steam distilled. I wasn't about to let all those peels go to waste. In a recent workshop I filled my 10 L Column with the peel that I had peeled using a sharp potato peeler. I also finely chopped some peel in my food processor and filled the column of a 2.5 L Home Appliance still.
Its Citrus season. I have a french acquaintance who remembers going with her family and barrels of oranges to the local distillery in their village in France.  She was a small child and wasn't quite sure what happened next, but she does remember trying the delicious orange wine. She will provide the oranges and together we will attempt to make some . This is the recipe I found on

Orange Wine
2kg over ripe oranges
1.5kg Sugar
enough water to make up 4.5 litres
1/4 tsp grape nutrient
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp wine yeast

Use over-ripe oranges only. You can usually get these from your grocer at reduced prices (or even free). If they have bad spots on them (moldy or soft) it will not matter. Put two litres of water on to boil. Meanwhile, peel the oranges and remove all the white pith (it is bitter and will ruin the wine). Break the oranges into sections and remove all seeds. Drop them in a juicer or a blender and liquefy (you may have to add a cup of water to the blender). Mix the juice or liquefied oranges with the sugar, tannin and yeast nutrient. Add boiling water and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add additional water if necessary to make four litres in total. Cover and set aside to cool. When cooled to 70-75 degrees F., add yeast. Pour into brew bucket with airlock and ferment 7-10 days. and strain through a fine-meshed nylon straining bag, squeezing to extract juice from pulp. Transfer to secondary and fit airlock. Rack every 30 days for three months. Stabilize and sweeten to taste. Wait 10 days and rack into bottles. Age one year before tasting. [Adapted from Mrs. Gennery-Taylor's "Easy to Make Wine"]

Im not going to wait for months and years. Using an Alquitar or a Column Still, I will pour the orange wine mash into the pot of the still. In the column of the Alembic Column or the chamber in the Alquitar, I will place several handfulls of fresh peel. Following our usual instructions distill the alcohol from the orange wine. As it passes through the peels it will pick up the essentail oil of orange giving it aroma and flavour. To get a good orange colour in the brandy I may soak more peel in it and leave for a week. It may benfit from some honey or palm sugar syrup if you prefer it a little sweet. Pour it all through a double coffee filter and decant into a lovely bottle.
Check our Workshop and Show Schedule if you need some help to get you started.

This is a great still for testing and experimentation. The quality of the distillate is always great, it only takes 10 minutes for the distillate to flow. In a short time you have 200ml of quality hydrosol and a reading of the essential oil yield...I can do it in the kitchen just using my tap trickling into the condenser to keep the coil cool. They are more expensive for us to purchase but we have reduced the price to make them more affordable.
See Distilling Appliance Stills  
The result of the distillation was that the yield of essential oil from the finely chopped peel was at least 3 times as much as that of the larger slices. The oil appeared more translucent and had a delicate orange fragrance that developed over a few hours.  In future distillations I'm going to try to macerate, bruise or crush my plant material. It makes sense the greater the surface area the higher the yield of essential oil.
Terry had bought a sample of vodka he had made prior to the workshop. While my back was turned.....he added the orange hydrosol to the vodka no doubt thinking "mmmm vodka and orange"! To our surprise it was delicious - more like a Cointreau. It inspired me to make the wine and follow it through to the orange brandy and hopefully a Cointreau like liqueur - all from our little sweet organic back yard oranges! How about that for holistic distilling! 
Welcome to our new Wellington Supplier - Aromaflex has just opened a shop, 207 Cuba St Wellington. They have a range of Essential oils, Carrier oils, Alembic Stills, Aromatherapy acessories and more. They will prepare blends for you on the spot. We look forward to having a workshop there in December . See our Workshop Schedule 
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