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"Oil mix" thoughts

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Mr. Kallisti (Head_prosthesis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Head_prosthesis

Post Number: 3518
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 - 7:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It's way cooler than oil mixes.

Literally.
steena faustus (Faustus)
Mousquetaire
Username: Faustus

Post Number: 11
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 - 6:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Now, that stuff is cool!
Mr. Kallisti (Head_prosthesis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Head_prosthesis

Post Number: 3514
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 8:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nabber's next project - How to make Absinthe with Aerogel

ENORMUS DICK (Louched_liver)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Louched_liver

Post Number: 2021
Registered: 12-2001


Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 7:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gabber,
Brevity. The soul of wit, it's been called. Ever heard of it?
Hi, what're ya havin'?
Nabber86 (Nabber86)
le Vicomte
Username: Nabber86

Post Number: 70
Registered: 4-2003


Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 7:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think this is how it goes.

When steam distilling plant material, both water and oil are produced. Any compounds in the plant that are soluble in water come over in the water fraction. Likewise, any compounds that are soluble in oil come over in the oil fraction.

A huge amount of water is generated to get a very, very tiny amount of oil. Kilograms of raw plant material are needed to recover much oil at all. The composite mix is then put into a separatory funnel and the water portion is drawn off the bottom. In the case of most herb preparations sold as “extracts” it is the water portion that you are purchasing. The essential oil is the oil fraction that is left over once the water portion is drawn off.

Separating the oil from the water is the key to the process. Simply evaporating the oil/water mix yields the precious oil plus a bunch of oil-insoluble compounds that precipitated out of the water that was boiled off. Gunk

A couple of other things that may complicate the process:
The process may be run under a vacuum so it is more efficient at extracting the high boiling point oils. If enough oil is collected (say after steam distillation of a metric ton of plant material), it is possible to do a distillation on the oil itself and further purify the oil into separate fractions (mainly to remove oil-soluble impurities). This step would almost always be carried out under a high vacuum and yields the purest essential oils.

Alcohol (or other a solvent such as trichloroethene), may be used instead of water. The solvent fraction is still draw off the bottom of the funnel and the oil fraction is left over. If the solvent used is alcohol, the liquid portion may be sold as an extract (or tincture) of alcohol. If the solvent is TCE, the TCE is evaporated (again, under a vacuum) and the remaining residue re-dissolved in water or alcohol for sale.

In the case of Wormwood, the bitter compounds must be more soluble in water than oil because “Wormwood extract” is wickedly bitter and essential oil of wormwood
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 1029
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 1:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not unless you paid somebody to make it. It isn't a food additive in the US, so the only market for it would be industrial (fragrences, soaps, etc.) or flaky (aromatherapy, magick, etc.), neither of which lends itself to rigorous precision.
Bob (I_b_puffin)
le Duc
Username: I_b_puffin

Post Number: 133
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 11:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I haven't looked into buying any wormwood oil, but isn't there any of lab grade quality?
Strom Thurmond (Mogan_david)
le Duc
Username: Mogan_david

Post Number: 307
Registered: 4-2002


Posted on Saturday, June 14, 2003 - 6:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't pretend to be an expert on steam distillation, but it seems to me that the boiling water would be the coolest place in the pot since water can only reach 100º before becoming vapor. The vapors however can be much hotter as seen in steam sterilization units. For steam to be cooler than 100º I would think it would have to be in a vacuum.

In any case what you get as the end result couldn't possibly be the same as the compounds in a traditionally distilled absinthe.
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 1028
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 11:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

As I understand it, steam distillation can be done in such a manner that the steam that comes into contact with the plants matter is not all that hot. The herbs are suspended above the water, in a basket, so they never contact the boiling water. Kinda like making espresso, come to think of it.

(Ooh, that gives me a stupid idea...)

Still doesn't inspire confidence in the quality of the end product, tho.
Strom Thurmond (Mogan_david)
le Duc
Username: Mogan_david

Post Number: 306
Registered: 4-2002


Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 9:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here's my two cents.

Look at this chart:
chart
The blue line represents the boiling point of water at varying concentrations of alcohol. Notice that pure alcohol boils at about 78ºC and the knee of the curve begins at about 84ºC. One could assume that absinthe would be created at around those temperatures.

Steam distillation has to start at least 100ºC and go up from there. You can imagine that the most aromatic and delicate oils of the herbs would be destroyed at those temperatures and the more tarry oils would vaporize and be brought to the finished product.

You could imagine a crude oil refinery, gasoline vaporizes and condenses at very particular temperature range, if you go outside of that range, you get something completely different.
Quidam (Artemis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Artemis

Post Number: 818
Registered: 10-2000


Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 3:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"What I seem to be coming up with in my research is that absinthin and the other sesquiterpene bitter principles are NOT a part of the volatile oil of wormwood, but are present seperately in the plant."

Sorry, I didn't read closely enough. I was talking about EXTRACT of wormwood. Everything that's bitter in the plant is bitter to the nth degree in that stuff. Get yourself a bottle and put a drop on your tongue if you doubt it. I don't know about the essential oil; I've never seen it.
My comment about steam extraction was based upon the supposition that steam would extract absinthins from wormwood, since they're soluble in water. Again, I don't know for sure, because this has nothing to do with absinthe, the liquor.

"And the issue of purity and manufacturing processes still stands. There is no "food grade" wormwood oil being made in the US, for sure."

This dawning on me went a long way to making me feel free to slam 99% of today's "absinthes", as I've been doing for a while. They bear little resemblance to the real thing.
Quelle vie ont eue nos grands-parents
Entre l'absinthe et les grands-messes... ?

Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 1026
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 4:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

What I seem to be coming up with in my research is that absinthin and the other sesquiterpene bitter principles are NOT a part of the volatile oil of wormwood, but are present seperately in the plant. If this is so (and the various references don't seem to agree on what IS in the oil...) then if (a big if) one really had pure wormwood oil, it would not be as bitter as the plant. Of course, it wouldn't take much absinthin in the mix to foul that up.

And the issue of purity and manufacturing processes still stands. There is no "food grade" wormwood oil being made in the US, for sure.
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 1025
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 3:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


quote:

Who the hell knows? This is part of the problem.




Very good point, especially if they are in fact using some other solvent. I hadn't considered of that. Yummy.
Quidam (Artemis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Artemis

Post Number: 816
Registered: 10-2000


Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 2:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"does steam extraction of grand wormwood exclude absinthin from the essential oil in the same way that distillation does from liquor?"

Almost certainly not.

"In short, is wormwood essential oil less bitter than wormwood?"

A lot more bitter.

"If not, how do they get the wormwood oil for the oil mixes?"

Who the hell knows? This is part of the problem. Are they even intended for consumption, or rather for perfumes, soaps, etc?

"Some other technique or solvent?"

Maybe and maybe.
Quelle vie ont eue nos grands-parents
Entre l'absinthe et les grands-messes... ?

Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 1024
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 2:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"I'll huff and I'll puff and...um...what was I saying...why am I on the floor?"

Just say no, kids.
Mrs. Head (Admin)
Madame Guillotine
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1080
Registered: 1-1998


Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 1:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't know the technicals ...

but yes, wormwood essential oil is *nothing* like the herb pharm extracts. it's almost a perfume. the stuff I used to make was an oil mix, and it weren't too bitter at all. But that was in like 97-98.

I still have a huge bottle (2 oz). used to huff it it smelled so good. Until I started getting dizzy spells.



“A lady who has a secure seat is never prettier than when in the saddle, and she who cannot make her conquest there, may despair of the power of her charms elsewhere.” - THE MANNERS THAT WIN, 1880

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Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 1023
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 1:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was just thinking about "oil mix" absinthes (which constitute most of the market) and I got to wondering: does steam extraction of grand wormwood exclude absinthin from the essential oil in the same way that distillation does from liquor? In short, is wormwood essential oil less bitter than wormwood?

If not, how do they get the wormwood oil for the oil mixes? Some other technique or solvent?

Not that I'm going to run out and make my own oil mix, since you can't know the quality and concentration of the oils on the market, and the quantities of oil involved are too small for my fat fingers...

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