FAQ for the Air Still
Why is the lid lifting during distillation?
The reason why your lid is lifting during distillation is the foaming is disrupting the lid seal. To avoid this, use distilling conditioner and ceramic saddles, ensure lid seal is properly fitted and in good condition and ensure seal is completely dry before use.
Why is there nothing mentioned about discarding the first 50ml?
The Air Still makes 55% ABV spirit by condensing the alcohol vapours using a fan and air.
When using Still Spirits Turbo Yeasts in conjunction with this technology, you do not need to discard the first 50ml as methanol is not produced.
However when using an alternative yeast it is safe practice to discard the first 50ml.
How do I distil essential oils?
Previously there has been a mention on the boxes and front of the instruction manuals of the Air Still stating that this unit should be used for distilling/extracting essential oils. This unit is not best used for distilling essential oils, this is best done using the Alembic Pot Still setup. However, it is possible to be done with the Air Still. This differs depending on the material you use. But a good guide is as follows:
Rosemary - Use 300 g of rosemary leaves and 3.65 L (0.96 US Gal) of water (don't fill over the max amount). Turn the Air Still on, collect the distillate (preferable in fractions). We recommend collecting no more than 80% (3 L or 0.79 US Gal) otherwise it will boil dry and cook the rosemary.
If you're going to make alcohol from this afterwards, boil 2-3 lots of water through it first otherwise your alcohol will smell like rosemary.