“Chapter VI. On Distilling Vessels.
If you distill inside glass, you need to have your vessel well set so not to fall or float when in water balneum. Always replace the evaporated water, with no cold water to avoid the vessel to break. my ovens are made with holes peculiar to the purpose.
If you prefer to cook directly inside earthenware, you can take inspiration by the drawing below: A cap; B vessel inside the balneum; C joint; DDD double vessel with the balneum water inside; E hole;
If you want to cook on cinders, take an earthenware or, best, an iron cauldron well supplied with cinders. Keep two fingers of cinders between the cauldron’s bottom and the alembic’s bottom. Then put on a suitable fire.
On the distilling side there is a warning almost all artists forget to apply: always keep the alembic’s neck well entering the cap, more, the alembic’s neck should be higher than cap’s for the vapor to directly hit the cap. But take care the vapor doesn’t escape through the joints.
Chapter VII. On Vessel’s Lute.
Artists must pay close attention to well lute all joints as well, since the substance involved are very volatile. To avoid losses, wrap the distilling apparatus neck with glued lining. Earthenware are easier to keep well closed. If you wish to watch your distillation take care, when joining the flask to cap, the latter doesn’t touch the inside of the flask’s interior, because in this way we couldn’t observe the drops falling, operation useful to judge the distillation speed.
The glueing flour is very useful because, when open the cap, it will be enough to damp the lute with water.
Chapter VIII. Warnings on glassware.
All glassware must have a round bottom so not to easily break. Take care to never touch the vessels inside balneum or cinders before being chilled enough.
Chapter IX. How to Extract the Water of Life (Brandy).
Now we are ready to get down to work. It is not important to choose a good wine, even it is not important at all to pick up a wine, since we can operate on cinders, beer and other brawn drinks as well. The only important thing is to well operate and separate all phlegms. I don’t mean here to describe the common method, since all know about it.
A very common mistake is to use too much high distillation temperatures, so to force the phlegmatic water to rise along with the spirit. One must keep in mind that to work properly means to obtain less final product.
Another mistake they do is not to keep the cooler properly cold, as well as not to well lute the joints. The image I provide here puts on display the right way to chill down the cooler. A better way is the second example I give.
Chapter X. On Water of Life Extraction Theories.
The distillation system needs a cooler to avoid the passage of phlegm directly in the distilled product. In fact if we eliminate the external cooling water the presence of phlegm increases dramatically. The phlegm, being pure water, once in contact with the cooler, gets back. While the well rectified spirit of life never chills out.
The distillation pipe has to be outstandingly narrow, in comparison with the size of the whole apparatus, because of a reason related with the above theory: the spirit of life is so subtle than easily runs without clogging and, additionally, the thin pipe causes its to become even more volatile, letting the phlegm behind.
Chapter XI. Why the Philosophers call their Water of Life SKY.
Once perfectly rectified, the water of life has acquired an ethereal virtue, it is become celestial. Because of the great simplicity of this product philosophers have compared it to the Sky, so high and perfect. In the same way the Sky receives the influx from the Universe, the spirit of life contains all the virtues and qualities of what encountered.
This spirit of life is a wonder of nature, which can extract all the spirits from the things it pass through.
Chapter XII. On the Spirit of LIfe incorruptibility.
Our water of Life can never deteriorate. It is perpetual in its perfection. It is never hot nor dry as fire is. Nor humid and cold, as water is. Nor hot and humid as Air. Nor cold and dry, as earth. It is like the Sky. It looks like common water, but it is very different from it. In fact it is not humid, and rather it is inflammable, instead. Also it never freezes. It is different from air, since it never gets corrupted. Its action looks like that of fire, instead. If you put it in a well clean and closed vessel, it lasts forever. It is perfect.”
- A very similar method is explained in Lemery and the Fixed Salt of Tartar Called Oil by Failure ;