Yeah, I know what some of you old Sabbath heads are thinking, and you'd better stop. The sweet leaf I'm talking about is patchouli. Just finished distilling up a batch of hydrosol, and surprisingly, got a lot of essential oil. I'm not sure I'm going to separate the oil from the hydro, kind'a like the way the little greyish blobs float around in the water, like a stinky lava lamp doing its thing. It's so cold (that's California cold, not REAL cold, like Montana or North Dakota cold) that most of the oil produced during distillation is sticking like glue to the inside of the receiver. I may have to run the receiver under warm water to release the oil back into the hydro . . . thinking out loud here. Oops! That's blah, blah, blah! Okay, so now it's a waiting game -- waiting for those naughty still notes to fly away. It's kind of funny, all still notes smell the same. I've used different receivers for each batch of hydro, and every single batch has the same weird, metallic smell to it in the beginning. It could be the copper.
On another note altogether, I contacted a producer of organic grape alcohol (who shall remain nameless) and received a phone call back from a very confused person who went on and on about how he had no idea how to answer my question (a chemists take on standardizing alcohol content in wine). "We don't employ chemists here," he said. "Really?" I asked, confused because, well, who is there to make sure the alcohol produced at their plant is the same year after year? His answer? Very interesting, indeed. "We grow the best organic grapes anywhere, whereas the other companies who provide this service use grape concentrates from all over the grape growing regions" (I'm assuming this is in the US?), "so our product is the same year in and year out." It is? What about temperature and rainfall and other environmental factors? I'm not trying to pull someone's card here, but WTF? I just don't believe the guy understood what I was asking. I think the word 'chemist' threw him off. I'm going to have to hit up the chemists at the state college down the road. They grow grapes for wine and teach up-and-coming vintners how to standardize alcohol content in wine. Maybe I should just take the freakin' class, eh?