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Vacuum Chamber Distillation Idea

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#1 Jarren Tupper

Jarren Tupper
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Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:46 PM

After looking at the International Culinary Center's tech blog on the Rotovap I have an Idea. For a little lead in, the center is using the rotovap ( a vacuum distilling device ) to distill infused alcohols without the heat nessisary for regular distillation. This produces an extract without over heating the volitiles found in the original product. ie basil extract could be made without the essential oils of the basil being burned or chard as would happen in regular distilation.

My idea is this. Would it be possible to produce this same effect inside the chamber of a chaber vacuum sealer. Comonly my liquids are brought to a boil inside of the chamber during the initial pressure phase. This would lead me to believe if that the pressure could be ample enought to replicate this effect with alcohol.

My theory is to place a 1/6th pan containing the infusion ethers inside of a half pan. On top of the 1/6th pan would be some sort of domed lid or canopy. The half-pan would be used to collect the vapors when the unit is depressurized. this setup would be placed inside the vacuum sealer. Several runs would happen with maximum pressure and no seal without opening the unit. If the liquid infact boils there should be vapor condensation.

Though it may not be effiecient I do believe it would work to gather usable amounts. Thoughts?

#2 KennethT

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:36 AM

My first thought is what are yougoingto use as a cold trap for your vapor? The rotovap's condenser is under vacuum as well. If you don't have some form of cold trap, then all of your vapor will go out your machine's exhaust before it can condense on your dome.

Plus, rotovapping takes quite a bit of time. I don't thinks a chamber vac is made to run the pump continuously for that long.

#3 Jarren Tupper

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

As for time I figured you would run the sequence over and over. I understand you wouldn't be able to make a lot but maybe enough for a small sauce. Your point on exhaust is a valid one. I hadn't thought of that. On the same note, what foes rotovaping do differently than say a rapid infusion with the isi whipper using a high proof such as everclear. Seems like you could get the same product or at least a usable one without dropping 6k. The infusion should work well especially if you let it set for a day before charging and releasing the no2. You could also sousvide the infusion at a low temp for a day without oxidizing it to further the infusion I would think. Then process with rapid infusion should produce a very adequate product in less than a day?

#4 larryroohr

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:40 AM

I wonder if a canning jar could take the pressure?

I'm thinking if you used one and released the vacuum as soon as your liquid started to boil the lid would seal the vacuum inside and maintain it, trapping your volatiles as well.

If the jars couldn't take it it wouldn't be pretty though.

Does anyone know the pressures Bell jars are designed to?