INNER GARDEN

Spirit of Wine II
To distil the spirit of wine you will need an alembic of good 6 litre Pyrex glass cucurbit of plane bottom with a short neck polish female IN70 mm, and a 2 litre helm whit a short neck polish male IN70 and throat and a beak of IN19 mm.

The recipient will be a 2 litre spherical matrass with a long neck polish female IN29 mm. Between the helm’s tubular beak and the recipient will be placed a IN19/29 mm adapter with an air hole. Also you will need a gas or electric oven with a temperature control for sand bathing.

To begin and "to exercise the hand", acquire, at least, 50 litre of good red wine at 11 or 12º.

Pour 5 litre of wine in the cucurbit and place the helm and the recipient with the adapter and apply silicon in all joints. Leave it for some time to digest, in gentle fire, with a temperature of 40º C, and then distil at 80º C maximum.

When you have distilled 1 litre in the recipient, cease the distillation and reject the phlegm that remains in the cucurbit. Of the faeces of this phlegm you can then, extract its salts, as we will explain later on, when we speak of the extraction of the spirit of vinegar.

Your distilled spirit will have approximately 45º. Pour it in a large glass bottle and close it well.

In the same way, distil the remaining 45 litre of wine and join all the distilled spirits together.

When all of the wine has been distilled, you will have 10 litre of spirit at 45º measured on the alcoholmeter.



Wash the cucurbit and pour into it 5 litre of spirit at 45º. Place the helm and the recipient as before and distil again, at a temperature of 80ºC. When you have distilled 2 litre of spirit, cease the distillation. The spirit will have, at least, 90º. Distil the remaining 5 litres as previously. Join this distilled spirit to the other of the same graduation.

Now, apply an extension of 40 cm of length to the neck of your alembic and adapt the helm to it. This increase in length of the neck is destined to hinder the access of the water to the helm and to allow, like this, a stronger distillation.

Pour the distilled 4 litre of spirit at 90º in the cucurbit and join to it 10% of its volume (40g) of recent quick lime. Place the helm and the recipient to the apparel and distil at a temperature of 78º C, until just 2 litre of spirit passes in to the recipient. Pour this spirit in a large glass bottle, close, and continue the distillation to the recipient until 1,8 litre or less has passed.

Cease the distillation. If you proceeded step by step like we told you, you would have distilled a spirit of wine of a great graduation near the 100º mark, measured on the alcoholmeter at a temperature of 15ºC.

If you don't get it the first time, repeat the last phase and distil a little less of the spirit.

Keep it in a glass bottle, well closed, to avoid that the humidity of the air alters it.

This canonical spirit of wine will be very useful in all the spagyrical operations, mainly, in the preparation of the sweetened spirit of salt as Basil Valentine refers to in The Last Will and Testament and in the preparation of the vegetable and metallic tinctures.

Rubellus Petrinus