Sustainability in distillation
We care about our descendants...
Herbs for distillation
We distil only locally grown and picked plants. We do not import them from more price affordable remote countries, as we do not support cheap labour and long transport routes.
Herbs for distillation are picked exclusively by hand, without the use of machines. We are highly aware of the importance of the quality and health of our plants. Before distilling, we carefully inspect them and remove all unwanted particles and impurities. If necessary, we cut plants into smaller pieces. This too is done manually.
Composting after distillation
After each distillation, much of the plant material is left. The larger the volume of the distiller the more material is left over. Large commercial distillers must therefore seriously consider the remaining plant material and ensure that it is properly removed or reused. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Indeed, one can sadly come across piles of waste pant material sitting in the vicinity of the distilleries, as it is the case in the photo below.
We know that plant material after the distillation process is not just waste. It is true that it has undergone a heat treatment, but it is still high-quality organic material.
Such material is best put in use when being composted. In our compost site only completely natural and clean residual material from the distilled plants from our Herb garden finds its place. It is transformed into a completely natural fertiliser and further used to enhance the growth of herbs. In this way distillation does not create any waste or burdens the environment.
Steam distillation without a steam generator
Our distillations are in most cases steam distillations, in lesser part also aqueous distillations. In the former case we obtain steam by boiling water in a boiler. We have made a conscious decision not to use a steam generator.
In the distillation process using a steam generator, steam is produced in a separate unit and is transmitted into the boiler via a pipeline. Such a distillation process is much faster than that without a steam generator, as the flow of the steam in the boiler is several times higher. As a result, the quantity of hydrosol is considerable higher. In our traditional way, in a 70-litre boiler we get about 4 litres of hydrosol in an hour, whereas similar distillation using a steam generator would give some 20-25 litres. Of course, in latter case hydrolat is much more diluted and therefore cannot be compared in quality to the one that we obtain in slow classical steam distillation.
Distillation with the help of a steam generator is also much more energy consuming. If our burner has a power of 9 kW, a steam generator requires a power of about 25 kW. To make a simple comparison: this is already power that is sufficient to heat up a typical one-family house. This comparison says a lot about the energy waste when using steam generators.