Rules for the distillation of water

1. Plants and their parts ought to be fresh gathered. When they are directed fresh, such only must be employed; but some are allowed to be used dry, as being easily procurable in this state at all times of the year, though rather more elegant waters might be obtained from them whilst green.

2. Having bruised the subjects a little, pour thereon thrice its quantity of spring-water. This quantity is to be diminished or increased according as the plants are more or less juicy than ordinary. When fresh and juicy herbs are to be distilled, thrice their weight of water will be sufficient, but dry ones require a much larger quantity. In general there should be so much water, that after all intended to be distilled has come over, there may be liquor enough to prevent the matter from burning to the still.

3. Formerly, some vegetables were slightly fermented with the addition of yeast, previous to the distillation.

4. If any drops of oil swim on the surface of the water, they are to be carefully taken off.

5. That the waters may be kept the better, about onetwentieth part of their weight of proof spirit may be added to each after they are distilled.

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