Introduction: Build Your Own Essential Oil Extractor Distiller

About: Neo-Renaissance Man

OK Essential oil's has been extracted for 1000 years. Its done pretty easily but does take a lot of time and plant material to produce a small quantity of oil.
  But Pure 100% essential is very expensive. And making it yourself is not very hard.
   Pretty much steam it forced through plant material, breaking apart the oil molecules from the rest of the plant material.
The steam/oil's  are then carried through a condenser, were the water and oil are separated though a change in temperature.
  Then collected in a vessel, the oil settles on the top of the water now called Hydrosol. Then the oil is siphoned off the top of the water.


Turkey deep fryer Pot  with lid basket and propane stand burner and a long cooking thermometer 
tank of propane.
10 ft of 3/4 in Copper coil Type L  
Two 5 gal plastic bucket with lids
5 Feet 3/4 in. Copper Type M Rigid Pipe
TWO 3/4 in. Copper 90-Degree C x C Elbow
ONE 3/4 in. Copper Pressure Tee
ONE 1/2 in. x 3/4 in. Copper Pressure Cup x FIPT Female Adapter
Five or Six C- clamps
Four 1/2 in rubber Gaskets
ONE 1 in long 1/2  wide in. Conduit Nipple
TWO 1/2 in. Rigid or IMC Conduit Locknuts
Some plastic tubing or thin hose

a drill with a 1/2 hole bit
Soldering kit
# 16.92 oz. propane fuel tank
# 3 oz. lead-free solid-wire solder
# 1 oz. lead-free flux
some pliers
zip ties
Hot glue, or plumbers Caulk
garden hose
pipe cutter


Step 2: Step One: Building the Condenser

First take your copper coil and stretch it out until its a coil as deep as your five gallon bucket.

Next Cut your 6 feet of pipe in half, then cut about 4 inches off one of the half's.
At the bottom end of the coil solder the middle hole of the brass Tee so the you have a top & bottom hole.

Then solder the 4 inch pipe to the bottom and the rest of it to the top of the Tee this is your vent pipe so make sure the top of the pipe is above the top of the bucket. This is so the steam has someplace to go and your distiller does not explode.

Then at the top of your copper coil solder the Elbow vertical and pointing out.

At the other end of the elbow solder the other 3 feet of pipe.

Then at the other end of that solder the other elbow so it points down.

   Take your 5 gallon bucket drill a hole using the hole 3/4 in hole bit and stick the hole thing into the bucket.

   Use your plumbers chalk and seal the pipe to the bucket very very well.

Use The zip ties to secure the coil/pipe to the handle of the bucket at the top. 
 I drilled a small hole for the plastic tubing to be feed through, this will remove the hot water so it can be replaced with the cold water.

  Take your second  5 gallon bucket, with the lid drill the same size hole in the lid, this is where your "hyrosol" and essential oil will be collected.

  And your done this is your condenser it will be filled with continues supply of cold water from a garden hose and or ice/snow. 
  The Steam travels through the pipe cooling down and separation the water molecules from the essential oil. and is collected into the bottom bucket

Step 3: Step Two: Building the Boiler

Ok First the turkey fryer has a small hole in the lid already this is a perfect place to drill your 1/2 inch hole.
 Next Thread the 1 inch long threaded nipple into the 1/2 inch 3/4 inch copper adapter then one of the 1/2 inch hex nuts make sure its tight.
 then the 1/2 inch gasket then this goes through the pot lid.
Then on the other side use the other 2 rubber gaskets and the last hex nut tighten this as much as you can.

Step 4: Step Three: Assembling Your Essential Oil Extractor Distiller

Now take your bucket lid that your not using and inside is a rubber gasket this is perfect and should fit around the top of the pot i used some masking tape to hold it there.

This will make a better seal to hold in the steam forcing through the small hole in the top.
Then take your 6 C clamps these will be used to hold the lid on.

Connect the propane to the burner, Set condenser on top the empty bucket.
put the elbow /pipe coming off the condenser to the boiler like shown.(don't solder these together you'll lose some steam but its much easier if this is in two parts.)

Step 5: Step Four: Using Your Essential Oil Distiller

OK now that you built it how you use it.

  Connect your propane to the burner.
Put the fryer basket into the boiler and fill it with plant material that you want to extract oil from, i make mint oil, also can use pretty much any plant. lavender, Pine or any herb really. Pack it full make sure that it doesn't have any holes going through it . so the steam doesn't have a clear path and its forced to saturate the plant material.
  Then fill it half way with water, then clamp the lid on with the C clamps make sure there evenly spaced on the lid.
 Connect the boiler to the condenser. then take a garden hose and fill up the condenser bucket. (then turn it off and leave it in there) take the thermometer and stick it into the condenser bucket.
   The temp of the water in the condenser should not be over 50 Degrees the colder you keep the water the better.
   One the water temp starts to rise turn the hose on again, and use the plastic tubing to siphoning  our the hot water exchanging it with the cold water from the garden hose. 
 Keeping the water level at a constant is the hardest part. i tried using ice but it melted pretty fast, and you will use ALOT of water, the water i got is from a well so i wasn't worried about the cost, i would suggest using snow, if its available or fill the bucket with water and freeze the whole thing, but again this will melts pretty fast. the small plastic tube carried the water into the back yard where i waters some plants.

  FIRE IT UP!  light the burner keep it at a low burn,  it took about 3 hours to boil our all the water.
MAKE SURE IT doesn't start burning our the pot this will ruin the essential oil.
  Now the steam travels through the mint, Through the copper pipe condenser then cools down, and slowly drips into the bucket under the condenser.
   If you have a large glass just i suggest using that to collect the hydro sol (that's what the water is called after distilling this will smell like what ever your distilling and is great for all kinds of stuff)

 The essential oil will float on top of the hydro sol, you can separate the two in a couple of different ways how i did it was to remove the water from the bottom by siphoning it into another vessel.
 then once it was mostly  oil i poured that into a bottle, and froze it , only the water will freeze you can then pour out just the essential oil into something else.

This can be used for cooking, medicinal purposes, fragrances, soap making, or what i use it for lip balm.

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