How to make a still / distiller to extract any essential oils from plants. Lavender oil shown.

Right we are making lavender oil, we have grown these on the front garden A few critters in this we are removing all of the seeds and as you can see and as you can see they are already collecting in the bottom of the in the bottom of the tub and these are what we have pulled off the ears. What we have prepared earlier and the left over stems from the ones we have already processed and pulled all the bits off to make our still we are going to be using a pressure cooker The type that fits on a gas ring The pressure-cooker valve as you can see here will be joined with a piece of hose, this is just a bit of hose we have found in the shed it fit’s quite snugly on the valve and this will be sealed with a jubilee clip and it will be joined to copper pipe We need to take our 10 mil copper pipe and we need to form it around something large enough to avoid creasing the pipe We are using a propane gas bottle Just gently roll the pipe around the propane bottle, pressing down on the propane bottle be very careful not to crease or kink the pipe, fill the pipe with dry sand and tape the ends to prevent kinking. Leave a fair amount of straight pipe on the ends Obviously will have to have a connection to the pressure cooker should just make sure it’s nice and tight around the bottle little bit of a kink there. dog snoring in background Now this will be our cooling pipe Not a great job, I,m sure if you have got the patience you will make a better job than I have this is the set up we have made and as you can see we have connected the copper tubing to the top of the pressure cooker And we have formed a coil that sits snugly in the washing up bowl which we will fill with cold water in and then the take off point again we’ve bent around at the end
and this will decant into whatever vessel we collect our distillate in The idea is that the heat produces the steam and that the volatile oil will be produced and condense in the cooled copper tube and then percolate out into the vessel. Into the pressure cooker, throw some lavender heads You can fill the pressure cooker up making sure that there are no stems that are going to affect the seal of the pressure cooker So just remove any stems from the top Add hot water out of the tap you are going to get a few critters in there but I wouldn’t worry about that add a little bit more You don’t want to over fill it because we want steam not water so we are down well below the lid Make sure that the pressure cooker is nicely sealed you can see we have a primitive set up There’s the washing bowl filled with cold water and there’s the pressure cooker and we need to light the gas the object is to bring it to the boil and turn it on to simmer and we need very little heat obviously if you have it too hot, you will get water through the pipe rather than vapour gently bring it back up to the heat, to the boil on a low gas making sure that we don’t burn as this will taint the oil so the object is not to as soon as we see steam coming out of here, we will close the valve with a little bit of blue tac and we should see the distillate percolating down into the demijohn So we have had to improvise, because we still had a leaky valve we have put more blue tac around the valve with some tape around Yes, its working and the outlet pipe is very hot and the rest of the coil is nice and cool cooled by the water and we should see some distillate dripping from here very shortly We can see the water now you can see that it’s oil based later we will have to remove the oil from the top of the water so our little make shift still, this still is working a treat we had a leaky valve on the top which we plugged up with some blu tac and tape There is a weight here for a safety device and as you can see here the gas is really low and the heat is being transferred to the water, which cools down the steam. and we are collecting it in the demijohn A good tip is to take off the warm water from the top of the washing up bowl talk that the washable and you can
replace you then you can replace it with cold water the hot water always floats to the top Loud snore That’s my dog you can hear in the background Now we will replace the hot water with some cold water not very high tech, I know but it does the job our still is working nicely see the point proven Washington won’t
become you can feel the pipe entering the washing up bowl becomes very hot and the pipe leaving is cold with the pressure cooker before using it
make sure that the safety weight is working general no problem with these but it’s always wise to check by using blu tac over the other safety valve it will easily pop off the blue tac if pressure increases the oil is forming nicely on top of the water when you start using the still it will take a while to fill up the tube coils with distillate another safety check we need to make is to blow down the tube to make sure it is clear before using it to make sure that it is free and has not got any kinks in it that could cause back pressure in the pressure cooker the milky looking water below the oil surface will actually make a good air freshener so it can be used in an atomiser or a spray or you could add a little to your detergent in the washing machine ideal for washing the dogs bedding I have just taken a small glass and you can see the oil forming nicely on the surface this is a good test to see if you have extracted all of the oil from the lavender if you test a glass full and there is no oil, it is time to do another batch this is the third batch, as you can see it is just starting to distill at first you can have a very high yield of the oil to extract the oil from the water what we did was siphoned off from underneath the oil the distillate or the scented water into a plastic milk bottle what was left we poured into a long narrow necked bottle this is a cyder vinegar bottle and as you can see we have a little bit sediment there is the distillate, the scented water below and that’s the lavender oil on the surface. To separate the oil, I use a 50 mil syringe body to draw up the oil, let stand in upright position and eject sediment and water keeping upright.


  1. My gosh, I have been searching in the wrong lace for years! Such a simple method, I can't wait to try and setup this for myself. My garden is all lavenders(150 plants) and I can only make so many pillows and bunch wands, this will be my next project. Thank you for generous sharing tips! Bernadette

  2. Thank you so much for sharingyour secret!! Now i have my own distillator for 25$ !! I'll have soooo much fun!!

  3. make sure nothing that comes through the system gets labeled food grade because you're going to get real sick these Plastics and metals other than the copper give up some nasty chemicals and toxins

  4. I appreciate your work and I appreciate your video but you seriously would be better off going on eBay and buying some laboratory glass condensers flasks Etc and a heating source to do this properly although you would have to work with smaller quantities for sure your method is more robust in that area if you want an easier way to bend copper do not use straight hard copper like that get a copper coil fill it with water and cork it freeze it and then you can bend it around a small radius without kinking it it works great

  5. I'd no longer run a still but I did for 30 years I can tell you right now most of it's going to get trapped in the bottom of that tube and have a hard time pushing out a lot of pressures going to build up no way in hell I would risk this there are a lot better ways to build a still out of stainless and copper no plastic ever

  6. Does this class as legal or illegal method?? If never seen anything like this before that's all. I'm in Australia and I'd like to personally invite you to my Facebook business Page Chillaxing Melts, Candles & Body Products. I make and sell the safest Candles and melts in Australia. If only ever really seen something similar in the movie called Dukes of Hazard where they distill alcohol.. lol

  7. sir do you think making a home made distiller/extracter for essential oils is just as safe as buying one? Furthermore how long does it take to extract 100 ml unadulterated oil from lavender branches? Also how much would it cost to sell a lavender bottle ?? Much obliged if you can answer me .Great video btw !!

  8. Hay folks! Great project! I hope soon I can get there too! I have lavander with loads of leaves. I think they have more oil than the flowers. Indeed, I have plentry of herbs to make oil from. I'm not going to purchase the magical butter machine after watching this method as I do have a pressure pan already! Thanks a lot for sharing! Cheers!

  9. Andrew, you are in Scotland, right? Where about, if you don't mind saying? I'm going to be in between Newtonmore and Inverness very soon.

  10. How long at minimum it has to be the copper pipe? Could I connect the copper directly to the pressure pan steam outlet?

  11. just a tip, instead of tipping the warm water down the drain, why not put in the bucket and reuse it or water your plants with it once cooled down.

  12. Hi ,great idea ,but the oil can be used too, as you know essential oil is very expensive, for rose, and Jasmin,, but the lavender must be very relaxing for your dog, as he was snoring peacefully!!!!lol,,โ˜บ๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒน

  13. can i use the essential in the sauna as well? thank you for the video. that is exactly what i was looking for. your dog snore as loud as my old cat do…..:-)

  14. You can tell that someone is passionate about something bybthe amount of time and effort they put into creating ways to achieve their end goal! Kuddos to you sir!

  15. I was looking for pressure cookers which would allow me to do this but many of them I see have only 1 hole which the weight goes over the top of or two holes. What kind should I get?

  16. Awesome video,i like it alot,keep it coming!!….I have a question is "soft microbore copper tube Pipe refrigeration plumbing"(ebay)any good for distilling?.

  17. Go to eBay and by a still, saves time and waste a bit money, looks a lot nicer and if glassware a lot more fun.

  18. The thing I liked most about your video is you show how a typical person would do this. Not perfect on a worktop in a photo ready studio, but in a real kitchen in your house complete with dishes in the sink and a snoring dog in the background. Great job making a real and understandable video.

  19. Although it will discolor the copper, if you anneal it, the tubing will bend around the tank much easier and hold its shape better. However, it will be softer and could kink or crimp more readily. You can anneal it with a simple propane torch (see videos on how to do that).

  20. I just have one question, is it ok if you use a clear bendable plastic pipe instead of a copper one? Does it matter if the pipes are different or does it matter?

  21. Great video thank you. I saw a video on how to bend tubing with minimal kinkage (is that the word) – the secret is to fill the tube with sand before you bend it – have a look around YTube I'm sure you'll find it – and like that you can probably wrap it around a smaller diameter and thus expose more of the tube to the coolant and get better rate of condensation… just a thought ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. A tip I seen years ago to prevent your copper tube from kinking while coiling is is to cap and solder one end then fill tube with water or sand until it's full then cap the other end and solder then make your coil. I tried finding the link to the video but no luck.

  23. Thank you so much.. this is my ALL TIME favorite you tube video and I have to say the pup's snoring in the background is hilarious !!!

  24. I love your brilliant idea!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™Œ you work with simple items for this system.Have many flowers and herbs and would like to do my own extracting of oils Thank you for sharing

  25. Easier way to make the condenser,but pretty good rig.just want to know how to make a simple rig to seperate the oil once its done

  26. Dear Mr. Fletcher.
    Good grief and WOW! That's what I was looking for! At least a good functional simple homemade destillation "machinery". Very well done Sir.
    Thanks a lot for " inventing, making, taping, editing, uploading and sharing.
    Best regards.

  27. How do you know when the water runs out in the pressure cooker? It worked until the plant material started to burn ๐Ÿ™

  28. After watching the film Perfume: the Story of a Murderer, I realized that this is what I want to do. Thank you! Mabuhay! ๐ŸŒด

    Unlike many other videos that use loud music as background, I love the ambient sounds in your background plus your very gentle grandpa voice. I have many questions but I'll just scroll down the comments. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  29. You've chosen to use hard copper pipe. Here in the states, at least, we also have softer tubing that bends much easier for stuff like this.

  30. how did you prepare the lavender? Dried out or staight from the plant? Do you wash it? Pls do tell. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Amaging tutorial Sir ..i never look You tube do like this good Job Grandpa ilove You ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  32. What if you only have a electric stove? I donโ€™t have a gas stove. Iโ€™m really wanting to make my own homemade essential oils.

  33. What a great video! Your method is so simple. Most of the others have me scratching my head. Thanks for taking the time to educate the rest of us.

  34. Looks like you had 3/8 hard drawn copper tubing. It's much easier to bend annealed copper and it doesn't kink as much.

  35. Appreciate the wisdom you have kindly shared. Will forever appreciate and remember the knowledge gained from you sir.

  36. I really loved your explanation on how to distill the essential oil. I am not sure how to skim.the oil off the top. Do you have a video on that? Thank you for your time.

  37. The coolest part of this video other than the simplicity anyone can likely understand is that there seems to be no pricks leaving shitty comments. Normally there is haters all over the place. Good job.

  38. Is this dangerous in any way? I read that steam extraction method has the potential to blow up but this looks pretty safe.

  39. WOW!!!! That was REALLY cool!!! And I can do it in my own home without expensive chemistry equipment… thank you for uploading this video โคโคโค

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published