In the Lab: Creating a Simple Still for Home Distillation/Extraction of Essential Oils

July 11, 2024
By Dennis Klocek 1 min read

In this detailed tutorial, Dennis demonstrates how to convert a standard four-gallon pressure cooker into an effective essential oil distilling apparatus. (For more on its use, see our video In the Lab: Using a Simple Still for Home Extraction of Essential Oils.)

The video covers the conversion process, including creating a custom adapter for the pressure cooker, setting up a Vigreux Column separator and Clevenger device, and the operation of the still. The process involves detailed steps like drilling the cooker lid, assembling the adapter using gas fittings from a hardware store, and ensuring the system’s effectiveness and safety. This step-by-step guide is perfect for anyone interested in harvesting high-quality essential oils from plants at home.

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 02:56 Operation of the still
  • 05:34 Schematic Overview
  • 11:46 Drilling the lid
  • 18:02 Gas fittings in lid
  • 27:04 From gas fittings to glass
  • 34:13 Easily taking the still apart to re-charge

Parts List

  • Pressure cooker- Sitram stainless steel 13 liter (approx. 4 gal ) (example is 10L)
  • 18mm hole saw (example)
  • Glass
    • 24/40 glass Clevenger apparatus (example)
    • 24/40 glass Vigreux distilling column 400mm or 13 inch length (example)
    • 24/40 glass condenser (example)
    • 24/40 glass adapter to go into pressure cooker via tubing (example)
  • Vinyl tubing (ID = Inner Diameter; OD = Outer Diameter)
  • Hose clamps (x2)
  • Gas fittings
    • Adapter: 1/2 in ID x 3/8 in MIP (example)
    • Coupling: 1/2 in FL x 3/8 in FIP (example)
    • Short rod nut: 1/2 in FL (example)
    • 11mm O-rings #211 (x2) (example)
  • Glass Accessories

Dennis Klocek

Dennis Klocek, MFA, is co-founder of the Coros Institute, an internationally renowned lecturer, and teacher. He is the author of nine books, including the newly released Colors of the Soul; Esoteric Physiology and also Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics. He regularly shares his alchemical, spiritual, and scientific insights at

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