So we've finally started a maceration of plants, this time it's Armoise blanche, or sagebrush. The Latin name is Artemisia herba-alba, which means it's in the same genus as grande absinthe (Artemisia absinthium).
Matilda, Pascal's daughter, and I began the process of preparing for the maceration by cutting out sheets of sheer cloth paper (the same that we used as tablecloths for the party). I made a makeshift rolling device out of a broom and two barrels, and I pulled the cloth out while Matilda cut it into roughly 6 ft lengths. The cloth is a very fine mesh and is dual-layered, so the sheet forms a cylinder that's open on both sides.
After recording the total weight of the alcohol, we moved another container onto the scale, this time using the hand crank lift.
Absinthe was banned in the early 20th century because of this molecule's reputation. During the middle of the 19th century, absinthe grew in popularity, and suppliers rushed the distilling process in order to meet such a high demand. They cut corners in their production, resulting in low-quality absinthe containing high amounts of thujone. A temperance movement emerged, claiming that absinthe caused people to lose their minds, and they succeeded in banning the drink. It has now been proven that this molecule is harmless when consumed in small doses, and thus the ban has been lifted. Still, we have to assure that our extracts contain as little of this compound as possible.
There's more left to this job, and I'm excited to get more experience with it in the week to come. Check back by the end of the week for another post, hopefully we'll work on this in the next couple days.