I attemted to distill crude tartar, as it comes out from the wine barel, and would like to share some results.
In brief, about 150 grams of tartar were collected and left to dry on a low heat. Then the tartar was put in the distillation flask. At the receiving end, the collection flask was cooled inside ice water bath. A gas burner provided the heat. Soon, a white thick vapor filled the distillation train. It didn't condense easily. I trapped some of it into a flask for you to see:
After ~10 min it condensed into clear, transparent droplets which is the Alkahest of tartar.
I made the distillation train air tight and continued distillation for 1 hour. Here is what condensed on the neck of the system.
Inside the foggy glass tube, you can see some black crude oil of tartar and a yellow water which contains the Alkahest of tartar with some oil mixed. More of this yellow oil condensed into the distillation arm. It needs to be separated to oil and alkahest by distillation.
But the most incredible thing happened the next day, after leaving the distillation system as is for one night.
Do you recognize what those needle crystals are? I think it is the Volatile salt of tartar. Probably, it distilled itself out of the mess with the help of the sun heat. I feel very lucky to see this happen. Here is a small crystall.
It is transparent like glass when you clean it from the red-black oil. Upon heating it, it vaporises and disappears completely into thin air.
Not bad for a first attempt. If you try it, keep the whole system air tight. Sir Kenelm Digby describes the process in very much detail and his words fit to my experience a lot. Book: "Chymical secrets 2" (page 76), by R.A.M.S. Another source is: "Real Alchemy", by Robert Bartlett, but he doesn't reveal the secret for the volatile tartar like sir Digby does.
Has anyone made this Alkahest of tartar? What is his extraction power? Also, any idea what to do with the volatile salt welcome.