Sorry for taking so long between posts; my main computer stopped working and it took a while to work out what to replace it with, which then of course meant work to get it working the way I wanted it to. Plus I was feeling a little tired after turning out so many regular blog posts. Fortunately the weather has improved and I can now do some work outside.
Something that has been bugging me for a while now is the mismatch between my own distillation equipment and that shown in period pictures. Some is down simply to it being hard to get anything resembling what is shown, e.g. the metal helms seen in Heironymous Braunschweig’s Book of Distillation. In this case it is because I hadn’t really seen the need to get it, so this experiment and post will serve as something of a test of the new equipment.
So, onto the oil of vitriol. The recipe I am using is one from the THE JESUATTI BOOK OF REMEDIES or LIBRO DE I SECRETTI CON RICETTI , a prior to 1562 collection of recipes made by the friars of the Order of Saint Jerome, compiled by Giovanni Andrew from Brescia, Italy. The recipe can be found here: