Next, you must factor in the elevation. Washington is north of the 45th parallel at an elevation of 1,500 to 2,500 feet. Distilling time for peppermint there is early August. Below the 45th parallel, at 4,800 to 5,000 feet, where we grow peppermint, the best distilling time is the end of August to September to get higher levels of menthone.
In hot, high-humid climates in South America, we shade dry and mature most plants before distilling.
· Ruta: five days after cutting
· Oregano: five days after cutting
· Lemongrass: three days after cutting
· Vetiver: seven to ten days after cutting, depending on the humidity and the barometric pressure
· Eucalyptus: three to five days after picking
· Ocotea: ten days after picking
· Palo Santo: five years after the tree is dead
· Ylang ylang: immediately after picking
· Dorado Azul: immediately after cutting
So I watch my weather station and my weather reports to know the right time for distilling.
Then we follow it with a Brix test, so I can build volume.
I’m going to write a book on how to grow, how to harvest, and how to distill. It will be the most complete book ever published on the distillation of essential oils.