The oil is manufactured traditionally through the deg and bhapka system, which is a steam distillation process. The still is heated from below by lighting a fire with the help of wood or cow dung. The temperature and speed of the distillation is controlled by regulating the fire. The distillation is managed by highly skilled/experienced workers called dighaa. He knows when the correct quantity of vapour have condensed inside the receiver by feeling the round part of the receiver under water. The water in the tank is changed continuously to prevent the temperature from rising too high. Managing the still is a highly skilled job, as the operator must keep the boiling in the still at a level that matches the condensation in the receiver, in order to keep the pressure under control. When the desired quantity of vapours has condensed, the dighaa rubs a wet cloth around the body of the still for a temporary pause in distillation and the filled receiver is replaced by another receiver. If necessary, the second may be replaced by a third receiver. The receiver is then allowed to cool and may remain idle for one or two days depending on the pressure of work. The mixture of oil and water is then separated either directly from the receiver through a hole at the bottom or pouring the whole mixture in an open trough. After the oil and water have separated into two layers, the water is removed from an opening in the bottom, and the same is cohobated.
details of equipment:
Deg:These are copper stills which are directly heated by fire, with capacities ranging from 10-160 kilos of floral/planted the same as well materials. The lid (sarpos) has openings for connection to one or two receivers.
Bhapka:In distillation, no separate condenser is used.The receiver is built of copper, and is round with a long neck, for connection with the deg via chonga.
Chonga: Condenser made of bamboo that connects the still and receiver; it is a hollow pipe wrapped with twine for insulation.
Bhatti: Furnace, usually heated with wood or coal; the heat is controlled manually.
Gachchi: The cooling water tank where the bhapka is kept to cool the distillate from the deg.
Kuppi: Leather bottles whose semi-permeability to water allows the water to move out and the oil to remain.