In the lab the reflux set-up has continued to bubble away, pulling more extract from the second batch of sagebrush into the solvent (first photo). Yesterday evening I prepared the red stone by tipping the crushed powder into the flask (second photo), mixing it with the solvent and setting up the reflux, then we turned on the heat and let it be. John dropped by this morning while I was running and told me that we’d succeeded in pulling something from the material, which is a nice surprise, as I was wondering if we’d get anything at all from it, because although it’s a very soft sandstone, it is still stone! It’s very satisfying to follow the footsteps of the old alchemists.
With John’s guidance this has all been easy and really fun. He thinks the extract smells like Graham Crackers, which are an American cookie (not a cracker at all). Our colleague Grady dropped in to the lab and smelled the fragrance of the extract and said it reminded him of hiking.