If I were a betting man, I would bet that you had no idea that we have a Chief Engineer here at Botnia. But we do! Over the years of formulating and refining our products, we learned pretty quickly that we would never be totally content with sourcing all of our raw ingredients from others. If we wanted to deliver our botanical-derived ingredients to you with maximum potency we were going to have make many of those ingredients here in our lab. Let’s take for example our handmade hydrosols.
The first step in this process is sourcing beautiful, local botanicals from our own garden and from the farms that surround us here in Northern California. The next step is deciding what type of extracts we will need from those botanicals. Something like a glycerin extraction or oil infusion is simple enough, but we love incorporating hydrosols into our products to nourish your skin.
Hydrosols are made in a still. We pass steam through our fresh botanicals and then condense that steam back into a liquid. The most efficient way to condense the steam quickly and thus preserve the potency of our hydrosol involves passing the steam through a condenser coil, which runs through a bath of cool water. Normally the bath of water would be a flow-through system where you pass fresh, cool water into the bath and then funnel off the warmed water as waste. The whole process takes several hours, which would mean hundreds of gallons of wastewater. That simply wouldn’t do.
Enter our Chief Engineer, Chris. He’s our Jack-of-all-trades. We handed him our dilemma, and he had a solution within minutes. By using a submersible pump and a series of radiators, he built us a recirculating system that gives us beautiful hydrosols and only utilizes about 5 gallons of water that we can reuse over and over again. Now we can craft the ingredients we need while also fulfilling our promise to help protect the environment that gives us the botanicals that make Botnia products so powerful and so special.