I tried a simple distillation the other day of vinegar to try and acquire some concentrated acetic acid. I had the distillation flask at roughly 100 C for about 2 hours with very little distillate coming through to the receiving flask. I didn't have any PH paper so I really had no idea what I was distilling off except for the hypothetical boiling points of water and acetic acid at 100 C and 120 C respectively.
Most of the distillate in the receiving flask smelled extremely strong of vinegar so I most definitely was getting a lot of acid with water.
My question is just what is happening? Could hydrogen bonding between the water and acetic acid be somehow responsible for the high level of acid in the receiving flask? Could it be faulty temperature readings from my thermometer? Or is my sense of smell, without PH paper, the worst possible indicator of acetic acid concentration?
Your thoughts would be appreciated.