The evaporation chamber is a Mason jar with a 3/4" x 1/2" PVC bushing epoxied to the lid. I used two electrical conduit locknuts to hold the fitting in place while the epoxy set.
To rotate the evaporation chamber, I mounted an electric motor in a wood frame and mounted a section of 1/2" CPVC pipe in a pillow block bearing. I connected the bearing to the motor shaft with a series of small plastic gears.
I left one section of the CPVC un-cemented on top of the bearing, to allow the pipe to be removed from the bearing. Adding a bit of teflon tape to the pipe before pressing it into the coupling gives a "good enough" vacuum seal.
The heating method for the Mason jar originally gave me trouble. At first, I considered a laboratory hot plate, but was put off by their high cost, and the difficulty I expected to experience in getting uniform heating on the jar. I then realized that I was an idiot, as I already had an electric skillet that I could put a pot of water on to uniformly heat the jar. I tried this, but was less than impressed with the amount of heat I could transfer into the jar. It was also a cumbersome setup. While at the store looking for a smaller, higher heat output hot plate, I realized I was a double mega idiot, and that I had a crock pot that could do exactly what I wanted, with a pretty good heat output to boot. What's more, it's relatively easy to control the temperature in the crock pot over the timescales on which the distillation runs by adjusting the heat setting on the pot.
The next tricky part was the method to give a vacuum-tight seal while allowing continuous rotation. The method I ended up on was to use a compressed air quick connect fitting. These are available at any hardware store at a low cost (about $5 for the male and female components). I used a 1/4" fitting. It does have a rather small restriction through the fitting which isn't ideal for vacuum pressures, but again it works "good enough" for this non-high-vacuum setup. It does have a fair bit of resistance to rotation, which is why the motor I ended up using was so large - a first draft used a smaller motor that couldn't overcome the resistance of the quick connect fitting. The motor I used has a gear reducer that reduces the rotation rate to about 60 rpm, giving it high enough torque to overcome the resistance. It remains to be seen how well the quick connect fitting holds up with use, but they're pretty darn cheap and could be replaced easily.
The overhead business side is the handled by a filter flask. In operation, the flask sits in a bath of ice water to condense the overhead vapors and collect them. This is the only actual piece of lab glassware in the entire setup, and I used it because I had one on hand. I could just as well have modified another Mason jar to the task. A section of PVC extends down nearly to the bottom to force the heated vapors to come into close contact with the cold walls. If the flow didn't contact the vessel walls, a good portion of the overhead product would go straight out the side port to the vacuum pump, which would be bad for the pump and bad for the recovery of the overhead product.
I originally had some difficulty with the sealing element between the filter flask and the PVC, but then fortuitously discovered that a 3/4" PVC compression coupling's rubber gasket is perfectly sized for this filter flask's mouth diameter. A flexible hose connects the filter flask to my Harbor Freight vacuum pump.
Here's a dry run showing everything working together:
Here's a hot run with the first generation (aka dumb) heating method for the boiling jar.
My first run was to distill some tea - I wanted to make some tea concentrate to use in other recipes. It was a technical success, in that I was able to concentrate the tea to a much stronger concentration, with an overhead product that tasted like plain water. The concentrate was decidedly non-tasty, though, so it might not have been a recipe success. I'm not sure if this is because I got the fluid too hot during the distillation - the whole point of vacuum distillation is that you can boil the liquid at a lower than normal temperature. I plan to try again, we shall see if tea-asty product will result!