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This product is a whole herb Double Extract. The Rhodiola Root that I use is from Mountain Rose Herbs, origin Canada, Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth, Certified Kosher by Earth Kosher.
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My Double Extract recipes are mostly the same except for the details such as different herbs, different amounts, and unusual herb related situations such as excess swelling or clumping of the herb which I'll describe in Additional Notes, so for those who've read through one of my Double Extract recipes I'll list just the basics and you can go from there.
Just the basics
Half gallon jar with air tight lid
12 ounces of dry herb - Rhodiola Root
48 ounces of menstruum - Vodka or 7250
Additional Notes: When the infusion is mixed with the tincture there will be significant jelling as the combination changes from a solution to an emulsion.
The complete recipe
A more detailed list of what you'll need:
A glass jar with a lid that will seal air tight. Canning jars work well. This recipe will be for half gallon jars using 12 oz of herb.
Rhodiola root herb preferably ground into chunks about 1/8 of an inch thick. I use 12 to 48 oz (in 4 jars) at a time for my batches but you may not want that much if you're making it just for yourself. 12 ounces (plus an additional 12 ounces for the infusion) will make a lot if you do a double extract. Single extracts are a lot easier and if you want to do that, then you might want to go ahead and get 12 ounces.
A scale to weigh the herb if you want to keep up with the ratios of herb to menstruum, such as 1:4, 1:6, etc.. You'll also need a measuring cup or container to measure out the menstruum.
The menstruum. This will be the Vodka or the 7250.
A scale to weigh the herb if you want to keep up with the ratios of herb to menstruum, such as 1:6 or 1:4 etc..
Vodka, 100 proof or higher for double extracts or 80 proof for single extracts (just a tincture), or my preferred menstruum for tinctures if I'm going to make a double extract - 7250. I recommend using a stronger than 100 proof menstruum for double extracts because you end up with a product that's only 50 proof (25% alcohol) and it's possible to have mold growth if the herb itself doesn't kill it. My 7250 mix gives you an end product with 36.25% alcohol which I consider to be "bug proof".
There is something else to consider; there are two common ways of doing the infusion part of a double extract: one is to re-use the herb that you used for the tincture so that you'll strain out the tincture when it's time to do that part and you will not discard the used herb, instead you will use it again for the infusion. The other method is now obvious, you'll throw out the used herb and use fresh herb for the infusion. I've done both and here are my thoughts about this choice. Re-using the herb is cheaper and you'll still get a good, strong product (You'll be surprised at how strong an infusion is if you re-use the tincture herb. Open the pot lid after the herb has been cooking for a hour or so in the crock pot, bend down to smell and the strong chemistry steaming up from the pot will burn your nose and make your eyes water). The advantage of using fresh herb for the infusion is that the infusion will be really strong and your finished product will last longer because it is stronger and you can use less to get the same effect. If I only made double extracts for myself I would re-use the tincture herb, but I'm selling my product now and having the best product, even though it's a little more expensive, is top priority.
So now you may have to re-think how much herb to get for this project. Also if you're still unsure about whether you want to make a single extract tincture or a double extract, go down to the section titled "Next, the infusion." and read that paragraph. It's a discussion of this choice.
Here we go. If you want to keep the measurements precise you have to measure this. Pour the herb into your jar until it's about half or a little more full. If you're using 12 ounces of herb a half gallon canning jar will be about right.
Now pour in the menstruum until it covers the herb and fills most of the extra room left in the jar. Leave just a little bit of space empty at the top for shaking room. I like about 1/2 to 1 inch. 48 ounces of menstruum seems to fill the jar to just the right level for me. Seal the jar and make sure it's sealed well or you're about to have a 'not nice' mess. Turn the jar upside down and give it a good shake making sure any clumping in the bottom is borken up (you can't leave any clumping in the bottom because it can easily turn into a solid chunk and not extract well). Attach a lable to the jar with, at least, the name of the herb and the date that you started the extract. You could add the strength of the Vodka you used if you want. I put the name of the herb, batch number, and date on mine with aditional notes separate but I've got a lot of them to keep straight. Shake the jar again. Put the jar somewhere that's easy to get to but in the dark, or at least, not in direct light. Covering it with a thick towel or brown paper bag will work. Return to shake the jar 2 or 3 times the first day and once a day for the first week. After that you should be able to get by with shaking it a couple of times a week. This helps prevent clumping and helps the menstruum bring out the good chemistry from the herb.
OK, that was the easy part. Now you let it sit for a few weeks. I always let mine extract for 7 weeks but 5 or 6 would probably work about as well.
If you used good quality herb you should see color in the vodka very soon after you pour it into the jar.
It's a few weeks later and you've decided it's time to strain out the tincture.
What you'll need.
A fairly large cloth or any material to use for a strainer. (If you haven't strained extracts before you should
know that straining takes a while, at least several minutes, so don't expect to pour the extract into the filter cloth and hold it
until it's done straining through - see next item.)
A double layered steamer pot or some kind of set up that will hold the straining or filtering cloth up over a container to catch and hold the tincture that drains through. I use a pasta cooker which is like a double layered pot with the top layer a strainer pot (with holes in the bottom) but you can figure out how to do this with what you have available or can easily get. I've seen setups where the filter cloth is tied up to a support frame that holds it over an open pot.
Any clean container big enough to hold the herb after you've finished straining out the tincture, even a big plate will work for this. This isn't so important if you're going to use fresh herb for an infusion but it will still help keep your work area cleaner. You'll see later on.
A funnel wide enough to help you pour liquid from a pot back into your original jar. I use one that's about 4 inches wide.
Straining the Tincture
Pour the whole batch from the jar into your straining setup and let the tincture drain through into the catch pot. Some herbs drain quickly (like Saw Palmetto Berries) but others drain slowly. If you've had to use powdered herb, this and the next few steps is a very difficult process.
Now is a good time to rinse out the jar you used to make the tincture if you plan on using it to put the tincture in after it strains through.
When you think it's drained enough, pull up the edges of the straining cloth and twist and squeeze to get more liquid out. Some herbs don't squeeze very well and ground Rhodiola is one of them so, for this herb this step isn't very productive.
This is where you use the "Any clean container big enough to hold the herb" thing that I sugested above to set the straining cloth with the herb still held in it, into or on while you deal with the tincture that you've just strained out.
Measure the tincture (You need this measurement for the infusion part of the recipe) and then pour it back into the original jar that you've rinsed out for this part of the work. Use the funnel if it can help with this. If you're not going to do a double extract all you have left to do is label your containers of tincture. It's a good idea to divide up your finished product into smaller glass containers so that you don't have to expose the full batch to fresh air every time you open a container to get more out.
Next, the infusion.
If you just skim through this next section, the infusion, or water extraction and think "That's really a lot of work, is it worth it?", it may not be worth it. The first extract to get the tincture is where most people stop anyway. Most people, for their own use, either make a tincture, or they make a tea or infusion, but not both. The tincture that you made has the alcohol soluble chemistry and a lot of the water soluble chemistry from the herb (100 proof vodka is half water and it will extract with the water during that 5 to 7 week extraction even at room temperature). I prefer double extracts (even though the tincture is diluted when I add the infusion) because I get more of the water soluble chemistry with a double extract. Either way single extracts and double extracts are both good, so you decide.
Most tinctures are pretty; they have a nice pleasant color but for a double extract you'll have to give up that beautiful development because it will go away when you mix the infusion with the tincture.
If you're going to do the infusion here's what you will need;
A pot to cook the herb in. A Crock Pot is more gentle with the herbal chemistry than a pot on a stove burner but
if a stove burner is what you got, that's what you use.
A straing cloth just like you used for the tincture.
Another jar to pour the infusion into after it's cooked. You may need 2 jars because you're going to have double
the amount of liquid in total as you have in the tincture.
A large measuring cup.
A cooking thermometer.
The same straining set up that you used for the tincture.
The big container or plate that you used to hold the herb in the strainer cloth after it's finished straining.
A big mixing pot large enough to easily hold twice the amount of the measured tincture so that you can use it to
mix the infusion with the tincture.
Dump the herb into the cook pot. Pour in distilled water until the herb is covered. If you measured the tincture you can put that measurement of water into the pot but the herb should be covered with water even if it's more than the tincture measurment. You'll save some of the chemistery if you can cover the pot without too much trouble while it's cooking. Make note of the time so that you don't over cook your herb. With your cooking thermometer get the temperature up between 140 and 160 degrees F and try to keep it in that range for about 2 to 3 hours. I've read that some of the good chemistry that we get from the herbs starts falling apart (being destroyed) at 180° F and above so watch the temperature carefully until you get it stabilized. Check occasionally to see if more water is needed.
After 2 or 3 hours of cooking shut of the heat and let it cool. After it's cooled enough to work with set up the straining pot that you used to strain out the tincture. Strain it just like you did to get the tincture. Now you've got the infusion but don't mix it with the tincture too soon. This is, in my opinion, of minor importance. Let the infusion cool until it's the same, or very close to, the temperature of the tincture before mixing the two to avoid any annoying reactions that sometimes happens when mixing a warm infusion with a cool tincture. Apparently a film or gelatin can develop on the top of the mix that, as I have read, isn't harmful or dangerous but looks a little yucky. I've seen this happen with Reishi but I don't really know if it can happen with any herb or just some. Anyway, it's no big deal if it happens. You may also see some of the double extract settle out, looking a little creamy or oily. I think it's actually some of the oils that have been extracted in the alcohol extraction. A higher alcohol percentage may help with this. Specifically with Rhodiola I get a gelling of the mixture when I add the infusion to the tincture. If I were a chemist I might say that's just a solution changing to an emulsion. It shakes back into a liquid easily but the gell returnes as it sets a while. Another thing you'll probably notice, depending on the herb, is that some powder and small pieces have gone through the strainer cloth. That's no problem at all, it's just like bits of tea leaves that can end up in a cup of tea.
You may want to start measuring with this step. I make sure that my infusion amount matches exactly with the tincture amount so I can be sure of the alcohol percentage in the end product. If you want to do that then measure the infusion as you pour it out of the straining pot and into the big mixing pot. If there isn't enough infusion just add distilled water to make it equal. If there's too much infusion just discard the extra amount or just dump it on into the mix (This will reduce the alcohol concentration so think about it.)
A reminder. - For storing your extracts I think it's better to store them in smaller containers so that you don't have to be exposing the whole batch to the air every time you take some out. Air and light are the enemies of herbal extracts so store them in smallish containers and in the dark. Label your extracts. Put the herb name and date of extract completion, or the extract start date if you're already using that, on your containers. You'll be glad you did next year. :) Last note, about once a month you should shake all of your extracts just to prevent any settling from becoming solid.
|Home Page||T&T Goals||Products|
|Shipping||Definitions||Kool and Cute|
|Qs and As||The Herbalist List||About Me|
|Health Issues||Batch # Lookup||Health News|