Tips for Making Your Own Alcohol-Based Tinctures
Posted on May 09 2022
Tinctures are highly refined botanical extracts that have been distilled and dissolved in alcohol. It is a common misconception that extracts and tinctures are the same thing but not all extracts can be referred to as tinctures; similarly, not all tinctures can be referred to as extracts!
The main difference between tinctures and extracts is the amount of herb that is infused in the alcohol or glycerin solution. Extracts are 1 part herb to 1 part alcohol or glycerin, whereas tinctures are 1 part herb to 3 parts alcohol or glycerin. One is not better than the other, per se; tinctures just tend to be more concentrated herbal extracts. As for alcohol-based tinctures, herbalists tend to prefer neutral alcohols like vodka to allow the flavor of the herb to shine through.
1. Make Sure You Have the Right Herb Proportions
The first thing to make sure of is that you have the right quantity of materials in your botanical infuser machine. It is all about proportions here. If you use too little, the tincture will be weak. Use too much alcohol, however, and the quantity of plant essence extracted from your herbs will be insufficient. The optimum alcohol grade and quantity of plant matter to utilize will differ depending on what you are tincturing.
2.Know the Alcohol Strength and Type
It’s important to use high-quality alcohol when making your own alcohol-based tinctures, especially because it will take up a lot of the solution. Although any spirit will suffice, many herbalists prefer alcoholic solvents such as grain alcohol or vodka. Stronger alcohols can be dissolved in distilled water to get a lower alcohol concentration.
The quality of the plant matter is also another factor to consider. This will be utilized to determine the required concentration for alcohol-based tinctures. Remember that moderation is key.
3. Always Use High-Quality Alcohol
When making your own alcohol-based tinctures, it is imperative to use high-quality spirits. We recommend visiting your local liquor store and asking to speak with a manager for recommendations. Although your craft is niche, someone who is educated in the field may be able to guide you in the right direction.
4.Be Exact About Extraction
Be precise during the extraction process and always cover tinctures with a lid. Because certain tinctures (especially those containing aromatic herbs) may easily melt plastic, we suggest using a regular metallic lid with a rim.
Keep your prepared tincture in a cold, dark, and dry location. Monitor the alcohol levels and shake regularly, multiple times a week. If your alcoholic solvent has evaporated a little and the plant matter is not completely buried, add more solvent to your container. Mold and germs might enter your tincture if your herbs are exposed to the external environment. Let the tincture sit for about six to eight weeks for the extraction process to be complete.