MAKING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS IS FUN AND REWARDING AND PART OF BECOMING MORE SELF SUFFICIENT
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DISCOUNTED QUALITY ESSENTIAL OILS
GENERALLY ½ CONTAINER FULL Dried herbs OR ⅓ CONTAINER of fresh herbs
GENERALLY ¾ OF THE CONTAINER FULL
¼ Container liquid distilled water
Alcohol Type and Strength
The appropriate alcohol strength for your tincture will depend upon the qualities of the plant material being used. Stronger is not always better!
Tips for matching your alcohol strength to the herb being tinctured:
40% to 50% alcohol by volume (80- to 90-proof vodka)
• “Standard” percentage range for tinctures.
• Good for most dried herbs and fresh herbs that are not super juicy.
• Good for extraction of water-soluble properties.
67.5% to 70% alcohol by volume (half 80-proof vodka and half 190-proof grain alcohol)
• Extracts the most volatile aromatic properties.
• Good for fresh, high-moisture herbs like lemon balm, berries, and aromatic roots.
• The higher alcohol percentage will draw out more of the plant juices.
85% to 95% alcohol by volume (190-proof grain alcohol)
• Good for dissolving gums and resins but not necessary for most plant material.
• Extracts the aromatics and essential oils bound in a plant that don’t dissipate easily.
• This alcohol strength can produce a tincture that’s not easy to take and will also dehydrate the herbs if used for botanicals beyond gums and resins.
30 oz tallow or lard (be sure to weigh on a scale)
4 oz 100% pure lye
11 oz distilled water
*When making soap, always measure by WEIGHT, not by volume
0.5 oz essential oil if desired
SUPPLIES NEEDED READY TO USE
Silicone or freezer paper lined container or soap box
Stick blender all metal
APPROXIMATED TIME 2-3 HRS
In a heat tolerant glass or stainless bowl or jar and in an area with good ventilation (I do this under with my oven fan on), carefully stir the lye into the measured water. ALWAYS add the lye to the water– do NOT add the water to the lye, as it can result in a volcano-like reaction.
Use gloves, goggles and mask for protection from.
Stir this lye/water mixture until it has dissolved and let it sit for a few minutes. There will be a chemical reaction between the lye and water, and the water will become very hot, so be careful handling the container. Wait til the solution is clear and cool enough to handle.
Place the melted tallow in the crockpot (if it’s not already there), and slowly stir the lye/water mixture in.
Switch to an immersion blender (trust me, unless you want to stand there stirring for an hour, you’ll use an immersion blender), and proceed to blend the tallow, lye, and water until you reach TRACE.
TRACE is when the mixture turns to a pudding-like consistency and holds its shape when you drip a bit on top.
Now put the lid on the crockpot, set it on LOW, and allow it to cook for 45-60 minutes. It will bubble and froth, which is fine. Just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t attempt to bubble out of the pot. If it attempts an escape, just stir it back down.
Once it has cooked for a while and passes the “zap” test, IT DOESN’T HAVE A ZAP IF SMALL AMOUNT IS TOUCHED TO THE TIP OF TONGUE, pour/scoop it into a mold and COVER WITH a piece of CARDBOARD AND WRAP IN A TOWEL and allow it to set for 12-24 hours.
Remove the solid soap from the mold, cut into bars and set on a wire rack to cure for 4-6 weeks. Soap will not be usable until then.