Percolation

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Percolation

Postby GrannySam » Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:18 pm

Hey,

I haven't seen this method discussed, and I'm currently faced with the need to try it.

My Vet regularly orders Nettle Seed tincture from me for her kidney patients. My source for nettle seed had them on backorder until recently.

I put some in vodka about 10 days ago, but they won't be ready for another five weeks or so. I got an order for 10 bottles from her the other day, and they need it NOW. :(

So, I'd heard about percolation as an extraction technique, and I just read up on it in James Green's excellent book, and I'm thinking I can do this. I have to figure out how to cut the bottoms off a couple of Perrier bottles, but otherwise I'm set.

Has anyone done this before? What were your results? Did you feel it made a good quality tincture? How did it compare to regular maceration of the same herb?

Thanks and Blessings,
GrannySam
 
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Postby southernmutha » Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:48 pm

I think percolation is a blast!
I get so much satisfaction from it I feel like I'm cheating. But it results in a beautiful tincture, and from what I have been told, percolations are superior to the six week extraction method.

The only one I have made that i questioned it's strength was milk thistle. I posted it but didn't get any feedback. So I am taking it anyway.

My teacher gave me one of her cones, she had them cut at a stained glass studio.

I use Michael Moore's materia medica for my formulas. He tells you if the herbs should be fresh or dry, the proportions, etc. I love him for his willingness to share!!!

I think you should try it. There are a few good websites that will carry you through the process (with the assistance of Michael's materia medica). I would share them but my hard drive got wiped a few months ago. Or something like that my husband tells me.
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Postby GrannySam » Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:35 pm

Thanks sm!

I don't feel quite so alone in my quest now.

I'm going to *try* to cut the bottom out of a bottle tomorrow with my dremmel tool. If that fails, there is a craft school very near me that I can probably go to to get someone to cut one for me on Monday.

James Green gave really detailed (and humorous) instructions in his book, "The Herbal Medicine Maker's Handbook", so I think I'm prepared. He even has pictures. :)

Thanks for the recommendation for Michael Moore's MM. I recently downloaded it for class, so I'll check it out for amounts.

I have a new grinder to try on the nettle seeds as well. They are so fine and tiny I don't see much result with the VitaMix.

I just made new milk thistle tincture the other day, maceration method. Shoot! I could have saved the seed to try another perc!

I love trying new methods. Brings out the "mad scientist" in me. :D

Blessings!
GrannySam
 
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percolation

Postby Luvmyweeds » Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:01 pm

GrannySam,

Make sure you're using a dremel bit for glass/ceramic. Sears sells them.

Lisa
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Postby southernmutha » Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:45 pm

Please keep us posted as to how it goes!
And by the way, is your macerated milk thistle tincture clear or cloudy? The stuff I bought from the store is deep colored & cloudy while mine turned out pale & clear. Hmmm...
I know it's off topic, but I was dying to get a response the first time I asked a while back.
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Postby GrannySam » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:11 pm

Lisa,

Thanks for the info re;Dremel bits. I'll have to check my supply and make sure I do have the right tool. I have a pretty good selection. If I don't feel I have the right tool I'll wait and head to Lowes. Thanks.

sm, I just checked my milk thistle tincture. It had layers, the bottom is brown, seeds. The middle layer is this white cloud, kinda pretty. The top, pretty clear. It's a new tincture, just put in yesterday. I shook it. It's very cloudy now.

blessings,
GrannySam
 
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Postby jim mcdonald » Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:07 am

in a pinch you can forgo the perrier bottle for one of those plastic vodka bottles. Figure that if the vodkas been in it already, using it as a makeshift percolator isn't going to extract any extra plastic. Just cut out the bottom with a sharp serrated knife or razor blade (umm... empty it first). I don't use the real big half gallonish bottles, but the are they pint or quart? sort rectangular ones. They take a bit of rigging to get stable on top of the collection jar.

I don't use a screw top like moore does, but a cork as described in King's dispensatory:

http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclecti ... .html#perc

Myabe its more trouble; sometimes it's difficult to get it to the right drip. But screw caps can be like that too... you get it to an even drip, then as soon as you walk away, it slows and stops.

I just did nettle seed by percolation this fall; same situation - I needed it quick. I percolated till I got what I needed for the client, then threw it all back in a jar and macerated it to finish. Just easier that way, since nettle seed is so fine it tends to want to clog when wet.
jim mcdonald
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www.herbcraft.org
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Postby jim mcdonald » Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:10 am

link won't work with the bookmark; try this:

http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclecti ... racta.html

then click (or scroll down to) percolation
jim mcdonald
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Postby GrannySam » Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:15 pm

Thanks Jim!

I checked out the site. I may have rubber tubing and a glass tube around here somewhere. I'll have to dig thru stuff. Corks I have too. There's always the gas line from the motorcycle. <jk>

I'm afraid I'm a vodka snob. I usually drink Stoli's so have no plastic bottle. I do have this huge plastic bottle of Aristocrat I use for maceration, but it's nearly full. The only other plastic bottles I have on hand are tonic bottles, and I'm a bit leery of using them with the alcohol.

What ratio did you use on the Nettle Seeds? I use a 1:4 normally for maceration.

I have to take a dog down to my Vet's on Wednesday, so I'll grind seeds today and get them soaked overnight. By tomorrow I should have my apparatus together, so hopefully I can take them the order on Wednesday. I like the idea of just perc'ing what I need and putting the rest in a jar. I'll do that.

Thanks again!
GrannySam
 
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Postby GrannySam » Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:35 am

Progress update;

So far so good.

I tried cutting the bottom out of a wine bottle. No luck. Ended up with glass shards everywhere. Good thing I thought to take it out to the back porch. Swept up and tossed that. I'll have to make that trip to the glass workers and get a couple of bottles done for future use.

I dug around in the liquor cabinet and did find a square plastic bottle of Burnette's Vodka, almost empty. A friend of mine drinks it, and must have left it here some time ago. Cool. I dumped the vodka into a jar for future celebratory Bloody Marys. I cut the bottom out, and proceeded to make my cone and stuff it with my moistened ground herb.

I topped the upper layer of filter paper with a nice quartz crystal for weight and added my merc. Waited for the menstrum to slowly perc down through the seed and drip a couple of times into the waiting jar. It worked! No trickling down the sides, no air bubbles at all. Beginner's luck!! :)

So now it's sitting on my counter balanced between my canisters until tonight, when I'll loosen the cap and let it slowly decant. If all continues to go well I'll have my Vet's order filled tomorrow.

I only used enough of the nettle seed to make 10 oz or so of tincture.

Update tonight!

Blessings,
GrannySam
 
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Postby jim mcdonald » Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:52 am

cool - I know the "counterbalance" game well.

Again, to save you from a lot of obligatory growling, check the drip periodically; its not uncommon at all to be getting the ideal drip everysecond or so, and then walk away and have it stop dripping entirely. So, start it early evening and check it till you go to bed, rather than getting it going before bed and checking it in the morning. Mischevious percolation faeries, bummed out that they get so little work nowadays will surely visit and readjust the tension of your cap or cork as soon as you walk away.
jim mcdonald
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Postby GrannySam » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:12 am

Thanks Jim,

I'll start it early on and babysit it for awhile. No reason it can't sit on the coffee table while I watch TV.

I know about mischevious fairies! I recently adopted a new kitten, named her Chepi (Algonquin word for Fairy), and man does she ever fit the name.

She keeps stealing things from me, and bringing them back a week or so later. She kept my bear claw in its tiny leather pouch for almost two weeks, then brought it back to me one evening. I guess she was finished with it. When I discussed it with her she brought me a gift; a pretty little belled bracelet I'd never seen before. I might have to speak to her again before bedtime. :)

Blessings,
GrannySam
 
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Postby GrannySam » Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:00 pm

Success!

I perc'd the tincture last night, with it sitting on the end table by my chair as I watched TV. You were right Jim, it does take a lot of watching and minor adjustments to keep the flow at one drop every three seconds.

I kept an eye on it for about three hours, then moved it to the island in the kitchen so Chepi wouldn't "help" me with it during the night.

When I got up this morning it was finished, a beautiful rich dark emerald green, with almost no residue. It made my 8 oz I owed my Vet, so I bottled it up and took it to her when I took my dog for his checkup.

It's great to have an option and a way to make tinctures up quickly as needed. I'm going to go ahead and get two bottles cut and some cork and tubing to do a better job next time.

Thanks for the help and suggestions, southernmutha and Jim and Luvmyweeds. It made a big difference to have some advice first hand.

Blessings,
GrannySam
 
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Postby southernmutha » Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:40 pm

Awesome!
It's fun, eh? :D
Dripping precolation cones are as tempting as freshly folded laundry to my cats.
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