Tincture Press and new herbals

6 Feb

The final tincture press assembly, with 'the tank'

While getting into making our own tinctures and teas, we have found it essential that we research how to make our plant medicines sufficiently potent; extracting all compounds and plant oils to ensure higher medicinal value. After completing our Echinacea purpurea root tincture, we found that the roots needed to be pressed much more thoroughly than just that of a soft leaf or flower extract.

This past month we have designed and created a rather large hydraulic tincture press made of recycled hardwood, salvaged from a construction waste pile, 10 long hardened carriage bolts (used to build decks), some thrifted stainless-steel mixing bowls, and lastly… a 20 ton hydraulic jack!! Now, you do not need anywhere near a 10 ton press to accomplish the task of squeezing out all the compounds and moisture, but that is all we could conjure-cleaning was of the utmost priority upon discovery. We found this red ‘tank’ in the shop, covered in layers of grease and oil. It was destined for the metal scrap bin, so we salvaged it and after a thorough cleanse, mounted it to the base. It ended up being a perfect match as the height increment of each lever-pump is extremely small, allowing us to slowly compress the cheese-cloth bag of roots or leaves without catastrophe. The pump lever was also rusted and seized so we fixed that and now have a perfect working pump for the press!

After completing the press just over a week ago, we have pressed one of the most commonly used and popular herbs in the west; Echinacea root. Cayenne pepper extract has also been pressed this week and the results were great, now that the cheesecloth can be thoroughly squeezed and the catch bowl holds onto any liquids that are released. We then finish off by sanitizing all our bottles and pouring the  extracts into our dropper bottles and label/date
them!

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