Heat Infusion for Oil

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CGBryce

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(My first post here, so please forgive me if I have posted in the wrong section.)

Not new to soapmaking, but new to making infused oils. Because of various reasons, heat infusion is my best option right now. I am using a water bath in a slow cooker on warm. The water temp stays between 110-120 degrees F. I have found a few different sources that give different amounts of time to infuse. Some say 4-6 hours, others say up to 24.
I infused the oils (2 pint jars of extra virgin olive oil, one lavender, one calendula) for about 4-5 hours yesterday. Using the same method, could I infuse them again today for longer? Or would I risk damaging what has already infused?
(I am using a towel on the bottom of the slow cooker, and checking them frequently, to make sure there is no burning.)

I do understand that cold infusion is the best process, but like I already said, not my best option right now.
 
I may be wrong, but my opinion is that it is better to do one long infusion, rather than several short ones.

First, I don't see what is gained by several short infusions. You've let everything cool off and now are using more energy to heat it back up again.

Second, my understanding is that multiple reheatings of oils tends to degrade them faster.

Finally, I'd be concerned that multiple heat-cool cycles would be more conducive to microbial growth. Personally, once I've finished a heat infusion, I strain off the plant material so there is less chance of that.

I'd love to hear from someone with more scientific knowledge on these issues, to clarify whether I'm correct about any of that.
 
I may be wrong, but my opinion is that it is better to do one long infusion, rather than several short ones.

First, I don't see what is gained by several short infusions. You've let everything cool off and now are using more energy to heat it back up again.

Second, my understanding is that multiple reheatings of oils tends to degrade them faster.

Finally, I'd be concerned that multiple heat-cool cycles would be more conducive to microbial growth. Personally, once I've finished a heat infusion, I strain off the plant material so there is less chance of that.

I'd love to hear from someone with more scientific knowledge on these issues, to clarify whether I'm correct about any of that.
I did not intend to do multiple infusions. I am new at this and I don't think I infused them long enough yesterday. Which is why I am looking for more information.
 
Since you’re infusing flower petals I would opt for as short and gentle as you can. That’s why a cold infusion is more appropriate for them. I would say, you’re already there with your infusion. Decoctions or hot infusions are for roots, twigs and berries, things that take a more forceful treatment. I understand needing a quicker infusion and doing the best you can with the time you have.
 
I use an alcohol intermediary method for oil infusions. Using the alcohol helps to extract the chemicals that would not extract in the oil. A by-product of this method - decreases the possibility of little buggies making it through the infusion process. :nodding:

It does add additional time to my infusions, but they last longer and are more potent.
 

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