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infusing botanicals help!!

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CTAnton

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Hey guys and girls!
So here I am batch 2 trying to infuse herbs over low heat on the stove. I put batch 1 over the small burner and set it on the lowest setting. Batch 1 is in the garbage. It burnt. Did some research and it's recommended not to exceed 150F. Well with a diffuser on my smallest burner this second batch already hit 164. Just was wondering if there's some sort of kitchen gadget I don't ALREADY have that would keep things below 140F or so.Even my crockpots go higher than that on low.I'm all ears gang!
 

kumudini

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If you are infusing dried herbs, a double boiler would do. For fresh herbs, you'll need the direct heat, most likely an electric burner. Use a heavy bottom pan and lowest heat setting and most importantly keep an eye. For fresh ones, you would want to heat until all the bubbles( from moisture evaporating) die out but not much more after, so you really need to keep an eye.
 

CTAnton

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yes I'm infusing in olive oil lavender and calendula...they say in the recipe to heat the oil for 4 hours....seems excessive to me but I'm willing to hear from the pros...
 

Lion Of Judah

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look at the bottom of this page you will see other links to forum topics on the same subject , sure one may have the answer you seek .
don't know if this is what you trying to achieve : [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e095va7iAX0[/ame]
 

not_ally

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Infusing fresh herbs supposedly leads to mold b/c of the moisture content.

I use one of these ($4.00 at Brambleberry), stick it in the bottom of a big pot w/water and put a smaller pot w/the oil and a teabag of dried herbs in it and keep it going on a low simmer (just make sure you check on the water and refill if necessary).

http://www.brambleberry.com/Double-Boiler-Maker-Double-Boiler-Maker-P3796.aspx
 

Lion Of Judah

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yes I'm infusing in olive oil lavender and calendula...they say in the recipe to heat the oil for 4 hours....seems excessive to me but I'm willing to hear from the pros...
i infuse mine from 4-5 hours . its not about speed/fast , slow and steady wins the race , you want the botanical to release its properties at its timely rate . and you heating it in hot water / boiling at medium steady heat.
 

kumudini

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That long cook time is to effectively eliminate all the moisture from the fresh herbs. Its definitely not about a set length of time on a given temp setting. you really have to baby sit a fresh herbal infusion, you have to make sure all bubbles are gone and turn heat off immediately. It could be done safely, it has been done for ages.
 

jenneelk

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I infuse and tincture quite a bit with around 50+ herbs here. lol My favorite is Calendula.. smell is just amazing.
Your best way to infuse is with time, in a jar, near a window... but I know that's not always practical. So IMO second best is in a mason jar in low heat simmering water for several hours or longer if you can wait. Stove top you can do but yeah you do run the risk of burning or overheat and loosing all the medicinal properties. If you do the stove, I would suggest heating it up to 120-130 (that's the highest I personally go) then turning off.. then back on when it drops. I have done this when in a pickle and need a small bit quickly for my kids or myself for something. A little time heavy but it doesn't take long to get to 120-130 and then a while to cool off so you can go do something else before returning.
 
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CTAnton

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thank you all for some great tips and websites! I'm going to do the window/time/jar thing tomorrow BUT in the mean time I'm doing the double boiler thang and yes, I can't stray too far but better than throwing away burnt olive oil...I hate waste! Thanks to you all!
 

cmzaha

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I regularly infuse carrots, simmering until all the bubbles are gone. Have never had a problem with my carrot oil.
I also infuse fresh herbs in a pressure cooker with water and oil for an hour. Once I can remove the lid I press all the plant matter through a ricer then strain the oil and water mixture to remove all plant matter into a plastic container and freeze the oil and water. After frozen you can scrape the oil off the frozen water. Usually the water will look brown and the oil green. Once in a while I have to re-freeze in a flat container and scrape off any remaining water. With this method I only use the top 3/4 of the oil for lotions and save the rest for soap just in case there is a little remaining water
 

not_ally

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Jen, 50+ herbs??!! You are so lucky ....

Do you have all those in your garden, if not, where?
 

Dahila

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Why not? I would think it would be fine so long as you stop once the bubbling stops?

I infused oil with fresh grated carrots this way and it was fine
Sonia I am 60 years old and at least 45 of that, working with herbs, My grandma and mom knew the herbs and were teaching me, In so many years of doing it, I had seen a lot. I am so **** against fresh botanical , I am scared of botulism. It is serious. Every fresh herb contains water, and is prone to contamination. Cooking it suppose to kill the bacteria, I use fresh herbs in extracts, when I use good quality alcohol:)
I infuse my botanicals very dry, Dry in olive oil. I use cold infusion. I believe cold infusion is much better, it is my opinion.
soap; the bacteria not suppose to survive the lye, but why taking the chances.
Of course you decide what you do:))
 
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jenneelk

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Jen, 50+ herbs??!! You are so lucky ....

Do you have all those in your garden, if not, where?
I have some here but I prefer to only use dried I buy for the reasons Dahila mentioned.. fresh with water content I just don't like to deal or worry with. Dried has always worked very well for me with great results in whatever I'm doing whether it's a tea, infusion, etc. so I stick with it. :)
There are lots because I'm a perpetual researcher and love to dabble in lots of creating and herbs are a favorite passion of mine. Tonight I actually made my elderberry syrup once again as my eldest was screaming for it after my youngest 5 year old came down with croup and I'm also getting sick. My youngest also has my vapor rub I made on her feet cause she is puking from all her coughing. :(
But yeah.. I make lots of things and working on more all the time. Haha. My big one is a recipe for my sons ADHD but that's a hard one I have yet to finish. Just got done with my migraine tincture yesterday and it's tincing now. :) I get them something awful and hate paying $300 for 9 pills.

Guess I rambled!
 
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Dorymae

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I infuse dry herbs by heating oil, taking off the heat and pouring it over dry herbs in a canning jar. Place the jar in a cool dry place and shake it every few days. I don't rush this, in a month I have a very well infused oil.
 

not_ally

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That is fascinating, Jen. I bet you and Dahila could spend hours sharing experiences about this. I think it is great that this knowledge is being used/preserved, and not just for soap. My sister gets migraines, too, they are awful. If you can figure out a natural approach to ADHD you should market it, so many kids seem to have issues w/that these days.

Hope the kiddies and you are feeling better, or will soon. All sick at once, that is no fun. Especially for mama.
 

Sonya-m

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Sonia I am 60 years old and at least 45 of that, working with herbs, My grandma and mom knew the herbs and were teaching me, In so many years of doing it, I had seen a lot. I am so **** against fresh botanical , I am scared of botulism. It is serious. Every fresh herb contains water, and is prone to contamination. Cooking it suppose to kill the bacteria, I use fresh herbs in extracts, when I use good quality alcohol:)
I infuse my botanicals very dry, Dry in olive oil. I use cold infusion. I believe cold infusion is much better, it is my opinion.
soap; the bacteria not suppose to survive the lye, but why taking the chances.
Of course you decide what you do:))

Yeah there is water in fresh herbs but that's why I said about boiling until the bubbling stops (I know lots of people use carrots this way without issue)

I do have a question for you though, you said you use fresh when using good quality alcohol (I assume to kill anything nasty that may be present) - surely if alcohol is gonna protect you from whatever was in there then lye definitely would?

On a side note, this is another reason I love this forum - so many different views and opinions.

Ps its Sonya not Sonia (really not being funny but it's a life long annoyance when my name is spelt wrong)
 

vmakkers

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Hey guys and girls!
So here I am batch 2 trying to infuse herbs over low heat on the stove. I put batch 1 over the small burner and set it on the lowest setting. Batch 1 is in the garbage. It burnt. Did some research and it's recommended not to exceed 150F. Well with a diffuser on my smallest burner this second batch already hit 164. Just was wondering if there's some sort of kitchen gadget I don't ALREADY have that would keep things below 140F or so.Even my crockpots go higher than that on low.I'm all ears gang!
I've been toying with the idea of throwing my mason jars of herbal infusions into my immersion circulator. I have the Anova which is pretty awesome. I like it because it can attach to any pot or container and doesn't take up as much counter space. It makes probably the best steaks I've ever had and it's so versatile. It will for sure maintain any temp you want, only thing is figuring out how to work with the amount of water necessary to run the circulator and not have the jars float.
 

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