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Straining infused oils

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eyeroll

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To set the scene, you should know I'd washed a couple martini glasses and they were in the drying rack when I decided to strain my alkanet infused olive oil. First I thought to myself, "Self, I'm so proud you let that oil cold-infuse for six weeks. You should have a drink to congratulate yourself after you strain this."

I put a piece of pantyhose over the mouth of the jar, attached with a rubberband, and tried to pour it. This was a nightmare because all the powder just clogged up the pantyhose/filter and stopped the straining completely. I saw the martini glasses shining in the flourescent light. "Self," I said, "this is a PITA. You need a drink after this."

I changed gears and put the remainder of the OO and alkanet powder in a French press. This was much faster and most of the powder stayed in the press, but the oil was still pretty gritty. So after cleaning off the martini glasses (which had somehow gotten spattered with blood-colored OO, along with every other surface in the kitchen), I re-strained the oil a second time.

I am really uninterested in repeating this process, but I also have a jar of paprika OO in the cabinet. Does anyone have a better technique, or is this as good as it gets? If so, I definitely need a drink.
 

ocean_soul

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Ah, straining, what a pain! I guess next time you could get those sealable tea bags and place your herbs in those suckers. Sometimes when I'm infusing a small amount of oils and herbs/spices together I let the oil sit so the powder sinks to the bottom of the container and then I pour the oil out slowly and carefully. I don't get all the oil out that way but I don't have to strain the stuff either so it works for me.
 

houseofwool

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I tried the tea bags, but didn't get a great infusion that way. It sucks, but generally just let the infusions drip away for most of a day while I do other stuff.
 

green soap

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Wow martinis are strong! I guess so is alkanet....

I own a large funnel with a detachable fine mesh strainer that I use for those tasks. Available at most wine or beer making supply stores.
 

heather s

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I think it's a pain no matter the method. I use cheesecloth over the container that it is going into. No grit. Messy.
 

Obsidian

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I use panty hose but put on rubber gloves so I can squeeze the oil out instead of waiting for it to drip through.
 

eyeroll

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I use panty hose but put on rubber gloves so I can squeeze the oil out instead of waiting for it to drip through.

Oh, ffs. This never even occurred to me. *headdesk*

Thanks for the suggestions, all. And I just want to clarify that I did not in fact drink three martinis this morning (though if I had it would explain the substandard problem solving mentioned above.)
 

Lin

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Thats what I do, panty hose and squeezing. I hate using cheese cloth personally. I'm really wanting to get a french press to make things easier.
 

Bayougirl

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Someone on another forum said they use paint sieves, made with paper. It's a cone with a sieve on the bottom of it. I bought 3 for around a dollar. I have some calendula infusing in olive oil that I need to strain, I'll probably try it out this week.
 

saurian

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Would a coffee filter work?
I haven't tried this yet, but I was planning to use the old style coffee filter, kind of a plastic cone with a fitted paper filter. After all if it can remove fine ground coffee it should work for most things.
 

SoapMakingTommy

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Your best bet if you are willing to spend a few more dollars is if you could set up a small buchner funnel apparatus .
Basically has a suction made by hand or pump from the bottom of the container that draws preasure sucking anything from the filter paper, it can speed things up dramatically.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%BCchner_funnel

Heres a picture:
 
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heather s

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Ohh. That thing looks like an awesome time and mess saver!
 

Jan Johnson

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I find that clean, unbleached muslin will do a fair job. Somewhat between panty hose and coffee filters both in efficiency and time. The fibers don’t stretch as much as panty hose when you attempt to wring the last of the oil out, which allows some of the fine powder through. I just don’t have the patience for coffee filters. I love the idea of the buchner funnel, but I’m wondering how much hand strength it takes and would it really completely eliminate the small stuff. Has anyone used one for our purposes? If the buchner funnel would do the job, I want one!
 

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