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Making Essential Oils — The Grow Network Community
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Making Essential Oils

JensJens Posts: 535 ✭✭✭✭
edited September 2018 in DIY Tutorials
I have distilled my own oils before mostly evergreen/fir oils..youll need a set up like this one https://bellatory.com/fragrances/how-to-distill-essential-oils (its also a great website)

other than the sheer amount of plant material needed to produce a very small amount of Essential Oil there really arent any not obvious tips, especially if you are familiar with distillation.

also when you distill EO you also by default get hydrosol which is also great for the same uses as the EO but because its water based better for baths, pillow sprays and room sprays!
Id love to see how your project comes out
Heather

Comments

  • JensJens Posts: 535 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Thank you Heather for the interesting link. It looks like what I thought I would need. Well the next step will be sourcing  the parts.

     

    I will keep you updated on the progress.
  • JatataJatata Posts: 7
    edited September 2018
    Can anyone tell me if this is what an Calendula infused canola oil should look like? I let it sit for 48 hours after a 24 hour 1:1 100 proof vodka soak, then filtered it 5! times! Help!
  • H_DH_D Posts: 384 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I cant tell if that is sediment on the bottom of a reaction of alcohol and oil mixed together.
    what are you using to filter with?

    I cant say I have ever mixed an alcohol extract with an oil base for a final product, alcohol and oil dont mix well.

    Personally, I would infuse the calendula directly into the oil youre using especially if youre going to make a salve or lotion..May want to use olive, hemp seed or grapeseed oils rather than canola oil (fruit, seed and nut oils are healthy for the body, genetically modified oils and vegetable oils are not)

    Heather
  • JatataJatata Posts: 7
    edited September 2018
    There isn't any sediment on the bottom, it's pure calendula oil, the deep red I would have expected. There is calendula sediment in the middle layer, I've filtered it 5 times, using coffee filters, cotton/polyester handkerchiefs, and muslin. The top layer is the bulk of the canola oil, it does have a nice calendula smell and slight color. But I don't understand why it has separated the way it did. And if I can use all three layers?

    I followed a recipe to use 2 oz Calendula flowers and 2 oz of 50% alcohol in a blender, let it sit. Blend it periodically again. The alcohol all but evaporated. Add oil (I used canola it's what I had on hand) and infuse for hours.

    Then I filtered it, 5 times. I don't know why this happened.
  • H_DH_D Posts: 384 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    the separation is the alcohol left over and the oil..they dont mix well

    I would either infuse into alcohol or into oil but not both.

    For a tincture you should let it sit at least 2 weeks if not longer..alcohol can evaporate if you leave the top open but there is always some left over within the plant. Unless you completly dried the herb or replaced the alcohol with glycerin and evaporated the alcohol that way youre going to have this issue.

    Speaking of the plant was it dried or fresh calendula? there would be a different ratio of alcohol to plant material if it was fresh.

    Again oil and water dont mix..alcohol that is 50% is also 50% water..

    HTH Heather
  • JatataJatata Posts: 7
    edited September 2018
    The alcohol evaporated.
  • StacyLouStacyLou Southern WisconsinPosts: 89 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I’ve had a lot of different experiments that didn’t turn out like I hoped they would. Don’t give up! Keep trying new recipes and you’ll find one that works!

    I’ve not come across a recipe that uses both alcohol and oil, so I can only make guesses as to what is going on.

    If you used fresh calendula - it could be the water from the flowers that is causing separation. I tend to dry herbs that are going to be mixed in oil (there are exceptions - like St. John’s Wort).

    I agree with Heather - oil and alcohol don’t mix well. Plant material can hold a lot of liquid, so maybe it had more alcohol than you thought?

    I’ve gotta run, but I’ll post the Calendula infused oil recipe I use either tonight or tomorrow.

     
  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 699 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I agree with Stacylou.  I don't think the alcohol evaporated, but was absorbed by the plant material.  My suggestion is to taste the bottom layer and see if it tastes like alcohol
  • JatataJatata Posts: 7
    edited September 2018
    I'm not sure how to take all this. If you look at The Grow Network "Calendula Infused Oil: Dried Plant Method" by Kami McBride, the ingredients clearly list Vodka. The instructions clearly say how to use it. I've done exactly as instructed and got the result above.

    The comfrey infusion I made with the exact same method, measures, ingredients, didn't do this. Is there somebody who could help me figure this out?

    Thank,

    Ann
  • H_DH_D Posts: 384 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    if the alcohol evaporated (i am assuming so did ALL the water) then what was the point of using alcohol? So there had to be some alcohol/water content left over (unless you used an herb press to get all the water out of the marigold) ..you most likely have ended up with a layer of lipids from the alcohol extraction part that mixed with water causing this odd layer. (marigold is a moist plant even when dried and its also has a very high lipid content) Comfrey I am assuming you used the root, that doesn't extract the same as a flower

    With all that said try putting your jar in the freezer (so the lipids congeal and become even thicker and then strain it ice cold so you can get the lipids out (lipids won't strain easily through a coffee filter or if you're using a metal micron filter i would opt for a 10 or 25 micron filter). thats my best guess.

    Regardless of what recipe you've found online, The best way to make an infused oil is to simply infuse the oil with dry herbs, the best way to make a tincture is to extract with alcohol again using dry herbs, I tend to leave the fresh herbs for tea making or fomentation.

    The only herb I have used both alcohol and water with is cannabis (which you can actually get all of the alcohol and water out of using an her press and then heating the liquid to evaporate everything but the resin. That resin then can be infused into an oil base.

    Also could be the canola oil. Maybe it was old, or because of the way they process the the seeds of the plant to produce the oil, maybe there was some hexane left over..All possible factors but most likely not the culprit.
    Heather
  • alindsay22alindsay22 Posts: 129 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Pacaranchgirl,

    I've seen that video as well and was interested in the alcohol step as I have never seen it done before.  It makes sense that it would extract better than oils but it also makes sense that they don't mix well.  I'm going to give this method a try and I will let you know how it works for me.  I've made oil infusions for years so I'll have a good feel for the difference the vodka makes.   Did you use powdered calendula?
  • JatataJatata Posts: 7
    edited September 2018
    I used dried flowers and crushed them up pretty good with my mortar and pestle. Thank you for looking at this. Kami is featured on this site quite a bit. I'm a little surprised by the answers I've been getting. I'm very interested to know if it works the same for you or not. Thanks.

    -Ann
  • StacyLouStacyLou Southern WisconsinPosts: 89 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I’m interested in knowing how it turns out as well! I just read the notes from the video you referenced and she does use both alcohol and oil. It’s the first time I’ve seen that.  I’ve watched videos and read other articles by Kami and they’ve all been informative.

    Everyone has different ways that work for them. I hope you can make this one work for you. I’ll hold off on sharing my recipe - it’s not the information you wanted.

    Keep us posted!

     
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