Thursday, November 24, 2011

Making Infused Oil With Juniper Berries - Part 2

Not long ago (ok, ages ago) I started to infuse some sweet almond oil with fresh organic juniper berries. After the obligatory 4-6 weeks of turning the bottles every day (and doing the occasional nose test to  ensure all was progressing in a proper manner), I pulled out my equipment to strain the oil, and then realized there was no cheesecloth.

The Cheesecloth Quest
One would think a dairy country like Denmark would be bursting with cheesecloth, wouldn't one? Apparantly not. After visits to several fabric stores, hobby stores, kitchen supplies stores – even supermarkets and cheese shops – I started phoning around to spare myself travel time.

Skip forward 2 weeks.

Welcome To Cheesecloth City - All Cheesecloth All the Time!
Yay! Finally a store that carried cheesecloth! My excitement over seeing an actual bolt of cheesecloth caused me to buy several meters of the stuff. (I can positively say there is no way am I going to run out of cheesecloth any time in the near future). After washing it (with soapnuts), I could finally get back to the juniper-infused oil.

Here's how it went:

Equipment list
- Oil that has been infusing for 4-6 weeks (You can do this with any number of dried herbs or spices)
- A funnel
- A beaker
- Latex gloves (incredibly desirable)
- Cheesecloth


Place the funnel over the jar/beaker and line it with cheesecloth. Strain the infused oil.

Give it ample time to drip through.

For this next part, it's a real good idea to put the gloves on. Collect the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze to get the final amount of oil out.

Pour the strained oil into a clean container.

Label and date the container.

I'll bet you're wondering why I have 2 bottles here. I infused 2 different sweet almond oils and will be sharing what I used them for real soon!

PS: I was quite amazed that the oil wasn't all that 'juniper-scented' as I strained it. Next batch, I am going to try crushing the berries before straining to see if it makes a difference.

See the first post on infusing oil with juniper berries here.

11 comments:

Felecia Scott said...

Congrats Lise on your first attempt. It took me about 4 batches to get get the feel of making infused oils. Once you get it down and you will it's a whole new world of experimenting with different ingredients.
I'm glad you didn't cook it like some people. In my opinion and from my batches that I made with heat. The ones without it came out better.
I wanted to say great job!

Lise M Andersen said...

Thanks so much Felecia! I am honored to have received such praise from my source of inspiration!! :)

Anonymous said...

How do you ensure that the oil doesn't spoil?
I've just set up a small batch of black tea in almond oil, was thinking it only needed to sit a week... but maybe i should leave it longer... :D I'm excited to see what happens.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi! The best way to ensure it doesn't spoil is to be sure you are working with sterilized equipment and containers, and that everything is 100% water-free(so if you have boiled the jar and lid, be sure they have had ample time to dry completely before proceeding. Then, it is a matter of doing a 'scent test' regularly. If the oil does 'go off', then your nose will detect it and the mixture needs to be discarded. I admit I was a little wary as I was using fresh juniper berries (and therefore a possible water content), but this batch came out just fine (to my surprise and delight). Also, if you are in doubt, always start with a small batch. This was my first attempt, so I did a pretty small batch (I really wasn't expecting it to come out ok, but it did!)
Your black tea in almond oil sounds absolutely wonderful. What are you going to use the oil for afterwards?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of putting it in a cheap roller ball vial and using it as an short acting portable perfume. or in place of plain oil in a homemade lotion. But I think It will probably end up in the roller ball.

Lise M Andersen said...

Those both sound like good options! :)

Anonymous said...

Is there a link to part one? I live in sedona, az and am surrounded by juniper bushes/trees. Looking to make my first attemp at a fresh juniper infused oil for massage. Thanks!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Anon- check the bottom sentence of this post. It is a link to part 1.

:)

Hope it turns out well for you!

Lise M Andersen said...

PS. I envy you living in Sedona- what a gorgeous area!

kristen said...

Hi from 3 years later! Did you try crushing the juniper berries? I have some and I would love to try this oil infusion. Thanks!

Lise M Andersen said...

Hey there Kristen - Thanks for checking back! I am embarrassed to say this is STILL on my to do list. I have in the meantime had communications with several folks who do infuse their own oils and everyone I've asked agrees that crushing the berries first makes for an optimal effect. How did yours turn out?