Herbal Tincture How To - Straining and Bottling
The Final ProcessGather the following items:
- Tincture mixture that has been infusing for 3-6 weeks (see how to do that part in this post)
- Clean muslin cloth (or unbleached coffee filters)
- Beaker or glass container
- Bottle for your finished product
- Label for the bottle
Ensure all of your equipment is clean. Even though this tincture is alcohol-based, it is always a good idea to start and finish with clean equipment in a clean environment.
Prepare to StrainLine the funnel with a double layer of muslin. The double layer will help keep any sediment from the herbs from slipping through. If you prefer to use coffee filters, use unbleached filters and double up so you are straining through 2 layers.
TIP: Strain into a container that is easy to pour from. You will be pouring directly from this container into your final bottle. I like the precision of the spout on my beakers, but any glass pitcher with a spout will do.
Here's Why: Straining into a glass container allows for a visual check before bottling. Should any sediment slip through, it's a snap to re-filter the liquid.
Speaking of SedimentHere's my best tip for a sediment-free tincture (with many plant materials): Let the liquid drip through the plant material on its own.
Unless the plant material is really really dense..I recently did a chamomile tincture where the remaining plant material was so dense it kept holding on to a good portion of liquid. In cases such as these, you'll want to don latex gloves and gently squeeze the remaining liquid, then filter the mixture again.
The Spent MaterialHere is the spent mallow after straining next to a few of the (original) dried flowers. The deep purple color it started out with has left the plant material and become part of the tincture.
BottlingFor optimal conditions, pour your tincture into a dark glass bottle with a tight-fitting cap.
TIP: As a general rule, avoid storing alcohol-based tinctures in plastic containers.
Finishing UpFinally, add a label to the bottle with the name of your tincture. Be sure to add the date as well. You may think you're going to remember when you made it, but you won't. Honest. You really won't.
My date-label isn't visible above because I always place mine separately on the bottom of my bottles.