Tincture Handbook: Part 9 - Maceration Duration and Herb Extraction Time

by Jason J. Duke - Owner/Artisan

Fresh Content: September 8, 2022 23:51

Maceration of Flowers 

The process of making a tincture by extracting herbs is maceration. The duration of maceration depends on how it is processed.

Fresh herbs tend to extract faster than dried herbs. Dried herbs tend to extract longer than fresh herbs, because they must be reconstituted during the time of maceration.

Smaller and thinner cuts tend to extract faster than larger and thicker cuts. Cut and sift is the best quality to use when extracting fresh and/or dried herbs, either a coarse cut or fine cut, which has had the powder from cutting sifted out, will work very well.

Powders extract fastest, but may not be appropriate for bitter herbs, herbs high in tannin, and spicy tinctures, because this makes them overly unpleasant, astringent and drying, and off-putting.

When doing homemade tinctures the bottle containing the macerated herbs should be flipped over back and forth gently several times daily to disturb the herbs and assist extraction.

Fresh Herb Maceration Times

Fresh flowers, leaves, and stem parts will macerate and finish extraction time depending on their thickness.

  • Hydroalcohol: 1-3 days
  • Glycerite: 7-14 days
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 7-14 days
  • Oil: 1 month

Fresh berries will macerate in time that depends on the overall surface area with larger berries taking longer.

  • Hydroalcohol: 2-7 days
  • Glycerite: 7-14 days
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 7-14 days
  • Oil: 1 month

Fresh roots, bark, seeds, and fungi will macerate in time that depends on the size of the pieces of the parts.

  • Hydroalcohol: 3-7 days
  • Glycerite: 10-21 days
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 14-21 days
  • Oil: 1 month

Dried Herb Maceration Times

Whole dried maceration times depends on how fibrous the parts are before extraction.

  • Hydroalcohol: 5-18 days
  • Glycerite: 10-21 days
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 month
  • Oil: 1 month

Cut-and-sifted will macerate with leaves taking the least amount of time, berries taking a moderate amount of time, and bark and roots taking the longest.

  • Hydroalcohol: 3-14 days
  • Glycerite: 7-21 days
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 3-4 weeks
  • Oil: 1 month

Slices of roots will macerate in a time that depends on the thickness, with thicker roots taking more time.

  • Hydroalcohol: 5-14 days
  • Glycerite: 10-21 days
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 3-4 weeks
  • Oil: 1 month

Powder will macerate in a very short period of time. Glycerites and oil extraction tinctures are not recommended for powdered herbs since they will form a gritty out-of-balance impartial extraction with much of the marc remaining in the liquid extract.

  • Hydroalcohol: 4 hours up to 3 days
  • Glycerite: not recommended
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 8 hours up to 3 days
  • Oil: not recommended

Tincture Handbook

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