Home page Forums Herbal Remedy Making can a tincture ferment (before it’s strained)?

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    • #10050
      kirstenkirsten
      Wildling

      Hi all! I was blessed to find a gigantic PNW reishi (Ganoderma oregonense) last month, and promptly harvested and tinctured it in 80p vodka (it was the best I could find on such short notice). It filled 10 quart jars! I filled the jars pretty full with chopped mushroom, maybe an inch from the top, and made sure the vodka completely covered it with room to spare. However as the mushrooms soaked it up, a very tiny little bit of the mushrooms started sticking out over the vodka (I’ve been living out of my car the past few months, so kind of had to make do with the jars I had, though in hindsight I probably should have filled them less full with plant matter and bought a couple more jars for the extra). I’ve been shaking them every day, and they’ve been infusing for 2.5 weeks now. I just opened them to inspect everything, though, and when I took the lids off, was greeted with the suspicious slight pop that you get when you open something fermented, and a tiny little rush of teeny-tiny bubbles came to the surface. So now I’m freaked out: did they ferment? I’ve never experienced this in all my years of making tinctures… and if they did ferment, are they ruined? Did I accidentally ruin 10 quarts of tincture?!

      Thank you, oh wise ones, for any insight you might have…!

    • #10059

      Hello Kirsten!

      Interesting! It sounds like some fermentation did occur. Mushrooms need at the least, a double, if not triple, extraction method, using heat as part of the extraction.

      Polysaccharides (beta-glucans) are not destroyed by heat or digestive enzymes; in fact they need heat to extract. Polysaccharides decrease inflammatory cytokines and are immune modulating. Polysaccharides stimulate the parasympathetic action to produce mucus, our body’s natural demulcent, to soothe dry, irritated tissues and conduct microbes and particulates out of the body. Contained in the chiton (cell walls), polysaccharides act as a prebiotic (as most fiber does) to support beneficial bacteria and decrease non beneficial bacteria.

      The following is my favorite way to extract the medicine of mushrooms. What is great about this method is that the first extraction is cold, so the heat sensitive constituents are preserved and will be added at the 3rd extraction:

      1st extraction in alcohol: Break apart 1 ounce dried or 2 ounces fresh reishi mushrooms in a half pint jar. Fill the jar with 190 proof (95%) alcohol. Label, cover, and allow to macerate for 48 hours. Press the alcohol from the fungus (wring in a nut bag, for instance), and set aside the alcohol.

      2nd extraction in water: Place the mushrooms in a crockpot or soup pot, cover with 4 cups water, and allow to simmer for 2-12 hours. Watch carefully to ensure that the water doesn’t evaporate completely out. You’ll want to end up with 1/3 cup decoction.

      3rd extraction combo of 1st and 2nd extractions: Put mushrooms and decoction in a jar, leaving 1/3rd of the jar empty. Fill to the brim with your 1st alcohol extraction. Cover and allow to macerate for a few weeks. Press out the mushrooms and you have your triple extraction – containing the volatile compounds, polysaccharides, triterpenes, fatty acids, and phenolic compounds.

      I hope this helps!

      xo

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