I DID SCIENCE!
Several weeks back, a friend told me about tinctures. I am nothing if not easily swayed by complicated arts and crafts, so I did some reading and set about to make some tincture. And I did! Here are words:
First up, I needed to pick a base for my tincture. You need something insanely strong with as high a proof as possible, like Everclear. Did you know that you can’t buy Everclear in Canada? I mean, you can, but it’s available in like two strip mall liquor stores in northern Alberta. I wasn’t about to go to Alberta, but we were in the US at the time so instead we just went to Safeway. Much easier than Alberta. We brought the bottle home (Ed tells me I imagined the judgemental side eye from the border guard when we declared it), and I set about readying my supplies.
Next: the weed. We had a lot of weed. I sacrificed my entire Polite Company Weed stash (my least favourite weed, set aside to offer guests that I don’t know well. this is not something that actually happens.), along with the remains of the ounce of Blueberry Pie I had purchased last month to craft with (except it turned out to be exceptionally great weed sooo). At the last second, I decided to keep the PCW separate from the Blueberry Pie for Reasons I will inevitably share below.
I decarbed the weed in the oven for about an hour. The PCW toasted up nice and brown, but I had to put the (much fresher) Blueberry Pie back in the oven for a little more love. I’m not confident it was decarbed as much as it could have been, but Impatient Science waits for no one.
After decarbing, I measured the weed: 23.63g of PCW, and 12.69g of Blueberry Pie. NEAT!
This is where the separate weed piles came into play. Instead of making one big batch of PCW Tincture, I made two batches: one of each. I really enjoy the effects of the Blueberry Pie weed, so I wanted to see what it would be like in other formats. Can’t do that if it’s all in one pile. I did only have one bottle of Everclear, but that was easy to deal with:
I had two mason jars, so I made two tinctures. The smaller one is 8g of Blueberry Pie in 250ml of Everclear, the other is all 23.63g of PCW in 500ml of Everclear.
But wait, you think. Wasn’t there 12.69g of Blueberry pie? Why’d you only infuse 8g?
I set 4.69g of Blueberry Pie aside to infuse into 250ml of MCT coconut oil. It’ll be turned into lotion or gummies this weekend!
Anyway, back to the tincture. I set the jars aside in a cupboard, and shook them once a day. I was unsure how long I needed to let it sit: Goat advised a month or more, and the internet waffled between 20 minutes (!!) and overnight. I decided to let it sit for 5 or so days and was too impatient to wait any longer.
TIME TO MAKE A MESS!
I hauled the jars out of the cupboard to see what I was working with. It was TERRIBLY STINKY! Not from the weed, that smelled great – alcohol is gross, y’all.
I don’t have any coffee filters, but we strained the liquid with a tea strainer and it seemed to work really well. After infusing, I was left with what you see above: 225ml of Blueberry Pie, and 400ml of PCW.
We tested a drop at this stage, and it was pretty awful: the alcohol was strong enough to put hair on our chests, which was pretty inconvenient for all those low-cut dresses in my closet. I thought I had an idea about that, though:
Alcohol evaporates really easily! You really can’t use a gas stove to cook off a ton of alcohol, so induction stove top to the rescue: I put my two Hello Kitty Pyrex measuring cups in a pot of water and slowly heated it to a boil. I made a bain-marie. For my weed. Viva la resistance!
I let the alcohol evaporate for around 30 minutes. I could have gone longer, but it was after 11pm and I had an early morning. I strained each cup one at a time, and this was the final yield:
Here, I made you a spreadsheet:
You know I had to get some pretty packaging for my tincture, so while it’s stored in the fancy mason jars above, I then pipe it into these for MAXIMUM CUTE:
The purple/red bottle is the PCW, and the blue/green one is Blueberry Pie. They’re each 10ml bottles, and I have more tincture than I do bottles.
The only issue I’m having with this entire process is that I don’t know how to calculate how strong the tincture is. There’s a formula you can use to figure out the strength, but I don’t know how to account for the evaporation: I lost around 37% of volume from the PCW batch and 40% from the other. If I just use straight math with the final yield, I get 15g per ml in the PCW, and 12g per ml of Blueberry Pie. Each bottle contains 10ml, so I can guestimate them at 150mg and 120mg.
Okay, so how is it?
It’s fucking amazing.
I really dislike the taste of alcohol, and Everclear is no exception. However, it’s also weirdly sweet, and if it wasn’t for the sheer burny hell of it, would actually be kind of nice. Some, but not all, of the alcohol was removed in the process, so what’s left is concentrated weediness with a hint of alcohol fire and a sweet aftertaste. It is potent. I drank it with a bottle of Spicy Pineapple Soda, and it legit tasted and felt like a cocktail – only without the awful bladder burn (it’s a thing, and 40% of the reason I don’t drink), and with a delightful loopiness and some supremely satisfying relaxation.
I am VERY PLEASED with this latest round of science! Next up: I saved all the weed from the infusion and dried it out. It can be composted (boring) or used as a garnish (intriguing), but this weekend will see me attempt to make an infused coconut oil sugar scrub with the leftover flower for extra scrubbiness (and the aforementioned lotions).
Now, who wants some tincture?!