I read somewere soaking vanilla beans in vodka is the beginins of making a vanilla extract? Has anyone ever made a mint extract? if so where would be a good begining for me to research on doing so?
ooh didnt notice my typo haha "Mint" Extract.
Well, that's not the TRUE extract, which is probably distilled out of the herb... but you could make a mint "tincture" or mint flavored alcohol that way.
what would be the true extract? or is that possible with mint?
Well, you'd have to distill it... you'd need a LOT of mint to make a wee bit. You can buy a small still for around $300 or make your own...there are different ways to do it that isn't quite the REAL way, like mashing it,mixing it with water, then freezing it and taking out the unfrozen alcohol....but you'd need quite a bit to make a little.
Wow sounds great thanks for the information most i have found yet...do you know of where i can find info on making a distiller or the proccesss?
Well, it's illegal to distill alcohol.... :o) The government wants it's taxes. You can make one, don't let the police in the door! :o) I made one from a pressure cooker.
I'd google distillation. I had a website, I can't find it. It was of a store pretty close to me.
Here's a website I just found... has cheap separation funnels... http://www.pelletlab.com/lab_supplies_glassware.htm
here's another explanation: These days, essential oil is extracted primarily by steam distillation, where super heated steam is passed through the powdered herb. The steam helps to release and then carries away the essential oil which is locked in the cellular structure of the herb. The steam is then cooled and the result is a hydrosol and essential oil which floats on the hydrosol and is separated and further refined and filtered.
Hydrodistillation is the traditional method of extraction. It is fairly rare these days, yet it is said that this method yields an oil with a superior aroma. Instead of having steam pass through the powdered herb, in a hydrodistiller the powder is allowed to soak in water. A fire from below the vessel then heats the water and carries off the steam which is allowed to cool. The oil is then removed from the top of the hydrosol.
You will need like 5lbs of the herb to get an ounce... or something like that.
here's another site that someone posted http://www.chem.ualberta.ca/~orglabs/Handbook.html
And finally, I found the still site
wow 5 pds of mint leaf haha sounds like a fun project
Thanks for the information everyone it was very helpful
you are welcome! :o) I was dismayed by the amount of herb needed myself.... finally decided that it is WAY cheaper to just buy the eo's... and I make a lot of my own stuff, like soaps and etc....
Yeah soaps is a good thing to know how to make haha anywhere i can find that info i heard you need fat? is that necessary?
well, soap is made when fats are saponified by lye. But fats can be any oils or animal fats, not mineral oil. Usually, animal fats will make a harder bar that will last longer...
I use the Aerobie Aeropress coffee press and alcohol to make essential oil tinctures. I have never tried mint, but it grows in such voluminous quantity around my home that 5 lbs would be a drop in the bucket. The aeropress is cheap and available all over the internet as a coffee maker. I got mine from tealco.net because that's where my friend got hers, but it's available on ebay and other places. There are more detailed explanations of solvent extraction on other web sites, but a quick explanation can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbal_extract .
I know this post is ancient, but for most folks who have mint, if you plant a little... you harvest LOTS! I have mine with a complete perimeter of side walk and it still wants to jump the tracks! Plus, no matter how much you cut, you'll get it all back in 2 weeks. My issue is the cost of the still. I'd love to use it for all kinds of herbs. Ah... c'est la vie...
Funny that someone dragged this old post up just now, as I've been poking around the internet for a couple of days looking for information on home scale mint oil production.
You can get some good information from the book "Mint" by Brian M. Lawrence, much of which you can see online from the Google Books preview (good thing too, since it lists for $150).
I'm thinking about building a small steam distillation still to give this a try, perhaps based on a 6" tube about 3 feet long (I'm thinking maybe a discarded compressed gas cylinder). I know from "Mint" that controlling steam temperature and moisture in the mint is important to getting a good yield, but those are parameters that I can worry about after the mechanical aspects are working.
The mechanical portion of the process should be fairly straightforward to build.
If there is interest here I can keep the thread updated on any progress I make.