Have you ever searched for a tincture press? I have and boy oh boy are they ever expensive! I remember when I saw my teacher’s (Michael Vertolli) press for the first time I had dreams of owning one for my very own. Hydraulically powered, this press squeezes out every single drop. There is no waste and it’s quick.
But then I looked up the price and starting at $1000, a press like this just wasn’t an option for me. And to be honest, it still isn’t. So what’s a herbalist to do?
Tincture Press Options
There are other options on the market and I’ll list a few for you.
- Starting at $89.99 (scroll down to the bottom for the aluminum ones) these are reasonably priced and located in Canada
- Starting at $99 but are located in the States so you need to think about shipping and duty
- Pricing ranges from $515 to $1106 and they are based in the United States
- This is the most expensive one I found but I wanted to add it to the list so it was complete. Not in my budget and probably not in yours if you are reading this, but still pretty
But I’m Just Starting Out
If that statement applies to you I have the perfect tool to add to your budding apothecary. Unlike most books that will recommend cheesecloth and wringing it until your hands hurt, I have a much better and more efficient option. While the cheesecloth method will do in a pinch, the goal of pressing tinctures is to waste as little medicine as possible. You also want to work quickly as your tinctures are oxidizing with every second they are exposed to oxygen.
I liked mine so much that I haven’t stopped using it! My plan is that when this finally breaks I’ll splurge and get myself a fruit/tincture press from Canadian Home Brew Supplies.
Looks simple enough but it definitely does the job without breaking the bank or wasting precious drops of tincture.
My Tincture Pressing Process
What You’ll Need
- Potato ricer
- Measuring Cup (size is dependent on how much tincture you are pressing but 2 cups usually works fine for me)
- Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Clean jar (optional)
How To Press Tinctures
- Shake your tincture well to ensure that you don’t have herb material stuck to the bottom of your bottle
- Pour the majority of the contents of your bottle through your potato ricer
- Depending on how much tincture you are pressing and if it is herbs vs roots, you may need to do two separate pressings. You don’t want your potato ricer completely full for a few reasons – 1) it will overflow and herb material will fall into your measuring cup 2) it will spray EVERYWHERE (trust me on this one) and 3) you won’t be able to press as much liquid out of it
- Squeeze the handles of the potato rice together as much as you can
- Careful not to use brute strength as too much pressure can cause the ricer to snap/break
- After you are done pressing if you have herb material left in your jar pour some tincture back in, swirl it around quickly and pour it through the potato ricer
When I press tinctures I rinse my jars with water and put the pressed tincture back in the same bottle. Other herbalists choose to use a completely different bottle. The choice is yours. Whatever your choice please ensure that you label your jar with the name of the herb and the date you pressed it.
- The next step is all about straining out bits of herb material, sediment and other things your clients/family will not want in their tinctures.
- Take your pressed tincture and pour it into your jar, running it through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
If you take a look at these two strainers you can see that the mesh on the smaller one is MUCH finer than the other. If you have a strainer with large holes like the one on the left I encourage you to pick up some cheesecloth. It will do a much better job. Personally I prefer to use the fine mesh strainer. It creates less waste, it’s cheaper and my strainer does just as good a job.
** The only exception to this is when I use cayenne powder to make infused oils. The powder is too fine and the strainer doesn’t capture most of it. **
- Seal and label your jar
Once you start pressing your tinctures make sure that you won’t be disturbed for the entire duration. This is not a good time to change a diaper or answer a phone call/text message. You want to work as quickly (without rushing because rushing = accidents) as possible to reduce the amount of oxygen your tinctures are exposed to.
More Tincture Making Supplies
If you are in need of tincture making supplies or you are simply curious about what I use in my practice, please check out my Amazon astore. All the products listed are either used by me or are similar to what I use.
I wish you luck on your tincture and medicine making journey!
DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support myself and my herbal clinic, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any product or services from this blog. I truly appreciate all the support you have shown my blog and my business and I will only ever recommend products that I use myself, truly love or covet. Many thanks.