Tinctures are usually the most potent and fastest way to get nutrients from medicinal mushrooms into your body. That’s why it’s great to learn how to make your own mixture of hot water extractions and ethanol extractions for making tinctures. The process involves soaking chaga for 8 weeks in alcohol, followed by dilution with hot water for three days. Here are the steps that need to be followed, with a video at the bottom of this post for those who like a visual reference to the process.
Alcohol Extraction – This takes about 8 weeks
- Prepare your chaga into small granules as described above. Which in summary is by taking off the outer shell or black crust that’s on the outside of the chaga. Then you can simply grind the chaga in a blender or food processor to get the finer granules needed for making a tincture.
- Fill a wide, sealed, clip-lock jar with the powdered chaga, up to about 5cm above the top.
- Pour alcohol (cane, grain, or vodka) to the top, such that the jar can still be sealed without spilling. Place jars in a dark, dry, yet accessible location.
- Every day for 8 weeks, gently shake the jar to make sure the majority of chaga’s surface area stays in contact with alcohol and does not settle.
- At the end of 8 weeks, take a measuring cup, bowl, sealed mason jar, or other appropriate container that is twice as large as the volume of alcohol that you are using for the extraction process. If you have a sealable glass jar that size, you can also add water from the hot water extraction process to it, so that you have one container for all of the chaga extract that you are making. If you are going to be bottling your extract into a series of smaller bottles, then your container does not have to be a sealable jar.
- Using a large metal mesh strainer, strain the alcohol into your container. Set this alcohol aside for 3 days for the hot water decoction, since you will be adding it back into the concentrated water decoction when you are done.
Hot Water Extraction – Complete Once daily for 3 days
- Transfer your chaga granules into a stainless steel pot, which is over double the volume of chaga granules.
- Add a quantity of water to the stainless steel pot with the chaga that is equal to the volume of the alcohol that you saved from the previous step. This will more than cover the chaga, just like alcohol did in the jar from the last step.
- Use a bamboo skewer or wooden chopsticks and knife to mark the water level of the pot. Keep that marked stick to use as a reference when boiling and evaporating the water.
- Now, add in the same quantity of water again, so you will have double the amount of water in your pot that you had in alcohol during Step 1.
- Bring the chaga and the water to the boil in the pot, and then turn down the heat to low and let it simmer. Do not cover, you want the water to evaporate slowly and steadily as it simmers.
- Monitor the water level as it evaporates during simmering using the marking stick you created. When the enough water has boiled away and the level drops back to its original level you marked on the stick, turn off the heat and cover the pan to allow it to cool overnight.
- On days 2 and 3, repeat steps 4-6. This makes up a total of three decoctions.
- Be sure to leave the chaga granules in the pot, gently poured cooled water into a container with alcohol you extracted in the beginning.
- Finally, using cheesecloth (you might need a few pieces depending on how big of a batch you are making), strain water out of the chaga granules and also pour that into your container with the alcohol as well. Strain out a quantity of chaga granules that is roughly about the volume of a grapefruit each time, and squeeze as much water as possible from them.
- Now you have your final tincture in the bottle, a mix of the alcohol and water from both extracting phases.
After the daily three-day decoctions in boiling water, the process ends with a tincture volume roughly equivalent to that of the chaga used at the start; in my case, it was around 3L of tincture. The nutrients extracted from the Chaga in the tincture are fairly concentrated. Only 2ml of tincture is needed for one 8oz cup of tea, and that is all you will need every day for maximum benefits.
How Long Will A Chaga Tincture Last?
Your tinctures will have a shelf life of up to 5 years if store properly.
How Often Should You Take Chaga Tincture?
Take 1 dropperful 1 to 2 times daily to receive the most benefit.
Does Chaga Tincture Need To Be Refrigerated?
No, you do no need to refrigerate your chaga tincture.