Mint Extract: The Beginning

Mary harvested a great bunch of spearmint from a place where it wouldn’t be missed and, after rinsing, plucking, and chopping, we now have a liter of Mint Extract in the making:

Mint Extract - start - 2018-05-29
Mint Extract – start – 2018-05-29

The big jars got 3 oz of coarse-chopped leaves apiece, the smaller jar 1 oz, and the (removed) stems added up to 3.5 oz, so call it 1/3 waste. Not that this is an exact science, but I’d say 3/4 pound of just-picked mint, packed slightly tighter than those jars, would produce a liter of extract.

Because we started with fresh-picked leaves, a liter of 190 proof = 95% ethanol Everclear (*) will extract the oil better than the 80 proof = 40% ethanol vodka I used for dried vanilla beans.

A day later, the leaves definitely look dehydrated:

Mint Extract - browning leaves - 2018-05-30
Mint Extract – browning leaves – 2018-05-30

Those bottles are lying on their sides with the camera above, looking through the air bubble to the leaves. Unlike commercial mint extract, this stuff is green!

It’ll be finished after a month of daily agitation, but surely it’s an exponential process: a few hundred μl already pep up a mug o’ cocoa just fine.

In very round numbers, I get 10 drops / 0.1 ml, so 1 drop = 10 μl.

Bonus: the cutting board smells wonderful.

(*) It may be Olde White Guy Privilege, but clerks don’t even blink when I stagger up to the counter clutching a bottle of high-octane hooch; they don’t even card my age!

5 thoughts on “Mint Extract: The Beginning

  1. I was gluing some LEDs into holes in acrylic and didn’t want too much leakage, so I actually used a (cheap Chinese) micropipette to dispense 10µl of glue into each hole. It worked surprisingly well.

    1. And a thousand disposable tips in a bag. What’s not to like?

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Apparently commercial extractions try to avoid the chloropyyll and just extract the oil.

    I stumbled on some blog once, where the guy used CO2 as extraction liquid. He cut a CO2-bottle in half and threaded it so it could be screwed together again. Then put his leaves in and after extraction let the CO2 boil of. Strangely enough it wasn’t about mint but some -hmm- “medicinal” herbs. Tons of links if you search “CO2 extraction”.

    1. If chlorophyll
      cures every ill,
      Then might it not pay
      some day
      to run a chlorophylling station?

      As I see it, green is in!

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