So the four weeks are up and my vinegar infusion has been strained and bottled. It turned out well, vinegary with a hint of… plant. No rancid smell or mould, and for a first time doing this, I was rather pleased.
To recap how I did the infusion, I used 75g of dried Horsetail and 750ml of unrefined apple cider vinegar. I kept this in my boiler cupboard, where it keeps relatively warm, and gave it a shake every day or so.
After four weeks, I strained it into a jug, using a double layer of muslin held in place with a rubber band. I made a dip in the muslin so to catch the plant matter. When I had a nearly full amount in the dip, I used a back of a spoon to press out the residue. I had to empty the muslin several times and managed to make a mess along the way – my kitchen smells vinegary now. Not that I’m complaining – I used white vinegar (distilled vinegar) to clean with. Once I got all the plant matter squeezed, I re-strained the liquid just to make sure I got all the Horsetail out. I then decanted it into a bottle and labelled with the date and contents.
I noticed when decanting the vinegar that there was a reduction in liquid. I used 750ml of ACV but the bottle only refilled about ¾ of the way. It seems that using dried herb means that it will soak up a certain amount, even though I squeezed out as much as I could. I expect that using fresh herbs would be there would be more liquid. Next time I will change the ratio from 10g dried herb to 100ml of vinegar, to 10g dried herb to 150ml of vinegar.
So my next project, in progress, is to make an ointment with a herbal oil. I shall let you know more about that in a couple of weeks.