Author Topic: Questions about Propolis Tincture  (Read 2335 times)

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Offline The15thMember

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Questions about Propolis Tincture
« on: January 08, 2022, 06:21:22 pm »
I just went through a bunch of old posts on here about propolis tincture, but since most are around 8 years old, I figured I'd bring it up again.  On Bakersdozen's recommendation I purchased Petra Ahnert's book "Beehive Alchemy", and I love it so much I'm reading it cover to cover.  I've been wanting to make some propolis tincture, and her recipe calls for 95% grain alcohol, which is illegal in my state.  I might be able to get some online (not sure whether that's legal or not), but if I can't, what would be a good substitute? 

The book also recommends making the tincture into an oil, and from there into a salve, but I saw on the older posts that some of you seem to be using the tincture straight up.  Can both preparations be used in the same ways?  Why go to the trouble of the salve if the tincture does the job?  Or is it just a matter of preference?       
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Offline iddee

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Re: Questions about Propolis Tincture
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2022, 02:55:24 am »
You can buy the 90%, or 180 proof, in NC.
You can also buy the 95%, or 190 proof, on any military base if you know a service person who has the ability to buy on base.
I'm not familiar with the salve, but it may be more pleasant, as the tincture has a VERY STRONG taste.
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Questions about Propolis Tincture
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2022, 11:54:02 am »
Thanks, Wally.  I don't know anyone in the military, but I don't suppose that 5% will make any difference. 
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Online Bakersdozen

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Re: Questions about Propolis Tincture
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2022, 06:29:12 pm »
Thanks, Wally.  I don't know anyone in the military, but I don't suppose that 5% will make any difference.
I read that there was a little flexibility in the percentage of alcohol.
I finally found some notes I had taken from a zoom session by Reyah Carlson, a Vermont Apitherapist.  She suggested cleaning the collected propolis under warm running water. (I would be careful none of this went down a drain)  Roll the propolis into a ball and place in between two sheets of wax paper, roll out, and freeze. (This should make it very brittle and easily broken up) Here is her proportions:  1/2 gallon canning jar filled with propolis.  Fill to the top with Everclear.  Let sit for one month, shaking daily.  After one month take a syringe and draw off the clear liquid.  Don't use the sludge, it is useless. Sealed, the liquid will last for ever.  This will make a liquid tincture for external and internal use.  Can put tincture into hot beverages so that the alcohol evaporates off.  You can also add the liquid to skin creams.  Reyah suggests adding your propolis tincture to soap after the lye water and oils have been mixed.  I would presume that is after you have reached trace stage.
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Questions about Propolis Tincture
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2022, 04:05:47 pm »
I finally got around to making some propolis tincture today.  I don't drink, so a nice lady at the liquor store helped me find some Everclear.  It's gotten pretty expensive, she said, because people have been buying it to make hand sanitizer with.  She was really interested in the fact that I was using it to tincture propolis, which she had never tried herself, and she wanted me to let her know how it went.  I only had enough propolis at the moment to fill up a 1/2 pt. jar, so I figure I'll just start with a small amount and see how we end up liking it.  When I have more propolis, I'm also planning on using the tincture to make propolis oil.   
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Re: Questions about Propolis Tincture
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2022, 11:44:34 am »
Let us know how it turns out.  The recipe I gave calls for a 1/2 gallon jar of propolis.  You know, a 1/2 gallon jar of propolis is a lot of propolis!  I think I would do what you are doing and start small.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Questions about Propolis Tincture
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2022, 04:44:00 pm »
I've tinctured a few rounds of propolis, as well as made some tincture into propolis oil, and it's gone really well.  My sister used the oil as eye drops for her goats, who went through a round of pink eye recently, and they seemed to help.  I'm doing some more tincturing today, and I've been using generic coffee filters to strain my steeped tincture.  It just takes SOOOO long for it to pass through the filter.  I usually change out the filter one to three times during the process, but it still takes forever.  Does anyone have any better ideas for filtering the wax and hive bits out of the tincture?  A different type of filter perhaps?  Or a way to at least speed up the process? 
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Re: Questions about Propolis Tincture
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2022, 01:02:17 pm »
I have heard several knowledgeable people talk about  making propolis tincture.  It seems that you want to let the contents set for a while and separate.  They siphon off the liquid on the top of the jar while the propolis rests on the bottom.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Questions about Propolis Tincture
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2022, 01:33:25 pm »
I have heard several knowledgeable people talk about  making propolis tincture.  It seems that you want to let the contents set for a while and separate.  They siphon off the liquid on the top of the jar while the propolis rests on the bottom.
I see.  So maybe I'm just trying too hard to get every last little bit out of the dregs at the bottom of the jar.  :-\
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.