Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hydraulic Press for Herbs

I've been making herbal products from medicinal herbs for years. I have always struggled in trying to extract the oil from infused herbs. I've gone from using my hands to using cookie presses, a potato ricer and most recently, I did buy a press, but it still was a lot of effort to extract the oil from the herbs. Each time after I was finished, I would go to Jim and express my frustration. Well, he recently bought me a hydraulic press. He was either being really nice or he was tired of hearing me complain - I'm kidding, he was very nice to do this and it was totally unexpected. He always talked about maybe using a hydraulic press for my herbs and saw this as an opportunity to get one.

This is usually used in mechanical practices, but in my case, this is going to be my new herb press. It's basically a bottle jack that jacks down instead of up and using springs and a metal rod, it presses whatever you want it to. It is extremely heavy, I can't lift it let alone carry it - the only thing I can do is slide it back and forth, which is all that I'm planning to do with it other than pressing with it. Let me show you how it works.

These are what I will be using:
A metal bowl, coffee filter, pressing plate, and the bucket 
from a potato ricer.

This is some lavender I infused yesterday.

I put the coffee filter in the ricer bucket then place that into the metal bowl 
and poured out some of the lavender - not more than 3/4 full.

Next, I put the pressing plate on top and start jacking - the black center 
rod comes down and starts pressing.

See all that luscious lavender oil oozing out? (It smells heavenly in here) 

I strain it with a fine tea strainer and there it is. 
The white shadow is the plastic bag covering the press - I should've moved the bowl. 

I got this much lavender oil from 2 ounces of dried lavender and 8 ounces of oil - it's a little more than when I used my old press and the process was a lot easier and less messier.

The bowl I used didn't have a flat bottom, so you can see that I really 
pressed the heck out of the lavender.

Well, that's my new herb press - I plan to use it a lot now that I got the hang of it. Stay tuned for more herby goodness to come!

Thanks for reading!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Thanks!

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