I tried searching my question on google and did not find anything. I am looking to extract herbs with pure 100% grape juice http://www.lakewoodjuices.com/product_detail/id-32/ ( it is pasteurized ) instead of using the old school method of extracting with a 50% alcohol solution.My theory as of now would be that it would be more beneficial and it would ferment or extract the same plus the extra beneficial minerals of the juice. I am wonder what your opinion on this is. Do you think it would extract the same and be just as beneficial as a tincture? Would it be more beneficial? How long should I let it sit for? should I let it sit at room temp or in cooler temp say, 45 degree F? Should I do neutral water dilution with the grape juice? how much, 50% neutral water 50% grape juice? Thank you so much for your time and knowledge.

  • $\begingroup$ This is a little broad as it stands - you might want to break this question into smaller chunks to get more attention from those who can help. $\endgroup$ – Todd Minehardt Jul 18 '16 at 23:20
  • $\begingroup$ You might consider that herbs may contain microorganisms that might turn the grape juice into an undesired product. $\endgroup$ – aventurin Jul 19 '16 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ From what I understand the grape juice will ferment and turn into alcohol while still maintaining elemental properties. I am curios if I should do 70% grape juice with 30% neutral water then add the herbs and let them sit in 40 degree temperature for about a month to get full extraction like you would with pure alcohol tincture. $\endgroup$ – Chris1989777 Jul 22 '16 at 4:14

The point of using alcohol to extract things from herbs is that alcohol solubilises things that are not soluble in water. So using grape juice as an alternative is pretty pointless since it is just water with a lot of other water-soluble things in it (like sugars).

So using grape juice is a pretty poor alternative to using alcohol.

Grape juice will ferment under some circumstances, converting some of the sugars into alcohol. But this won't work well unless the conditions are controlled carefully and won't work at all if it is cold (45 F is cold). If you don't do what winemakers do, there is no telling whether it will work or whether it will work without producing nasty results. And pasteurised grape juice won't ferment at all if you don't add yeast and keep it clean. If you don't keep it clean you might well get some nasty strain of natural bug rather than a good wine yeast which will have unpredictable results.

Moreover, the best level of alcohol you are going to get even as an experienced winemaker is 10-15%. This is nothing like as useful as pure or 50% alcohol for solubilising or extracting things that are not water soluble. And grape juice with no alcohol isn't going to be a much better solvent than water (and most likely will be worse as it is already full of other dissolved things).

The old school recipes you are trying to avoid exist because people have tried these experiments before and found what works. Trying to invent new recipes that ignore the "old school" experience is a pretty futile task: what you propose isn't in the old school recipes because it doesn't work.


There are four main concerns with this procedure.

(1) Ethanol dissolves and extracts organic chemicals (active ingredients in herbs) better than water (which is the main component of juice).

(2) It is much easier to remove ethanol, than water making concentrating step easier.

(3) Ethanol is less chemically reactive and is less likely to destroy active ingredients of the herbs. Acidity of a juice is my main concern.

(4) Juice is a complex mixture of chemicals that varies from batch to batch. It is hard to make this procedure reproducible.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks so much for your response. I am thinking I will use 80 to 90% pure grape juice and mix 10 to 20% neutral water. Put herbs in glass jars and let sit in 40 degree F temp for about a month. From I have gathered grape juice is also a good solvent. Im before it ferments into alcohol so I am definitely curious how this would turn out. $\endgroup$ – Chris1989777 Jul 22 '16 at 4:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris1989777 Juice might fermented over that time, bacteria will eat tasty components and you will get poisoned. Instead, you should get some (80-100 proof), grind herbs, and extract everything in the liquor. Just let it seat for a week. Then you can remove liquor by blowing air at it if you really want to. $\endgroup$ – sixtytrees Jul 22 '16 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris1989777 If the answer helped, please press "accept button" located to the left of my question. If you have other questions please have a separate topic. $\endgroup$ – sixtytrees Jul 22 '16 at 22:22

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