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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Halfway, Oregon, USA
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    160

    Default Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    OK, so that was a sensational headline but I was going to make a quick overview about some propolis tinctures I've been making in recent years. Specifically elderberry/propolis - since elderberries grow prolifically where I live. I have not made large amount too sell, but I am beginning to pursue medicinal quality hive and farm products as a business venture. So any questions or suggestions would be welcome.

    Elderberries ripen as a late summer/early fall fruit depending of your climate, but I have only ever worked with fresh berries so that is what I know. They will be quite purple/black and soft to the touch when ripe, but don't eat raw berries, some people are sensitive in the belly.

    Clipping off entire clusters is usually easiest and then picking them into a large colander where they can be rinsed in cold water. Lightly mashing them and pouring into a container of your choice, quart mason jar? Fill to [I]above[I] the level of berries with the highest proof(Everclear) vodka you can find. Essentially this is a one to one ratio, portion of berries to alcohol. Make sure there are no berries above the liquid because they will mold or become rancid(this is also true for oil infusions).

    Sometimes I use a lower berry to alcohol ratio and use a really tasty bourbon, this is more recreational and reserved for personal use and special friends! Nice heated briefly on the stove with some cider!

    Once the infusion has soaked for at least 3 week (some say 2), but preferably 6 or more, strain the berries out and move onto the propolis. Elderberry tincture stores up to 1 year without losing potency.

    Usually I keep a jar on hand when I am working in the hives and I am not sure it ever goes bad. But as a rule of thumb I usually don't store it longer then 6 months if intend to use it medicinally. Typically I am using propolis collected within days or weeks of the infusion. I also only take propolis from honey suppers that I am extracting or large deposits from around the inner cover.

    I have heard of propolis traps that you place on top of your hives, they will cover it- you then remove the trap, freeze it and break off the propolis. I am strongly considering coming up with something like this next year... A screen with wooden frame? Does anyone have experience with these?

    Anyway... I do not have a hard and fast measurement for weight of propolis to ounces of liquid. Typically I have been preparing quarts, but not measuring propolis with a scale. I continue to add finely grated propolis to the tincture and agitating until I can no longer get it to dissolve easily (I have a cheese grater reserved for this purpose). My guess is a pint of propolis will dissolve in up to 1 or more gallons of tincture. It is ready for medicinal application immediately or will keep a year or longer. Must be shaken vigorously before use, as propolis pieces will settle to the bottom.

    Also, you do not need to start with an elderberry base, just dissolving propolis in alcohol until soluble will produce an immune-support medicine.

    I am planning on starting turkey tail plugs next year and I am hoping for a harvest within 18 months from that. Turkey Tail tinctures have a long history of immune support and are recommended for homeopathic cancer treatments. I am hoping to combine a turkey tail/propolis concoction and wonder if someone has tips on this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    1,313

    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    I also wanted to do this kind of thing, but can't find a good source for the alcohol. Florida law says 151 proof is the max you can sell here and the only brand on the shelf at that strength is terrible in taste and expensive too.

    Do you know of a better source. I don't need much of it, so I am willing to pay a fairly high price - but I want a quality product too. This stuff they sell here is awful.

    I will be driving through quite a few states on my fall roadtrip. I could stop in GA, TN, KT, IL, WI and maybe IN, or WV too. If a good super high proof alcohol is for sale anywhere along the way.
    Troy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    Troy,

    Everclear 191 should be available in some of those states; not that it tastes all that great, but, high alcohol and great taste aren't two things that really go together anyway lol

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Halfway, Oregon, USA
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    160

    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    I am often buying bottles of Everclear for my tincture friends in California, since you cannot get it there. It's true that higher proof alcohol doesn't taste very good... If you want something a little more recreational I make small batches with a nice bourbon. Not high proof but nice on a cold evening.

    Also glycerine is a good substitute for alcohol, for taste.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    1,313

    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    I know it's true the everclear stuff tastes bad, but why is it that it has to taste bad? Good booze should not be so hard to find.

    I know it is possible to make a very pure ethanol product at say 92% (184 proof) that when cut down to 50% (100 proof) tastes good. They call it vodka and sell it in every liquor store. Some of the better brands taste just fine on the rocks at 50%.

    I just want to buy some before it is cut down and bottled.

    I guess I need to get a job at the distillery. :-)
    Troy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    You might consider something like Eau du vie - which is a french-styled high-proof spirit made from wine grapes or fruit, generally used as an addition to wine, to make traditional Port-style wines.

    It's expensive though... Guessing Everclear tastes like it does, to achieve their price-point lol

    Grappa, although containing less ABV than Everclear or Eau du vie, generally tastes pretty good too

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
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    154

    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    You could just make a pure elderberry juice mead (pure juice + honey) and add propolis. I am making a whole hive mead now, cut and crushed comb and all from some foundationless frames, trimmings and scrapings and any unfortunate drone larva that couldnt get out of the way and all the pollen and anything else all together as a straight mead. I see no reason the exact same thing couldnt be done with elderberry juice, especially since we really like growing them and making mead with them. I just wanted to see what a whole hive mead would taste like before committing berries to the next batch.

    WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Halfway, Oregon, USA
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    160

    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    I am wondering if the amount of propolis required to reach a medicinal threshold would inhibit the fermentation process. There is certainly a little bit of propolis on all the comb, but probably not enough to agitate the fermentation in a whole hive mead... Which sounds awesome, by the way. I was considering an elderberry mead this summer!

    I would say if the point of ingesting the propolis is medicinal, stick to the high proof alcohol. It makes the solid product more available to your blood stream in small quantities.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,287

    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    Hazel-Rah

    I have a couple of questions for you. I am wondering why you bother making elderberry infusion? Is it because of some claimed medicinal properties or are you trying to flavour the eventual tincture that you will make? You also said that you bring the infusion to the yard while working the bees, is that so can add propolis to it as you work, just to have it handy?

    Jean-Marc

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    Hazel-Rah, just buy the plastic traps from the bee supply, don't bother building them yourself. They work great in collecting nice clean propolis. However, I find that simply putting them in the freezer and then twisting them to remove the propolis is not that effective, you still need to do a bit of scraping and banging of the trap to get the majority of the propolis out, but it works good. The plastic seems to hold up to quite a bit of abuse when frozen and doesn't break, must be a good quality plastic.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Halfway, Oregon, USA
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    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-marc View Post
    I am wondering why you bother making elderberry infusion? Is it because of some claimed medicinal properties or are you trying to flavour the eventual tincture that you will make? You also said that you bring the infusion to the yard while working the bees, is that so can add propolis to it as you work, just to have it handy?
    I do both, with an elderberry infusion and without. Elderberries are a good source of Vitamins A, C, B6 and calcium. They are also high in antioxidants(highest of the small fruits) and anthocyanin. The fruit is used as a respiratory aid in immune-system attacking colds/flus(high tannin levels).

    Also I would clarify that I am not taking an infusion out the yard... which I realize is not clear from original post. I take an empty jar, or one I am already using to collect propolis, with me to nab any large deposits while they are still warm and easy to remove without scraping off wood splinters.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Hazel-Rah, just buy the plastic traps from the bee supply, don't bother building them yourself. They work great in collecting nice clean propolis. However, I find that simply putting them in the freezer and then twisting them to remove the propolis is not that effective, you still need to do a bit of scraping and banging of the trap to get the majority of the propolis out, but it works good. The plastic seems to hold up to quite a bit of abuse when frozen and doesn't break, must be a good quality plastic.
    After a thread post about traps I actually did go ahead and make my own, out of window screens, per suggestion of Michael Bush. They have been working pretty well and it's true, not so easy to remove, but better then all the wood chips! As I continue to ramp up my propolis collection, I may go ahead and buy some just to compare.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: Propolis/Ederberry Tincture - and other Cures for Cancer

    Elderberries both taste good in mixes like mead and are supposed to be very healthy especially for fighting viruses, health food places sell concentrates people can take veryday. I prefer mine in mead. WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

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