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Spirytus Vodka Instead of Everclear for Tincture

 
Posts: 11
Location: New York
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I can't purchase Everclear in my state. I live in the Nanny State where breathing is prohibited on Sunday's. Apparently, I can get Spirytus Vodka which is said to be a rectified spirit. Is this the same as Everclear? Obviously going to use it to make a medicinal herbal tincture.

 
Posts: 567
Location: Mid-Michigan
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If it's 95% alcohol by volume, then yes, that's what you're after. That's pretty pure, and the remaining 5% is mostly water.

That's the only reason people recommend the Everclear brand- it's the most common 95% alcohol solution available. If you have access to a different brand, no big deal. Use it instead.

Now, read your label carefully, because even Everclear brand comes in lower percentages- I have some 75% (150 proof) in my cabinet right now. All you're after for tinctures is a solution that has as much as possible of what you want (ethanol) mixed with as little as possible of what you don't want (water, flavors).
 
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Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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What are you tincturing? You only need 95% alcohol if you are making tinctures from fresh plant material, because you actually do want some water content in the final product. Most herbs release their constituents into water and alcohol (some parts into the H2O, some into the alcohol). You are aiming for a final percentage that is around 50%, or even less, as long as the final percentage of alcohol is above 35% (I believe, don't quote me on that one!). If using dry herbs, everclear is overkill, although I find it cost effective to start with everclear and cut it with water as needed.

Michael Moore's Materia Medica is a great reference for determining how alcoholic you want your tinctures to be - the percentages are final alcohol content, which will be determined by the amount of water in your plant material.

Also, while you can't purchase it in-state, you may be able to buy it online and have it shipped to you. Check your local laws...
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