(Just fyi, I started this over 7 hours ago, and I haven't read all the responses in the thread, so I don't know if I'm repeating what's already been said or not - there's just no time for me to go back, read it all, and edit/update what I've already written. Hugs - Uny)
YAY - Sunday is TINCTURE DAY!!
Cayenne tincture from dried peppers:
If you make 'cayenne tincture' with dried AFBP powder & dried Habbie powder, you'll be making close to the equivalent of our Cayenne Tincture #3. Because dried peppers are EXPONENTIALLY hotter than raw peppers, the heat level will be intolerable to most newbies, and even to some 'veteran cayenners'. (This is why Schulze can get away with adding all the lesser-heat peppers in his tincture - he uses dried). Schulzes instructions are for dried & fresh peppers. Ours?
Cayenne #1 - the jar ends up being 2/3-3/4 full of "fresh habanero mush" and we add 1/2 cup of our dried pepper blend.
Cayenne #2 - 1/2 Cayenne Tincture #1 - 1/2 100 proof vodka, plus 2/3-3/4 of a jar of dried (then saturated in alcohol) AFBPs.
Cayenne #3 - Dried Habbies & dried AFBPs fill 2/3-3/4 of the jar (that's 2/3 - 3/4 after they've been soaking in alcohol in the jar). There's only been two people that have ever ordered it that have ever re-ordered it. It's just way too hot for most people. (methinks there's something about the alcohol that increases the 'heat intensity' the same dried pepper blend powder is not nearly as hot as it is after it is tinctured).
Tincturing with powdered herbs:
Pressing tinctures made from powdered herbs is VERY messy, time consuming & frustrating :( Most folks without a tincture press use something akin to the 'corner of a pillowcase' and then 'twist and squeeze'. You'd want to use some type of latex/protective gloves if doing this with cayenne tincture, or your hands will burn (think "Cold Sheet Treatment Skin" x 10) for HOURS. Even with c/s (cut & sifted) herbs, there's a substantial amount of waste with the 'twist & squeeze' method, but there's even more with tinctures made using powdered herb.
Shaking: All tinctures should be shaken thoroughly several times daily for at LEAST 14 days, but powdered herbs need more shaking (at least 10 times or more daily). Am I OCD? maybe...but here's the thing: Imagine a bunch of chunky pieces of herbs settling to the bottom of a bottle - you can actually (most times) SEE the alcohol/liquid between the herb pieces (the alcohol that's touching all the pieces is 'becoming tincture' every minute that it's touching the herb. The alcohol that's floating on top? Only when it's shaken and mixed in and goes down to be next to the herbs). BUT with powders, most of them sink to the bottom of the bottle like a brick and 'bind together' (as in, sometimes the bottle has to be given 7-10 strong 'shakings' simply to dislodge and break-up the compacted powders on the bottom) - meaning that when they're down there as 'compacted sludge', there's virtually no way the herb-powder is going to be getting "into" the alcohol, unless it's constantly being shaken. (I've had the 'sludge' become so dense after a day or two of 'not shaking' that I had to use a big spoon to break it up before I could get it to mix with the alcohol again).
That all being said (and warned, lol), there's simply no way to calculate for "soak & swell" with any tincture...even 'experience' is not 100% reliable, because we never know exactly how dry/dense the herbs are when putting them into the bottles...powders swell quickly, big pieces swell slowly
I'd say (guessing from my experience with other "powder tinctures") - start by putting about 2 inches of the powders in a gallon jar (I'd probably risk 3", but I've got lots of jars & alcohol), then fill the jar around 2/3 full with 100 proof vodka, shake-shake-shake every hour or two and see how much vodka the powders soak up (and how much they swell). Use those 'results' to gauge how much more powder and alcohol to add.
--->>> You can ALWAYS add more herbs if there's not enough - but if you don't have extra alcohol & jars 'at the ready', you can't "take out". Err on the side of "not enough" and add more if you need to add more. <<<---
No matter what you end up doing, if you're using high-quality herbs and doing all the shaking you need to do, you WILL end up with an ultra high quality tincture! (be sure to give them LOTS of love and healing energy :)