Monday, May 1, 2017

Making Infused Butter (cannabis edition)

There are many ways to make Canna Butter, here are the most commonly used.

Top of the Stove Method
1.       Select the herb you plan to use; crumble it up (not nexessary to finely grind it though) and remove (and SAVE) any seeds you find. Weigh, or measure, so you will have some idea of the strength of your final product.
2.       Use only good quality, unsalted, butter. Until you get comfortable just winging it, a good rule of thumb is 1 ounce of herb to 1 pound (4 sticks) of butter.
3.       In a sauce pan, put 6-8 cups of water, butter and herb; over moderate heat, stir occasionally until butter is melted.
4.       Continue to simmer for 1 hour, then turn off the stove and cover the pot. Let it set overnight.
5.       The more simmer and set cycles, the stronger (up to a point) your final product will be. When using this method, I generally do 3 full cycles, ending with a simmer cycle and letting it cool to room temperature.
6.       Next, line a colander or large sieve with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Pour the melted butter mixture through the sieve.
7.       Gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and twist and gently press, to recover the most butter possible. Set the “sludge” from the cheesecloth aside for later use. It can be put into zip plastic bags and frozen for up to 2 months.
8.       Pour the warm water and butter mixture into a straight sided container, preferably one that is taller than it is wide, and put into the refrigerator until butter is hardened. You can also carefully put it into the freezer but don’t leave it until the water is frozen – just until the butter is quite hard.
9.       Carefully remove the hardened butter from the water. The bottom surface may be a bit soft or gooey but that’s OK. There is not enough “good stuff” in the water to use it for medicine or cooking but I have found that my house plants LOVE it.
10.   Re-melt the infused butter and pour into storage containers. At this point, it helps to pour into measured containers: muffin tins, small jars, plastic containers made for butter storage, etc.
11.   You can use the infused butter in any recipes calling for butter or oil (cookie mix, for example) or spread on toast, bread, muffins, scones, etc.

Crock Pot Method
1.       Instead of the sauce pan, put butter and herb into a straight sided glass container that fits inside your crock pot.
2.       Add water to the crock pot (NOT into the butter/herb container) until it is at least halfway up the side or up to an inch below the top of the butter/herb container.
3.       Turn crock pot on and once the butter is melted, follow the simmer and set cycles as above.
4.       Follow above from step 6 to finish.

Best Method EVER
1.       There is a device called the Magical Butter Machine (MBM) which automates this process most wonderfully! They call it a Counter Top Botanical Extractor and more information can be found  at their website - https://magicalbutter.com/
2.       Caveat:  You will see MBMs offered for sale, at often reduced prices, on Amazon as well as all the usual re-sale site. However, the company’s excellent warranty ONLY covers machines bought directly through the company. Given that their warranty consists of sending you a brand new machine for almost any problem or defect, it makes sense to buy directly.
3.       There is a FaceBook group dedicated to the MBM, Magical Butter Users United (MBUU ) where there are often discount coupons offered as well as recipes and tons of advice. The president of MBM is a member of the group and regularly responds to posts. https://www.facebook.com/groups/magicalbutterusersunited/

Last but not least, you can substitute almost any edible fat for the butter mentioned above. I often infuse coconut oil and olive oil; I have not infused lard but have been told that it works well too. These oils can be substituted for butter in most recipes.