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This is a product I’ve made for years to make soup stocks, dishes like beef bourgogne, mushroom flavored olive oil for hand cut fries, and for home made dried camping foods.
The intensity of the concentrate will improve a lot of dishes beyond what merely cooking with mushrooms can ever accomplish. The flavonoids and other flavor compounds in mushrooms have been a key source of the palettes of virtually every historic culture on earth for millenia, and prehistoric food caches show mushrooms as important culinary and medicinal components all over the world.
Medicinally, mushrooms have been studied for potent anti cancer effects in peer reviewed literature. The mushrooms credited with success against cancer belong to the genus Phellinus, Pleurotus, Agaricus, Ganoderma, Clitocybe, Antrodia, Trametes, Cordyceps, Xerocomus, Calvatia, Schizophyllum, Flammulina, Suillus, Inonotus, Inocybe, Funlia, Lactarius, Albatrellus, Russula, and Fomes. Some components of the mushroom extract appear to act as powerful adjuvenating compounds, which are compounds that stimulate the body’s immune system to promote a natural immune response against cancer cells. Some of these compounds, like some of the polysaccharides and β-Glucans, are very similar to existing adjuvants used in advanced vaccines and treatments for cancer presently in wide use by recruiting B-cells and other defenses. Other compounds, particularly some phenols, are believed to cause cell death (apoptosis) in rapidly growing cancer cells.
Not all medicinal mushroom extracts work well with ethanol, but this process works well with lion’s mane, reishi, and chaga medicinal extracts that can be used for soothing teas and other uses.
The flavor compounds in culinary mushrooms are highly soluble in ethanol and work great in the Source Turbo or Etoh Pro products from Extractcraft.
I start with about 4 cups of dried mushrooms. I primarily use shitakes, criminis, or oyster mushrooms due to availability locally as fresh products, or online as dried products.
I thoroughly dry the mushrooms if fresh in a dehydrator to make sure they are as dry as possible. Residual water inhibits the vacuum distillation process and makes spoilage a concern for long term concentrate storage.
I like to place the dried mushrooms in a cloth or plastic bag and thoroughly crush the material into quarter inch pieces. Place the crushed mushrooms into a glass jar and cover with 190 proof or higher ethanol, and set aside for 12-24 hours.
The filtration is done with a Buchner if you have one, or with a sieve and a filter if you do not.
Processing should yield between one and two teaspoons of extract per 10 oz of tincture processed. After processing, I add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the extract to allow ease of removal and use in salad dressings, soups, and other meals. For use in tea, I like to have a small container and use a tiny amount with each use. Extract for medicinals can also be placed into capsules for later use directly.
The extract can be a sticky oil, or it can be processed further to a hard waxy paste.