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Guide To Making (a Sort Of) Laudanum, (A step by step pictorial)
i found this on the internet somewhere, posted the name of the creator but cant post the link since its got a forum on there (which would be against DF rules).. hope nobody else has posted it here, i really like it since its easy & with pictures..
Fogle’s guide to making (a sort of) Laudanum (A step by step pictorial)
Real Laudanum was made with opium and many other ingredients. Among which were henbane, nutmeg and lots of others. My type of Laudanum is actually an alcoholic extract of concentrated poppy tea. That is why I wouldn’t label my bottles Laudanum but the made up name: Laudrum.
There are numerous ways to make such a concoction. I don’t claim mine is the best or even any good. But the result of the following is a nice tasting liqueur with a good opiate buzz. And the best thing: no chemicals or fancy equipment needed.
The pictures are actually of two batches being made. You can see that several of the steps take place at the same time. So don’t get confused by this!
To make two litres of Laudrum you need:
1) dried poppies (ca. 2.3 kg with seeds = 1.0 kg without the seeds)
2) alcohol (1 litre 80%)
3) aniseed, star anise and/or fennel
4) sugar and dextrose (=glucose)
1) several big pans
2) filter cloth (old t-shirt)
3) several plastic buckets
4) several glass jars
6) water bath
7) some cutlery, spatula’s etc (do ask you SO!)
8) 50ml syringe or turkey blaster (optional)
This is my recipe and I don’t buy poppies. I grow poppies. So get some seeds, find a deserted plot somewhere in suburbia, and spread them. By the middle of June till July your poppies will look like this:
somniferums come in several pretty colours
Now you can either harvest them now and dry them at home, or let them dry in the field. They will be dry about one month after they bloomed. But beware: heavy rainfall will flush all goodies from your pods.
Now you have dried poppies.
the ones with stems were dried in the field while the others were harvested green and fresh
Crush them. Separate the seeds from the straw by using a kitchen sieve. Use the seeds for food or next years harvest.
You can use a blender to make the straw even finer. But you don’t want it to be too powdery as this will make it harder to filter in a later step.
this is about the coarseness you need
Americans can use Ever-Clear. I use 80% Stroh Rum. The rum is mixed with activated charcoal, from the fish-pond-store, and left for a week or so. The rum should be clear and colourless after this, with no smell other than that of alcohol. This I call “reclaimed rum”.
3, and on:
“Look around and thou wilt find”
Okay now we have everything we need. Let’s get started.
Get a pan that holds your poppies, maybe 10 litres. Or get several pans. Put your poppy straw (1kg) in the pan(s) and cover with water (about 7 litres). Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes max.
these bits are pretty coarse, smaller would be better
Pull the filter cloth over a bucket and secure with a sting.
Careful pour the water from the pan into the bucket. Like straining boiled potatoes, leave as much poppies in the pan as possible. You will get 3 litres of water in the bucket.
this step will take ages if you made your poppy straw into a very fine powder
left: extract nr 1, right: mushy poppies
Add as much fresh water to the pan as you strained off. In this case it is 3 litres.
Bring to a simmer and leave for another 30 min. Strain again.
Repeat step 3.
Now we have done three extraction which gave us about 8 litres of extract. And brown mushy poppies. Throw away the poppies.
extract and worthless poppies
This is going to be tricky. The problem is this: we have a lot of water to evaporate. Water boils at a temperature at which morphine becomes instable. What chemical reaction takes place at these temps is a mystery to me, but it is no good. A temperature of 85 °C seems to be a safe upper limit. But at 85 oC water takes ages to evaporate. Tests -done by me- have shown that M doesn’t rot away immediately at 100 °C, it takes time. So we can boil this water off as long as we do it fast! My solution is to do relative small portions at a time. With a fan blowing dry air over the boiling pots, effectively cooling the solution to almost sub boiling temps by evaporation of…. water. This way no part of the extract is exposed to boiling temps for more than 15 minutes or so. Use large shallow pans, maybe the lids of pans.
Don’t let the extract get to thick. If it gets too thick, there is very little water left, so it can easily get too hot, ruining you alkaloids. You have got to stop boiling while you can still pour the extract as a liquid.
For reference: you should have about 1 to 2 litres left.
I am sure there must be much better ways to get water out of an extract. But this one is simple, only requires kitchen stuff, and a day off work.
Maybe the handier types of folk would construct a vacuum rotation film evaporator of cause, which can evaporate at lower temp and with greater speed…
use a broad, shallow pan, or a lid of a pan in this case
a second batch is being made in the back
all batches boiling in, simultaneous
Set up a water bath, preferably with a thermostat, and evaporate most of the last water. With a fan over the liquid it should take about 12 hours to reduce the last one litre to about 500 ml’s. You can use a boiling water bath, because the evaporating water will cool you solution down (fan!). Make sure your bath does not boil dry! If you have a thermostat bath, set it to 85 °C.
How dry? You don’t want a dry crust; we want something we can scoop like thick maple syrup.
a water bath setup in beginning
the same setup after about 12 hours
Fill jars half with the thick gooey extract and fill up with 80% alcohol. Shake a few minutes. Leave for a day and shake again. Now leave for a week or longer.
In time the alcohol and extract will have separated again, with a dark brown clear upper layer and a lighter murky bottom layer. Now we want the upper without any bottom silt. This can be done by decanting or better: use a big syringe. Keep the clear upper layer in a large bottle.
the jar on the right has the product from step 6 mixed with 80% alcohol and shaken,
the jar on the left was left alone for a week and has separated in an layer of raw Laudanum (top) and silt (bottom)
siphoning the top layer of with a big syringe
Refill the jar, still half full with sediment, now with 40% (or 50%) alcohol. Shake, wait a day, shake, wait a week and separate like in step 8.
adding alcohol to the silt
separation has taken place, see that the silt has become lighter in colour because of denaturising of proteins
This is the same as step 9 but now with 20% alcohol.
After siphoning of the last top layer, you can throw away the slurry. It should be depleted.
The reason I go down on the % of alcohol is an economic one. This way the loss on alcohol in the final sediment layer is minimal. Dutch economics?
Mix the 80%, 40% and 20% extracts together. Now we have about 1.5 litres of dark brown liquid, which should contain the best part of 1 litre of 80% alcohol. All we have to do is add some flavour and dilute it in the end to 2 litres of 40% papaver liqueur.
This is the best part: the flavouring. This is where we can make a difference. Like the difference between moonshine and a 10 year old single malt. Both do the job but they don’t taste the same, right?
My personal favourite recipe is (for two litres):
-20 grams of aniseed,
-5 grams of star anise and
-15 grams of fennel seed
-200 grams of sugar and
-350 grams of dextrose/glucose
And a few other secret taste makers, which are a secret. So I am not gonna tell you!
In the end it will have a real nice soft anis/liquorice taste to it and a hell of a punch!
But don’t take my word, get your herbs and spices out and blend your own tasty Laudanum or if you take my final recipe: Laudrum Mollis.
final product and one of the flavourings, as a finishing touch; make an old fashioned style label
Other good active ingredients are: Ginkgo Biloba or Ma Huang both have a good synergy with the laudanum and they add nicely taste too.
An other variation is to replace the “reclaimed rum” for Ouzo, Pernod or Pastis. You will need three bottles of 70cl though. But you spare yourself the trouble of reclaiming rum. And no need to make the final product to taste: the ouzo and raw laudanum taste good enough.
This is when two of my hobbies meld and become one. Ah, how beautiful…. Darn, gotta keep off the stuff, this is too good.
Just a quick recap:
1) Simmer grinded poppy straw in water for a maximum of 30 minutes
3) Do step 1 and 2 a second time
4) Do step 1 and 2 a third time and combine filtrates
5) Boil of excess water quickly in small batches with a fan blowing over the surface
6) Evaporate the last bit of water with a water bath, direct heat would get too hot
7) Fill a jar half way with the extract, add alcohol, shake, wait a bit, shake, wait a week
8) Siphon of the top layer = raw laudanum/laudrum
9) Add fresh alcohol, shake, wait a bit, shake, wait a week for the second time and separate like in step 8
10) Add fresh alcohol, shake, wait a bit, shake, wait a week for the third time and separate like in step 8
11) Mix all the alcohol extracts together and dilute to about 40%
12) Bring to taste, make a nice label and you are READY!
Get your vintage copy of DeQuincey´s Confessions out, and nod back to Victorian England!
Re: Guide To Making (a Sort Of) Laudanum, (A step by step pictorial)
Awesome Tek outriderx, my gerbil will try this as soon as he gets his next batch of poppies. For potency reasons he would probably never bring the solution above 80 degrees, but it seems like your product is of high quality nonetheless. What would be SWIyour usual dose of this and about how high is SWIyour tolerence? I've read that saffron was a popular/key ingredient in old school laudanums, have SWIY ever tried it? Sweet labels btw : P
AW: Guide To Making (a Sort Of) Laudanum, (A step by step pictorial)
Well, first is to say that this is not excactly SWIms manual, also not mine, same goes for any product, neither I nor somebody i met has actually produced (or even tried) to make this product, not even having/wanting the necessary chemicals/pods etc. i found it somewhere on the internet, but SWIM read that it got some pretty good reputation and results.
about the recipe, well there is no standardized laudanum recipe, it varied from country to region, if not even from pharmacy to pharmacy and also depending on the usage, one can add pretty much whatever he feels like, SWIM would recommend (if at all) things that have actually some pharmacologic usage, like improving effects or chaning (f.e. relaxing) effects or just adding something for taste or smell, but actually both seems to be quite stupid, since one could - if necessary - add those later and its not wise to do so without completely know what one is doing and maybe even risking this great product, even those mentioned above (like gingko), swim would not add those, its just personal preference.. especially of the ma huang (=ephedrine) SWIM highly disapproves, since it changes the experience to the worse.
so SWIY could add whatever he wants to, there is no "real" laudanum.
Re: Guide To Making (a Sort Of) Laudanum, (A step by step pictorial)
SWIM followed this method in his hypothetical laboratory to the letter except for a few small adjustments of temperature. The result was of great theoretical quality when it was administered to his lab animals. SWIM is thinking that this method could improve with the use of a few other filtration techniques combined with this base technique itself. He will post again when he has performed these theoretical experiments for other SWIMMERS enjoyment.