do you have any more details on how to extract lanolin. You mention boiling? Is there more to it than just boiling, or can it be extracted effectively by just boiling? Thank you so much!
To extract the lanolin from unwashed wool you boil the wool in water for a few hours, adding salt to improve the yield of lanolin. Next, you reduce the solution by boiling off most of the water. After you filter any undissolved solid material from the hot solution and let it cool, you should be left with a pale-yellow waxy solid floating on the surface of the water. This is impure lanolin. You can purify it, as we did on the show, by taking the crude lanolin and shaking it with a mixture of olive oil and water. The impurities will dissolve into the water and the oil, leaving you with a solid layer of off-white, waxy 'purified' lanolin suspended between the oil and water.
Step one- Fill a large pot with hot water (pot should be large enough to fit your wool)
Step two- Put the raw wool in a laundry bag and place in pot
Step three- Add salt (1-3 tablespoons)
Step four- Bring water to a steady boil for a few hours. Do not leave wool unattended. Add water as needed.
Step five- Remove wool from water and place in a container to dry. (Water is very hot so do this with gloves and tongs)
Step six- Continue to boil water until it all evaporates. What is left is the lanolin!
Step seven- Pour the leftover lanolin though cheese cloth or muslin. This will remove dirt and debris.
Step eight- Allow lanolin to cool then jar!
About the purification method above, since oils float, I don't see why it's necessary to boil all the water away before taking the lanolin. And then shaking it with water and oil? Why not skim the lanolin off the top in the first place, or cool the water with the lanolin on top? But since I've never done anything like it I could be totally wrong.
Travis Johnson wrote:I know when we shear sheep, my job is to go in and rinse the sheep shears off in warm water so that the lanolin that has collected, washes away. It takes warm water to do that, but not hot...as in boiling wtaer. I am wondering if it depends on what you are after. Lets say you want 100% lanolin and don't care about the wool, then boil the wool and get as much lanolin as you an. But maybe if you were okay with 75% lanolin and still retain the wool, you could just heat up...
I don't know, but that is my question I guess. I do not do wool so I might shear my sheep and try various testing methods. You know say 50 pounds of wool 100% rolling boil. 50 pounds of wool simmered, 50 pounds of wool warmed, etc then weigh the lanolin obtained and see how they do.
Anyone got the link for the lanolin sheep breeds? I looked but could not find it. I did find out that a farmer can obtain 2-4 pounds of lanolin per hundred pounds of wool.