Chaga can be harvested from birch trees in the northern regions of the United States as well as other regions that are abundant in birch trees and have colder climates. If you are lucky enough to find and harvest a chunk of Chaga, you will need to prepare it for use. Chaga needs to be dried for long term storage. You may be wondering, how long should Chaga dry? Here are some tips for preparation and storage.
Before drying Chaga you should separate your conk into smaller chunks. This can be done with a hatchet or a hammer. Breaking up Chaga can be a challenging task because it is so hard. While Chaga may feel rather dry, it is important to remove any moisture present so that the Chaga doesn’t mold. Brewing the tea immediately eliminates the need for drying. However, if you harvested a large chunk of Chaga it is not likely that you will use all of the chunks for brewing tea immediately.
How Long Should Chaga Dry?
To dry for storage, you can use the oven on a low temperature. mushroom-collecting.com suggest drying at 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours. Alternatively, you can find a warm, dry place in your house to allow the Chaga to dry. This method may take several days. You can also a use a dehydrator to speed along the process, reducing the drying time to several hours instead of a day or more. You will know your Chaga is dry when it is rock hard. Once your Chaga is dry, you can store chunks in a paper bag. Dried Chaga chunks will keep for a long time.
Making Chaga Tea
Once you have Chaga chunks you can brew a tea with the Chaga chunks. If you have a heavy duty grinder, you can grind the chunks into a powder. However, a powder is not necessary for making Chaga tea. Simmer the chunks in water until the tea is the consistency you enjoy. You can make a thick concentrate by steeping for a long time. The concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for at least one week.
Chaga chunks are precious, so be sure to store them and use them again. They can be stored in an air tight container, with water over the top of the Chaga chunks. Brew the Chaga chunks until the tea appears weak and no longer brews to the strength you prefer. You can also use spent Chaga chunks to make a tincture with alcohol.
Uses for Chaga Concentrate
You can add water to the concentrate and reheat it for a quick cup of tea. For a cold drink, add it to smoothies or blend it with almond milk, honey and ice. Chaga concentrate also makes an excellent chai style drink with the addition of your favorite spices.
Quality Chaga Products
If you would rather skip the process of doing it yourself, you can purchase quality Chaga products for Chaga Natural. Our Chaga is harvested carefully and sustainably in the rural regions of Russia. This Chaga grows at least 100 miles from any city. It has not been exposed to any harsh pollutants or toxins. Take the guesswork out of harvesting and drying Chaga and include Chaga Natural’s products in your daily health routines.