Ya’ll brothers and sisters looking for support extracting or winterizing with ethanol, will be delighted with Extract Craft’s recent offering of their Source Turbo, vacuum assisted ethanol recovery system.
It is a counter top vacuum assisted refluxing still, about the size of a blender, that uses vacuum to reduce the temperature necessary to boil away the ethanol, so as to preserve more of the monoterpenes, as well as limit changes in their properties.
Hee, hee, hee, they sent us a unit to torture and our preliminary testing supports their enthusiasm. Eloquentsolution just happened to have several choices of winterized BHO handy, so we selected about 150 ml from a mixed flower extraction for the trial.
Here are the four pieces that we got, in the front row, not to include the CAT unit. There is also an aluminum pan for use chilling the head, which I note I forgot to include, but you will see it later in use:
Eloquentsolution first wiped the internal surfaces down with 190 proof ethanol to remove any contamination, and after weighing/recording its tare, lightly screwed the boiling cup into place.
After filtering the winterized solution to be recovered, she poured it into the boiling cup, and set the lid in place, followed by the pan of ice to act as a chilled head.
Because the machine may be operating at different altitudes, it is necessary to tell it what altitude it is at, by a series of button pushes, explained in detail in accompanying literature. I cleverly misread the destructions, so we ran the device the way it came out of the box, as opposed to optimizing conditions, but it worked anyway. Except for that preset, everything else is automagical.
After marveling at how much watching a pot boil resembles watching grass grow, we retreated to the dabbing and philosophical discussion room and engaged in product testing while the Source Turbo did its thang.
At 1:59 PM, Eloquentsolution stopped the process, weighted the yield at 9.9 grams, and decanted it for later testing.
More experiments planned, but as for later testing, I’m pleased to report that my own personal anecdotal tests were positive. Still the light sweet taste of ethanol in this batch, and it is about the same consistency as our Clear extract, but as we didn’t finish it off in a thin film, that is to be expected.
Two thoughts on the subject. The first is that at that level, ethanol is not insalubrious, and imparts a pleasant sweet taste, so some will choose to consume it in that state. FDA sets limits for residual ethanol at 5000 ppm or 50 mg per day, and it should meet those standards.
The second is that it is unwelcome at detectable levels, so more vacuum and heating can be used to further refine it to that state, now that the bulk of the ethanol has been removed. The key point to consider, is that the bulk was removed using minimal heat, and thereby minimizing effect on other properties.
The other good news, is that the ethanol that is removed, is collected inside the device for later recycle through refluxing.