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Member #97100

Member Since: December 15, 2009

Country: United States

  • Thanks for the write-up, Brent.

    The alcohol costs add up fast, so it is generally a good idea to plan on alcohol recovery if you want to do this very often.

    The extracts that one gets with alcohol really depend on the preparation before the separation. You can freeze your alcohol and use it with thoroughly dry plant materials to get a much purer extraction of oils- the waxy paraffins are too cold to go into solution, and the water solubles (terpenes, phenols, chlorophylls) are far less soluble or immobilized for the actual extraction when frozen. You may lose some of the oil using this method, but depending on the plant, it can be surprisingly efficient.

    Another tip is to use something called phase extraction with your concentrated extract. The oily compounds in the watery/oily mixture will often have a much higher solubility in a 'carrier' oil added to your concentrates. Glycerin or almond oil are popular carrier oils. Adding some carrier oil and vigorously mixing the mess will literally draw the oils from your extract into them, leaving more polar compounds and chlorophylls behind in the watery mix. You can then let the mixture sit overnight and draw off the oil layer to use.

    The Extractcraft process uses a vacuum to complete the process in an hour or so, and is on sale now actually. There is Spark Fun in that machine for sure.

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