Affordable Extraction and Evaporation Equipment

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cronicoldguy

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Looking at what specialty equipment is affordable to the average person. Specifically, evaporators/distillers.

I have seen several Short Path Still options that seem very reasonably priced if I ever graduate to distillates. First off, I got to get extraction down so I consistently get same results.

I started out with extractions the hillbilly way. Soak flower, and then evaporate solvent to atmosphere in a double boiler on the stove. I progressed to a Source Turbo with little research. Now I furthered my research of other methods of solvent recovery. Rotary Evaporation and Wiped Film. Wiped film looks out of the question because of cost and complexity. But I discovered Rotary Evaporation is not all that expensive. Less than or equal to what I paid for the Source Turbo. That is if any of what I found is even worth buying.

With that said, I have a couple of questions. I only need a small scale unit. This is for personal use. So average batch of oil would likely start with 4oz flower. Or is that too small of scale to utilize a rotovap?

1) Is a rotary evaporator more efficient than the Source Turbo in terms of solvent removal? Its function and design alone tells me it would be far superior. I am satisfied with theamount of solvent Source Turbo recovers, but does a rotovap leave less residual solvent in finished oil?

2) If so, what kind of quality would I be looking at for a rotovap around $700CAD?

Any suggestions on a quality but affordable rotovap?

Thanks
 
I

IamN2pot

246
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If you're trying to go on the cheap, then a China outlet like DHGate.com . If you want better quality from a US dealer, I'd recoment shopbvv.com . He has been in the business for a long time and is very reputable.
Hope that helps, N2
 
Garbage_bear

Garbage_bear

360
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Looking at what specialty equipment is affordable to the average person. Specifically, evaporators/distillers.

I have seen several Short Path Still options that seem very reasonably priced if I ever graduate to distillates. First off, I got to get extraction down so I consistently get same results.

I started out with extractions the hillbilly way. Soak flower, and then evaporate solvent to atmosphere in a double boiler on the stove. I progressed to a Source Turbo with little research. Now I furthered my research of other methods of solvent recovery. Rotary Evaporation and Wiped Film. Wiped film looks out of the question because of cost and complexity. But I discovered Rotary Evaporation is not all that expensive. Less than or equal to what I paid for the Source Turbo. That is if any of what I found is even worth buying.

With that said, I have a couple of questions. I only need a small scale unit. This is for personal use. So average batch of oil would likely start with 4oz flower. Or is that too small of scale to utilize a rotovap?

1) Is a rotary evaporator more efficient than the Source Turbo in terms of solvent removal? Its function and design alone tells me it would be far superior. I am satisfied with theamount of solvent Source Turbo recovers, but does a rotovap leave less residual solvent in finished oil?

2) If so, what kind of quality would I be looking at for a rotovap around $700CAD?

Any suggestions on a quality but affordable rotovap?

Thanks
Hey if you do upgrade and want to sell the source turbo let me know. I run the small one right now but I either need another small one or a big one to make enough medicine for myself.
 
Moe.Red

Moe.Red

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I started out with extractions the hillbilly way. Soak flower, and then evaporate solvent to atmosphere in a double boiler on the stove. I progressed to a Source Turbo with little research. Now I furthered my research of other methods of solvent recovery. Rotary Evaporation and Wiped Film. Wiped film looks out of the question because of cost and complexity. But I discovered Rotary Evaporation is not all that expensive. Less than or equal to what I paid for the Source Turbo. That is if any of what I found is even worth buying.

With that said, I have a couple of questions. I only need a small scale unit. This is for personal use. So average batch of oil would likely start with 4oz flower. Or is that too small of scale to utilize a rotovap?

1) Is a rotary evaporator more efficient than the Source Turbo in terms of solvent removal? Its function and design alone tells me it would be far superior. I am satisfied with theamount of solvent Source Turbo recovers, but does a rotovap leave less residual solvent in finished oil?

2) If so, what kind of quality would I be looking at for a rotovap around $700CAD?

Any suggestions on a quality but affordable rotovap?

Thanks
No, 4 oz is not too small, but it will take a while to get your $ value back with such small amounts.
Yes, rotovap is more "efficient". I have both. Or rather I did have, gave the source to a buddy here moshman.

I put quotes around efficient because that is not the primary motivator here to move to rotovap. Quality is. Temps and vacuum are controllable, and I run my bath at 35C. I got rid of the source because the temp control on that thing is nutty. It would get up to 50C which destroys terpenes.

I have not shopped in a while, mine is a few years old. Don't be afraid of the Chinese machines (I got mine Ali Express) as long as the glass is good borosilicate.

 
Moshmen

Moshmen

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Got good use out that turbo turned me onto alcohol extraction- I passed it on to Amy as I felt she needed the meds worst than me - ready for that rotovap myself just haven’t pulled the trigger , and yep all about quality I’ll never get my money back as we just produce for family - but I sure like having quality product .
 
Moe.Red

Moe.Red

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Got good use out that turbo turned me onto alcohol extraction- I passed it on to Amy as I felt she needed the meds worst than me - ready for that rotovap myself just haven’t pulled the trigger , and yep all about quality I’ll never get my money back as we just produce for family - but I sure like having quality product .
It would take big balls to drive a few pounds across several states but if ya ever come up this way we could process a metric shit ton for you over a weekend.
 
Moshmen

Moshmen

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It would take big balls to drive a few pounds across several states but if ya ever come up this way we could process a metric shit ton for you over a weekend.
Ima be in Michigan this weekend! SW Michigan prolly 4/5 hrs from ya thanx but yeah my balls not that big I’m allergic to plexiglass
 
C

cronicoldguy

73
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So I am ready to go ahead with a rotovap.

Can you guys please steer me towards an affordable rig that wont leave me standing? I know I wont get much, but willing to spend $1000CAD to get in the door. Am i smoking too much or can I get a decent turnkey for this price?

Recommendations please.
 
Moe.Red

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I don’t think you can get it done for 1000. A proper chiller will cost that much alone.
 
C

cronicoldguy

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BTW In have a short path as well. Rotovap is used 5X or more - if you only get one make it the rotovap.
Ya, I can see and appreciate the off-set in use between the two. Takes a shit-ton of rotovap'in to get enough oil to distill. Problem is sourcing herb. I dont grow so I have to purchase. So that is the problem for me. That is what sucks. I can get bud at decent prices, but under the table and quality sometimes questionable. This is all personal use and I want to be as legit as possible. Cannabis being legal still has hurdles.
I don’t think you can get it done for 1000. A proper chiller will cost that much alone.
Is a chiller absolutely necessary? Could I just run cold tap water thru the condenser? The water here even in the summer is very cold out of the tap. It wouldnt take that big of a stream. What is the ideal water temp for circulating the condenser?
 
C

cronicoldguy

73
18
Still looking at rotovaps. Trying to do this on the skinny to get in the door.

I see there are units with the condenser vertical. And others angled at about 45deg.

Is there advantages of of either configuration? Which one is best?

Is a chiller absolutely necessary? Or can cold tap water be circulated thru condenser?

I would need to sell my Source Turbo to fund this. I paid $825CAD brand new, delivered to my door. Would it be unreasonable to ask $600CAD for it?

I didnt want to wear out my Source Turbo using the vacuum pump to filter, so I bought a dedicated pump. This pump is overkill for filtering, but I thought I would get a half-assed 2 stage so I was one step closer to a rotovap. This is the pump I ordered:
Is this pump suitable for a rotovap?

Also, I think a vacuum controller would be very handy, if not mandatory for a rotovap. They seem very expensive. This is the cheapest I found. Is this suitable? Is there a better 'cheap' alternative?

Now, onto an actual rotovap unit.

I dont want a super cheap unit, but at the same time, I dont want to break the bank. Looks like I wont get anything operational (rotovap, glassware, heating bath) for less than $1500CAD. I would purchase a chiller last, if required.

I am looking for a unit that uses standard glassware so parts are easy to source if broken.

Lastly. To protect my new pump, should I have a cold/vapor trap just for filtering? I realize I would need one for short path distillation. But is one required for a rotovap? If so, could somebody steer me towards a suitable 'cheap' one? Or can I make one myself?

Any help and suggestions appreciated.
 
Last edited:
Buzzzz

Buzzzz

1,135
163
Looking at what specialty equipment is affordable to the average person. Specifically, evaporators/distillers.

I have seen several Short Path Still options that seem very reasonably priced if I ever graduate to distillates. First off, I got to get extraction down so I consistently get same results.

I started out with extractions the hillbilly way. Soak flower, and then evaporate solvent to atmosphere in a double boiler on the stove. I progressed to a Source Turbo with little research. Now I furthered my research of other methods of solvent recovery. Rotary Evaporation and Wiped Film. Wiped film looks out of the question because of cost and complexity. But I discovered Rotary Evaporation is not all that expensive. Less than or equal to what I paid for the Source Turbo. That is if any of what I found is even worth buying.

With that said, I have a couple of questions. I only need a small scale unit. This is for personal use. So average batch of oil would likely start with 4oz flower. Or is that too small of scale to utilize a rotovap?

1) Is a rotary evaporator more efficient than the Source Turbo in terms of solvent removal? Its function and design alone tells me it would be far superior. I am satisfied with theamount of solvent Source Turbo recovers, but does a rotovap leave less residual solvent in finished oil?

2) If so, what kind of quality would I be looking at for a rotovap around $700CAD?

Any suggestions on a quality but affordable rotovap?

Thanks
Isomizer by Gold who wrote cannabis alchemy.





 
C

cronicoldguy

73
18
Isomizer by Gold who wrote cannabis alchemy.





Thanks for the reply but I have a Source Turbo already. I am sure the Source works as well as that or better. I want to step-up a notch and get the real deal.
 
Moe.Red

Moe.Red

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Ok not sure where to start. You have obviously given this some thought and research but I think you are missing some data in your search.

First, all these things need to be sized correctly to work together. I can’t comment on the pump without seeing the rotovap. Got a link?

Yes you will need either a cold trap or you will damage your pump eventually. There are other vacuum pumps that use water that do not require a cold trap. But again the pump needs to be sized to the rotovap so we need to start there.

There is really no point to upgrading to a rotovap if you do not use a chiller. You want your coils to be -20C to 0C max which equates to a 35C bath. If you run cold tap water (maybe 15C?) your bath has to go up to 50C minimum which is about what you get with your source turbo. Since you are dealing with small quantities there is no real incentive to upgrade.

Vacuum controller should be another $1000 us if you want a proper setup. I cannot comment on the one you linked, except to say turning on and off the pump is a hacky solution and I would rather buy the right pump that can be run full on all the time and eliminate the controller if it is not in the budget.

Really, for the price range you are in you already have the right product.
 
C

cronicoldguy

73
18
Ok not sure where to start. You have obviously given this some thought and research but I think you are missing some data in your search.

First, all these things need to be sized correctly to work together. I can’t comment on the pump without seeing the rotovap. Got a link?

Yes you will need either a cold trap or you will damage your pump eventually. There are other vacuum pumps that use water that do not require a cold trap. But again the pump needs to be sized to the rotovap so we need to start there.

There is really no point to upgrading to a rotovap if you do not use a chiller. You want your coils to be -20C to 0C max which equates to a 35C bath. If you run cold tap water (maybe 15C?) your bath has to go up to 50C minimum which is about what you get with your source turbo. Since you are dealing with small quantities there is no real incentive to upgrade.

Vacuum controller should be another $1000 us if you want a proper setup. I cannot comment on the one you linked, except to say turning on and off the pump is a hacky solution and I would rather buy the right pump that can be run full on all the time and eliminate the controller if it is not in the budget.

Really, for the price range you are in you already have the right product.

Thanks very much for the reply Moe! That definitely adds some insight. But I am not discouraged yet. LOL

So I definitely want a chiller? Please excuse my ignorance. But could you please explain the differential between coil temp and bath temp? Am I correct to assume Bath = the temp of water circulated inside the condenser? Speaking of the condenser, why are some orientated vertical and some near horizontal?

I was hoping to get a rotovap with a smaller capacity. That seems to be 2L. A 1L evaporating flask would be more practical for me, but havent seen any that small. Average batch to process would be 0.25-0.5 LB of flower. Takes way too long in the Source Turbo. Plus, I like absolute control. Cant control heat or vacuum with the ST.

An example of wanting control:
I wasnt sure I was decarbing proper in the oven because I could never get a buzz from edibles. So when I came across the Ardent Nova Decarboxylator, I grabbed one. Threw 1oz of premium flower in it and ran it thru it's cycle. Bud turned brownish and aroma changed. There was some condensation on lid when finished and bud was still somewhat hydrated. Ground up 3g and put in a yogurt smoothie and had no effect. Threw the Ardent in the corner. I dont trust it one bit. It left me wondering if my tolerance is really high, or the Ardent is bunk. To error on the safe side, I wont use it anymore. Back to the oven.

VACUUM PUMP and CONTROLLER
I was hoping to pick people's brains here prior to buying a vacuum pump. All of the components for that matter. But I didnt want to clutter forum with so many questions, then piss people off to the point nobody relies. So I went ahead and bought a pump that I thought would be suitable to 'ghetto' an operational rig together. I assumed the pump, being a 2 stage and 1/2HP, would be more than adequate for a small rotovap. I also assumed I would need a cold/vapor trap. I didnt think to look for that feature on the pump.
I seen some vacuum systems with a tank as well. Is there any advantage? Would that reduce the frequency of the pump needing to be switching on and off during evaporation? I do have a compressor tank I could incorporate if so.
As you stated, the vacuum controller I linked to is pretty basic. That is something I can upgrade in the future. I realize it isnt optimal, but it should get me in the door and do the job. If and when I do decide to upgrade the controller, what features should I look for?

Again thanks for the reply.
 
Moe.Red

Moe.Red

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Thanks very much for the reply Moe! That definitely adds some insight. But I am not discouraged yet. LOL

So I definitely want a chiller? Please excuse my ignorance. But could you please explain the differential between coil temp and bath temp? Am I correct to assume Bath = the temp of water circulated inside the condenser? Speaking of the condenser, why are some orientated vertical and some near horizontal?

I was hoping to get a rotovap with a smaller capacity. That seems to be 2L. A 1L evaporating flask would be more practical for me, but havent seen any that small. Average batch to process would be 0.25-0.5 LB of flower. Takes way too long in the Source Turbo. Plus, I like absolute control. Cant control heat or vacuum with the ST.

An example of wanting control:
I wasnt sure I was decarbing proper in the oven because I could never get a buzz from edibles. So when I came across the Ardent Nova Decarboxylator, I grabbed one. Threw 1oz of premium flower in it and ran it thru it's cycle. Bud turned brownish and aroma changed. There was some condensation on lid when finished and bud was still somewhat hydrated. Ground up 3g and put in a yogurt smoothie and had no effect. Threw the Ardent in the corner. I dont trust it one bit. It left me wondering if my tolerance is really high, or the Ardent is bunk. To error on the safe side, I wont use it anymore. Back to the oven.

VACUUM PUMP and CONTROLLER
I was hoping to pick people's brains here prior to buying a vacuum pump. All of the components for that matter. But I didnt want to clutter forum with so many questions, then piss people off to the point nobody relies. So I went ahead and bought a pump that I thought would be suitable to 'ghetto' an operational rig together. I assumed the pump, being a 2 stage and 1/2HP, would be more than adequate for a small rotovap. I also assumed I would need a cold/vapor trap. I didnt think to look for that feature on the pump.
I seen some vacuum systems with a tank as well. Is there any advantage? Would that reduce the frequency of the pump needing to be switching on and off during evaporation? I do have a compressor tank I could incorporate if so.
As you stated, the vacuum controller I linked to is pretty basic. That is something I can upgrade in the future. I realize it isnt optimal, but it should get me in the door and do the job. If and when I do decide to upgrade the controller, what features should I look for?

Again thanks for the reply.
I’ll start you off here


Sun nite with the old lady but I’ll be around tomorrow
 
Moe.Red

Moe.Red

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So I definitely want a chiller? Please excuse my ignorance. But could you please explain the differential between coil temp and bath temp? Am I correct to assume Bath = the temp of water circulated inside the condenser? Speaking of the condenser, why are some orientated vertical and some near horizontal?
No the bath is the the water bath that the sourced vessel sits in. So this is your start point.

In a perfect world, do not exceed 40C. More than that and you start to kill terpenes.

The bath sets the next stage temp - condensing vapor into liquid ETOH. Condenser needs to be 20*C or more lower than bath.

But the other variable is vacuum. If you can get down to 25 - 35 Torr, you have options. If not, you have to raise the bath temp. It is a balance of temp and vacuum that allows ETOH to boil at lower temps than normal.

Orientation is not that critical as long as the condensed ETOH can run out the bottom via gravity.

An example of wanting control:
I wasnt sure I was decarbing proper in the oven because I could never get a buzz from edibles. So when I came across the Ardent Nova Decarboxylator, I grabbed one. Threw 1oz of premium flower in it and ran it thru it's cycle. Bud turned brownish and aroma changed. There was some condensation on lid when finished and bud was still somewhat hydrated. Ground up 3g and put in a yogurt smoothie and had no effect. Threw the Ardent in the corner. I dont trust it one bit. It left me wondering if my tolerance is really high, or the Ardent is bunk. To error on the safe side, I wont use it anymore. Back to the oven.

So are you saying that normally edibles work for you? If not, there is a genetic difference some people have that effect the production of an enzyme in the liver that is used to break down THC. Some people produce too much and the THC washes thru their system so fast they don't really get any benefit. Breaks down to byproducts too quickly. On the other side, there are folks who cannot break down THC because they are lacking the enzyme.

Decarboxylation IMO should happen after the rotovap.

VACUUM PUMP and CONTROLLER
I was hoping to pick people's brains here prior to buying a vacuum pump. All of the components for that matter. But I didnt want to clutter forum with so many questions, then piss people off to the point nobody relies. So I went ahead and bought a pump that I thought would be suitable to 'ghetto' an operational rig together. I assumed the pump, being a 2 stage and 1/2HP, would be more than adequate for a small rotovap. I also assumed I would need a cold/vapor trap. I didnt think to look for that feature on the pump.
I seen some vacuum systems with a tank as well. Is there any advantage? Would that reduce the frequency of the pump needing to be switching on and off during evaporation? I do have a compressor tank I could incorporate if so.
As you stated, the vacuum controller I linked to is pretty basic. That is something I can upgrade in the future. I realize it isnt optimal, but it should get me in the door and do the job. If and when I do decide to upgrade the controller, what features should I look for?

Again thanks for the reply.
For all the reasons stated above, and the fact that this is a balancing act between molecular forces, you need everything sized to match in the whole system. Buying things piecemeal is fine, as long as it is part of a well designed system. Because you don't have the rotovap yet, that would concern me.

ETOH vapor is something you don't want in a mechanical pump. You would need a cold trap or you will destroy the pump pretty quickly. This is the answer

1658150797205


Relatively cheap, can easily get down to well under 40 Torr, and no need for cold trap.

You can use that, run it full bore all the time and use a bleed valve at the receiving flask to manually set vacuum - cheap and somewhat effective.
 
C

cronicoldguy

73
18
View attachment 1262762

Relatively cheap, can easily get down to well under 40 Torr, and no need for cold trap.

You can use that, run it full bore all the time and use a bleed valve at the receiving flask to manually set vacuum - cheap and somewhat effective.
Could you post a link to this? Can you explain exactly what is it? I have seen this several times. But not sure exactly what it does. It serves as a vacuum pump and chiller?
 
Moe.Red

Moe.Red

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Could you post a link to this? Can you explain exactly what is it? I have seen this several times. But not sure exactly what it does. It serves as a vacuum pump and chiller?
I show it in use in the video I linked 2 times.

It is a vacuum pump that uses ice water as the membrane. It is not a chiller although I see people selling it as a dual purpose machine.



use your google fu for something near you.
 

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