Advice on a extraction machine (Ethanol)

Hi good folks full of wisdom
I was wondering if someone could give me a little advice to start extracting via ethanol for me and family/friends…
I hope one day get a rotovap, chiller & pump in the mid future but in the meanwhile im seeking which machine to buy first before upgrading a little my ghetto lab compared to a lot of you guys

1.- Air still
2.- moonshine still
3.- a suggested option will be appreciated

My goal its to make dabs, carts. and tinctures maybe some edibles later on…
My process will consist on winterization, filter, distill and decarb (hot plate stirrer) for a while…
From there ill separe the batches. Some for dabs some for tinctures and some for cartridges.

Volume = half a kilo to a kilo per week

I know its small scale but as i said its for my family and me.

I being searching and reading and still doing
it… i know i still have a lot to learn some times its kind of confusing because the language barrier also please excuse my spelling its not my first language.

Every comment will be appreciated
Thank you

moonshine still

…filter, recover and decarb…

while you may be using a still, calling your solvent recovery step “distillation” is going to mess your search queries up…

we generally save that term for distilling of cannabinoids.


Get aquiated with BHO
Serves you better
Dabs. Straight from the jacketed pot used as vac oven
Carts And tinctures same thing
Edibles blast of terps with propane then the noids with butane


Can’t disagree with your statements, yet feel the need to disagree on principle.

EtOH does a decent job, and is a safer way for the average user to gain control of their meds.

squish is safer still.

Thanks @cyclopath,

My biggest concern its how to regulate the temperature, i dont want all the good stuf to just evaporate, i know how it works the air still its pretty straightforward on the other hand in looking for a t-500 its the same rigth just a bit bigger?

What do you mean by “is going to mess your search queries up…”

Yep. @Roguelab’s points are valid AND you should start with EtOH.

When distilling (recovering), temps can’t go above boiling point of solvent till solvent is gone. That’s the whole point of how/why it works…

You can boil water in a paper cup over an open flame…

If you call the process “distillation”, all your search hits will be for the wrong process.

“Distillate” == distilled cannabinoids around here.


Edit: important exception. Recommended reading… Distillation controllers with both temperature and power control (implements well for spd too)

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Thanks @Roguelab

I been researching about BHO extraction and for what i know its cleaner, there is almost no residue left but i think its a little more complicated and not that safe also the BHO its harder to get in my country, besides the extractor its almost the same price as if i bought a rotovap… Of course i need to study a a lot more about this extraction method and in the future i want to process crude by bho then destilate but as i said im just starting and im more inclined towards a beginner method
I really Appreciate your time and advise

Thank you

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Thanks @cyclopath

Yes, i meant solvent recovery and I’ll read those 2 links to get a better idea.
Is there any moonshine still that you recomend?
The air still looks ok but for almost the same price i can get a moonshine still…
Is there a specific model that suits better this process?

Thank you mate

BHO is the product. Butane is the solvent.

Butane Honey Oil (or Hash oil, if you prefer)

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Building your own is traditional for a moonshine still.:shushing_face:

I used don’t recommend the turbo-500. My first column failed, and I soon replaced the second with a tri-clamp ferrule so I could strip vs fractionate.

It’s not a bad concept…when it was the office coffee pot, a short piece of drain-pipe, and some copper tubing that the guys cobbled together to solve a bad beer, it worked great… but implementation suffered once they made a commercial device.

The replacement column the sent was definitely better than the first one (stainless vs plastic connections).

I really like flat plate heat exchangers for the condenser side, and have used liquid/air hx (radiator with a fan) to dump the heat. There are probably pictures of RSOsie, Connie, and Maria around here somewhere.

Get sophisticated and go straight to a diy FFE

Thank you @cyclopath for the info,

So, if i buy a simple stove moonshine still like lets say this one

I would get the same results? As for the pan o think it has holes on it, i should modify this holes if im going to recover here rigth,

Its kind of hard to customize and put together my own still because i dont have any experience with these kind of stills id never distill moonshine or another spirits

I was going to buy an air still or a t-500, now i dont know if i should, i think it does the same process as the Etho pro but less expensive that’s why i was inclined towards this 2 options

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So say half a kg of crude is the goal that means extracting 5 kg of biomass
At 4 liters per kg of biomass

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Is 20 liters of solvent needs to be distilled
I would by something that will serve you as much as possible
Or a rotovap for cold distilling for ya dabs
Or a self assembled tri clamp still wich parts can be of use forever


Best easiest still is a keg with 2” triclamp bridge condensor on a magnetic hotplate
Have any friend that welds stainless steel ?


Hi @Roguelab

Sounds good, Im very interested in that keg with 2” triclamp bridge condensor on a magnetic hotplate

I try to google it but i find just a beer keg with lots of variations, can i bother you with an image or a link to give an idea and start investigating more?

I already brought a hot plate magnetic stirrer but i think its to small to put a beer keg on it… or maybe im misunderstanding the term “keg with 2” triclamp bridge condensor on a magnetic hotplate”

As i said im gettin piece by piece my little lab but this is the harder decision, which distill to buy i like the suggestion that you gave me but cpuld you please give me more details to investigate
I’ll appreciate it

And a keg based still that uses a flat plate HX, combined with the radiator and fan from a salvaged AC unit for cooling, and a 55gal drum with a 4500W 240V hot water heater element for heat.

Her name is Maria, and she’s hot :heart:

She’s totally out of control, so I use a multi-probe bluetooth Barbecue thermometer to tell me what she’s up to.

Boiler temp, head temp, radiator inlet & outlet, reservoir (55gal drum of water) & ambient. Alarms set on a couple of those. So I can do other things…


Deaaamn yes she is Hot man, really nice set up you have there congrats… you just gave me what i was looking for to seek more about recovery, i will give it a good read to this posts to know more before i make my final decision…

Thank you @cyclopath

Indeed a keg is heavy but I solved that isseu with a lab jack and a table for the keg


Really nice, could you tell me the name or a simillar name of that hot plate, i dont want to mix ethanol and fire in the same room thats why i was inclining to the air still

That’s what the baine marie style still solves imo.

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Whats the cloth iron for?