Apeks 20L CO2 Extraction - problem getting material out of and cleaning separator/cup

just started running a new 20L Apeks. ran a low temp/pressure terpene run and then a full 12.5 hr run on 8.4 lbs.
the result was a very hard/crystally mess.
difficult getting material out of the separator and cup? any experienced apeks folks have suggestions?
i took about 2.5 hrs to get the all of the material out and clean for next run.


Heat gun, the single most valuable tool in any cannabis lab. You can also use it to clean the column. Just hit it with some heat then spray ethanol and it will be like new again. We used a heat gun all the time when we were still doing CO2 and we used an Apeks 20L too.


Thanks! Can’t believe something that simple didn’t occur to me. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Don’t use the heat gun with the ethanol. I know common sense but saying it anyway.

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why did you stop doing co2?

We moved over to the hemp side of the industry doing bulk processing.

did you say “it doesn’t scale as well as ethanol”? :wink:

or just that it’s cheaper to scale?

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You’d think it went without saying…but it doesn’t.
So thank you.

A heat gun is an invaluable tool when working with cannabinoid extracts.
It is also a potential source of ignition…

Use your brain like your life depends on it.


You got it, CO2 doesn’t scale well. Very, very expensive and it’s just a lot slower too.

Yes don’t use the heat gun on the ethanol. Ever!
Warm up the gunk on the walls of the cylinder or cup first, then apply ethanol to free up the crude. But it only needs to be warm, not hot!


What the actual fuck? Common sense is not common. The other guy seemed to think it was fine too.

I remember that video from a while ago. That some idiotic shit right there. I don’t even like having my pumps or anything near my extractor. Fuck the heat gun on liquid butane.

First dude don’t wait for shit. He’s like I’m out. Peace!

Not sure what the final product you are making is, but if it is going to be decarbed then decarbing the bed before extraction will make cleaning a breeze. For co2 extractions.

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The right cleaning method is important - thank you again for the heat gun heads up. I guess what I’m really trying to ask/figure out is how to prevent this type of crystallization in the vessel(s)/cup. My run times have varied from about 1.5 hrs/lb to 2+ hrs/lb (not decarbed, since we are interested in terp extraction first). When you were doing your Apex runs, what were your typical lbs/hr for cannabinoid runs?

We started at 2 hrs/lb but eventually settled on 1.5 hrs/lb. While we did get a little more oil at 2 hrs we also got a lot more waxes and fats that we had to contend with. It was an efficiency decision.

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Did you ever encounter a crystalline type result where the oil was like a jolly rancher candy consistency and extremely difficult to clean?

That sounds like you might still have dry ice in your extract, just give it time to degas and it should soften up.

So if you are getting dry ice in your collection cup, and oil up the separator tube, I would say you might need to evaporate your CO2 faster, meaning more heat or less pressure in the separator.

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I’ve had crumbles before when the separator was too cold. It still melts down when you get it warm though. Pain in the butt to get out of the cup unless you heat it with the heat gun.

Cut off your chiller during the last half of recovery. This will allow your pump heat to over come the JT cooling in the separator. This small amount of heat to the separators will allow your oil viscosity to decrease to levels were you can clean the separators out quickly.


Will try that - so basically when the pressures in the separators drop to about 250 psi, turn off the chiller?