Cheap budget tek for processing small amounts?

I typically have about 2-4 lbs of dry sift and 10-15lbs of trim and larf to process every 3 months or so right now. Will I be able to produce quality meds (vape cart oils) with a cheap China buchner filter setup and a cheap Amazon 12cfm vac pump? I don’t plan on reclaiming any of the alcohol. Just wash and filter at -10f through grade 5 and grade 1 whatman paper + celite bed. Then evap to atmos the ethanol. Maybe later on when I have some coin saved up I’ll get a rotovap to recapture my ethanol

Plus bubble bags and a panda spin dryer, and you can recover a bunch


I bought this for my own vacuum pump needs for chemicla duty operations. Unfortunately it was just big enough that my sink could not adapt to it. It has a garden hose style attachment. This is a cheap way to go for vacuum that won’t care about fume. Vacuum depth is controlled by water speed through the unit.


@square_root_pharms: WTF not?

you can score a shiny new 5 gal moonshine still for $180.

with Everclear at $75 gal, recovering your solvent more than pays for the still the first time you use it…

including the induction burner to heat it… ($50)

Edit: although that timer function might get annoying real quick. so it might be worth shopping around/paying a little more.


Thanks for that information! From what people were telling me on Facebook groups a rotovap was apparently the only way to go for producing quality meds and reclaiming my ethanol. I’m such a newb that I just assumed a cheap still setup would ruin my oils…

I’ve seen glass vacuum condensing setups on Ebay for cheap as well. Would a vacuum distiller be better than a moonshine setup like that? I just assumed any means besides a rotovap would give me subpar oil and I didn’t want to risk heating away all the terpenes on a full spectrum oil.

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subpar? yeah, that depends on the object of the game…and who you’re talking to.

Full spectrum? Define that and we can talk. The term is waved about all over the place and clearly means different things to different people. eg Looking for CBD Isolate, bio mass, and crude - #61

making an EtOh based shatter requires low heat during evap, eg just a fan, or a rotovap or vacuum still.

I’ve got decarbed ethanol extract in my vape pen right now. by decarbing it (reclaiming the EtOH in a still in this case), the viscosity is now low enough that it works without diluent (that with which you dilute :slight_smile: ). if you don’t decarb, you’ll almost certainly have to dilute your extract to get it into carts. (lots of information on that subject around here Search results for 'diluent' - Future4200 ).

you will absolutely lose some of the terps in a still, or vac still, or rotovap. usually more in the still, but it’s possible to loose more in a rotovap if you’re determined.

-40f (-40C) would be better if you’re looking for pristine color. -80C might be easier to achieve (dry ice).


What are the bubble bags and panda washing machine for? I don’t think I will be getting on the bubble hash train.

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Is -10 going to give me a usable product? I would prefer to not have the added effort and expenditure of sourcing dry ice up here in Maine everyone I run a batch of Etoh. -40 would only be possible if I could afford an ultra low or lab freezer or I could modify my current chest freezer.

Has anyone modified a chest freezer to get below -10f? Maybe wire in an external tstat to the compressor… then it would just be refrigerant dependent on how low it will go. Ya you would decrease its life but if you could get it below -20 or 30 that would be a good trade off versus the 10k+ cost of an ultra low.

When I say full spectrum I guess I just mean it’s not distillate so it could really be anything that hasn’t been further processed simple winterizing. Again I’m a newb so this is all a different language to me. I’m certainly not a pro or in the business as I’m more a hobbiest.

Would a vac still glassware setup be worth it in my case? I will have a cheap vac pump and cold trap setup already.

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you should read the Washing Machine "Salad Spinner" tek thread.

if you can get the solvent off fast enough, -20C will give acceptable quality. which is where the panda and the bubble bags come in.

have you read Bucket Tek (Cold Ethanol Extraction on a Budget)?

Edit: and someone should point out that extracting keif with EtOH can be a bitch…:weary:

Edit: I paid $150 for a used -40C chest freezer that holds three 15gal beer kegs with ease. Finding it took a little time, but it eventually showed up in my inbox one morning using an RSS feed like this one I wasn’t specifically looking for a -40C.


Awesome info man I’m learning so much already. This is crazy so people are using a laundry spin dryer as a centrifuge to separate the etoh from the plant matter in bubble bags and this is actually safe? Is there no worry of combustion with etoh vapors? Also do these spin dryers allow the full reclamation of the oil laden solvents? Is there some loss expected given the volume of liquid leftover in the plumbing after spin drying or do people add clean etoh after spinning to purge the remnants leftover in the plumbing of the “salad spinners”?


safe? probably. mostly. especially with cold ethanol.

usable in a regulated environment? where you need 3rd party engineer sign-off?

Hell no!

3000rpm air powered motors are not particularly expensive…air powered motor - Google Search but there are other issues that would likely need addressed to convince the fire-marshal and the health department that it was kosher.


Any cheap alternative to a panda? Like an actual Salad spinner?

This is the only thing I can think of.

Here in WA, nobody has really asked or regulated my process other than solvent use. If you are using pressure during the extraction, they require a boilermaker permit, other than that, nobody has asked me about my setup.

that salad spinner will not suffice. for reasons that have been explored elsewhere.

Washing Machine "Salad Spinner" tek

Delta Separations CUP

I am only after the last cup of solvent that is still in the material. I wish there was a good cheap solution that would be kosher for regulators

It looks like the bucket tek with a panda is gonna be the way to go. I don’t think I’ll dry sift tumble all of the trim next round. I’ll just extract direct from the plant material. Then I’ll filter with my cheap buchner. I think I may look at getting a vacuum still glassware setup on ebay. Can’t afford a rotovap but the 200 dollar vacuum condenser is within my grasp.

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sounds like you’re on the right track…you promise not to get your tek from Facebook anymore? :wink:


Now that there is a resource like this I’ll probably refrain from scouring fcombustion, reddit, FB and the likes lol.



Absolutely LOVE this site. I wish I found it 2 yrs ago. I could be further along and more wasted $ in my pocket.

Just scored a panda spinner myself today.


Does anyone have any leads or links to a budget vac condenser setup for reclaiming my etoh?
Maybe something like this: and add a stand and double boil hotplate setup?

How many liters?