Currently running my first spd. Questions as I go

So as it says I’m running my first spd. As of this moment, my mantle reads 168. I have what I believe are the heads dripping out nicely. Starting to smell sulfur. My first question is I have visible vapors/ghosting pulling through towards my vac, and some liquid building up in my vac line going to the cold trap. What is this vapor?
Also I’m pretty sure I jumped the gun on switching the flasks so I gues 2 flasks are heads, I’ll collect the main In the 3rd and shut down and save the tails in the Bf. Please bare with me
Lol, this is my first ever run in a spd


My cow has had vapor in it since I started basically. Up to 197 in the mante. It’s still dripping pretty consistently. I just really can’t tell when I’m going from heads to main :confused: I’m getting no reflux or action in the head/vigreaux. Just consistent drops of clearish yellow liquid. I don’t want to jump the gun again and ruin the 3rd flask.
I noticed where my head goes into my boiling flask, there’s a little liquid action where it should be sealed with grease. Can this be a leak and also hurting the reflux? I’m at 2240 microns currently. Again sorry if some of this sounds silly. I did as much research as I can and figured I just had to jump in and get my hands dirty


Thanks for paving the way! I’m building my crude up now for my 1st run, hoping not a failure.


I feel like I’m epically failing :confused: which I guess is part of learning for sure. As of now I have 2 flasks with a fair amount of yellow liquid and I was hoping the clear that was coming out was my cannabanoids /delta 9. I’m still getting a lot of vapor/smoke in my cow pulling to the vacuum. If I’m correct and really fail, I can just dump everything back into the flask and start again?


Did you vacuum test your system empty to see what micron you can get down to? 2240
Microns seems awfully high. From my research, you want this much lower.

I can’t imagine seeing cannabinoids vaporizing at 197c and that vacuum level.

I’m getting ready to run sometime next week. Thank for paving the way us.


You are not really distilling anything if you’re vac is not below 1000 micron, preferably below 300 on a first pass. You have a vacuum leak. You need to id it an fix it if you want this to work.


The vapor puff you see are normal, they are the junk you don’t want in your reciever, make sure your lines can drain into the cold trap. work your way up in temp to just below the boiling point of the cannibinoids 140-150c (head temp).
Hold there till the fraction stops, and the vacuum level increases. When your head thermometer reads 160*c or so rotate and begin to collect.


Thank you all… so I pulled the plug on tonight’s run. I just jumped into it the wrong way and it wasn’t meant to be tonight. I will heed all of the above advice. And I believe I did have a leak. Thank you for your patience with the newbs. Ive been doing my best to research on my own. I just need to be a little more patient before I go ahead and start things. I def got the heads going, and everything definitely smells like shit in my lab lol… guess that’s a good sign? Either way, thank you so far, and for my future inquiry’s. I’m going to try all over again tomorow.


I have the same lab kit as you, I can suggest to fix the 24/40 thermometer plug.
The rubber they come with is really crappy. What I did was put high temperature silicon on the top, and sealed it, then punctured it with the thermometer.

How much crude did you use?


I put in about 1000ml as I’ve learned about half full is proper. Although I just poured everything back into a jar, I wish I didn’t start with that much. But I have a lot of crude anyway. And I was meaning to ask a trick for both thermometers. My head thermometer fit so bad I just did without it. Overall, today was a fail, but lessons learned and that’s what counts.


Nah man, I am just at the same stage, I started with less and just burned it haha, I wanted to sell all my equipment and say fuck it.

It is not easy, that’s why you have to keep pushing, pushing it!!! Rest and repeat.


but to get say 454ml of dist oil, isn’t that a ton of trim…

you did ok, keep goin! you learn every step of the way.:100:


learning how to short path is literally like learning how to ride a bike. you can research so much. think you understand all the steps, but you wont until you put both feet on the pedals, and when you do, none of your research makes any sense, the only thing you can do is keep pedaling.

i am a hobbyist at best but
reminds me of the first time i tried spd… everything was exactly what they said would happen, until i got over 150c…and i freaked out cauze of all the rushing vapors and seeing results that were not on par with my research.

yes do a ‘dry run’ with all of your equipment hooked up…sounds like a vac leak, probably with your temp sensor as mentioned before

but i will mention id buy another fireplace rope and wrap it alll the way to the top. trap that heat. use like 10 more feet of foil. not that 8 inch piece.

what were your condenser water temps during the whole process? how high of temps did you end up going?

good news is, you are at the right place, the guys here at this forum are awesome!


Thank you all! And the exact reason I just like someone you can research all day forever but sometimes u just have to go for it and see it yourself. My condenser water temp was at 40c. And I will be ordering more insulating rope! Tomorow is a new day… I ordered new magnetic stirrers as only one I had worked and wasn’t that big. I’m well aware my equipment is sub par. If I can just show the potential to make good product we can upgrade in time. Im going to focus on getting my vacuum down and confirm that I’m getting good readings on my mantle. It’s obviously a cheap Joan lab one. But I need to play with the probe and make sure it’s reading right. Diligence, right? Thanks guy. Tomorow I’ll hopefully be back at it. Out of dozens of message boards I’ve productivly used in my years, this is easily the best community. Thanks!


@Atosnow Where did you get those little silicone plugs? This is the one issue im having getting my unit sealed is these thermo adapters. Thought about buying those thremowell adapters but i doubt anyone makes one for my little 500ml short path.

@Eastcoaststrange Thanks for posting this up. Its really brave for you to show your mistakes like this in front of all the professionals here. This is gonna really help out a number of people that come to this website for help. I really commend you on this run! Great Job! I know you will be on the path to great distillate real soon! Once again Thanks!


on the contrary, 24/40 Glass Thermometer Adapter 100mm Stem Tube La Chemistry Glassware for sale online | eBay
You can get a thermometer well made for you in any length or joint size.Just shop around, heres a shorty I found on ebizzle.
care to share the length/joint size/diameter needed? How about the probe Diameter?


Thanks @Soxhlet. My Thermometer diameter is 5mm, my bf joint is 24/40 but if i measure from the bottom of my 24/40 thermometer insert… I get 90mm. And that is literally the thermo probe sitting a mm or 2 from my stir bar.

I looked after you posted that. Id feel a lot safer with a 85mm thermometer well but i cant seem to find anything smaller than a 100mm

The Boiling flask seal dont seem to be my problem either. Im having more of an issue with the digital kangaroo thermometer i got for the head temp which is a 14/20. The Kangaroo is like 3.5mm which im having issues with. I bought a normal glass thermometer for that which i hope will solve the leaking from that area.

Im not going to start my process till i can get all this little issue solved. I can just keep winterizing my oil and filtering will i can get my setup right.
this glassware factory is out of china, they can make coustom peices. you adapter shoulden’t be more than $20 ish. I have used this company in the past, the glass was decent. Were you measuring immersion from the top or the bottom of the joint?


From the bottom of the joint. This is how i measure. I first placed it into my boiling flask and placed it where I’d like it to be. Marked the length with the tape on the probe.

Did I measure it wrong?