Distillation on the budget / silly idea / some questions

First I want to say thanks to everybody here. I will do my best to try to make you understand me, I am from Europe so english still isn’t my best. I am in a very specific situation. Firstly, I dont understand many things and most information out there is crap, I feel that the only helpful and scientifically rational info is here, on this forum. In my country, buying laboratory equipment is almost not possible and illegal. You must have a license to buy it and even if you have it, it is extremely expensive. Sometimes I am jealous when I see how easy it is to get equipment in some countries. Let me start with my idea for distillation. Like I said, short path distillation is not and option. My idea in the beginning was to use water distiller to do it but the problem is that water distillers switch off when temperature reaches 160 degrees celsius which is way too high. I know that boiling point of 190 prof Et is around 78 degrees celsius which give me the idea to make some electrical adjustments to the water destiller, maybe even put thermometer in it to constanty track the temperature. I am not sure in this - theoretically, if you would distillate the soultion in the normal water destiller ( lets say you have around 3.6L ) and temperature would pass 100 - 120 degrees C easily. Would decarboxylation start at that point regardless there is still much Et or almost all solvent needs to be evaporated to make the decarb start? I am not sure if CO2 can leave THCA if there is still some alchocol left? Lets get back to my idea - what If I made the distiller to never pass 90 degrees C or maybe a bit higher? It would be enough for Et to evaporate but also a good temperature to prevent cannabinoid breakdown or premature decarboxylation? After that I would normally decarb it using magnetic hot plate stirrer. Some things here may sound silly, but there is no other options for me, I am trying to do the best with the things I got/ I can afford. I will definitely progress and try to make it better and find the right equipment. People here make it on the open fire using metal pan and they dont even know how to extract things properly, they come out with green, shit taste soup with no medical potential. It is basically a waste of plant. Thanks to everyone one more time. Much love

you can boil water in a paper cup! over an open fire should you choose…


the temperature of your container will not exceed that of the liquid boiling in it. that is the physics of boiling. it removes energy from the puddle.

you can get decarboxylation in ethanol at 78C, but it takes a while. eg I get full decarb when recovering 15gal over the course of 12-14hrs. but only partial decarb if I recover 1/2 that (so 6ish hrs dwell time)

Are you concerned about decarb? it needs decarbed to “work”. Eat it/vape it/Dab it is only relevant to decarbed. I run decarbed eho in my vape pens, when not running live resin in one of these

check this thread for using a store bought water distiller for recovering ethanol.

if you’re not concerned about recovering your solvent to go again, you can remove it with a rice cooker (I pay $5 for them at the second hand store). This is usually how I set folks up for “home use” style production.

it won’t be decarbed when it shuts off, but you can achieve that if you desire.

1/2 gal ethanol, 1/2lb biomass. Big jar, large french press, rice cooker.

if you want a “shatter”, then you’ll need to evaporate slower…rm temp with a fan works for those on a budget.


Thanks for the reply! I understand what decarboxylation is, you probiably didn’t fully understand what I tried to ask. My only concern was the high temperature in the distillator. I looked up the topic you pointed ot and it seems that temperature of water distiller never reach above aprox 105 celsius (221 F) and that it reaches it on the end of the process when volume drastically lowers. I dont know why in the instruction of the distiller says that it automatically shut off when temperature reaches 160 celsius, it really doesnt make sense. It must be some kind of error. It would be the best to monitor the temperature during the process to see the real temperature. What you are saying is that it would not be possible for water distiller reach the temperature over 100 degrees celsius at normal atmospheric preasure? So let me ask you one more precise question? If I have around 3.8L ( 1 gallon ) of solution and I distillate it for about 3-4 hours? Would it still need to be decarboxylated afterwards? Btw, I dont like the whole idea about the rice cooker, it makes too much mess and I really want to recover it.

the temperature of boiling ethanol will NOT exceed the boiling point of ethanol. period.

the only trick is turning off the heat when the solvent is gone.

you bought up decarb at 78C. so I addressed it…
are you sure you’ve got this?!?


Damn, now I realised it. I saw @SkyHighLer idea about lowering the wattage of cheap chinese 750W distiller and I will probiably try to do it his way.

not while there is (boiling) water in it! see paper cup above.
and it won’t go over 78C while there is ethanol in it, no matter how hot you try and drive it.

no clue. I doubt it would be fully decarbed at that point. I would expect something in the 30% range. but that is a wild guess…

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Oh ok! Probiably the best idea would be to distillate it there untill 100-150mL of solvent is left and then precisely finish off the vaporization and decarb on the magnetic hot plate. I was just reading some article from EHIA and this part made me think -" For example,
Dussy et al. (2005), were only able to convert a maximum
of 70% THCA into THC. They mention polymerization
and oxidation of THCA and THC to CBN and CBNA,
respectively, as side reactions. The THC degradation to CBN
can already be considerable at temperatures between 85 –
100 °C (Repka et al., 2006). Having these reactions, which
reduce the THC content in mind, it is interesting that the
THCA decarboxylation reaction starts at 90 °C (Veress et al.,
1990; Peschel, 2010). "

They make a water tabletop distiller AND an alcohol tabletop distiller. The later had a lower temp range for ethanol

I am waiting for this chinese boy to arrive. I will make full analysis of it and probiably make some mods. https://www.ebay.com/itm/4L-Water-Distiller-Purifier-Stainless-Steel-Distilled-Purified-Home-Medical/312259573864?epid=0&hash=item48b41ef868:g:1pAAAOSwWotbvbdn:rk:1:pf:0

Thats a water distiller. This will absolutely cook the ethanol vs a nice vaporize type of one made specofically for ethanol. 8 have used the water one and ethanol types before.

He modded one for alcohol as well. I dont remember the thread

I found that thread and it is an amazing project. It is confusing, why would it matter so much if ethanol cant reach higher temperature than 78 celsius as @cyclopath said , and whole solvent with cannabinoids in it maybe 82-84 celsius depending on ratio of cannabinoids and et thorught the process.

You will.actually heat the ethanol up way more than what is needed. You will loose quite a bit of ethanol by heating it well over its BP.

If solution can really reach higher temperature ( like 90 -100 celsius ), it is possible to start decarboxylation in the distiller, and I dont mean just start, maybe even do it there. I feel like it is not a good thing, there is absolutely no control over the process if its done that way.

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…if using the built in air powered condenser.

If you pull out more heat than you put in, you will get all (most) of your solvent back.

So lowering the wattage and cuttoff temp make sense…otherwise you’ve got to add more cooling. Which means water down the drain or some other kludge.

The math for this is laying around here somewhere…

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It all seems too complicated, things that worry me are if distillating in non modded water distiller would start decarbing and the problem about it is that it is almost impossible to calculate the level of it. Other thing is cannabinoid breakdown, I am not 100% sure about this, I saw somewhere that constant exposure to heat ( even if its low (90-100 celsius)) can lead to breakdown. Do you have some info about it? I would appreciate it!

Thats why one should buy the proper unit for qhat theybwant to accomplish. I started with an h2o distiller with iso. I felt at any time it could catch fire due to the higher temps it does vs one made specifically for alcohol with a temp cutoff.

Notice on the h20 version there is no temp dial. There is one on the acohol distiller

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Damn, how did it work out? What was the quality of the final product ( oil ), were the yields good?

Way over cooked due to the much higher single temp unit vs the adjustable temp alcohol distiller.

Its fully decarbd with the h2o unit


Than it is not even needed to decarb it on hot plate… Is it even possible to over decarboxylate something, I mean, when you remove CO2 and you didnt pass the boiling point of substance, it shouldnt do any harm, but it sounds very stupid and I have feeling it could cause a loss.

Hello i am in europe to
Yet i have acces to almost Any thing exept tanks of pure refined butane
I am in Holland Where are You ?

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