Ethanol Extraction White Paper

Things you should consider if considering or running an ethanol extraction lab.

Plus a 125-word glossary.

Check it out here: DocSend

EDIT: see below for @Photon_noir’s 2020 update Ethanol Extraction White Paper - #36 by cyclopath


Bravo - very well done! :metal:

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@Cyclopath Thank you for the Ethanol Extraction Lab paper. Very very useful, I wished I had 6 months ago.


Excellent document!
Looking forward to Ace30.


Great read. A few thoughts and questions.

  1. What is the purpose of drying out material prior to extraction? I’ve ran quite a few CO2, butane, and EtOH extractions by now and never bothered to go through a dedicated drying step prior to extraction.

  2. We’ve experimented with a few 3rd party centrifuges(panda) which seem to be pieces of shit. We are moving to a cannabis designed one soon in hopes that it will provide quality. Just my experience.

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Much appreciated :facepunch:

Calling a panda a 3rd party centrifuge is being extremely generous. It’s a clothes dryer.

I’ll give you that the bock I spun up yesterday also started as a clothes dryer (100 years ago) but one that the US armed forces now uses to spin dry jet fuel soaked absobent pads, and they have a hard time killing them in 20 years. $50k vs $170. $10k used for this one. Had 30lbs in there. Will handle 100, but cannabis is too fluffy.

If you don’t want water solubles, lose the water

Edit: Spelling!

Thank you @sativum…getting the water loose will have negligible effect. :slight_smile:


I’ve tried giving the water a massage but it still seems tight. Directions unclear. @cyclopath


Ok so water in the plant material acts as a solvent to pull some undesirables in the extraction. Am I barking up the right tree? Question is how significant is that. All those undesirables would be removed down the line I imagine. From a 6lb sock of trim that’s what, maybe a couple percent water tops. Also, how effective is water as a solvent at -40. I don’t think I understand the chemistry enough there to understand how water molecules interact with ethanol at -40.

Essentially what I am really getting down to is weighing the cost benefit of a dedicated drying step in the supply chain versus the negatives of not.


If you’re not after terps, drying hard and fast is easier than a cure, and gives cleaner crude.

Don’t want it in there?
Avoid extracting it if you can.

Yes, the point of extracting cold is to lock up the water. Removing it works too.

I’ve seen gold extract from oven dried material extracted with room temp ethanol. Vs green on (same) cured material extracted at -20.

Your mileage may vary.


I always Need to dry bone dry for a good de seeding run
Starting to think to dry at 120C for 3 hours
Hope al is decarboxilated in the mean time
And extract with 200 proof etho
All for Distillate
Think that iT can work with Some aditional scrubing to get to gold
Skunkpharm recomended that in the begining and think off gooing try that again
My motive beeing iT s easyier to heat with propane than to chill with diesel fuel
In the remote areas i work


Water content of flowers cured to smoke is ~ 12% and iT gets sucked out by etho


I vote propane over diesel…although I was accused of being anti-Dieselstablishment only yesterday :slight_smile:

“oven dried” was also supposed to be decarbed. not sure it was.
it was CBD, so my standby of doing a quick bioassay wasn’t an option.

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Fantastic read ^-^ probably not super helpful but on page 8… The steps skip from 6 to 8.

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thank you!

I also recommend everyone check out @Future’s General Hemp Processing Equipment Spreadsheet

Only thought I have (and I haven’t done either the math equation or a real life r&d):

If adding 4.15% h20 to EtOH to make 190 proof…wouldn’t adding cured or even fresh bio mass per a prescribed volume and weight ratio to EtOH work?
Benefit would be less time and much more terpenes…

I don’t do steam distillation for terpe capture prior to EtOH extractions BUT, I’ve been thinking about it.
—steam dist for terps
—dry/decarb biomass

I wonder what the oil quality and color or disti would be.
—obviously, this raw oil would not be used and would go directly to distillation

Only issue with that is the first time will be different from subsequent runs. And maybe it always will when using heptane denatured. I prefer pure 190proof ethanol.

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I was importing certified organic 190 proof ethanol from Brazil derived from organic sugar beets but the $1500 per barrel tax hurts the bottom line. The thought behind this was to be organic food grade but this is way ahead of the curve because there isn’t an open legal FDA market for food grade edibles yet.
I definitely don’t like supporting gmo corn so I haven’t bought “race fuel”
I’m gonna go with what you posted and add the water.
I think your right it would be a little tricky trying to capture water percentages of bio mass to any reliable measurement.

You said you get a better product though from OVEN BAKED decarbed biomass rather than cured??