Ethanol's expensive. Make your own from your waste biomass?

Ethanol production from industrial hemp.pdf (828.8 KB)

It’s almost certainly cheaper to just buy it if you’re operating on the smaller end of the scale. For some of the bigger processors though, that 2-5% solvent loss adds up in a real hurry, especially if you’re using beverage grade/excise paid ethanol.


I was just talking about doing this the other day! Seems like if you could get a few hemp processors to go in on it it would be super worth it and would make a waste stream useful. Shall we start a future4200 hempthanol production plant?


I think it’s not a bad idea, though probably a lot easier down in the US than it is up here in Canada. I think it’s a lot easier to get the required exemptions if you’re doing your own distillation for industrial purposes rather than for sale up here.

On the smaller end of the scale, I bet there’s a market for a Hemp/Cannabis distillery. Literally just vodka/whisky/etc made from waste biomass. No cannabinoids, just trendy (and likely super expensive) booze.


Exactly my thoughts. Hemp vodka would definitely sell, hemp whiskey aged in hemp barrels? The possibilities are endless!

I’m in Oregon and gonna seriously look into this and see what a project like this at scale would look like. Overall the process seems relatively easy


Where would a guy go to collect all this waste?

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Ehhh, at least you guys have it legal on a federal level now. I can just imagine applying for a federal permit here with the ATF and ending up creating a legal mess for yourself when their DEA buddies catch wind of what the industrial use for non-denatured etoh is. If we can even get away with not having to denature it for industrial use.

I read somewhere that the permit for comercial beverage ethanol distillation is around 200k though. If you could market that liquor and make your own solvent, the permitting costs would probably pay for themselves pretty quickly.

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I bought a bottle because I was curious, made some Moscow Mule’s with it and they turned out great.

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@Lincoln20XX nah, that’s a dumb idea :wink:

one we’ve discussed in person I believe…

I’ve certainly been preaching it around here.


Thanks for the links - apparently I need to figure out how to search better. I knew this had come up before I just couldn’t find it.


And thank YOU for the paper!!

yeah, some of these folks think I’m posting search links because it’s easy…

I’m posting them because I know that it’s not.

…and I enjoy making it look like it is :wink:

(only works because I’ve read almost all of the content…)

My guy is looking to avoid most of the steps commonly done up front, and just select for the right critter or consortium.

Gonna have to get me some of that Hempshine!


I’m a craft distiller in B.C. :stuck_out_tongue: I’ve been thinking about this project for quite some time.

I’ve done some minimal steam treatment to try and break down some of the cellulose. If you’re thinking about making it into ethanol for drinking I can assure you it will taste like garbage lol. Steamed weed doesn’t really have the best flavour profile. It’s suuuuper vegetal. You’re gonna have to really charcoal the crap out of it or make a super earthy gin, it’s pretty limited as a spirit base in my opinion.


I wonder if you could throw the biomass in a gin box and run rye vodka through it to pick up the terpene notes? Craft distilling used to be a pretty big hobby of mine, so this has definitely peaked my interest.

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Don’t we have hempshine/high proof gin already after about 3-4 runs with the reclaimed?


Yes we do!

I’ve run the same (used to be alchemical solutions) over the same strain of buds at -80C 4x, recovered in the rotovap => EHO, then fresh buds, and that “terpshine” was an absolutely gorgeous representation of the starting material. Do wish I’d started with the organic grape 190 rather than the corn based 200proof.

Love the smell of Lezberado in the morning!

Reminds me of…damnit what was I doing?


You ever have ya a swig?

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most of it went back into the general solvent pool.

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Can I use Dodium Hypochlorite to perciptate out the Denatonium Benzoate from denatured ethanol?

I have plenty of post-extract hemp biomass if you need. email me at

I bought a bunch of cellulase enzyme to use on my stalks, the spent biomass should have some convertible sugars as well but it’s more importantly a nutrient source for the yeast.

Have you ever smelled a ferment that doesn’t have enough nitrogen? The yeast makes sulfur dioxide instead of co2 and the whole place smells up like rotten eggs.

I haven’t started a barrel yet but I’m excited to see what we yield.


What state are you in