Extracting kief

Why does eveyonr ssybti use almost boiling etho to break down the kief? Wounding it be better to do the bucket truck with dry ice and iso?

How would I ever the iso up any ideas? Not sure if I could someone how use the water bath in my roto or just use my roto

I too would like to hear why EtOH extraction of straight kief is so terrible. I have never given it a try in all my EtOH experience. Lucky me I guess?

You need a good mixer in your vessel, add it slow otherwise it’s the equivalent of a flour clump in brownie batter.

1 Like

What about “blasting” it with ethanol? I have a jar of some old kief and was thinking about flowing cold ethanol over it in a pressurized tube. I could see how it might not be 100% efficient, but it could work, unless the backpressure gets crazy high.

I like critters like these for agitating biomass in a 15gal keg

You’ll need at least a 4" hole in the top of the vessel (keg?) to get it in there. I’ve got 6" in the top & 10" in the bottom. Getting the biomass out is still no fun.

I’ve got an air powered drill to run mine, although Ethanol at -40C is not super easy to set on fire with a dewalt**. If you’re going larger than 15 gal of solvent, you’ll want a longer reach, and two handles on your drill. Clamping the agitator down would probably be more appropriate.

I did fabricate a version that clamps to my kegs, and seals the vessel while stirring, but my CUP came in the door yesterday so I won’t be using it in this application again. Mixing freehand was also more effective imo, but required considerably more strength from the minions.

** the dewalts I’ve tried had over-heat protection. They’d work great for mixing, but they would get over-whelmed at about the 2min mark. I had a no-name cordless I picked up for $5 that did NOT have thermal protection. It would run considerably longer than the dewalts, but got hot enough that it likely would have worked as an ignition source if appropriately drenched.

Edit: I don’t recommend trying to fit a 10" tri-clamp ferrule to the bottom of a beer keg. it’s a hair too big. I had to notch the bottom rail, and that compromised the structural integrity, leading to warped mating surfaces on the 10" ferrules. They do fit on the TOP though, just…but that leaves no room for the 15PSI PRV I add. Most mods put the PRV on the tri-clamp lids, I prefer them directly on the keg, so the apparatus cannot be assembled without one.


What about heating 5 gallons at a time in a pot in the roto bath then pouring into a trash can and mixing with a drill and a spin handle used for mixing drywall mud. Using a Barbour freight drill will that cause an ignition?

flash point of 190 ethanol is about 16C. I believe the Fire point is about 26C. that’s the difference between “woof” then out, and continuous flame.

Once you get much above that, you really need to treat Ethanol alot more like we treat Butane (imo). I’d stir with oar at that point, and be wearing a full face shield. I’d also loose any synthetic fibre in my wardrobe for the duration.


Trying to figure out how to break down the kief in hot iso with what we have

Room temp isnt***really breaking down the kief in the iso. Everyone has told me to what it up and I’m like how do I hear it up and agitate it

yep. got that. “near boiling” means you need to be very careful with ignition sources.

Vapour pressure of EtOH at 100C is only about 40PSI, so you could drop a keg (rated for 130PSI) into boiling water, and use the pressure generated to investigate the “blasting” in a tube @SoStupendous suggested :slight_smile:

Pretty sure there is a PRV on the keg tap that will get in your way though. Don’t have one in front of me.

Ok. I was thinking about just spinning with a drill the hot iso and then adding the kief in slowly then filtering. But warming up this iso seems to be an issue if I was to use a regular s/s pot with lid from Walmart and use the roto bath and sit the pot in it. Or use a heating plate. Idk might what blow my face off or even worse blow my shop off the map? Lol why is this so damn hard

Yeah, dunno.

Were I a chemist I might suggest looking at the energy available for thermal decomp of a “wally world ss pot full” of your solvent, and convert that to sticks of dynamite for you. but I’m not and don’t have solid feel for where you should place your threshold.

The explosive limits in air for Ethanol (and Iso) are readily available. A detector and good ventilation should go a long way. A lid on the vessel you’re heating & using a double boiler (your rotovap bath) will help. staying 20C below the boiling of your solvent is the best I’ve got.

1 Like

Lol :joy: yo I read a lot of your post and I gotta say I love how you use yours words

thank you, but I get to edit this stuff (some).

what actually comes out of my mouth has had serious repercussions :stuck_out_tongue:

if you’ve started processing, and discovered that the advice you were given to use “near boiling” solvent was indeed sage. I suspect the route you’ve outlined above will get you where you need to be. with the following caveats.

  1. are you working with a buddy? It always helps to have someone around to document it when you do something stupid like set the barn on fire…more importantly, they can put you out with the garden hose so you can get back to work, or off to the ER.
  2. ventilation. there is a lower explosive limit for your solvent vapour in air. Know it and avoid it. get yourself a detector that can warn you about it for next time.
  3. I don’t like hot alcohol and plastic. HDPE is probably fine, but I still don’t like the idea of it getting in my meds.

Boiling ethanol? Theoretically, I would still use dry ice with ethanol during the run since there is probably still plant matter attached to those crystals. I always keep solvent at dry ice temps till filtration is complete. That way I avoid having to pull out anything extra later on.

I haven’t done this with kief, only flower. I imaging your solvent to biomass ratio changes a little bit, as you have less mass, but most of it is probably not being filtered out.

Also, Elliott always told me not to use ISO when things are being smoked. I take it upon myself to never use ISO.


I think the endpoint here is distillate, so Iso is probably not that big of an issue.

Depends on what other solvents the crude sees on it’s way through to WFE.

1 Like

Yea distillate is the end goals here. Possibly some heptane not sure yet. But for now ima do a hot iso on kief mix like crazy then filter. Then I’ll freeze if and filter. I’ll test with dry ice in the mix after 2nd filter to see if any fats still come off of there is which I highly doubting it but if there is I’ll put dry ice in all the buckets then filter again hit the rotos and start the first pass

One man army everyone else is working in the fields I’m trying to get this going everyone seems to ha e lost faith so I dumped all I had into this and I’m pulling shit out of everywhere to maintain. Seems like once I thought it was the rite way and now I kern something different. Crazy lol but ventilation isn’t a problem when mixing. I’ll def work on something for when heating.

It’s possible to break down Kief in ethanol at ambient temperatures without clumping, and can be done so quite rapidly. We discovered a method for processing a THCA solution with Keif in MCT oil. We use the CAT X1000 Homogenizer with the 20mm Knife Generator Shaft. The Knife Generator Shaft splits open the cuticle of the trichomes so the cannbinoids and terpenes dissolve in the carrier.

20mm Knife Generator Shaft

Dissolving Acidic Cannabinoids (Keif) in MCT oil

The CAT X1740 Homogenizer can process volumes up to 20 liters with the G40 Knife Generator


I think reducing your required solvent volume by collecting trichomes first is a sound idea. The brain trust at GW Pharmaceuticals does too, according to their patents.

If you need hot solvent that isn’t so scary to make or work with, look at heating it in a closed jacketed vessel with hot water, or one of the circulating heaters you’ve got laying around the barn.

I routinely boil 15 gal of Ethanol in one of these 20 Gallon Stainless Steel Glycol Jacketed Conical Unitank from Brewers Hardware.

if you add an air powered agitator, you’ve got a reaction vessel.
drain it, and put the cannabinoid laden solvent back in it, or buy another one, and you’ve got a still (mostly). Three of the damn things and you’ve got a system…

and you can pick them up in a variety of sizes.