Most Affordable Small Scale Cart Tek

Hey All,

I’ve done my best to review the previous posts on the topic which have a ton of great information.

I’ve recently given a go using a small centrifuge and i’m worried that the economics and scale won’t work particularly well. I live in a legal area but the market is flooded with trash carts at wild prices. Nice carts are available at insane prices. THCA is available so I suppose buying terps and mixing that way is also an option.

What do you all think is the most affordable way for an individual to create something cartable?

  • Centrifuge (separate terps, decarb thca, mix and fill)
  • Jar Tek (Lidded Jar heated for several days at around 130)
  • Jar Tek (With vac or pressure)
  • THCA decarbed + purchased canna derived terps
  • Other
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THCA + terps is the cheapest for your scale but there is going to be a debate that ensues in this thread about if that’s truly considered live.

Do you have access to live HTE or Rosin? Could do a mix with the decarbed diamonds and that would be closer in my opinion.

The true live route I think is in most people’s minds that at least half of it is from fresh frozen material, some people will even argue that a 50/50 mix is not good enough.

Have you tried carts made each of these ways? Quite a difference in taste in my opinion. Even if the terps are live it just doesn’t compare. The longer things are separated and sitting (CDTSs, diamonds) it inherently gets further away from being “alive.” That’s not to say one is better or worse. But one is more prestigious and rare for sure. Sometimes I get a CDT that’s so good I’d take it over a live cart I’m not partial to etc. But at the end of the day the live cart will remain the connoisseur class item while CDT and diamonds you could probably find at a gas station. THCA is cheaper than flower lol.

Edit: realized you never said specifically live carts, just high quality. But still things to consider when targeting a higher end market :+1:

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So, you’re able to extract, I assume?

Best way is centrifuge in my opinion. next best is jar ten with pressure (be sure to use a vessel that can withstand pressure)

cheapest/eaasiest way is buy THCa and add terps

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Doesn’t seem like that is currently true.

Or we would have started with squish…

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true. maybe shouldn’t assume that’s the case.
him stating that jar tek or centrifuge was an option made me think he has some unprocessed hydrocarbon extract.

which, I suppose could’ve been sourced elsewhere and not made by him/her.
but that’s why I asked :man_shrugging:t2:

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Thank you for your service. It exposes a weakness in this tek and that is scale. Its the same as expecting small scale people to use homogenizers for their one ounce batches. The solution is equipment that fits the task.

It sounds like you are using whatever resources you have available to you at the retail level. Unfortunately, that limits the utility of these teks designed for production at a smaller scale (not a retail scale)

This is what is needed to develop a plan:

  1. Your budget (eg $300)
  2. Your current equipment (eg microwave, toaster oven, butter knife, stainless funnels and sieves)
  3. Your available starting materials and the scale you can aquire them (essential oils, flower, kief, resins, rosins, isolates, or distillates; 5g batches)
  4. Your end goal

You already provided point 4 (carts) and alluded to point 2. You need to be detailed because the people here will answer detail with detail. What kind of syringe are you already filling with

I would recommend also calling in people you have referenced so they can use your feedback to adjust their future efforts. @HowToWeed posted the original video, and this exposure to the flaws limiting this tek will allow him to develop new ways to attack the problem you are experiencing.

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Thank you for your kind reply.

  1. Budget - less of an immediate concern, my main goal is not to be at the whim of these companies and retailers - I recently had some bad experiences both with quality and price and also don’t like the potential for cheap/random quality carts. That being said I believe the market will mature so I’m not looking to spend thousands or anything crazy.

  2. Current Equipment (Centrifuge, Vac Chamber and Vac, Kitchen Stuff, Semi Functional Homemade Rosin Press, Some Cartridges, a set of small 1ml “glass” syringes which are glass sides but not glass plunger :frowning: )

  3. Available starting material - right now the most affordable starting material by THC/A content is thca and resins. I also have the ability to produce flower seasonally but i’d probably just have that run by a lab for me into resin and in any case isn’t available right now.

  4. End goal is being able to count on some nice consistent carts I don’t have to worry too much about. Ideally I would be able to turn out like 12 a month in a few hours on a weekend, something super small scale. I realize at this scale the whole thing probably sounds stupid but I’ve always liked being able to do things myself and control all inputs.

@HowToWeed - Thank you for your work on this and your video. The underlying method of separation ended up working very well.

I used a 25 micron rosin bag turned inside out and stuffed most of the way down the tube. Using a high speed 15ml centrifuge I was able to achieve quite remarkable results in as little as 30 minutes.

Removing the thca from the filter bags was very easy, the HTE was a different matter.

Most of the HTE flowed out quite easily, some stuck to sides and stuff, I tried to avoid heating it. I put some parchment paper over the tube and screwed the cap on then set the tube upside down.

Eventually almost all of the HTE came out of the tube and ended up on the parchment paper. Then I realized actually trying to move HTE from parchment paper into something else is a disaster.

Presumably I could find a holder for the tube and just have it fall into a vessel.

A proper glass syringe set up that was well warmed I believe would have helped a lot.

I think transfer loss is my biggest concern with these small scale attempts. I ran a total of like 3.5g of live resin and by the time it came to fill things up, idk that I was even at a gram. Granted I ran things extremely poorly.

Peace - thanks for everyone’s insights and information - I hope my info will be able to help someone else in the same boat avoid some of my mistakes.

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how much extract are you working with?

are you extracting it or are you buying it already made? like are you able to pour off the majority of the HTE or are you working with retail ready stuff?

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Retail ready unfortunately - the quality, cost and availability of live resins is fine for me - just looking for a way to get it into a cart. The carts that are available retails are priced to hell, shotty quality carts and largely mystery oils.

@WakeNBakery - you asked some very good questions about what I have tried. My biggest issue is it seems almost impossible to find out how the carts are made. Some manufacturers are transparent but definitely not all so I am sure i’ve probably tried all of these various recipes but I have no idea what was what.

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I like the single vessel solution the best. Decarb whole in a vessel intended to handle expected heat and pressure, no separation, minimal process loss. Figure a way to limit/eliminate O2 from headspace. Decarb, cool, re- warm, flatten(remove entrained CO2), syringe, fill carts. Viola.

Does separating THCA and terp fraction make a better cart? Potentially, but how much better? If done properly, you may not be able to tell the difference and you’ll have wasted as little as possible.

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Yep that’ll get ‘er done…

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I’m interested in giving this a shot at least.

@cyclopath I definitely appreciate that thread on Decarb under pressure. I have read over the whole thing a few times and I think I understand most of it :brain:

Combining that thread with @Dannywarbucks commented suggestion leads me to my current plan i’ll lay out along with some questions.

  1. Find a strong vessel that will give me room to work but not enough to become inefficient.
  • What kinds of pressure are we talking about here? Is there a size, material or make that would be well suited to my scale (half ounce runs max) ?

I have tried to sort through this thread - https://future4200.com/t/a-theory-on-bho-rosin-decarboxylation-with-natural-terpene-preservation/187315

The SOP there is obviously intended for large scale production but the crux @Anonymouse seems to describe well with this

“By placing the material indended for decarboxylation in a pressure rated vessel and creating a vacuum environment, the material may be fully decarboxylated while preserving the natural terpene profile due to the available headspace and oxygen-deprived environment. The additional pressure created by the CO2 gas will allow any volitalized terpenoid compunds to reflux under pressure while cooling, thus allowing the preservation of the unique terpene profile.”

  1. Take my appropriate vessel, add material, go to full vac, place vessel at full vac into warm water bath at 110c 230F for roughly 2 hours allowing the c02 created by decarbing to create pressure in the vessel. Cool the vessel back down to room temp, release the pressure. Hold material at full vac for an hour or two to remove co2 from product. Heat vessel to 35c / 95f to get liquid and load into carts.

Simple two step process :smiley:

Again thank you everyone for responding, I will keep you all updated about how this goes that it might be helpful for others.

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Assuming your extract is 75% THCA, roughly 13% of that is CO2. So (15g*75%)*13%=1.46g CO2

How much pressure does 1.46g of CO2 generate in the given vessel size at the given temperature?

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The rule of thumb is large scale cart making usually boils down to:

Isolation
Formulation
Reconstitution

Or

  1. Cooking the fuck out of that shit

After these the mix is a hot oil sitting in a reservoir and the process is largely the same.

Dispense
Cap

As for how, most people use either a heated glass/plastic syringe or a cartridge filler.

The reason they aren’t so forthcoming with info is because the best all round cart equipment for the modern era can be purchased for less than $1000. They don’t have much of a gate blocking you so they got to keep it secure and hidden.

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If you’ve done the reading, you should know this.

Did you catch this thread?

I don’t recommend glass…and folks have linked to web based calculators to make this easy (damn gatekeepers)

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Thank you all for your kind responses and information despite my poorly worded posts.

The search term that seemed to get me into the right category of equipment was “tri-clamp”

Revised/detailed plan:

  1. Buy a tri-clamp welded bottom base, a tri-clamp cap with welded fittings, add valve and prv (prv probably not needed if sticking with small amounts of material), get some gaskets.

It seems like I could do most of this for around 100 dollars but i’d love a sanity check.

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If this is your first rodeo, I would do everything in my power to stay safe…. Get the PRV

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yup, prv’s are relatively cheap insurance against creating a bomb

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Yall are such a good influence, the prv valve will be used - what PSI would you all get? It seems the triclamp bases and clamps can hold crazy pressure - that said obviously i’m only working with small amounts of material. I can’t imagine a situation in which anything above like 75 psi should occur and I also think that should provide plenty of room for safety.

Thanks again everyone - Peace - Will be assembling materials and posting an update ASAP

You’ll want your PRV to be lower than your stated vessel ratings, obviously. I don’t like to take any vessel past 150 psi regardless of the rating, but the setting on your PRV will influence how much you can cook at a time. Our decarber PRVs are set at 225psi and the vessels are rated for 250. I start getting the heebie jeebies above 150. That’s a lot of energy behind that steel.

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