New upcoming spd here

I hope this is in the correct subforum. If not, kindly move it. I’m still getting the hang of this wonderful site.

I’m a very excellent legal.medical grower for the past 6 yrs. Now expanding into the short path distillation aspect.

Items on hand
Welchb1400b pump (new)
Polyscience -20 heater chiller (vrm iirc, on its way)
2x thomas 7.5" digital temp gauges (on its way)
10g 200 proof etoh
Table top distiller to get crude run.

Still need to order
Glass from OSS or layboy 2l setup and 1l rbf for smaller batch runs if needed
Mantle from OSS or the like
Either digital or dial.vac gauge incoming.
Glycol for chiller (and correct dilution with di h20)

ive been reading countless distill threads the last month or so on here to learn. I have a long way to go, but I learn quick.

Thanks again for having me. I’m sure I’ll have some questions for you knowledgeable extractors on here.

I’m in the SE Michigan area. If there are any SPD in the area that would like to teach a new the correct and proper way, I’m all ears, and will gladly donate for your time.


Keep in mind as you design your rig that how much thought and detail that goes into the design of the system from the Welch pump up to the rig WILL substantially impact how well things go long term.

On the two extreme ends of design one can just hook a rubber hose up to the pump and run it across the room to your rig OR you could place the pump one foot from the rig and plumb it with stainless steel pipe up until the one inch of polymer hose to connect it.

On the absurd bad end you will forever be fighting vacuum for several reasons. First all polymers and rubber are permeable. They not only allow gas through, like hydrogen and small atoms but they themselves can be a source of gas under deep vacuum. Further, with a flexible hose of any design the pump must dedicate horsepower just owing to the fact the hose is not rigid. The vacuum will shrink it but the force to shrink it will reduce the ability to pull a deeper vacuum as opposed to rigid steel pipe. Polymer also can absorb the terpenes and then it can be a matter of just throwing it out and replacing.

Stainless steel is more expensive and not as flexible in placement but it will not allow even hydrogen atoms past and does not soak up anything. It does not eat up vacuum force just trying to collapse it down like polymer and in the end even it needs to be cleaned it can be cleaned with powerful solvents (rubber will disolve) and then can be baked in an oven for ultimate cleanliness. Cost is the downside but ONLY if you factor in initial purchase.

Further, I advise two vacuum gauges for a start up. I got a great digital HVAC portable gauge that reads down to ten microns but owing to the design (rugged) is not accurate down that low. It was meant for evacuating HVAC coolant lines and once they get to below 500 microns they call it good. The nice thing about my Robinair digital is it has also colored backlighting and a logic circuit. The ciruict is GREAT at detecting a system leak when pulling down vacuum and turns the backlight red. Yellow means there is still gas to evacuate. Green means gas has been evacuated and no leaks detected. Note that with polymer hose only after about a foot or so it never gets to green and stays yellow as a rule. The circuit is rigged to detect residual gas and outgassing and the “rubber band” effect on pressure always indicates system not yet evacuated but no leaks.

This first gauge is the go to gauge for getting the system up and running. It can be moved from point to point and can quickly check and give you that visual indication. However the portable gauge is not accurate enough to really run in a SPD as the process gauge. For that I recomend a Pirani based sensor system. They are spendy but with a Pirani sensor installed you no longer have to guess about a great many things once you get an idea how to interpret the data.

Finally, do not take lightly the sheer volume of contaminate that is going to be gulped by your vacuum system. Configure the sensitive Pirani sensor vertical to the flow of vacuum. Use KF-16 (typical of pirani sensors) fitting centering rings fitted with screens to isolate the sensor further (the screen equipped centering rings are spendy but a must have here). Lastly, configure your system vent valve so when open to vent fresh air that the valve vents it past the pirani sensor (using a T joint pipe) and towards the vacuum pump to further discourage contamination.

The best solution I suggest is all stainless steel fittings and valves up to the rig. I use a six foot stainless steel bellows from pump up to the process. Keep polymer hose runs as short as possible. Use Nalgene or better thick wall polymer for the coupling between SS and glass. Use your portable to dial in the design and find problems but my suggestion is to rely on nothing less than a pirani style sensor for operations. A dial gauge will tell you no useful information and a portable gauge that loses accuracy below a thousand microns is also of no real value as I see it for actual operation of your still.

Good luck. There are many riddles to solve when going lone wolf but you may find that doing it yourself piece by piece gives you far more insight than an installed package somebody else figured out? Education is always spendy but hands on failures tend to reinforce concepts better than any other learning experience I am aware of. :flushed:


Well seeing how my.past extractor guy was making his luxury house payment with the profits from my trim, and skimming as well, dropping $ on this setup will pay for itself in 2 trips to have him run my trim.

So I’m not too worried about cost. A 10k spd is put of the question, obviously.


I will have a few questions along the way. Especially when it comes to choosing my glassware. I like OSS’s 2l spd setup.

I am kinda confused as to the correct propylene glycol needed. 28.00/g usp food grade from eb@y, or from a lab place for 45.00. My eyes tell me it’s the same, but I dont want to ruin my chiller

And @Beaker
I believe I know you from a few forums. Much appreciate all the help. And i love your d-9 vids the past ur ot si I’ve been watching them

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hello, I am also a new distiller, and just wanted to mention that the laboy glassware is just imported chinese glass distributed by an american company. It also looks the same for the glassware products listed on the open source steel website look chinese, including the heating mantle they sell (i have one that looks exactly the same and its chinese) so if you want to go that route you could save money by just buying direct ebay/china vs chinese glass with a logo on it, but as I went that route with some components, I wish I just got the real stuff to begin with.


Didn’t know that. I’m going with the 2l setup from OSS.

I dont like to make multiple threads for a couple questions, hope someone can chime in.

How many times can i use 200 proof etoh for qwet, distill, and reuse? Will my proof go down after each run?

you can only use 200 proof once :slight_smile: but you should be able to get 90% of your 190 proof back until it’s gone.

use a proofing gauge to make sure you do in fact get 190 back every time. because 170 proof is nowhere near as good a solvent.

you might manage higher recoveries if you’re using a centrifuge of some sort to get your solvent back off the biomass.


Sorry to sound discouraging, but that whole kit is chinese. you can literally save hundreds by piecing those items yourself off ebay (if you wanna go the 100% chinese route), or get better products for around the same packaged price. I experienced leaks with a majority or chinese glassware especially the thermo adapters, and went through hassle every time id do a run chasing vac leaks, ended up buying mostly used american glassware off ebay with no problems.

I wouldnt recommend a chinese kit but if you are going that route, hate to see you get ripped off just by american distribution.

theres a chinese kit for half the price, you just gotta buy your own mantle ($125 chinese ebay type)


By the time I add in the mantle and what not, I’m at 999. I do see your point. I was always told layboy was great, but didn’t know it was branded China glass (recently read about it here).

That’s the last of my needed parts. Everything else, minus vac gauge, and oil and glycol are on hand.

For anyone with a scale sitting around you can just weigh a known volume of your EtOH solution to get percent purity. Its a preferable method for me because it uses multipurpose tools that are already present, rather than a delicate tool that has only purpose (hydrometer).


good point. at less than $10, the purpose built tool is pretty handy. it’s definitely fragile. a balance that does +/- 0.1g at 1kg is considerably more expensive, but should probably be in most tool kits already.

I had a girlfriend in college that had a father living in Crystal Falls. He owned a pharmacy in town. I am semi-starting with one successful run. I had two failed runs with cheap Chinese stir magnets and stir heating mantels.

I still dont recommend buying that kit…just branded chinese glass with OSS on it instead of laboy. but again if you are going to go that route. i would at least want to save a few hundred dollars by buying direct, this is the exact same kit you want to buy for $300 less. im sure you can find vac grease and hoses with that savings

Also please note the earlier ebay kit I linked vs. the $800 kit on the OSS website that should show you again what type of markup you will be paying;

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The glass is the last piece, and with quite a few options, that’s why I waited. 300 in savings can pay for a new digital vac gauge. So I do like that. I’ll do a bit more searching before I pull the trigger on glass

I ended up grabbing the 2l spd from.usa labs while I was there today. I got it got the same $ as the links posted. Grabbed the glycol, pump oil, misc lines and what not.

hmm…so you still decided to go with overpriced branded chinese glass…hope it works out better then it did for me, good luck!

I dont see any difference with my buying the same rebranded cheap China glass from.usa labs vs waiting 4 weeks to have the same kit sent from China?

Unless I’m missing something inbetween

again i discourage buying any chinese glass, but if the few hundred dollar price difference isnt enough for you…i dont know what to say except good luck to you. i hope the system works well. hey you never know they could have a great relationship with their manufacturer and make sure they only used ‘the best chinese ground joints’ (now theres an oxymoron). I forgot who it was, but a popular extractor posted a photo of a chinese kit on instagram saying if anyone contacts him for consultation and you have equipment like this he wont even respond because that is your problem already.

IMO its like paying retail price for fake Gucci clothing or something (i personally only shop at goodwill)… I dug up a response to an email i sent to ‘USA’ Labs asking if their glass was american or chinese made. and here is their response.

imported from China

Thank you and have a wonderful day!


OFFICE: 734-855-4890 CELL: 734-564-5952
11730 GLOBE ST. LIVONIA, MI 48150

Sorry if I sound rude, i just cant understand why a person would pay hundreds of dollars more for the same shitty equipment. FYI shipping from china shouldnt take more then a week or two tops, unless something gets stuck at customs…Cauze if money isnt that big of an issue why not get proper equipment that you wont have to replace after a few weeks.

I honestly hope you prove me wrong and have no problems with your kit, best of luck!


Well if its crap, I’m only out 800 or so to source new glass.

Last item.i need is a vacuum gauge. So many choices

I dare voice my opinion, because thats exactly whats next on my list.

seems like the cheap ones that advertise good sensors their housings leak and are crap, ive read better reviews on BlueVac units and they are in the $200 range, or as @soxhlet showed me some lab analog gauges for cheap $50 on ebay.

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