Should we get a B/R Spinning Band, or other refining combined with a few SPD setups?

Hi everyone, thanks for a great forum.

We are in the market now for a distillation setup. I have a couple friends, one runs a B/R, other runs a Pope. I hear a lot of complaints about the Pope rig, and the guy using it can’t say enough good things about the B/R when he saw. The B/R rig is nice, one four hour run of low quality winterized BHO crude will give >90%THC odorless oil. It can pull about a liter a run through, and always batch process since it is for different clients.

We are setting up in another state where we would prefer high throughput. B/R wants $50K for the setup and we are close to committing to it.

I wanted to hear from others here if they had any experience here, and what advice they could give? The B/R sure seems easy to use. But I feel like we could get way more throughput out of the several SPD rigs we could buy for the same price. Thoughts?


Depending on the batch sizes you plan to run, i have retired my older wiped films and use spd only. You can easily get 300+grams an hour with a 5L and the proper pumps. Like you said with 50k you have alot of room to make a few nice and fast spd.

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The base model BR Instrument 9200 with 5L flask yields about 500-600g/hr when optimized. The process flow I suggest is to remove head fraction in a 22L Flask/Mantle, then run ethanol through the system at atmosphere to clean, finish by running the 22L flask again for body fraction or cycle through a series of 5L flask/mantles.

There is a new head out for the 9200 that is 3x the standard size and is reaching ~2kg/hr. The way I see it, SPD is great to learn distillation, BR is great for production and saving man hours (one pass will get you into the 90s potency wise), a WFE is your high flow option when the BR isn’t fast enough or single pass purity isn’t as important.

The BR also has real time run management and data logging/run profile. So you can actually save distillation parameters based on individual strains/sources of material.


Love the BR​:100::alembic:

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Thanks for the replies folks. I feel inclined personally toward running something like a good size Lab Society short path under very high vac, but the BR does seem to save a lot of work. Just blast/winterize/distill once to get colorless odorless 90%+, no other steps needed…

As long as your extraction is clean then any bench top short path setup can get you a 90%+ odorless oil, especially with the right packing

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Would love to hear more about this system

Thanks Psillsophical. Do you recommend steel wool packing or something else? Do you have a pic of a well packed set up?

in my brief experience you will get odorless but not colorless. we blast/winterize/distill and get 90%+ easy but still has a golden color (unless that is what you mean by colorless, then disregard)

no but copper packing really helps pull smells. Also colorless is much more involved steps

We recently installed a mini distillation 36-100 SBD BR instrument for our essential oil purification for R&D purposes. After reading this thread I would like to get your expert opinion on perhaps running a crude (winterized) through the BR instrument? Compared to the cannabis specific base model BR instrument 9200 - how would our set-up perform on small volumes of crude extract?

With recent decriminalization in South Africa - we focusing on cannabis R&D, we got some SPD currently being set-up; however, if we could do some R&D in the meantime with our BR instrument (if possible) would be great.

Regard and thanks in advance.

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Here is our set-up (currently in the house corridor while we configure it). We currently just using it for fun - but would love to perform some R&D on some crude cannabis if possible with the set-up.


It wouldn’t hurt to test it out. The better the quality crude you have the easier the R&D runs will be. Winterize and carbon scrub (or c-bleach) to make it easier to manage and improve your results. @Shadownaught sells great carbon, T 41 (C-Bleach), and many other fun goodies to help you maximize your results.


Greetings everyone! I have a BR Spinning Band 9200 or 9600 (it’s the automated version with the PC controller and data logging) and I am curious to know, for those who’ve mentioned you easily get 90% or greater, are you referring to total cannabinoid or just delta-9-thc?

I do a 5% formulation with terpene blends on the distilalte and the tesdting lab says its 84% total cannabinoids and 78% total THC (delta-9-thc). I do one pass. When I first started distilling with the BR Spinning band it would take me 12-16 hours from start to finish. I would usually break the process up into two phases - phase I being the low boiler removal phase and phase II being the cannabinoid removal phase.

During phase II my throughput would be around 110 grams per hour which is abysmally slow. I;ve since got my throughput up to 320 grams per hour. The main fraction still looks very clear with a very light tinge of yellow/gold. In a cartridge it looks very clear and almost watery.

We do a CO2 extraction process and run a high pressures of 400 bar. I’m thinking at those pressures the SC CO2 is blasting off compounds that co-boil with cannabinoids and this is why my THC potency is low. What do you guys think?

The very first run I did on a BR at ABX(2016) started with 60-65% thc crude, barely winterized. The result was a pale yellow distillate with 88% THC and 92% TC. We averaged 500g/hr

At that facility I had no control over starting material and everything was sub-70% but ended up high 80%-low 90%…however, we would get some lipids distilled over. Predistillation processing helps I’m sure.


We had very similar results with CO2 extraction and we have a BR as well. I could never get THC above the 80s although total cannabinoids went into the 90s routinely. I tried different scrubbing and filtering routines as well as distillation rates just like you did and never saw any appreciable change. I do suspect the CO2 is pulling something else that creates an azeotrope of some sort and comes along for the ride when distilling but of course test labs can’t tell you what else is there since they’re only focused on cannabinoids, terpenes, pesticides and microbials. We’re in the process of switching to hemp processing and moving to ethanol extraction and keeping the BR for distillation so we’ll see how that changes things.

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thanks for the response!


It’s been an on going issue here at this facility since it’s opening. I work for a large national brand based on the East Coast that is dipping its toes in the West Coast recreational market. I’m in Oregon.

I’m in a situation right now where I am being berated by the higher ups - “spreadsheet” people if you will - about why the THC content isn’t higher. I am suspecting as well that some compound co-boils with cannabinoids, and that compound is extracted along with the crude during the initial CO2 extraction.

Trying to find out why we run at such high pressures (6000 psi) and can’t get any answers (I came on a year ago after they dialed in the current CO2 process). Trying to explain to the spreadsheet people that while we may be at 78-83% Total THC, the state of Oregon only includes THC + (THCA * 0.877) = Total THC…no isomer is included in the calculation…we’re getting about 2% delta-8-thc after distillation and overall the TOTAL cannabinoids (THCV, CBD, CBC, CBN etc…) is closer to 90%.

Talking to BR Instruments (great guys by the way) they’re saying we’re more or less where we should be as far as total cannabinoids is concerned and that he gets contacted about labs all the time about not hitting a certain number - seems the common perception is distillation is some silver bullet and it SHOULD always take you to 90% d9THC. We do a 3-day winterization process with three filtrations before putting the ethanol solution through the rotovap.

As I said this has been an issue historically at this site, aside from running the distillate through some chromatography process not sure how to reach that magical 90% THC number. Someone at corporate suggested doing a second pass, but this is coming from another spreadsheet guy. I don’t think he understands that a second pass could lead to marginal improvement at the cost of yield and more conversions to CBN and d8THC.

Any thoughts on doing a second pass with the spinning band? Seems like doing a 2nd pass is kind of a point against the spinning band.

Is there any correlation to having low THC concentration in distillate derived from CO2 oil?
Distilling oil derived from ethanol fare better?

Have you tried switching to the THC fraction a little warmer? By that I mean letting the early THC go into the head fraction? If you have appreciable CBD content then cutting higher up can help…at the expense of “yield”.

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