Steam distilled terps

Hey was wondering what the best steam distilled unit was out there for cannabis terpenes? Is a unit operating under vacuum going to be unequivocally better then a most units that don’t have that feature? Has anyone toyed with using steam distilled terps and pour off from the same strain as a combo for adding terps back in a distallate?

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Modify for vacuum and nitrogen.


Here’s another that is smaller but does it under vacuum:

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i would suggest going for multiple smaller runs then 1 big run, i think the terps would taste/smell better when there is less plant material it has to travel through. I can fit about 250-400g in a 2L bioflask, i usually yield about 1-3% in 30-45 minutes.


Currently we are using a Newhouse 10 gallon self contained distillation unit. I’d like to try doing it under vacuum.

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So you like something like the gold leaf then? We are needing to be a decent run each time as we are trying to do 500-1000 g of distallate for each flavor if possible if not more

A slightly different approach would be to extract the crude first with terpenes intact. Then use simple (not fractionating) steam distillation to strip the volitiles like terpenes before distillation by molecular distillation. Then after you distill to desired potency add them back in at that point to the degree you want.

I have used steam distillation many times like this because it tags in so well to my work flow but now I switched to LLE to remove terps if I desire (and there is a damn good reason for it lolz) and be able then to add them back in at that point.
the addition is done then stirred in then a tight vacuum is pulled. It makes a biscuit at high purities and doing this a few times in a row removes for me all traces that it was an added in thing.

However your topic was steam distillation. This is the rig but later I made a continuous feed system with an addition funnel and add my compound while disolved in methanol or iso so it flows in with zero problems and nearly immediately then are distilled out for the most part which is “simple” distillation that then transitions to steam distillation as the solvent depletes.


curios what “sucks” about them? I was just going to attempt my first steam batch but might hold off now because of this comment and what process is superior?

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So what exactly is the solution you are offering or superior method or piece of equipment you are recommending exactly? Or Did you just come on to provide nothing constructive to the conversation?

I think he means steam distillation at water boiling temps in a big still that is usually used in big scale. If you do the whole process at about 10,000 micron then the water boils at 11C, and you can keep it from pulling into the vac with ice water in your condenser. I use two condensers just in case and most of the time the second one (has dry ice in it) will have just small amount of pure terps in it after a couple of runs, so i only use a baby 50ml for that one. I have had success with using a seperatory funnel as the collection flask and was able to attach vac line to the bottom to suck out the water to keep the extraction continous. I have two bioflasks that i swap in between, usually takes about 30min per run and 3 min to empty the used one into a centrifuge, youll want a bioflask with a wide opening at top. I also suggest getting PTFE sleeves for the joints so that your not regreasing the same joints over and over. Once the bioflask is emptied i reflux hot water through it to clean it out, usually takes about 5 min. Then its left to cool for 5 min and then loaded with new material. I use a stainless steel mesh at the bottom of the bioflask so that material doesnt fall through. I usually have this going on the side, but if im dedicated to it (only task to complete in the day) i can usually yield about 12ml/hr off mini nugs or up to 18ml/hr on top cola buds. Not the fastest but all in all the equipment costs about $200 for the glass (not including the pump and mantle) and a great way to wow your friends, you can put a small dab of it on your wrist like cologne and smell your favorite strain all day! :grin:


I asked a question about steam distilled terpene equipment and about possible vacuum add one and you come here with one sentence saying “steam terps suck”… and I’m the rude one? Because I Asked you if you had anything constructive to contribute to the conversation besides your anecdotal opinion? Read my topic question then read your first response. I guess my proper response in your mind should’ve been you’re right my terpenes suck that I am making I should just throw away all of my equipment because you think everything I’m doing sucks. :v:


I sent a note to Heart Magic about whether they offer a vacuum capability. On another thread it was discussed how boiling can rupture cell walls and cause damage for secondary processing. This would be a downside to steam. Not sure vacuum will remedy this since vacuum will depress the bp no matter where the water resides so I would think it will “boil” in the cells. Still trying to figure this out.

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nitrogen is a wonderful alternative to water vapor

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Are you implying you can perform a “steam distillation” with nitrogen gas?

almost, more like a gas liquid extraction :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Interesting! So I would definitely see how that would work to extract volatiles from an extract but I’m skeptical that it would work on flower. Has anyone actually tried this?

I don’t think you can preform it on flower. If you want to extract flower you will have to use a microwave and steam.


i know @scientific710 makes some pretty cool terpene traps. Personally i dont know how well they work but it seems like they are moving in that direction.

This one seems to use LN2 as a working fluid. Hmmmm


Do you use fresh plant material or dried? And do you grind the material?

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To be honest i didnt care for the Live terpenes when i ran fresh material, i think the best ones are from properly dried material that has been curing for a week-month.