Terrible yield--what am I doing wrong

Okay, here we go

I’m pretty new to extraction, have emptied my collection base half a dozen times or so. On every run, I seem to be averaging around 5% yield across the board. From different strains, different combinations of trim/lowers/nug, dry vs FF (after compensating for 70% water weight) my average yield seem to always land around 5% +/- 1%. The quality varies of course. Just ran FF nug for the first time and got some wet consistency badder that I’m quite proud of, however, with these yields,I must be doing something wrong here. I’m certainly open to hiring a consultant on this, just thought I’d test my luck with an open conversation first. Anyhow, here’s my set up

Equipment:

I currently have a 5lb top fill bvv professional apollo. I swapped the solvent tank out for a 50lb SS non-jacketed tank, and run 100% nbutane. All of my hoses are jic, injection hoses are insulated. I inject through a 28" 1/4 condensing coil, then through a 1/4" mt69 coil before filling the top of my 4x24" open jacket column. I recover with 1/2" lines, through a 4x24" sieve with 13x beads, then into a 1/2" 50’ coil before going back to the tank

Material prep procedure:

For dry trim/lowers, I don’t manipulate the material before filling my column. I pack down each handful with a packing rod and rubber mallet. For FF, the material is cut off the plant, weighed, vacsealed, and thrown in a cooler with dry ice until I receive it. Before packing that, I smash the nugs in the bag with a rubber mallet, then load/pack each handful

Starting procedure:

Once pressure testing, distilation, and cleaning is complete, I begin the process by leaving my solvent tank on dry ice for an hour or two (something I don’t find necessary for following runs because the solvent gets cooled during the recovery process). As the tank sits on dry ice, I fill each condensing coil bucket with a dry ice/denatured alcohol slurry, adding enough dry ice in each until it stops boiling off, and gets below what my -40 infrared thermometer can read. I then mount my packed tubes, vac down the whole system, and add dry ice slurry to the column jacket, letting that sit for 20-30min or so.

Operating procedure:

When I’m ready to run, I load the headspace on my tank with 50psi of nitrogen and keep the tap open. I then crack the injection valve, push until I see solvent in my collection, then close the valve the separates the column from collection and soak for a minute or so before dumping. I repeat this until I hit at least a 4:1 solvent ratio. When it comes time to switch columns, I recently started running n2 through the spent column to push all the solvent I can into the collection. When I feel i got the majority of it, I circulate hot water through the spent column jacket and recover everything I can before dismounting the tube, and doing it over again with the next.

End procedure:

I like to keep my recovery water temp around 100 degrees or so. When I get down towards the bottom of the extract, I let it get a little colder, around 80 or so. With the butane recovered, I remove the splatter platter and pour either on parchment or in pyrex and begin post processing. There’s usually a gram, maybe two that gets left in the platter.

Possible causes for 5% yield:

Moisture in solvent- During my first run, I ran live material that was quite wet, not FF. It was cut off a plant, and thrown in a freezer. It thawed and unthawed a couple of times, and was, to reiterate, quite wet. I was young, naive, and had no idea what a molecular sieve was either. I never dumped that solvent tank after, but it has been refilled enough times that the original solvent from that run is rather dilluted at this point. It has also been through my oversized sieve quite a few times since

Material prep- I don’t grind or breakup my dry material, however I’ve never run dry nug, just dry lowers and trim. I’m more concerned about my FF prep, and that I may be taking too long from cooler to column, and the material is dragging in moisture from the air.

Solvent ratio- is 4:1 (dry material) a pretty optimistic number for someone in my situation? My tank holds 24lbs, and if I can I run all of it. Sometimes if I feel it wasn’t enough, I’ll recovery some, then push it again

Soak time- I’m pretty aware the cost/benefit of soak times are contentious, but if anyone would like to lend an opinion on my soak method please feel free.

To those who’ve gotten this far through this post-- I really appreciate it. I’ve been scratching my head for quite a while on these returns, and would love to hear another opinion. Thank you.

Photo caveats: the brass fittings on top of my material column are temporary. I was in a pinch after discovering leaky threads on a SS tee. I know the mole sieve should be vertically mounted, and have made racking mount this system my winter project. Not in the frame is my 20" allegro explosion proof fan/ducting

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I don’t see any pics.

Get fresh butane, get GOOD material, breakup material, up your solvent to material ratio closer to 6:1 (Or higher)

Report back after that.

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Wow that was quick, I appreciate it. Is it pretty normal for people to recover solvent and run it again without emptying the collection? Otherwise I couldn’t pull off 6:1 with my system

Here is the material I ran FF with, I really don’t think that was the problem

Just pack less material each run. Seems like people think since they have x size column they have to fit x amount of bud.

And the material may have been great, but once it thawed out, that was the end of that good material…

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Run 5:1 minimum - 6:1 for fire. The dry material can just be yielding those numbers I was once limited to 4.5-1 warm runs and when you need more solvent you will see it.

Clean a column run the dry material, recover the column, is your column relatively clean at the end or is a bunch of oil condensed on the walls/path to the collection pot? If the latter you need more solvent no question.

Based on your 5% FF yield id say its your dry material lacking content, you would definitely need more solvent for fire sugar trim but you could’ve pulled all the content with 4:1 if the quality of said dry material is what I’m ASSuming it is.

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There is def some oil residue on the sides when I run dry, however the last two runs I was pushing almost 10:1 and still got around 5%. For the FF, it was 5% after compensating for water weight. I got 16.5g from 1036g of frozen material

Also, I’m assuming solvent ratio is effected by the dry weight, not wet weight , correct?

Yeah the thawed stuff was definitely problematic, but running less is def a fair point, wonder if that’d be better than recovering and running again

This depends on your set up. If you u can’t chill your column, I wouldn’t do the latter.

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Column is open jacket and can be cooled, thankfully, albeit a pain in the ass

If it’s just near the exits/end of column your likely good.

If you did 10:1 you definitely got it all. There will always be residue to an extent.

I would run less, just doubling your extraction time/process like that.

Or you could use something like this for extra gas

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from what I see on this forum the more and harder you pack it the better yield percentage. It should be broken up to fall through a 1/4 inch screen. Ive nevver gotten afull extraction on one pass even at almost 20/1 i empty the tube and rerun it for edible quality oil. I cant fit as much as others fit in my tube size, I think they are heavier and can pack it tighter. Use a magnifying glass or microscope, if you see trich heads rerun it.

ever thought drying ur FF material after running for proper weight? use that number w the oil u pulled add it see if comes out right

I’d definitely wanna run 6:1

and if u keep ur jacket column filled w dry ice btw runs u can recover and rerun on top of what u just ran

if still isnt what u want ur material would be a fault next

also get molecular sieve its worth the cheap investment to clean ur gas every Time of moisture

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Not true imo.

Packing “tightness” hasn’t affected yield in my experience.

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I ran ff ogkb and got like 25 percent. Thats based on garden size and not weighing fresh weed. i can generaly tell how much per light. Also the reason I ran it was small buds so i doubt it was a huge yield.

me niether, thats why im packing tighter than ever based on what ive read here. Im no expert, but experts have said on here to pack it tight so ill believe.

When you say 6:1, do you mean after the weight is compensated for FF vs dry? So 1lb FF would get around 1.8lb of butane

And I have a 4x24 sieve probably overkill for my application

I agree, if you solvent ratio is where you want it, pack away!

But it’s pointless to pack a column tight as fuck and then under washing it…

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thats why graywolf told me to get a 12 inch collection when I was asking about building a system. I cant imagine dealing with a 6 inch collection

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What about a 12” collection? You lost me

i can run lots of tane through it