Upgrade Suggestions from VTA VKL-75

Big shout out to all the brilliant and amusingly twisted minds populating this board. This is an invaluable resource and I appreciate so many selflessly contributing to the furtherance of the cannabis industry. I am currently extracting using an antiquated CO2 extractor and distilling with a Root Sciences VTA VKL-75 (or starter kit as I refer to it). Getting good returns, 73-75 % distillate yield from CO2 crude and just popped 99.4 THC and 100 TAC. Good clarity and color, no smell or taste issues. Looking to upgrade equipment and would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.

It would probably help if you defined “upgrade” - bigger? faster? shinier? more?

Yes, I guess I should be more specific. I need substantially higher distillation output and would be interested in options other than VTA. Also, not pleased with Vitalis, unit was in place before I arrived and was purchased used. Any outfit that will try to hose me for 1500.00 plus shipping from Canada for a 200.00 valve manufactured in Houston can kiss my entire ass. Would like to expand into ethanol extraction. We have had success with terpene extraction with existing unit (our extraction manager has worked wonders with the existing unit) would like to add another system for cannabinoid pulls and avoid swapping back and forth.

Getting warmer.

How many stages of distillation do you need? How many LPH does each one need to spit out?

This too needs clarification. Especially with the placement of “expand”… What exactly is CXE?

Is this a trick you want to teach your CO2 rig? Or are you actually asking about purchasing a centrifuge?

Ie : CXE vs. cryo-EtOH centrifuge: Owners gonna owner

Vs: Open source CXE retrofit for Co2 extractors

Currently doing 2 passes, pulling mains, rerun tails then combining for polish. Aiming for 2 liters an hour but of course will probably need more down the road.

Great information, thanks for the links. This is very helpful in determining options to prevent owners from spending a lot of capitol frivolously. Will study up on these options.

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They have already burned that bridge by doing CO2 to distillate.

Leveraging the expensive equipment they have to get terps while they still have value makes sense. Doubling down and getting another CO2 rig to feed a wiper seems dumb, even if you can pick up for almost free. Which is doable.

I would explore their reasons for going CO2, it might inform your suggestions for alternatives.

Pretty sure I could make a decent espresso machine out of a free CO2 rig, and @moronnabis reckons you can get this cat skinned good and proper with three buckets and a buchner using water without the espresso machine.

I forget sometimes how different my version of fast is from everyone else’s.

I’m sure that someone here will be able to help you out with that. Don’t pay too much. I know a decent vendor of stainless wipers if that’s the type of thing you’d be looking for. They’re not perfect, but they are the right price.

Appreciate the candor. I have been wading through a sea of management ignorance (multiple owners is like herding cats) this last year with and have finally started to get them to listen and form a consensus on direction. A stainless wiper would be my choice as it would serve until we get hydrocarbon in place.


If you want, shoot me a dm with your email and I’ll send an email connecting you to them. I don’t do the middle man/broker thing, I’ll let you decide on your own if you like them + their pricing or not.

I agree. CO2 is not at all ideal for distillate. Pushing for butane extraction to produce oil for distillate.Would definitely retain for terpenes as we have lined out how to pull 3.5 -4.0 % yields of very nice material that we can readily move. We are recovering from mistakes resulting from poor advice from supposed experts and consultants. The PTB are tentative about modifying and upgrading equipment which is endlessly frustrating to my hold my beer mentality.

Why go hydrocarbon => distillate when you can get to essentially the same end point without so many steps?

See: Liquid diamonds is just distillate, change my mind

You are making me read a lot of stuff ! That’s part of the fun of working on a new project after being semi-retired, that and playing with new toys like the digivac vac controller and gauge I got yesterday.
We are going to experiment with this idea.