Winterizing in isopropyl alcohol

Being in Canada its problematic and expensive to buy ethanol so I have been using isopropyl alcohol to extract crude for making distillate. The only thing that im finding is that when I winterize via -40 fridge it doesn’t get the same results as if I do it in Ethanol. I don’t seem to get the best precipitation of waxes and result is slow distillation. Im wondering if anyone can tell me how I could improve the performance of winterizing using isopropyl alcohol.

@100ways Can you buy Denatured alcohol? something with 5% Heptane? In the USA, because it denatured we don’t pay certain taxes which makes it much more economical. 55 Gallons for $700.


Yeah its $60 bucks a gallon

You can get methanol denatured ethanol, but heptane isn’t on the approved denaturants list in Canada.

If you’re legal and can be bothered to do the CRA excise exemption paperwork, your ethanol cost goes down to ~$1.70/L in high enough volumes.

If not, assembling a still and making your own is probably the most economical option. There are a number of people up here doing that.

To improve the iso winterizing, maybe chill it with dry ice? Something tells me there might be other issues with that, but it would certainly get it cold enough to precipitate out all the fats and waxes.


how much water do you have in that iso?
(are you using 70%, 91%,??)

have you read Iso vs ethonal?

why does it matter how much it costs per gal? !?
if you’re winterizing, then the object of the game is to get it all back…

how much solvent are you blowing off to atmosphere every run?
do the math on recovering it instead. the right still will pay for itself almost instantly. especially if it improves the quality of your extracts. or you use it to make your solvent.

at $17.50 a gal, the $500 off the shelf still pictured here might have paid for itself just helping with the 55gal of iso I was dealing with here Purging ethanol with hot plate - #12 by cyclopath


If I’m correct, from what I’ve heard and gathered, with the right contact time with 99% iso even with slightly chilled iso, you won’t be pulling any fats and waxes. It’ll have an affinity for chlorophyll, but that can be removed easily. Skipping winterization is a nice feature.


doesn’t @beaker have data suggesting methanol would work better?


I don’t use it, personally. The disty guy at my shop uses it, doesn’t chill it, and doesn’t have to winterize. Just does a simple carbon scrub and that’s it. I think it’s pretty nifty to avoid that step entirely


Thanks for the info thus far, I guess what your saying is that no one really knows. My idea was to totally avoid the waxes by running cold but im having issues with slow distillation and trying to trouble shoot this situation and obviously making sure all the wax is out would be a start. I am also trying to avoid having to distill the alcohol out of my oil 2x as there is only so much the roto can do with out making a bottle neck there as well.

Guess I will just take all the iso out and do a thorough dewax with ethanol if I don’t get any wax then obviously I have another problem with the short path etc. to fix. If I do get wax coming out in the ethanol winterization then I will have to look at buying some marine stove bio fuel.


Use methanol, its not food grade but its 400 a barrel. It is slightly toxic so read up on how to use it and IMO it works better then ethanol. The only way to avoid winterization is cryo ethanol and unless you have a nice machine bucket teck sucks at -80. Its hard to maintain too. Is your distillate cloudy after second pass? If its cloudy then it could be fats and lipids.


Sorry to correct you @Kingofthekush420 but cryo is not the only way to avoid winterization.

Running cold for an individual is not a big deal but for a company watching the bottom line… its a real problem. Electricity, Dry ice and LN2 can get expensive, look into graphine nanotubes.


that is NOT what the graph is saying…

at least as far as the relative solubility of vegetable oils in iso vs ethanol.

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it puts the cannabis in the tube?


I have a hard time believing nanotubes would be most cost effective (and less time consuming) then skipping a WHOLE step by cryo extracting. Time is money, and labor is the most expensive part of any business. I bet those nanotubes would cost an arm and a leg, why isnt anyone using these yet if it works? In theory it might but ive yet to see anyone impliment this. Theres a reason people are sticking with cryo ethanol…


IES machines require no winterization or post processing.Capture


Really interesting, I would like to know more about the machine. Cost, capacity, and full spec. Can you send to my email: or you can DM me.

Id love to get some specs on those machines to, could you post a link to brochure on them, thx.

On another note I found 92%ethanol w/ 8%iso mixture in canada for $16 CAD per gallon with free shipping. So im pretty stoked to have that option financially make sense now. Once I get the delivery ill let you guys know how it went and where you can find it.


Gotta take reduced yields into account as well at -80c. Leaving money on the spent biomass. Though even that may still be cheaper than labor for winterization depending on the scale. It seems like larger scale operations are having a real hard time justifying the costs of keeping things below -40. Especially while already incurring the cost of heavily taxed hydrophilic ethanol.

Gonna be interesting to see where things go if the price of hemp takes a dump due to supply outpacing demand this harvest season. Energy and solvent costs are going to remain relatively constant while labor increases and raw material cost drops, making that reduced yield even less painful. :man_shrugging:t3:


If you use enough ethanol and a long enough soak time you can save your yields. 250 gallons of cryo alcohol can easily do a 1000 pounds of material. Ive found at cryo temps the ethanol can hold more THC then warm as youre not extracting as much undesirables which leaves more room for thc. When i warm extract i use 2x the amount of solvent, compared to double that when i cold extract. So technically youre using twice the amount of energy to do the same work warm since you have to evaporate 2 times the amount of solvent. This must be taken into account, not only electricity costs but double the amount of time in evaporation and labor.


Filter Press – 1200mm / 100 cf – (we have a cheaper option as well, e-mail us or DM here)

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