Trying to work smarter not harder. Trying to at least…
Running 10:1 ratio etoh to crude, hemp extracted at ambient temps so plenty of waxes and lipids to deal with. Given recent extractions I’m going to have 400+ gallons of etoh/crude mix to go thru, so I’m trying to expedite the process as much as humanly possible. I have a couple nice lab chillers that can get down to -80C with reactors holding ~35 gal of etoh mix.
Before anyone screams “SAMBO!” I like what he’s got, but at current time I can’t manage the 12 grand for the 800MM trolley. Understanding that it has considerably more surface area than what I’ve got, I’d like to buy one in the future, but I’d like to improve my speed as best I can given the tools I have available without buying too much new equipment (gotta get paid for this batch before I can justify throwing another ten grand at the lab). Have no problem buying additional/different filter medias if it will make my process faster or easier.
I’ve got an 18" benchtop Buchner like the Bel-air units and several smaller ones (6-8") available.
Was trying to do first pass winterization with coffee filters and found that they plug very quickly even running at higher temperatures.
After seeing another post here and getting frustrated with the lack of speed in my winterization process, decided to try a first pass using an 8" Buchner, stainless screen on bottom and some rough grit aluminum oxide which grabbed a significant amount of fats in my first pass thru, using a 2" media bed over 20 mesh stainless screen. I think I’m going to adjust my mesh size of alox and will probably grab even more that way.
For second pass, I have tried a few different grades of the “coffee filter” style filters and they seem to plug up fast regardless of temperature and are really too fragile to scrape the fats off with a spatula without tearing.
Seems to me that without scraping the fats off, you get an interlocked coagulation of fats which nearly halt any flow thru whatever filter media you are using. If you have any edge leaks in your Buchner or benchtop a sufficiently thick layer of fats will exacerbate them and probably slow your pitiful flow even further, all the while hissing or whistling annoyingly.
The 18" Bel-Art style benchtop Buchner I’m using definitely has some edge leaks. I think in an ideal world they would have included an additional poly ring (like the one that supports the filter media, but slightly smaller OD, split and no perforated center) to use to pinch the filter media against the walls of the filter so that edge leaks aren’t so prevalent. Probably going to try and make my own if I can source some polypropylene sheet or a large enough poly cutting board tomorrow.
Coworker brought me some sort of food grade poly mesh bag to try, cut it up and flattened it out along the bottom of this filter, works great, tough enough that I can scrape it with a spatula without tearing it up and having leaks, only problem is he doesn’t remember where he got them from. Le sigh. Anyone have any ideas where this might have come from? He seems to remember that it was an MJ related item but not who he bought it from.
I’m also curious from those who do more winterization than I do, does it make more sense to let your filter bed run “dry” and then rinse the fats with chilled ethanol to get that “white cake” fats, or scrape fats into a bucket and when enough have accumulated then reprocess them (thinking of homogenizing 1:1 with cold ethanol, let sit overnight in a cryo freezer at -60 and then pour off the ethanol and any oils riding along with it)? I’m wondering because it seems like if I interrupt filtration every 20 mins to let it run dry and rinse with cold ethanol I’m going to go thru a lot of cold ethanol and drastically slow my filtration time.