New To Bho Extraction, Have A Few Questions (Mainly About Vacuum Purging)...

Discussion in 'Harvesting and Processing Marijuana' started by amelie, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Hello there everyone! This is my first post on Grasscity, but I've been a long time lurker, and finally made an account because I really need some advice on BHO extraction. I've been reading up on it like crazy, but there are still some things I'm unclear on. I know I need a vacuum pump that is strong enough to pull -29Hg, but one of the things I'm unclear on is how do I make sure that I can get a hose that fits my dessicator, is there a universal tubing size or can you get a tube with different sizes on each end, how does that work?
    Another thing that I'm confused about with this whole vacuum purging process is a lot of guides will say to purge while heating it up X degrees. How am I supposed to heat up the dessicator, and what is heating it up for? Is it for helping build up pressure and/or extract the moisture more quickly?
    So far this is the everything I've got for the process (still need a vacuum pump and a vacuum gauge):
    • Bel-Art Dessicator: 
    • Glass Extraction Tube (holds 15-30 grams)
    • Hose Clamps and Zip ties
    • 50 Micron Screen/120 Micron screen
    • Griddle (for heating up and boiling off the butane outside)
    • Heat Torch (not necessary but it seems like it would be useful)
    • Laser/Infrared Thermometer
    • Pyrex Dishes (8 x 8in., 16.5 x 9 in, and 7.8 x 13.8in; the last one fits great inside the middle one)
    • Razors/Glass Scraper/Putty Knife/Dabbers
    • 30-40 Botanicals (about 30 grams of shake mixed in with trimmings and stuff that's too dry, and then about 6 or 7 grams of different mixes that were leftovers from recent bags)
    I also can use about 14-21 grams of dank (although I tend to smoke it), but I figured I'd do my first run with the other stuff
    If there's anything else I'm missing besides the vacuum and gauge I'd appreciate knowing. As for the Vacuum pump, I think I found a few worth getting on Amazon for good prices, however most of them pull at 75 microns. I've read some peoples' opinions that 75 isn't enough, and it has to be lower (50-25), but most of those ones are 200+ and I have alread spent a lot of money as of late, so I am trying to stick to a budget. I looked on eBay and they have a lot of no-brand vacuum pumps that seem to have the specs I need, but the price makes me wonder. Either way I think I am going to go with something like this, unless you guys think it's not gonna do the job (it doesn't say how many microns it pulls, but it says it pulls 5pa, or pascals, and I converted pascals to microns of mercury and it came to 37.50307806515. So if that's right, that should be good enough. Here they are:
    3CFM, 5Pa (or 37.5 microns), single stage (i believe):

    This one has similar specs (3CFM, 5pa):

    Also, after looking on eBay I found some cheap metal vacuum chambers, which are a lot bigger than the one I bought, but just a little higher in price. Think I should return the Bel-Art one to Amazon and get one of these?:


    The thing I like about it is it's a lot bigger and it has the Vacuum Gauge built right into it. I bought that small Bel-Art one because they were really expensive and that was the cheapest one. But I wouldn't mind returning it to get a larger container for a bit more.
    Sorry for such a long first post, but I am hoping someone here can help me figure out what I need for this vacuum purging equipment.

  2. #2 Cloud9Oil_T.A/ES, Jun 19, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2013
    Buy the premade desiccators on Ebay, those scientific ones are no good i dont trust heating them over and over again Regardless of Polycarbonate-ness lol 
    also you want a vac pump that will pull Under 50 micron, you can get away with less mine is a 5pa but apparently it doesnt pull full vacuum, I almost find it hard to believe cause it certainly Does the job. But i bet it only hits 28. something
  3. Sounds like you are on the right track. The Vac-It Pro is quite acceptable, and in my humble opinion a better choice than the Bel Art that you bought, my advice is to return that one, you will get more life and use from the Vac It Pro. 
    Couple of things to keep in mind. In regards to the pump, be sure to get some extra vacuum oil as you want to change it after so many runs, the vacuum oil in the pump is what traps the contaminants that you pull from the chamber/material. I don't have an exact number of runs before changing the oil, just be cognizant of the fact that it will need to be changed.
    It sounds like you may be inexperienced with vacuum pumps. The gauge on the top has a check valve, be sure that is closed when starting and stopping the pump so you don't run the risk of backpurging oil into your pump, and material. It's open when the valve is going in the same direction as the hose. Familiarize yourself with the proper operation of the pump, and you should be fine.
    Pancake griddles are acceptable heat sources, although newer models do not maintain a constant temperature. Using the double boil method and vacuum can be tricky because of the up/down heating of the griddle. You want to keep a constant, and precise temp, and this can make it a bit difficult. If you get the Vac It Pro you will find that it most likely doesn't fit on the griddle properly making maintaining a constant heat a little tricky as well. I over come this by turning a large rectangular Pyrex dish UPSIDE DOWN on the griddle, and placing the Vac It Pro on top of that. It helps maintain a constant temp in the chamber without too much temperature variation when the griddle is going up and down.
    Of course the double boil method works, just be aware that it really needs to be monitored. During the process you will reach a point when the butane is mostly removed and the temp will want to rise all of sudden. Stay on top of that!
    Patience is your friend in this process, you want to make medicine, not poison. Slow and low will pay huge dividends. Depending on what form of stable oil you are looking to achieve time and temps vary. 
    Starting material has a huge effect on the end result. Don't expect to make garbage into gold. Use sugar leaves, final trim, popcorn buds. Don't try to use shade leaves, and other lower quality plant material. 
    Be cognizant of your own safety and the safety of others. Never blast indoors. No open flames. Yadda, yadda, yadda
    Good luck. 
    Have your tried checking to see if you have a leak in your setup? Pump your chamber down as far as it will go, close the check valve, check the rate of rise, and use some Snoop or soapy water to check for leaks around your lid. 28 is awful close, perhaps the gauge is not properly calibrated? Hard to say, but I would definitely check for leaks. 
  5. Ok, so I took your guys' advice and returned the Bel-Art Dessicator. I bought the one on ebay which was only 40 dollars more but since it comes with a built in pressure gauge and is larger, plus it has the tubing and attachments already in there, it really only cost me a few bucks more. 
    I haven't had a chance to start the process because I live in a condomnium complex so it's hard to do it outside without someone noticing. I am trying to get to a friend's house to use his backyard. 
    As for the vac pump, I tested it out with the dessicator and I was only able to pull -28Hg. It says it's 5Pa (37.5 microns of mercury), but does 1 less Hg of Vacuum really make that much of a difference?
    There are still a few things I am unclear about. I know what to do with the double boil method, and getting most of the butane out of the pyrex, but when it comes time for me to scrape it all out and put it in the dessicator. Do I keep the dessicator in/on hot water while it's purging? Am I mistaken or does the heat allow for a stronger vacuum? Also, what temperature should the inside of my dessicator be while purging? I have an IR Thermomter to monitor it. The purging part is the what I am most confused about. I've read plenty of guides and watched tutorial videos, and most people say to vac purge it 4-6 times, but what do I do between each purge?
    Sorry for all the questions but I just want to make sure I do things right. As for the botanicals I'm using, I got a zip of trim/shake from some nice dank, about 3-4 grams of dried up popcorn buds. I have about 35 grams of material in my extractor. 
    Okay, one last question. I have 50, 120, and 160 Micron silk screens. which is the best for me to use and should I use more than one? I am using hose clamps to hold it on and I blew threw it to make sure it's not going to get blowback, so I'm good there, just want to know what micron is the best for the filter. 
    How do you go about calibrating them?
  7. Ok so I made my first batch, which didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but I did get something and I am happy about that. I had about 30 grams of shake/trim from some good dank, and about 3 grams of some dank buds and a little bit of kief (like a gram maybe). In the end I yielded about 2.5 grams. I was hoping for more like 4 or 5, but for my first run I'll deal with that. Another thing I didn't like about the way my BHO turned out was that it's really dark. I was hoping I would get a lighter amber. It's not very buttery, but it is very sticky; sometimes a piece shatters off, so it get kind of hard sometimes in some areas. It does get me ripped though. It doesn't sizzle at all when using it so I am pretty sure I got most of the butane and moisture out of it, and it doesn't taste weird or anything so I think theirs little to none left.
    Anyways, here are some pics if you want to check it out. Just to let you know this is after about a week of me smoking it. This picture is about a gram, maybe, but I did have a lot more. 
    PHOTO_20130704_145606.jpg PHOTO_20130704_145621.jpg
  8. What type of butane are you using?

  9. Vector 5x. I am just about out of the oil I made so I am probably going to be making another attempt within a day or so. This time I am going to use more buds and less trim/shake. I have also been collecting some kief so that should help as well. 
    Ok I think this may be where I went a little wrong on my first attempt. When the butane started to boil. I remember walking away for literally less than a minute and walking back to find that there was very little butane left but very dark oily bubbles. it's possible that I let that temperature  get to high. Idk honestly, but what I do know is I am about to be doing my second attempt.
    I have about 8-9 grams of dank, 5 grams of kief, 3-4 grams of shake/trim, I still need another 7-10 grams though (which I have but if I use it then it ends up costing me more). If I wait a day or two I will have another QP with an ounce that I can use just for this. 
  11. Well I had a long description of my first and second runs written out when I accidentally closed the browser and lost about 20 minutes of work (when it would have been 5 if I weren't so ripped and tired). So, because I am exhasted, for the moment I will display the pictures of my results (Approx. 22-27g of dank broken up and dried in kief box; 6-8g of kief that I had been collection, spread out all throughout the extraction tube and bud inside.; using 1.5 cans of Vector 5x, I would have used more but that was all I had).....:
    Anyways, my yield ended up being close to 4 grams, but after purging it, it was close to 3.5. It seems like a low yield still to me, but I can discuss that later. Here are the pics: (this is after one vac purge):
  12. Use less tane. You wont need more than 1 can per OZ.
    upload smaller pictures too lol
  13. You'll find vacuuming better then water extraction or using the old school acetone to clean up your wax/honey?
  14. when using the griddle to boil away the butane, is hot water in a griddle then placing the pyrex in the water better then just placing the pyrex dish on the griddle?
  15. yes, its harder to burn your oil this way
    I as well have a 15 micron pump and brand new chamber - my gauge only pulls to about - 28.3
    I am getting some decent concentrates but am not quite sure it's vacuuming a full vac.
    Do we know how to calibrate a new gauge?
  17. I dont and I dont really care either, I dont need to know what its pulling because those gauges that come with your chambers arent high quality gauges anyway.
    as long as you have a good pump that pulls a strong vac, you should be fine. I honestly wouldnt worry about the gauge, its only affected by your elevation, the amount of vac its pulling is still the same
  18. sweet, so as long as there are nol noticeable leaks and my vacuum is a well rated vacuum with a good deep pull I should be fine? Cps vp6d 2 stage
    this is very relieving
  19. yeah I wouldnt worry about it too much, thats a fine pump

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