Step 3 - Distill
Step 3 - Distill
Three different devices are available for distilling down the oil. The first is an open boiler run as a single pan or a double boiler setup. The second device is a moonshine still that is the only device properly engineered for alcohol recovery. The third device typically used is a consumer water distiller. Water distillers are popular for supposedly recovering alcohol, but are not setup correctly for so up to 1/3 of the alcohol vapor will be lost into open air.
Open Boilers - Single or Double Boilers
Using a Moonshine Still is very straight forward. As shown above, the still has two hoses on the right for circulating water through the condenser, and an alcohol drain tube on the left placed in a capture jar, in this case, a flask. Out of sight in the bucket is a little 3 watt aquarium pump that drives water into the condenser. Here's the procedure for using this setup -
Fill the large boiler with 1 liter/1 quart of water, add 1/2 cup brine.
Set the lid and condenser in place and latch it down.
Power up the hotplate to full power.
Watch the temperature gauge as it will soon spike 82c/180f, then turn the power down to 400 watts of power. The alcohol should drain as a continuous stream. Kick the power up one setting if the stream starts and stops.
Once the temperature rises above 83c/182f, swap capture jars. Kick the power up another notch.
Allow the temperature to continue rising till it reaches 195f, then turn off all power. Let it cool down for 10 minutes.
Remove the lid w/condenser and place the boiler in cold water. A large sink or bathtub will do fine. See troubleshooting below if no visible oil.
Continue to the Common Ending below
Add a couple handfuls of ice to bring the temperature down to 10c/50f.
Use a fork to press the oil against the cold boiler walls.
Pour out the waste water through an Ice Filter.
Fill the boiler with hot tap water to liquefy the oil. Swirl the water around and the oil will release it's salt.
Tips and Tools
Tip: Using a Moonshine Still:
When using a moonshine still to recapture the alcohol, the temperature will run up to 180f and stay there for a long time. The length of time is determined by the ratio of alcohol to water. Once the ration starts leaning towards water, the temperature starts to rise. Once you see the temperature rise above 182f, swap out the capture jar. This jar will hold the maximum concentration of alcohol, either 91% Isopropyl or 95% Ethanol. The second jar will be diluted down to about 70% alcohol once the temperature reaches 200f.
Tip: Using a Water Distiller:
When using a water distiller to recapture the alcohol, its critical to use one with a programmable ending temperature. Simple units with an on/off button do not give you control to shutoff at the right time.
Power up the unit and set the ending temperature to 182f. the unit will run for up to 180f and stay there for a long time. The length of time is determined by the ratio of alcohol to water. Once the ration starts leaning towards water, the temperature starts to rise and the unit will shut down at 182f. At this point, swap the capture jar, restart the unit, and set the ending temperature for 200f. The first capture jar will hold the maximum concentration of alcohol, either 91% Isopropyl or 95% Ethanol. The second jar will be diluted down to about 70% alcohol once the temperature reaches 200f.
WARNING: Never distill alcohol near open flame. Alcohol vapors are highly flammable so always distill in well ventilated spaces.
This oil is appropriate for oral ingesting and vaping. Due to the potential of residual salts, do not torch this oil. Torch temperatures can reach over 760c/1400f and can vaporize any residual salts.
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