Tips and Tools

Troubleshooting Tips and Tools


This is an active page receiving hacks and tweaks for fixing stuff..

Early Decarbing 

Tip: If decarbing up front before extraction, use Oven Bags when decarbing using the kitchen oven. if you live in a “No Skunk Zone”, then Oven bags will help contain the smell. Vent the bags outdoors after the jars cool down. This works well but isn’t perfect. Some odors typically leak.


Tip: Best using 99% alcohol as 95% Ethanol and 91% Isopropyl have water molecules that will interfere with the extraction. Lower alcohol proofs/pcts have additional water content that forms a barrier blocking the alcohol's dissolving action. 


Tip: After distilling ends, place the metal pots in a tub of ice water to accelerate cooling down. For other devices, add ice to cool down to 50f.  The resins go stiff at 50f and can be moved around with a fork.

Tip: Use cold and heat to manipulate the oil. Ice cold temps solidify the oil, heat allows it to run. Heating the oil with hot water allows it to release any retained salt and water. Water and oil don’t mix so separation is easy.

Tip: Use a damp paper towel to absorb water droplets. After dumping the rinse water, dab away any water droplets with a damp paper towel. Wet a paper towel, wring it dry. Water makes it polar so the oils don’t stick. Polarity working in our favor. A damp paper towel absorbs water, not oil.


Tip: Rapid Winterization works well when there is a 5:1 to 10:1 ratio of alcohol to oil. Don’t over dilute the oils with a lot of Ethanol. Use only enough ethanol to dissolve the oils, enough to move from being syrupy to watery. Too little oil and the winterized solution becomes very thick sludge. Easy fix, add another 30ml/1 oz of ethanol and stir the sludge. 


Tip: Avoid additional water in the ethanol when dissolving the oils after distillation. The only water introduced here should be the water content in the ethanol. Let the boiler dry and any other tools before dissolving the oils in ethanol. This little amount of water will boil off during the reduction.  

Emulsion Recovery and Salt Remediation.

Tip: Non-iodine table salt has a place in this process. It's used to break emulsions in the waste water. The waste water will release the oils when salted out, but this only works with Isopropyl alcohol. Save your waste water with the emulsion. Add the same amount of 91% Isopropyl and a quarter amount of salt. If you have a 1 liter/quart of water, add 1 cup of non-iodine salt. If you have just a cup of waste water, add 1/4 cup of non-iodine salt. Mix and shake, shake, shake. Let the solution settle into two layers. The alcohol is on top and water on the bottom. A middle layer will form out of the semi-polar compounds. Use a turkey baster to draw out the alcohol. There will be salt in this, but salt remediation is easy - just add a 60ml/2 oz of water to the alcohol before boiling down. As the alcohol boils off, you will have floating oil. Once the alcohol is boiled out, drop the temp to 50f, then pour out the waste water but retain all the oils. Do this a second time. Dump the water and let the bowl dry. Now use ethanol to dissolve the oils and reduce it down to final bitter oil. Yeah, it's going to be bitter due to the unwanted compounds in the emulsion.

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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. 

Disclaimer:  Your use of any information or materials on the C.H.S. Website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be held liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure safe use and operation of any processes, products, services or information made available through C.H.S publications and Website.

Revision History - RxCE Tips and Tools

23/10/01 Page published.

23/09/20 Page done

23/06/10 Soft release candidate published to the FB group.