You will need:
- Well dried quality trimmings
- ½ litre 91% ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
- Large jar with lid
- 2-3 fine mesh strainers
- 2 paper coffee filtersPlace the coffee filters between the strainers as per picture.
- A plate
- Put your trim into the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Pour into glass jar
- Pour isopropyl alcohol over leaf matter until just covered & allow to soak for exactly 30 seconds.
- Shake for exactly 30 seconds.
- Pour into strainer filter over evaporation plate
- Carefully place small fan near plate to aid evaporation. This will take at least 24 hours. Warning: do NOT use heat as this will lower quality.
- When the alcohol has evaporated and the extraction fully dried, use a razor blade to scrape the plate.
If the trim is of good enough quality you can repeat the process using the strained vegetable matter.
A variant of this is Old Skool Grower’s Isomerised Ice Crystals. Using only the best by-product possible, this method of making hash decarboxylates THC-A into THC in one step, thereby avoiding degradation into CBN and CBD. This being so, it should make a very potent smoke.
For this you need:
- fresh popcorn bud that has been frozen overnight
- jar with tight fitting lid
- 91% isopropyl alcohol
- mesh strainer
- coffee filter
- pyrex baking dish
- hob with good extraction or means of heating outdoors
- Put the frozen buds in the jar and cover with just enough isopropyl alcohol. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Use the mesh strainer to strain the gloop into a bowl and then strain again through the coffee filter. The resulting liquid should be fairly clear and free of chlorophyll.
- Pour the liquid into the pyrex dish and heat very gently (i.e. have the oven underneath the hob turned on) under good extraction (or outdoors – see note below).
- Once the QWISO has evaporated down to a hash oil, leave overnight.
- Put in an oven at 220ºF (which is 100ºC) for 15-20 minutes.
- Let cool until you can handle the pyrex and then freeze for a minimum of 2 hours. The has oil will freeze into ice crystals.
- Scrape the ice off with a new razor using consistent pressure while the oil is still brittle and frozen.
- You may need to freeze again to make sure it is at the right consistency. It will keep in e.g. a pill bottle in somewhere cold and dark, or mould into a bowl.
NOTE: Isopropyl does have toxic fumes when heated, so be VERY CAREFUL when using this method and treat with respect. The fumes are heavier than air and combustible, which is why OldSkoolGrower suggests only following his method if you have powerful ventilation. DON’T use a gas oven for this!
Greywolf’s QWISO method:
The first step in the process is to get as much water as possible out of the material.
This procedure is specifically for material that has been cured to about 15% water content, which is typical of cured material. 15% is a lot of water and the alcohol already has 1% in it, so unless we reduce the water content even further, we will be extracting a lot of water solubles.
We dry our cured material even further by spreading it on a cookie sheet and baking it in a 200F oven until just frangible when rolled between the finger and thumb.
At this point, for the most pristine extract, we simply coarsely break down buds by hand and load the material into jars. Leaves and trim are just lightly compacted as is.
Or we can scrub it through a wire mesh pasta strainer, using a leather gloved hand and firm pressure, so as to maximize space, but still generate fewer fine particles than grinding in a food processor or blender.
The stems will be left behind, which I encourage you to save for a different extraction, and make a killer topical out of them. If you leave them in the extraction, they will leave some of their flavor behind.
We never, ever, use a blender or coffee grinder to reduce material, because it produces a lot of ultra fine powder that makes it through conventional filters.
Next, while it is still warm, we seal the material in a jar, which we place in the freezer to tie up any remaining water as ice. We also put the 99% Isoproypl alcohol in the freezer.
When they have both stabilized at about 0F, pour the alcohol into the jar of plant material, so that it is at least an inch above the material, and shake it gently for 15/20 seconds.
At the end of 15/20 seconds, dump it through a wire strainer to drain quickly.
Set the material aside to dry for a second extraction. We usually keep the two extractions separate, as they will have different properties.
Filter the extracted liquid.
We use either a vacuum filter or a simple coffee filter, depending on the quantity we are processing.
A couple different ways to go at this point. One is to pour the alcohol wash in shallow Pyrex pie plates and use natural evaporation or fans to evaporate away the alcohol.
Another is to place that filtered liquid in a suitable container and set that container in an oil bath heated to 240/250F. We use bain marie and other stainless ware from a restaurant supply.
Make sure that the container is sitting on something that suspends it up off the bottom of the oil pot. I throw four jar lids in the bottom of my electric fondue pot and use it for that purpose.
Never trust the numbers on the dial and use a good thermometer to set temperatures. We use either a mercury lab thermometer, or a digital one. Good temperature control is key to the process.
That means the device that you use to control the oil temperature must have a narrow dead band, so that the temperature control is stable.
I paid about $60 for a Quisinart fondue pot that was designed to heat sensitive sauces like chocolate and has excellent control throughout its temperature range. There are a couple of Revels in our group that are slightly larger and work well, plus cost only about $30, though they have a slightly larger dead band.
Some fry cookers have sensitive enough controls, but many deep fryers designed to primarily run at 375F, lack control sensitivity and have large dead bands at 250F.
Boil off the alcohol until the liquid is reduced to a pool of oil and all but minor bubbles cease rising at the edges and then pour at least ten volumes of alcohol and wash out the whole pot by swirling it and washing off any resin stuck to the sides.
Using a funnel, pour that liquid into a jar or bottle, seal it, and place that in the freezer.
I usually leave it at least overnight, but have pushed it to a couple hours. The liquid will lose its clarity and become slightly cloudy, primarily from plant waxes flocculating out. There will also be precipitant on the bottom of the container.
Carefully decant and filter that liquid one more time, and you will have a bell clear extract, that is ready to reduce down one more time.
Place in a suitable container for return to the oil bath. Since you have much less material, a smaller one may be used.
At this point I put them in small stainless cups or a 250 ML beaker to reduce the surface area that will be coated with oil when I cook it down the last time.
When the oil is (mostly) bubble I free, I extract it from the container using a pipette, so as to not leave a streak of material in the vessel. After I have extracted all that I can using a pipette, I wash the container and pipette out with hot alcohol, and save the wash for the next run.
Nothing is wasted or left behind.
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