The Source Turbo performs the process but you are the Grand Crafter! The machine performs the same process consistently every time so the final product quality depends entirely on WHAT you put into the Source and WHEN you stop the process. I am going to share what I have learned about the what and the when to demonstrate how easy it is for you to do as well. After reading this post you can watch this video of the Source in action, if you’d like: Alcohol Extraction Using the Source Turbo.
IMAGINATION IS THE ONLY LIMIT TO WHAT YOU CAN CRAFT
Deciding what botanical material to use for your concentrate begins with your image of the desired end product. Choose the botanical material(s), identify how you plan to use the end product, and decide on the final consistency you desire. I have experimented with lavender, rose peddles, orange peel, grapefruit peal, lemon, ginger, chilies, spruce, mint, chamomile, rosemary, thyme, aged french oak chips, vanilla, coffee, cloves, and my favorites CANNABIS and CBD! Many of these have been combined with cannabis or CBD then extracted together to craft fantastic flavors, scents, medicinals, edibles and smokables. Dried material works best because the water content in fresh material evaporates at a much slower rate and higher temperature than alcohol, leaving much of the water weight remaining in your final product.
After the chosen materials are gathered we decide how to ‘Wash’ them. ‘Wash’ is a simple term used to describe mixing the botanical material with the alcohol solvent to transfer the essential oil mater of the botanical into the alcohol solution. It’s best to use 95% food-grade alcohol because it has very limited water content and is perfectly acceptable to ingest. Ethanol is an aggressive solvent and how much plant material is extracted by it will be determined by the duration of exposure, temperature of the alcohol and material, and the intensity of agitation during the wash. Quite simply, longer, warmer, and stronger agitation leads to more plant material being extracted. For example, for the oak chips the best result was letting them soak over night at room temperature with periodic vigorous agitation whereas rosemary can’t be soaked very long because of the excessive wax that will be collected. Experimenting with different materials for different uses is a great discovery adventure, so don’t be afraid to make a mistake because they will all work out nicely.
CANNABIS wash takes some special attention to get the result you want. To get something smooth, fragrant, and nicely smokable, a quick wash is necessary to restrict the chlorophyll and wax residue from leaking into the solution. On the other hand, to make something like RSO and Pheonix Tears a much longer soak with more agitation is necessary.
How much alcohol should be used to effectively extract essential oils? I haven’t found a steadfast measuring rule by weight, but what’s worked best for me is adding enough alcohol to just cover the botanical material. Using too much alcohol won’t hurt anything, it will just require more time to evaporate the extra alcohol.
At this point most of the work is done. All that’s left is to strain the alcohol solution from the solid material into the metal cup used by the Source. The solid plant material does not go in the machine. Metal strainers, silk screens, unbleached coffee filters, and Buchner funnels all work well to different degrees of filtering efficiency. How throughly the solution is strained dictates how much particle residue will remain in the final product. For cooking edibles and oral meds some plant material is fine depending on your preference. For smoking in vape pens or doing dabs thorough and repeated filtering is required and makes the finest product.
After straining the alcohol solution into the cup, inserting the cup into the Source, and starting the machine, all that’s left to do is wait for the essential oil in the cup to reach the consistency you desire. The final consistency can be a tincture, cannabis oil, wax or all the way to a concentrated hard resin. Simply turn the machine off and remove your creation.
Toward the end of the process things begin to change quickly so it’s important to carefully monitor the progress and stop at the desired consistency. The good news is that if the material overcooks it can be reconstituted by simply adding a small amount alcohol, and using the machine to condense the alcohol out again.
You are going to love experimenting with the process and really enjoy your crafting creations!