Good Shatter From Bad Trim (QWET extraction)

Shatter From Bad Trim

Making good shatter from beautiful flower is much easier than making good shatter from bad trim using alcohol extraction (QWET).  I figure if we can master making good shatter from bad trim we will be able to make something amazing with better starting material.  I will be making hillbilly shatter from the worst trim I could get my hands on.  This not only provides value but also the satisfaction of crafting something nice from something not so nice.

In addition to the Source we will also be using a single-stage vacuum pump and vacuum chamber.  Using just the Source will create a nice wax and a shatter like result if done well and cured in a very thin layer.  However, to achieve an end product that’s more substantial, stable, and fully purged like you would find in a dispensary we will use a more powerful vacuum for the final stage.  Its a little extra work, but beauty has a price……..

I am writing this post on making shatter as a beginner for beginners, but if you have a question at any level of sophistication please feel free to ask and I will endeavor to find the answer if I don’t already know.  Your questions help me learn as well!  If you don’t want to post comments here you can always email me at


Source extraction unit (Extractcraft)

Dry Ice


2 Ziplock bags



Buchner funnel and flask (or coffee filters)

Mini spatula

Glass cup that fits inside the Source’s metal cup (or platinum grade silicone cup)

Slick Sheet

Vacuum pump and vacuum chamber

Heat source for the vacuum chamber


Place the cannabis and Everclear into separate ziplock bags and put them in the cooler with the dry ice.  The amount of dry ice depends on how much cannabis you are planning to wash.  For small amounts just a few pounds of dry ice is sufficient, then the more cannabis you are preparing the more dry ice you will require.  After about 1 hour the solvent should reach the target temp of -40°f.  If you don’t want the added expense and hassle of using dry ice you can simply put the solvent and cannabis in the freezer overnight.  Dry ice substantially lowers the solvent temperature far lower than the freezer can which is instrumental in reducing green leak from choppy trim, but, it’s not as necessary with good flower.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 10.21.25 PM


When using dry ice the wash can be anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes.  For a long wash it is important the solution is kept at -40 the entire time.  Opinions differ on wash duration but from my non-scientific experimentation yields between clean extractions don’t vary substantially with time (I believe it has to do with saturation points, but if someone knows differently please advise).

When the wash is finished the ideal color is a golden/yellow.  You want to avoid getting any green tint in the solution.  If the solution begins turning green at all move onto strain/filter asap.


To ensure a clean extract and avoid the green leak its most important to get the solution separated from the cannabis as quickly and efficiently as possible.  By ‘straining’ I refer to quickly removing the solid cannabis material from the solution and ‘filtering’ means eliminating any particulates from the solution that was strained.

I have been using a Buchner funnel and flask because it makes me look like a freaky cool scientist as well as the efficiency in filtering.  It quickly strains and filters at the same time.  Alternatively, you can use a wire mesh strainer followed by unbleached coffee filters to finish.  Either method will most likely require a second or third filtering to get it crystal clear.

At this point if there is a little green tint you can use sunlight for a short period to get rid of it (a trick learned from Monsoon on  The time and exposure to the UV shouldn’t have much effect on the overall THC component.

(An interesting side note, the chlorophyll molecule is quite large and difficult to abolish, so while the sun will get rid of the green the chlorophyll is still actually there.  In fact, during the concentration process you may notice the concentrate takes on a fall leaf, dark brown/red, color just like when the leaves die and fall.)   

Edit: After posting this and further experimentation it became clear that 2-3 additional filtrations through the Buchner funnel with a slow filter (or two) followed by a proper winterization finish results in a far cleaner terpy smelling oil.  When using higher quality flower and good material the winterization may actually reduce the terpy nature and flavor so be thoughtful with the process choices and experiment to see what works best in your opinion and let me know.

Reduce in Source cup

Run the solution in the Source until it is as thick as possible without risking it sticking to the metal cup and getting caught in the corners.  When it’s semi-thick, but still workable, I transfer the oil to a glass vessel that fits comfortably into the cup provided by the Source.  I often use food grade platinum rated silicone cups as well.

Reduce in glass vessel

I use this secondary vessel to reduce the surface area for the concentrate and make it easier to harvest once it’s ready.  Run the Source again with the oil in the glass vessel inside the Source’s cup until the earl.  The Source isn’t meant to run dry like this so it will heat up due to the lack of evaporation dissipating heat.  I normally complete this step before the internal temp exceeds 110-115°f.  When the oil is as far as you think it can go without hardening on the glass remove it carefully with a mini spatula onto an appropriate size piece of Slick Sheet.

Put oil in vac with heat

Put the Slick Sheet with the oil into a Vac with the temperature 95-105°f.  Some people use higher temps up to 125°f, so it is up to you to experiment and see what works best for you.  My only advice would be if you are extracting quality flower then keep the temps low all the way around and take your time.

I pull the maximum vac level with my single-stage vacuum pump and watch the bubbling develop into a muffin top with great excitement.  Unless you have a cold trap for reclaim the solvent released by the bubbling will need to be released by ‘burping’ the chamber, replacing the alcohol vapor ridden air with clean air, and setting the vacuum to full again.  After burping a few times in the first hour I leave it under full vac for around 6-hours.  When you can touch it quickly without it sticking to you it is ready for flip/fold.

Flip/ Fold etc

After about 6-hours when you can touch the concentrate quickly without it sticking to you it’s time to fold it into a slab shape.  Fold one side onto the other and press down a bit to consolidate the two sides.  In all likelihood both sides will stick to the paper so hold one side onto something frozen for a few seconds and that side will peal away from the Slick Sheet very easily.  Once the concentrate is warmed up again and not rigid from the cooling, repeat the folding and pressing until you have the shape you desire (it doesn’t have to be perfect because the continued heating and purging will change the shape again), flip it so the original bottom side is now facing up and put back in the chamber under full vac with the temp around 100°f.

For the remaining duration of the purging flip the slab over every 6-12 hours.  Depending on how far you want to take it (meaning how patient you can be) you will have a nice stable end product after 24-72 hours.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.09.12 AM
This Was After 30 Hours In The Vac

The final product will be rigid, shinny, pockmarked.  If you prefer a smoother finish put the slab between two pieces or Slick Sheet and apply just a little heat and pressure with a flat metal object for a very short couple of seconds to each side.  This will take the shinny characteristic away but it will be smooth, its simply personal crafting style.

These two pieces were processed together at the same time and the only difference in treatment was the final flattening.  The piece on the left is the one flattened by a little heat and pressure as demonstrated above.  The piece on the right is how it finished directly out of the vac chamber.

Anyone following my blog posts know it has been a learning process for me to get to this point in my extraction prowess and I still have a lot to learn.  From the beginning Skunkpharm has been huge resource for me and I encourage anyone with any cannabis curiosity to explore there.

With this particular post I took most of my method from a process laid out by Monsoon on  His directions for QWET Dry-Sift Shatter can be found here:

Hit me up with some comments, questions, or weed jokes!!  Thanks for checking out my post.

9 thoughts on “Good Shatter From Bad Trim (QWET extraction)

  1. If you are using a vac pump with heating pad then what’s the point of having a “Source”? It seems like you are just wasting time and money for a sub quality product.

    1. Hi Me,
      First and foremost, if the Source wasn’t working great I would not be using it. I use the source for many different extraction purposes, not just making shatter because all extraction comes from the same base process. I am kind of confused by your question of ‘wasting time and money’ for using the Source. First, I am saving 2-days worth of time evaporating. Using the Source I can evaporate in 1.5 hours what will take 2-days to evaporate with a fan and cheese cloth. That is 46.5 hours I am saving and also avoiding the hassle of scrapping a pyrex dish, another 1 hour for a total of 47.5 hours of saving. Now when we talk about money, and this is my favorite part, I get to recapture the alcohol and reuse it. Maybe you can afford to waste the alcohol but that is a huge savings for me.

      I assume you haven’t done much extraction so I will try to explain in simple terms. The vac pump and heating pad are simply a vehicle to further purge the oil that you make with the source. It allows the material to essentially harden into shatter or the wax texture of your choice. Sometimes I just take the oil out of the Source and let it cool, cure in the air, and use right then or a day later. The vac pump and heating pad application is more for dispensary quality vanity more than anything.

      So in summary of why I use the Source, it allows me to do a wide range of extractions, it saves me a load of time, it saves me a significant amount of money, and the quality of the product and team there are great. Thanks for your question!

    1. Winterization in this case is simply the process of refreezing the wash to suspend any waxes and unwanted water based contaminants in the solution for at least 24-hours, or even better to use dry ice to get down to -40f, then quickly filter with out allowing frozen components to thaw and reintegrate.

  2. I found your posts to be well written and helpful. Your observations confirm my experience with winterizing the bho I make. The Source would be helpful because right now I vacuum the bho for 5 days and then winterize. But I have to let the Everclear evaporate real well before it goes back into the vacuum. Days of delay.

  3. Hey I’m a new user to the source and I have a bunch of shitty trim I’m making into oil. Rn it’s dark and gooey, I bet I could put it back in alchohal and filter it with carbon wash then make it back into shatter. I just was curious what vac pump and chamber do you use and what heating element. Like a heat pad? And does it maintain a proper temp I’ve had issue in the past with thing heating up to much. If it’s not in the vac tho it should stay the same temp. Pretty much just want to know what to buy. Thanks.

    1. Just buy what is in your budget and work from there. There are a lot of kits is you google “vacuum chamber sets.” Solid temp control comes with quality.

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