BHO - I need a little advice please folks.


Howdy Folks,
I need a little advice concerning BHO.
Today I ran off my first batch ever..... everything went okay I guess but I have a couple of questions I cant find answers to.
Firstly -
I am confident that I should have obtained more oil than I did for the amount/quality of product I used. In fact if it wasnt for the fact that I intend to throw the product through my bubble bags after this experiment I would have been distraught at the minimal amount I received for the amount I contributed... :(
Nowhere could I find an explanation of just how firmly you should pack the tube...I figure I packed the first tube too tight cause literally nothing flowed out of it and I know I packed the second tube too loose because when I blew the butane into it it compressed the product and sent it spiraling around the top of the tube. So Im gonna pack the next one, pressure-wise, halfway between the first two attempts. Could this be why I gained so little final product?
Secondly -
How many times can you run the butane through the same tube of product? Should you do it more than once?
Thirdly -
The oil smokes up great :). Im not complaining about that....but it turned out the color of very dark caramel almost black in fact and it hardens rather than staying oily. I am not sure but I suspect I may have purged it too quickly over too much heat?
Could this be the reason why didnt it turn out the lovely honey color that I see in the photo's of other peoples BHO?
I have a couple of elbows of leaf/trim to practice on b4 I throw in a quarter elbow of flowers and have a go....any advice at all would really be appreciated.
Thanks and Peace, Yepokay.


Revolting Peasant
Congrats on your first run. I find it great fun.

Firstly; I prefer a fairly firm pack myself and I find that key to a good yield- i pack it with a piece of dowel so there are no gaps at all, and I don't find that the butane has any problem getting through quite evenly. I've heard people worry about the butane channelling with a tight pack, but it's not something I've found at all- it gets through it all no matter how tight I've packed it (but my biggest tube is only 1.5" dia- larger bore tubes might present more of an issue). One of the reasons I've found for getting a lower than normal yield myself is not packing it tight enough. I use a glass tube so I can see the butane making progress down the tube- with a really tight pack it can take a while to get through. Pack it too tight though and the quality of the oil goes down- less of the yellow colour and more of the brown, and also more residue left on the nail.

Secondly: I find that once is enough if I've packed it just right. A second extraction can still yield some oil, but it's of a much lower quality (very dark, and might not even harden to shatter due to waxy contaminants) and of such little quantity that I don't generally bother (though I have saved it up before and collected it to use later in a bigger extraction tube- that was a bit more worthwhile in terms of results). But if you don't pack the first run very tightly then there's certainly some merit to a second.

Thirdly: (ignore the strikethrough below- I'd misread- it's quite normal for the oil to go hard and not to do with your purge. I think it's the THC-A that causes this- older material that has been more decarbed doesn't go so hard it seems, but i'm not 100% sure. To get the real light colour oil use good quality, fresh, early harvested buds, broken rather than ground, and not packed too tight)

I don't think that's anything to do with you purge- it sounds to me just like the quality of the oil. Was the starting material just trim? Did you have it well ground? This can lower the quality of the oil IMO. Try just gently breaking the buds up (better buds= better oil, and breaking rather than grinding exposes less internal plant matter= less plant waxes/organic contaminants etc) and then packing them fairly tight into the tube (it's hard to say, but put an inch or so of material into the tube and then press it down with a pound or 2 of pressure, so it goes fairly firmly to the bottom of the tube and is fairly compacted)

Everyone has their own methods as far as I can tell, and I've read stuff on the internet to contradict my way, but this is what works well for me.

Also, I don't think that there's much point in you trying a subsequent bubble bag extraction- the butane solvent will have changed the structure of any remaining trichomes- I expect they were liquidised and smeared across the plant matter, rather than remaining as a distinct gland that the ice could knock off. A second wash with butane or isopropyl will capture any goodness left.


? & beyond
'What you put in is what you get out.'
Crappy, leafy, low-thc trim will usually result in darker, often runny oil. If it gets 'hard' as it cools, that's fine. It sounds like your results are more or less normal for the material. You can reach temps of 180f* and still effectively purge, depending on the refraction point (the point it goes from solid to liquid) and certain viscosity (more viscious = tane releases easier, less viscious, it's trapped) of the marijuana resins.

It's not likely you packed it 'too tight'. Butane is a super critical fluid, meaning it permeates the actual cell membranes of the plant - i.e. it flows right through. Tight is good. There can be a point where you are over packing the tube, but it generally just results in having to use more tane or leakage out your solvent insertion side.

If everything was done properly, the butane should take away mostly everything desirable in the plant with the first wash. Second runs are usually not worth the effort and time.

Any pictures? It sounds like you are doing OK. Experiment. Take notes. Notice what works and what doesn't. Do not reinvent the wheel. If you got any more questions, shoot.

*~140-160f is optimal. You don't want to expose it to high temps for too long or you risk degrading/converting the actives. Read decarboxylation. Hexane decarb chart.
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been around the block
i agree with everything said. beginning to make oil is a good amount of trial and error, so don't get discouraged.

if, for a purge you are unable to use a good vacuum, i recommend doing the following:

1. grab a thermometer, a pot/pan with a diameter slightly smaller than your spray dish, and your dish. you've already prepped the dish by heating the water to ~150°F, and turned off any major heat source to prevent flashes of fire from butane evaporating. so, spray and heat. once all the major bubbles go down and you think you're good to turn the heat on again, go ahead and do so all the while watching the temp of the water and not exceeding 150/160° for very long.

2. to facilitate my comfort in passing the time while this happens, i found an inexpensive scented oil/wax melting plate (you can buy nice temp controlled ones for industrial/scientific purposes) and made sure it maxed out and stayed at ~140°F. now, these burner's surface is much smaller than a stove burner, so scrape your oil from the large spray plate while it's warm. you'll go through and find so many scrapers/pyrex dishes trying to find just the right one. too stiff, not straight enough, not wide enough. i'm glad i got my kit all set up the way i like it now.

3. so just sit and stir. from what i've read and experienced once you hit 170° for too long, it ruins the quality. since i like to do the slow and steady, i prefer the lowest heat which effectively purges. better to go slow and steady at a low heat if you can't vac, rather than raise the temp to save an hour IMO. better throw on a season or two of a show you like, and just heat it. i like to use a small pick (specifically a Ti jeweler's pick) to stir. usually at this heat once i saw 0 bubbles form in the liquid anymore after a few hours meant it was ready. this basic method gave me the hardest hitting, best smelling and tasting oil i've ever used or made. now, i imagine the clubs will not push for THE BEST quality because with extracts they can cut and sell more.

The quality of the product input greatly effects the quality of the output. get nugs man, it makes a world of difference. it may seem like a waste, but if you can get pretty decent nugs for ~$6/g it's an awesome deal if one also has all the necessary tools to efficient use. always record yield % results as well.

When it comes to re-spraying the tube, i personally give it one more spray off the first one. first spray goes until clear, i let it sit for a minute or two, then spray until clear again. never seen quality reductions, but i do use crystally nugs and kief in sprays frequently.

I'll repeat what others above have said and remind you to pack tightly (think really tight, but still just enough yield to allow your breath to slooooowly bleed through when you exhale hard). don't bother with another wash or using the BHO'd plant material or anything at all. it's a huge waste. you'd need to purge it, and that's a hell of a lot harder than purging an oil, and it's seriously had like the life sucked out of it already. I second that you take pics man. because of many factors that we do not know that photos can tell us like the quality of the bud in the first place, setting, method, etc.

I think a lot of people here would love to help, just give us a bit more. while you're at it, check out /R/Cannabis Extracts
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