Why not just use a Magic Butter machine for your tincture.Maybe I'm talking to myself here, but for anyone following along or finding this later...
I started with 6oz of larfy buds / trim that I had curing for the last few months and 1.75L Everclear.
I decarboxylated it using sous vide at 200°F for 1h 40m. It was in two vacuum-sealed bags, and those were in a ziplock bag. I put some rocks in the ziplock to weight it down and zipped it after submerging most of the way in the water - to push the air out. Then put some more rocks on top. Tinfoil over the top of the pot to retain water. It was all going along fine until maybe 1h give or take into the process when the bags floated up to the surface anyway. The ziplock got a bunch of water inside it (no big deal) so I replaced it with a new one. Getting everything submerged again took quite a while and given that the water and rocks were 200°; it pretty much sucked.
The weed itself remained dry to slightly damp. I popped the weed into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. The Everclear had been in the freezer over 24h already.
I dumped the weed into a large glass jar and poured most of the everclear over it. Then I stirred and mashed is using a silicon spatula. Had I been using ISO, I'd have gone for a quickwash, but Everclear isn't as efficient so I spend a good 5 minutes breaking it up and mixing it. I'm sure I extracted a bunch of plant material in addition to the cannabinoids, but that doesn't bother me too much.
I poured the everclear (now tincture) into a large pyrex measuring cup through both a cheesecloth and a metal strainer, then poured the rest of the everclear over the weed for a 2nd wash.
Next I put 2 coffee filters over a new jar and poured the tincture through it. This is the part where using the pyrex with a spout was supposed to prevent me from making a mess. Nope. I got super sticky tincture all over everything. If you ever want to feel like spiderman, just get a lot of that tincture on your hands and jars and touch anything.
The product actually filtered pretty quickly - maybe 2 hours. Much of the plant material settled to the bottom of the pyrex. I poured gently (into the filter) and scooped the tincture out using a shot glass, so as not to disturb it too much. That made less work for the filters, which also caught a ton of material, but didn't clog so much they stopped working. Also, I scraped them off between pours.
After filtering the tincture, I dumped it into the temperature-controlled distiller. I was using the distiller to reclaim the everclear, but it was apparent I'd already lost a TON of it before even distilling.
I ran the distiller a handful of times over the last week to "clean" it of any factory residue. I was surprised how long it takes to distill water compared to a tea pot, and was expecting the Everclear to distill much faster, but not quickly. Not the case. I set the distiller outside, turned it on at the lowest temp, and it started distilling within a few minutes. Of course, the spout and container were unaligned, so I lost more everclear.
Having used a rice cooker in the past, and expecting the distiller to be a tad slower than that, I got distracted on the phone... Bim bam done, the distiller made really short work of evaporating off all the Everclear. I had intended to stop distilling with some alcohol remaining, then transfer to pyrex to finish on a hot plate. BUT - oops. I let it go until it turned itself off. When I opened the top, I'd "burned" some of the oil and it was really thick.
I poured it out into a small glass dish, and scraped off more I could with a silicone spatula. The distiller is ... well, I have to decide if I want to clean it so I can use if for water, or if it's only be used for making oil. There's a decent amount of product that's just stuck to the inside. I poured in a bit of the reclaimed everclear to see if I could absorb more product. Might turn that into a tincture. Anyway, I didn't measure the final amount of Everclear I reclaimed, but it wasn't much. I regret using the distiller. Maybe if I had a still, or lab tubes and beakers I'd have reclaimed more? Hard to say. There's just a lot lost in the process prior to distilling. Maybe if you use a rice press to squeeze out ever drop from the weed and cheesecloth; but that's another dirty super sticky item to deal with.
I moved the oil to a hotplate to "finish" it. I was going to heat off the remaining alcohol, watch the bubbles, do the spark test. Of course I was impatient and heated it too quickly. It foamed up making a zillion tiny bubbles. I pulled it off the heat and combed through the bubbles to pop them. Then cooked it on a much lower temp, but that was pretty much it. No more bubbles. I did a few spark tests, and the oil was clean.
I pulled the oil up into 4 syringes (1ml). Unfortunately, that's all I had left, oops. There's probably another 2 - 3 ml oil remaining, so it's in a shot glass covered with plastic wrap. Given the amount of oil stuck in the distiller, smeared on the glass dish, silicon spatula, in the syringes, and remaining in the shot glass, I'm very pleased with how much I extracted. I didn't measure it but seems to be 7 to 8ml.
(Fun note, I had the shot glass on a 45° angle and let the oil cool. You can press fork prongs into it, pull the fork out and it holds the indentation shape for a few minutes. Sludge!)
I made a huge sticky mess and have a LOT of room for improvement, but had fun and got my RSO; so it's all good.
After I was done with everything, of course, I was eager to test it out and see if it worked. Over the hours of preparing everything, I had gotten a lot of tincture on my hands and oil on my fingertips; so thought I ought to be feeling good. However, wasn't feeling anything. So, decided to do a test and asked my girlfriend if she wanted to try it as well.
Told her "This might not do anything, or it might work and give you a great body high, or it might knock you on your ass for the the rest of the day and well into the evening. No clue..."
She decided to be brave but only wanted a very small amount. I smeared a very little bit onto a basil leaf, and made a parachute for her. Told her to swallow it and be sure not to taste it. She likes basil, so she chewed it up. Ack, so gross! She didn't seem to think it was as horrible as I expected. I made a basil parachute for myself as well.
I set a timer for 30 minutes. When it went off I was just barely starting to feel it kicking in. She said she didn't feel anything. Even an hour later, she said she didn't really notice much -- although sometimes you don't if you're just lounging around; which she was. I was starting to think I didn't give her enough and she wouldn't notice its effects, that it just wasn't that strong, or didn't work. Except, I was feeling it - subtly.
Turns out I didn't mess it up. It kicked in for me and I was feeling great for hours and hours. It hit her a bit differently, and pretty much knocked her out. She took a few naps. The "makes you drowsy" could be from me over cooking the oil in the distiller and again on the hot plate.
It ended up hitting me pretty hard, and I'm not sure if it's due to the amount I took or how much of it I absorbed through my fingertips. Next time I make this stuff, I'm wearing gloves. I'm looking forward to taking another small dose in the future to get a 2nd calibration point. I may gift some to friends and need to let them know if they should take a very small amount or a very very small amount. Haha.
Anyway, I'm happy to report "IT WORKS". I mean, it REALLY works. And based on how little it takes and how long the effects last; I'm thrilled with the quantity I produced, even with all the mess and loss. I'm also glad that this stuff pretty much lasts forever in this state.
Pictures in next post.