Here is a chart of the data. Blue line is the Heating Mantle Temperature. The Orange line is the temperature inside the boiling flask. The Grey line is the head temperature. I've marked where the fractions begin and end, so far.
Every so often, there will be cooling of the liquids that are running out of the Condenser Head into the Triple Cow. This will cause the oil to stack, and eventually backup. Hit it with a Heat Gun (Our Little Friend). This will be required probably every 15-20 minutes as the Mains and Tails Fractions run through.
At last, we are at the end of the THC fraction. Head temps are dropping.
At this point, I have two options. A-Call it a night and turn the heat off. If we keep the vacuum running until everything cools down to less than 50c or so, and then shut down the vacuum, we'll be good. We can continue tomorrow. B- Keep going on to the next fraction. Make mistakes because I am tired AF.
I'm going with A. One of the benefits of this process, is you can shut down when you need to. As long as you mind the temperatures and don't release vacuum until everything is cooled down, you are groovy. Just keep everything capped off so that its not exposed to environment. I'm just doing this over night. I wouldn't advise leaving the goodies sitting around for longer than that.
To review, I stopped last night once the THC fraction was complete.
A fraction is basically a temperature range that the compounds you want to vaporize come off from the liquid. In our case, there is the Heads, which are some bad stuff mixed in with a few Terpenes that are good, but separating the good from the bad is too difficult due to the closeness of the temperatures that they boil off.
The mains is the next fraction, which is our THC, and probably any CBD that is in the plant. I kept the temps below 165c, which is where CBD vaporizes, but who knows if its separated without testing. Also, the strains I am using aren't known to have more than 1% CBD, so I'm guessing I won't get any out.
This is where I stopped last night.
Next, we are after the Tails fraction. The Tails Fraction rages from 163c or so, up to 220c. Remember, these are the temps in the head, not in the boiling flask. I still haven't decided if I am going to mix the Tails in with the Flask that the Mains are in. I'm going to do it later anyway. I feel like its a waste to not just mix Mains/Tails into the same flask, because if I do it later, some of the product will stick to the second flask. It might make sense to just do it now.
Dunno, still deciding. I have about 30c degrees more before I have to decide.
Good time to mention.... As with so many things here on this website, I am totally experimenting. I don't want anyone to get the idea that I know what I am doing. This is just what I have figured out. By all means, if you have a suggestion, please bounce it. I may have already thought of it or it was already pointed out to me. However, I really do learn by other folks bouncing ideas out there.
The pump stopped sounding like it usually does, and the preasure meter went far enough outside of the range that I am no longer comfortable with the balance of things. The meter went from 180 microns which was already outside of the range, to 190 microns. Oil was still dropping at 180 microns, so I was on the trigger, but willing to let it flow. With the sound of the pump and the drop in pressure (by just a little), something seems wrong, so I'm pulling the plug, so to speak.
I shut the pump off, and then started backing off on the Heat Mantle temps. The system is sealed, so the pressure will stay down until I release it.
I think I just need to change the oil. Again, I think I contaminated it. No spare oil.....
I have oil that should be delivered via amazon in the next couple hours. I'm going to back off on the heat, and keep it everything under vacuum. The pump is off until I get oil. But the system is sealed enough that it will stay pressurized for at least a day.
Just not happy with the sound of the pump, and the matching meter data. One on its own wouldn't have stopped me.....
it happens ..I bet you next time you will have spare oil to boot … as the saying goes " I find success through my failures " . You are doing a fine job . In regards to mixing tails with the body . ..That's what I would do as that's just about as full spectrum as you can get .
Head temps are starting to crash, From 158-160c range down to the 155c. Also, oil flow down to the receiving flask is slowing dramatically. This signals the end of the mains. Moving higher on the Heat Mantle temp to go after tails.
I've decided, with @No Pain as a backup to the decions, to just mix the THC and Terpenes together. That means instead of switching the flasks now, I'll just keep going into the tails fraction with the same flask as the mains.