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Thread: First Attempt at Dry Distillation

  1. #21
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    Incoming photo drop:

    Found out how to get my setup hotter. Turns out I had a galvanized trash can laying about with a weed growing in it.


    Which worked all well and good until about 6-8 hours in when I noticed the supply hose was starting to melt. shut down the operation. My burner is roached. The little knob refuses to draw any propane from the tank. Not sure what all is wrong, but I need to take better care. Even so, it was hot enough inside to oxidize the trash can on the outside and turn it white.

    The white wine:


    The dragon's fire:


    The pot was dry this time when the fire stopped. I kept raising the temp after vapors stopped coming over to calcine the ash. The color in the pic doesn't do it justice. The plant matter became an iridescent blue like some people describe the peacock's tail.


    I separated the spent earth. There was some congestion in the pipe, but I didn't clean it out to see if a volatile salt had formed or if it's only leftover tar. There wasn't much in either case. Maybe next time I go out there I'll push a stick through and find out. The stuff in the jar is still all mixed up to some degree. The toad looks like it exploded all over the inside of the jar, but when viewed in the right light, it kind of looks like fire in a bottle. I thought it was cool.


    Thought I would share. I'm considering just burning off the rest of the ashen part in open air to get the salt in the spagyric way. Not sure. I stuck it in a separate bottle after collecting it. There's still a good bid of darkness to it, but it was quite dry and shrank to a plug about 1/4 the original size of the herbal mass (by volume). Not really sure what I'm going to do with all of this, but it would appear the next step is to scrape up all the bits of toad and piece the little guy back together.

  2. #22
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    You damaged your equipment because you did not allow the ignited gases to escape at the top of the container you used. The ignited gases and heat naturally sought a way out, so they went "down" to escape, damaging your burner and hose in the process. The burner and the hose also need to be outside, or at least insulated from, the areas being heated, otherwise they themselves will also get heated and very possibly damaged.

    As predicted, such a treatment also quickly damages thin steel sheet due to oxidation. It is much better to use refractory materials that do not get damaged by heat, and preferably insulating refractories, since they will contain the heat better. With that trashcan you could easily have improvised a furnace by lining it with refractory ceramic blanket and a couple of coatings of refractory cement.

    You should listen to those who have more experience in these matters and have already tried such things and know what works best.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    You damaged your equipment because you did not allow the ignited gases to escape at the top of the container you used. The ignited gases and heat naturally sought a way out, so they went "down" to escape, damaging your burner and hose in the process. The burner and the hose also need to be outside, or at least insulated from, the areas being heated, otherwise they themselves will also get heated and very possibly damaged.

    As predicted, such a treatment also quickly damages thin steel sheet due to oxidation. It is much better to use refractory materials that do not get damaged by heat, and preferably insulating refractories, since they will contain the heat better. With that trashcan you could easily have improvised a furnace by lining it with refractory ceramic blanket and a couple of coatings of refractory cement.

    You should listen to those who have more experience in these matters and have already tried such things and know what works best.
    Just a step two. The can is still intact and usable with lining. And as for a vent, the opening for the pipe was cut oversize to provide a sufficient vent while also allowing heat to trap itself above...a little. Here' s a picture of the opening. With the fire on full, it worked sufficiently to vent and create a draft.


    Among other things, I also need to stabilize the bottom of this better. Lots of fixes to be made here. Once night was on, some flames could be seen blasting through the opening. Until I went full open, the hose held just fine, but it needs to be better insulated.

    Actually, the biggest problem with the setup (aside from insulation, which didn't pose a problem but would definitely be an upgrade) is actually isolating the burner head itself from the interior of the "furnace." When I chose another flame source, I plan on "piping" in the fire/air mixture through a hole in the bottom of the final setup, and keeping all of the auxiliary equipment isolated completely. Fire in the box with only insulation, supporting structure, and burn pot.

  4. #24
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    As for what to do with it, I think you might find some ideas in St. Dunstain's 'Philosophia Maturata'.

    I imagine the hose overheated. Do you have a lid for the garbage can? If you do, you could set the can on top of the burner, the distillation vessel inside, then close the lid. That way everything would be on top of the burner, and not beneath it.

    Very nice photos though. A bit more refinement and you'll have a nice distillation apparatus.
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiorionis View Post
    As for what to do with it, I think you might find some ideas in St. Dunstain's 'Philosophia Maturata'.

    I imagine the hose overheated. Do you have a lid for the garbage can? If you do, you could set the can on top of the burner, the distillation vessel inside, then close the lid. That way everything would be on top of the burner, and not beneath it.

    Very nice photos though. A bit more refinement and you'll have a nice distillation apparatus.
    I had this in mind. Not sure where the lid ran off to. I hauled the can up there about 3 or 4 years ago, and I had other stuff on my plate yesterday, but I was like, "hey, that'll work." Punched a couple holes, collected some cedar, set it up, and ran off with the chainsaw to do some other work. I was thinking about setting the fire spout inside if I had the lid, but it wouldn't have worked. The grill part was already rusted up pretty bad from being old, but now it looks destroyed from the intense heat. Probably will still work with a new line feeding in, but it's getting sketchy. I agree with you that on top is best, and I'll have to make some kind of stand inside it for the pot.

    I'll take a look around for that book. I was in the sun much of the day and need to be at work early tomorrow, so I'm pretty tired and ready for an early rest tonight.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon's Tail View Post
    Just a step two. The can is still intact and usable with lining. And as for a vent, the opening for the pipe was cut oversize to provide a sufficient vent while also allowing heat to trap itself above...a little. Here' s a picture of the opening. With the fire on full, it worked sufficiently to vent and create a draft.


    Among other things, I also need to stabilize the bottom of this better. Lots of fixes to be made here. Once night was on, some flames could be seen blasting through the opening. Until I went full open, the hose held just fine, but it needs to be better insulated.

    Actually, the biggest problem with the setup (aside from insulation, which didn't pose a problem but would definitely be an upgrade) is actually isolating the burner head itself from the interior of the "furnace." When I chose another flame source, I plan on "piping" in the fire/air mixture through a hole in the bottom of the final setup, and keeping all of the auxiliary equipment isolated completely. Fire in the box with only insulation, supporting structure, and burn pot.
    That's one hole on the side of the can, the hot gases on the other side will have a tendency to be forced down before going around and escaping. Some of these will undoubtedly heat up your burner and hose. Thus the damage they received.

    The type of burner you are using has to be placed outside the combustion chamber, its "tip" is too short to be easily insulated inside the combustion chamber itself. You can do that with the longer type of burners, like these:



    Since you have plenty of "tip" to insert it about half-way into the refractory material of the combustion chamber itself, which will protect it from being exposed to too much heat.

    It would have been much better to line the steel trashcan with refractory ceramic blanket first, before giving it such heat. Now the steel walls have already endured some damage and have probably lost most of its protective zinc coating. That trashcan will probably not have a long life left in it now. It will oxidize faster since it is already partly oxidized and will start "peeling", and also has lost most of its protective coating.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    That's one hole on the side of the can, the hot gases on the other side will have a tendency to be forced down before going around and escaping. Some of these will undoubtedly heat up your burner and hose. Thus the damage they received.

    The type of burner you are using has to be placed outside the combustion chamber, its "tip" is too short to be easily insulated inside the combustion chamber itself. You can do that with the longer type of burners, like these:



    Since you have plenty of "tip" to insert it about half-way into the refractory material of the combustion chamber itself, which will protect it from being exposed to too much heat.

    It would have been much better to line the steel trashcan with refractory ceramic blanket first, before giving it such heat. Now the steel walls have already endured some damage and have probably lost most of its protective zinc coating. That trashcan will probably not have a long life left in it now. It will oxidize faster since it is already partly oxidized and will start "peeling", and also has lost most of its protective coating.
    I might be tempted to make something like in the picture. That solves the air inlet (from what I'm seeing anyway) and the distancing well. Or maybe I can pick something up from welding supplies at the feed store and adapt it to work with propane.

    Either way, before continuing further on this particular project, I need to find some inspiration for working with the materials in front of me. I'm pretty sure I know how to handle the "ruddy toad" as I've created this product or one very similar in spagyrics. Just need the right solvent to wash it with and separate the subtle from the gross without "burning the flowers" , and I assume that solvent by this method is prepared from the purified mercuries, so I have a lot more experimenting to do before I'll need more raw materials.

    Thanks for the picture, I've built a lot of burners and camp stoves, and remembered a subtle quality to make them better from looking at that sleeve. By the time I get to the next step, I may have a clay furnace already set up. But the clay available is orange, so even after proper drying, it's going to crack eventually, and I need to account for that. Then again, I have 150 ft drop from hilltop to the hollow below, somewhere in there might be a layer of fire-clay, and all it takes is collecting it and drying in the sun.

    So far, the only money I've sank into this project is $12 for the stainless pot and a few clams for the piping, everything else was just laying around taking up space. Well, and a propane refill. I'm not 100% convinced that dry distillation is the way to go, and even if it is, my humble setup may not work for minerals.

  8. #28
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    There’s also this essay by Lynn Osborn which might be of help:

    http://www.alchemylife.org/Pages/Qui...ineRevived.pdf
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiorionis View Post
    There’s also this essay by Lynn Osborn which might be of help:
    I would agree. Combining z0 K's 'Philosophical Preparation of Cannabis Sativa: Quintessence of the Great Cain' with Lynn's pdf is the way to go

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon's Tail View Post

    Either way, before continuing further on this particular project, I need to find some inspiration for working with the materials in front of me. I'm pretty sure I know how to handle the "ruddy toad" as I've created this product or one very similar in spagyrics. Just need the right solvent to wash it with and separate the subtle from the gross without "burning the flowers" , and I assume that solvent by this method is prepared from the purified mercuries, so I have a lot more experimenting to do before I'll need more raw materials.
    Nice work and adjustment of what equipment you have. I suggest you separate the tars from the watery matter. Then distill the waters in a BM. Check the pH of the distillate. There are several ways to proceed.

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