In Place Cleaning of a Cannabis Distillation System

by Paul on December 2, 2018

Keep it clean.

High quality THC distillate should be odorless.  It doesn’t take much terpene to give a whole batch of an off smell.   Proper cleaning of the distillation system between batches will get rid of any lingering terpenes after distillation.

Clean the Distillation Column in Place

With spinning band distillation, ethanol can be distilled at atmospheric pressure where the boiling point of ethanol is 78 °C.  Hot ethanol is a great for dissolving terpenes and any other residues. A few minutes and the distillation column, boiling flask, and side arm are completely clean.  There is no need to disassemble or remove the distillation column to clean it.  It’s convenient and there’s no chance of breakage from handling the distillation column.

Wipe Down the Fraction Collector

A quick wipe down of the fraction collector lid and gaskets with ethanol will remove any spots or splashes of terpenes.  Keeping the gaskets and sealing surfaces clean will also help to maintain low vacuums.

clean receivers with alconoxKeeping receivers clean

Fraction collector and cold trap receivers can use a little extra attention since the ethanol is not quite hot by the time it reaches the receivers.  First rinse the with ethanol and wipe down with a paper towel.  When the receiver looks clean you may still notice a little bit of terpene odor.  If THC distillate is distilled into receiver with smell, it will transfer to the THC distillate giving it a faint smell of terpene.

Put the receivers in a sink and add about 1 gram of Alconox to each receiver.  Then fill each receiver with hot water and let them soak for a few minutes.  The rinse with hot water and dry.  The receivers will be pristine with zero odor.

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