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Many new processors ask me what I think about extracting at room temperature and skipping the expense of a chiller in the first place. Lots of processors are using centrifuges that either are not truly running cold solvent anyways, or want to run at room temperature.
If you plan to make vapes or need a superb product and have fantastic flower to start with, go cold. If your biomass is, well, subpar, then why spend the money to extract cold? Also, if you will end up with isolate, why bother with cold extraction anyways? In my opinion, your goal should be the cheapest way to get to isolate.
Many users now prefer centrifuges, and I get that. The issue with running room temp is what to do with contaminants. That is where filtration comes in. You have 2-3 options. A candle filter, a filter press, and a Lenticular Skid.
Lenticular skids are awesome and produce a superb product. They remove biomass that makes it through the bags in the centrifuge, clarify, carbon scrub, and sterilize all in one pass. The problem is the operating cost. If I have a Delta CUP 30, I will run 500-1000 gallons on my filter skid before I have to swap out bags, lenticular modules, and cartridges. That sets me back $1,000.00. Ouch! If my end product warrants that expense, this is the way to go.
If I am stripping terpenes and flavonoids and moving on towards isolate, the cost may be the main consideration. I typically recommend filter presses in this scenario.
After you wash your biomass, typically it goes into some sort of tank. This is where I recommend to my clients to do some cleanup. I am a fan of CIL (Carbon in Leach) so here is where we can add and agitate powdered activated carbon. In the same tank, we add DE to assist filtration. Additionally, we may add another adsorbent like bleaching clay to remove some fats and carotenoids.
From this tank, we proceed to a filter press. A press can easily remove, in one pass, all biomass, DE, carbon, and any solids including fats. A press is straightforward to operate once you are trained and is quick and easy to clean. Best of all, a press is inexpensive to operate with no consumables like filter paper (other than filter aides). The filter cloth is replaced about once a year and the pump should be maintained every 6 months or so. But the overall operating cost is low and the machine is reliable.
From the press, we may proceed to a Membrane Ultra Filtration System to either remove fats, chlorophyll, and any contaminants that remain or directly do solvent recovery.
This type of setup would be very efficient and also very competitive on capital investment. It would also be very flexible and able to operate at changing biomass volumes throughout the season. Check out out YouTube channel on Filter Presses we sell to learn more.