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Tincture percolator ideas, lab glassware questions too  RSS feed

 
frank larue
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My buddy and I have been throwing around the idea of producing medicine for our community. We've been working with maceration, and with mushrooms put the marc through a decoction process. but percolation has been on our radar for a while and we're ready to get started.

Though we're likely to make our first funnel from a glass water bottle (cut and turned upside down into a mason jar) we recognize already that our needs exceed this volume. We're hoping to make batches between one and two liters at a time. So we've been exploring other means, any advice would be appreciated as we aren't settled on an idea as yet.

One likely route we've been exploring is sourcing a cylindrical funnel that can receive a stopcock. There aren't many options (affordable that is) with an open top to place the marc in filter paper.

1- Can a stopcock on a separation funnel suffice for keeping out the ground herbs or will we be clogging the instrument? Is it easily cleanable? (there is so little online for this)

2- What could be a way to assemble laboratory glassware to create a percolator with a controllable drip?

Thanks in advance!

 
Steven Feil
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frank larue wrote:1- Can a stopcock on a separation funnel suffice for keeping out the ground herbs or will we be clogging the instrument? Is it easily cleanable? (there is so little online for this)

2- What could be a way to assemble laboratory glassware to create a percolator with a controllable drip?
Never tried it but I am pretty certain that the stopcock would get clogged. The stopcock should work great (with proper prefiltering) for regulating the flow. Look up GLASS STOPCOCK on ebay or other search.
 
John Elliott
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This can be easily done without having to pay through the nose to a laboratory glassware supply company. All you have to do is be pretty good with plumbing and use your imagination.

For your stopcock, cruise over to the home store and check out the ball valves on the plumbing aisle. They won't have glass ones, but there is a pretty good selection of brass, stainless steel, and PVC.

For the funnel, you are on the right idea, inverting a bottle and cutting the bottom off. If you can get a 2 or 3 liter PET soda bottle attached to a ball valve, you're 2/3 of the way there (seems to me one of those has compatible threads with standard size plumbing fittings.

Now there is the problem of the frit (that semi-permeable thingie that lets the liquid pass through, but holds back the solid). I would think the easiest thing to do would be to make a plate with a lot of small holes in it, which is what a Buchner funnel has. These are used with a piece of filter paper (paper towel also works) and if you really want to speed up the process, you have a side arm on the receiving flask that you can draw some suction on. Glue or epoxy the plate into the bottom of the funnel and you have your process equipment.

 
Steven Feil
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Something in my head says, "WARNING! Stay away from the brass!"
 
R Scott
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Look up pour-over coffee equipment. Chemex was one of the first, but lots of all-glass or porcelain coffee equipment out there loosely based on lab equipment.
 
John Elliott
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Steven Feil wrote:Something in my head says, "WARNING! Stay away from the brass!"


Chemists use glass not because it is the most expensive thing they can find to run up the lab's operating budget, but because glass is inert. Even concentrated lye solutions take a long, long time to start eating away at glass. That said, stainless is good for most other things. The only problem it has is with highly corrosive acids or oxidants, neither of which they are going to be using for herbal tinctures. Plastic is also a good choice. Leaching of organics from plastics takes time, and if your liquid is only going to be in the equipment for a few minutes to do a filtering operation, that's not a whole lot of time to get worried about what might leach out of the plastic (PVC, PET, polyethylene, or whatever).
 
Johnny Niamert
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I wouldn't want medicine run through PVC, sorry.
 
Steven Feil
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John Elliott wrote:
Steven Feil wrote:Something in my head says, "WARNING! Stay away from the brass!"


Chemists use glass not because it is the most expensive thing


BRASS not glass..... brass does not seem to be a safe thing to use.
 
John Elliott
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I mentioned glass because it is the gold standard for inert labware (although expensive and fragile). I didn't mention brass because it's -- meh -- for bathroom fittings.
 
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