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Extremely Effective Homemade Vacuum Filter Tek [Tek-Pics]

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CosmicLion

Esteemed member
Senior Member
Here is a tek to make an awesomely effective vacuum filter at home. The peanut butter jar is used because it has such a wide lid which prevent excessive clogging.

The hand pump used is a double-action hand pump. The tek can be modded to fit any kind of pump from a basketball pump to a bike pump. My personal favorites are the Dual Action Hand-Pump and the Yoga Ball Pump, both come with easy-to-use attachments.

All the parts can be found at the local hardware store. The pictures featured are the results of a 100g Syrian Rue extraction. This was primary Syrian Rue filtration, usually a very tedious task, which took less then 5 minutes with the awesomeness of the Jif filter.

Read the "Optional" section below, it discusses using a micro-filter instead of a coffee filter. Using a micro-filter is good for several reasons.

Using this system as is or with a micro-filter is good for but not limited to:

-Filtering Harmala extractions
-Filtering MHRB extraction liquid
-Filtering alcohol extractions of Cactus Skin
-Filtering Psilocybin extraction. Filter 'Mushroom Liquor' so that it is ultra-clear!
-Filtering any kind of Brew. Makes mushroom & Ayahuasca brews clear and tasty!

Supplies:
Jar of Peanut Butter
Hand Pump
1 Head Fitting for Pipes
2 O-Rings for Head Fitting
1 Hose barb to pipe fitting
3ft Clear Hose

Assembly:
1. Clean out peanut butter jar completely
2. Drill hole on the side near the bottom of the jar
3. Put O-Ring onto Head Fitting (so it seals the outside of the jar)
4. Insert Head Fitting through hole on jar
5. Put other O-ring onto head fitting (on the inside of the jar this time)
Note: See Paint drawing below to view proper O-ring placement
6. Screw on nut and tighten as to seal with the O-rings
7. Drill five or so holes in the lid of the jar
8. Attach hose to Hose Bard pipe fitting
9. Screw Hose Bard pipe fitting into Head Fitting
10. Connect Hose to Hand Pump

Use:

Note: STOP pumping if pressure builds too high! The unit could start to leak or explode your goods. This means it is time to change the filter. Only fill jar 1/4 full at a time (See Tips Below). The filters will clog fast and need to be frequently replaced. When filtering 1 quart of extract one may use 3-8 filters to get through all the liquid.


1. Get 1-2 coffee filters (see Tips below) and screw them on with the lid of the jar loosely
2. Take off lid, the coffee filters are now "formed" to the lid
3. Fill jar about 1/4 full with liquid (See Tips below to see why). Bend hose to prevent back-flow.
4. Apply jar lid w/ coffee filter & fasten tightly
5. Turn jar up-side down so that the lid is facing downward.
6. Place over a collection container.
7. Push hand pump to build pressure in jar, liquid will come out.
8. Replace the coffee filter(s) after each run

Optional:
Different filters can be used other then coffee filters. Using the material that comes on a vacuum bag works VERY well for other uses because it is a micro-filter that filters out significantly more then a coffee filter.
Using vacuum bag material to make a filter will results in an astoundingly clean final product. These can be made from cutting off the thin layer of filter lining on the outside of a vacuum cleaner bag.

Tips:

-Use 1 coffee filter if it seems to close in the lid fine without ripping. Use 2 coffee filters if your filters are very thin. When using 2 filters be careful and make sure the lid closes well and creates a good seal otherwise pressurized juice will squirt everywhere out of the bad lid seal.

-Only fill the jar 1/4 filled with liquid at a time. The filter will need to be replaced multiple times. It will clog fast and if it is not changed the whole device will leak and explode your goods.

-When drilling holes into the lid drill from the inside outward. You want the plastic burrs to be on the outside of the lid. If the burrs are on the inside of the lid they will puncture holes in the coffee filter. If there are burrs on the inside of the lid use a knife to scrape them off and create a smooth surface.

-Be careful with the paper coffee filters, they tend to rip. Keep the lid dry when applying a filter to it and screw the lid on and off carefully, especially when the filter is wet.

-NOTHING works as planed! Check all your seals and do some test runs before using your new filter. Make sure it isn't going to explode your hard work all over the kitchen.
 

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Totally very awesome.
Very much appreciated - i had been thinking of making one of these for a while but using suction from below rather than pressure from above - it seems much easier to generate positive pressure :)
Thanks.
 
Nice MacGyver skills.

macgyver.jpg
 
Someone had PM'd me with a story of how they connected a motorized airpump into their unit and EXPLODED their goods all over the place.

Common mistake, even I exploded some Harmala when experimenting with this thing.

I had mentioned but wanted to clarify...

DO NOT OVER PRESSURIZE this unit! If it starts getting too clogged to use that means it is time to put a new filter in.

Yes, on thick Harmala extractions it can take 5-10 coffee filters to get through without constantly being on the verge of explosion.

Good luck to everyone! Lets keep the Harmala in our bellies and our kitchens non-fluorescent!
 
CosmicLion said:
Someone had PM'd me with a story of how they connected a motorized airpump into their unit and EXPLODED their goods all over the place.

Common mistake, even I exploded some Harmala when experimenting with this thing.

I had mentioned but wanted to clarify...

DO NOT OVER PRESSURIZE this unit! If it starts getting too clogged to use that means it is time to put a new filter in.

Yes, on thick Harmala extractions it can take 5-10 coffee filters to get through without constantly being on the verge of explosion.

Good luck to everyone! Lets keep the Harmala in our bellies and our kitchens non-fluorescent!

That is probably because your setup uses positive pressure. If you use a negative one, i.e. vacuum, there always would be a natural pressure limit - 1 bar. It will be impossible to send the goods flying "all over the place". The setup can only IM-plode, not EX-plode. On top of that a $10 worth water jet pump (these are prices where I live) would easily do the job.
 
Trickster said:
That is probably because your setup uses positive pressure. If you use a negative one, i.e. vacuum, there always would be a natural pressure limit - 1 bar. It will be impossible to send the goods flying "all over the place". The setup can only IM-plode, not EX-plode. On top of that a $10 worth water jet pump (these are prices where I live) would easily do the job.

captainobvious.jpg


Yes, it is pressurized, this is known. It is referred to as a Pressure Pump everywhere but here, it just functions as a replacement for a "Vacuum Pump" and as such as called a "Homemade Vacuum Pump" despite being ran by pressure.

Go ahead and build your $10 vacuum pump and post a tek! Until thin, positive pressure works great for me! I have never exploded anything except one time the very first time I was using the thing.
 
Trickster said:
CosmicLion said:
Go ahead and build your $10 vacuum pump and post a tek! Until thin, positive pressure works great for me! I have never exploded anything except one time the very first time I was using the thing.

No need to make it. It is a standard piece of labware - Aspirator - Wikipedia.

They are also made from glass and plastic. Plastic ones are the cheapest.

But isn't a vacuum filter limited to 1 atmosphere while positive pressure filters can reach many atmospheres? I've tried both, and for the difficult slurry that rue can become, pressure filtration seems superior.
 
^They already said this.
Trickster said:
CosmicLion said:
Someone had PM'd me with a story of how they connected a motorized airpump into their unit and EXPLODED their goods all over the place.
...]

That is probably because your setup uses positive pressure. If you use a negative one, i.e. vacuum, there always would be a natural pressure limit - 1 bar. It will be impossible to send the goods flying "all over the place". The setup can only IM-plode, not EX-plode. On top of that a $10 worth water jet pump (these are prices where I live) would easily do the job.
 
downwardsfromzero said:
^They already said this.
Trickster said:
CosmicLion said:
Someone had PM'd me with a story of how they connected a motorized airpump into their unit and EXPLODED their goods all over the place.
...]

That is probably because your setup uses positive pressure. If you use a negative one, i.e. vacuum, there always would be a natural pressure limit - 1 bar. It will be impossible to send the goods flying "all over the place". The setup can only IM-plode, not EX-plode. On top of that a $10 worth water jet pump (these are prices where I live) would easily do the job.

Yes, but I'm asking (because of the pressure differences) isn't pressure filtration superior? Should have made it one question not two, sorry. The last part of my question is what I'm wondering about - first part was sort of rhetorical. Isn't pressure filtration much more powerful/better?

I see folks recommending vacuum filters for rue and using them all the time. Sure, they are better than gravity filtering, but in my experience they are weaker than pressure filtration. I'm wondering what the thoughts/consensus are on this topic. In this thread a vacuum filter is recommended over a much stronger pressure filter and I'm wondering why. Seems backwards to me based on my tests. Am I missing something?

This is what I think about rue filtration capabilities for rue. I want to know if I'm wrong.

Gravity filtration (e.g. 4 inches of water 0.14 PSI) <<< Vacuum filtration (14 psi) < Bike pump pressure filtration (140 PSI).

So between gravity and vacuum filtration there is at least a factor of 100 increase in the pressure gradient. That is really good, but pressure filtration ups that by an order of magnitude. This matches my experience where a vacuum filter of rue will get stuck, but can be completed for the same filter paper using pressure filtration. For many applications, a factor of 100x may be overkill and more than enough, but we are talking of rue here :p

So is this wrong? Am I missing something? What is the explicit answer/consensus on this?
 
sometimes less is more.

If you pull a strong vacuum on something like rue, it will instantaneously clog. Same goes for vice versa with pressure, more pressure isn't going to help, its just going to make the clog turn into cement. It's actually better to start with a weaker vacuum, decanting most of the liquid, and then slowly turn it up as it inevitably begins to clog up.
When dealing with filtering these sort of difficult materials (filter rue resembles filtering polymeric substances) the only really effective way to speed things up with vacuum/pressure filter is to use a filter aid like celite.

You could try to filter the solution through a puck of celite in the funnel, or throw the stuff directly in and mix it up hoping that the muck will coagulate to it a bit.

Another way with vacuum filtering is to make sure that the surface of the funnel is never completely covered, by filtering at an angle, to allow some airflow. Again, also, with a partial vacuum. This can help a lot when celite cannot be used or it isn't available.

Lastly, my favorite technique for this particular extraction is to not filter at all, and just stick the thing in the fridge overnight in a tall container. 95% of the liquid is clear as day and then decanted in the morning, if desired, the sludge can be diluted and then left for another day to decant off some more. But harmalas are abundant enough that I don't bother with this.
 
Each has its merits. Pressure filtration permits the easier use of inert atmospheres and circumvents evaporation of volatile solvents along with associated inconveniences such as condensation of atmospheric water vapour or crystallisation of solute that can occur as a result of evaporative cooling.

But then there's the exploding vs. imploding question.




When you have a half decent automatic pump or permanent vacuum line vacuum filtration is convenient. If you only have a hand vacuum pump... well, we know.


EDIT: Mindlusion has the best tips! :thumb_up:
 
I would think that one of the limiting constraints to this build would be the 'mesh' of the lid. with so few places for the liquid to drain it makes sense that it would clog so frequently. I'd be interested in drilling larger holes closer to the center and placing some sort of mesh in the interstitial space between the filter and the lid to take up the pressure over the larger holes. Perhaps something like the nylon mesh for screen doors?
 
I think one reason why vacuum pumps are used instead of pressure pumps is that chemical reactions are more likely to occur under pressure. Think about hydrogenation.

I mentioned hydrogenation because I was thinking about making my own healthy margarine/ butter substitute and hydrogen generators( talk with others). Reaction under pressure had been in the back of my mind it surfaced from my sub-consciousness when thinking about chemistry and reading here.

I edited this to say ^^ that oxidation is most likely to happen, for the bad or maybe good depending.

A reaction hoped for using hydrogen peroxide has a better chance of happening with higher % of H2O2 under pressure.

peace and much love to my new cousins I hope to be a good member
 
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