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Believe I botched my first extraction by incorrectly following Lextek. Options
 
algidity
#1 Posted : 1/30/2024 5:58:18 AM

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I believe I made several errors in my first extraction, and I'm hoping for both insight into my mistakes so I can learn, and to leave a record to hopefully prevent others from having similar issues.

After reading through a few A/B teks I decided to follow Lextek as it seemed fairly straightforward. I saw the large banner at the top reading "DO NOT USE THIS TEK FOR ACACIA EXTRACTION!." and assumed it was for MHRB. I have quite bad ADHD and I can frustratingly miss details even when re-reading multiple times, and given that context I did not parse that the tek then says "2 kilograms of DMT containing plant material (Acacia Obtusifolia bark will be used here)". I assume I am misunderstanding something, but I'm a bit confused there.

For my purposes, I used 250g MHRB and divided all quantities in the tek by 8 accordingly. From reading other teks which seem to often use 50g MHRB I understand now that this may have been far too much?

I used Klean Strip VM&P Naptha.

Issues I encountered and followup questions:

1) After acid cooking the pulverized MHRB, I left it overnight to settle and then ran the liquid through a paper coffee filter to remove solids. Upon basifying, a shocking amount of solids appeared. I would estimate I had roughly a half cup of plant gunk appear out of 800mL of acid solution. Would this be due to using far too much MHRB for a recipe of this scale?

2) I purchased a separation funnel for this extraction and this was of course immediately clogged with the sudden appearance of gunk. This led to a not particularly enjoyable hour of attempting to cautiously unclog it while carefully avoiding getting basified gunk everywhere. I eventually got as much of the gunk and liquid as was safe and feasible into a large erlenmeyer flask and discarded the rest. I assume using 50g of MHRB will result in far less gunk, but is there a way to avoid having this clog the separation funnel?

3) Admittedly frustrated and discouraged at this point (and not wanting to stay up all night since I was now running far behind schedule), I decided to push on but do one wash on each step instead of 3. My thoughts being this is my first time, any yield would be a success to me and this can serve as a learning experience. I put the flask in a hot water bath, got it to ~140F, and added my naptha. I repeatedly swirled and then let separate this solution. I let the solids settle then decanted the base/solvent into the separation funnel where I was able to separate them without the mess of gunk left behind in the flask. Would this allow for sufficient mixing, or does it really need to be done in a jar which is shaken?

4) Each of my pulls had what appeared to be 3 distinct layers. The aqueous solution, the naptha, and between them a layer of what look like bubbles. Any ideas what this is? I tried to avoid it when possible, pictured below is from the acid defat step, which shows this quite clearly. A very small of this ended up in the final pull, I ended up decanting the solvent off of it and will keep it around just in case. Unsure what, if anything, should be done with the mess in the picture.

algidity attached the following image(s):
bubbles.jpg (123kb) downloaded 75 time(s).
 

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algidity
#2 Posted : 1/30/2024 9:37:37 AM

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After doing some more research, I found the middle layer was likely an emulsion. I couldn't find reference photos, but it matched a number of descriptions I found. I had previously taken emulsion to be in the context I am used to, where the batch would be homogeneous in its entirety.

I tried several of the suggestions I found, including adding salt, much lye, and distilled water. It did seem to finally break and separate, which was quite fascinating to watch. I was able to separate off that layer from the basic solution, and I have an additional 100mL of very clear looking solvent. No idea if anything was dissolved in it; it is crystal clear.

I am letting my two pulls evaporate under a fan and while I don't have hopes for a high yield I would be ecstatic if anything comes of it!

Interestingly, these bubbles moved up to the surface of the solvent before disappearing. I don't think they contained gas... but I could be wrong. I'll have to continue reading more and see if I can learn about it.
 
Technomancy
#3 Posted : 1/30/2024 10:30:37 AM

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Hey, and if you fail, try again. There is no such thing as failure. Only lessons. Don't get discouraged. as discouragement will discourage you, Big grin . Try again. It took me a couple tries to get it right. It took 3 months of research and experimenting for me to get my white fluffy crystals from acacia confusa, which generally comes out as a goo. But keep at it, i'm getting into mescaline extraction next and can't wait for those bitter bitter crystals as well. Always drank tea, but its time to up the game so i can put it ina soda or juice and have a more pleasant experience than the nausea that comes with cactus tea. Keep figuring it out. Keep researching you will get it Thumbs up
As we tumble through time, we meet. We share, We grow..
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Homo Trypens
#4 Posted : 1/30/2024 10:48:40 AM

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algidity wrote:
After reading through a few A/B teks I decided to follow Lextek as it seemed fairly straightforward. I saw the large banner at the top reading "DO NOT USE THIS TEK FOR ACACIA EXTRACTION!." and assumed it was for MHRB. I have quite bad ADHD and I can frustratingly miss details even when re-reading multiple times, and given that context I did not parse that the tek then says "2 kilograms of DMT containing plant material (Acacia Obtusifolia bark will be used here)". I assume I am misunderstanding something, but I'm a bit confused there.

My best guess is that the author did use Acacia, but a significant number of other people later had trouble using the tek for acacia, which led to the warning being added.

algidity wrote:
For my purposes, I used 250g MHRB and divided all quantities in the tek by 8 accordingly. From reading other teks which seem to often use 50g MHRB I understand now that this may have been far too much?

It is recommended to do small batches, especially for the first few times. This has several reasons. For one, extraction efficiency goes down with size because the ratio of contact surface area to volume gets smaller. In other words, it is easier to do well with smaller batches. And maybe the main reason is that if all goes wrong, you lose less material.

algidity wrote:
1) After acid cooking the pulverized MHRB, I left it overnight to settle and then ran the liquid through a paper coffee filter to remove solids. Upon basifying, a shocking amount of solids appeared. I would estimate I had roughly a half cup of plant gunk appear out of 800mL of acid solution. Would this be due to using far too much MHRB for a recipe of this scale?

That's probably tannins. I don't think there's a way to completely avoid it, but using more water relative to the amount of bark makes it less of a problem.

For 2), I think the separation funnel is only really useful for steps that involve no solids. That could be a defat before you basify, or a backsalt from the NPS, for example. I don't think there's use for a sep funnel during the NPS pulls from basified soup.

algidity wrote:
3) ... Would this allow for sufficient mixing, or does it really need to be done in a jar which is shaken?

Nowadays we recommend not to shake, because that carries significant risk of nasty emulsions. The method i hear recommended most, is to use a bottle, and gently roll it back and forth over a flat surface, then let separate, and repeat that a few times.

For 4), emulsion from acid defat is probably not worth saving. The naphtha shouldn't contain any DMT in that step, and the amount of dmt-containing water in the 'skins' of the bubbles shouldn't be a lot relative to the entire volume. In basified pulls, it may be a different story. One thing i found to work pretty well, is to force the emulsion through some sort of filter, eg. a cloth. That has helped me recover at least some NPS from emulsions that didn't wanna clear up any other way.
 
fractals4life
#5 Posted : 1/30/2024 11:18:35 AM

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They were likely bubbles of NPS with the bubble wall being the base solution.

<edit> ... a late answer that has already been given, I should have refreshed the page first Smile

Good luck!
 
algidity
#6 Posted : 1/30/2024 5:48:34 PM

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Thank you all for the insight and encouragement!

Technomancy wrote:
have a more pleasant experience than the nausea that comes with cactus tea


Oh fascinating, it is the only common psych left on my bucket list but the nausea aspect has always scared me a bit as almost every bad experience I've ever had with them was imho a result of nausea being somatopsychic and inducing anxiety.

Homo Trypens wrote:
It is recommended to do small batches, especially for the first few times. This has several reasons. For one, extraction efficiency goes down with size because the ratio of contact surface area to volume gets smaller. In other words, it is easier to do well with smaller batches. And maybe the main reason is that if all goes wrong, you lose less material.


Noted, I still have 200g MHRB to work with so I'll likely move to 50g batches as recommended until I feel more confident in the process. Given my mistake with the initial recipe, I'd actually thought I was doing a 1/8 mini batch! Confused

Homo Trypens wrote:
For 2), I think the separation funnel is only really useful for steps that involve no solids. That could be a defat before you basify, or a backsalt from the NPS, for example. I don't think there's use for a sep funnel during the NPS pulls from basified soup.


Darn, ok! I thought I was being clever skipping the glass baster method and moving straight to a funnel, but I can see now why it's not always ideal. I do tend to learn best from breaking things and making mistakes, though.

Hm I don't wonder if you couldn't agitate the basified soup + NPS to get the product dissolved, then allow that to settle for some time (maybe in a warm water bath to keep it in solution) and then decant the NPS + waste liquid into the funnel and go from there. Maybe a lot of work compared to just going with the baster method, though.

Is a backsalt here referring to converting the DMT back to a salt in acid, to remove it from the NPS?
 
downwardsfromzero
#7 Posted : 1/30/2024 6:43:43 PM

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algidity wrote:
the only common psych left on my bucket list but the nausea aspect
You'll be fine - at least you have a bucket! Laughing
Quote:
Is a backsalt here referring to converting the DMT back to a salt in acid, to remove it from the NPS?
The DMT gets pulled back into aqueous acid, returning it to the water-soluble protonated (salt) form.




“There is a way of manipulating matter and energy so as to produce what modern scientists call 'a field of force'. The field acts on the observer and puts him in a privileged position vis-à-vis the universe. From this position he has access to the realities which are ordinarily hidden from us by time and space, matter and energy. This is what we call the Great Work."
― Jacques Bergier, quoting Fulcanelli
 
 
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