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Old 07-21-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
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Default SC-CO2 Hop extraction

Okay, so I know this is a little nutty, but has any one here ever tried to preform a Supercrticical-CO2 extraction with hops? This is the technique where CO2 under high pressure and in its supercritical liquid state is used as a solvent to extract organic materials, in this case the oils and acids in the hop flower.

In an industrial setting CO2 is is pumped through a column of hops at between 5-10ºC at a pressure of 60bar for the low pressure method. Higher pressures and temps can be used for a more efficient extraction but we are already at 870psi with the current industrial method.

The Idea I have is if you have hops in a small chamber, and pressurize that chamber to 100psi, and chill it to -30ºC the CO2 will be in a liquid state (not supercritical ) and should act as a solvent.

Just a nutty idea any one ever try it?

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Old 07-21-2011, 10:09 PM   #2
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Possibly?

Is it worth the trouble to do this rather than just buying the industrially manufactured stuff?

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Old 07-21-2011, 10:11 PM   #3
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It may be a little nutty, but so is homebrewing when you think about it!

How do they make the hops oils they sell in a bottle? I guess I was assuming it was like extracting essential oils but I really have no idea.

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Old 07-21-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Yooper, thats exactly how they do it, but they are using liquid CO2 as the solvent instead of ethanol or other harsh organic solvents. when the extraction is over, you vent off the CO2 and its gone with no residue.

I have an idea about employing a CO2 extraction technique to enhance dry hopping, its just a crazy idea, but I wanted to see if any one out there has experience doing this.

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Old 07-21-2011, 10:34 PM   #5
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Why not just build a big ass press and squeeze the buggers.

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Old 07-22-2011, 08:04 AM   #6
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You're success is going to depend on what you're wanting to extract. They use super critical CO2 to decaffeinate coffe because the caffeine is more readily released into solution under those conditions than the flavoring compounds. The reason for using supercritical CO2 is that it is a non-polar fluid (able to penetrate coffee beans AND dissolve caffeine).

You probably already know this, but the supercritical phase of a substance does not exist below the critical temperature. I don't have my books handy to look it up, but wikipedia (ugh) says that it's 31.1 C and that does sounds familiar. Also, 73ish atm is a lot of pressure. Be careful if you're playing with this.

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Old 07-22-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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Way too much of a PITA to DIY it safely. Not to mention cost, time, proper design, etc.

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Old 02-04-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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Hey guys, I have experience with this sorta thing, but haven't done hops yet, just medical marijuana (same thing really). I use 1 1/2" pvc pipe (type 1 only) 2 feet long, with a collar piece holding coffee filters as a membrame, on the other end, is a cap of pvc with a countersunk hole in the cap to allow Butane refils to go through. Now, you have to use good grade butane, either Power 5x, Lucienne, Vector, or King brand (if you're in the UK), or the impurities change the flavor, and leaves petroleum impurities in the beer.

So, I don't yet know how much hops you'll need, but it will need to be pellet hops, and crushed in to a fine powder for full extraction. To do this, you shoudl aim to get aromatic hops (extracted at a cold temperature), to get bittering, you can double boil the aromatic extract for a time.

So, freeze your butane bottles (4-6 300ml bottles, $4 a piece), and the tube full of loosely packed hops. Use a clean pyrex dish, 13x9 preferably, and run the butane through the tube over the dish, collecting the runoff. this will boil at room temperature, so let it sit until it's goopy, they start using flat razor scrapers to mix the liquid, it shoudl go from clear to coudy as the butane leaves, and you create more nucleation sites. As the hop extract dries (of the butane in solution) it will puff up, and form a matrix of bubbles, as it hardens. then, you are left with a solid, dry lump opf hop extract. From here, you can heat that in a double boiler (for 20 minutes at least) to get bittering components.

Ask questions, I will give a tutorial, otherwise, this gets buried and lost.

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Old 02-05-2012, 12:39 AM   #9
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Seems like an interesting idea, but it may be a waste of time when you can buy pre-made hop oils.

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Old 11-17-2013, 10:04 PM   #10
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NECRO BUMP

Despite the being able to purchase this in the store...how would you go about making a vessel able to withstand the pressure needed for the super critical extraction.

At room temperature you are looking at around 800PSI for the critical point.
Even inside a freezer at 0*f its still 300PSI!

Stainless pipe, threaded caps on both sides, drill and tap threads into one of them (or find a threaded one), ball valve, co2 tank fitting??

Wouldnt you loose a lot of oils/acids/material when you opened the valve to release the pressure? Have a filter before the valve, just crack the valve, different type of valve like a needle/gate valve?

Ideas/thoughts??

Lots of other possibilites with this too like extracting lavender, MMJ, oak chips, etc, etc

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