Houdini Lab

Market Innovation in Small-Batch Extraction

The process of extracting essential oils from nearly any plant material using ethanol as the solvent is one that is completely natural, risk-free, and highly efficient.

In recent years, this extraction process has gained popularity as a result of the controversy surrounding the use of chemicals and other potentially hazardous substances in cannabis extracts that are available for purchase commercially. Consumers yearned for a simple, dependable, and time-saving method of producing extracts at home, one that would also permit them to exercise complete creative control over the final result.


The personal ethanol extraction system known as the Source was developed by ExtractCraft, a firm based in Colorado. They stepped up to meet this demand. Individual home growers that are able to process between 1/2 and 2 ounces of cannabis are the target audience for The Source.


According to Lee Sutherland, the Chief Technology Officer of ExtractCraft and the company’s creator, “We recognized a need in the business for people who wanted to manufacture their own extracts.” “I saw a really good way for people to be able to do this at home very safely with ethanol, so I invented the Source.” “I saw a really good way for people to be able to do this at home extremely safely with ethanol.”


In the fall of 2016, ExtractCraft released its second product, which was a commercial adaptation of the Source referred to as EtOH PRO. The EtOH can process up to one pound of dry material and is designed to meet the needs of either carers or small business operations.


The procedure of extracting ethanol is a straightforward one. First, the plant material is submerged in extremely cold alcohol; the higher the proof of the alcohol, the better, and ethanol that is food-grade and 95 percent is advised. There is no set amount of time for soaking. The times range from 15 minutes to 24 hours for hemp and cannabis respectively. The longer the plant material is let to soak in the ethanol, the more plant material, in addition to THC, gets extracted.


The alcohol is then passed through a strainer before being poured into the interior chamber of the EtOH PRO. After then, a succession of pumps are used by the apparatus to generate a vacuum seal, which results in the inner chamber having an extremely low pressure.


The ethanol is then subjected to a temperature of between 100 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit by means of a process that lasts between two and three hours. During this step of the process, the ethanol is allowed to slowly evaporate out of the inner chamber and is then condensed in another part of the machine.


Inside of the inner chamber is where a pure extract of the plant is kept, while at least 90 percent of the whole volume of the ethanol that was used is separated out and saved for later use.


The device is limited to low temperatures, with a maximum shutoff threshold set at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that the maximum quantity of terpenes and phenols, which are chemicals responsible for flavor as well as aroma, are kept in the final extract.


According to Sutherland, an alcohol extraction that was conducted without the vacuum that we supply would need to be done at a temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit. “At that point, you’re really blowing a lot of chemicals out of the system. Your extract is going to have a lot less terpenes and phenols in it compared to what would be there if you did the extraction at a lower temperature.



The EtOH PRO is not only a solution that is risk-free for individuals who are looking to expand their extraction operation, but it also produces an extract that does not contain any additives.


According to Sutherland, “it is impossible in a vacuum atmosphere to create ignition, particularly with alcohol.” [Citation needed] “Using one of our products is approximately the same level of risk as making cocktails in your own kitchen.”


ExtractCraft has provided the Colorado state legislature with the benefit of their expertise about the extraction of ethanol in order to assist in the drafting of laws concerning extraction prohibitions. As a direct consequence of this, there are no constraints placed on the consumption of alcoholic beverages.



Sutherland responded to a question on the multiple applications of the EtOH PRO by saying, “We’ve seen our products used in culinary settings to generate food extracts as well as in many essential oil products.” However, by a wide margin, the most rapid expansion has been seen in the sectors of hemp and cannabis.


This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The vast majority of extraction systems are designed with large commercial producers in mind, as these kinds of operations often ask for a great deal more power. The expenses of installation also include any necessary infrastructure modifications to support any future electrical upgrades, as well as any permits that may be required.


Sutherland notes that “with all of these factors, it may be extremely overwhelming.” [Citation needed]


Since the EtOH PRO units can be plugged into a regular electrical outlet, smaller hemp enterprises often choose to purchase multiple units of this product. In comparison to a commercial setup, the costs associated with running and expanding a small operation are far lower, and there is no requirement to use any chemicals, such as butane.



ExtractCraft further maintains its own in-house customer support team, which is available to react to inquiries from customers for the entirety of the product’s life cycle.


Sutherland says of ExtractCraft’s relationship with their clients, “As long as they own the equipment, we’re going to be here for them,” in reference to the company’s commitment to provide support.


A thriving user club of over 7,000 cannabis and hemp enthusiasts who routinely share recipes and suggestions has been established by the company, in addition to the establishment of a comprehensive blog that includes material ranging from recipe ideas to scientific explanations of extraction processes.


When thinking about the future, Sutherland adds that the organization is constantly working to expand its brand and engage with other types of users from a wide variety of backgrounds.