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Sous vide for decarboxylation?

Discussion in 'Cooking With Cannabis' started by Tyleb173rd, Apr 22, 2016.

  1.  
    fearnoevil

    fearnoevil Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering why, at the temps and times needed, decarboxylation is recommended when making cannabutter? Some of those recipes talk about 12 and even 24 hrs cook time, so how is that not going to decarb the end product? I'd think decarbing in advance would just cause more THC to be converted to CBN's during such long heating times, or am I missing something here?
     
    CannaBruh likes this.
  2.  
    fearnoevil

    fearnoevil Well-Known Member

    Also, I do like sous-vide cooking, amazing that you can take a pretty cheap cut of meat, season it and cook it in the SV cooker for 12 hrs, and it can still come out medium rare AND be as tender as a more expensive tenderloin steak (and veggies NEVER tasted so good ;?).

    But other than for the stealth benefit of containing odors, I don't see a big advantage of using an expensive SV cooker compared to putting the sealed herb in boiling water for slightly less time, but then I haven't tried it so just a guess.

    I wonder if you can put your herb (not decarbed) and butter in a vacuum-sealed bag, then put it in a slow cooker on high for 6-8 hrs and make cannabutter that way?
     
    CannaBruh likes this.
  3.  
    Fogdog

    Fogdog Well-Known Member

    Not having done a ton of research, nor have I a ton of material to experiment with, I can only say what happened in a few batches. That said, I have compared 2 hrs of cook time in butter or oil vs 5 hrs of cook time with butter. The 5 hr batch was bitter to the point of unusable without sweeteners added and lots of sugar. The 2 hr batch seemed just as potent to me without the bitterness. After two hrs cooking (in crock pot with 1 pound butter or 1 pound coco-oil, 1 oz decarb weed, and about 2x volume of water at 190 F), my cannabutter or cannoil has plenty of potency for my head. No chem analysis for THC content because this is all for fun and not profit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    fearnoevil likes this.
  4.  
    fearnoevil

    fearnoevil Well-Known Member

    So the 5hr cook was with the same method,decarbed herb in water/butter mixture at 190 F? Hadn't heard of the bitter end product before, just wondering if somewhere along the way the temps didn't spike too high (only read about a bad tasting batch with too-high temps).
    Wouldn't you think that 2 hrs at 200 F. would also decarboxylate the THCA at the same time? I can't see why it wouldn't from everything I've read, and saves a step that if done wrong would lower potency.
     
    Fogdog likes this.
  5.  
    fearnoevil

    fearnoevil Well-Known Member

    BTW Fogdog, did you find coconut oil better/worse than butter? I've read it's better at extracting the goods from your herb, and the added benny that it's supposed to be healthy for you, makes me want to go that route first.
     
    Fogdog likes this.
  6.  
    Fogdog

    Fogdog Well-Known Member

    I hadn't considered triple bagged turkey cooking bags, that's a good idea, @bmgnoot . I've been doing "sous vide" without the sous vide unit and my temperature control is pretty much just "keep it at a low simmer, just below boiling". I check temperature periodically and the temperature does swing +/- 10 F, which is more than a sous vide unit would allow, . I don't boil because then I have to watch the water level as the water boils off also there will be more THC lost to conversion to cbn.

    Whether we are decarboxylating or extracting THC, we fight the same time temperature response curve shown below:
    [​IMG]

    To the right of the peaks of curves (refer to curves 145 C and 122 C), THC increases due to conversion of THCA. To the left of peaks of those curves, THC decreases due to conversion to CBN. At 94 C (201 F), the conversion is slow and pretty much flat over time, which gives me more margin for error. Boiling is probably OK too. Note that I'm decarbing at 200 F (+/- 10) for 2 hrs, then extracting at 190 F (+/- 10) for 2 hours. This, I think, should give me complete decarb with just a little CBN.

    Which gets us to another problem with roasting pot in an oven. My oven is an old electric oven. It's not a lab oven with fine temperature control. At 240 F/30 minutes, 10 F error in setting can cause me to lose more THC than I care to contemplate. I did see a difference in potency between oven roasted weed and the stuff that I made in a "sous vide". I can't say for sure why but the graph above might explain why.

    I just ordered a sous vide controller for 200 bucks (Sansaire) to give me better control of the process. Also plastic balls to sit on top of the bath to reduce water loss and heat lost to air. If I only had an ounce or two, I'd probably just boil like you suggest but I have a bit more than that and would like to lay down a good stash for the freezer, so, it's worth it to me to buy a control unit that I can use for other cooking but will make my canna oil process easier and more accurate.
    .
     
  7.  
    Fogdog

    Fogdog Well-Known Member

    I've been using coco-oil and like the results. It's easy to work with and you don't have milk solids separating like you do when using butter. Also if you don't get those solids out, they can go rancid over time if left at room temperature. I have no idea if one or the other is a better solvent for THC or more healthy.
     
    CannaBruh and fearnoevil like this.
  8.  
    Fogdog

    Fogdog Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I should have been more clear.

    The butter experiment was done using oven roasted herb. Oven setting was 240 F. Time was 30 minutes.

    I then used clarified butter, 1 pound to one ounce of weed (weight before roasting)

    weed, butter and enough water to float everything plus extra was put in a crock pot and "cooked" for 2 hours or 5 hours at 190 F (+/- 10 F).

    I don't know exactly why but the 5 hour cannabutter was really bitter and the 2 hour stuff was not. I don't see much reference to this happening in anybody else's recipes so take it with a grain of very unscientific salt. What I can say is that five hours is probably as long as you'd want to cook the weed if you wanted to avoid loss of THC to CBN, based upon the time-temp curves I posted earlier.
     
  9.  
    fearnoevil

    fearnoevil Well-Known Member

    Roger on the milk solids. Have you tried a product called Ghee? You can buy it on Amazon and it's a traditional Indian food product, I think I read that it goes back over a thousand years, and is usually produced organically (and sometimes with Hindu prayers chanted during the making, although I've not been able to tell the difference ;?). It is delicious, supposed to be healthier, and has a very high smoke point making it great for fried foods.

    I've got some of both so I'll try some in each product and see what the results are. Here's a link to check on the Ghee, the first is a large 32oz jar, the second is quite a bit cheaper for an 9oz jar.

    https://www.amazon.com/100-Organic-...y&ie=UTF8&qid=1492145817&sr=1-4&keywords=Ghee

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXQGY64?th=1
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    Fogdog likes this.
  10.  
    Fogdog

    Fogdog Well-Known Member

    Ghee is clarified butter that has been heated high and long enough to drive out all the water. The extra heat in presence of milk solids gives ghee a light brown butter taste. If you live anywhere near an Indian market, they carry it. It might also be at whole foods too or other higher end market. Though it might not be sent with Hindu blessings.

    I cook with it when I'm sauteing vegetables especially when I'm fixing an Indian dish. I make my own. I keeps for months. I don't know any Hindu prayers. I might to play some over the jars next time. ;-)
     
    fearnoevil likes this.
  11.  
    Fogdog

    Fogdog Well-Known Member

    An update on method.

    I've used the immersion heater to decarb at 200 F (93 C) for 2 hours. The immersion heater is a matter of convenience. One can get the same results using water bath heated by other means. It requires more attention and fussing. For me, I'm processing pounds of weed into canna oil and so the extra hardware is worth it.

    Procedure:

    1) Buds are snipped up with scissors and put into boil in bag, vaccum heat sealed and placed in 200 F water bath for 2 hrs.
    Note: Because decarb generates Carbon Dioxide during the reaction, the bags will start to float. A weighted grate over the bags to keep them from floating to the surface. The grate has legs and sits above the bottom of the water bath, creating space for the bags as they expand.

    2) After decarb, the weed is transferred into a mason jar, the jar is filled with coconut oil. I use 30 grams decarboxylated weed to 500 grams of coconut oil.

    3) The jar is sealed and immersed in water bath. Water bath is heated to 190 F and jars are held at this temp for 2 hours.

    4) The oil and weed slurry is poured through two layers of cheesecloth and allowed to drain.

    5) After dripping through cheesecloth stops, I use an orange juice hand operated press to squeeze out as much oil as I can.
    Note: This is surprisingly efficient. I've made several batches. I weigh out 1000 grams of oil (60 grams weed) and at the end, when I weigh the final product, I get back about 950 grams of cannabis-coconut oil or 90% yield.

    Four grams (1 teaspoon) of this oil gets me high for hours. But then again, I'm a lightweight.


    I know I'm losing some terpenes through the bag during sous vide decarb because I can smell some terpenes in the water bath after decarb. Still, the end product from the above method (canna-coconut oil) has noticeable terpene smell when compared to oil from weed that has been decarboxylated in an oven at 240 for a half hour. Qualitatively, product from this sous vide decarb and oil only extraction procedure seems to me to be a lot stronger than oil made using oven decarb and oil with water extraction in a crock pot. There is still a strong smell in the house when I'm pressing the warm oil but only for a short time and not nearly as strong a smell as when I decarb in a pan in the oven at 240 F.
     
    chemphlegm and CannaBruh like this.

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