Cannabutter, sous vide style, tek

Devilmaycare

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Something new to try in here. This is going to be a multi-post description on how I make my edibles from flower to end product. I've been meaning to do this since early summer when I talked to a couple guys about posting on it. It's been tough to get the time to write it all at once so I'm going to break it up in to multiple posts and fill in each one as I have some time. So today is part one and this will hopefully spur the next 3 parts soon. :)

I do mine sous vide over the different baking methods. This has a couple advantages. First, it stinks less. Like an order of magnatude less. Most of it is happening in a sealed bag that's under water so there's less chance of oder. If you do the prep on your patio than it's even less. The other big advantage is that it's full spectrum. Nothing gets lost like with some of the other methods. The main disadvantage is that it takes longer.

Gear needed:
- sous vide equipment: circulator*, tub, vacuum sealer, rack
- water proof heat resistent gloves, I use my BBQ grill ones. 200 degree water is hot.
- coffee grinder: I'd recommend a shallow one over a deeper one.
- small silicon brush and dab tool: You want to be able to clean out the grinder
- kitchen sink drain strainer: or any strainer, I like the kitchen sink ones though for their size.
- cheesecloth

Optional but recommend is some sort of insulated box. We're doing cooks at 170 and 700 degrees for a few hours each. Having your tub in something insulated and covered makes it so much easier to hold the temps. I'm a DIYer and made a sous vide kitchen cart that has an insulated chamber for the tub. Prior to that I was setting it on the ground with pieces of insulation that I had laying around surrounding it. Cooler solution and other work well too.

At a minimum you need the pingpong balls or another type of cover or you'll have to baby sit the water levels with how fast they evaporate at 200 degrees.

Flower:
This is the good news portion. You can buy the cheap stuff. I usually do an ounce at a time and buy whatever has the highest THC% for the weed type and effects that I'm looking for. Top shelf isn't needed. The $60/ 14g of the preground pre-roll packs work just as well. Normally I just watch for sales and grab them that way. Like yesterday Harvest had a double your order deal going if you spend $100. So the 14g pack that ran $105 was perfect since I got my ounce for that.

Sous vide circulator:
If you're just getting started with sous vide it's a great cooking method. It's the only way I do steaks now. On the circulator front, most suck. I've burnt through a couple of them. Right now I'd recommend picking up an Inkbird from Amazon. They're cheaper at about $70 or so but it's been the best one I've bought. I grabbed it afer my expensive Anova one died after less than 6 months. The Inkbird supports slightly higher temps and the water temp has been spot on every time I've checked it. I wouldn't waste money on a high end one again.

Depending on your tub setup, I'd also recommend getting a picking up a piece of rubber to cut a hole in to act as a steam guard for the circulator. Like I mentioned, there's a lot of vapor coming up and you can hurt the electronics in it. The rubber is just acts as a guard to push the steam from the unit so that it rises safely away from the unit.

Feel free to ask question about gear or anything else that I use.
 
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Devilmaycare

Devilmaycare

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Part 2: Decarboxylation

Before cannabis can be ingested it needs to be decarbs. Well, technically you can ingest it without doing it. You're just not going to get high. The flower actually contains THCA and not THC. To activate the fun properties of weed the carboxyl group (COOH) has to be removed. You do this with heat and time. Normally when you smoke flower the fire does this conversion for you. So you've already decarbed before if you've smoked a bowl. :)

The cook time for this process is going to be 2 hours and 40 minutes. I did a bunch of research into it and I found lab tests that a guy did to test the about of time at different temps that it takes to fully convert all of the THCA to THC and this combo will convert all of it.

Here's the steps to do it with tips and tricks:
1. Heat up your bath to 200 degrees. Like I mentioned in the intro, having an insulted tub really helps with this. I also seed my tub with pots of near boiling water to start out. When the pots start to bubble I spot check them with a cooking thermometer and dump them into the bath when they're hit about 190 and let the circulator top it off.

2. Make your sous vide bag. Make it a lot bigger than needed. You're going to be sealing this bag at least 3 times. I also do a double seal on each end to be safe. Last thing I want is a couple hundred bucks being wasted due to a bad seal.

3. Grind up your flower and fill the bag. It's also helpful if you put something in the bag to help weigh it down. I have an old solid steal bar that I sanitized for this.

4. Double seal the bag, put it into a rack that goes into your tub. Using a rack is important as you'll see in 2 steps.

5. Once you're tub is at temp, put the rack into it. Highly recommend you cover the top now with at least ping pong balls to help stop the evaporation and heat loss.

6. After about 15-20 minutes, pull your rack and bag out of the bath. It's going to be a balloon. Remember the carboxyl group? It's being vented.

7. Carefully cut open the top of the bag. I put it on my cutting board and use my chef knife to carefully cut a straight line. I also usually make sure to wipe down the bag at the edge I'm cutting. Makes resealing a little easier.

8. Reseal the bag and put it back into the bath.

9. After 20-30 minutes check the bag again for gas and repeat as needed. I usually have to vent the bag twice. Having the bag vacuumed out helps with the cooking. Water tight to the flower is better than air.

10. After 2:40 of cook time remove it from the bath and cold shock it. Have a bowl with ice water in it and just put it in. We're looking to stop any cooking that's going on so that the THC doesn't get damaged. If you put something metal in the bag as a weight it's also at 200 degrees and will keep radiating heat so you're killing that little "oven" that still remains

That's it for decarbing. Don't worry if you leave it a little long. There's some wiggle room where you won't hurt it. It's part of why I do mine, and recommend, doing it at 200.

You can find some guides online that say 230 for 90 minutes but I'd rather take the extra time at the lower temp since there's less chance of damage and holding water at 230 degrees isn't easy. That's hotter than boiling for the entire time. Most circulators won't even go that high.
 
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Devilmaycare

Devilmaycare

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Part 3: Infusion

Now that you have your decarb weed let's make it more usable. That's making cannabutter or cannaoil that you can then use to cook with. The classic infusion is with butter but I prefer to infuse coconut oil instead. Both work well but I prefer the coconut oil for the recipes that I make with it. Cocoanut oil also binds with the THC easier. It's about 90% saturated fat vs 64% for butter and fat is what THC likes to bind with. From here on I'm just going to say "oil" to refer to either one.

How much oil to use depends on how strong you're looking to make it. We'll get into the math of everything in the next post. When I do mine I'm generally looking to get about 1.33 cups of oil (what I've been making uses 1/3 cup). You're going to lose some of the oil. Generally around 8g gets absorbed into an ounce of flower plus there's a little bit of loss while processing. So I've been putting about 1.5 cups to be infused to get the 1.3 cups. Think of it like the Devil's Cut with whiskey. So remember to give the devil his due. :)

Infuse steps:

1. Heat your bath to 171 degrees. Really can be 170, I just like the odd number. I also seed the bath for this like I do for the decarb.

2. Make your sous vide bag. Over size it a bit but you don't have to go as big as in the decarb step. Make it big enough to hold everything while being able to turn the top inside out. It makes it cleaner to pour the oil into it. I don't like having any oil touch the top to where it might affect the seal.

3. Put the decarbed flower in. It can get clumpy from the decarb so I break it up a a bit by hand in the bag.

4. Add your oil to the bag. I massage the outside of the bag a little to mix things up in it.

5. Seal the bag. One trick I like to do here is to take advantage of coconut oil's high melting point. It's a solid at 77. I put the bag in the freezer for a bit to get it to solidify. It doesn't take long to do but makes vacuum sealing the bag so much nicer.

6. But the bag in the bath once it's to temp and let it cook for about 7 hours. This amount of time works well for me and I've gotten great results. I've seen other people say 4 hours at 185 degrees but I generally prefer slow and low cooking. Even with BBQ. :) I do need to do a little bit of research to see if there's an ideal point. I might be cooking a little longer than needed but at 170 it's safe.

7. At the end of the cook time, take it out and let it cool down.

8. Put your strainer on the top of the container you're going to store the oil in and then put a cheesecloth on top of that.

9. Open the bad and start pouring the the cheesecloth. It should go quick at first but start to slow down once plant material starts getting caught.

10. Once you get a decent amount of plant material caught, I usually let it get to size of a spinning nickel or so, lift up the cheesecloth and squeeze out as much oil as you can. I start twisting the top to tighten it up as much as I can while squeezing the sides.

11. Once you squeezed out all of the oil that you can empty the cheesecloth into a container to save. Do not throw it out.

12. Repeat 10-11 until you've processed all of it. It usually takes me 2-3 pieces of cheesecloth the size of my strainer to get it all. They get messy.

Congrats! You now how a container of the oil and plant material to save. I recommend keeping both of them in the freezer to preserve them. Both contain organic material and it can mold if left out like any other plant based food. You don't want to waste it. Don't ask me how I know. ;)

The left over plant material is edible and still has THC in it plus the Devil's cut of oil. You can try to extract more out if you like. I've seen people trying to run hot water through it. Then put the water in the fridge to get the oil to solidify but I've never had great luck getting much out of it. I cook with it instead. If you're careful it doesn't make it taste "weedy".
 

BirdGangThing

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I get the weed
I break up the weed
I decarb the weed

I get a pan and fill it with butter and weed

Then I put that pan on top of another pan that has boiling water in it

Then I strain the weed and keep the butter and get over 200 likes on Instagram

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Devilmaycare

Devilmaycare

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I get the weed
I break up the weed
I decarb the weed

I get a pan and fill it with butter and weed

Then I put that pan on top of another pan that has boiling water in it

Then I strain the weed and keep the butter and get over 200 likes on Instagram

xc_hide_links_from_guests_guests_error_hide_media
Old school! Doing it sous vide over that has two main advantages and one disadvantage. The advantages are:
- Odor control. It doesn't stink up the house. This is a biggie for me.
- Full spectrum. You don't loose any of the cannabinoids or terpenes.

Main disadvantage is time. It takes a bit longer to do. Since most of it is unattended cook time this isn't a biggie to me. With WFH, I put it going in the morning and then pull it out whenever it's ready.
 

BirdGangThing

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Old school! Doing it sous vide over that has two main advantages and one disadvantage. The advantages are:
- Odor control. It doesn't stink up the house. This is a biggie for me.
- Full spectrum. You don't loose any of the cannabinoids or terpenes.

Main disadvantage is time. It takes a bit longer to do. Since most of it is unattended cook time this isn't a biggie to me. With WFH, I put it going in the morning and then pull it out whenever it's ready.
Rock on man! I'd love to try the good stuff some day - full spectrum and is where it's at terpenes get more amazing by the study
 
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