Tobacco Extraction Using Heated Ethanol

Kudos! :blush: It sounds like you have done a gosh plenty research, have your process figured out, and are ready to to dive into your project head first! Good for you. Go Man!

:rofl:… heck yeah!

The hydroscopic issues haven’t been a noticeable issue with my extractions… and I don’t fret over it too much anyway. @50YearsOfCigars will tell you, it’s pretty much impossible for us to keep H2O out of our solvents, with our “kitchen chemistry” methods. But, don’t let that slow you down. :wink: You do you!

@50YearsOfCigars is the cigar NET guru here on ELR. It’s his life work! :man_scientist: However, I’ll let him jump in and give his opinion on the subject. I can say, from personal experience, he’s produced some spectacular cigar NET! He produced a phenomenal Aged Nicaraguan Ligero which I’ve been nursing in a dripper for the past couple of weeks. His maceration methods are quite interesting and unique… but, have a stellar outcome. :boom::zap::sparkles:

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We should all be so wise as to channel our inner Gene Wilder when mixing.

Glad to know H2O is not an issue for you. It makes sense. 5% or so in a flavor extract that is only being used at 7% - 10% is a pretty small proportion. My experience is with thinning e-liquid with distilled water at a higher ratio. It worked, but sounded like Krakatoa.

I checked out @50YearsOfCigars sample list and am very impressed. I never have stumbled upon such a nuanced collection. I am very curious as to his method.

Just finished stage one of the hot ethanol maceration—a perique. I had definite wafts of spicy cigar notes. Will shelve it for a couple of weeks before removing the tobacco and reducing. Next will be the Latakia!

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That was an early lesson for me as well… hated the snap, crackle, and POP :boom: which distilled water provided in my juice.

That one will be a nice addition to a juice with needs a little sweet funk. :sunglasses:

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Okay, so I still have a month or so of testing different blends based off my ethanol extracts to give any kind of firm feedback, but I can say a few things:

  1. Pouring the extracts directly over dry ice inside the filter is a bad idea. It boils violently, like baking soda and vinegar. Even when the ethanol has been cooled down with the dry ice. This ends up agitating the oils, and in my opinion defeating the purpose of the freeze filtering. Looks cool and smells lovely though…
  2. The Virginia, Oriental, and other ‘delicate’ extracts should yield 15ml finished PGA extract from a 4oz canning jar. 30ml is too light a flavor I find when creating a 10% PGA ration eLiquid. I dare not add more than 10% PGA in case of too strong a throat hit, or alcohol flavor. I suppose I could try though for fun. Of course, I have only ‘steeped’ my eLiquids for 2 weeks now. So there may be a time component.
  3. Latakia doesn’t need to be reduced to further than 30ml from a starting point of 4oz. And it should be used like salt, a very light seasoning. Vaping a 10% Latakia extract eLiquid is like vaping a camp fire. The flavor lingers in your mouth for a very long time. Just like smoking.
  4. 10lb of dry ice in a sufficiently insulated cooler should last up to 3 days in a cool room. I don’t think anyone should rush to filter their extracts for fear of dry ice evaporating. I would let the extracts cool in the dry ice a full day before filtering. I had to actually use a second cooler to store the excess dry ice, and just add dry ice to the filtering cooler as needed.
  5. The dry ice does indeed precipitate more oils and waxes out of solution if given enough time. But you have to be careful not to agitate things when filtering.
  6. It took me a very long time to filter the extracts in a coffee filter in the dry ice. Hours per extract. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t filter them at room temperature prior. Maybe I should have done that. I think the filter loss would have been minimal.
  7. Tough guys still need to wear insulating gloves to handle the whole thing. I tried doing it all with just latex gloves but it was super cold. Burns your finger tips after a while. Especially the cooled PGA. If you have poor circulation, I could see it going badly.

Anyway, I can say I am on the right path. Best naturally extracted tobacco I’ve had, compared to commercial eLiquids. But still my procedure needs to be refined, and the ratio of blended extracts to eLiquid needs work.


That was unexpected and exciting! :grimacing:

…guess it all depends on your base mix; a heavier VG ratio may smooth things out? :thinking:

:fire: …, indeed! I like a good smooth Latakia vape on occasion; evenings before bedtime is my usual time for that kinda vape.

I’ve enjoyed this one :point_down: a bunch!

Awesome extraction experiment! :grinning: Glad you had some success with your method. One of these days I’ll have to give this a try. We use dry ice for low lying fog effects in the theatre… there’s usually a 5 gallon bucket worth of DI left over at the end of the gig; perfect for a EA extraction!

Now… I just need to decide what tobacco to put in a jar for the future! :thinking:

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Thanks for the excellent post to bring us up to date on your progress so far. Please keep the reports coming in.

A couple of random comments:

1.) I thought you were going to use the dry ice to cool the liquids by using a jacketed setup, for example nesting two beakers and placing the dry ice in a liquid with a very low freezing point. Your dry ice is -80C and you could use soome of the 191 proof ethyl alcohol which will remain liquid to -100C.

2.) The slow filtering is going to be a pain in the ass unless you vacuum assist the process. All this lab equipment gets expensive in a hurry. I went with centrifuge ‘filtration’, which of course is not filtration at all. I have an explanation of that method and further comments there about the techniques on the forum HERE. In that discussion is some comments about the desirability of leaving behind some of the flavor components in tobacco NET extractions, which are very finely divided solids.
3.) I attribute some of the success I have had with cigar filler type tobacco to leaving behind those flavor components. I have definitely observed that those extractions that are centrifuged ‘age’ like fine wine and get noticeably better over time.
4.) I encourage you to do simultaneous parallel extractions of the same leaf sample but with differing solvents and techniques. Then A/B the results with strict SFT techniques that I will describe next in item #5. You will see things like the PG extractions having better base notes, and the EA solvents bringing the lighter notes over. Later you can ‘blend these to suit.’ There are great results possible with blending, especially with cigar filler leafs, and macerated actual professional hand rolled cigars that have the benefit of expert professional blending skills from brands like Joe Marti.
5.) If you have two old mods hanging around that you can use and two identical MTL RDAs then you can do ‘real-time A/B testing’ of the parallel extraction experiments. I gain invaluable information this way. Here is pic of my set up for that. I use Vandy Vape 18mm Berserker RDAs for this and find them ideal for the purpose. Your milage might vary, you might prefer a different atty for this project.

… I clipped the following pic and comment from a post of mine about Black Note Clone testing, so just ignore the BN bottles haha ROTFL !!

… two identical Vandy Vape 18mm Berserker RDA set up with identical coils 3.0mm 26ga SS contact coils, on: identical JoyeTech VIC VTWO Mini regulated mods set to 15 watts:

Again THANKS for the report, I enjoyed reading it very much !!!


I’ll have to try this out! I wish 190 proof PGA was as cheap as tobacco, I’d have 5 gallons of extracts by now!

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I ended up placing the 4oz canning jars in the cooler and surrounding it in dry ice pellets. As the pellets evaporated, I added more ice to keep them covered up.

I am beginning to wonder that. The Virginia was butchered when I poured it over dry ice pellets. It ended up having more gunk in the finished product. Even though it gunked up my coils and wick quickly, the flavor improved as I vaped. In other words the gunk had a nice taste to it.

Unfortunately, I found that I have a PG sensitivity. I had to cut out PG entirely. But I agree, I need to get a little more rigid about my experimentation. Being a newbie to vaping, in addition to being a newbie to DIY NET, there are a lot of missteps that inhibit reliable conclusions at this time. To think I didn’t know what NET, RTA, MTL, and such meant as of late last year…

I have a Berseker MTL RDA in Colorado right now with Pipesmith Pipes, fitting a pipe stem for it. I haven’t tried a dripper before. I am looking forward to it. It seems the most ideal device for NET, as well as someone working on custom blends. Don’t have to vape a whole tank until changing flavors.

I have been using a SXK Kayfun Prime, which has been a real puzzle trying to wick properly for 90% VG in the winter. I finally got it to work with a really fluffed up Scottish roll technique using Cotton Bacon. Very thin tails, good shoulders…

Alas, that’s the budget for this year. I think next year I will invest in another mod and another Berserker for simultaneous tests.

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Derailing a bit here…

Ahhh, yeah… I’d say so! :grimacing: Those custom e-pipes aren’t cheap. But, I know you’ll enjoy it once in hand. As of late, I have really enjoyed getting back into an unregulated mod setup. I use a tank at work… however, once at home, I religiously switch over to my Asmodus Luna squonk mod with an Ammit RDA. I guess it’s that gentle coil ramp up time and slow battery tail off which I enjoy so much. In the beginning, I started out using mech mods… and I find myself reverting back to the comfortable, easy-going solace which unregulated mods offer.

Completely understandable :smirk: …not to be a Debbie Downer, but, I think the KF Prime was a failed, awful, social experiment… an atomizer doomed to be shoved to the back of the shelf to collect dust… esp. for high VG ratio users. My ardent hope is that the latest KF 2019 doesn’t follow the same route. We shall see… :wink:

You will, hopefully, find it to be a joy! Especially in the wicking department… :wink: And eventually, you’ll settle into which RDA air flow options suit you best for maximum flavor enjoyment.


Yes, I like the simplicity of the Berserker, can’t wait to try it. I just watched PBusardo review of Kayfun Lite 2019, if that’s what you’re talking about. It looked interesting, much simpler. I never understood people in videos with a shelf full of mods and atomizers, but I am starting to get the picture. Just sort of happens bit by bit.

Never vaped a mech mod myself. Looking forward to it. Again, simplicity. Less points of failure, provided you respect the safety aspects…


I’ve thought a lot about this and I now have 2 Vandy Vape 18mm Berserker RDAs now to help along with the A/B testing (one is out with Ken at Pipesmith to fit on e-pipe, might be a few weeks).

I also invested in a squonk mod, Dovpo Topside. I never tried squonking before, and I heard the Berserker RDA is a good one for that. I figured I could use that beside my Wismec P80 for A/B testing. I thought the Pipesmith Pipe wouldn’t be a good 1-1 comparison with a regulated mod, especially because the batteries are different.

So I’ll use my Dovpo without squonking for the A/B test. Question being, do you typically set to variable wattage? Have you ever tried temperature control? Part of my tests are going to be finding the right RTA/RDA - coil build - Mod combo for NET e-liquid.

I have different gauges of kanthal and SS wire to try. Currently using cotton bacon with success. Will try rayon as well. I tried hemp wick, which was like vaping a pile of wet leaves. Perhaps it needed a wash/break-in period. I think I’ll put that one on the back burner to try again later.

In other news, I’ve decided to start another NET extraction from the beginning. This time with popular blends on the e-cigarette forum: Sutliff Vodoo Queen, Louisiana Red, and Cornell & Diehl Billy Budd. Why reinvent the wheel at this stage by making my own blends? I tried these in 8 ounce canning jars this time, using 1 micron polyester filter felt from Duda Diesel. The polyester felt is far superior to coffee filters and Whatman paper filters in my opinion. Faster flow rate and catches more oils I believe.

I will also keep the extracts in the dry ice for two days now that I know I have a setup that keeps the dry ice frozen for that long.

For giggles, I’m also going to try a quick wash ethanol extraction (QWET), which is used in the cannabis industry to minimize chlorophyl and wax in the final product. In this case, both tobacco and 190 proof PGA will be placed in dry ice separately, and then combined in a mason jar for only 3 minutes. The ethanol is strained, and then the tobacco is soaked with more ethanol. The ethanol is then strained as before and the result is evaporated at room temperature. My thought is that for 3 minutes in the freezer, it’s just not enough for flavor, but you never know, maybe it will be interesting.


I feel the same way, but out of pure laziness! :confused: However, @50YearsOfCigars has done a bang up job of cloning Dunhill Royal Yacht with whole leaf extracts. It might not have that sweetish back-note of a processed leaf extract, but it’s pretty darn close to the base notes of the blend. He doesn’t fancy the casing in processed tobacco blends… thus, he blends his own from unprocessed whole leaf.

Good luck with your extraction experiments! :hugs:

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Sounds interesting. :sunglasses: Perhaps one day I’ll give the roobios a try again; my spouse and daughter like different things on occasion.

Me… I’m too married to straight tobacco. Lately, I’ve kinda gone down the Va/Per or Va/Oriental path. They just tend to sit with me better as an ADV.

A very simple SS316 round wire, single wrap @ 2.5mm ID, landing between .75 and 1ohms (8 to 10 wraps). I’ve got no use for anything else. I rewick and clean my coils just about every day; depending on how much I’ve vaped a particular atty that day. I found that, for me, keeping things simple and vaping low wattage, bypass mode, or mech mod is the way to go for my maximum enjoyment. You’ll see what I mean once you get your pipe from PipeSmith.

These days, my favorite setup is an Ammit 22mm RDA (with my specified build) sitting on a Asmodus Luna (squonk) unregulated mod… pure enjoyment! :sunglasses: Perhaps one day, I’ll spring for a pipe from this guy:

… very pretty, but not cheap. :smirk:

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…we’ve officially made it happen! :rofl:

I’ll see if I can find another thread on which to pin this convo. Otherwise, I’ll start another thread. :hugs:

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Thanks for the heads up. I am going to start another thread when experiments are complete. I plan on giving an A-Z process from hot ethanol extraction, to dry ice freeze filtering, to MTL coil build. But on topic here, I tried a second round of extractions using Sutliff Voodoo Queen, and the flavor is phenomenal. Really on to something here…


Just so ya know… I did answer your questions here:


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Well, this catches my attention for a couple of reasons. One is that I have previously expressed concern about new NET experimenters following too closly to the advice at the e-cigarette forum. See HERE for details on that.

Second, if you look at listing of Sutliff Tobacco Blends you will notice that they are firmly in the camp of heavy aromatic and cased (artificial additives, particularly they are noted for their use of chocolate and heavy vanilla). That is OK, I guess, but just be aware of where when following e-cigarette forum where in the vast world of tobacco what corner that takes you to.

See a listing of Sutliff tobacco and their blending types (Aromatic & English) HERE

But the usual disclaimer applies = TIS (taste is subjective). So if you’re happy, then I’m happy. :slight_smile:


I find in one of the there-referenced posts of yours (this, in Dec 2017) the business of ECF posted Ethanol extraction information is specifically mentioned and commented upon. What would you think about potential viability using various mixtures of (non-noxious as is, and not removed) solvents - such as Ethanol along with PG, and/or along with Glycerol (reputedly, from one source, significantly decreasing its room temp viscosity) ? Or, is removal of most of the Ethanol solvent desirable/required when that is a component ?

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I have always wondered why no one has tried using distilled water. Both the Ethyl Alcohol and water is non toxic and can be left in the final product, but both have some issues in usability if all of it is left there. The solvent reduction is usually performed just to get rid of the “vaping arti-facts” like excessive spitting on the hot coils, and with the EA, you don’t want to get drunk in the process of vaping :slight_smile:

There are many solvents that will dissolve and carry over all sorts of flavor fractions. The big problem for us kitchen chemisrty type making vape liquid are two: One is Cost, the other is Toxicity. For example, in industry Hexane is a common solvent in food extraction processing. Most of the Soy Bean Oil you find on the supermarket shelve has been extracted with Hexane. But all the (toxic) Hexane is removed with (very expensive) industrial processing equipment. The issue for us in kitchen: we could certainly use things like Hexane, Liquid supercritical CO2, but we can’t withstand the cost of the required equipment.

However we could get the water extractions reduced to very low levels in a vacuum using low temp dehydration techniques. You can buy pretty decent vacuum pumps at Amazon and Harbor Freight Tools for not too much $$$ that would do the job. I might have to put this one on the “2DO” list, it’s probably worth a try. Then, any way, you kill two birds with one stone, the pump will doube-duty for your Buchner Flask Filtration.

Thanks for jogging my “hobby nerve” on this. Just what I need, one more kitchen project !!!

My other favorite “2DO” list item is making a simple “ferris wheel” that hold a dozen pint jars and is driven by a 10RPM motor. I have a feeling this is the magic carpet ride to much faster extraction times. First a “hot bump” start (preferably in Ultra-Sonic) then a week or two on the wheel…
ferris%20wheel wheel"

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Hahaha… sorry I realize I never answered exactly your question. I just wandered off on the subject in a free association :-). anyway, no there is no problem mixing several solvents and doing a"combined extraction" From a chemistry point of view, as long as the various (mixed) carrier solvents do not approach a “saturation point” of the desired material it is trying pick up then you are “good to go”. And considering the very extremely small amounts of these dissolved material we are talking orders of magnitude below levels of true chemical saturation with the solvents involved, that is a non issue.

I think the issue with using VG has to do with long periods of storage of the final extract. If I understand correctly this was mentioned by one of the chemists that was interviewed in a PBusardo tour of Flavor Art. They tried that, but found that the extract deteriorated with VG carriers over time much more rapidly than PG.

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