A Step by Step Guide on How to Make BHO Part 1

I’m about to show you how to make BHO. 

BHO = butane hash oil, and also known as wax, shatter, honeycomb, honey oil, and whatever we stoners decide to call it at the time.  My goal with this article is to provide the most complete instructions to make shatter. 

Specifically, I’ll show you how to make, what is most widely known as, “shatter”.  There are many variations, and I can’t possibly cover them all.  If you want to make something different, I may be able to help; however, this article is focused on BHO, or shatter, so we will keep the subject there.

This post has been a long time in the making.  I’ve been cooking up a batch about once a week, for the last year, and I just now feel as if I’m qualified to teach someone else how to do it.  I am still learning more every day, and I have been “tweaking” the technique over the last year.  I’ve learned many many lessons.  There is SO MUCH that can go wrong when you make BHO.  It is somewhat of an art, but if you follow my directions exactly, your product should turn out very similar.

I’m not the god of BHO.  There are many ways to make it and many many more opinions.  I’ve been hesitant to write this article, because articles on Shatter, bring the stoner squids out of the woodwork.  I’m writing this article because I have taught many people how to make it, and I’d rather just send them the instructions.  This is the way I do it.  I spent a lot of time and money making several batches before I was able to consistently make good shatter.  If you follow these instructions, you should be able to make great shatter the first time.  And when I say GREAT, I’m talking full melt, mind-bending, clean, great-tasting shatter. You’re welcome to try it this way or any other way. 

A nice BHO “Patty” as we call it, just after flipping from one side to the other. Our Blue Dream Pheno makes the most stable (hard) shatter I’ve ever seen.

First, here are some bullet points you need to know first, about what we can expect.

  • Equipment: If you want to blast a couple of hundred grams at a time, you’ll need a nice tube, a stand to hold it in, a vacuum, a chamber to purge in, a heating pan, etc.  Plan on spending about $500 in equipment to get started.  If you just want to blast a couple of zips at a time, your budget will be about $350.  Either way, you still need a good vac pump and chamber.  If you’re blasting pounds at a time, you’ll still get some benefit from this article, but you’ll probably want to reclaim your butane, and you should look at more advanced equipment.  I blast about 200grams at a time, which is about how much yield in frosty trim I get after trimming a one pound chonger.  For this relatively small amount, it’s not worth the investment to buy more advanced equipment to save $30 worth of butane.
  • Yield: from frosty trim, you should be able to get at LEAST 10% yield.  Meaning… if you start with 100grams of product, you should get at least 10grams of shatter.  From bud, I have got up to 22-23% yield, but normally the yield on bud is around 16-20% (depending on the quality).  With some less frosty strains, yields will be around 12-15%.
  • Material:  If the material is bad, the end product will be bad.  Plain and simple.  You can’t take brick weed and expect it to make good shatter.  However, you CAN get great shatter from simple frosty trim (if it is dried and cured properly).  I blast every bit of my outdoor grow, and it looks like this.  The frostier the material, the more yield you will get.
A beautiful BHO burger made from outdoor grown, OG Kush.
  • Safety:  What you’ve heard is true.  There is a LOT that can go wrong, with the worst thing… igniting the butane fumes.  Let’s say you’re blasting on your back porch and it starts to get dark.  You flip on the light switch.  If there is any kind of spark, BOOM!  You’re dead and your house is wrecked.  When I blast, I literally tape down the light switches so I (or someone else) can’t accidentally turn on the light.  Wear safety goggles.  Butane WILL spatter out at some point, especially when you are still learning your equipment and finding the correct adapter from your butane can to the tube.

BLAST AT YOUR OWN RISK.

First, we will outline the equipment you need:

  • A tube to pack your material in, which will hold the material in place so you can run butane thru it.  I use the 250g tube from “Extraction Experts”.   I only put 180-200 grams in at a time.  250 is too much and you will lose yield.  Extraction Experts have many tubes to choose from.  Some smaller, some bigger.  For the average home grower harvesting a pound or two at a time, I would suggest this tube.  If you’re a stoner who wants to blast a half you scored, you can usually get a small tube from your local head shop.  I do not recommend getting tubes that use hose clamps and rubber corks to hold the material in.  The rubber stopper can pop out, ruining your shatter and getting butane soaked material everywhere.

A vacuum chamber and an electric skillet.  I use the “Vac-it pro” 10-inch vac chamber and a plain electric skillet.  Some skillets will hold a consistent temperature, some not.  You’ll have to experiment with what you have and make sure it will hold the temp within a few degrees.  I use a round silicone “Silpat” at the bottom of my chamber.  This insulates the oil slightly so it warms more evenly, and doesn’t get too hot on the bottom.

An infrared temperature gun:  These can be had at your local hardware store for $20-$40.  It is absolutely necessary to get one if you want to make quality shatter.

Vacuum Pump: I use a 3cfm, single-stage vac pump.  I use the one shown in this picture.  It’s cheap, ~$50 and I’ve done at least 50 runs with it.  For ~one oz shatter patties, and the standard size 3-gallon vac chamber, this is all you need.

A double broiler set up:
I’ve used a dozen different setups but this one works the best.  It is a white corning ware oven safe round dish.  Then put that inside a regular stovetop pan.  A round dish works the best because it transfers to the round vac chamber easier.  The big pan should have warm water in it.  NOT HOT.  If you attempt to blast without water in the big pan, the dish could freeze to the surface.

A double broiler set up and letting the butane out of the tube. Be careful not to let it out too fast and splash.

PTFE:  The days of blasting into pyrex and scraping are over.  Now we blast straight into PTFE.  You can score some PTFE on eBay.  After vac, the shatter will peel right off the PTFE.  No scraping, no loss of yield.

Blasted right into the PTFE.

Butane:  I’ve used many different brands.  I’ve settled on “Special Blue” 7 or 9X.  It rates 3rd best in residuals by a guy (forget his name) on toke city.  It makes nice clear shatter and it is inexpensive.  Google it if you want.

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