Basic cleaning of Merlin400 should be done after each extraction – or at least before the next one.
This description might seem like there is a lot of work to it, but really, it is quickly done.
Just make sure to read and follow these instructions the first time, and it will soon be a simple routine.
After each run of Merlin400, you must clean or handle the parts used. These parts are:
1 – the extraction chamber
2 – the herb tube (incl. filter holder and valve ball)
3 – the used herbs
4 – the distillation chamber
5 – the IPA tank
6 – the gaskets keeping Merlin400 airtight
7 – the heat bed
8 – the collection glass and the glass beads in it
1 – cleaning the Extraction Chamber (left side chamber)
1.1 Open the top lid, remove the herb tube and place it in the Tube Holder (see section 2, below)
Remove any remaining solute (IPA with herb extract) from the bottom of the extraction chamber using the big 60ml syringe. Optionally, you can distill and recycle the surplus IPA using the “Recover used IPA” procedure.
1.2 Clean the gasket in the lid using IPA on a paper towel.
1.3 If necessary, wipe the extraction chamber with the paper towel.
2 – cleaning the Herb Tube
2.1 Remove the herb tube from the extraction chamber.
2.2 Remove the used herbs using a spoon or the back end of the piston.
2.3 Discard the used herbs and the filter papers (see section 3, below)
2.4 Remove the filter holder and the valve ball from the herb tube, using a teaspoon or the back end of the piston to turn and unlock the filter holder.
2.5 Wash bigger plant parts from the parts, using water. After cleansing, make sure to dry off all excess water.
2.6 Wipe the parts using IPA on a paper towel as needed.
3 – disposal of the Used Herbs
Be aware that the used herbs are soaked with IPA and are highly flammable!
Keep them away from ignition sources.
You can flush the herbs and filters in the toilet, or use them for a small, outdoor bonfire.
If you prefer to dispose of your used herbs in your garbage bin or compost, you can dilute the IPA-soaked herbs with water to avoid leaving flammable content directly in your bin.
IPA can be flushed in the drain without any environmental impact.
– IPA-soaked paper towels (used throughout the cleaning processes) are flammable like the used herbs. Treat the used paper towels like the used herbs.
4 – cleaning the Distillation Chamber (middle chamber)
4.1 Unscrew the lid and remove the red gasket from the groove at the top of the distillation chamber.
Wipe it clean using IPA on a paper towel.
4.2 If needed, wipe the distillation chamber with IPA on a paper towel.
4.3 Replace the gasket in the groove and make sure it fits correctly.
4.4 Replace the top lid. Do not over-tighten.
4.5 Clean the white gasket under the distillation chamber (the one connecting the distillation chamber and the collection glass) using IPA on a paper towel.
5 – cleaning the IPA Tank
Usually, there will be nothing to clean here, but open the tank and have a look anyway – sometimes a bit of IPA with oil in it (from the distillation process) can get sucked through the system and end up in the IPA tank, colouring the IPA.
This does not damage the machine, but when using the IPA for the next extraction, the discolouration will transfer to your new extract. This does not damage your extract either, but if you want top-quality extract you must use clean IPA.
Your ’dirty’ IPA is not wasted though: You can transfer it to the distillation chamber and re-distil it using program 4. Just be aware never to add more than max. 180ml IPA to the distillation chamber at any time – otherwise you risk sucking the dirty IPA through the system once more…
6 – cleaning the Gaskets
Yes, we mentioned them already. But cleaning the gaskets is important to prevent air leaks that can interfere with, or even stop the extraction.
You find the gaskets in the lid and the bottom of the extraction chamber, under the lid in the distillation chamber, and between the distillation chamber and the oil glass.
Please keep your gaskets clean!
7 – cleaning the Heat Bed
The Heat Bed is the round metal disk where the oil glass sits.
Even small amounts of residue on the heat bed will reduce heat transfer and cause a longer distilling time. Clean the heat bed using IPA on a paper towel. Be careful not to use excessive force.
8 – cleaning the Collection Glass (and the glass beads)
The residue in the collection glass is not just any residue, but your highly valuable extract.
Getting the last bits out from the glass can be tricky, but here are some tips:
– If you are making an extraction of similar herbs, you can choose not to clean the glass.
The residue from the previous extraction will be dissolved and added to the new extraction.
Make sure nothing unwanted (carrier oil, herb bits etc) has ended up in the glass, and that the underside of the glass is also clean.
– If you are making a different kind of extraction (eg. extracting CBD-rich herbs after THC-rich ones) you need to clean the glass and the glass beads. If you want to save the last bits of oil in the glass, you can wash the glass using a bit of IPA that you save for re-distillation later. After this step, clean the glass and the glass beads using IPA on a paper towel.
9 – there is no point 9, you are good to go!