capsaicin Capsaicinoid/sugar separation

I do have a question that hopefully someone can answer. Does anyone now of a method to separate capsaicinoids from the sugar crystals when attempting to distillate the extracts? I'm looking for a process which doesn't require the use of ketones in the separation process. The current method I'm using (di-hydration and dual distillation) seems to have brought me to a glass cieling. Any help would be appreciated. I know of a couple of methods that require some serious lab equipment, I just don't want to have to take out a second mortgage.
Yeah, that's kind of what I figured. The stuff I'm able to make is nasty hot, but I'm trying to get to the next level. It is fun to watch our neighbors when we're doing our distillations, I swear, they must think we have a meth lab or something.
We're only using fresh peppers up here, so once the exhaust hits the open air, the smells waft out to the street and we get people coming in asking what's the wonderful smell.

We've toyed with putting a lightboard on the porch so it can tell people what we're cooking.

You're obviously making your own extract but in a different way than us. (I posted our process around here somewhere). Tell me about your process, is the gassing off a chemical smell??

The process takes a while, I found various parts of the process on a few different sites, and may have unknowingly created a sort of hybrid process. I have found the extraction process the easiest using dried peppers, it circumvents the dehydration problem quite nicely. Powderize the peppers in a Cuisenart (sp?), and at the same time mix a tad of Everclear (or 200 proof if you can get it) and let it run for at least 5 minutes. Add a little water and then the neat part, drop a couple small pieces of dry ice into it. This shocks the water molecules, and retards the capsaicinoid bonding to the sugar crystals, albeit not 100%, hence my glass ceiling. Immediately strain the mixture through cheesecloth. I then perform the standard pressing a couple times, and repeat the process. A double distillation is then needed with a bit more Everclear (BE CAREFUL WITH THIS STEP). Using micro-strainers and a small amount of citric acid, you will get a pretty good batch. Like I said, I'm still perfecting it, but seem to be coming along nicely so far. The capsaicinoid/sugar bond is a difficult little monster to break, as they both dissolve in the alocohol, hence the use of a bit of water to dissolve the sugar, but not the capsaicinoids, and the shocking with dry ice. It sounds labor intensive, but it beats tens of thousands of dollars on lab equipment, at least for now.
The Everclear is evaporated off during the dual distillation procedure. As for the smell of the gases during processing, it's not really a 'smell', more like extremely fine particles (which love to stick to the back of your throat). They dissipate rather quickly. Most likely from the very fine powder we use. It doesn't hit the air much, but it doesn't have to.
Tina Brooks said:

Everyone's a chemist but us.

Just what exactly is everclear anyway?


I took roughly 10 semesters of chemistry in college (and not even a Chem major!), so that makes me a serious science geek.

Everclear is grain alcohol, usually 190-200 proof depending on the manufacturer. Everclear, I believe, is a trade name for one variety of pure ethyl alcohol. Friends of mine in college added it to fruit to make 'hooch,' which was good for at least one episode of vomiting if consumed indiscriminately. :shock:

- J
We called it P.G.A pure grain alcohol and when we mixed it with fruit we called it mojo. I have had similar while in the service way back and we made it in a new garbage can and it would last a weekend.

Hmmm, I wonder if I could get away with using a good Niejo instead... Seems more appropriate for hot peppers... don't you think?

Hi Tina, well, seems I'm a bit late to the answer of what Everclear is. It's grain alcohol, I can acquire pure alocohol, but it costs to much. From what people have said, yeah, they're right. We used to mix Everclear with grape Kool-Aid, we called it Purple Passion. However, back to the topic, it does evapoarate quite fast during the distillatrion methods we are using. Man, could you imagine if it didn't? You'd have a bunch of drunk chiliheads roaming the streets. Now, that's just scary. Seems like I've drummed up quite the audience on this thread. Hi all.
PGA? Isn't that what blows up in the old mountain men's stills?

I really think you should try it with Niejo. lol

Now, I'll never get the image of you with a hayseed hanging out of the corner of your mouth, wearing bubba's coveralls, and one of the straps hanging loose off the shoulder out of my mind.

Can you say Beverly Hillbilly's hot sauce? hehe...

Sorry. I'm bad. ;)
OK Tina, touche :roll: . Now that I'm done rolling on the floor laughing. The method works quite well, and I've plum run out of hayseeds. But, to answer your question about blowing up stills, yes. Oh, my wife got a good chuckle out of that post as well. Overalls in northern NJ, kinda scary. To think, we're leaving for Montana on Saturday for a week, and I have to live with the fact you see me as a backwoods hick. I'm scarred. LOL!
Defcon - since we're so close I'd love to see this process in action sometime. As a former nuke, I took a fair amount of chemistry in college, but I can't say I remeber a lick of it. Physics was more my style.

No fair blowing up your still before I figure out exactly what your process is!

Say... that raises a thought... Are there Revenoors in New Jersey???
Believe me, I'm not looking to blow up my 'still', we're looking to sell the house shortly. It's actually gonna be kinda cool. We're looking to have a house built in a little more western Jersey, complete with a separate commercial kitchen area (for the still). As for revenuers, I am one.