Percolators separates the smoke with small slits, making for a smoother hit that doesn’t feel like a gaseous blob of fumes in your lungs but rather like a light and airy inhale that still keeps its potency, this is especially important in dab bongs and bubblers where a hit of wax can pack quite a punch. There are many different percolator styles one might find shopping for a quality water pipe, we will detail the differences to help give you a better understanding.
Straight Diffused Downstem
The most common is the straight diffused down stem, simple and effective, the slits at the end of the downstem sit under the water allowing smoke to be cooled, filtered, and diffused simultaneously before leaving the chamber and entering the lungs. Through recent years the diffused downstem has become like a standard in almost water pipes.
The disk percolator is one that sits horizontally above the main water chamber in the shaft of the pipe, usually holding another water chamber, with either slits or holes for the smoke to pass though and diffuse.
The honeycomb perc is a favorite of mine, its similar to a disk percolator diffuser in shape and location, except the fashion of the holes the smoke passes through resemble a honey comb rather than normal holes or slits.
The tree perk is a common one in many water pipes, it sends the smoke through multiple tubes that bend down into a second water chamber filtering the smoke a second time, the more tubes there are the more diffusion the smoke undergoes.
Shower Head Percolator
The shower head perk resembles its name, a shower head, usually attached to the end a downstem it is essentially a glass bubble filled with outwards slits and passes the smoke into the water chamber like a shower head.
The matrix percolator is one of the more elaborate diffusers that can be put in a bong of bubbler, in its simplest explanation it is a puck with multiple holes and slits that the smoke filters through, and seems to be a combination of both the tree percolator and shower head percolator, usually attached to the downstem in the main water chamber but can be an independent percolator with its own water chamber.
The dome percolator is similar to the design of a miniature upside down pasta strainer in the water chamber, as smoke enters the water chamber it passes through the dome before bubbling to the surface.
A circ percolator is a donut shaped showerhead, with a tube in the center that the smoke runs through the after it is diffused through the slits.
There’s a lot of different percolators, some fit in the bowl piece some take up the bongs entire chamber, some give a good chug when taking a hit and some are tight lacking airflow, but when you hit the bowl or take that dab and think to yourself “that was a really clean hit”, you probably have percolators to thank for that.
If you have a moment, take a look at these great deals on honeycomb bongs.
Nectar collectors for the most part, have only been around for the past year or so, but are starting to gain popularity as more and more people discover this new dynamic method of vaporizing dabs. This new style of dabbing, takes user experience to the next level, by offering a unique vertical vaporizing process that allows you to gauge your dab intake perfectly every time, without having to worry about excess concentrates being wasted during your hits.
Most nectar collectors on the market today are relatively expensive, ranging in price from $100, of upwards to $1,000, depending on what brand name you buy and which dab accessories come with them. If you’re lucky, you might come across a low priced, yet highly effective nectar collector from an online wholesale smoke shop, but for the most part, they tend to be on the costly side.
At first glance, the nectar collector looks like a probing device from an alien spaceship. The glass body is shaped like a syringe and usually features an embedded percolator, that can be used as a filtration device when water is applied. Accompanying the base are a glass mouthpiece that slides into the top, and a nectar collector titanium tip, that is used unconventionally, as a dab nail. Some nectar collector kits also come equipped with a wax dish, such as this one, that is used as a launch pad, for inserting the titanium tip into finely extracted medical concentrates upon inhalation. The more high end nectar collectors typically come with a rotating metal pivoting stand, that assists in the vertical vaporizing process, once inserted into dabs.
How to Use A Nectar Collector In 7 Simple Steps
Step 1: Add Water to the Base
Tip #1: Fill the base slowly with water, making sure that it filled about halfway, allowing for the best percolation.
Tip #2: Make sure that the glass mouthpiece and titanium tip are removed before filling with water so that water won’t get trapped in the tip.
Step 2: Check Water Level
Tip: Make sure water level is a little less than half-way full to allow for optimal percolation.
Step 3: Add Glass Mouthpiece to Base
Tip: A small amount of joint wax can be applied to the base in order to prevent the mouthpiece from sliding in place during use.
Step 4: Add Nectar Collector Titanium Tip to Base
Tip: Joint wax can be applied as a faint adhesive to the inside of the tip after being heated with a torch, to keep it in place during use.
Assembled Nectar Collector
(Ready for take-off)*
Step 5: Heat Titanium Tip Gently With Butane Torch Until It Has A Light Red Glow
Tip #1: Be careful not to overheat the tip as excessive heating can cause cracking.
Tip #2: Hold the nectar collector horizontally while heating to avoid leaks.
(Don’t Be A Dumbass and Burn Yourself or Your Friends!)
Step 6: Inhale While Tip Is Heated, and Submerge Tip in Dabs
(The kit that we purchased came with a glass wax dish)
Tip: The nectar collector titanium tip allows you to use just the amount of dabs needed for your hit, so don’t waste your supply!
Step 7: Don’t Forget to Exhale!
6″ Mini Nectar Collector 10mm Review
Besides the titanium tip and glass mouthpiece, this nectar collector kit features a wax dish for storing dabs in between hits.The nectar collector itself, is 6 inches in length and has a 10mm sized titanium nail. The design is sleek and clean in appearance, and is made with durable borosilicate glass, which is known for it’s high resistance to extreme heat. The only downside to using this piece is the fact that it doesn’t come with a rotating metal swivel stand, as some of the more high end nectar collectors have, but that aside, this piece does it all. While using this device we experienced no issues during the assembly process and the hits were very clean and filtered thanks to the mini percolator. We filled the water too high the first time, but it was an easy fix. All in all, this nectar collector gets the job done at a fraction of the price that you’d normally pay for your average nectar collector, and it makes for an ideal buy, especially if you’re into dabbing or simply want a cheap alternative to your every day dab rig.
The nectar collector featured in this review: http://www.marijuanapackaging.com/6-nectar-collector-10mm.html
There’s no question that we’re living in a golden age for concentrates— a greater federal tolerance for the marijuana industry and the widespread availability of extraction “tech” has dramatically increased the amount of concentrate available to patients and recreational users alike. However, the explosion in popularity of concentrates has also generated excess of misinformation circulating the internet, especially among amateur hash-makers.
Perhaps the most common questions among enthusiasts is “What is the difference between shatter and honeycomb wax?” and “Why does my concentrate look like ______? How do I make it look like _____?” A quick google search will yield an endless supply of contradicting “answers” from forum “experts” who demonstrate a tentative grasp of basic scientific principles. Even among bud-tenders, there seems to be little consensus or understanding with regards to how different forms of concentrate actually differ from one another. In this article, we will examine the difference between shatter, wax and sugar and speculate why light colored, translucent shatter is likely to be the most desirable product to consume.
Shatter Vs Wax
Just about every dispensary these days will have more than one form of hash outside the traditional pressed-trichome product that’s been around for centuries. While CO2 extracted “crumbles” and more liquid, pressure-extracted concentrates like “the clear” have become more common, this article will focus on butane-extracted hash (see our previous article on the benefits of closed-loop extraction).
BHO generally comes in two forms, shatter and wax (or crumble). Shatter tends to have a consistency ranging from sticky sap to a very stable, hard resin at room temperature and can have an appearance anywhere from a dark brown to a nearly translucent. Wax on the other hand, tends to be completely dry and crumbly and is sometimes referred to as “honeycomb” because of its resemblance. While both are made using the same solvent (butane) and a vacuum purging process, there are several factors that account for the difference between the two forms of concentrate.
As one might expect, wax/crumble is purged for longer at higher temperatures resulting in a drier more “completely purged” product that has less residual butane complexed within. However, butane isn’t the only compound that can be purged at 100°F and -29 mmHg. Under such a vacuum, the boiling point of all liquids are depressed.
More Than Just THC
When butane is used to extract THC from raw plant material, it also picks up a medley of other compounds including terpenes, plant fats, and chlorophyll (via micelle formation). The concentrations of these compounds vary as you move from the top of the cola to the roots of a marijuana plant which is why “trim run” and “nug run” extracts of the same plant can appear completely different. It should also be noted that n-butane is actually slightly water soluble at room temperature and can pick up some polar species which tend to make for darker, harsher concentrates (this is why dryness is important for both solvent and raw plant material).
While plant fats and chlorophyll are undesirable (and tend to burn, leaving ash behind), terpenes are the compounds that contribute to the smell and flavor of marijuana and some have been known for centuries to possess medicinal and practical value. Many of these compounds are volatile (meaning they start to evaporate) around room temperature so their concentrations begin to decrease as soon as a plant is cut and killed. The key to making the most pleasant, flavorful extracts is maintaining a full terpene profile while decreasing the butane content below the 3ppm taste threshold.
Basic thermodynamics determine that liquids boil more readily when held under vacuum. During a vacuum purge, the pressure can be reduced as low as -29 mmHg which lowers the boiling point of butane from 31°F to -96°F (and THC from 315°F to 195°F). In order to achieve a “complete purge” many will even apply additional heat without considering the consequences this will have on the volatile terpenes (which already evaporate at room temperature and normal pressure). This is the main reason why shatter tends to have a more potent taste/ smell when compared to crumbles.
At this point one must ask the question, “what’s more important? A full terpene profile or less residual butane present in the final product?” Ultimately while the THC concentrations in shatter will be greater than that of crumble (because of density), both have similar perceived “strength.” As many people use cannabis for many different reasons, the answer is entirely personal but it should be noted that residual concentrations of butane in either products has been deemed non-toxic to humans. With that in mind, I consider crumble to be over-purged product that is missing an ideal component, the natural terpenes (some folks try to add food-grade terpenes like ‘D-limonene’ but the end result is almost always unnatural and off-putting).
Judge A Book By Its Cover
While its impossible to know just how a concentrate will taste until you’ve tried it, there are certain traits to look out for that high-quality shatters seem to all have in common:
1.It will be transparent: “dewaxed” shatter will be free of any solids that would give it a cloudy appearance and will leave little residue behind when vaporized.
2. It will be light colored: the dark color to shatter is caused by solids and polar compounds that get picked up during extraction, usually attributable to the presence of water. Some of the best extract artists have suggested freezing fresh cut plant material to lock up water while maintaining a full terpene profile resulting in some spectacularly light, almost clear shatters.
3. It will smell strongly: high terpene concentrations will almost certainly give off a magnificent bouquet.
The consistency of shatter (from vicious ‘taffy’ to ‘stable’ shatter) will depend on the overall butane and terpene concentration, both which contribute to a more viscous product.
Shatter vs. Sugar
“Sugar” is the word used to describe shatter that has begun to resemble the consistency of wet sand while not completely drying out into crumble. Many have speculated that this could be strain-dependent while others have suggested that this results from shatter “sitting around for too long” or from residual butane escaping the shatter. While legitimate experimental data doesn’t yet exist on the subject, I believe the real answer to be a combination the previous suggestions.
I think sugar results from a natural separation of volatile components (butane and terpenes mostly) from non-volatile components. Different strains contain different concentrations of various terpenes and non-volatile molecules which explains why some strains naturally “want” to sugar up more than others. This process is accelerated by the vacuum purge which effectively increases the volatility of all components within the extract. Regardless, “sugaring up” suggests some degradation of the final product (which is why it generally tends to be priced cheaper than regular shatter of the same variety)
Though its often farmers and amateur chemists who end up constituting a large portion of the concentrate production industry (at least as long as it’s somewhat illegal), organic extraction/isolation of volatile compounds and most especially concentration of such under vacuum is a very delicate process even by a trained chemist’s standards. A scientific attention to detail and high grade starting material are often the difference between a Cannabis Cup winner and the discount crumble available at your local dispensary. Be aware of the differences between sugar, shatter and wax/crumble and use the guidelines we’ve mentioned while choosing your next concentrate (if you have such a luxury) and see if you don’t notice the difference.