T Nation

Bottle Top Filtration Issues

First of all, bottle top filtering is terrific. I love not using those awful whatmans.

I bought the Nalgene MF75

One of the big issues surrounding bottletop filtering is transferring the finished product into a vial quickly, effectively, with minimum air exposure.

I bought 60 ml catheter tip syringe without needle
I thought the catheter tip would enable me to retrieve the finished product into a syring very quickly. I was wrong.

Issue #1:
The 60 ml size syringe was too thick to manuever inside the bottom end of the filter unit. I couldn’t reach the corners and thus a lot of the product. I need a syringe that can quickly, effectively retrieve the product so I can transfer to vial.

The next size down is 20 ml, which should have plenty of manuevering capability, but worries me because I don’t want to make 2-3 trips to retrieve the product.

Issue #2:
My needles wouldn’t fit on the 60 ml syringe. They won’t fit the catheter, although I think they will fit the 60 ml luer lock or luer slip, but I’m not positive. These needles are from my 3 ml injection syringes.

I want to change how I retrieve the product from the filtration unit and transfer to vial. Any ideas?

Either way I don’t want to waste another brew!

I am also open to buying different filtration units. I only have two Nalgene’s left anyway.

Although I really liked Nalgene MF 75 because of the ease of just pulling the hand pump, it took much longer than I thought would be necessary. I am considering the Millipore Stericup

It looks like the diameter of the opening is the same as the diameter of the entire container. Whereas the Nalgene the diameter of the opening is smaller than the rest of the container. I think the Millipore might solve one of my retrieving from filter issues.

Really hope some of you have some thoughts on how I can transfer quickly and effectively from the finished product to vial.

First of all, don’t throw out what you have brewed already. Even if it’s unsterile, it can be refiltered and it’ll be fine.


The last post is how Cortes transfers his finished product into syringes.

I already threw it out, it was just prop, but great call and I will definitely refilter it next time.

Thank you for pointing me in the direction of that post, as it does help a little bit.

"Backfilling a 60ml syringe without making a huge mess is a big of an art that, after repeated big messes, I’ve managed to master, however. I will tell you you must start with a 25g needle with the sheath on attached. Then hold it on while pushing the plunger in the turning at the perfect angle. It takes practice, lemme tell ya. Then you can switch to a 20 or 18g needle and have at the transfer.

I’m sorry I’m out the door right now and I have no more time to explain."

Hopefully Cortez is no longer out the door and has more time to explain. Or someone else has a technique.

Also I found the reason my Nalgene was extremely slow in filtration, it is a PES filter, which is the slowest in filtration of oil based products. Definitely should have looked at the graphs at the top. No big deal though. Next filtration should go solid once I purchase my new filtration equipment and I learn a new technique to backfill.

Once all my oil is filtered, I backfill a 60ml syringe with the 25g needle on it (like cortes does) and only fill it to the 50ml mark… Then I put the plunger on top of the barrel and pop it in a TINY bit to it creates a small seal. I then flip it over (keep your hand on the plunger, or it will fall out and lose all of your oil. Let the oil fall to the bottom (the top, since it’s upside down) and let the air float up to the needle and push the plunger in a little bit (I’ve had most luck pushing it in at a slight angle, then pushing it in a tiny bit more in the other direction. Think a ‘ratcheting’ movement.) Now that the plunger is in the barrel enough to not let it fall out, take the 25g needle off, push the plunger up to get rid of the air in the barrell, and put a 20g needle on.

That’s how I transfer my liquid into a syringe. It takes about 30 seconds, and I lay the full syringe on top of a pack of needles so that only the barrel touches anything while I repeat the process until all of my liquid is in a syringe and then I get to pushing them into vials.

Also, if the above method proves to be a pain in the ass, just take a syringe and regular (unsterile) oil and practice it a few times until you minimize spillage. Better to lose some plain oil than to lose your AAS.

Solid man good write up.
I tried to backfill my 3ml 25g with unfiltered wesson oil and was having a terribly difficult time. I imagine its much easier with a filtered solution though. However, why can’t I fill up a 60 ml luer slip by “slurping” the filtered solution out. In other words, why is it necessary to use a needle to backfill the syringe?

I feel like, 1) wearing gloves and mask to protect contamination, 2) sterilize the luer slip, 3) it’ll be much faster to slurp the finished product without a needle, then 4) attach needle and transfer to vial.

I honestly have no idea what your above post means.

Hold a syringe in your hand. Pull the plunger ALL THE WAY OUT of the barrel and rest it on the counter standing upright (so that the rubber part doesn’t touch anything.) Screw a 25g needle (with the cap still on) onto the barrel of the syringe. Hold the barell upright (needle pointing down) and pour the oil into the barrel. Put the oil down and pick up the plunger. Press the plunger against the very tip of the top of the barrel so that if you were to turn the barrel upside down, nothing would spill out. Now, flip the barrel upside down while holding the plunger in place. Once all of the air floats to the top of the syringe (where the needle is), push the plunger back inside the barrel and remove the 25g needle. Slowly push all of the air out of the syringe and screw a 20g needle onto the syringe.

Now you have 50mls of sterile oil in a syringe that you can then shoot into vials.

This won’t work on a 3ml syringe. The smallest syringe I’d try this on would be a 20ml, 60ml being optimal.

Aside from that, I don’t know how else to explain it. I think you may have misunderstood what ‘backfill’ meant.

You are absolutely correct I had no idea what backfill meant. I took it as filling up the syringe by pulling it through the needle.

Your post really explains it well and definitely the best explanation on the net. I will disregard my slurp method idea and not even try to it.

So, my final question is, what type of 60ml syringe should I buy? The only reason I ask is because with my 60ml catheter the plunger doesn’t come all the way out.

You have really laid it out in the most basic terms, which is what I needed, thank you sir.

No worries, man. For what it’s worth, you have Cortes to thank for this method.

As far as a 60ml syringes go, any brand sterile luer lock syringe would work. I’ve never seen a catheter syringe, but pull on the plunger pretty hard and see if it comes out. The 60ml syringes I used required a little oomph to get the plunger all the way out, and you’ll feel a ‘pop’ when you make it past the part that holds it in.

I’d suggest getting a bunch of the syringes (they’re cheap) and a bunch of needles and practice the above method with plain oil first to get the hang of it without spilling.

Good luck man.

While it might be miniscule exposure, the whole “pouring” (i.e., exposure to air) strikes me as almost defeating the purpose of filtering.

Curious if anyone tried the Whatman Uniprep method, as it seems to skip directly to the filtered vial stage.

Are you saying that you take the filter off the filteration unit, so that there’s just oil in a little cup, then pour the oil from the cup into a syringe (like pouring a glass of water into a syringe)?

I don’t think air exposure is a big deal. I doubt any homebrew will be 100% sterile. People can backfill syringes from a 3mL into a slin pin without problems.

If you like arts and crafts, you could build a sterile hood out of tupperware. Build a hepa filter into it, and then vaccuum out all the air.

[quote]Jewbacca wrote:
While it might be miniscule exposure, the whole “pouring” (i.e., exposure to air) strikes me as almost defeating the purpose of filtering.

Curious if anyone tried the Whatman Uniprep method, as it seems to skip directly to the filtered vial stage.[/quote]

If you’re drawing 10ccs out of a 12/13/14cc vial (however large an actual 10cc sterile vial is), you’re NOT going to get all 10cc’s out without pushing air into it one way or another. That air isn’t sterile.

Like many, including Bill Roberts, have said… dirtying up your gear to the point where it’s unsafe to inject is much harder than most would think.