Before I discuss further my Settling Tank, please note that I've been refining my methods for a number of years now. Whilst the below is still valid and useful, you may find it advantageous to watch my YouTube Video on the subject first.
In the video (which you can see here) I discuss the various methods I describe later on but speak with far more experience and give helpful tips that might not yet be within these pages. So please, save yourself some time and view my video first. Then if you need more details, you'll find these here.
Below you'll see a sketch of my Settling Tank (click here for full details about my filter system). The tank is a small shipping container purchased from eBay that has already been used to transport foodstuffs around the globe. I say small, it's actually a 220 litre barrel, but that's small when you think of many shipping containers...
If you pick up your WVO in Cubies (those squarish plastic containers) then you really should use the Cubie Method for pre-filtering your oil. I have a YouTube Video on this subject that you may find helpful.
If you're not lucky enough to be able to take advantage of this terrific time-saver, then you'll need to pour out you oil through a filter mesh of sorts to serparate most of the debris. I used to advocate Strainers / Sieves for this purpose, but I found them very troublesome - they clogged much too quickly! I'd recommend using fashioning a cone-shaped strainer - you can see more about these in this YouTube Video.
And so, on to the process
I used to use flat-bottomed strainers like those pictured above, but I found these quickly clogged. I converted mine to cone-shaped strainers. This YouTube Video will tell you more.
(2) When ready, "rough filter" by pouring the oil through a cone-shaped sieve into the barrel. Do this as slowly as possible as you'll probably find the closer you get to the bottom of your container, the nastier your waste oil becomes - more debris, fats, etc. If you can avoid pouring this ini, then do so! There's little benefit in trying to filter such gunk. I used to use flat-bottomed strainers like those shown in these images, but they clogged too quickly. If you have them, try converting them into cone-shaped strainers instead. This cYouTube Video will give you a better idea what I'm talking about.
(4) Commonly most folk leave their WVO to settle for 2 weeks. Personally I prefer to leave mine 4 weeks (better safe than sorry). During this time gravity pulls the heavier content of the WVO to the bottom of the barrel.
(6) Not all impurities sink to the bottom, some float on the surface. Consequently you do NOT want to use the top WVO either, but ideally want to remove oil from around a inch or so below the surface.
This completes the rough filtering stage
After you've allowed the WVO time to settle, you can draw of oil for (7) fine filtering. Within this website I've described this process as Stage 2 - Fine Filtering and to read more about that, just follow the link here.
“Never surpress a generous thought” - Camilia E Kamball
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