Flower Rosin Pressing Tips & Tricks
We’ve gone through a lot of trial and error for best results when pressing flower rosin. Based on our extensive experimentation, here are the most important tips for getting the most out of pressing buds! Make sure to also check out our video on YouTube for the best flower rosin pressing tips.
Flower Rosin Pressing Guide:
1: Flower Quality is King; Freshness is Queen
This sounds like a no-brainer, but oftentimes when we talk to customers who are getting average results with pressing flower, it’s almost always because they are squishing average flowers.
This is perfectly fine, but if you want stellar results, you need stellar material. This doesn’t mean that you have to purchase “Platinum” shelf buds at your local dispensary or fill your entire garden with Gorilla Glue #4, but with rosin, your results are mostly predetermined in the garden if your press is up to par.
Quality is also closely related to freshness, and you will often see your best results when pressing flowers immediately after they are dried and cured. The longer you wait, the darker it will be, so make sure to squish buds when they’re as fresh as possible.
Similarly, we have not noticed perceptible differences between the flower rosin pressed from hydro, soil, coco, etc grown flowers. The grow media plays a factor inasmuch as the skill of the grower is the biggest determination with each particular substrate.
Some strains and types of cannabis flowers do tend to yield better than others. Namely, indicas and hybrids anecdotally do better than wispy sativas. Your heavy hitter, ultra-potent plants are usually going to be big yielders as the resin production is elevated with genetics such as The White, Gorilla Glue, Ghost Train Haze, and many more.
When it comes down to it, the biggest determination for yield, flavor, and quality is all based on how well the material was grown and how strong its genetics were in the first place.
2: Relative Humidity Makes or Breaks Yields
A major factor that we determined for optimal flower rosin pressing is the moisture content of your buds. If your cannabis flower is dry, it will act like a sponge when the trichomes are liquefied, soaking up much of the rosin before it has a chance to escape.
So what's the best humidity for pressing flower rosin? We recommend that the relative humidity content of your material is at least 55% to 62% for optimal results.
You can check the moisture content of your flower by using either an analog hygrometer (the kind found in many cigar boxes) or investing $25 in a digital Caliber IV hygrometer. They work much more quickly and are far more accurate, making a digital hygrometer worth every penny for your rosin pressing process.
To increase the humidity levels of your buds, you can pick up pre-set humidity packs from Integra or Boveda. Both companies sell packs that get your material to a perfect 55% or 62% moisture level.
Check out our YouTube video of our experiment on how relative humidity impacts flower rosin yields. The results were interesting, to say the least!
3: Finding the Best Temperature for Pressing Flower Rosin
The ideal temperature for pressing flower rosin depends on the plant you are working with and your goals. Higher quality material requires less heat for a complete extraction. This applies to any source material, be it flower, sift or ice water hash.
The opposite applies to older, denser flower, sift, or hash, as well as lower quality material in general. This is because additional heat is required to break down the trichome heads, which if they aren't all already broken or damaged, are likely dried out or simply oxidized.
When you apply heat and pressure to your flower, the speed and consistency in which the trichomes liquefy depends greatly on what temperature is being used, as well as the evenness of that heat distribution. Generally, there are two accepted temperature ranges for pressing rosin:
Cold Pressing: 160°F - 190°F, pressed for between 1 and 5 minutes or longer, which often produces a budder or batter consistency. Rich terpene preservation, but sometimes with a sacrifice in yield.
Hot Pressing: 190°F - 220°F, pressed for between :45 seconds and 3 minutes, which frequently produces a very oily or shatter-like consistency. High terpene preservation if pressed at 220°F or below, often accompanying an increase in yield over cold pressing.
We have found the most success around the 210°F - 220°F range, which offers a great compromise between quality and yield. If terpene preservation and quality is your #1 goal, you should start colder and evaluate your results. We have observed very little terpene loss in that range.
When using temperatures above 235°F there can be noticeable loss in flavor and terpenes, but we have customers who swear by pressing at as high as 250°F.
The key is to experiment on your own. Consider rosin pressing like cooking - different types of foods require different temperatures to bring out their full flavors.
The boiling point of terpenes vary widely, and many are well above 350°F. You don't want to get anywhere near there, as significant terpene degradation can happen well below the boiling point, but the point is that not all strains need to be pressed at the minimum temperature.
Play with different heat settings on your rosin press with small samples to find what works best for you. Temperature variations can modify terpenes, and in some cases can destroy them. In other cases, they can lead to improved yield results, so like any craftsman or artisan, you have to know exactly what you're working with which can take time.
4: Use The Correct Micron Bag
When pressing flower rosin using a filter bag, it's important to get the right micron screen size for a great yield-to-quality ratio. You can press flower rosin without a bag if you want, but you are liable to get little bits and pieces of plant material in your rosin on the other end. Our premium food grade nylon mesh filter bags are designed to maximize yields and reduce blowouts.
Our rule of thumb is to never press flower rosin using anything less than 90 micron width. You compromise yield without noticeable gains in quality using anything below that.
On the other hand, anything above 150 micron width does not filter well, so reductions in quality may be realized. The relationship between micron type and material type is important because the higher the micron count, the more porous the mesh filter is.
90 Micron: best filtration and highest quality output for flower rosin, some reduction in yield
115 Micron: best overall micron filter type for flower rosin, a great sweet spot for yield and quality
Always make sure to use 100% polyester monofilament filter mesh, which is the most conducive for yields while also being one of the FDA’s top recommended food grade fabrics. Stainless steel screens are prone to scratching plates and cutting yields, whereas silk screens stretch a significant amount, making it difficult to accurately track your pressure data.
5: Ideal PSI Pressure for Pressing Rosin
No matter what rosin press you use (manual or pneumatic), try to press as gently as possible. While flower rosin requires more pressure than kief and hash rosin to squeeze out all the juice, the amount of pressure most high-tonnage presses apply is overkill. Older era methods may suggest otherwise, as it is the practice for obtaining maximum yields, but if you want top quality rosin, a light touch with your force is the way to go.
While many bottle jack presses can offer over 20 tons of pressure, such an excess causes undesirable particles to be be extruded into your rosin. Notably, it can inflate yields with lipids, chlorophyll, and a variety of organic non-cannabinoids. Plant matter winding up in your oil creates additional problems, such as reduced clarity and undeveloped flavors.
We’ve found that the ideal PSI range for pressing flower rosin is between 550 - 1,500 PSI at the plate, with maximum quality being on the lower end of that range. We’ve achieved yields above 25% with flower rosin at as low as 550 PSI when pressing high quality buds with proper moisture levels in a 115 micron rosin filter bag.
To calculate pressure and figure out what you’re applying, take the total amount of force exerted by your press, and then divide that amount by the total square inch footprint of your rosin filter bag. Here’s an example with our own Pikes Peak rosin press:
Total available pressure: 5 tons at 120 PSI compressed air input, or 10,000 lb / f
Bag used: 2” x 6”, or 12 square inches
10,000 / 12 = 833 PSI at the plate
No matter what rosin press you use, try to press as gently as possible. This tip is particularly important when working with hash and sift rosin because nobody likes a blown bag or wasted time.
Keep in mind that this is a highly contested and controversial topic, and we do not want to assert that what we have found is the only way to do it. If you’ve experienced success with high pressures, by all means, keep it rolling. We simply suggest trying lower and seeing what you get, as we’ve noticed great results without going way overboard on pressure application.
Flower rosin, when pressed from top quality material, is some of our absolute favorite to dab and squish. The terpene preservation often rivals or exceeds live resin, which is almost always faithfully represented from buds to oil in the rosin pressing process.
If there is anything that you take away from this flower rosin pressing guide, it’s that quality matters most. Make sure to follow our social media channels for more great articles, videos, posts, and tips!