Top 5 Tricks for Running Your Harvest Right Freeze Dryer for Bubble Hash
Freeze drying ice water hash is a process that produces a versatile product. Enjoyed by tons of consumers for its variety of uses, bubble hash is a favorite foundational element to countless rosin-based cannabis products. From oils to edibles, hash has a place in scores of popular products.
The key to producing top quality hash lies in your freeze dryer. So, let’s explore the proper ways to run a freeze dryer to produce top quality hash.
Trick #1: Temps and Time Are Everything
It takes precise temperatures and humidity control to create top caliber freeze dryer bubble hash. Creating superior ice water hash is key to producing premium full melt and hash rosin. So, it’s particularly important that your freeze dryer has the right settings. Right now the top two options on the market are Labconco's FDry-8L, for commercial processors and laboratories, and the Harvest Right Pharmaceutical series of freeze dryers, for anyone looking to get a freeze dryer but doesn't have a large budget.
The wrong temperature can doom your hash, leaving it at risk of terpene loss and other undesirable outcomes. At PurePressure, we usually run our freeze dryers between 45ºF and 55ºF to preserve the hash’s terpenes. This will be the rack temperature the freeze dryer will warm to during its lyophilization process. Lyophilization is essentially controlled freezing, which keeps temperatures low enough during the process so no changes to the appearance or characteristics of the hash occur.
Additionally, the time you spend drying your hash is the other major factor. While this is often a highly debated figure in the hash making world, there is no, one single amount of time you want to freeze dry for. At a minimum, assuming your freeze dryer's trays are mostly full, you are looking at around 18 hours. If your trays are very full and you want a very dry product, you may go as long as 24-36 hours potentially. We recommend experimenting with a standard amount of hash you would typically freeze dry. If your bubble hash isn't completely dry, you can run your cycle again or modify it to achieve the desired result.
Trick #2: Using a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer? Tilt Your Freeze Dryer Back.
Sometimes it takes an expert hand to master a trick to the trade. In other cases, all it takes is your freeze dryer’s leveling feet. Consider this tip more of the latter. When freeze drying hash using any Harvest Right unit, tilt your freeze dryer using the feet so that the face of the machine is higher than the back. Doing so helps drain the water out of the device’s drain valve and dryer overall.
Consider this is a universal freeze drying tip for all kinds of professions. Reports have it working on processes from bubble hash to freeze drying food. We’re just going to vouch for it with bubble hash, but do with it what you will.
Trick #3: Don’t Microplane or Pre-Dry Your Hash Before Freeze Drying
If you're freeze drying your bubble hash, it might seem counterintuitive to not dry your hash, at least a little bit, before it goes in. Let your Harvest Right freeze dryer do the job on its own. Or if you're using a Labconco FDry-8L, make sure it's deep frozen first.
Some may advocate for extra steps like microplaning or pre-drying their hash before freeze drying, but this will not yield great results. We recommend that you stay far away from these tactics as they tend to alter the process in undesirable ways. Instead, we follow a tried and true method that takes the hash straight from your bubble bags and right onto the parchment paper in your dryer trays. If you aren't going to freeze dry your ice water hash immediately, make sure to freeze your trays in the interim.
As we've discussed in the past, this method can be adjusted to meet your process. However, our approach is one used by top names in the industry. While you may be able to otherwise, we're confident that this process is the most likely way one can produce full melt hash.
Trick #4: Make Sure Your Hash Patties are Thin!
When freeze drying ice water hash, a few small tricks can make a world of difference on the final product's terpene retention and clarity. While it may seem that too much hash is never a bad thing, that isn’t actually the case before it enters the freeze dryer. This is especially true when scooping your patties onto the parchment paper. Like a chef baking, too thick of a patty is going to leave your product feeling far moister than you’d like it to be. We aren't baking bread here, but the principle is similar in that extremely thick patties take much longer to dry. In the case of hash, we want less than 8% or 9% total moisture for an adequate freeze dry. So, be sure to keep your patties thin for a properly dried hash.
When scooping, keep your patties, at most, a quarter-inch thick (which is about .6 CM for the rest of the world). Use your spoon to maintain the proper sizes. And for an additional trick to track your work, scoop out different micron types onto multiple trays to more easily gauge which micron sizes are producing different grades of quality.
Trick #5: Sieve Your Hash Post-Freeze Dry
We have one more trick to employ before calling the cycle complete. Once your hash is dried, take it out of the freeze dryer and get out a stainless steel screen or sieve. Use these tools, and your spoon or scoop, to gently push your hash through the metal. This helps break up your hash into the preferred powder-like consistency it should be.
As you'll see around the [2:26] mark, the famous Nikka T of Essential Extracts shows us how he uses a spoon and metal screen to get his bubble hash down to the fine morsels your end product should look like.
Speaking of Nikka T, check out how he makes award winning hash using the same tricks we just discussed. Be sure to catch them all and subscribe to our YouTube channel!
Looking to get the best deal on a freeze dryer? Now that you know the pro tricks contact us to find out how you can produce full melt hash on your own using a Harvest Right freeze dryer and other incredible equipment.