Rosin Tips & Tricks
Full-melt bubble hash is making a huge resurgence as the connoisseur’s concentrate of choice. Its process produces purer trichomes and more potent yields than other concentrates, using only ice and water.
Not only does bubble hash pack a punch with each hit, but it also provides purity that some other concentrates (think mid shelf BHO) tend to lack. That’s why everyone from the pros to regular folks uses these tips to create high-quality hash and rosin hash.
Before you begin making your next batch of bubble hash, make sure you incorporate these four pro tips into your process.
Tip #1: Make Your Process Cold. Really Cold.
You don't really have bubble hash without cold water. Known also as cold water hash, bubble hash is made using ice and water, as we mentioned in a previous article. However, to make the best of the best hash, your entire process needs to be cold.
Ice cold water is really what separates the cannabinoids from your cannabis by freezing and snapping trichome stalks and heads off of buds and trim leaves. Since trichomes are not water soluble, they become mixed into the slurry of water and ice in the bubble hash washer. From there, after filtering, you can find the trichomes at the bottom of your filter bags after completely sinking to the bottom of the wash.
To achieve this outcome, chill your entire production by:
- Working in a cold or air conditioned room
- Using as much purified ice as possible (we’ll explain more on why you need purified water below)
- Insulating your bubble hash washer to maintain low temperatures.
In short, if it isn’t cold, get it cold. While you can forgo this step, remember that you are trading quality for ease of production. You have been warned.
Tip #2: Only Ultra Purified Water Will Do
Opting for tap water is suitable for restaurants, but not when making bubble hash. Depending on where you live, the quality of your water varies considerably, and you can never tell what is in there without expensive tests. The two main elements purified water removes that tap might not are chlorine and fluoride. If you do make bubble hash with tap water, you might end up with a mild but discernible chlorine taste in your product, as some users have encountered.
Purified water can even be used as a guide for the whole process. In short, always use clean tools and products. By using ultra filtered water and other hash-specific products, you ensure the best chances that your bubble hash won’t be disturbed by outside elements.
Tip #3: Quality In = Quality Out!
Pictured: Oni Seed Co's Tropicanna Cookies F2
As the famous one-hit wonder taught us, “you only get what you give.” If you use low-quality flower buds or trim, you’re going to end up with less than stellar yields.
When sourcing flower from your bubble hash and hash rosin, use terpene-rich, resinous strains. The same can be said for your flower’s freshness before washing. Even with the right quality, an less-than-fresh flower can often result in an off-brown or tan bubble hash.
That all being said, you can use lower quality trim and still produce bubble hash. In fact, beginners may benefit from a low-risk test run using a lower-quality product. However, when you want to make the real deal, you’ll have to use the top-flight strains.
Tip #4: Use a Freeze Dryer to Increase Clarity & Speed Drying
"Freeze dryers are a game changer,” explains Manny, CEO of the award winning hash and rosin purveyors The Proper Extracts and Fox Cannabis. “You can decrease dry time and processing from days to hours, while preserving the peak trichome and terpene profile of the hash."
Manny and other bubble hash proponents are behind the freeze dryer movement. It’s no surprise either as the alternative method, air drying, presents many problems for producers that lack an expert touch. Getting a freeze dryer reduces drying times from a five to seven-day wait to around 24 hours. Furthermore, the clarity in freeze-dried bubble hash is noticeable compared to air dried.
It’s no wonder that Manny and other professional labs have made the switch. For the best possible bubble hash, freeze drying is the way to go. If you’re ready to produce the best products, check out our excellent freeze dryer options and other hash making products today.
Rosin is becoming the choice for consuming concentrates among a growing number of the country’s cannabis communities. And as we’ve detailed in past articles, all rosin yields are not equal. A subpar return can come from several options. Of course having top quality equipment, such as the Pikes Peak rosin press, can make a huge difference, if you want to hit big yield numbers with flower rosin you have to select the right strains.
You’ll want to focus on strains that offer massive trichome production. Another key to pressing quality rosin is how resinous your plants are in general. Remember, the more resinous it is, the more rosin you’ll yield. While indica and hybrids tend to be the best choice, some sativas are worth pressing as well. Here are a few of each that you should consider making into rosin:
GG4 (a/k/a Gorilla Glue #4)
GG4 is an incredibly popular strain for cannabis users of all ingestion methods. Formerly officially known as Gorilla Glue #4, this hybrid flower is not only the most popular of its phenotypes, but it's also one of the most in-demand strains in the U.S. market. It now takes on the moniker "GG4" due to a lawsuit, settled out of court, by the official manufacturers of Gorilla Glue brand adhesives. Many rosin pressers love its high potency and copious trichomes that make its flower look covered in permafrost. With a high THC content, this may not be the best dab to end a night since many varieties can be stimulating, but it does tend to be suitable for any other occasion.
Depending who you ask, GG4’s terpenes can be robust and distinguishable. Others say it is a more muted strain. If you’re unsure where you stand and want a robust, aromatic profile, consider starting with another suggestion from the list.
The White and its Crossed Strains
An indica dominant hybrid, The White is not part of the White Widow family but instead named for the color of its buds. The origin of The White's name is the prime reason why rosin pressers love this strain. Its abundant, plentiful trichomes are perfect for pressing rivers of rosin.
The White’s beginnings are slightly unclear. However, what isn’t is its potency. Users are sure to enjoy the almost immediate impact of a White hit. Those looking for quick, lasting pain relief should consider this strain for pressing. However, its terpene profile isn't its strongest trait. As mentioned with GG4, if you're looking for a yield with noticeable terpenes, this strain might not be your top choice. If that is your preference, other OGs might fit your wants a bit more.
To learn more about the White, GG4 and other crosses, check out the awesome work by Nikka T of Essential Extracts.
The Chem Lineage
With Chems, choosing one above the others wouldn’t be fair. So, we’ll recommend the whole slew and let you decide from there. Chem Dawg has been at the cannabis for almost the entire 25+ years it’s been cultivated. While uncertain in origin, cannabis lovers are sure of this slightly indica dominant hybrid's THC content (15%-20%+) and its silvery trichomes.
It’s no wonder that a strain like this would be crossbred multiple times over. The ensuing results produced other excellent strains for rosin pressing. Others worthy of pressing include:
Because of these traits, even veteran users tread lightly when using Chemdawg and its offshoot strains. That being said, the results are worth it all.
Papaya and its Crosses
Papaya is a potent strain known for its disease resistance and early maturation. It's also beloved for being a powerful indica dominant hybrid that's excellent for cross breeding. The top crossbred strains are worthy candidates for water processed hash -- with some of the best washes and rosin coming from Kennnwall, along with many amazing crosses originating from Oni Seed Co.
Papaya fans cite its rich terpenes that fill the nose with fruit, mainly mango. Additional benefits of Papaya and many of its crosses include quick and long-lasting effects that typically bring joy while keeping a certain level of focus.
Choosing a sour is much like Papaya strains. You can make a lot of great decisions. An additional benefit of sours are that you can choose a sativa dominant hybrid and still produce quality rosin. With these strains, you can opt for a 50:50 split or go for an indica or sativa dominant strain.
Start with a 50:50 like Sour Banana Sherbert for an 18%-24% potency and exciting terpene profile that straddles sour fruit and diesel. Sour Tangie works excellent if you want more sativa and prominent terpenes. The same can be said for the incredibly resinous Sour Kosher.
- Sour Kush (Sativa dominant NYCD cross)
- Sour Secret (80:20 indica dominant)
- Sour Cream (For a stellar sour/haze combination)
- Sour Krypt (For large, resinous buds)
Did we miss your favorite strain? It’s possible with so many great options for rosin pressing! Tell us your favorite strains in the comments to keep the discussion going.
We’ve done a lot of trial and error when pressing flower rosin. Based on our extensive experimentation, here are some of the most important things you should know to get the most out of pressing buds!
1: Quality is King, Followed By Freshness
This sounds like a no-brainer but time and time again we talk to customers who are pressing flower and are getting average results. Almost always it’s because they are squishing average flowers, which is perfectly fine, but if you want stellar results, you need stellar material. This doesn’t mean that you have to go purchase “Platinum” shelf buds at your local dispensary or fill your entire garden just 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 very best results when pressing flowers as soon after they are dried and cured as possible. 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. That being said, 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
Another major factor that we determined after many flower rosin presses is that the humidity and moisture content of your buds will make a massive difference for your flower rosin yields. The reason for this is that if your cannabis is very dry, it will act like a sponge when the trichomes are liquefied, thus soaking up much of the rosin before it has a chance to escape. When you press your flowers, always make sure the relative humidity content of your material is at least 55% to 62% for optimal results.
You can quickly and easily check the moisture content of your flower by using either an analog hygrometer, such as the kind found in many cigar boxes, or what we suggest is making the $25 investment 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. Easy! For more about moisture, check out on our video where we go in-depth on our testing on our YouTube channel here.
3: Choose a Temperature Based On Your Desired Results
Temperature is perhaps the most debated variable in the rosin pressing equation today, with fierce proponents on both sides of the spectrum (hotter vs. colder pressing). 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 ranges within which to press virtually any type of 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.
In our opinion, 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 probably start colder and evaluate your results, however we have observed very little terpene loss in that range. Above 235°F however there can be noticeable losses in flavor and terpenes, but we have customers who swear by pressing at as high as 250°F. Try and see what works best for you, if you find something great, tell us in the comments section!
4: Choose The Correct Micron Bag
First and foremost, you can absolutely 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. If you are pressing a rosin filter bag however, getting the right micron screen size is essential in order to strike a great yield-to-quality ratio. The rule of thumb we stick by is that you should never press flower rosin in anything less than 90 micron width. Below that, you can compromise your yield without getting noticeable gains in quality. Similarly, anything above 150 micron width tends to not filter that well, so reductions in quality may be realized. The relationship between micron type and material type is very 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
Also, always make sure if you’re pressing in a bag 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: Extra Pressure Doesn't Always Make a Difference
Finally, while flower rosin requires more pressure than kief and hash rosin to squeeze all the juice out, what many high tonnage presses apply is absolutely overkill. We’ve found that the ideal pressure range for flower rosin is between 550 - 1,500 PSI at the plate, with maximum quality being on the lower end of that range. Many DIY bottle jack presses can offer as many as 20 tons or more of pressure, but at very high applications of force, undesirable particles and plant lipids can also be extruded into your rosin. 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. This is another 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 just suggest perhaps trying lower and seeing what you get, as we’ve noticed great results without going way overboard on pressure application.
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
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 guide, it’s that quality matters most. From all of us at PurePressure, thank you for reading and we hope you found this article useful. Ultimately rosin pressing is a community of experimentation, we would love it if you shared your findings with us by commenting below. Make sure to follow our social media channels for more great articles, videos, posts, and tips!