How To Make Live Rosin
Today, we're diving into live rosin's process and how it gets made. Live rosin has been a topic of discussion amongst many people in the extracts community. In fact, even some well-educated concentrate aficionados are out of the loop on the process. To many, "live" is often attributed to resin, but live rosin is on the rise and becoming more in-demand. With freeze-dried solvent-less hash, users are able to enjoy a live rosin without the chemicals.
To create a solvent-less live rosin, it takes freeze dried bubble hash that’s pressed into rosin for the final product. The necessary steps to making solvent-less live rosin are rather straightforward. Basic stages of the process go like this:
- Cannabis is cut down, the fan leaves are removed, and the flowers are frozen before any drying takes place.
- Extractors will wash the freshly frozen cannabis buds into bubble hash, filter the hash, and then freeze-dry it.
- After the fresh frozen derived bubble hash is dried, it's then pressed into rosin and provides one of the best highs and terpene profile of any concentrate.
Pretty simple, right?
Well, there’s a bit more to the process to making this type of ultra premium solvent-less rosin. So, let’s dive in and explore how and why live rosin is made the way it is. To begin, we need to create our full-spectrum, solvent-less bubble hash.
Table of Contents:
Step 1: Get Your Strains Together
Step 2: Micron Bags and Layering
Step 3: Agitation
Step 4: Pouring Into Your Bags
Step 5: Rinsing and Freezing
Step 6: Removing the Bags
Step 7: Rinse and Freeze Your Extracted Trichomes
Step 8: Grading Your Hash
Step 9: Pressing Your Rosin
Step One: Get Your Strains Together
Using high quality material is absolutely vital here. You want to choose terpene and trichome-rich flowers to start. If you want to get really creative, combine a few complimentary strains. If you decide to create a blend, look for complementary terpenes for a quality artisanal mix. Some of our top recommended strains are Lemon OG, Tangie, Chem #4, Durban Poison, Papaya, and many of the Sours.
Pictured: 11,400 grams of fresh frozen Chem Dawg from Kush Masters in Boulder, CO.
Once you have your desired strains picked out, put your fresh frozen buds into the extraction bag, which is also known as a work bag. Now that you have your foundation in place, it’s time to get the wheels turning.
Step Two: Micron Bags and Layering
Pictured: layered BubbleBags in a PurePressure Bruteless vessel
A micron is a unit of measurement typically used in Europe. Microns are used to calculate minuscule increments. In the hash process, microns are used to assign grades of solventless hash because they are separating the various sized trichome heads from their stalks.
At this stage of the process, typically five or more micron bags are layered on top of one another in a container, such as a large, unused plastic garbage can. Your bags will vary in size, but are usually either 5 gallon or 20 gallon in processing size. However, we recommend that you use this method:
- 1st bag: 25 micron
- 2nd: 70 micron
- 3rd: 120 micron
- 4th: 150 micron
- 5th (exterior bag): 220 micron
Your blend won’t touch the bags just yet. We’ll come back to this later in the process. For now, your focus should shift to the agitation phase.
Step Three: Agitation
Pictured: Eric Simpson hand agitating in a PurePressure Bruteless vessel at the Kush Masters facility
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Now comes the first step in the freezing process. Your blend, now bagged, is placed into your washer for around five minutes per cycle. To get the best extraction possible, it needs to be as cold as possible! We can’t stress this enough - a cold room can make a big difference, as does insulating the washer.
Make sure your machine is filled sufficiently with clean ice derived from extremely pure water. Once you submerge your flower into the ice, there should be some room left in the washer. Don't fill it completely to the brim unless you want a mess on your hands. As the bag moves through the ice, make sure that it remains fully submerged for the best outcome.
Step Four: Pouring Into Your Bags
Now, your trichome heads have been separated and are drained out of the washer and into your micron bags. To make for the best pour, have you tubes fed directly into the container with your bags. Your liquid should have a yellow hue.
There are other ways you can complete this step, but you’ll find this to be the most efficient.
Step Five: Rinsing and Freezing
With the liquid flowing through your bags, set your focus back on your washer. With the process now, complete, take the bag out of the ice for a vigorous rinsing.
Keep the bag inside the washer and give the outside of the bag a good rinse. Keep it inside the machine and begin washing. This helps avoid extra messes. Feel free to use a standard garden hose attached to your sink when cleaning.
Step Six: Removing the Bags
Next comes the bag removal. Each is removed one by one and separated from the other bags. Give each bag a small but useful shake before completely pulling away from the container. The fluids will flow smoothly from one bag to another through the mesh at the base of each bag. At the end of this stage, all your bags should be removed and the liquid left alone in the container.
Don’t disregard your bags at this point. They are vital in the next stage.
Step Seven: Rinse and Freeze Your Extracted Trichomes
In the final bag from your five, you’ll find your extracted trichomes from the washing stage.
Give the trichomes a slight rinse while remaining in the bag. After rinsing, scoop your fresh washed trichomes with a spoon. Pour your scoops onto a tray lined with paper. Don’t pour the trichomes directly onto the plate.
Typically, if the hash is high enough quality, you will end up with at least one grade of “full melt” bubble hash, which is typically either 72 or 90 micron, but can also be 120 or many other microns. It depends on the trichome heads themselves, and most extractors set aside their true full melt product to sell separately. Full melt is considered the best of the best since it leaves no residual product or debris on a nail when dabbed.
Pictured: post-rinse hash being scooped onto a tray for freeze drying
Once all the hash is placed on the tray, it’s put in a freeze dryer for 24 hours. This is an especially important facet of the process as freeze drying makes the best hash. Freeze drying helps mitigate mold while preserving the terpenes from your blend. This creates a much more stable product that provides the maximum quality of your bubble hash. Depending on the batch, you’ll need a different sized dryer. Regardless what size you require, you can use a small, medium, large, scientific, or even a scientific commercial-sized.
After the day of freeze drying is complete, take your tray out and examine your hash. Breaking the hash apart should be easy.
Remember, before freeze drying, the above steps are typically repeated 2 to 3 times per batch. The quality of the hash will be best on the first run, and then degrade somewhat through the second and third washes.
Step Eight: Grading Your Hash
Once removed from the freeze dryer, the hash is graded. To evaluate and grade its quality, producers inspect it methodically. Key factors include:
Your hash should have a golden hue with the feel of sand. Negative scores can come from your storage methods. Avoid darker, "greased" end results by storing in a very cool environment, such as a freezer. This can all be avoided by following the process above.
Your end result should have the same terpene quality as it did in the beginning.
This factor grades your lines per inch (LPI). This number determines the size of holes in your screens. This is important as it determines the size of trichome heads in your product.
Choosing the right strains are essential. As mentioned above, quality and freshness are everything. If you do a blend, your terpenes should complement one another, but the real factor is the results it produces. Some strains yield greasier outcomes, while others can be dry. Also, consider how the flower was grown. Organic grows free of sprays and chemicals tend to produce higher terpene rosin.
Step Nine: Pressing Your Rosin
Your hash is now ready to become rosin! Once dried, it’s time to press it into rosin. It’s critical that you use the correct rosin micron bag, such as a 36 micron or a 72 micron bag, for larger trichome heads. We recommend pressing your hash at between 160°F and 210°F, depending on what you want to achieve. Despite the popular belief that you want to press your hash at the lowest temperature possible, terpenes can be modified at slightly higher temperatures and not necessarily destroyed or harmed. We don’t recommend pressing above 220°F.
Typically with hash rosin, much greater care is required to press it into rosin without blowing out the bag. This is because there is so much oil that is being created and filtered through the bag’s pores, it creates much more pressure than if you were making flower rosin. You want to start at as low a pressure as possible and slowly ramp up. For a great instructional video on how this is done on our industry leading Pikes Peak rosin press, make sure to visit our YouTube channel.
Making your own live rosin is a process that takes a bit of measured analysis on your part. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll love what you’ve created. By making live rosin, you are giving yourself some of the best solvent-free concentrates on the market today. Despite it being laborious and multi-step, you’ll quickly understand its worth.
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If you want to start making your own live rosin, head to the PurePressure shop for all your manufacturing needs.
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All of the instructional images in this article were take at the Essential Extracts lab. Make sure to follow them on Instagram! Header Image Photo Credit: Sam at @Wyosdankest on Instagram.