From seed to harvest and onto the purest solventless extracts. That describes the life cycle for most of my gardens at my home.
The hunt for the cleanest extracts starts for me personally by mixing a batch of my soil recipe. This tried and true recipe has never steered me wrong.
I combine a solid mixture which I feel gets me pretty close to zero maintenance soil, meaning very few top dress inputs (if any) throughout the grow.
Most importantly, learning strains for maximum output in both overall terpenes and weight is key. Once the soil is spun and has had time to sit, the seeds are ready to be dropped into their starting pots. At this point it is only a matter of time before the nectar of the gods (rosin) can be extracted. With that comes many options, whether it be dry sift, bubble hash or even the highly sought-after fresh frozen or “live” extracts.
The most important part of growing your own cannabis, whether it be for recreation or medicinal use, is to always have fun and try new things. Throughout my time sharing my own experiences I have been amazed at how openly the community shares skills and unmatched knowledge.
The time has come, you’ve grown a fabulous garden and harvest is near. This is a great time to do a little pre planning, especially if fresh frozen extracts is what you are after.
Making Rosin: Choose Your Method
Once you have harvested your garden you have a few choices to make depending on the equipment you have available. For the upper class extracts your fresh frozen (meaning freezing your product directly after chopping down) plants would be the gold standard. Not to worry if you don’t have the capabilities to do this or the fresh product to make it happen as there are several other ways to make pure fire. Some fire flower wrapped in a 90 micron bag can definitely take you there!
Many rosineers will take the extra steps to make hash rosin as the quality is unmatched. While making hash rosin you are strictly dealing with the melting of trichomes and no plant material. In turn this leaves you with a purest of pure rosins depending on the micron bag selected.
Choosing this route leaves the extractor with a few extra steps as you must first extract the trichomes from your plant material, either dry sift or bubble hash. Once this is complete you are left with multiple grades of hashish; from here you must select a micron bag size that you wish to use. Common size for hash rosin would be a 35 or lower micron bag.
Flower rosin is easier to jump in and press, which is a more common choice around novice rosineers. Don’t be fooled with how easy it is to press rosin as there are still several variables which should be taken into consideration to achieve maximum results.
Ideally you want your flower to not be too dry but at the same time not too fresh; around 62 percent humidity is ideal for maximum yield. Once you have your flower ready you then must choose a micron bag size if you wish to use one. The use of a micron bag can filter out particles as well as lipids, leaving you with a clean melting final product.
Types of Rosin Presses
In today’s market there are hundreds of different companies offering the latest and best. Let’s take a look at a few of the different style presses available in today’s market.
Nugsmasher, made in the U.S.A offers several different styles from four ton bottle style jack all the way up to 20 tonnes. JuiceBox Rosin Press offers high quality machines that come in a variety of options and prizes, with the company’s handheld rosin press starting at just $99.
RBAYSALE Portable Heating Press Machine is an Amazon special that still offers great function with a discount in price. There are many different styles available. This is a great option for many, because it’s portable, offers intelligent control and offers adjustable pressure as well.
My personal choice is Cannaplates, made in Canada. This company strictly deals with the heating plates for rosin pressing. They offer several different variations being caged or uncaged as well as their new 10” x 3” caged monster! High quality anodized plates pieced together using stainless steel components. Hand crafted, with customer service unmatched in today’s world.
Low Temp v2: If portability tied with high end hydraulics or the option of and electric pump is on your wishlist, look no further. High quality meets higher quality, but with that comes a hefty price tag over the others mentioned.
Rosin Bud M2: Price meets portability with this all in once ready to go rosin press. This press isn’t for those looking to press large quantities of flower or hash but more for the small personal-use rosineers. Coming in at only a few hundred dollars this really is an easily affordable way to get your fingers sticky in the world of rosin.
Picking the Right Micron Bags
Now that we have covered a few different brands of presses we can move onto the world of micron bags. Why? Effective filtration of rosin.
Depending on micron bag size selected the final product can vary vastly. The most common micron bag sizes for rosin are 15, 25, 37, 50, 75, 90, 120, 160 and 220. Typically your lower 37 and below are used more for your hash rosins, where 75 and up are used for flower.
The main purpose of using a rosin bag when pressing is to filter the rosin passing through. If you are looking for a more refined product when doing a flower press, I would highly recommend picking up some 90 micron bags. I find it a nice balance in lipid filtration without taking to large of a hit on final yield.
Taking rosin to the next level, mechanical separation. Exactly how it sounds, we use mechanical means to separate thca from rosin. This really is the master level of pressing as time, and patience is a must.
A rosineer would first start by pressing either hash rosin or flower rosin. Once the rosin is pressed it is then placed inside a low micron bag; I start at 35 micron. The first few presses will be at a lower heat and lower overall pressure. The terpenes from the rosin will flow through the micron bag with ease to be stored for later use. After several presses have been completed you are left with a product which resembles egg shells inside the micron bag, this is THCA.
From here the THCA can be dabbed as is or remelted down into diamond sticks and then broken to size. A dramatic loss in yield must be expected as you are pressing all the oils out of the rosin (terpenes can be re-added after for a nice diamond and sauce extract).
The Curing Process
Curing rosin, the objective is to end up with a final product you can admire. Curing rosin involves sealing your rosin in a glass jar and either subjecting it to a hot or cold cure (which consists of room temperatures). The consistency and flavor will be majorly affected in a positive way. More experienced rosineers will definitely choose one of the two methods of curing over just dabbing up your product instantly.
Cold curing can easily be done with no further equipment or hassle. The action takes place around 50 to 70°F, which is typical for most rooms. You simply seal up your rosin in a clean glass jar for 24 hours all the way up to and over a week; the consistency of your product will slowly transform into a buddery product over time. Alongside with the simplicity of cold curing, you will definitely benefit in the fact that cold curing dramatically lessens the evaporation of terpenes during the process.
Curing with heat is usually done at temperatures varying from 85 to 125°F. Warm curing is achieved by sealing your rosin in a clean glass jar and subjecting it to heat for periods of one hour to several hours. During this time your rosin will be subjected to a buildup of pressure inside the sealed jar, dramatically changing the consistency of your product. I recommend checking after the first hour and giving a light mixing with your dab tool. At this point it can either be left on the heat source or removed if you are happy with results.